Robert Trent Jones Club

Gainesville, Virginia

The Golf Club at Chaparral Pines (Payson, Arizona)

The Golf Club at Chaparral Pines logo Golf Course Review by: Billy Satterfield

The Takeaway:  A sister course to The Rim and the original course to go in of the two, Chaparral Pines is the more penal layout with a disconnected routing. The setting away from the typical Southern Arizona desert setting is great, but ultimately Chaparral Pines plays second fiddle to The Rim.  Grade B

Quick Facts

Designer:  David Graham and Gary Panks 1997

Cost:  Private

Phone Number:  928-472-1420

Course Website:  Official Website - Visit The Golf Club at Chaparral Pines's official website by clicking on the link provided.

Directions:  Get here! - 504B North Club Drive, Payson, Arizona  85541 – UNITED STATES

Photos:  See additional photos of The Golf Club at Chaparral Pines

What to Expect:  The sister course to The Rim, Chaparral Pines enjoys a similar setting with dramatic elevation changes and a wide variety of tree species throughout. Located 75 miles northeast of Scottsdale, Chaparral Pines sits at over 5,000' elevation which dials back the temperature but cranks up the distance that your ball will fly. While the Phoenix/Scottsdale area is the preferred destination for many golfers in the winter months, the other months of the year is when Payson, AZ shines with an idyllic setting reminiscent of retreating to a cabin in the trees. Comparisons to The Rim are natural given the location and relationship of the two courses, and while both are enjoyable, Chaparral Pines is certainly the more penal of the two courses with much narrower playing corridors, more demanding carries, and more undulated fairways. The varying lengths and shapes of the holes is commendable, but the penalty for being in the wrong position around the green can be severe, so the importance of approach shots at Chaparral Pines is magnified. Unfortunately the routing can be disconnected at times which also leads to players taking carts much more often than deciding to walk it, but ultimately the Rim delivers throughout with plenty of memorable and engaging shots. While The Rim is clearly the better of the two courses, Chaparral Pines is no slouch.

By the Numbers

Tees Par Yardage Rating Slope
Graham 72 7019 73.0 139
Panks 72 6826 71.8 136
I 72 6513 70.4 130
I/II 72 6133 68.9 125
II 72 5906 68.2 121
II/III (Ladies) 72 5456 70.8 133
III (Ladies) 72 5197 69.5 124

Individual Hole Analysis

Signature Hole:  14th Hole – 500 Yard Par 5 – A unique par five that is certainly reachable in two shots but will come with its own set of risks doing so. The tee shot features towering pine trees on the right while the left side is peppered with a series of boulders that will certainly encourage players to favor the right side. With the fairway also sloping to the left, it becomes imperative to be up the right side to have a clean look at the green in two, but even the longest of tee shots will need to finish 185 yards short of the green to stay in the fairway before the short grass terminates at some boulders before picking up again 30 feet below at a second fairway. A collection of bunkers flank the entire left side of the green and really act as nets to catch balls from tumbling downhill out of play, whereas misses to the right can kick onto the putting surface. A whole plethora of scores are possible here and would be a great match play hole.

14th Hole at The Golf Club at Chaparral Pines (500 Yard Par 5)
14th Hole at The Golf Club at Chaparral Pines (500 Yard Par 5)

14th Hole at The Golf Club at Chaparral Pines (500 Yard Par 5)
14th Hole at The Golf Club at Chaparral Pines (500 Yard Par 5)

Best Par 3:  8th Hole – 234 Yards – The long one-shot 8th plays over a ravine to a green perched into the side of a hill. On the left side is a hill that can kick balls down onto the green while the right side has a pair of bunkers that stand ready to catch balls before they tumble down to the steep hillside. With a beautiful mountain backdrop greeting you, make sure to take enough club to clear the bunker on the left while aiming at that side of the putting surface and letting the terrain help you get your approach shot near the hole.

8th Hole at The Golf Club at Chaparral Pines (234 Yard Par 3)
8th Hole at The Golf Club at Chaparral Pines (234 Yard Par 3)

Best Par 4:  5th Hole – 458 Yards – The lengthy 5th hole is characterized by the fairway being pinched by the native area twice with the fattest part of the short grass being found 135 yards from the center of the green. The fairway slopes towards the native area on the left so there is extra incentive to keep tee shots up the right side, and the second shot delivers some reprieve with a bunkerless green awaiting. With the second shot playing uphill and having some forgiveness long, there is no reason not to take an extra club to give yourself the best chance of carding a par.

5th Hole at The Golf Club at Chaparral Pines (458 Yard Par 4)
5th Hole at The Golf Club at Chaparral Pines (458 Yard Par 4)

Best Par 5:  12th Hole – 475 Yards – The par five 12th is an excellent risk/reward hole that should be easily reachable for longer hitters. The fairway travels to the player's left before wrapping back to the right around native terrain peppered with trees and foliage. Long bombers can take aim at the rough patch found in the transition from the first half of the fairway to the raised second half of the fairway. Landing on that line will open up the second shot for players to attack the green while those that play it safe to the left may be blocked out from reaching the green in two. The putting surface runs from front right to back left thus rewarding the player that can draw a ball into the green and successfully avoid the bunker at the front right corner. Tee shots that miss the fairway quickly turn this hole into a brute as missing right likely means a lost ball and missing left makes getting a green in regulation a much more difficult feat to accomplish.

12th Hole at The Golf Club at Chaparral Pines (475 Yard Par 5)
12th Hole at The Golf Club at Chaparral Pines (475 Yard Par 5)

12th Hole at The Golf Club at Chaparral Pines (475 Yard Par 5)
12th Hole at The Golf Club at Chaparral Pines (475 Yard Par 5)

Birdie Time:  3rd Hole – 341 Yard Par 4 – Soak in the thin mountain air and then let the big dog eat as you take a rip at this short par four. The boulder in the middle of the fairway stands as a good aiming point as players should fly their ball over it or at the left edge of the green for the ideal line at the green. Coming up short will leave a short uphill chip where distance control should be easier and flag hunting should be the priority. Stay out of the bunkers on the right, and carding a birdie should be plenty doable here.

3rd Hole at The Golf Club at Chaparral Pines (341 Yard Par 4)
3rd Hole at The Golf Club at Chaparral Pines (341 Yard Par 4)

3rd Hole at The Golf Club at Chaparral Pines (341 Yard Par 4)
3rd Hole at The Golf Club at Chaparral Pines (341 Yard Par 4)

Bogey Beware:  7th Hole – 624 Yard Par 5 – The 7th is Chaparral Pines' longest hole and one of its most creative. The tee shot is virtually blind with trees growing up in the ravine that separates the tee box from the fairway and the visuals are further constrained with mature pines looming in from each side of the fairway. Fortunately there is an aiming flag in the middle of the fairway that offers players a clear line to aim for and which serves a dual purpose of being removed while players are in the landing zone and replaced to give the trailing group the green light to tee off once approach shots have been struck. The fairway gets tighter as it descends nearly 100 feet from tee to green, but the feature that stumbles many players is the creek that flanks the second half of the fairway along the left side before cutting in front of the green and creating a forced carry into the putting surface. The strong left to right slope in the green means that even reaching the green in two is no guarantee of avoiding bogey.

7th Hole at The Golf Club at Chaparral Pines (624 Yard Par 5)
7th Hole at The Golf Club at Chaparral Pines (624 Yard Par 5)

7th Hole at The Golf Club at Chaparral Pines (624 Yard Par 5)
7th Hole at The Golf Club at Chaparral Pines (624 Yard Par 5)

7th Hole at The Golf Club at Chaparral Pines (624 Yard Par 5)
7th Hole at The Golf Club at Chaparral Pines (624 Yard Par 5)

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