Course of the Month
Champions Course, TPC Scottsdale
Scottsdale, Arizona (public). Opened: November
Back in the 1980s, Tom Weiskopf and Jay Morrish were the dynamic duo of golf architects in the Southwest. Yet their Desert course at TPC Scottsdale always felt like an afterthought, especially given the splashiness of its sister eighteen, the Stadium, host of the FBR Open. Two decades later, this once lackluster city-owned layout has been completely made over and is crackling with life. Architect Randy Heckenkemper has added nearly seven hundred yards and grafted subtle contours onto the land. At the par-four eleventh, an extra ninety yards, a quartet of superbly placed bunkers and a strategic slope off the front-right corner of the green now combine with a backdrop of the McDowell Mountains to make the hole one of the region's best two-shotters. Rechristened the Champions course, the new layout boasts a slope of 140, up from a paltry 119. —Joe Passov
Architect: Randy Heckenkemper. Yardage: 7,115. Par: 71. Green Fees: $30–$129. Contact: 888-400-4001, tpc.com.
Players Course, Indian Wells Golf Resort
Indian Wells (resort). Opened: November
Coming on the heels of last year's reconstruction of its Celebrity course, this Coachella Valley resort debuts the Players, an overhaul of its former East course. Except for the mature corridors of hardwood trees, John Fought turned everything upside down, creating multiform bunkers with crisp edges and big, bold greens.
Architect: John Fought. Yardage: 7,376. Par: 72. Green Fees: $70–$185. Tee Times: 760-346-4653, indianwellsgolfresort.com.
The Deltona Club, Deltona (semiprivate). Opening: February
To accommodate new condominiums and a driving range, Bobby Weed has skillfully redesigned this course, formerly called Deltona Hills, thirty miles north of Orlando. His layout traverses fifty-foot elevation changes and sports fairways as wide as ninety yards, some of them marked by blow-out waste bunkers.
Architect: Bobby Weed. Yardage: 7,018. Par: 72. Green Fees: $65–$75. Tee Times: 386-789-4911.