The Mine Shaft Bunker: Arizona's Toughest Sand Trap | Scottsdale National Golf Club

Beast of a Bunker – The Mine Shaft

Bunkers on the golf course should be avoided at all costs. They are hazards, after all. But Scottsdale National Golf Club has one that people actually want to get in, even if only to take a photo. This infamous pit of peril is located right behind the 15th green on The Mine Shaft Course, and the story behind it reflects Bob Parsons’ desire to create a singular golf experience. 

Going Deep in Our Bunker Design

Jackson Kahn Design took the charge, and their team started digging. First down to eight feet in 2014, and then down another foot and a half deeper in the summer of 2015. But far too many people were still escaping it successfully, much to Parsons’ chagrin, so they dug again the following summer, lowering the bunker floor to the current depth of 13 feet.  

“During the construction process that bunker was getting so deep and steep that I was concerned about the integrity of the terrain,” said David Kahn. “We needed to put in wood planks to shore up the dirt. So I created a sketch showing those planks as they created a wall of sorts around the sand. I also added a ‘DANGER’ sign affixed to the planks. Once Bob saw the sketch, he decided to call that bunker (and eventually the entire course) ‘The Mine Shaft.’ It was a reference both to how it looked and Arizona’s mining history.” 

Trap Memories with This Unforgettable Bunker at SNGC

“Great hole designs can be controversial, but bad designs are largely forgettable,” said Kahn. “People have heard so much about this bunker that they want to see it, try to hit out of it (even if their ball did not land in it), and take pictures of it. It has ended up creating plenty of stories for members and guests.”

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