The 18-hole, par-71 championship course known as Big Wick, was diligently designed to be top notch. Golf Digest named it one of the Best New Golf Courses in the U.S. The course is perfectly placed within the rolling hills outside of Wickenburg, Arizona. With immaculately manicured greens, lush fairways, and challenging play, the course offers an elite golfing experience that would impress even the most sophisticated golfers.
Playing from just under 4,500 yards at the forward tees to more than 7,000 yards from the championship tees, the artfully crafted collection of six par 3s, five par 5s, and seven par 4s pass through canyons and arroyos which offer views of Vulture Peak and Prescott National Forest. The elevation and relatively mild summer temperatures in Wickenburg allow the Big Wick course to grow and maintain Bentgrass greens year-round. Those familiar with Bentgrass know what a tremendous difference it makes in putting surface quality and is the best grass that most public players will ever have the chance to play on.
The championship course now has a new “pardner” – Li’l Wick.
Genius designers Wendell Pickett and Bill Brownlee have completed their vision to take the original driving range and create an entertainment oasis for members and guests.
Li’l Wick is unlike any course in the world. Each of the nine holes has three tee boxes with distinguishable yardages and plenty of challenge and character. Speakers pump out music and a rowboat in the lake serves as a target for pitching floating balls from The Watering Hole. This is the best part of the course. The watering hole is on a peninsula of the waterway that connects several holes. Even when lit, the night sky is full of stars after a colorful sunset show. A full service bar and grill serves up tasty delights for patrons watching the golfers or sports on screens.
This is not your average pitch and putt run. You will have to climb a mountain for an elevated tee shot on the second hole. If it tires you, rest a bit. Chill zones at all tee boxes feature lounge chairs here, a swing there and even a hammock for hanging out. There are no tee times, no dress code and guests have unlimited play for $25 a day. Members might take a stroll with their pooch and park on the porch. Dogs are not allowed on the course. Although, they might prefer to race around Charlie’s Park Bonanza. This is the social dog park named after former owner, Merv Griffin’s dog.
Never have we referred to a golf course as adorable, but it fits for this nine-hole party playground for golfers and friends. Bags and clubs (you won’t need many) are available to test new equipment and hone your short game. But bring your whole bag to play the spectacular and pristine Big Wick in the same day. All 18 holes are fantastic layouts. Although, the number 14 forward tee experience is one of the most extraordinary in the world. Waterfalls gush over from a pond to the stream that runs along the left side of the fairway. The Vulture Mountain looms straight ahead in the distance.
In “The roping capitol of the world,” Wickenburg Ranch Golf and Social Club provides a luxury Good Life development that stands out while still fitting in. The resort caliber club opened for previewing where over 40,000 square feet will be filled with state of the art fitness classes, culinary and creativity studios, restaurants and bars. Li’l Wick serves as the perfect “pardner” for all.
Hole #9, par 5, 490 yards from the tips
The easiest shot is the drive on this hole, and then it is up, up and away, but to where? The green is hidden from view atop the high hill guarded by bunkers on the right and back. It’s easy from the back tees if you divide the green’s position and judge the right distances. Did we say easy? The forward tees need 3 long steady shots for par or birdie. Look back and say ahhh.
Hole #14, par 5, 583 yards from the tips
The high elevation on the tees gives a great view. It is so captivating you may need to remind yourself to hit the ball. The landing area below is more generous than it appears. A three shot hole for most humans, streams, and cascading waterfalls, feed into the large lake surrounding the green, left and back. The desert hillside guards the right where sentinel saguaros witness shots along the fairway that narrows as it continues downhill to the relatively flat, large green.
Hole #18, par 5, 591 yards from the tips
The closing dogleg left is littered with sand bunkers and elevation changes. The most direct approach would be to aim for the right side. The left side short cut requires a blind shot. Miscalculations of distance with three different desert crossings on the way to an uphill green could result in a fairway to seven.WHAT'S YOUR REACTION?