Canyon Golf Course

 

The Canyon Course continues to garner praise as one of the finest mountain golf destinations in the world! Designed by Tom Weiskopf & Jay Morrish Canyon is once again, #1 in the state and top 50 in the West ranked by Golf Magazine.

 

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 About Canyon Course

Golf Magazine, now the #1 Golfing Periodical, recently released their Top 100 Golf Courses in the USA as well as their Top 50 Courses per Region. Rightfully so, Forest Highlands Canyon Course is ranked #1 in the state and #32 in the West!

Created in 1986 by Tom Weiskopf and Jay Morrish, the Forest Highlands Canyon Course is an exercise in breathtaking beauty and challenging sport. It has been ranked among the top 100 courses in the world by Golf Magazine, and rated by Golf Digest as the #2 private golf course in Arizona. The beautiful par-71 course measures 7,001 yards from the championship tees and is designed to be both challenging and satisfying for golf enthusiasts and social players alike. It offers seven sets of tees for golfers of all skill levels.

Golf Digest Ranking History:
Ranked on America’s 100 Greatest: 1991 through 2014. Second 100 Greatest: 2015 to current. Highest ranking (previous): No. 38, 1993-1994

Canyon Golf Course
Canyon Golf Course

Canyon Course Scorecard

Canyon Golf Course

Click the above image to download a full copy of the scorecard

Canyon Course Questions

What is the Canyon Course ranked in the state?
Golf Magazine has it ranked #1 in Arizona and Golf Digest has it ranked as #2 in Arizona and #124 in the United States.
Who designed the Canyon Course?
Jay Morrish and Tom Weiskopf.
When did the Canyon Course open?
1988
What kind of grass is on the Canyon Course?
Bluegrass fairways and rough, Penn A1/A4 bent grass green.
What is the total length of the Canyon Golf Course?
7,007 yards
What is the par of the Canyon Golf Course?
71
What is the course record?
61 men 66 women
Has the golf course hosted any major championships?
Yes, 1996 U.S. Junior Amateur Championship and 2006 USGA Mid-Amateur Championship.

Canyon Course Hole Descriptions:

Hole #1

 “North by Northwest”

A great starting hole to give you a look at what your round will feel like. Anything from driver to long iron off the tee leaves a mid to short iron to the smallest green on the course. A deep bunker guards the left side of the green while the right side is guarded by pine trees. A nice hole to ease you into the day.
Canyon Hole 1

Hole #2

 “Road Hole”

This hole is a classic Jay Morrish-Tom Weiskopf risk/reward drivable par 4. A deep swale guards the green and collects any ball short right. A difficult green to putt means driving the green does not guarantee birdie, or even par.

Hole #3

 “Ponderosa”

A long straightforward par 5. The green here is two-tiered, creating difficult uphill and downhill putts. Bunkers to the left and behind the green will require delicate bunker play to get that shot close to the hole.
Canyon Hole 3

Hole #4

 “Waterfall”

This shortish par 3 has trouble all around. Water, a green with a false front and difficult chipping areas behind the green will keep you focused on your next play. A small bump and a spine at the back of this green means your putt may end up farther from the hole than you expected.

Hole #5

 “Meadow”

Turning back into the prevailing wind, this reachable par 5 has trouble both right and left. Penalty areas in the form of a meandering stream, as well as a lake guarding the left side of the green can add strokes very quickly. The green can have difficult hole locations which may mean a lag putt is your friend.
Canyon Course

Hole #6

 “Three Pines”

A moderately long and hard par 3 made harder by wind in your face. If the tee shot does not find the putting surface, bunkers left and swales right make for difficult short game options. The green here has subtle movement, so aggressive putts can be made.
Canyon Course

Hole #7

 “Clubhouse”

This hole is just plain hard. A long uphill par 4 turning to the left requires a big tee shot followed by a big second shot. This green is guarded by a steep grass face and a bunker to the right. Arguably the most difficult green on the course because of two tiers back and front, uphill putts must be hit hard and downhill putts must be trickled to the hole. Par is a great score.
Canyon Hole 7

Hole #8

 “Ridge”

Another hole made difficult by prevailing wind. This downhill par 3 is guarded by bunkers on three sides with the front being open. A shot over the green will require a delicate shot to a green moving away from you. Short of the green is fine, but the chip shot will move in a deceptive direction. Can the ball really break uphill?
CANYON HOLE 8

Hole #9

“Valley”

The signature hole on the Canyon Course and one of the finest par 4 holes in the country. Penalty area is left off the tee, fairway bunkers both right and left and a specimen Ponderosa Pine tree all cloud your head as you stand over the tee shot. Now the hole gets hard. The second shot must carry a water feature in order to reach the green, but there is a bailout option left of the green. There are bunkers both left and right of this green which is the largest green on the golf course. A truly beautiful and difficult golf hole, one that is awe-inspiring every time you play.
Canyon Hole 9
Hole 9

Hole #10

“Fatwood”

This mid-length par 3 sits on a ledge that brings your ball in from right to left. Too far left means a difficult pitch from way below the green, while trying to hold that shot to a narrow, small green with a spine through the middle. Below the hole is preferable on the green, but even that can mean a big right to left swinging putt that moves more than expected. Tough hole to make par when the hole location is back left.
Canyon Course_10 ColinPrenger

Hole #11

“Gamble Oak”

This hole is a long par 4 that is fairly benign until you reach the green. A mid or long iron to the three tiered green means your second shot better be good. This green has tons of movement making chipping and putting the real adventure on this hole. Take your par and be happy.
Canyon Course

Hole #12

“Indian Paint Brush”

This is the longest par 3 on the course, but also very straightforward in showing you how to play it. The green is mostly flat with subtle contours, meaning putts can be made. There are bunkers guarding the right side of the green and a bunker short of the green that is more visual than penal. Small mounding around and behind the green can make chipping difficult, so put your tee ball on the green with a hybrid or long iron. Easier said than done.
Canyon Course

Hole #13

“Springs”

This hole is one of the great holes on the Canyon, easy one day and hard as heck the next. A potentially reachable par 5, but one that requires two really good shots. Penalty area off the tee requires a straight tee shot, and that penalty area runs all the way down the right side of the hole past the green. The green is reminiscent of greens at Pinehurst #2, rolling off on three sides and taking your ball away from the center of the green. Birdie or better seems possible, until you walk away with a double bogey wondering what happened when you got near the green.
Canyon Hole 13

Hole #14

“Covered Bridge”

A beautiful par 3 hole, requiring a precise short iron tee shot. Water at the front of the green and also right of the green makes the landing area look narrow. Add in the bunkers left and right and you have a green that looks difficult to hit. Two distinct areas of this green, front and back, with a spine in the middle make your tee ball placement paramount. Putting back to front is really difficult, so maybe the front of this green is the right play.
Hole 14

Hole #15

“Wagon Trail”

Here we have a true three shot par 5, uphill and long. Fairway bunkering on each side and rolling contours mean hit the middle of the fairway off the tee. Up around the green are bunkers in front and front right, forcing a third shot hit at the correct yardage. The approach to the green is guarded by towering pine trees, so a layup needs to be in the right position. A small green means you may be close to the hole once on the green. Make the putt and look back toward the tee on your way off the green, a really beautiful view and one that hardly gets noticed.
Canyon Hole 15

Hole #16

“San Francisco”

This short par 4 begins a three-hole stretch of truly strategic golf. Power is not necessary for any shot on this hole, just well-placed hits and well thought-out game management. Driver is not necessary off the tee and a second shot directly at the hole location may not be the best choice. Ponderosa Pines come into play both off the tee and on the approach to the green, so thinking about where your shot will land is necessary. Try not to get distracted by the San Francisco Peaks in the background while taking aim at the green. A large bunker guards the right side of the green and carrying this bunker is difficult. Best to play to the center of the green which leaves a two putt par, or perhaps a smartly played birdie.
Canyon Hole 16

Hole #17

“Aspen”

Another classic Morrish-Weiskopf risk/reward drivable par 4 similar to #2, but this hole has a lot of trouble in the form of penalty areas. Two distinct fairways frame this hole as you enter the canyon that gives this course its name. Play to the lower fairway which is safer? Play to the higher fairway and possibly hit the green or be close? Both shots come with risk as a penalty area bisects the hole and a hillside full of mature trees can swallow a bad tee ball. Choose your tee shot carefully, because the green on this hole is quite undulated and a suitable guard to those who try and overpower this hole. Difficult chip shots await any ball not on this green, especially balls hit short and right of this large green. Again, a beautiful and strategic hole that requires all your skill and courage.
Canyon Hole 17

Hole #18

“Elk Crossing”

A marvelous par 5 finishing hole that can be played any number of ways. The tee ball is straightforward and sets up the options. A bold play down the narrow right side seems to shorten the hole, but comes with trouble (penalty area in the form of a creek and lake). Playing to the left fairway is the prudent approach, but this shot must carry a penalty area and put you in position for the third shot over a lake guarding the putting surface. The green has three levels, so that third shot must find the correct area of the green in order to avoid the dreaded three-putt. A fantastic hole to conclude a round on the best course in Arizona.
Canyon Hole 18