Forrest Richardson reflects on Mountain Shadows project

Forrest Richardson reflects on Mountain Shadows project
Sean Dudley
By Sean Dudley

A new short course at Mountain Shadows Resort in Paradise Valley, Arizona, is now open for play.

Golf course architect Forrest Richardson oversaw a project which saw the conversion of Jack Snyder’s original 18-hole par 56 ‘executive’ course into a short course where every hole is a par three.

GCA caught up with Richardson to find out his thoughts on the project now that the course is open for play.

“It’s been really rewarding talking with people out on the course, and after their rounds,” he said. “We are still touching up some landscaping and areas around the 180-room resort grounds, so I have been spending quite a bit of time there. I also admit to playing several rounds, even before the official opening in early March. It has been great to hear from players and watch them negotiate the tee shots. It’s just neat to see people having fun playing golf, and that has been very rewarding.”

Richardson worked with Snyder in the early part of his career, and the architect admitted that his former colleague was very much on his mind when working at Mountain Shadows.

“I kept asking myself throughout the work whether Arthur Jack Snyder would approve!” Richardson said. “Truly, that thought was always there. Besides honouring Jack’s 1961 concept of a compact course where people could have fun and play in less time, my other goals were to offer greens with distinct personalities, stay on budget and to string together some beautiful holes. I did all three, and hopefully Jack is happy, too.”

Having done what he set out to do, Richardson is delighted with how the course has been received thus far.

“The reviews have been more than positive, which is all I can really ask for,” Richardson said. “You also need to consider we had 200 neighbours who have lived on parts of the course, some for more than 50 years. I now know many of them on a first name basis because they had opinions on everything from tree removal, planting new trees, shifting green sites – you name it. They have been so kind and full of complements, which is important from another perspective.”