Apache Stronghold Golf Course, is a Resort, 18 hole golf course located in San Carlos, Arizona, 5 Miles East of Globe.
This public course first opened for play in 1999. It was built as part of Apache Gold, the San Carlos Apache tribe casino and resort development. Tom Doak was the course architect.
The course design maximizes the natural features of the land creating both a challenging and visually pleasing golf course. Shortly after the course opened, it was named one of the top 10 public golf courses in the nation by Golf Digest magazine.
The course has views of the Chiricahua, Aravaipa, Superstition and White Mountains. The vistas are unspoiled: no condominiums, no subdivisions, no shopping centers. This is the high desert in all its glory, the West as it used to be. The elevation here is 3,200 feet so it can be several degrees cooler than Phoenix in the summertime; balls will also carry farther here than back in the Valley of the Sun. You're also going to experience desert-style golf, but on a course that is more playable than many others located in Arizona.
Architect Doak says that one of his goals was to "reinvent desert golf on friendlier terms." "Wider than normal grassed areas buffer recreational golfers from the desert, minimizing the use of the desert rule which encourages players to take illegal free drops," Doak says. "A special feature of the course is the desert washes, which are maintained like rugged natural bunkers, but staked as hazards to give players the option of taking a penalty drop instead of trying to play out."
"All 18 holes are beautiful here," says Golf Manager Christina Kaska. "We don't have a signature hole. Each hole has its own story depending on the time and day you play, who you're with and what the weather is like." You'll start your round on this 7,500-yard, par-72 course following the lay of the land on an intriguing par-5 that measures 661 yards from the back, 503 from the forward. This No. 1 hole moves straightaway uphill and has a green that is hidden from view by a mound on the right side of the fairway.
But as on most of the holes, the landing area is generous. "The fairways are huge here," says Kaska. "If you can't hit them, you shouldn't be playing golf." Lots of interesting par-4s here including No. 4 known as "Twin Peaks" because of the twin sandhills spotted with mesquite and sage and standing like sentinels around the green. On this dogleg left that measures 398 yards from the back and 284 from the forward, you need to make a blind shot off the tee. If you go too far left, you could end up in a fairway bunker and have another blind shot to the green. Go to the right instead and make your approach shot over a small ravine to the putting surface. On the front nine, the drivable par-4 No. 6, dubbed "Javelina's Back" (325 yards from the back tee and 260 from the front), is one of the architect's favorite holes. Big hitters can get home here, but a miss could be very penal. Go for the right-center on the fairway as this offers the best approach to the green.
Although the back nine on this course is from 400 to 500 yards shorter than the front, depending on your tee, the back offers plenty of challenges to compensate for the difference in length. "Most of the elevation changes and the views are on the back," Kaska says. Extraordinary holes on the back nine make use of the natural arroyos on the property to test your strategic golf skills. One is No.10, a par-4 dogleg left that plays 472 yards from the back tees and 345 from the forward and is a challenging driving hole. Here a long, narrow sandy waste area splits the fairway lengthwise into two long strips.
Distances, ratings and slopes at Apache Stronghold: 7,519 yards (74.9/138); 7,007 (72.3/131); 6,524 (69.9/127); 6,077 (73.1/124); and 5,535 (70.5/117).
$51 (cart included), played on Tuesday, October 2008 at 6am
We went as a group of 16 for 3 days and had a blast. The staff was very accommodating in every way. Course is challenging and some great views. You can hear a pin drop it is so peaceful out there. Will go back again.
$66 (cart included), played on Monday, December 2007 at 10am
I really enjoyed playing Apache. Nice course. This is one of the courses that if you like to hit all the really good courses in your state, you would drive to (60 - 150) miles and be glad that you did. You would gladly play it again, but probably only if you had reason to be in the area. Nice layout, great visuals, good challenge but not in a ridiculous way. Played in December and the fairways looked as if they had hibernated, but the greens were in a nice way. The course represented good value relative to other Arizona courses in December.
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