Troon North Monument Course Review
Review by GolfTop18
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Year Last Reviewed: 2013
More Info on Rating Criteria
Troon North Monument Course Overview: This wonderful desert golf course has been an annual fixture on most Top 100 rankings published by golf magazines, and is generally considered one of the better desert golf courses in America. The Sonoran Desert, with its varied vegetation, highlighted by Saguaro cactus, provides both the beauty and challenge surrounding the lush oasis of tee boxes, fairways and greens. Slightly more forgiving than its companion Pinnacle Course, this track has more variation in its routing, and incorporates the desert and surrounding hills very naturally into its design. The best golf holes are reviewed below:
Troon North Monument Hole 1: A lot of courses ease the golfer into the round with a tame first hole, but this is not one of them. At over 400 yards with desert left and right, the drive is one of the tighter ones on the course, and the fairway pinches in substantially around 170 yards from the green. The approach is to a green with a bunker in front and another to the right of the putting surface.
Troon North Monument Hole 3: The signature hole has one of the greatest drives in golf. From the elevated tee, after the golfer scans the sweeping vista, the eye is drawn to the 20 foot high "Monument" boulder in the middle of the fairway. The player then has to ask themselves "what is the chance I'll hit that?", which is a fair question with its base sitting about 240 yards from the back tees. The player can lay up, go left or right, or over the Monument with the ideal shot being over and right of it to shorten the approach to the green on this dogleg right. The fairway is relatively tight to the green with several bunkers and desert right being the worst mistake to make.
Troon North Monument Hole 4: Although this might be one of the easier holes on the course, it still is a visually strong golf hole and woe to the golfer who hits a low drive or approach into the the various boulder clusters. The green is small and guarded by bunkers on either side.
Troon North Monument Hole 6: The first of two short par fours on the course, this one provides a very easy lay-up option from the tee if the shot is less than 200 yards and carries the rock pile short. After that, there are lots of bunkers dotting the fairway until the green, which is slightly uphill and has a deep central bunker guarding the front.
Troon North Monument Hole 8: This uphill test features a wash that crosses he fairway diagonally from short-right to long-left. So, the player can hit a shorter drive, but the angle is worse to the green with a large bunker short and right. The more aggressive drive must stay left of the wash to provide the better angle, but there is desert left off the tee as well. The green heavily slopes from back to front.
Troon North Monument Hole 9: Arguably the least picturesque golf hole on the course still merits a mention as it is plain tough. Uphill from tee to green, there is desert left and desert and houses (more in play than on other holes) to the right. There are also five large bunkers (including "Hell" bunker) along the way and at no point does the hole feel wide or forgiving.
Troon North Monument Hole 10: Most times the name of a hole is obvious. This one is called "Illusion" and I'm not quite sure why. It is medium length and strongly uphill with a very tight tee shot with desert right and left and large bunkers left. The approach is then again uphill to a large green with a bunker to the right. A more appropriate name may have been "Delusion", which is what the golfer would be suffering if they stepped on the tee of this sub-400 yard par four and thought easy par was in reach.
Troon North Monument Hole 11: This great driving hole features a long, uphill carry to a fairway that bends right and keeps climbing up a hill until it eventually reaches the green. The hole is short, but doesn't play that way as the second is way uphill and has three bunkers guarding the area where the golfer would be trying to leave a short approach. A longer iron into the green will have a tougher time negotiating the green-side bunkers though, so trade-offs must be made and execution is paramount throughout the ordeal.
Troon North Monument Hole 12: This is another solid par four with great vistas. It bends right with the focal point being the bunker on the far outside of the dogleg. A shorter drive leaves the widest fairway, but the green has sand traps surrounding most of it and the best angle is from the right and from shorter to help the ball stop.
Troon North Monument Hole 14: The view from the tee is outstanding as the golfer begins the uphill attack at "Spanish Dagger". The fairway is relatively wide and this really is a second shot hole, set up by the drive. At about 160 yards from the green, the hole doglegs left around desert and the ideal landing area for a short approach is blind. A short drive will likely force the player to stay short or right of the bunker at this point and leave a long, tough approach to the green. A longer drive will allow for the aggressive play over the bunker and/or desert to leave a wedge in. The green is shallow and very wide with left pins behind the bunker being real tough.
Troon North Monument Hole 15: The better of the two short par fours on the course, this one is very much risk / reward as the green is very easily driven with a shot that stays within the 20 or so yard width of the putting surface. However, err to the left or right and there is desert waiting. The lay-up is no picnic, however, as there is a long forced carry, bunkers and desert waiting the inaccurate shot, which, by definition, can't be much longer than 110 yards from the green. The green sits in a natural bowl formed between the large hill left and small hill right.
Troon North Monument Hole 16: The classic downhill par three, this one has a very big green and plenty of room to miss short, left or right, but it is also well over 200 yards from most tees, so its no push over.
Troon North Monument Hole 17: The good news is the 17th is downhill, but at over 450 yards from the two back sets of tees, it requires a couple of big pokes to reach the green in regulation. The green is pretty wide open, however, so the player can get a little loose and still be okay.
Troon North Monument Hole 18: The final golf hole has a visually daunting drive as the fairway looks tiny and there is also a lake to the left of the fairway. However, there is more room than it appears. The real trick is negotiating the green that hearkens back to #18 at St. Andrews with its own "valley of sin".