No. 13 Saguaro: a Swing-Away Par 4
One of the most appealing traits of We-Ko-Pa Golf Club’s Saguaro course is the diversity of challenges found throughout the 18-hole journey. From wide and long to short and strategic, the Coore-Crenshaw-designed layout throws just about every device at golfers to keep things interesting. The 13th hole is a great example of the swing-away-type par 4 sprinkled throughout.
Take a Cut
The tee shot on the 13th defines the 470-yard hole with one of the widest landing areas on the golf course. The ample space coaxes golfers into a long-drive competition that is less about risk and more about reward. Indeed, the primary risk is between the ears. With so much fairway to work with, golfers must fight the temptation to over swing to avoid a self-inflicted snap-hook or block.
A lone bunker sits in the middle of the fairway about 280 yards from the back tees. It’s not big, especially compared to the breadth of the landing area, but it does come into play. The golfer’s eye is naturally drawn to it. Tee shots that find the bunker almost always result in a layup short of the green, as it’s roughly 190 yards to get home from the sand. The natural shot is a draw (for right handers) that starts at the bunker and works to the left.
Approach from the Left
Distance off the tee is the key to managing the approach shot. A bomb cutting the dogleg left will leave 150-170 yards, while a flare to the right results in a 200-plus-yard approach. Attacking the hole from the right also brings the greenside bunker into play.
Firm and Fast
Like most of the greens on Saguaro, the 13th is firm and fast with a greenside bunker guarding the right-front. A substantial swale runs across the green funneling shots from the right side to the left. This adds a little challenge to the up and down from the sand. Green light is on for the front-left and back-left pin placements.
The 12th also is a stern driving hole at 476 yards from the back tee with fairway bunkers and native desert cutting into the landing area to a greater degree than the 13th. The 14th requires length and accuracy, especially to the right side of the split-fairway landing area. This three-hole stretch sets up a swing-for-the-fences scenario, that is, if there were any fences at We-Ko-Pa, or even out-of-bound stakes, for that matter. We-Ko-Pa is surrounded by native Sonora Desert and nothing else. This unique and appealing feature gives the 13th hole – as well as the entire property – a special charm not found at any other golf club in the Valley of the Sun.