The Raven Golf Club


Chances are that you won't see any ravens flying above you during your round at the Raven Golf Club at South Mountain, but what you will see is a great golf course with some of the best service on the planet. PGA Pro David Graham and architect Gary Panks built the Raven back in 1995. Larry Lippon, who spearheaded the project, came from Midwestern roots and wanted to create that feeling on the golf course. He wanted a golf course in the desert, not a desert golf course.

Built on an old cotton field, the course is not soft on golfers who play it. The forward tees play 5,759 yards. The Edgar Allen Poe types that want more adventure and intrigue as a part of their round can head back to the tips where the course measures out at 7,078 yards as the raven flies. Some of the Midwest flavor comes from the 7,000 pine trees that are apart of the layout. It's a very traditional, straightforward golf course that's kept in great shape. It has rolling fairways that require a little bit of carry from the tee to reach the landing area. Big, well-bunkered greens await those feather soft approach shots. They have subtle movement to them and are very true. You need a birdís nest the size of the midwestern sky to hold all the awards the course has received.

The golf, practice facility, food and service here have all been written up by local and national publications that can't seem to say enough about the golf club. Some of the top awards it's garnered include being voted in the top 10 in service "Worldwide" by Golf Digest, the number two public course in Arizona (behind Troon) by the Arizona Republic and having the best public driving range by Arizona Golf Quarterly. You'll see more people running around with headsets on than at a Space Shuttle launch. The staff wants to treat you as well as much as you want to get an eagle out on the course.

For those warmer days, there is a mist system in the golf cart and a "Prolink" computerized distance screen to help give you a birdís eye view of how far it is to your target. The Raven gives you that country club for a day feel without the monthly dues. From top to bottom, you'll be raving about the Raven for some time to come.

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