From the Rough

Golf without discretion

So what’s Whisper Rock’s secret?

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whisperrock Just to give you an idea of how exclusive Whisper Rock Golf Course is, one doesn’t have to look any further than Google’s photo files to get the point.

In my attempt to find a photo to go along with this article, I spent the better part of 20 minutes (I kid you not) trying like hell to find a decent photo of the secluded Scottsdale course.

Google photos, the one stop shop for anything, brought up a total of ten decent photos. So I tried Flickr, the photo capital of the world. Well Flickr had the same number of photos of the course as Sergio Garcia has major championships — which would be exactly ZERO.

Yep, Whisper Rock is a pretty secretive course.

But what makes the course the biggest secret in golf? Golf World’s John Hawkins had the pleasure of going down to the course to answer that question for us, and boy does he ever shed some light on the subject.

For those of you following at home, Whisper Rock is the home to just about every big name player on tour that wants to get a real game during the off-season. Forget playing for skins at the local club; if you want to tee it up with Phil Mickelson, Paul Casey and Geoff Ogilvy for a match, get humbled, and then do it again the next day, then this is your type of club. Golf masochist are welcome.

Oh yeah, there’s just one catch: You’ve gotta pay a pretty penny to get in, and that includes the Tour’s best. Just like the average member at the club, the pro’s don’t get off with a freebie here.

“First of all, this is the land of the freebie,” Chief Bush Beater quips. “You’ve got an area of the United States that is inundated with golf courses, and every golf pro walks up with his hand out. You’ve got a hundred courses that would give a guy like Kevin Streelman a free membership, and I’m talking to a guy who needs a check for $100,000 in 10 days. A hundred thousand! Are you [bleeping] nuts?” (Golf World)

That’s right, pro’s pay for the privilege of being a member of this esteemed club, and to my shock, they pay it without flinching.

Hawkins goes on to describe how this club filled with some of the best in the world is completely ego-free. It’s hard to believe, but everyone at the club is so excited about joining, that most just leave their ego at the door. Mickelson included (although I’d like to see that for myself).

Recreationally, the atmosphere is hard to top, about as laid-back as you’ll find at an all-male club where women and children are, relatively speaking, granted liberal access. No swimming pool, no tennis courts, no tee times—you show up and play. About 40 percent of the 550 members have a USGA index of 6 or lower, many of whom don’t need much help against the 45 guys who live south of scratch.

Still, they take their strokes. Four hours later, they take your money. “I’ve lost a lot more than I’ve made out here,” says Streelman, who fended off the bandits by earning $1,352,705 last year as a tour rookie. (Golf World)

Throw in three different practice areas, three different types of practice bunkers (shallow, medium and deep), and a grill manager that supposedly makes the best milkshakes on earth, and you have yourself a secret society club that everyone’s trying to get into.

So now I understand why the pro’s are flocking to Whisper Rock. It isn’t for the golf and the laid back atmosphere. Nope, I’d assume it’s for those $100,000 milkshakes.

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Written by Jonathan Wall

01/22/2009 at 1:34 am

Posted in Country Club life, PGA Tour

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