Review & Rating of Verrado Golf Club's Founders Course in Buckeye, Arizona
The Verrado Golf Club in Buckeye is home to 36 holes (The Founders Course and the newer Victory Course) of spectacular golf designed by PGA Tour star and Ryder Cup Captain, Tom Lehman, and architect John Fought. Both courses have been carved out of the foothills of the White Tank Mountains and as such they offer massive rock outcroppings, elevation changes, scenic vistas for miles, and desert washes as the course meanders up and down the foothills and through the desert filled with ancient saguaro cacti, old-growth ironwoods, colorful native fauna, and plenty of wildlife.
Each of the championship courses at Verrado Golf Club has it's own unique personality and characteristics:
- The Founders Course is a traditional desert course playing through the foothills with elevation changes, beautiful views of the White Tank Mountains and the Phoenix skyline, large desert washes, picturesque box canyons, huge beautiful homes dotting the hillsides, and generous landing areas
- The Victory Course is the easier of the two courses and it was carved out of the mountains with undulating fairways, massive rock outcroppings, and views of the entire western Phoenix valley. Read Texas Outside's review of the Victory Course to learn more.
Common to both courses is a spectacular clubhouse with a well-stocked pro shop and grill serving breakfast, lunch and dinner; outstanding friendly service; good practice facilities, and rates that are reasonable for such a quality course. It's not surprising that Verrado Golf Club was named in the "Top 50 US Courses" by Golf Advisor and the "Best Courses You Can Play" by Golf Week.
The Founders Course has five sets of tee boxes plus three combo tee boxes with yardages ranging from 5142 to 7258 yards and a slope ranging from 114 to 139, which means the course is suitable for all levels of play and can be very challenging from the tips – don't bite off more than you can chew and you'll have an enjoyable and relaxing round. Some of what makes a round on the Founders Course challenging includes: some false fronts on the greens; water on 4 holes; a long carry with a blind shot; 62 treacherous bunkers; and the desert with lots of cactus if you spray the ball.
The layout of The Founders Course is spectacular as it winds through the desert and up and down the foothills! Some of the holes that we really liked included:
- #2 is a fun 397-yard par 4 that requires some shot-making to avoid the deep ravine that cuts into the fairway on the left at 100 yards before the green and a bunker on the right where the fairway turns right then back left to the green – if your drive stays left and avoids the ravine, you'll have a challenging approach over the ravine to a green with a bunker in front
- #7 is a 540-yard par 5 with a minefield of 10 bunkers you need to avoid
- #9 is a beautiful 382-yard par 4 dogleg right with 3 bunkers and a green with a backdrop of a pond, waterfall, and the clubhouse
- #10 is a fun 515-yard par 5 with a fairway that heads uphill and right past 3 big bunkers and then turns left toward a hidden green guarded by 3 bunkers
- #18 is the #2 handicap hole and it's fantastic with a downhill shot to a wide landing zone and then continues downhill to a well guarded green with 3 bunkers and a pond off the right side
When we played The Founders Course in early January the bent grass greens were overseeded with rye and in near perfect condition. They ran true and fast (around 10 to 11) and held the ball well. All of the greens are guarded by one to four bunkers and if you miss the green you're going to be in the desert brush. The greens are huge -ranging from 29 to 46 deep! They all have some minor slope and undulation (nothing significant) and a couple of greens have some steep false fronts.
The fairways at The Founders Course were also in near perfect condition as was the rough and they were overseeded with rye. Off the tee box, the landing zones are huge and forgiving with a wide rough that is very playable – miss both and you're most likely lost in the desert and natural area. The fairways are relatively flat and firm meaning lots of extra roll. Wind can be a factor. Some beautiful big homes dot the hillside and the views of the mountains and the Phoenix valley are stunning.
The 62 bunkers range in size and shape and depth and most are big and treacherous. Some of the lips are small and you might roll out but others are steep and deep. The sand was light but thin.
Bottom line – a spectacular course and well worth a trip to Buckeye to play! We can't wait to play the Victory Course.
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Service is excellent, the pro shop is well stocked, the practice facilities are good, and the clubhouse is impressive with a grill that serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner