Lookout Mountain Golf Club is part of the Pointe Hilton Resort at Tapatio Cliffs, a desert retreat in the heart of the Phoenix Mountain Preserve within Phoenix, Arizona. Originally the site of a rock quarry, the resort is among a group of innovative resort properties conceived and built by Bob Gosnell, a visionary and developer.
Gosnell entered into a joint venture to transform the Mizzuno Quarry into a resort in the 1980s. It was later envisioned that a golf course should anchor the resort. Gosnell, never to be boxed in, looked beyond his land holdings to an assortment of State land, City land and odd parcels located north of the resort hillside setting.
Eventually, enough land was assembled to create an 18-hole course. Forrest Richardson was involved each step of the way, guiding the Gosnell team on the best land and how it might be put to use as a golf course.
The plan changed throughout the process. Originally, plans called for a “6-6-6” routing; six par-3s, six par-4s, and six par-5s. This was not well received by the marketing department of the resort operation. In a terse memo to Richardson it was pointed out that “no one would take us seriously if we wound up with a course with six par-3s.” Richardson tried his best to convince Gosnell directly that the golf course should come from the land, not the wishes of the marketing department. Richardson lost the argument. As he puts it into perspective, “In the end it was their decision, I did my best, knowing it would be an uphill battle.”
Later Richardson would write about the debate in his book, Routing the Golf Course, offering the conclusion that the golf holes should always come first, even when the marketing department feels otherwise. Certainly, as Richardson points out, “it would have made for an even better golf experience to have six very interesting par-3 holes over the hilly terrain.” The final routing sports five par-3s.
The course today is a par-71 playing to 6,800-yards. The course has hosted several high profile tournaments, including the a Senior PGA event and an ESPN Skins Game.
Holes which are truly unique include the No. 9, a delicate par-3 over a wash to a treacherous green with a downslope toward the golfer, and the par-4 No. 10 with its elevated tee and narrowing fairway.
Scope: Planning, Design, Approvals, Bidding, Construction Documents, Construction Observation Services
Budget: $7 million USD
Completion: Opened 1987
Address: 11111 North 7th Street, Phoenix, Arizona 85020
Pointe Lookout Mountain Takes Aim at Water Conservation (10-30-2010)