Resort and course combine old and new
The reopening of a resort and golf course in the Phoenix area this month will bring new stay-and-play opportunities while reviving old memories for some visitors.
Set in the shadow of Camelback Mountain in Paradise Valley, Mountain Shadows and The Short Course are scheduled to open Feb. 14 after the former resort and golf layout were torn down and up in 2014. What has emerged is billed as a benchmark for desert luxury and distinctive design, inspired by the 1950s modernism of the original resort.
Golf course architect Forrest Richardson got the assignment for creating a new layout on property, and it turned out to be a labor of love. Arthur Jack Snyder, of whom Richardson is a protege, designed the original Mountain Shadows Golf Club in the 1960s, and Richardson’s design is grounded in his belief that golf should be enjoyable. At 2,310 yards, the par-54 layout lives up to that theory, with each of the par-3 holes – playing from 60 to 200 yards – having quality greens and mountain views.
“Fun golf is defined by presenting puzzles that beckon the player back for more,” Richardson said. “At Mountain Shadows we have created just that, a series of riddles that are demanding but all the while enjoyable.”
The story of the course is also one of environmental transition, as Richardson reduced the turf area by more than 50 percent from the original layout, with water conservation and sustainability at the forefront of the task.
“At every turn we brought to the surface the attributes which were so amazingly innovative in the early 1960s, but we have done so in a language that fits the new Mountain Shadows resort,” Richardson said. “Our goal was to find the same beauty, harmony, function and innovation as Jack Snyder created more than 50 years ago.”
Mountain Shadows will have 183 guest rooms, a luxury wing with condominiums and suites, restaurant with an exhibition kitchen, two pools, a fitness facility, bar and grill and 37,500 square feet of indoor and outdoor event space.
The Short Course will have three sets of tees, playing from 1,735 to 2,310 yards. The holes are on the former site of the previous resort’s Mountain Shadows Golf Club that was annually ranked by Golf Digest in the 1970s and ’80s as one of the best short courses in the U.S. The course opens along the perimeter of the property in a counterclockwise orientation. The finish returns to the perimeter with the closing holes approaching the resort from a mountain setting.