gcjakespeaks “Stay Grassy” is the slogan for the new Grass Clippings at Rolling Hills in Phoenix.

The first fully lit course in the state of Arizona debuted to a full field of media on November 30th. The chilly, drizzly weather didn’t dampen any spirits.

Spirits are a big part of this golf party venue which includes 18 holes of executive golf on the original Rolling Hills Golf Course footprint.

Rolling Hills was originally designed by Milton Coggins in 1960 as a nine-hole course. Gary Panks added another nine holes and now golf course architect Jackson Kahn Design has updated the layout with a newly designed 9th hole, new tee boxes, installation of a new state-of-the-art irrigation system to improve turf quality, and a new 15,000 sq. ft. practice putting green.

gctroonteamThe partnership dance card for this remodel and venture is full, as are the tee sheets.

Grass Clippings is a Phoenix-based modern golf brand founded in 2018.

The City of Tempe owns the property and then there is Scottsdale-based Casa Verde Golf, a Troon Company. The operations team is led by Troon’s Tony Marino.

The high stepper hire of the bunch might be Director of Agronomy, Scott Hebert from TPC Scottsdale. He is the Fred Astaire, or Taylor Swift, of green grass horticulture.

While the tents and stands are being erected around TPC Stadium Course for the WM Phoenix Open, Scott is reveling in the opening of night golf at Grass Clippings at Rolling Hills where his greens are as perfect as any in the Valley of the Sun.

gcryeHis assistant springer spaniel named Rye, oversees not only the overseeding but all aspects of the course. Fortunately, he ignores the little bunnies and long eared jackrabbits hopping around.

This golf oasis is minutes from the airport, with jets constantly flying overhead and nearby ASU and Tempe Town Lake where high-rise buildings are also brightly lit. The Phoenix Zoo is right next door with hole number three adjacent to the cheetahs’ enclosure. Zoo Lights are colorful for the holidays, increasing the festive mood.

Expansion plans include restaurants, bars and entertainment areas for lawn games, concerts “or anything you want,” according to Grass Clippings CEO Jake Hoselton. He calls it “a game changer”.  And nongolfers are as welcome as golfers.

The course plays as an executive 18 during the day and a par 3 in the evening, open until midnight. Tee sheets are as full as the dance card already. Cue the music and imagine the desert’s hot summer nights’ golf reprieve under the lights. Stay grassy.