Southwestern Amateur Course Set-up Information
Bentgrass Greens (11.5-12.0 stimpmeter)
BermudagrassTees and Fairways
1 (397 yards Par 4)
The opening hole is a modest length par 4 featuring an intimidating tee shot with a lengthy carry over a transition area. Although the carry isn’t as long as it looks, a well-hit tee shot is a must in order to find the fairway. Players will have the choice of playing to the right or to the left of the dual fairway bunkers centered in the middle of the fairway. The second shot is to a difficult, elevated green with a deep bunker in front that puts club selection at a premium. While most players will be left with a short iron or wedge for their second shot, the green is one of the most difficult greens at Cochise to get the ball close to the hole.
2 (181 yards Par 3)
A medium length, downhill par 3 that can be very forgiving to missed shots. The club selection for most players will be a mid to short iron to a green sloping from back to front, and with a left side sloping downhill towards the flag. The best play is to miss left and use the slope that will funnel the ball towards the flag regardless of the hole location giving players a great opportunity to get the ball close to the hole. A small greenside bunker to the right can easily be avoided, as finding either of them will make for a difficult par save.
3 (475 yards Par 4)
The par 4 third hole plays as the most difficult hole on the course for many players. A mammoth dogleg right par 4, the third at Cochise requires precise shot-making from tee to green. Favoring the left side of the fairway off the tee is critical as a series of trees along the right side make it nearly impossible to have a clear shot at the green if you are right of the center of the fairway. A long iron or fairway metal second shot is required into a very difficult green to hit in two. The green is a very deep, undulating green that slopes hard to the left in the front causing shots missing short and left to funnel into a collection area just left of the green.
4 (546 yards Par 4)
Normally a par 5 of medium length, the dogleg left fourth hole will be shortened and played as a par 4. Off the tee, players must avoid missing left as a series of fairway bunkers come into play on the tee shot, as well as the transition area bordering the left side of the hole. The green is very wide, but extremely shallow in depth from front to back. The false front of the green makes it crucial to carry the approach shot into the center of the green.
5 (448 yards Par 4)
This challenging par 4 offers multiple options off the tee that can make the hole much easier, or cause for major concern. A huge fairway bunker down the middle of the hole divides two separate fairways at the 5th. The shorter, riskier option is the left fairway, which will dramatically shorten the yardage into the green. The safer, and more popular play is to the huge fairway to the right of the bunker leaving plenty of room for error. Favor the right side of the green and take the bunker out of play on the approach as shots missing right will funnel down towards the green and will be safe from trouble.
6 (341 yards Par 4)
A very short par 4 that puts club selection off the tee at a premium. Finding the fairway is a must as a short, yet extremely difficult approach follows up a steep hill, to a tiny, undulating green that leaves almost no room to miss. Only the most precise approach shots will find the green, and avoid potential disaster on this short, yet demanding par 4.
7 (215 yards Par 3)
A Nicklaus signature par 3 if there ever was one, the 7th is as beautiful to the eye as it is intimidating to the golfer. This lengthy, downhill par 3 to a large, double green has trouble lurking at almost every conceivable angle. Surrounded by water on all sides, and with rocks and bunkers also coming into play, there isn’t a scarier tee shot anywhere on Cochise. Finding the green isn’t the only challenge as this severely sloping green makes for a difficult putting challenge on long putts, and from anywhere above the hole. The 7th was the scene for the first leg of Gary Player’s famous double “eagle” during the 1995 Tradition as Player aced this difficult par 3.
8 (569 yards Par 5)
A lengthy downhill par 5 with an elevated tee shot to a severely sloping fairway with desert transition areas coming into play on both sides. The second shot over a transition area leaves a short third shot into a deep, but very narrow green. Players going for the green in two will be faced with a shot from a downhill lie to a green that is very difficult to hold from long range. The green is a tricky green with runoff areas short, right, and long left that make it imperative to aim for the center of the green on the approach.
9 (433 yards Par 4)
A beautiful close to the outward nine, this moderate length par 4 puts a premium on placement off the tee. Favoring the left side of the fairway offers a clear view of the green on the approach while shots to the right side leave a much more challenging, blind shot into a very difficult, elevated green. Finding the green is crucial as several greenside bunkers and difficult hillside lies surrounding the green make it very difficult to get up and in from off the green. A gorgeous view of the Cochise/Geronimo clubhouse is the backdrop for the finish to the front nine at Cochise.
3605 yards Par 35
10 (424 yards Par 4)
A relatively short par 4 that features a difficult tee shot and requires a precise approach shot into a very small green. Off the tee, avoid missing left, as several very steep bunkers will make it nearly impossible to have any chance at reaching this green in regulation. Favor the right side to set up a fairly short second shot over a rock outcropping and a transition area to one of the smallest and most narrow greens on Cochise.
11 (189 yards Par 3)
A deceptively difficult par 3, with a long narrow green that can add or subtract significant amounts of yardage to this challenging par 3. A well-placed tee shot is required to a huge green that is well protected by thick rough and deep bunkers, that makes saving par from around the green a difficult task.
12 (523 yards Par 5)
This short par 5 requires great shot-making from tee to green in order to take advantage of this scoring opportunity. Off the tee, favor the left side to set up a clear lay-up shot, or shot at the green for those going for the green in two. A precise approach shot is a must to an angled green that is protected by a transition area short and left, and a greenside bunker to the right. The 12th was the setting for a famous Jack Nicklaus double-eagle two in the 1997 Tradition.
13 (138 yards Par 3)
Beautiful views abound high atop this dramatic downhill par 3. The severe elevation drop will make this short par 3 play at least one club less, and will cause shots into the green to hold extremely well. Two separate greens give a slightly different look from the tee, but offer a similar playing experience as a whole.
14 (450 yards Par 4)
A long par 4 that is a tough task from tee to green. The fairway is well protected by a sequence of five bunkers on the left that make it extremely difficult to reach the green in regulation. Although there is more room right than it looks from the tee, the fairway is very tight and is complete with the added challenge of playing the second shot from downhill and side-hill lies. The approach is one of the most difficult at Cochise, from a downhill lie to a huge sloping green with a deep collection area to the right.
15 (548 yards Par 5)
A classic risk reward par 5 that has all the ingredients of a championship par 5. It starts with a demanding uphill tee shot over a bunker in the middle of the fairway, which sets up a difficult lay up or an even more difficult chance at the green in two. Whether going for the green in two, or approaching on the third, players must negotiate a daunting approach to a green surrounded by water on all sides. The green is a huge double green that slopes back to front, and is a tough putting challenge from anywhere above the hole. The 15th was the stage for the second leg of Gary Player’s famous double “eagle” in the 1995 Tradition in which he made an eagle three here in the same round that he aced the par 3, 7th hole.
16 (413 yards Par 4)
A short, downhill par 4 with a Nicklaus signature rock outcropping that divides the fairway down the middle making it imperative to play either left, right, or directly over the menacing rocks. Staying to the left of the rocks offers more room to find the fairway and set up a difficult downhill approach shot. The approach is from a downhill lie to an angled green with a deep bunker short left, and a steep collection area just over the right edge of the green. Play for the middle or front of this green on the approach to avoid the difficulties that lie around the green.
17 (225 yards Par 3)
Perhaps the most difficult par 3 anywhere at Desert Mountain, the 17th can play over 230 yards in length and features an extremely difficult green to hit that is well protected by a huge, cavernous bunker. An accurate tee shot is required to hold this very narrow green that is made even more difficult as most players will be playing long irons to fairway woods off the tee. The green curves back and to the right and is most receptive to a left to right ball flight.
18 (511 yards Par 4)
Normally a great finishing par 5 that was the stage for the great champions of The Tradition for many years, it remains a memorable finishing hole today. As a par 4 this hole features an elevated tee shot to an expansive fairway that is more favorable on the approach to the green from the right hand side. Players must be precise into this very shallow green that is protected by a transition area short, bunkers left and long, and a pesky little bunker just in front.
3421 yards Par 35
No cut 90 player field!
Jino Sohn is back to defend his 2017 championship!
Its a family affair! This year's participant Cameron Meeks indicated on his entry that his father Eric Meeks, and his uncle Aaron Meeks, both played in the Southwestern Amateur in 1986. His father finished 5th and his uncle finished 2nd.
Eric was the 1988 US AM champion, 1989 Walker Cup team member and is a member of the University of Arizona Hall of Fame.
Colby Harwell, a very well known mid-amateur player in Texas, has entered the 2018 Southwestern Amateur. He earned the Texas Golf Association’s top honor as Texas Player of the Year.
In 2017 he won the Texas Mid-Am and the Texas Mid-Am Match Play --- the first time anyone has claimed the two biggest mid-am prizes in the same year.
Congratulations to Rice University senior, Mario Carmona, from Mexico, who tied for 6th place at the Conference USA Championship this weekend. This was his 18th round of par or better this year and the 47th of his career. Mario tied for 18th at the 102nd Southwestern Amateur last year, and is entered in the 103rd this June on the Cochise course at Desert Mountain
The Sizzler Amateur will be held the week following the Southwestern Amateur this year, again at Troon North, just a few miles from Desert Mountain. If interested, contact the Sizzler website.
SWGA Executive Director John Ranslem presents a check to the BOOT CAMPAIGN co-founder Leigh Ann Ranslem. The BOOT CAMPAIGN, a SWGA partner, assists returning veteransw who have special needs.
At the 2017 Shell Houston Open, Southwestern Golf Association President, John Ranslem, met with former Southwestern Amateur champion JT Poston (2013).
JT earned his PGTour card by ending up in the top 25 on the Web.com Tour in 2016. He has made the cut in most of the 2017 PGA events he has entered.
At the Genesis Open he was paired in the first two rounds with Kevin Dougherty, our 2012 champion and first runner up to JT in 2013. Read more....
Enjoy Desert Mountain for the week!
For players who miss the 36 hole cut, Desert Mountain has agreed to provide playing access to two of its other Jack Nicklaus Signature Courses on Friday and Saturday of tournament week. So plan to stay the week!
The longest running amateur golf tournament in the southwestern United States returns for a third year at Scottsdale's premier private golf and recreational community.