800-541-1285
The trail starts in Winfield and ends 200 yards up Winfield Mountain.
The trail starts in Winfield and ends 200 yards up Winfield Mountain.

How To View Whisper Rock Golf Club

Hiking up Winfield Mountain in North Scottsdale, Arizona (it is more like a hill, Mount Hood in Oregon is a real mountain) starts with a trail and abruptly ends in 200 yards. At this point, I am thinking, “Wow, that was a tough hike. I guess it is time for a Martini, can’t go any further than this…well hell, that’s no fun, let’s go see what’s on the south side.” I hear that there is a pretty amazing private golf club called Whisper Rock Golf Club.

Not For The Timid

A word of caution for you.  Being bitten by a snake or eaten by a cougar is a real possibility if you think about it, (not talking the female, human version often found roaming around Scottsdale looking for young male prey) then you will. Find your happy place and don’t put your hand in holes or walk on bushes and make sure to look up once in awhile. Finding a big-ass cougar looking down on you would not be a fun experience. Whatever you do, don’t get injured, because they will show you on television being rescued by a helicopter and you will feel stupid. Oh, last warning; never do this during snake season.

 

This is where cougars roam and people fall. Looking down on the 13th hole. If you are hungry, Safeway is the first main industrial building. Looking towards Phoenix .
This is where cougars live and people fall. Looking down on the 13th hole. If you are hungry, Safeway is the first main industrial building. Looking towards Phoenix.

 

 

I will also mention that you better know someone who can get you access to Winfield Mountain (AKA: hill).  The mountain (hill) is the property of the HOA of Winfield (hence the name Winfield Mountain). Whisper Rock Golf Club you have nothing to worry about; very few people will actually risk broken bones, snake bites, and the embarrassment of a television rescue to get a proper view, but I will.

On The South Side – Whisper Rock Golf Course

I like golf courses. I like the way the grass is meticulously maintained and how a proper bunker is designed and maintained. I like greens that are so perfect you don’t care when you miss the putt because you get to putt again. I like the fact that golf Superintendents get even by putting the pin position 4 paces over a bunker, knowing damn well we all will be in the bunker because our egos are too big to aim away from the flag. Hey that reminds me, muni guys when you hit the green, fix your damn divots, be proud of the dent your ball created because our dents don’t happen very often.

Whisper Rock Golf Club has so many top PGA Tour players as members that you just know the course conditions are amazing; PGA guys don’t play munis unless it’s Bethpage or Torrey Pines. It’s been reported that there are 550 members that each paid $100,000.00 to join. You don’t just join Whisper Rock, you get invited to join. PGA Tour Pro Kevin Streelman is a perfect example and a great success story. Kevin was once a caddy at Whisper Rock before finding success on the PGA Tour.  Kevin is now a member at Whisper Rock Golf Club. To the Superintendent of Whisper Rock; I need to share a few pictures of your work because it looks amazing.

The pictures were taken from an elevated location looking down on the Upper course, predominantly the 13th hole.  My municipal course education tells me the 13th plays at about 300 yards, but then again, I am judging this from a boulder outcropping 200 yards up the hill. The elevated tee box plays at an altitude of about 2,000 feet above sea level and the green are protected by green side bunkers. With thin air and an elevated tee box, I’m guessing it plays to about 275 yards.  I could hit it with an 8 iron, bent to 10 degrees with an explosive charge attached.  A par 4 playing at 275 yards means you should pull the big stick every time or you should put on a skirt and hit to about 200 yards to stay short of the fairway sand traps. Who wants to lay up?  The only reason I know this is because I watched about 6 groups come through and I heard one guy say it (probably to a guest), not the skirt part but the “hit driver or hit to 200 yards”, part. Out of the 6 groups, not one person laid up, it was pure man ego watching at its finest. My shag bag salutes the driver choice, but I will save that story for a little later.

A Thank You To Kevin Streelman For Solving The Unknown-For Non Members

A Salute to the Caddies of Whisper Rock Golf Club

I need to give the caddies recognition because of the hustle involved with this hole. I imagine the hustle happens on all the holes, but the caddy work is well worth mentioning at the 13th hole.  Imagine you are the caddy for four guys who are going to bash driver on the 13th hole, what do you do?  Well, as the golfers make their way to the 13th tee box from the par 5 12th hole, (in a cart of course) the caddy who rides on the back of the cart will either take off running down the south side of the hole or will ride to the tee box and then take off running. The caddies are running to about the 200-yard mark (Kevin Streelman, is this correct?) and will watch everyone tee off and track the members and guests tee shot into the air until it lands, usually in the desert ( a simple observation on my part). Come on, you didn’t really think a person who pays $100,000.00 dollars to join a club is going to worry about where his or her ball lands, did you? Hell no, cigars need to be smoked and cactus to be peed on.

Now, back to the shag bag comment from earlier. Getting to my prime viewing location caused me to stumble upon a golf ball windfall, caused by slicers, pushers, blocker and left-handed hookers. These golf balls were so offline that I came to an instant revelation. Private club guys are just like muni guys; we all hit the ugly ball from time to time. However, the country club guys prefer to slice Pro V1s with their own personalized stamp. I will withhold sharing actual names, but monikers are fair game.

The Monikers

You guys know who you are and this is a thank you from me for the donation to my shag bag. Here’s a sampling, “Wheels”, “Kiamesha”, “Little Big Man”, “JG”, “OLE”, “WGL”, “SD”. There was a tribute to someone on Jeff Q’s ball, “1960-2011 RIP”. Newsflash! He or she is not resting in peace because I found this ball in snake-ville. I saved it and will now properly R.I.P this ball in a pond, river, or backyard of someone who thinks living on a golf course is fun, it’s the only proper thing to do. There is nothing like the sound of a golf ball hitting a house b.t.w. I found one ball that left me really curious about the meaning (somebody email me); the ball had a dog or sheep on it with the words “Schmentzel Cup 2013” (Update-I found you Schmentzel on Twitter, you could have invited me to Pebble to return the ball, looked like your private jet had enough room for me).  By far the best find of the day was a Callaway Tour i(x) with a monogram in RED CAPITAL lettering, “T-MONEY”.  Talk about the crap T-MAN probably got when he damn near hit Utah with his shank drive!  The ball probably should have said “t-shank”, in lower case with brown lettering, I’ll let you imagine what the brown lettering signifies.

Whisper Rock, you might want to add a golf instructor on the 13th hole. I have listened to so many golf commentators on television, that I can offer my own intelligent explanation.  When you get a reachable par 4, the tendency is to swing so hard that at the time of impact the golfer is pulling up and back which causes an open clubface at impact and the golfer horribly off-balance. It’s fun to watch. If golfers could stay over the ball, all would be good. The only person who benefits from this over swinging is me, so swing hard and swing often! I do prefer playing the Bridgestone E6 golf ball, so could you guys hit some of those into the desert?

The final count of golf balls found was 62 in about 30 minutes of pure enjoyment. 55% (that’s 34 out of 62), I had to do the math for the muni guys, were of the Pro V1 variety. FYI, these golf balls were in the open, I wasn’t digging in bushes or reaching under rocks because that is where snakes live. A snake bite might have brought the helicopter. Here are the results of the golf ball breakdown and true marketing data at its finest.

Official Findings from the 13th Hole – Whisper Rock Golf Course

  • Pro V1 or Pro V1x: 34 balls, and the most monogrammed of all balls
  • Srixon(even spell check can’t get this name correct): 4 balls
  • Calloway variety (none with P.M or Lefty on it): 6 balls
  • TaylorMade: 7 balls
  • Bridgestone: 1 E6, plus 3 other makes
  • Titleist lower level, DT Solo, NXT, etc: 5 balls
  • Nike: 1 ball, Disappointed with the findings. I grew up in Beaverton, Oregon home of Nike and I thought there would be better representation in the desert.  Oh, that’s right, we like rain and not dry heat, all is good.
  • MAXFLI: 1 ball, I am guessing it was a guest of a member and this guest is probably not invited back.

To the Superintendent of Whisper Rock Golf Club (Course): I applaud the work you and your staff do. From what I could see from far above, I was in awe.

Yup That's Me-Fellas Don't Forget To Wave Hello To Me

To the members of Whisper Rock; if you hear a scream on the Upper course, I have fallen, was bitten by a snake, or mauled by a cougar. I have either lived or died. Should death occur, I will see you often. Uncle Eddie has agreed to make the trek at midnight and spread my ashes on the 13th green. Make sure you are putting a Bridgestone E6, otherwise I’ll make sure you will never see the break.

*Yes I know the proper name is Whisper Rock Golf Club but I used the name Whisper Rock Golf Course in most of the post.  The reason, it’s the course that is of interest, not the milkshake machine in the clubhouse.

3 responses

  1. Mike. I did enjoy you posting on Whisper rock. Been up that trail from Winfield many times on a search for the elusive golf ball. With grandson in tow we manage to kill about 64 golf balls. Not all in pristine condition however beggars cannot be choosers. I not encountered any wildlife in including rattlesnakes, could be of course that my wife says I am half blind and hard of hearing. Cheers for now. Norm

  2. Rod Wettlin :

    Mike. I enjoyed your posting..I’ve been invited by my boss and I shoot in the low 90’s and coming off a hip replacement! Sounds like I might need another box o ‘ balls. (lol)

    1. Rod thanks for the comment, even if you shoot 120 it will be worth the experience.

Comments are closed.