Richardson designs par-three layout for Arizona RV park

  • On the Rocks

    A visualisation of the planned fourth hole at Forrest Richardson’s ‘On the Rocks’ par-three course

Richard Humphreys
By Richard Humphreys

Construction will begin next year on a new 12-hole par-three course in Buckeye, Arizona, designed by Forrest Richardson.

The layout has a working title of ‘On the Rocks’ and will be built as part of a luxury recreational vehicle development from RV Park and Campground Investors, which also includes a RV park with 800 spaces.

Richardson has routed the course to take advantage of foothills and a rocky mountain that border the northern boundary of the site. “Sloping land is unsuitable to manoeuvre and park motorhomes, which was part of my learning curve,” said Richardson. “But for golf, we know that craggy rock outcroppings and desert terrain can be an incredible and dramatic adventure, especially for par-three holes.”

His aim is to create a fun course that has many of the hallmarks seen at highly-ranked courses located in north Scottsdale but is not as intimidating. “We have holes ranging from 60 yards to 150 yards, but there will always be a gracious bail-out where you can safely play away from trouble,” said Richardson.

The course design takes advantage of the natural desert terrain and will preserve boulders, native desert washes and giant saguaro cacti. The final three holes will play at the back of the mountain.

Richardson, whose design associate Shane Witcombe will serve as on-site architect for the project, says the number of holes fit both the site and what the park will need in terms of capacity. The course can also be played as a nine-hole loop.

“Our vision for Arizona is to build a resort that can cater to the RV traveller who will stay a few days but is also comfortable and exciting enough for those who choose to enjoy the entire winter season,” said Rich Stockwell of RV Park and Campground Investors.

Managing partner of the group Susan McKee said: “This younger age group is where we have seen the largest gains in RV ownership over the past decade. Giving them a golf experience that is high-end and also takes less time, speaks to their lifestyle and will be a prime attraction of the park.

“There is a high demand for RV parks that can accommodate very large and luxurious rigs. Very often these owners have invested upwards of $400,000 in their travel homes, so the expectation is to have parks where they can stay and enjoy restaurants and amenities that match their expectations.”

In addition to the 12-hole course, the project will have playgrounds, meditation trails and restaurants.

The eco-friendly development will include its own water treatment facility. Wastewater will be processed for use on the golf course, open space areas and an equestrian area. The course’s turf area will be less than eight acres and will have sprinklers, sensors and programming.

The course is expected to open in 2021.