What a FABULOUS golf course.  From the minute you leave Sedona, drive north on Dry Creek Road (off US89A) and pass though the gated security checkpoint you have an inkling this The Club at Seven Canyons is going to be something a bit special.

The course is set in the Coconino National Forest, a beautiful area. It’s set within the confines of a residential complex with beautiful homes close to many of the holes but not so it felt like you were playing in the middle of a housing estate.

MrsG and I pulled into the car park and what I now call “cart boy” pulled up within a few seconds.  The clubs were whisked onto the cart, cleansed with a damp towel and a few dollars changed hands (see my post on comments on playing golf in the US).

We then had to drive to the pro-shop/practice ground/restaurant area.  And it was a bit of a drive, a good 3-4 minutes.  Doesn’t sound long, but just picture it in your head.  Just stop what you are doing, imagine you’re in an electric golf cart and driving along a road for 3-4 minutes, you can get quite a long way.  However there was a good reason for this, which became clear later.

We checked in, we tried to “shop” but failed and we hit some balls.  You know how sometimes you stand on the range before a game of golf and just cannot seem to connect with the ball, it was one of those days.  Bearing in mind I had already decided to play off the Champion Tees, which measured 6,509 yards, I was not in good spirits as we drove to the first tee (back the way we’d come for another 3-4 minutes.

A clean drive down the left hand side, a 9 iron to the green and two putts later and I walked off with an opening birdie.

I won’t bore you with descriptions of all 75 shots in the round, but at 5 over with three 3 putts on the back nine was my best round of the trip so far.

At 4,000ft above sea level one of the hardest things for me, even having played at the Sedona Golf Resort a couple of days before, was the club selection.  Drives were going 300 yards, my pitching wedge was carrying over 130 yards, it felt like it was a bit of a lottery.

The course was a fabulous layout doing real justice to the landscape and was sympathetic of the needs to “fitting in” the course as well as the requirements of the commercial development.  Much as I prefer to walk” a course, a cart was a must around here, not only to get to the pro-shop/range, but there were a few very long green-to-tee stretches and more than one challenging hill.  Bearing in mind the temperature was well into the 80s riding was the order of the day.

The name Seven Canyons is derived from the way the course winds through various canyons/valleys and this is what the range is so far away, it would have been a complete waste of some gorgeous terrain to put in a range where you could have put a golf hole.

There were two highlights to my round.  The first was driving the ball 300yds onto the fringe of the green of the 305 yard par 4 12th.  The hole is a slight dogleg left and we could not see the flag…or the foursome who were still on the green.  This could have gone either way but as it was I got a very nice wave of appreciation from the group in front rather than any angst!

The second was the drive off the par 5 15th hole, the 4 rescue to 6ft above the flag and the resulting downhill putt for an eagle three.  Shame it was sandwiched between two three putt bogeys!!

I had never considered golfing in northern Arizona but when I saw Seven Canyons mentioned on a golfing website am very glad that we changed our plans and drove there from Palm Springs before heading to Las Vegas.

Seems like Phoenix & Scottsdale get all the attention when it comes to golf in Arizona, but don’t forget this beautiful course if you have the need/appetite to go looking for golf in northern Arizona.