Located in North East Mesa, Las Sendas Golf Club is desert golf at it’s finest. If you want sprawling fairways and tall trees, look elsewhere. If you want a course that demands shot-making, precise putting and has breath taking valley views, try Las Sendas Golf Club.
The battle begins on the very first hole. A 90 degree dogleg left around a water hazard requires a drive placed between two fairway bunkers. The approach is gently uphill to an elevated green that will kick wayward shots even farther from the pin. Las Sendas does a tremendous job of incorporating the natural desert scape into the design. Natural scrub is accented with ocotillo and soaring saguaros. In fact, on more than one hole, I use distant saguaro’s as my aiming point.
Rather than go hole by hole, I will highlight my favorite and not so favorite holes. Hole No.5 is a beautiful par 3. the green is built into the side of a mountain, and at 194 yards long, requires a shot to the middle of the green regardless of pin position. As with many Las Sendas greens, there is plenty of slope. On this hole. the slope is from left to right and it can be quite speedy.
A quick note about the greens. They can be some of the fastest in the valley. Do not leave yourself above the pin. Of course this is easier said than done!
The sixth is not one of my favorites. It’s a par 5, double dogleg to the right and the blind tee shot is extremely difficult. My shot of choice is a long iron layup. If one tries to cut off some of the dogleg off the tee, the risk of running through the fairway is high. The necessary shot is a high, deep fade to hold the sloping fairway. It doesn’t get easier as the uphill approach after a mid iron layup is to a wide but shallow green with several bunkers short and a grass collection area long. 5 is a great score!
After struggling through number 6, 7 is a beautiful, short par 3. Around 110 yards, the front half of the green is so severely sloped, the pin is always on the back half. Red Mountain serves as the backdrop. Hit the back portion of the green and you are rewarded with a relatively flat putt and a shot at birdie.
The turn at Las Sendas boasts a grill right off the 10th tee. Grab a dog and a beverage and get ready for the back nine.
Number 10 requires a big drive down the right (do not go left!). The green is large and requires a high approach to hold the green… Beware the front left pin. The front is guarded by a deep bunker and if you end up at the back of the green, it’s a treacherously quick putt back to the front of the green.
Number 11 is a par 3 of about 145. It is straight uphill and requires at leas one extra club. Avoid the front right bunker, but do not let the ball get away left. It’s nothing but desert and it slopes away quickly.
Number 12 is a great par 4. The hole doglegs to the left as it hugs the side of the mountain, A good drive leave a downhill approach to a tricky green. Use caution as it slopes away from you and balls routinely end up long.
Hole 15 is a tough, long par 5. In fact, as you get closer to the green, the fairway gets narrower and narrower. Don’t get greedy and aim for the wider portion of the fairway, leaving about 120 yards for your third shot. Another severely back to front sloped green awaits, so leave the ball below the hole!
Finally, the 18th at Las Sendas Golf Club is one of the prettiest in all the valley. On some days, you can see the White Tanks some 70 miles to the west. As the pro tip states, big hitters will use Camelback Mountain as an aiming point and carry the first of two ponds on the signature par 5. Shorter players will hit left of the first pond and then right of the second pond on the layup. Bombers will go for the green in two after a big drive. Do not miss right if going for the green. There is plenty of bail-out room to the left. A large two level green awaits, trying to give the player one more 3 putt before their day is done.
Las Sendas is a true test of golf. It is not for the faint of heart nor beginners. It is also one of the prettiest daily fee courses available to the public. The course winds through the Las Sendas subdivision. The Robert Trent Jones, Jr. design takes advantage of the natural terrain while staying away from the homes. There are very few opportunities to lose a ball over a fence. Losing a ball or two in the desert is a much more likely scenario…
Prices in the high season (January through March) can get as high as $149. Look for discounted rates on GolfNow.com. In the summer, rates drop dramatically. Grab an early time to beat the heat and give Las Sendas a try. I’d love to hear your thoughts, just leave a comment below.