What to Expect: Estancia is a high end club that is part of the Discovery Land Company that owns several prestigious clubs in North America. The club sits on 640 acres of Arizona desert that encompasses the famous Pinnacle Peak landmark. The Tom Fazio layout sprawls for miles through the boulders and cactus that frame the course. Service is always a top priority at Discovery Land courses and Estancia is no exception. Caddies take care of the members and their guests while the maintenance crew ensures every blade of grass is in perfect health. The fairways are generous and the layout includes a great deal of variety in hole lengths and challenges.
Signature Hole: 11th – 137 Yard Par 3 – This is an attractive hole that embraces the Arizona surroundings. From the tee you will be staring through a chute of boulders and cactus plants that frame the green. Very little distance separates the tees on this short hole, so take in the view of Pinnacle Peak and the beauty of your surroundings for a moment and then take dead aim at the flag.
Individual Hole Analysis
Best Par 3: 7th – 174 Yards – The elevated tee on the 7th hole offers the golfer a clear view of the greens as well as the dangers that lurk ahead. One large bunker and two small bunkers are found around the green but don’t sit quite as close to the putting surface as they used to due to the mowing patterns the greens crew has adopted. A tee ball that goes a bit long and right will find a backstop that will kick shots back onto the green and setup solid birdie opportunities. However, if you go to far right you will be left with a downhill chip that will challenge your touch around the greens.
Best Par 4: 15th – 453 Yards – Going directly opposite of the 14th hole, #15 features an extra wide fairway initially before tightening down between a pair of fairway bunkers and flowing down to the unprotected green. The hole plays slightly uphill and thus puts a larger premium on distance than some of the other holes found at Estancia. Aiming at the bunkers on the right and hitting a draw off the tee will set you up for your best chance to reach this green on your approach shot where there are no bunkers and just a lone tree sitting near the putting surface.
Best Par 5: 17th – 584 Yards – Saguaro’s pepper the landscape as you stand on the 17th tee analyzing your tee shot. The fairway isn’t as wide as most of the others on the course, but it does offer the best chance to chase your ball towards the green. The bowled fairway tumbles towards the green and affords the ability to run a ball up on the putting surface from the left side, but it must have enough speed on it to reach the green rather than being funneled to the bunker protecting the middle of the green. Another neat feature of this hole when we played it was that a bobcat crossed the fairway that we gladly let “play through.”
Birdie Time: 4th – 504 Yard Par 5 – At just over 500 yards, the 4th hole at Estancia is very reachable in two and thus a great candidate for scoring a birdie on. A pond initially runs up the right side of the hole but ends before it would come into play for most golfers. Four fairway bunkers come into play along the journey, but the wide fairways at Estancia afford ample room to swing away without to much fear of finding serious trouble. The best angle is up the left side of the fairway while drives up the right side can shorten the hole a bit. If played other Fazio courses where holes of this length were par 4s on the card, so take advantage of this five par and make something happen!
Bogey Beware: 14th – 631 Yard Par 5 – The longer the hole, the more trouble that can occur. Estancia’s 14th hole is long, 631 yards, and features four bunkers and the only water hazard on the back nine. The tee shot must carry the desert and avoid the two fairway bunkers found on the left side of the fairway. Avoiding the left side is the theme of this hole since every bunker and the pond are all found on the side of the hole. Since it isn’t reachable in two for most players, try to put yourself in position in a comfortable layup position and avoid the left!