GRAND VALLEY RANCH GOLF CLUB
(San Miguel Golf Club)
Scope: Site Selection; Design Plans; Construction Documents; and Construction Coordination
Budget: $2.2 Million
Builder: Daylen Golf Builders
Grande Valley Ranch Golf Club began as a public sector project by the City of Eloy, Arizona. Our office worked closely with the City on selecting a site among many proposed for this 18-hole public project.
Our conclusion was that a site along the busy Interstate 10 transportation corridor between Phoenix and Tucson would be best. By giving a glimpse of the course from the highway, yet buffering the course at the same time, the result would be increased awareness and intrigue among golfers. Our hunch was right. Today the course enjoys the reputation of being smack in the middle between these two desert cities. Grande Valley Ranch Golf Club is "on stage" for the millions of cars which travel this busy interstate each year.
The 7,300-yard, par-72 layout was 100% manufactured from a virtually flat landscape. Our plans included detailed grading and shaping plans that transformed the land into a series of small hills and valleys. In between holes are native grassland and low hollows. The course routing is a core design — the only development is that which falls on the outside of the course area. No fairways are bordered by development except the holes on the perimeter. Grande Valley Ranch Golf Club was one of the first Arizona golf developments to return to this more classic routing configuration. It was our feeling that there had been enough of the common "holes between housing" designs — indeed, we suggested that this approach would be better for golf, and ultimately create a stronger residential/golf setting and development.
At the time of its development, the No. 2 hole was the longest in Arizona at 620-yards. "The Gila Monster," as it was known, has since been out-lengthed by numerous holes as courses have tried to keep pace with longer balls and equipment combinations.
Among the design innovations at Grande Valley Ranch Golf Club are the highly prized greens. No two are alike at all. The design approach was to make the greens truly one-of-a-kind. Many are unique to golf entirely. The par-4, No. 6 Hole: "X Marks the Spot" is indicative of the green design at the course. This unusual — unique — green has two perpendicular swales which are indented into the putting surface. They meet at the center, forming a slight depression along their axes.
Other unusual greens are the hidden No. 5; the multi-tiered No. 8; the double green at Nos. 9 and 18; and the roller-coaster No. 13 (nearly 15,000 square feet).
In the late 1990s, Grande Valley Ranch Golf Club was purchased by a private entity, bringing an end to the municipal operation. Although still open to the public, the course is now a private daily fee operation with adjacent residential development.