By Lynette Carrington
There are many choices for golf in the Valley. But perhaps none is more welcoming to players of all abilities than McDowell Mountain Golf Club. The club boasts an 18-hole public golf course on a peaceful and elevated property that features beautiful views and stellar club service.
Since 1999, the golf club has offered a uniquely Arizona experience. “We had an ownership change in 2011,” says Director of Operations at McDowell Mountain Golf Club, Brett Trenter. “What makes it interesting is that our owners are Phil Mickelson and his business agent, Steve Loy. They made some upgrades to the golf course in 2012, and then they redid the clubhouse in 2013. They have invested significantly to improve the property, and they renamed the facility. It used to be called Sanctuary.”The new name appropriately reflects how the club wants to be closely connected to and a favorite destination for the residents of the McDowell Mountain Ranch community. The club also routinely draws guests from Silver DC Ranch, Silverleaf and Grayhawk communities.
Inclusive Golf Club, Excellent Programs
The golf course is conveniently located in North Scottsdale and easily accessible and affordable. “The golf course appeals to all levels of golfers, from the beginner golfer to the most experienced player,” states Trenter. “Also, another thing that makes this property unique is that we really cater to the junior golfer. It is part of the core values that our ownership has in promoting golf through junior golf and junior golf programming.”
Trenter continues, “Even for the very earliest beginner, we have instructors for every skill level and every preparatory level.” Regardless if someone is just picking up clubs for the first time, or there is a high school student looking to join their high school golf team, McDowell Mountain Golf Club is ready and enthusiastic to get them immersed in golf and expertly instruct them in taking their game to the next level. For students ready to move beyond the high school golf level and on to a college team, the club also has more intense instruction to meet today’s competitive college team demands.
The director of instruction at the club is Boyd Summerhays, who is with golf-centric company, Tour Pros. “This is a place where you can really hone your skills, whatever your skill level is,” says Trenter. “It really sets us apart from other clubs, especially our junior programming.” Kids as young as seven or eight-years old can benefit from the club’s exceptional instruction, and the discipline and attention to detail that the game of golf demands. Trenter points out that the McDowell Mountain community is comprised primarily of younger families and the club is catering specifically to the area demographic.
“We have golfer loyalty programs,” explains Trenter. “Depending on if someone wants to golf just for the summer, or for the year, we have different opportunities. We have an annual membership and that gives unlimited green fees and practice balls for a great price, and guests of those members get the absolute best rate. There is also a loyalty card. That is a 14-month program that provides reduced green fees throughout the year for those cardholders and their guests, plus it offers discounts at the golf shop and restaurant. We also have tournaments for them.” Additional, there is a summer card that has essentially the same benefits as the loyalty card, but just for the summer season. Tee times can be reserved up to 60 days in advance of play.
Another new feature at the club are GolfBoards. The mobile golf “vehicle” is akin to a golf course surfboard with a standing control and space to hold golf clubs as players move effortlessly around the course. “It’s called ‘Surfing the Earth,’” explains Trenter. “You’re literally on it like you’re on a surfboard. We’ve recently purchased four of those and they need to be reserved in advance. It’s something new, and we’re trying to make the game fun!”
“Since we’re a public golf course, we don’t have any private functions, but we do have quite a few private golf tournaments, a lot of fundraising golf tournaments and charity golf events,” explains Trenter. “The club also has a really nice component with catering and event coordination.” On-site catering is available on the spacious event patio, the banquet room or inside at The Mesquite Grille for smaller gatherings. The many events hosted at the club include scenic weddings, bar and bat mitzvahs, birthday parties, anniversaries, corporate lunches and breakfasts. “We’re a great meeting spot for a number of different functions,” adds Trenter. Making the space even more flexible and attractive is that the banquet room opens up onto an event lawn, making it a picture perfect place for nuptials or kids’ birthday parties.
The property’s signature restaurant is the Mesquite Grille. The restaurant boasts soaring ceilings and a bright and light open feel as large roll-up doors and windows maximize on the beauty of the surrounding desert and vistas. The outdoor terrace bar is also the most popular spot to enjoy the view, have lunch, or relax with an evening cocktail. “Most of our reservations for dinner request the patio,” notes Trenter, who highly recommends reservations if planning to dine at Mesquite Grille.
The food at Mesquite Grille can be described as upscale comfort style food that includes everything from cocktails, appetizers and salads, to burgers, wraps and sandwiches. Meal entrees include Scottish salmon, mushroom risotto, steak frites, beef tenderloin, seafood fra diavolo and more. Executive Chef, Emilio Badalmenti has orchestrated a wonderful menu that includes something for every taste. Since the property is open to the public, likewise, so is Mesquite Grille. Guests who join “The DISH,” Mesquite Grille’s E-Club, will get the heads-up in advance for dining special, social events or other exclusive news from the restaurant and golf club.
McDowell Mountain Golf Club is located at 10690 E. Sheena Dr., Scottsdale. Visit www.mcdowellmountaingc.com or call (480) 502-8200.