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Raven Golf Club

Phoenix, AZ

8th hole / Par-4 / 421 Yards

Architect: Gary Panks and David Graham (1995)

by Matt Ward

 

There are a number of virtues in heading to the Raven for a round of golf. For starters, the course is ideally located only a 10-minute 5-mile drive to Sky Harbor International Airport. There’s also the bucolic setting — once you enter the grounds you’re whisked away from the hubbub of daily life.

 

Unlike other desert courses, Raven sports a North Carolina scene with flanking pines on many of the holes. The golf experience enhanced by holes smartly segregated from one another. In sum, you get to absorb the golf experience without being overloaded with various distractions.

 

The 8th combines enticing visual appeal and clearly defined strategic elements. The 421-yard hole is well-defended by a pond that protects the inside corner of this slight dog-leg right. Players have to be ever mindful of just how aggressive to play from the tee.

 

 

“Tempting the longer hitters to challenge the corner of the pond, there is an element of risk-reward when choosing your strategy off the tee,” said Ryan Wingate, Head Golf Professional. “Reflections off the pine trees across the pond provide a unique backdrop at this Phoenix, AZ gem.”

 

The 8th is also bolstered by a fairway area that tapers down considerably. Longer shots need to avoided the water right and a trio of pesky bunkers lurk to the left.

 

 

The approach shot is played to 4,680 square-foot green providing for a slew of vexing internal movements. Aggressive approaches also run the risk in bounding over the green. Two bunkers hug the left side of the green and escaping them is anything but a certainty.

 

The 8th is like an honest judge — no bribes accepted. You get what you earn — simple as that.

 

Photos And Rendering Courtesy Raven Golf Club