Dove Valley Ranch Golf Club opened in 1998 to rave reviews and accolades as Arizona's Best New Public Golf Course, and it continues to grow even more inviting as the challenging and graceful layout by Robert Trent Jones Jr. matures. Just as ancient people who once lived here conjured beauty and function from the harsh surroundings, so did the Jones Jr. team - creating a golf course that respects the natural surrounding while supporting a more comfortable lifestyle. The upscale, daily fee facility opened as the key amenity in the new 850-acre Dove Valley Ranch master planned golf community in North Phoenix, off Cave Creek Road and Rancho Paloma Dr.
Following the lead of the ancient Hohokam people from a millennium ago, who opted for a peaceful existence below Black Mountain, Dove Valley Ranch Golf Club allows golfers a comparable opportunity to get away from it all - if only for a day.
Charged with preserving the prehistoric significance of the property and maintaining the natural character of the desert, the Jones Jr. team created the Dove Valley course amid specific landscape features and historic attributes incorporating them into the overall layout without dramatically altering the environment or the natural flow of the fairways.
Dove Valley Ranch Golf Club is essentially a desert style golf course with hints of tradition, such as ample fairways and subtly contoured greens with openings in front, featuring a low, rolling mix of holes of varying difficulty. The layout is very playable, but also strategic enough to test the course-management skills of every player. According to Jones, the key was to not "overcook" the gentle nature of this golf course, which makes Dove Valley a kinder, gentler creation from a designer usually known for his more heroic strategies.
The front nine opens as an easy warm-up for what is to come and bears down quickly on the 2nd hole, Fatal Attraction. Framed by water down the right, this risk/reward dogleg is quintessential of Jones Jr. designs, which tests the player's willingness to take a chance. The remainder of the front nine meanders through rejuvenated open desert and closes with a par 4 along a large lake in play on Number 9, Watering Hole.
The back nine tightens as it plays into the dense desert vegetation along Willow Wash, the dominant natural land feature on the golf course. The desert test begins on Number 11, The Peak, a lengthy hole with dense desert both right and left of the tight driving area and a long thin green protected in front and to the right by tributaries to Willow Wash. Ironwood and acacia trees line narrow fairways throughout the Wash holes putting a premium on shots that find fairways. Aptly named Bird Bath, the 18th challenges with a final stretch of water that runs the length of the hole along the right side. The greenside bunkers, water and northerly view of the mountains etches memories of this magnificent course you will want to play again and again.