The Padre Course at Camelback Golf Club in Scottsdale is more than a walk in the park

By Travel ArticlesJanuary 18, 2013, 5:00 am

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- There aren't many golf courses in the Valley of the Sun that aren't desert courses. The Padre Course at Camelback Golf Club is one of them.

Laid out in the shadow of Camelback Mountain, the Padre Course, which was redesigned by Arthur Hills in 1999, is unique among Scottsdale-area courses. Wide fairways, water hazards and plenty of grass rule the day on this extremely playable yet challenging layout.

Play it from the tips (at nearly 6,900 yards) and you've got plenty of challenge. Move up a tee or two, and it is certainly the antithesis of the notion of a good walk spoiled.

In fact, contrary to many modern courses, the Padre Course is imminently walkable. And the views never stop coming, from the opening tee shot to the end.

'I came here seven years ago,' said Rob Bartley, director of golf operations at the Marriott-affiliated facility. 'And I sat in the dining room and looked out across the golf course at the McDowell Mountains and said, 'This place is heaven.' '

The Padre is beautiful, but full of trouble

On the surface, Camelback's Padre Course comes across as a gentle challenge. After all, the rolling fairways are covered in lush turf and the overall length of the course isn't difficult to manage.

But upon closer examination, you'll find that most holes have some pretty challenging bunkering, a few have large water hazards, and the greens are laden with false fronts and sides, especially in the winter.

For the first time, the greens weren't overseeded; they were painted. And that's a recipe for fast greens because the Bermudagrass is dormant.

There are several holes where golfers will have to use caution, including the finishing stretch of 16, 17 and 18. In each case, if hit your approach shot on the green too close to the water, there's a good chance it will spin off and roll into the water, depending on the shot shape.

The upside is that come spring, the greens won't undergo transition problems, making for healthier greens much earlier in the year.

Overall, the course provides a nice mix of easier and more difficult holes. The 10th, for example, is a par 4 that plays 482 yards from the tips. Nothing tricky, but the sheer length and large bunker in front of the green make it one of the most difficult holes on the course. The same could be said for the eighth, a par 3 that exceeds 215 yards and is all carry over water.

The fifth is a medium-length par 5 at 553 yards, but a lake that comes into play on a potential layup second shot and approach shot make it the No. 1 handicap hole on the course.

Camelback Golf Club's Padre Course: The verdict

The Padre Course is in stark contrast to its sister course, Indian Bend, which is currently being redesigned by Hurdzan-Fry. While the new Indian Bend will be a hybrid of desert and parkland golf, the Padre is purely parkland, which makes it stand out among Scottsdale golf courses.

The course was also renovated at the same time the 36,000-square-foot clubhouse was -- to the tune of $16 million. It's a large investment for the entire golf experience, which means you'll enjoy dining and hanging out in the clubhouse just like you will playing the course.

Camelback Golf Club also has terrific practice facilities that include a large grass range, short-game area and putting green. The golf shop is among the best in the country, and lessons are available from Camelback's staff of professionals.

In short, the Padre Course is a solid play in an area full of great golf courses.

Rahm wins finale, Fleetwood takes Race to Dubai

By Will GrayNovember 19, 2017, 1:42 pm

Jon Rahm captured the final tournament on the European Tour calendar, a result that helped Tommy Fleetwood take home the season-long Race to Dubai title.

Rahm shot a final-round 67 to finish two shots clear of Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Shane Lowry at the DP World Tour Championship. It's the second European Tour win of the year for the Spaniard, who also captured the Irish Open and won on the PGA Tour in January at the Farmers Insurance Open.

"I could not be more proud of what I've done this week," Rahm told reporters. "Having the weekend that I've had, actually shooting 12 under on the last 36 holes, bogey-free round today, it's really special."

But the key finish came from Justin Rose, who held the 54-hole lead in Dubai but dropped back into a tie for fourth after closing with a 70. Rose entered the week as one of only three players who could win the Race to Dubai, along with Sergio Garcia and Fleetwood, who started with a lead of around 250,000 Euros.

With Fleetwood in the middle of the tournament pack, ultimately tying for 21st after a final-round 74, the door was open for Rose to capture the title thanks to a late charge despite playing in half the events that Fleetwood did. Rose captured both the WGC-HSBC Champions and Turkish Airlines Open, and was one round away from a two-trophy photo shoot in Dubai.

Instead, his T-4 finish meant he came up just short, as Fleetwood won the season-long race by 58,821 Euros.

The title caps a remarkable season for Fleetwood, who won the HSBC Abu Dhabi Championship as well as the French Open to go along with a pair of runner-up finishes and a fourth-place showing at the U.S. Open.

"I find it amazing, the season starts in November, December and you get to here and you're watching the last shot of the season to decide who wins the Race to Dubai," Fleetwood said at the trophy ceremony. "But yeah, very special and something we didn't really aim for at the start of the year, but it's happened."

Rose falters down stretch, Fleetwood wins Race to Dubai

By Associated PressNovember 19, 2017, 1:16 pm

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates - Tommy Fleetwood was crowned the European Tour's Race to Dubai champion Sunday after his nearest challenger, Justin Rose, faltered on the back nine. 

Rose appeared to be on track for a third win in as many starts, getting to 19 under after 11 holes Sunday without any trouble at Jumeirah Golf Estates. But his round unraveled after that with bogeys on the 12th, 14th and 16th holes to finish with a two-under par 70 and a share of fourth place.

With Fleetwood struggling to make birdies and finishing way behind in a tie for 21st place at 11 under, Rose needed to finish in sole possession of fourth to win his second Order of Merit title.


DP World Tour Championship: Articles, photos and videos

Full-field scores from the DP World Tour Championship


The season-ending tournament was won by Spain's Jon Rahm, who fired a final-round 67 and a 19-under total.

Ireland's Shane Lowry (63) and Thailand's Kiradech Aphibarnrat were tied for second at 18 under.

Rose was T-4 with Masters champion Sergio Garcia (65) and the South African duo of Dylan Frittelli (69) and Dean Burmester (68).

Battling mono, Kaufman tied for lead at CME

By Randall MellNovember 19, 2017, 2:05 am

NAPLES, Fla. – Kim Kaufman’s bout with mononucleosis might leave fellow tour pros wanting to catch the fever, too.

A couple months after Anna Nordqvist battled her way into contention at the Women’s British Open playing with mono, and then thrived at the Solheim Cup with it, Kaufman is following suit.

In her first start since being diagnosed, Kaufman posted an 8-under-par 64 Saturday to move into a four-way tie for the lead at the CME Group Tour Championship. It was the low round of the day. She’s bidding to win her first LPGA title.

“I’ve been resting at home for two weeks,” Kaufman said. “Didn’t do anything.”

Well, she did slip on a flight of stairs while recuperating, hurting her left wrist. She had it wrapped Saturday but said that’s mostly precautionary. It didn’t bother her during the round.


CME Group Tour Championship: Articles, photos and videos

Full-field scores from the CME Group Tour Championship


“I’m the only person who can take two weeks off and get injured,” Kaufman joked.

Kaufman, 26, left the Asian swing after playing the Sime Darby Malaysia, returning to her home in South Dakota, to see her doctor there. She is from Clark. She was told bed rest was the best thing for her, but she felt good enough to make the trip to Florida for the season-ending event.

“We had some really cold days,” Kaufman said. “We had some snow. I was done with it. I was coming down here.”

How does she feel?

“I feel great,” she said. “I’m a little bit shaky, which isn’t great out there, but it’s great to be here doing something. I was going a little bit stir crazy [at home], just kind of fighting through it.”

Kaufman made eight birdies in her bogey-free round.

New-look Wie eyes CME Group Tour Championship title

By Randall MellNovember 19, 2017, 1:32 am

NAPLES, Fla. – Michelle Wie is sporting a new look that even has fellow players doing double takes.

Bored during her six-week recovery from an emergency appendectomy late this summer, Wie decided to cut and die her hair.

She went for golden locks, and a shorter style.

“I kind of went crazy after being in bed that long,” Wie said. “I just told my mom to grab the kitchen scissors and just cut all my hair off.”

Wie will get to sport her new look on a big stage Sunday after playing herself into a four-way tie for the lead at the CME Group Tour Championship. With a 6-under-par 66, she is in contention to win her fifth LPGA title, her first since winning the U.S. Women’s Open three years ago.


CME Group Tour Championship: Articles, photos and videos

Full-field scores from the CME Group Tour Championship


Wie, 28, fought her way back this year after two of the most disappointing years of her career. Her rebound, however, was derailed in late August, when she withdrew from the final round of the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open to undergo an emergency appendectomy. She was out for six weeks.

Before the surgery, Wie enjoyed getting back into contention regularly, with six finishes of T-4 or better this season. She returned to the tour on the Asian swing in October.

Fellow tour pros were surprised when she came back with the new look.

“Definitely, walk by people and they didn’t recognize me,” Wie said.

Wie is looking to continue to build on her resurgence.

“I gained a lot of confidence this year,” she said. “I had a really tough year last year, the last couple years. Just really feeling like my old self. Really feeling comfortable out there and having fun, and that's when I play my best.”