Trilogy Golf Club at Vistancia - The Best in the West

Trilogy Golf Club at Vistancia – The Best in the WestWith a dramatic setting in the foothills on the edge of Phoenix’s West Valley, first-class amenities and stark visual appeal, Trilogy Golf Club at Vistancia offers a unique and engaging golf challenge that is hard to equal even in Arizona’s hotbed of desert golf.

Now rolling into its fifth full season, Trilogy at Vistancia has matured to become one of architect Gary Panks’ best designs; an impressive achievement considering his list of courses includes such celebrated layouts as Chaparral Pines, Grayhawk’s Talon Course and Raven South Mountain.

When guests arrive at Trilogy Golf Club at Vistancia, the first thing they notice is the striking way in which the green fairways contrast with the tall, blonde desert grass waiving along the borders of the playing areas. 

This native ground cover springs to life after thunderstorms, flow-ering in an array of colors and offering wonderful winter yellows like the gorse of Scotland. These selections of blue gramma, sand drop and weeping love grasses mix with the cholla, ocotillo and cacti throughout your journey through theTrilogy Golf Club at Vistancia.

But Trilogy at Vistancia isn’t just another pretty face. All of the stunning visuals also play into the way players navigate the course, making course management and skilled shot execution all the more important, and daunting. This has always been a trademark of Panks’ designs – with seeming ease he is able to meld breathtaking form with challenging function.

This elegant blend is evident as early as the opening hole, a welcoming par 4 that steers you right of a set of fairway bunkers and left of a greenside bunker; perfectly highlighting the balanced design style for which Panks has become known. The water behind the first green shouldn’t come into play, but the three stately palms on the far side of the hazard make good targets for your approach shots to this multi-tiered green.

Trilogy at Vistancia

As you progress through the round, you’ll begin to notice some of the subtle design features. In addition to the aforementioned balance within individual holes, there is also a clear flow from hole-to-hole. The par 3’s each require a different club and orient different directions. There are never more than two par 4’s back-to-back, and the par 5’sinclude two which are reachable and two more which are not.

Any notion that Trilogy at Vistancia offers only gently rolling, low-desert terrain will quickly by wiped away by the middle holes on the outward nine. The par-4 third requires two shots over desert, a tee ball to a cascading fairway and a second over a small ravine to a green that is wide, but very shallow and surrounded by bunkers on three sides.

The fourth could remind you of the finest landlocked Scottish courses you’ve seen, with the grasses rising up to frame both sides of the fairway. Then comes the double-dogleg 608-yard par-5 fifth (the No.1 handicapped hole), which features a rolling fairway with bunkers dotting both the left and right side. The sixth is the shortest par 4 on the front side, but you won’t see that off the tee, which requires a blind tee shot just to the left of two prominent cacti to the right on this dogleg right.

Trilogy Golf Club at Vistancia – The Best in the West

As the outward nine continues, it becomes clear that the readers of Golf Digest were correct – this golf course is absolutely worthy of the 5-Star designation it received in 2008-2009, a distinction given to only 24 golf courses in all of North America.

While the inward nine is only a bit longer than the outward side (120 yards from the tournament tees), this additional length feels like a considerable difference, as tee shot after tee shot demands both distance and precision. It begins on the elevated 10th tee, where trouble on the right is complemented by a well-paced fairway bunker on the left. There is no reprieve on the approach, where Panks has placed two nasty bunkers behind the green.

The challenge continues for the next few holes, with a great mix of distinct par 4’s, the receptive par-3 12th, and the reachable, risk-reward par-5 13th. Then you arrive at the tantalizingly short 15th, a hole that teases you visually to try to bomb the ball over two large bunkers in the middle of the fairway to an upper shelf that could – with favorable breezes – blow your ball onto an elevated green. The smart play is a good fairway wood and a wedge, but what’s the story to tell later in that?

Trilogy Golf Club at Vistancia

The long par-4 16th hole tests your driver as well as your ability to play a long iron into a green that, while receptive, can have some challenging hole locations. Then it’s on to the mid-length par-3 17th, a hole that shows a relatively benign 157 yards on the scorecard but is belayed by a sizable lake running from just past the teeing grounds to just short of the elevated green; a three here is a rewarding relief.

The home hole showcases all of the elements that make Trilogy at Vistancia so distinctive - a beautifully-maintained fairway is framed by large mounds on both the left and right side. These mounds give way to a meandering stream which begins as a waterfall at the green and works its way all the way back the par 5 to the tee. To the left of the fairway sits more blue gramma, and just beyond play sits the dramatic 35,000-square-foot Kiva Club, the stunning centerpiece to this gated golf community.

Though the golf is nearing its end at this point, it’s easy to imagine teeing it up at Trilogy again, and maybe even every day. The residential resort community – developed by Shea Homes’ Active Lifestyles Communities division – was named America’s Best Master Planned Community by Home Builder Magazine, and the rave reviews continue to come in. If you’re looking for a great addition to a golf holiday, or maybe even the place to begin your perfect retirement, Trilogy at Vistancia in the northwest suburb of Peoria may just be the place for you.


  • Golf Digest 5-Stars in 2008/2009
  • Arizona’s Top Golf Courses by Zagat
  • “The Best New Golf Course in the Valley” according to XTRA Sports 910
  • America’s Best Master Planned Community by Home Builder Magazine


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