'Sea of sand' for new Phoenician hole

'Sea of sand' for new Phoenician hole
Sean Dudley

Starwood Hotels’ flagship Phoenician resort in Scottsdale, Arizona, is about to break ground on a project to enhance its Oasis nine, part of the resort’s 27 holes of golf.

The resort is building a new 15,000 sq ft ballroom, and Phoenix-based golf architect Forrest Richardson is building a new golf hole, featuring what he refers to as Arizona’s only ‘sand island’ green, which will be in full view from the new ballroom.

“This is a homecoming for me,” said Richardson. “Growing up in Arizona, I played golf here when the property was home to the old Jokake Inn, and the course was known as the Valley Club.” Richardson’s mentor, the late Arthur Jack Snyder, created the first edition of the Phoenician in the 1980s.

The new ninth hole will be a par four of just over 300 yards. “The tee shot will be a matter of options,” said Richardson. “The golfer will be able to play conservatively, or go for it — and the final hurdle will be the exciting approach to a narrow green rising up from a ‘sea’ of sand.”

Construction of the new golf hole will be handled by golf builder Landscapes Unlimited. During the past year, upgrades to the Phoenician Golf Club have included turf and irrigation renovations, as well as the refurbishment of the water features that define the golf experience throughout the three distinct nines — Oasis, Desert and Canyon.