During the redesign and renovation, Smith transformed the previous 27-hole facility into a cohesive 18-hole golf course with a natural rhythm and flow. Smith used previously existing fairway corridors to reroute the golf course and develop new golf holes with re-contoured fairways as well as rebuilt and resurfaced green complexes. Greens now feature TifEagle grass putting surfaces that allow for additional pin placements, while tees, fairways and roughs are 419 bermudagrass. All tees and bunkers were repositioned to provide the best strategy for each player’s skill level.
“This really has been a rebirth of The Phoenician and now its golf club,” Smith said. “Our goal with the course redesign and renovation was to give each player the opportunity to make an informed decision before every shot by employing fundamental design strategies to create a great golf experience for resort guests and daily-fee golfers. Everything is now right there in front of the golfer, as there are no blind shots or blind hazards. We’re thrilled with how the golf course looks and plays.”
The golf course renovation was executed in conjunction with the third phase of a major enhancement at The Phoenician, A Luxury Collection Resort – the most extensive in its 30-year history. The new course showcases the unique beauty of Arizona’s Sonoran Desert and matches the reputation and quality of the award-winning resort. The new course plays to a par of 71 and offers four sets of player-friendly tees ranging from 4,594 yards from the forward tees, to 6,518 yards from the championship tees. By transitioning from 27 to 18 holes, turf usage was reduced by approximately 45 acres and a new highly-efficient irrigation system was installed. The combination of turf reduction and the new irrigation system capabilities will lead to increased water conservation.
Smith’s resume includes 25-plus years working with PGA Tour and golf course-design legends Jack Nicklaus and Tom Weiskopf. Smith has executed numerous high-profile renovations, including work on Troon North’s Monument and Pinnacle courses, the TPC Scottsdale’s Stadium Course, Superstition Mountain, and Desert Mountain’s Apache, Chiricahua and Renegade courses.