164. Whisper Rock Golf Club (Upper)
Tom Fazio (2005)
Whisper Rock’s Upper Course was intended, as the club’s second 18, to specifically test its low-handicap and PGA Tour pro membership, but Tom Fazio couldn’t resist being a crowd-pleaser, so although he designed 18 holes with demanding angles to diagonal fairways from the back tees, his landing areas for average golfers are generous and most greens are cradled with ample chipping areas. All players enjoy the scenic beauty of this patch of Sonoran Desert, with the front nine holes framed by dry washes and a four-hole stretch on the back woven through astonishing towers of balanced granite boulders. “That’s a beautiful, beautiful stretch, going up into those boulders and back down towards Pinnacle Peak,” said Fazio at the grand opening. “But I’m proud of the entire course, as it’s got a whole bag of different looks.” Whisper Rock’s other 18, the older Lower Course, is ranked No. 200.
Second 100 Greatest History: Ranked from 2013 through 2020. Highest ranking: 123rd, 2013-2014. Previous ranking: 167.
Panelist comments, Whisper Rock Golf Club (Upper):
“Designed by Tom Fazio in 2005, the Upper course has wider fairways and larger greens than the Lower course at Whisper Rock. It can be difficult in the wind but it doesn’t play particularly long for the yardage. While well bunkered, I thought that most holes had several options on your second shot—typical of Fazio giving the player options off the tee and into the green.”
“The elevation changes and vistas added to the experience and the views were at times stunning (#13). The 13th hole, a drivable par 4, was so much fun to play. One of the most memorable holes in Arizona for me.”
“One of the best Ambiances at any club in America. All about the golf and the camaraderie that comes with it. It’s a bunch of guys who have a “unity of purpose” regarding the club. Reminds me a lot of Burning Tree. A truly memorable place.”
“The Upper is a course with one consistently solid golf hole after another that are presented well. The front nine lacks excitement down on the flat ground, but the course does get more interesting on the back, working it’s way up a small mountain.”
“The Upper is a course with one consistently solid golf hole after another that are presented well. The front nine lacks excitement down on the flat ground, but the course does get more interesting on the back, working its way up a small mountain.”