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2015 Newport Cup Sponsor Thread: Moon Valley Country Club

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Moon Valley Country Club in Phoenix, Arizona was the host of the 2015 Newport Cup matches. Each player competed in five matches on this beautiful layout.

This thread is for the posting of comments, photos of the course, discussion of the holes/course, and anything else Newport Cup team members want to share about Moon Valley CC. If any other forum members have any questions for the team members, ask them here.

For now, @iacas and I would like to send a hearty THANK YOU to Moon Valley CC!

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Moon Valley! What a great Phoenix golf course! This was my first time playing in Phoenix, so I was expecting lots of cacti and desert hills, but Moon Valley was much more different. The course was very lush and it took almost 4 rounds to figure out their greens for chipping. The greens were very smooth and rolled true, but a different type of grass than I am used to. This course favored a fade off the tee for sure. There were only 4-5 total holes that I can remember that suited a draw off the tee. See below lol Very fair golf course with plenty of trees and bunkers. If you hit the fairway you were good. If you missed, you ended up with shots like this: The staff at Moon Valley were very accomidating to us and the food was excellent. If I was a local I would really consider Moon Valley membership becasue it felt like the club had it all from pool to gym to large locker room, great food, staff, and course overall.

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When I first heard that the Newport Cup matches were going to be held at Moon Valley, I did a bit of google-ing.  I learned that the course had hosted an LPGA event for several years, including the year Annika shot 59.  I also learned that the club had survived some financial difficulties, so I wondered what we'd find when we got there.

Well, what we found was a very challenging course in really good shape.  This isn't a classic "desert course" but rather one which winds through mature trees and lovely neighborhoods.  Although the overall terrain is pretty level, there are enough humps and rolls to give you plenty of uneven lies.  There's a nice variety of lengths of holes, dogleg rights and lefts, and from the back it plays to a very healthy 7200 yards.  The course has 4 sets of tees, plus 3 more sets of "hybrid" tees, so there's a tee for players of all abilities.

The tees, fairways, and greens were all in excellent shape.  The Bermuda rough, which wasn't really deep, was wiry and tough, forcing us to really consider how much club we could effectively hit.  Further from the fairway, the rough faded into hardpan, so really errant shots could run a long way in the wrong direction. Bunkers had really firm sand, difficult for me to get used to, but consistent.  Once I learned the right approach, I did pretty well from them.  The practice area included a grass driving range, practice bunker, and chipping and putting greens that were very consistent with the greens on the actual course.

The facilities were very nice, and really extensive.  We had lunch and dinner there on two days, lunch in the grill room, one dinner on the large back terrace, the other in the small private dining room.  Food was good, with nightly specials that were well prepared and very reasonably priced.  In addition, we saw a large dining room, conference and meeting areas, raquetball courts, indoor golf instruction, pool and tennis courts.  The staff, both in the pro shop and in the dining areas, treated us really well.  All in all, I couldn't have asked for anything better.  Many thanks go to Moon Valley for hosting us at the Newport Cup.  And if Jim reads this, my wife loved her anniversary presents!

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Moon Valley is beautiful parkland style layout, not something you would typically expect in the middle of desert. The greens at Moon

Valley were immaculate. Extremely firm and rolled true. Even the highest of iron shots left only a small dent in the surface which I can tell you being a greens-keeper is the true mark of a highly maintained green. Even with the firmness balls weren't bouncing all over the place, anything less than a 5 iron landed like a dart. The bunkers were firm and very easy to play out of (though I luckily I didn't have to hit too many bunker shots during the cup). The overall layout was a very fair test lots of variety off the tee. Holes 9, 17, and 18 in particular had a couple a well well placed hazards that really forced one to consider their shot selection from the tee. It's no coincidence that these are also critical matchplay holes.

The clubhouse and facilities were also top notch. Multiple putting and chipping green, grass range, pool, gym, and a great restaurant. The food was great and I would recommend you give the black bean burger a try. I liked it so much I ordered it twice. The staff was really friendly and accommodating. They even let us leave our bags at the club so they could have them out on carts first thing in the morning so we hit the range the moment it opened. I hope to get back out there someday so I could relive some of those great Newport Cup match moments.

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I have been a member at a few different private clubs and Moon Valley's facility is top notch. They have a great clubhouse which includes a place to work out, racquetball and many people working out in the morning before work. They had a fully stocked pro shop and the range was really a great place to warm up or practice. The range was grass with plenty of range balls and nearby was a great chipping green. They had multiple putting greens as well. One cool feature was the putting green was attached to the 9th green so you could be sure the speed was similar to what you were going to face out on the course.

The food was great and the restaurant was also a highlight as well. The food was really good including a number of specials that I ordered each night for dinner.

The course was in great shape especially when you consider they just finished with the summer and were getting ready to reseed for the start to their true golf season. Summer days can easily get to 120 in Phoenix and the course was still in great shape going into the winter which is their high season.

The lobby was my favorite part of the place. They had a huge picture of Karsten Solheim who we came to find out was the owner whilst he was alive. He was holding one of his famous Ping Anser putters.

I would highly recommend anyone in the area to give the club a try. You may even run into a golf celebrity like Ted Purdy, as we did.

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I just wanted to give a big THANK YOU to Moon Valley Country Club. It's a world-class golf course that I didn't get tired of, even played five rounds over three days. They were extremely generous with their driving range and practice green. The course was in terrific shape, including the fairways, tee boxes, and greens. I'd never played much on bermuda grass, so it was definitely an experience. The rough was almost uniformly in great shape, and the non-grass waste areas were definitely a unique experience. I liked that it was somewhat of a parkland-style course in a desert environment. The look of the course was incredible, particularly the views of nearby mountain ranges. The restaurant and the clubhouse were both beautiful, and the staff was very welcoming and accommodating of our 14-man crew. So just as a wrap-up, THANK YOU, Moon Valley Country Club.

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I would also like to thank Moon Valley for being very gracious in allowing us access to their golf course and facilities.

Course

This course is not what you think of when you think desert course. The course is lightly tree lined and pretty much flat. It's a pretty straight forward course in that what you see is what you get. There are very little blind tee shots where you would need to play the course a few times to get use to the lines. There are very few doglegs. Mostly the par 5's bend slightly, but for the most part the par 4's are straight away. The definite defense of this course are the greens. They have good slope to them and have mounding around the green that like to kick your ball away from green. Also the Bermuda grass makes it very difficult to get spin on the ball. So you either have to be proficient in hitting higher pitch shots. Which in Bermuda is tough because the ball can sit up a tad causing some duffy shots. Or, you have to be pretty precise on your landing spot on a lower pitch and run.

The Par 5's are really good holes. They have a lot of bunkers guarding the green and most of the greens are smaller. This makes going for the green in two a real decision. Most of the par 5's you can get close in two if you nail a pretty good drive.

The Par 3's are really long. I think most of them required a mid to long iron. One was nearly 230 yards long, with a tree that protected versus a draw shape. Overall they are good par 3's. They gave you ample room have a strategic miss if the pin was tucked behind a bunker or over water. Nothing worse than a long par 3 with a very tiny green and no bailout.

After the first few holes you get to weaving through the property owners around the course. The holes are pretty much lined by low walls. The OB typically sits 50 yards left or right from the center of the fairway. On most holes there is a good 15 yards of just waste land dirt areas that are not bad for full length shots but are tricky for pitch shots. There are a few tee shots that require the person to shape the ball or they have to take on some strategically placed trees near the tee box that can knock down a ball.

The course was in fantastic shape. The only really negative thing I have is the amount of water they used from the front edge of the green to about 50 yards out. Most of the course was pretty firm. Once you hit this inside 50-60 yard range the fairways where very soggy. I saw a lot of players outright chunk pitch shots taking massive divots. I find it a bit strange that they would over-water these areas.

Overall it's a very good golf course. I highly recommend it to anyone able to play it.

Facilities

The facilities were great and the staff was very good. The food was fantastic, with very reasonable prices. From the looks of things the rec center they have on the property is also very good.

Again, thanks to Moon Valley for allowing us to use their facilities.

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Note: This thread is 1489 days old. We appreciate that you found this thread instead of starting a new one, but if you plan to post here please make sure it's still relevant. If not, please start a new topic. Thank you!

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