Kierland Golf Club is a part of the Westin Kierland Resort & Spa and the course is managed by Troon Golf – one of the best golf management companies with a stable of top tier courses throughout the United States. Kierland has 27 outstanding holes of emerald green fairways carved out of the desert and landscaped with a variety of trees and colorful desert fauna. Scott Miller designed each of the three nine hole courses to take advantage of the terrain and to provide golfers with a memorable and fair yet challenging round of golf. When you play Kierland, you'll find near perfect conditions, manageable desert carries, elevation changes, wide forgiving fairways, dog legs, and over 300 bunkers, plus lakes, dry desert washes, strands of desert trees and natural desert areas. When we played, all three courses were still in transition from with winter to summer but the fairways and roughs were lush and green and the greens were near perfect. Each of the nines hole layouts – Mesquite, Acacia, and Ironwood – are named for the trees that line the fairways and each nine plays with a diverse style and has it's own personality created by the differences in terrain and landscaping. Kierland features a few forced carries but none you won't be able to master. To create the tall mounds, rolling fairways, elevation changes of up to 75 feet, and the lakes, over 1.3 million cubic yards of dirt were bulldozed. Our favorite of the three nines was Acacia – here is a link to the review of Acacia and the review of Ironwood.
Kierland is home to the Labauve Golf Academy which offers a state-of-the-art teaching and practice facility as well as a first-class golf shop. And you won't believe this – each cart has an air conditioning system to keep you cool during the 110 degree heat spells! Almost as good, the outdoor driving range has an air-conditioned canopy system to keep you cool during practice sessions.
The Mesquite 9 is a fairly straight forward and traditional layout and in most cases, what you see is what you get. What you'll also see is scenic views of the mountains, colorful dessert fauna, and great landscaping. The fairways are wide and forgiving and lined with tall mounds that typically force your errant ball back into the fairway – I love that feature! The desert carries from the tee box are manageable but where you'll find trouble is with some of the swales and collection areas off the turtle back greens, most of which are protected with a number of large and steep faced bunkers.
This nine is perfectly landscaped and meticulously maintained and you'll encounter some very fun holes. For example, #5 is a 521 par five dog leg left with a fairway lined with tall rolling berms along the entire left side and a dry creek bed along the left side and back across the front of the green. The fairway is narrow but if you play left up the berms you'll roll back into the fairway – assuming the rough is cut short as it was when we played. On this hole, you need to manage the approach shot to carry the dry creek bed and avoid the bunkers around the green. #9 also requires a near perfect shot on the approach to a scenic green with a small lake in front of 6 large bunkers protecting and elevated green. Mesquite provides a fun and enjoyable round where you can score well. The slope and rating are based on playing the Mesquite and Ironwood nines.
We spent 6 days in Scottdale and played 150 holes, went hot air ballooning, kayaking, off-road jeeping, and lots more fun things – here is a link to Golfing In Scottsdale article.