A New Raven Takes Flight
Authentic. Unique. Dramatic. These are the three adjectives most often used to describe The Raven Golf Club at Verrado, a spectacular new daily-fee golf course tucked in the foothills of the White Tank Mountains west of Phoenix, and a centerpiece of the 8,800-acre Verrado master-planned co
The golf club builds upon the success Scottsdale-based Intrawest Golf has enjoyed as it has grown its network of Raven branded golf clubs across North America. As such, The Raven Golf Club at Verrado benefits from Intrawest Golf\'s vast knowledge and experience operating some of the top-rated golf venues in the world nearly as much as it does from the exceptional topography upon which it is built. The ambiance is welcoming. The staff is attentive. And, seemingly every desire a player could have - from having an attendant greet you at the bag drop to a player assistant delivering a new sleeve of balls to you on the 12th tee - is taken care of seamlessly and without any discernable effort on the part of the guest. In fact, it appears that the Raven Golf Club at Verrado could be on the way to matching the legendary service of its sister course, The Raven Golf Club at South Mountain (a shining star on the Phoenix golf scene for nearly a decade), in every regard. That\'s not an easy feat when you consider that a few years ago South Mountain was picked by Golf Digest as providing the No. 1 guest service in the world.
In fact, the Raven Golf Club at Verrado may set a new standard for excellence, thanks in large part to the revolutionary golf experience it provides. It refines the celebrated Raven golf experience with a unique all-inclusive pricing structure. Guests enjoy unlimited golf, unlimited use of the practice facility, two full meals (breakfast and lunch or lunch and dinner ordered from the Cocina Grille), golf car and on-course non-alcoholic beverages and snacks for $119 weekdays and $139 weekends (until March 30, 2004).
The New Raven
Verrado\'s golf clubhouse has been designed to accentuate the relaxed elegance and welcoming hometown appeal of the entire Verrado community. The architectural style blends with the natural surroundings and represents the significant cultural influences that have shaped life in the Sonoran Desert.
The clubhouse itself is reminiscent of a grand hacienda from Arizona\'s territorial period and exudes a charm that transcends the centuries of Southwestern hospitality. Through ingenious use of indoor and outdoor living spaces, the clubhouse creates an inviting open-air environment that is a hallmark of the Verrado lifestyle. Among the many amenities Verrado\'s guests will enjoy are Cocina, which provides a casually elegant dining experience for residents and guests; a full-service bar; covered terraces, arcades and an event lawn for special events, parties and social functions; a handsomely appointed golf shop; and private boardrooms and meeting facilities, enabling guests to mix business with pleasure.
Because of Fought and Lehman\'s excellent routing, the presence of the adjacent Verrado community does not detract from the golf experience in the least. Actually, the opposite is true. The traditional Southwestern architecture of the community and the vibrancy of Verrado\'s Town Center - which includes retail, dining and town-focused residential elements -creates an engaging energy (a celebration of life in Verrado terms) that can be felt throughout the community and the golf environment.
The energy is amplified by the Raven Golf Club at Verrado\'s dramatic mountainside setting which features massive rock outcroppings, large desert washes, intimate box canyons and considerable elevation changes, ranging from 1,100 to 3,600 feet above sea level. The course also offers magnificent views of the White Tank Mountains, the Phoenix Skyline and other Valley monuments.
From the tips, the Raven at Verrado measures 7,258 yards and will give the accomplished player a rigorous test of golf. However, Fought and Lehman created the golf course with four tee boxes on each hole, giving players of all abilities a fair chance at par. In fact, the forward tee on each hole connects with the fairway, taking all forced carries out of the equation.
Another unique characteristic of the Raven Golf Club at Verrado is the manner in which its bunkers are maintained. The collars are cropped very closely. In fairway bunkers this means errant shots are more likely to roll into the sand. Yet, in greenside bunkers, this feature makes it more likely that an escape shot will find the green.
Though the course boasts many that could vie for \"signature-hole\" status, two of the most spectacular are the 408-yard, par-4 second hole and the 478-yard, par-4 18th.
No. 2 at Verrado runs along a rugged hillside with lovely long-range views of the Valley of the Sun as its backdrop. The hole plays uphill and dares you to hit driver off the tee. Doing so, however, is a gamble. A large collection bunker guards the right side of the fairway at the very start of the landing area, and a huge 60-foot-deep ravine cuts sharply into the fairway from the left just past the bunker. The second shot is a daunting uphill approach into a shallow green that\'s perched on top of a ridge line. The green has a severe false front, meaning anything short will come rolling back down the fairway. Being long is worse. Directly behind the green is a sheer cliff.
The 18th at Verrado is a superb finishing hole. It plays downhill and straight towards the clubhouse, offering a truly panoramic view of the Valley of the Sun below.
When completed the Verrado community will feature 325 acres of parks, 4 million square feet of commercial space and 14,000 homes, ranging from $140,000 to $400,000 with custom home lots also available.
Surrounding The Raven at Verrado will be the vibrant Verrado community located at the foothills of the White Tank Mountains. Developed by Scottsdale-based DMB Inc., the community will employ a uniquely American hometown theme with a Town Center reminiscent of those built in small towns during the 1920\'s and 30\'s.
For more information on The Raven Golf Club at Verrado and Intrawest Golf visit www.ravengolf.com.