Ambiente Golf Course
In Paradise Valley, the 36-holes at the JW Marriott Camelback Inn is getting what amounts to a new course with the opening of the new Ambiente Course in early November. Ambiente, which means “environment” in Spanish, replaces the old Indian Bend Course, originally opened in 1970.
Designed by notable golf architect Jason Straka on behalf of Hurdzan/Fry Environmental Golf Design, Ambiente has 12 entirely new holes. The work started with the rebuilding a desert wash that runs throughout the property to help restore flood control to the property. The plan also called for the removal of 100 acres of maintainable turf areas and reintroducing desert terrain, designed to solidify Indian Bend’s status as an Audubon Sanctuary course. Ambiente will feature five sets of tees (two sets more than Indian Bend) and stretch to over 7,200 yards, while the new forward tees have no forced carries and offer easier approach angles. In addition, the 122,000 square feet of greens features plenty of movement.
Sun Ridge Canyon Golf Course
Meanwhile, down the road in Fountain Hills, Ariz., SunRidge Canyon Golf Club will reopen on Oct. 4 with improved greens, bunkers, drainage and less areas to find trouble, as well as a new food and beverage operation.
SunRidge Canyon, a 6,871-yard par 71 designed by Keith Foster, closed down on July 1 to undergo multiple improvements. The greens have been heavily aerated and are in terrific shape, according to Kris Starr, director of golf operations. In addition, 31 tees were leveled and reseeded, key landing area as well as bunkers were softened, family and beginner tees were added to the course, and several overgrown areas were de-vegetated. The facility also added GPS systems for its golf cart fleet.
Off the course, SunRidge Canyon owners Don and Cindy Mischeff have formed a partnership with Michelin five-star, five-diamond chef Michael O’Dowd and concert promoter Ed Leclere to operate the new Wicked 6 Bar and Grill by MOD, named after the course’s tough finishing stretch.