Great options for golfers looking for faster pace, less spendy
It is easy for golfers in the Valley of the Sun to get in a rut. Not only is the weather consistently nearly perfect, but so are the golf options. In fact, there are so many courses – well over 200 at last count – finding a tee time is almost never a problem. This leaves players little reason to vary from their routines.
As a result, it is quite common for golfers to overlook some truly great golf experiences and great golf values simply through force of habit.
However, two worth breaking from routine to experience are Oakwood Country Club and Ironwood Country Club in Sun Lakes in Chandler. Both of these golf facilities are well-loved by their members and have attracted dedicated followings among daily-fee guests. However, they remain less well-known to golfers across the Valley.
Less than five minutes apart, the golf clubs share management and maintenance teams. However, each offers a distinctive golf experience, a great value and fast pace of play. In fact, Trish Huff, General Manager, says it is expected that rounds finish in less than four hours.
“Regulars will look at you sideways if you take more than four hours,” Huff said. “It’s not that they’re unwelcoming. They’re super friendly and love to have guests on the course. It’s just that’s how we play. Just like they do in Scotland, we keep it moving. That way you have time to enjoy the rest of your day, too.”
Oakwood Country Club
Recently remodeled to update and improve the overall playability, strategy and conditioning of the golf experience, Oakwood Country Club is known for its three diverse nine-hole courses designed by Keith Foster. One track is parkland-style. One is a traditional links-style course, and the third navigates along lakes, providing three unique 18-hole golf experiences. The Palms-Sonoran Course plays to 6,567 from the back tees and combines a lush parkland setting with traditionally styled links golf holes. The Sonoran-Lakes Course plays to 6,577 yards and pairs links-style holes with challenging holes surrounding the water. Then, the Lakes-Palms combination plays to just over 6,500 yards and pairs the parkland and lakes courses for a particularly verdant setting.
Ironwood Country Club
Like Oakwood, Ironwood Country Club recently completed a renovation. Though short-ish by modern standards, its 5,100-yard links-style layout offers plenty of thrills. The course winds through lush grounds and it plays fast and fair with plenty of scoring opportunities for players who can execute the required shots.
Both courses represent outstanding value. Peak guest rate at Oakwood is just $75 on spring weekends and $68 at Ironwood. Weekday rates are as low as $25 at each course. Plus, there are a number of annual pass programs and frequent-player options available to make it even more attractive.
Stone & Barrel Taphouse
Another great reason to visit is the outstanding vibe at Stone & Barrel, the superb neighborhood bar and grill at Oakwood Country Club.
Stone & Barrel is a place where community members, golf guests and others can meet and mix, trading stories of their day out on the links, or simply enjoy each other’s company in the comfortable, relaxing spaces within the restaurant. Part gathering place and part comfortable living room, Stone & Barrel features locally-sourced foods, wood-fired pizza and ten beers and two wines on tap.
Stone & Barrel has live music every week, and happy hour lasts from 3 to 6 p.m. It’s a guaranteed good time.
Oakwood Country Club and Stone & Barrel are located in the southeast Valley at 24215 S. Oakwood Boulevard in Sun Lakes. Ironwood Country Club is located nearby at 550 W. Champagne Drive in Chandler.
For tee times or golf information, call 480.895.1159 or visit www.ironoaksaz.com.
To learn more about Stone & Barrel, call 480.317.3605 or visit www.stoneandbarreltap.com.