The Pointe at Lookout Mountain

Arizona has always had big-time golf resorts in its arsenal. From old-fashioned to ritzy, there's something out there for either taste. If you want both though, the pickings get a little tougher. One course that serves up the combination is The Pointe at Lookout Mountain where target golf is teamed up with tradition.

There is a ton of variety on this course and put together with the great views and a well-conditioned turf, you have no excuse not to score well. Unfortunately, the club has no control over your swing, so the scoring thing is up to you! The course was built by Phoenix architect Bill Johnson and became an immediate hit, first serving as the host for the Arizona Senior Classic before the 18th hole island green became the backdrop for the Skills Challenge from 1994 to 1996.

It's definitely a mixed bag of a layout with the first six holes playing very traditional, the middle eight playing like a desert, target style golf course and then back to the traditional theme for the finishing holes. To score well here you need to get off to a great start on the first seven holes, after that if your "A" game isn't warmed up, it could be a long ride around the next eight holes. Approach shots are key because a lot of the greens are small with undulations.

The 10th hole is a beauty at 419 yards, it drops 10 stories from tee to landing area and so will your heart when you go down the cart path to get to the fairway. The 18th is a 512-yard par 5 that has an island green to hit on to. This one's sure to turn a few bets around on a final hole "press. The middle eight holes give you a great Sonora Desert feel, with only one of the holes giving you anything close to a flat lie, be ready to think about every shot during this stretch or you'll be crying all the way to the 19th hole.

You might think you're off the hook for the last four holes, think again Bubbalooey, because water comes into play on three of the last four approach shots and if you've been mesmerized by the beauty of the preceding eight, a loud splashing sound will be waking you up out of your trance! If the course has made you think you could use a new swing, the Bobby Eldridge golf school is on site and ready to help smooth out those rough edges.

Leave time to go to the Pointe in Tyme restaurant right next door, it's one of the nicest 19th holes you'll see in the desert. Also next-door is the 500-room Pointe Hilton that will knock the grass right out of your spikes! It's beautiful. It's kind of like a Spanish-Mediterranean mountainside village with riding stables and racquet sports to boot. When your ready to have a great golf experience without a huge price tag, point yourself towards the Pointe and you'll be heading in the right direction for a very nice time.