Rancho Mañana Golf Club

An Arizona Golf Experience to Raise Your Spirit

Rancho Mañana Golf Club, Arizona If whoever gets credit for discovering the glorious Valley of the Sun (whether it was the ancient Hohokams or the Spanish Conquistadores or Western movie director John Ford) were a golfer, he (or she) might well have picked the site of Rancho Mañana Golf Club as the perfect place for a golf haven on the path to golf heaven. Its location in Cave Creek is close enough to the heartbeat of the Valley but far enough away to avoid the traffi c and city congestion. And it’s in exactly the right spot to display the stunning views, picturesque high-desert vegetation and relaxing atmosphere that make the Rancho Mañana experience one that tantalizes the senses and reminds everyone what drew them to the Phoenix area in the first place.

Before architect Bill Johnston crafted this layout over the rugged desert terrain, Rancho Mañana was an old military outpost, ostensibly a day’s ride from “downtown.” In the 1940s, it became a dude ranch, a place where the worries of the day could be put off until mañana (tomorrow). The current clubhouse and pro shop are still housed in what was the main hacienda back in those days. Now that clubhouse is surrounded by nearly forty 2-bedroom casitas that measure 1,500 square-feet, and are just a short walk away from a 10,000 square-foot spa that combines western charm with contemporary elegance.

But it’s the golf course, and its aesthetic appeal, that allows Rancho Mañana to claim its place “where the history lives on”. The variety of sensual experiences, the sights, smells, sounds (or lack of them), tastes and touches of this golf oasis are unique, even by Arizona standards, an adventure that will raise your spirit.

Rancho Mañana only plays 6,016 yards from the tips at a par of 70, but don’t let the lack of distance lull you into a false sense that this course is easy. The yardage difference comes from two extra par-3s (six in all) replacing a pair of par-4s. Yet the variety of the holes is truly remarkable. You will very likely play six different clubs off the tees of those par-3s, you can hit driver on nearly every par-4, and the par-5s range from the reachable sixth, which plays just 465 from the back tees, to the stout fi nishing hole of over 550 yards.

Rancho Mañana Golf Club, Arizona


The remarkable way this course winds through the desert, and its startling elevation changes, makes the map on one panel of the scorecard as helpful to golfers as the old prospecting maps of this area were to the miners of another era. And there might not be a better guide to playing Rancho Mañana than the “Helpful Hints” panel that also offers entertaining tidbits as you continue your odyssey, complete with names of the washes and mountains that provide the backdrop, and the targets, for many of your shots.

You’ll face just about every kind of test during a round at Rancho Mañana. Among the more remarkable holes are the sharp dogleg right par-4 fourth that allows for an easy layup off the tee, but then possibly two clubs more than the yardage would indicate to approach the sharply uphill green. Or you can risk the tempting long drive off the tee to carry the deep wash splitting the fairway, which leaves a much shorter approach shot. The par-3 fifth is a benign middle iron, unless you play it too far right, right over the cliff that you’ll WANT to play over on the two other par-3s on the front side, the spectacular 100-foot drops from tee to green at the seventh and ninth holes. Sandwiched between those stunning par-3s is a short par-4 that looks drivable on the scorecard at just 272 yards, but is surrounded by bunkers and well mounded on either side, framing the fairway.

The changes in elevation on the back nine are much more subtle, but water comes into play on five of the holes including a three-hole stretch around a trio of lakes that give you a completely different look from any you’ve had previously in the round.

Rancho Mañana Golf Club, Arizona The colors at Rancho Mañana are spectacular, and ever-changing. From the grays of the not-so-far-off mountains to the greens of the Saguaro cacti and palo verde bushes to the variety of colors in the blooming seasonal flowers to the browns of the mesquite trees and the various shades of desert sand. You might catch a glimpse of a javelina, coyote or a bobcat and will likely see some quail or a roadrunner. You’re sure to notice the old horse-drawn cart outside the pro shop, and the railroad spikes that hold your clubs at the bag drop.

The Tonto Bar and Grill offers a taste of Native Arizona in a historic ranch setting in, and outside, the clubhouse, including fireplaces and those spectacular desert views. Its sister restaurant, Cartwright’s Sonoran Ranch House in the heart of Cave Creek features mesquite wood-fired steaks, game, seafood and the ranch cuisine of the Southwest. Cave Creek has preserved its “Wild West” character despite its proximity to Phoenix and Scottsdale, offering western shops, saloons, art galleries, southwestern jewelry, live music and the spectacular golf of Rancho Manana!

Located just 15 to 20 minutes north of Loop 101, less than 25 minutes from most Scottsdale Resorts and 30 minutes from Sky Harbor, Rancho Mañana’s just far enough away to be a true “getaway” without costing you the whole day, unless you want it that way! Visit www.ranchomañana.com or call (480) 488-0398 to make your date with the true spirit of Arizona golf.

 

 

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