Seville Golf and Country Club is a Gary Panks-designed course located in Gilbert. It opened in 2001, and it’s part of the ClubCorp network, the largest owner/operator of private golf and country clubs in the United States.
Of all the courses we are playing through the Golf Academy this semester, Seville is the one that everyone has been talking about. Not only is it private, it’s one of the few remaining courses that hasn’t yet closed for over-seeding (October 12th – November 1st).
Arizona is entering its peak golfing season. Over the next few weeks, courses will be closing in order to put down ryegrass overseed, the thinly-bladed grass that will allow them to more than double their rates.
This is the time of year when courses make the money that will really sustain them throughout the slower, hotter summer months. It’s also the best possible time to play these courses because they’re in great shape right before they close. The bermudagrass fairways are mowed nice and tight, almost scalped to expose the old roots to the new ryegrass seeds. Just about every lie is perfect.
Seville plays 7,060 yards from the Black Tees to a Par of 72, a course rating of 72.8, and a slope of 125. Here are some highlights of the round:
Holes Worth Writing Home About
Seville has some great views of the San Tan Mountains. My favorite hole on the front nine was the Par 5 5th. It’s just 530 yards from the Black Tees, but it was playing around 490 for us today. I hit a nice drive down the right-hand side of the fairway and had around 220 yards left to the green over water and large waste bunker. I hit a hybrid to within ten feet and calmly made the eagle putt to extend my match.
The signature hole at Seville is the 17th. It’s an island green Par 3 measuring just 145 yards from the Black Tees. When we played it, it was playing just 125. There’s really no where to go if you don’t hit this green, but there is a bunker short and right just in case you try to weakly bail out. Like all the greens out here, there are lots of undulations to consider, but I will tell you this: the greens don’t break as much as you might think. You don’t have to over respect them.
Google Maps told me to take the Red Mountain Freeway (Loop 202) to Val Vista Drive and turn right. From there, I was instructed to head south to Chandler Heights Road, turn left, and then turn right onto Clubhouse Drive. Maps showed Seville Golf and Country Club having an entrance off Chandler Heights, but if you turn right onto Clubhouse Drive, you’ll find yourself at the maintenance barn, not the golf course.
In reality, the course’s only entrance is off of Riggs Road, but you won’t find any signage pointing you in the right direction. If you’re lost, that’s on you, apparently! That was a real inconvenience because I showed up 90 minutes early so I could warm up, but it took me an extra 20 minutes to get where I was going. Seville is actually situated between Chandler Heights and Riggs. Maybe that’s why it’s a private course. Only the members know how to get there.
My match started on the 7th hole. On the Par 3 8th, I dropped a bomb for birdie. It must have been over 30 feet. I love really good bermuda grass greens, especially when they roll true, and my putt never left the hole. Watching Jordan Spieth drain putts in the Tour Championship Sunday must have really rubbed off on me. I also like courses that go to the trouble of painting the liner above the hole with white paint. It doesn’t cost a lot to do, but it takes time. I appreciate the effort and think it’s a really nice touch.
I also really liked the pin flags. They were bright yellow and featured a red Seville logo and hole number.
While We’re Young
We teed off at 1:oop sharp and could have gotten to the 7th tee a lot faster, but we followed the school and drove through the first six holes instead of driving backwards from No. 9. Until late in the round, there was hardly anyone out on the course. Once the Golf Academy group in front of us got going, they really took off and disappeared. We didn’t have anyone pushing us from behind either, and we finished a leisurely round in four hours and 15 minutes. We probably could have finished in under four, but the other match in our group that finished with five holes to play elected to play all the holes with us.
Match Play Championship
Today was round one of this semester’s Match Play Championship. It’s a 32-player bracketed field that pays out three places. I love match play because it’s golf in its purest form, the way it was first played. I was the No. 10 Seed based on the 78 I shot last week at Moon Valley, and I drew the No. 24 Seed. It was a great match that came down to the final hole, but I lost to my classmate Matt Longfield 1 DOWN. I didn’t play that poorly. I actually made two birdies and an eagle to shoot a one-over 73 on my own ball, but Matt got it up and down from everywhere to earn the win. Congrats Matt, and good luck in the next round!
I’m participating in a Twitter chat in conjunction with the Golf Academy of America this Wednesday, September 30th, at 12:00p. Topics that I intend to cover include: What to expect during your first semester, the short game, professional instruction, how many rounds you can expect to play each week, and why I’m here (at the Academy). To participate, log on to Twitter and search #GolfAcadChat or check out my Twitter handle, @danbubanygolf.