The particular slice of Sonoran Desert where Tegavah Golf Club now sits has been a gathering place for the Yavapai people long before the first Scottish shepherd broke up the boredom by whacking a little ball with a stick. With quail scurrying among the Mesquites, the nearby Verde River and mountain views in all directions, it’s easy to see why this location still serves as a place to enjoy life.
Inspired by the Yavapai word for “gathering place,” Tegavah first hit the Scottsdale golf scene in 2006 as Vista Verde. A few years ago it went through a bit of a branding makeover and emerged as Tegavah.
“Tegavah is a special place surrounded by Tonto National Forest and McDowell Mountain Regional Park,” said Phil Green, President and COO of OB Sports, management firm for Tegavah. “The golf course and community really complement this one-of-a-kind location.”
Stretching to 7,229 from the Tournament tees, golfers should try to resist the urge to bite off more than they can chew, and given the course’s six teeing areas, it’s easy to find a suitable length. Golf course designer, Ken Kavanaugh, crafted Tegavah as a traditional desert-golf experience with modern elements baked in that provide a genuine test which doesn’t forget to have a little fun along the way.
During their round, golfers must rely on the grey matter between their ears to successfully navigate the diverse collection of golf holes ranging from full-throttle par 4s to three-shot par 5s. Indeed, the tone is set by the par 5s. All are ranked in the top five in terms of men’s handicap with the 17th playing to a roomy 626 yards from the Tournament tees.
On a handful of occasions, when standing on the tee surveying the challenge ahead, sweeping contours obscure the true breadth of the landing areas. This tends to sow tiny seeds of doubt in the golfer’s mind. But after a few holes, observant players will begin to see the pattern.
Golf certainly lies at the foundation of the development, but there’s much more to Tegavah than the game. Construction is anticipated to begin in 2015 on the community’s amenity center, a hub for social and fitness activities. Designed by award-winning architect, Mark Tate, of Tate Studio Architects in Scottsdale, the gathering place will embrace the stunning terrain and mountain views in a way that invites residents to “live in the view,” as Tate likes to describe it. Amenities are planned to include a demonstration kitchen for cooking classes, weight room, fitness center, movement studio, social and multi-purpose areas, outdoor pool, hot tub and more.
As one arrives, it becomes clear that Tegavah stands apart not only for what it offers but where it is. The 850-acre, master-planned community is located in 172nd Street and Rio Verde Drive (a.k.a. Dynamite). This is some of the most scenic Sonoran Desert that the Valley of the Sun has to offer, and it’s been that way for centuries. In fact, early in the repositioning process the Ft. McDowell Indian Reservation cultural director, Karen Ray, explained that “Tribal leaders used to gather on this very spot and families hunted on this land.”
The property borders Tonto National Forest, with captivating views of the nearby Mazatzal Mountain range and iconic Four Peaks to the east. The Verde River flows along the properties eastern border attracting a menagerie of wildlife looking for a cool drink including wild mustangs, eagles, road runners, javelin, coyotes, to name a few of the locals.
For local humans, additional new home offerings are anticipated to come in 2015, complementing the custom home site opportunities presently available.
By the time of the invention of the air conditioner, Tegavah had already been serving as a place for people to gather to hunt, fish and celebrate life. The blooming desert, spectacular mountain views and myriad wildlife found at this gathering place are every bit as enchanting now as they were then.