Terravita Golf and Country Club

Golf Course Review by: Billy Satterfield

The Takeaway:  Terravita enjoys larger fairways and greens than most desert courses which really increases the playability and long term enjoyment of the track. While there may not be any individual holes that stand out as exceptional, there isn't a weak hole on the property and is just the kind of design a membership can enjoy round after round.   Grade B

Quick Facts

Designer:  Billy Casper in 1994

Cost:  Private

Course Website:  Terravita's official website    Phone Number:  (480) 488-3456

Directions:  Get here! - 34034 N. 69th Way, Scottsdale, AZ 85266

Signature Hole:  10th - 442 Yard Par 4 - The largest water hazard on the property is found on Terravita's signature hole where the fairway takes a late turn around the water and leaves the green fronted by the pond. Off the tee players must decide whether to lay up in front of the desert wash that crosses the fairway or whether they want to try and carry it which also brings the water into play. With three bunkers protecting the near side of the green and a single bunker on the back side to compliment the water feature, this is the most scenic and demanding hole at Terravita.

10th Hole at Terravita Golf and Country Club (442 Yard Par 4)
10th Hole at Terravita Golf and Country Club (442 Yard Par 4)

Photos:  See additional photos of Terravita

Accolades:  Ranked 14th best course in Arizona by Golf Course Gurus. Multiple 1st place winner of the Best Private Golf Course by "Ranking Arizona - The Best of Arizona Business Magazine"

What to Expect:  Terravita is a private club located in the golf rich community of Scottsdale north of Phoenix. The Billy Casper design is one of the most playable desert courses I've had the pleasure of visiting due to the extra generous fairways and greens. The course has little elevation change, however the distance between some greens and tees will discourage many golfers from walking the course. The course doesn't rely on a dramatic stretch of holes to define itself and rather employs one solid hole after another thus bringing balance throughout the routing. The club is a big draw for Canadians looking to get out of the cold and now employs an annual America vs Canada Ryder Cup type competition. In addition to the golf, Terravita has developed a reputation as one of the best social clubs in the area due to the unpretentious vibe and great camaraderie among the membership.

By the Numbers:

Tees Par Yardage Rating Slope
Black 72 7075 73.3 141
Blue 72 6589 71.1 134
White 72 6114 68.7 128
Burgundy 72 5615 66.4 122
Gold (Women) 72 5283 71.8 126


Individual Hole Analysis

Best Par 3:  4th - 211 Yards - The 4th enjoys an inviting front while the sides and back are protected by bunkers. The putting surface sits at the base of a small bowl that has been carved out in the desert and surrounded by scrubby bushes and trees.

4th Hole at Terravita Golf and Country Club (211 Yard Par 3)
4th Hole at Terravita Golf and Country Club (211 Yard Par 3)

Best Par 4:  17th - 354 Yards - A 90 degree dogleg left is what you'll find at Terravita's 17th hole. Players feeling especially bold can take their drive over the swimming pools found in the backyards of the houses framing the left side of this hole which is on a direct line with the green. Plenty of fairway is afforded to players taking the safe line straightaway at the dogleg while bunkers and a thin strip of fairway are found left of the short grass towards the green. A great risk reward hole with more character than most holes at Terravita, the 17th is a treat to play near the end of your round.

17th Hole at Terravita Golf and Country Club (354 Yard Par 4)
17th Hole at Terravita Golf and Country Club (354 Yard Par 4)

Best Par 5:  3rd - 610 Yards - The first par five you encounter at Terravita is also the longest hole on the course at a whopping 610 yards. This behemoth features two fairways and then a green site that is separated by a desert wash. With no chance of reaching the green in two, this is a plotting hole where accuracy will be rewarded more than length as avoiding the fairway bunkers is critical. If for some reason you feel compelled to reach the green in two, I hope you can rip a 3 wood over the desert to a green fronted by a crescent bunker and land it on the putting surface like a butterfly with sore feet.

3rd Hole at Terravita Golf and Country Club (610 Yard Par 5)
3rd Hole at Terravita Golf and Country Club (610 Yard Par 5)

Birdie Time:  12th - 524 Yard Par 5 - The 12th is a reachable par five that presents a great chance to score. Little trouble exists in the driving zone while the approach shot features a tree in the middle of the fairway to negotiate and a green that is encircled by desert and creates a virtual island. A good drive will leave a long iron in your hand to attack this green with while two bunkers lie in wait to catch a wayward shot. Even getting into a bunker will leave a legitimate chance to get up and down and walk away with a birdie.

12th Hole at Terravita Golf and Country Club (524 Yard Par 5)
12th Hole at Terravita Golf and Country Club (524 Yard Par 5)

Bogey Beware:  10th - 442 Yard Par 4 - Already featured as the signature hole, the demanding 10th resurfaces here as the Bogey Beware hole. Players who lay up in front of the desert cross wash will leave themselves with a long approach to the most heavily protected green on the course. Players who challenge the wash and need to be leery of the pond that comes into play on the right side. Nothing shy of a great tee shot and precise approach will be required to walk away with par here.

10th Hole at Terravita Golf and Country Club (442 Yard Par 4)
10th Hole at Terravita Golf and Country Club (442 Yard Par 4)