Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale is already among the elite golf courses in the Scottsdale area, but it’s important to note there have been some changes to the fantastic Tom Fazio-designed Raptor Course. Three of the back nine holes are new for this year.

Raptor reopened for play in early October (post-renovation and overseeding) after a 5-month renovation and relocation of holes 15 and 16, and some alterations to hole 17. The golf club brought back original designer Tom Fazio to help with the relocation of holes 15 and 16, and to envision a risk/reward makeover of hole 17.

During our recent round on Raptor, we had a chance to take a look at the new holes and come away with some impressions we thought we’d share.

Fifteen is a par 4 at 437 yards from the back tees, featuring two different fairway levels in the landing area off the tee (higher on the right, and slightly lower on the left), and an elevated green that will require some keen strategy for your approach shot. On this new green, where you leave your ball on the green can make the difference between a birdie opportunity, or a really difficult 2-putt. The teeing ground on hole 15 is the highest elevation at Grayhawk, and so the High Point name for this hole is well-deserved. You’ll enjoy some spectacular views of the surrounding mountains from the tee box, including the mountains on the far west side of Phoenix almost 25 miles away.

Sixteen is a 151-yard par 3, which can play as short as 115 yards depending on the pin position on this longish, narrow green. There’s a fall-off on the left side of the green with a small patch of grass. But, a pulled shot (for righties) can miss the green and the safe zone, and could wind up in desert vegetation. This is a moderately short hole, but it will be a treacherous one unless you can hit ’em straight.

Seventeen went from a long par 4 to a drivable one weighing in at 331 yards from the back tees, although the up tees are in the 275-300 yard range. The green on 17 remains the same. But, watch out for the new bunker situated some 25-30 yards short of the green. You’ll either need to reach deep down inside if you decide to go for it, or use a fairway metal, hybrid or long iron to layup on the plush fairway, thinking carefully about your “leave” to the always difficult three-tiered, false-fronted green. Your approach shot will likely be a wedge of some kind, but the test will be to get it close to the pin.

As great as Raptor was, we think it’s even better now. Don’t forget about the extremely playable and fun Talon Course at Grayhawk, too. The two courses are very different, and both are extremely fun to play. Why not think about playing both Raptor and Talon for an all-day, 36-hole challenge. With Mojo, Phil’s Grill, The Quill Creek Cafe and Isabella’s Kitchen on property, plus the Grayhawk Learning Center, you will not lack for golf, food, beverages or instruction at Grayhawk Golf Club. Fill out our Quick Quote form and let us know you’d like to play Grayhawk Golf Club during your next trip to Phoenix/Scottsdale.