PGA TOUR player/architect Tom Lehman gets extremely excited when it comes to his 10th golf course in Arizona – The Victory Course at Verrado Golf Club. Sporting breath-taking views from the base of the White Tank Mountains in the West Valley, The Victory Course is the main amenity of the 55-plus active adult community being created by Scottsdale-based DMB, one the premiere golf community developers in the country.“Every hole kind of gives you something unique and different, with that theme of being a surreally beautiful, rugged rock environment with immaculately maintained fairways and greens running throughout,” Lehman said of Victory, a 7,100-yard, par-72 layout that will open to the public in December before it goes fully private in the future.
“We’ve truly used whatever the land has given us – if that’s a cliff or a nob or a boulder or a drop-off or a sudden rise up the mountain – and left the terrain all natural, so it looks like it’s been built right into the land. In fact, I can’t think of any other golf course in Arizona that is quite like it. It just looks so compelling that I’m sure it will be quite an experience for those who play it.”
Victory also will be The Lehman Design Group’s 30th project overall, meaning a course it has done from the very beginning or has renovated. According to Lehman, the new course unfolds quickly, with a one-of-a-kind rock outcropping defining the greens at No. 1 and 2, and then builds to a crescendo at the 17th and 18th holes, which just happen to be the remnants of a deep basin, or pit, that was once the testing grounds for heavy-duty machinery built by Caterpillar. Lehman called the final hole “a thing of beauty” right down to the lush grape vines and orchards that weave together to form its backdrop.
“And, seriously, there are so many awesome holes in between (the start and finish) that I just love,” he said of Victory, which features 85 acres of turf, as well as greens that range from 4,500 square feet up to a massive 8,000 feet.
“For instance, I think the ninth hole, which is blessed with this amazing vista, will eventually be regarded as one of the best par 4s in Phoenix. Overall, it’s going to be mostly all fairway, with greens that flow up and through and with all kinds of movement – humps and bumps and all that kind of stuff. But very natural and without a lot of bunkers, so it looks like we just set the golf course in there.”
Lehman, who has won five times on the PGA TOUR and nine times on the PGA TOUR Champions and is currently the assistant captain for the U.S. Ryder Cup team, said all 18 holes have been completed with five or six still to be grassed in. He called the golf course “traditional rather than desert,” meaning there are no forced carries over washes or waste areas. Lehman gave a lot of credit for the final result to DMB, saying, “Those guys have been great to work with, really going out of their way to ensure we got the best results possible.”
For more information about Arizona’s latest, greatest golf course – The Victory Course at Verrado Golf Club – go to www.verradogolfclub.com or call 623.388.3000.