Earlier toady I played 18 holes at Coyote Lakes Golf Club in Surprise, Arizona. I usually book my tee times on Wednesday or Thursday, but this week I waited until Friday to book my tee time. I saw on Facebook that Coyote Lakes was offering a $27 tee time that included a hot dog and a fountain drink. That seemed like a good deal, and the course looked nice according to their website. It was a little short for me, but I usually play around 6,500 yards. From the green tees (the tips) it was only 6,213. Anyway, I went to GolfHub to see about booking my tee time. I realized that after 1:00 PM the tee times were only $12. I have no issues playing in the afternoon, so I booked one for $12. That is when I realized I had a $10 voucher from GolfHub! Yep… my tee time was only $2!
Surprise, Arizona isn’t far from Scottsdale. It is only 25 miles, and took me about 15 minutes to get over there. It’s pretty much straight west, and since I live close to the 101 it was easy for me to get to. It’s not easy to find once you get there… Google took me close but nowhere near the entrance to the golf club. But I eventually found it. I had a 1:00 PM start, but needed to run some errands before teeing off. I got there a little early, but the course was slow. The guy in the pro shop told me I could go out whenever I was ready. Oh, and the staff… incredibly nice. Before I teed off, I wanted to hit some balls and practice my putting so I could get a feel for the greens. I usually like to have an hour before my tee time to make sure I am warmed up before playing.
Mediocre Practice Facility
When I entered the pro shop, I could see the driving range wasn’t very big. I asked for a small bucket of balls, and was told they used “distance control” range balls. They were basically rubber balls that I couldn’t hit more than 200 yards. Even with my driver, I couldn’t hit it very far. I wasn’t able to see my ball flight, but was still able to get loose and focus on my divots. I have been having some issues lately with my divot pattern. Someone on Twitter suggested I try tucking my right elbow in at address. It seemed to work. I need to take that advice to the range… or just trust the big sweeping fade that I have pretty much figured out how to master over the last 15 or 20 rounds.
When I was done hitting balls, which were only $3 by the way, I started putting. The greens were slow, but it was the kind of grass I could throw darts with. I remember growing up and at Forest Park Golf Course I could stop a driver if I had to. I like playing on greens like that. I hit a few putts and was ready to tee off. I was already dripping… tons of humidity today. But I was ready to play.
To The Front
The front was pretty straight forward. I made par on the first hole, and then made bogey on 2. I hit the green, but was deep and over a ridge. It took me 3 putts, but that was my only 3 putt of the day. I actually only had 29 putts all day. I hit 12 greens, too! Anyway, I eventually caught up to some guys on the golf course. One guy was wearing all orange. I am talking Rickie Fowler orange. From the hat to his shoes, he was covered in orange. They let me play through and I didn’t see another group until 18. The course was empty! I like it that way. I played really fast, and ended up playing 18 holes in under 2 hours.
I missed a few birdie putts on the front, and didn’t birdie a par 5 all day long. But I did manage to make a couple of birdies on the front to shoot -1 though 9 holes. I was happy with that, and it was only the second time all season I have played 9 holes under par. I headed to the back with a ton of confidence.
The Back Side
On the back, I made 4 consecutive pars. The back was silly, really. There was a par 5 that you couldn’t keep the ball in the fairway if you tried. I hit it left and had a tough second shot. I ended up hitting the green in regulation, but missed the putt. I did make 2 birdies on the back, but ended up with a bogey bogey finish to shoot even par on the back. That’s right… I shot 70. That’s 1 under par! It was my first round under par all year. I REALLY wanted to break 70, but hit a horrible chip shot on 18 (after missing the green) and had to settle with a 35 on the back. Par for the course was 71.
I can’t be mad with a 70. I was hitting my driver right most of the day, but figured that out coming in. I was still playing that fade with the irons, but started to trust that on the back, and it worked out. I wouldn’t even aim at the pin, just a spot somewhere 10-15 yards left. I want a fade with my irons… I lose distance, but gain control and spin. If I could play a fade on demand (getting there) I would. Not with my driver… I want to hit a draw with that.
Like I said, the rate was good. I can’t be made with a $2 tee time. When I was walking out of the clubhouse, I saw some complimentary Arizona golf magazines, and one had a picture of Tiger on it. I grabbed that. So after spending $2 on the tee time and $3 for the range balls, the magazine cost me $5. Pretty good deal for some Tiger memorabilia that I didn’t have! The course was in decent shape, at best, but I blame the summer months. Even nicer courses that I have played this summer have had some brown spots. Granted, this one was full of them… but the views were pretty great. It was a bit of a drive, but I would like to play here again in the winter when the course is in premium shape. If I can get another $2 tee time, I don’t care what condition the course is in!
When I got home today, I wrote a review on Google+ for the golf course. It was a lengthy review, but I also posted it on TripAdvisor and Yelp, and threw some tips on foursquare. I also added a recommendation on Facebook, but I didn’t like how it was formatted. It was the least I could do. Oh, and I added the same recommendation on GolfHub. I hope that it will help someone in the future, and hopefully help them book some tee times.
I know I just got done playing… but I am already thinking about my next round of golf. Where should I play next weekend?