Pictures of Jim Engh's new Blackstone C.C. in Arizona
Seen left, Palo Verde (left) and Ocotilla (right) are just some of the interesting vegetation Jim Engh had to work with along with Saguaro Cacti to frame the edges of Blackstone C.C. in Peoria AZ.
Played Blackstone today with friends. We were the only ones on the course all day. I'll have longer piece on my website shortly. The course opened in Sept, is par 72 with a 40-32 split. You read that correctly. There is a front 10 and a back 8. The course does not return to the clubhouse at 9, but at 10. Thats just the way the land dictated to engh that the best holes were laid out, so go with it, I have no problem. Sure, the card reads 36-36, but thats a formality not a reality. Yes, typical of engh, its 5 par-5s and 5 par-3s. All the things Engh has become famous for are there. First, yes, the bunkers are muscle bunkers, but they are muscle bunkers on steroids...anywhere from 12 to 15 feet deep with gigantic sidewalls. The bunkers were not overseeded, so the had the golden halo around them giving them. Some of the bunkers werre a little too much, particularly 17 where the left half of the green on the par-3 is totally blind. Right pins, you can see. Also the bunker on 12 was humongous. There also were sidewalls to many greens rebounding errant shots back to the green. Jim had outstanding vegetation to work with...multi armed saguoros, rare palo verde, gorgeous ocotilla, dangerous jumping cholla, more subdued sausage cholla...great plant life. The course was also much more walkable than most of his other work...maybe only one tough walk between tees. There were tons of punchbowl greens and great contours. Greens were fantastic - multi-tiered, multi-club and with loads of undulation. Routing - terrific with one exception. First, the holes constantly change direction so the severe wind makes you constantly check your shot alignment carefully...except for 11, 12, 13 which all run in the same direction, which caused a problem...they also all run directly into the setting sun. 15 runs in the same direction too. We had trouble tracking the ball in flight. Conditioning was good enough to carpet your home...clubhouse will be finished soon. Price = really good. 60K as an introductory price, but after they sell enough memberships it'll go up to 75, then 85, capping at 105. Monthly is tween 450 and 650, depending on when you get in. No you dont have to own property. My fave stretch is from 5-8. If you like engh,its worth joining. If you're a hardcore purist, you might find some of it contrived. Looked to me like about 300-400,000 cubic yards of earth moved.
To my left, the green at the short par-4 6th has tyopical Engh player friendly sidewalls to rebound shots to the putting surface. Below, the view from behind the par-4 8th green.