Maryvale Golf Course getting major facelift, will reopen as home of Grand Canyon University golf team
Courtesy of Todd & Associates
Phoenix is hopping this time of year – the NBA's Suns and NHL's Coyotes are in full swing, 15 Major League Baseball teams are in the heart of spring training and, of course, all the golf courses are packed with golfers enjoying the gorgeous spring weather.
All the golf courses but one, that is.
The Maryvale Golf Course in west Phoenix is quiet this spring – but for a great reason.
The 54-year-old municipal facility – it's owned by the City of Phoenix – is closed for a significant renovation, and will reopen in the fall with an entirely new identity: the home course of the men's and women's golf teams at Grand Canyon University, whose campus is a few miles away.
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Grand Canyon, whose teams play NCAA Division I golf in the Western Athletic Conference, is funding the $8 million facelift as part of a 30-year agreement with the city. The course, which was built in 1961, is set to reopen in October under a new name that the school will select, and the school will manage the course and pay all its operating costs.
The renovation is being done by Scottsdale-based course architect John Fought, whose renovation of Phoenix Country Club a decade ago impressed both the City of Phoenix and Grand Canyon.
"At Phoenix Country Club, he put a premium on preserving its old-school styling," said Jesse Mueller, the course's new director of golf. "John is very well known for his classic style, and we're all very excited to work with him to create a golf experience that everyone can enjoy, while also making it challenging for the collegiate players."
The renovation is all-encompassing – it entails a complete renovation as Fought will transform the course from a 6,500-yard par 72 to a 7,200-yard par 71. A 10,000-square-foot, two-story clubhouse with golf shop and locker rooms also is being built.
Among the most notable of Fought's upgrades are elevating the greens, adding some undulation to the flat fairways and rebuilding – and sometimes relocating – the course's 80 bunkers. The original routing by William F. Bell (perhaps best known for his design of the South Course at Torrey Pines) will be retained.
Even as it aged, the course maintained its popularity as a public golf facility and one of the most affordable and walkable course in the Phoenix area. Green fees, which are set by the City of Phoenix, will remain unchanged (fro $16 to $3) after the renovations, and GCU plans to launch an extensive youth program at the course.
"We want to make west Phoenix a golf destination," Mueller said. "This will just give people another reason to come to this side of town. … Our intent is to make Maryvale Golf Course a tremendous community asset as well as a tremendous university asset."