The Rim Golf Club
A very unique golf course resides just east of Payson about 75 minutes northeast of Scottsdale and Phoenix. Located in the heart of the largest stand of Ponderosa Pines anywhere, between the Mogollon Rim, the Stewart Mountains and the Granite Dells, is The Rim Golf Club. This 555-acre private community has 326 estate home sites ranging from a one-half to 1.5 acres. Their plan is to keep half of the acreage in its natural state to preserve the beauty and tranquility of the setting. Hardly anyone from the city would think that this much beauty could exist in Arizona; you would more likely think you were in the Sierra Mountains.
Opening in 1999 and designed by Tom Weiskopf and Jay Morrish, this par-71 golf course plays to 7193 yards. The Rim Golf Club continues its multi-year, very high ranking by Golfweek Magazine placing 24 in the 2012 America’s Best Residential Courses, and 66th in the 2012 America’s Best 100 courses built since 1960 (the Modern era). This course features spectacular boulder outcroppings, dramatic elevation changes, wondrous views of the Mogollon Rim, and scenic mountains to the South. Water is on six holes, with dry streams bisecting some of the fairways. You will be accompanied by the fresh smell of pine all during your round. Playability is the hallmark of The Rim Golf Club, with year-round enjoyment for players of all abilities. Fairways might look more challenging than they really are, but most holes have generous landing areas. The topography of the course will test you; however, if you don’t get completely caught-up with the views and do make good use of the guide book provided, you should score well.
Starting with your opening tee shot on “The Rim”, you know you are in for a wonderful day. A good tee shot from an elevated tee to a forgiving bowl-shaped fairway will leave a short shot into a well-protected green. You’re now through with the easy part.
Number 2, named “The Forest”, is appropriate for this par-4, 476 yard hole. Teeing off thru a small shoot of trees, uphill to a fairly generous landing area, play the second shot to the left center of the fairway which will leave a long shot further uphill. The green is guarded with a sand bunker on the left and front. A very nice hole.
“Spirit Hollow”, number 13, is a par-5 at 581 yards. Among the many “signature holes” on the course, this is “The One”! With a dramatic downhill tee shot, a rock outcrop and a bunker on the left edge of the fairway landing area hit a slight draw to the right center of the fairway where the ball will run forever. With a great tee shot, you have the distinct possibility of going for the green in two with another downhill shot. Once you get to the green, you will see the 80-foot greenside boulders, what a backdrop!
The 16th hole, “Monument Valley”, is a 431 yard, par-4. This hole would make John Wayne proud! With an elevated tee, you feel like your tee shot will go forever, however, gravity will eventually take over. There is a large sand bunker guarding the right side of the fairway and a hill on the left side of the fairway to kick all shots toward that bunker. You need to hit your tee shot about half-way up on the left side of the hill so it will roll back into the fairway. This will leave you with short iron into a downhill green. There is a large bunker guarding the front of the green, so you must carry the ball onto it, but don’t go too far, as there is a big drop-off behind the green. Another very pretty hole, looking down from above and back up the hill from below.
A 29,000 square foot clubhouse is the focal point of this golf club. With over 10,000 square feet of outdoor patios, the clubhouse reflects the rugged grandeur of the Rim Country. With a five-star rating and world class cuisine, service to the members is excellent! Men’s and women’s locker rooms, a pro shop offering an abundance of golf equipment and attire, and an extensive driving range and practice area are just some of the amenities offered. Recent additions include a spa, fitness center, swimming pool and tennis court, and a hair salon coming soon.
One of the really nice things about the extremely beautiful homes around the golf course is that they are great to admire, but are truly removed from play. Land ownership is not a requirement to become a member, but after you have played golf here a couple of times, you might want to consider living here. Full time residents experience all four seasons here and an abundance of native wildlife, including elk in the early evenings.
For an initiation fee of $30,000 plus monthly dues you can obtain a non-equity membership with playing privileges at both The Rim Golf Course and Chaparral Pines Golf Course. Two wonderful, but distinctly different courses; the best of both worlds! The recent purchase of The Rim Golf Club by Phil Mickelson and Steve Loy has opened up a potential opportunity to add value to the traditional private golf membership by providing access to multiple Arizona clubs.
This is a special place! In fact, the area inspired Zane Grey to write many of his novels. With awe-inspiring beauty, tranquil silence, and the fresh smell of pine, you may be inspired to play golf here often. For more information on The Rim Golf Club, please call the Club at 928-472-1480, or visit RimGolf.com.