Great players and magnificent golf courses are declared legends only after they’ve withstood the test of time. However, Legend Trail achieved legendary status when it opened in 1995. Rees Jones, the youngest son of the legendary Robert Trent Jones, designed a somewhat traditional style course in a beautiful desert surrounding. “Most desert courses are so penal, but Legend Trail is not,” says Rees. “The front nine is very gentle, and the back nine builds to a crescendo.”
Yes, Legend Trail is a friendlier place to play desert golf, but you need your “A” game in place, especially when you get to the 16th and 17th holes, back-to-back par-5s that are far more demanding than the distance of 525 and 530 yards might indicate. Doglegs implore you to work the ball and the par 5 holes are tempting, if not always actually reachable. From the tips, Legend Trail plays 6800 yards with a lion’s share of shot-making options. The landing areas and hazards at several holes are not always visible. Precipices, washes, and existing contours create natural elevation. Legend Trail is a shot maker’s course that requires a full game and heads up course management.
The exquisitely manicured course, managed by Scottsdale Golf Group, meanders through the Sonoran Desert landscape and features breathtaking, panoramic vistas, including those of some of the areas well-known landmarks such as Pinnacle Peak, Troon Mountain, Goldie’s Butte and the Tonto Foothills. The fairways are spacious in width. The greens are large, firm, undulating, and challenging to read. From four sets of tees, each hole adheres to the natural lay of the land, winding through washes and ravines, and playing along strands of indigenous saguaro cacti and Palo Verde. Holes are appropriately named to complement the environment, “Painted Desert, “Dancing Shadows,” and “Good Medicine.” Legend Trail offers an amiable challenge that seems to capture a bit of the Old West spirit and certainly the special essence of the Southwest style of golf.
Designer: Rees Jones
Year Opened: 1995
Awards: Top 100 facilities –Golf Magazine
Arizona’s Best Overall Courses – Golf Digest Magazine
Arizona’s Best Public Courses, #7 – Golf Digest Magazine
Top 100 Golf shops – Golf Shop Operations
Practice Facilities: Driving range, putting green, and chipping green
Range Balls Included: Yes
19th Hole: The Cantina at Legend Trail offers full service dining for breakfast and lunch. There is also a snack bar in the clubhouse.
Recommended handicap: Legend Trail was designed as a new version of an old look – old wine in a new bottle. For instance, the traditional set of tees offers enough to challenge the better players with subtlety, while not presenting formidable problems for the higher handicapper. With four sets of tees spread out from 5000 to over 6800 yards, golfers of all levels can enjoy a challenging round of golf at Legend Trail. Even the highest level golfer will be challenged by the great layout and numerous sand traps and deceptive greens and yet the course is playable and should be lots of fun for the average golfer. Very high handicap players may find it to be a little too difficult.
1 -10 Course Rating by Meridian’s Golf Specialists: 9
Comments by Meridian Guests: “If the grass is always greener on the other side then this is the other side.” “Lots of desert, lots of sand, and yet lots of fairway.” “Good scenery, great conditions, fabulous layout, and phenomenal greens.”
“A very fair test of golf.” “The greens were large, fast and deceptive.” “I found so many sand traps that I thought I was at the beach.”
“Every bit as nice as Troon North and yet more playable.” “Seven Eleven. Two of the best holes I have ever played.”
The Drive About 25 Minutes North of the Condos