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Whirlwind Golf Club Review – 36 Holes of Pure Southwest Golf

Is Whirlwind golf course worth the money? Is it the best casino course in the Phoenix area?

In this Whirlwind Golf Club review we’ll break down everything you need to know about these golf courses. They’re located next to the outlets and the casino at Wild Horse Pass just off the I-10. If you’re in the Phoenix area, it’s definitely worth a trip out to these great golf courses. 

Whirlwind Golf Club Review

Whirlwind has two great championship golf courses with Devil’s Claw and Cattail. Both tracks are more than 7,000 yards from the tips and despite being desert golf there are pretty wide landing area. While you can still lose a ball (or two) in the desert, it’s more than fair on both courses. 

Overview 

  • Chandler, Arizona
  • Operated by Troon Golf 
  • Designed by Gary Panks  
  • Public play + small membership group 
  • Owned by The Gila River Indian Community 

Practice Facility

Whirlwind golf has one of the best practice facilities in all of Arizona so make sure to get there early before your tee time. They have two huge putting greens – one next to the pro shop and another by the driving range. 

The driving range is doubled sided with grass (no mats) and always in great condition. They have unlimited balls included with the tee time. 

Each side of the driving range has a huge chipping green too. The backside of the range is normally reserved for members but has two amazing chipping greens. You can practice pretty much any shot including fairway bunkers.

If you just want to practice without booking a tee time it’s $40 after 2pm. The price has jumped in recent years but if you need a good grind to work on all parts of your game, it’s worth the higher price tag. 

putting green view at Whirlwind Golf Club

Course Overview + Conditions 

I’ve played Whirlwind almost every month of the year and rarely seen it in bad shape except maybe after a monsoon. Like most golf courses, it has some dry spots and slower greens during the summer which is to be expected. 

It’s definitely not one of the cheaper courses however you can usually warrant the higher price with solid conditions. 

Noteworthy Holes on Whirlwind Golf Club 

Both Devil’s Claw and Cattail are great courses that have hosted top amateur and professional events including Q-School. Here are some of the best holes from each course and the best ways to play them.

Devil’s Claw Golf Course

Hole 3: Par 5 – 593 yards 

The first two holes are confidence boosters with wide landing areas and shorter holes. But the third is a long par 5 at nearly 600 yards from the tips. The only place you really can’t miss is right – anything over the bunker with a fade/slice is going to be tough to find.

Most golfers won’t reach this in two shots so layup to 100 yards or fewer to give yourself a good third shot. Be careful of this green as it can get tricky even with a wedge in hand. 

Sheraton view from Cattail golf course

Hole 7: Par 3 – 160 yards

The 7th is a great par 3 with a large, two-tiered green. Beware of a front right pin that brings the water into play. It seems to play a few yards uphill so club up if you’re in between. 

Hole 8: Par 4 –  317 yards 

The 8th is a great risk-reward par 4 that I think is worth going for if you have the distance. The bunkers come into play left and can leave an awkward 40-50 yard bunker shot if you don’t have the distance to get closer to the green. But this should be a good birdie opportunity before the challenging 9th hole. 

Hole 12: Par 3 – 222 yards

This is a long par 3 at nearly 230 yards from the tips with a narrow green guarded by bunkers and water is way right. But since it’s a longer approach the water is definitely in play. Take a par and run on this tough hole. 

Hole 17: Par 5 – 551 yards 

The second to last hole is a great birdie (or eagle) opportunity with a solid drive. It’s another generous fairway so let it rip and anything left might catch the slope and roll out further. The second shot is pretty straight forward but plays slightly uphill and missing left is okay. 

Hole 18: Par 4 – 442 yards 

The final hole at Devil’s Claw is a tough one and requires a great drive which isn’t easy with so many fairway bunkers staring at you. If you can make it over the bunkers your drive will catch

The final hole at Devil’s Claw is a tough one and requires a great drive which isn’t easy with so many fairway bunkers staring at you. If you can make it over the bunkers your drive will catch the slope and roll out for a short approach shot. But your second is an uphill approach so play extra club to give yourself a good look at birdie. 

Cattail Golf Course 

Hole 3: Par 3 – 162 yards 

The first few holes are pretty straightforward but the third requires a little more precision. It’s not a long par 3 but water looms left and anything that hits left of the greens bounces in that direction. Don’t get fooled by a sucker left pin and play more toward the middle of the green.

Hole 5: Par 4 – 337 yards 

The 5th is a short par 4 asking you to hit the driver but it’s far from an easy shot. Water and sand run the entire left side of the hole while it narrows out slightly on the right. If you’re feeling confident you can try to get on the green or as close as possible.

Hole 10: Par 3 – 245 yards 

The back nine starts off with a tough test for all tee boxes. At nearly 250 yards from the tips it’s a long hole and will require a wood, hybrid, or long iron for most golfers.

Being short is an okay miss but right and long is water that you can’t see off the tee. If the pin is all the way in the back don’t flirt with it as the ball can run into the water long too.

Side note – the 10th hole is nowhere near the clubhouse so plan accordingly for food/drinks.

Hole 12: Par 5 – 611 yards 

The 12th hole is another tough hole (10-12 is one of the hardest stretches) and requires a good drive to set up the rest of the hole. The desert on the right comes into play more than you think so missing left off the tee is a good strategy.

Get your second shot as close as you can because the green is challenging and a shorter club makes it a lot easier. Don’t miss long or right as you can end up in the bunker or water too. 

Hole 14: Par 4 – 389 yards 

The 14th isn’t a long hole but has plenty of water to make you think about on both your drive and approach. Anything that is on the left side of the hole might run into the water but fairway bunkers guard the right side. Most golfers should hit 3W and then aim for the middle of the green on the approach.

FAQs 

Is Whirlwind golf club private?

No, Whirlwind golf club at Wild Horse Pass is a public golf course. They do offer a very small amount of private memberships which are extremely hard to get. You can play whether you’re staying at the resort or not. 

Can you walk Whirlwind? 

Whirlwind is pretty flat and easy to walk but most golfers ride in a cart to keep up the pace of play. There are a few holes with some long walks between on each course so it’s recommended to jump in a cart. 

Does Whirlwind have 36 holes? 

Yes, Whirlwind offers two championship 18 hole golf courses; Cattail and Devil’s Claw. Both courses are very similar and wouldn’t say one is better or harder than the other. 

Overall Recommendation

The Whirlwind golf club layout (both courses) is solid and sure to test all areas of your game. It’s desert golf but the fairways are very generous compared to other courses in the valley. 

It’s not the cheapest option especially in the winter but sometimes you can get a 36 hole deal. Or, a stay and play package if you’re at Wild Horse Pass.  

Plus, if you need a great place to work on your game for a few hours it’s a tough spot to beat.

Do you like Devil’s Claw or Cattail golf course more?

Let me know in the comments below. 

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