Sense of Place – Sonoran Desert
Bob Parsons has traveled around the world and played the finest golf courses. But after one look at the property that would become Scottsdale National Golf Club, he immediately knew it was something very special.
“To find a property of this magnitude with the vistas it has in every direction, plus the public lands around it that will never be developed, and to have it in Scottsdale to boot,” he says. “Well, that is absolutely astounding.”
Scottsdale National Golf Club’s mesmerizing location is part of the vast Sonoran Desert, estimated to cover 100,000 square miles throughout Arizona, California and northern Mexico. That includes over 40,000 contiguous acres that are protected within the McDowell Sonoran Preserve in the northeast corner of Scottsdale. That land borders the 700-acre Club on three sides, an anomaly among private golf courses in Scottsdale that are much more likely to be lined with housing developments. Instead, the preserved sense of seclusion – yet still being within a short drive of multiple airports – is key factor in what sets this Club apart from other private courses in Scottsdale.
While the magnitude of the club property can provide a sense of solitude, particularly when you are playing any of the three golf courses, enjoying a pre-dinner cocktail on the terrace of PXG House, or settling in for a good night’s sleep in an onsite luxury Villa, the wonders of nature and the desert are ubiquitous. From soaring saguaros standing guard along many fairways to countless Barrel Cactus and Brittlebush dotting the rolling terrain, this is a desert landscape at its fullest. The branches of Mesquite and Palo Verde trees sometimes serve as landing spots for a Harris’s Hawk or Great Horned Owl, among others. The desert floor pulses with life, both visible and hidden, with mountain lions, bobcats, gray foxes, coyotes, javelinas, mule and whitetail deer, rattlesnakes and lizards among its numerous denizens.
Through the centuries this plot of land has felt the presence of Native Americans, U.S. Army soldiers who passed nearby in the late 19th century, and ranchers who would lead cattle drives from it to downtown Scottsdale well into the 1950s. Today, Bob Parsons has put his inimitable imprint on this part of the Sonoran Desert by creating an exclusive haven for the fun-loving members of Scottsdale National Golf Club.