Kokopelli, built in 1993, is a traditional, links style golf course, featuring lakes, rolling hills and fountains. There is a premium on approach shots to the multi-level greens. Kokopelli features impressive contours and mounding, rolling fairways and fast breaking, severely undulating greens, highlighted by seven serpentine lakes and exceptional views. In sharp contrast to its flat surroundings, the radically sculpted layout by Bill Phillips leaves little room for making errant shots. The risks are tempting, but with so much to get in the way, it’s usually better to play it safe. The course description even advises against becoming overconfident, suggesting caution and careful club selection on every hole. Most of this course’s tee boxes and greens are elevated. There is grass from tee to green, but don’t expect to get many flat lies. Water hazards and ponds come into play on eleven of the holes. Kokopelli has multiple island tees and dramatic views that provide players with a great golfing experience.
Kokopelli has enough doglegs that you may feel like you are in a kennel, but it is certainly no dog track. Playing from the “tips” will provide a stiff challenge to low handicap players. The par 3 holes play long. Most of the trouble is in front of the elevated greens forcing you to carry the greens on a fly. On most of the water holes, the water goes around the side and, in front or in back of the green, forcing pin point accuracy on the approach shot.
The signature hole is the long 574 yard, 18 TH hole. This challenging par 5 is a fantastic finish to a fun round of golf. You can give it a rip from the elevated tee box. On the next shot water comes into play on the left side and OB is on the right side. Then, the approach shot is over water to an elevated green surrounded by a few bunkers and water. If you finish with a par, you will certainly enjoy the drive back to your room.
Practice Facilities: There is a driving range, putting green, chipping green with practice sand traps. Range balls are extra.
19th Hole: The dining area is called the Grill at Kokopelli. There is also a snack bar and a drink cart.
Clubhouse: Their full service pro shop offers golfers a nice selection of golf apparel and is well known for their friendly service.
Designer: Bill Phillips
General Manager: Jason Jaffrey
Superintendent: Seth Koch
Golf Lessons: There is a full staff of PGA professionals on hand to help you improve your game.
Grass type: Green and fairways are Bermuda grass. Rye grass is used during overseeeding in the winter months.
Recommended handicap: With four tee boxes, and with grass from the tee boxes to the greens, any level of golfer will enjoy Kokopelli. Playing from the championship tee boxes are exceptionally challenging. Not only does it play longer, but the tee boxes are strategically placed, making it much harder to stay out of trouble on the drive. For example, on some of the water holes, there is a lot of water to carry from the tips, but little or no water to carry from the other tee boxes.
1 -10 Course Rating by Meridian’s Golf Specialists: 6 ½
Comments by Meridian Guests:
“It is like an oasis in the desert, with lots of water.” “Kokopelli is a fair test of golf.” “The only time I had a flat lie seemed to be when I was on the green, and even a few of my putts were from deeply sloped areas on the green.”
“We played Kokopelli twice. The first time from the back tees and then we played it from the championship tees. Playing from the tips was extremely difficult. The back tees weren’t nearly as challenging. It was like two different golf courses.”
“Every drive that missed the fairway left me either in the water or on the side of a mound.”
The Drive: It is only a 30 minute drive from Meridian CondoResorts to Kokopelli in Gilbert. It is also only about 20 minutes from Sky Harbor Airport in Phoenix.