Long Bow Course Review
Course Review - Longbow Golf Club
Longbow Golf Club of Mesa, which was originally opened in 1997, is one of the
friendliest, fairest desert courses you'll find in the Valley of the Sun. On
most desert courses you may lose many golf balls. Kris Strauss, Sales and
Marketing Director at OB Sports assured me that I would not lose a golf ball at
Longbow. I put that claim to a real test by hitting a barrage of errant drives
and erratic iron shots, but I did manage to play the entire round with one golf
In 2003, Longbow was redesigned. “It is truly unique and exciting to be given
the opportunity to enhance a golf course that you are already very proud of,”
said Ken Kavanaugh, the original course architect who also handled the
redesign. “We have really been able to take advantage of the spectacular views
of the McDowell, Usery and Superstition Ranges that encircle Red Mountain
providing spectacular scenery from all points on the course.”
Purists will surely appreciate the beauty of the core golf experience that is
Longbow. No homes or roads intrude on the interior of the playing field.
Designer Kavanaugh’s open and graceful configuration features twelve new holes
and six originals that have been slightly modified. His redesign eases the
desert-style challenge with wider fairways and an additional par 5 that boosts
par to 71. Kavanaugh’s arsenal of sharply sculpted bunkers, a handsome but
imposing water feature and strategically deployed desert transition areas
challenge golfers of all playing abilities.
According to the head pro, Jay Larschied, “This is a desert, links-styled
course. The greens are open in front so you are able to bump and run, and heavy
mounding escorts you up the fairway.”
Longbow Golf Club brings all the hazards into play you can find on a desert
course. Desert landscaping, water, waste areas, bunkers, and grassy depressions
all add to the challenge and intrigue. The greens are above average in speed
and hard, so your approach shots are very important. If you have not played a
desert course, Longbow Golf Club is a good warm-up round as it won’t beat you
up, but it still provides a desert styled target layout.
The derivation of the name Longbow Golf Club comes from both the Apache Longbow
Helicopter that is manufactured by Boeing and was developed directly across the
street from the golf course, and the spirit of the Longbow – a weapon used by
medieval archers and known for its distance and accuracy.
Some course designers are handed premiere sites, set up against the base of
mountains, or along dramatic coastlines or water features. Boeing, on the other
hand, passed to Ken Kavanaugh a site that could only make a mother proud - an
empty lot next to the Confederate Airfield. He miraculously carved it into a
beautifully landscaped desert golf course.
If you are an airplane aficionado, or if you just want something to blame a bad
shot on, then keep your eyes and ears open because on almost any given hole at
Longbow, there is a chance that a historic military aircraft may fly through
your backswing at close range.
Signature Hole: It is difficult to pick a signature hole at Longbow
because there are many equally good holes. Some people feel the par 4, 15th
hole, because that is the most photographed hole featuring an “enormous beach
bunker” that engulfs the entire left side and back of the green. If the beach
doesn’t stop your errant shot then the ball will roll past and get wet. Others
may pick the par 5, 9th hole, or the par 4, 13th hole as the signature hole of
the golf course.
Score Card - Longbow Golf Club
Other Information - Longbow Golf Club
Practice Facilities: There is a huge practice facility including a chipping and putting green and a
19th Hole: Enjoy eating outside with a covered patio that has built in heaters, fans, and
misters to keep you comfortable all year round. Inside you can relax and watch
television on a flat screen TV. There is also a beverage/snack cart.
Clubhouse: The distinctive new clubhouse, embraces an “Arizona Contemporary” architectural
style, and features a spacious outdoor patio with fans, heaters, misters,
outdoor kitchen and bar, enormous patio fireplace, convenient drive-up snack
shop, cozy restaurant, and well-appointed pro shop
2001 Golf Digest 4 star rating.
American Junior Golf Event April 2004
Arizona Open Qualifying Site 2004
Designer: Ken Kavanaugh
General Manager: Steve Coughlin
Golf Pro: Jay Larscheid
Superintendent: Greg Gavelak
- Golf Lessons: Yes.
Grass type: 419 Bermuda (Overseeded w/ winter ryegrass) on tees & fairways; Tifdwarf
greens (Overseeded w/ winter ryegrass)
Longbow is “player friendly,” graciously leaving golfers of every skill level
free to enjoy the tract within their own comfort level from the appropriate
1 -10 Course Rating by Meridian’s Golf Specialists: 7 ½
Comments by Meridian Guests:
- “The layout reminded me of the TPC Stadium Course [Phoenix Open] and it came
without the price tag.” “It was the only desert course I played without losing
any balls.” “I liked the fact that there are no homes on the golf course.
Although I did almost hit a historical plane with a sand wedge shot from 100
yards out when the old plane swooped in.”
- “A very forgiving golf course.” “I played the course a few years ago before it
was redesigned and I love the improvements. It is now longer, especially from
the tips, and it has more character. They cleaned up the unplayable desert areas
and now you can hit out of the desert and not have to take penalty strokes.”
- “After playing Las Sendas in the morning (149 slope) and getting beat up, I
really enjoyed the playability of Longbow to finish up 36 holes of golf.”
The Drive: Freeway access to Longbow has improved. The Loop 202 now extends to Longbow’s
exit (Higley). Now it is only about 20 to 30 minutes to Longbow from Meridian
Long Bow Golf Course
5601 E. Longbow Parkway
Mesa, AZ 85215