Arizona Intercollegiate – Arizona, USA

The Iowa State Cyclones started their spring season in Arizona at the Arizona Intercollegiate on the 23rd and 24th January.  Due to Iowa being covered in snow the team also traveled to Arizona the weekend before to play some qualifying rounds for the upcoming tournament.

They played 54 holes over three different golf courses:

Arizona State University’s (ASU)  Karsten Course – this golf course opened in September 1989 and is home to ASU’s mens and ladies golf teams.  No tax dollars or university funds were used to build the golf course, only private funds. The largest single contributor to the project was Karsten Solheim, founder of PING golf equipment. Over the last 20-plus years, more than 1 million rounds have been played on the Pete Dye designed course, including 52,000 by the ASU men’s and ladies golf teams. The golf course was built by the Sun Angel Foundation, is owned by Arizona State University and is managed by Lyon Golf.

Desert Mountain – there are six different Jack Nicklaus designed golf courses at Desert Mountain.  There are extensive golf practice facilities with are multiple pitching, chipping, putting and bunker areas, and four separate practice ranges with target greens.

Raven Golf Club – etched into a rugged mountain slope with sweeping panoramic vistas of the surrounding valley and the Phoenix skyline, Raven Golf Club Phoenix’s par-72, 7,078-yard championship layout is an anomaly among traditional desert layouts.  More than 6,000 mature pine trees traverse lush rolling fairways and expansive, multi-tiered greens, with a unique assortment of bunkers and water features creating both strategic diversity and a stunning backdrop for golf.  The course was designed in 1995 by Gary Panks and David Graham to blend seamlessly with its pristine natural surroundings.

Nick shot a combine 5 under par to come out on top in qualifying.  

In Nick’s own words….

We had a great weekend down in Arizona prior to the Arizona Intercollegiate. It was more of a training trip where the local guys could get back onto grass and qualify (for the team) against us Internationals who have been at home over Xmas break. The mornings were spent practicing with the afternoons reserved for qualifying. It was so much fun catching up with the guys after a month away! We really have become a close knit group.

Arizona Intercollegiate 
The Arizona Intercollegiate was played at the Sewailo Golf Club over three rounds.  The Cyclones finished 10th out of 18 teams.  Nick finished tied for 42nd with rounds of 75, 75 and 77 giving him a total of 227.  The winner, Wyndham Clark from Oregon shot a total of 209.  

In Nick’s own words…..

Due to the timing of things, we all got to spend an extra day down in Arizona for a total of  four days : )  If not already spoiled, the coaches decided to surprise us and take us to the Dove Mountain Golf Course – the venue of the 2008-2014 World Matchplay. I remember watching this event growing up, to be able to play it was such a treat. The young fellas (Conner, Tripp and Sam) were feeling adventurous and decided to take on the older lads (Ruben, Denzel and myself). Let’s just say experience and maturity was the winner on the day.

The Arizona Intercollegiate is one of our more favorite events; we stay at a great place and walk to the golf course each day. There is a real hype among the teams; it is the first event of the spring for all of us and we were all fizzing to be out there again!  We knew in the forecast that the weather was going to be below average with winds up to 35km/h and chilly!  We made a great effort to embrace the circumstances and bring the ‘artists’ in us out to play.

Unfortunately, the guys didn’t play that well and were all pretty disapointed with the end result. We knew that we were close but couldn’t quite get the momentum going in our favor. The highlight was Denzel’s 5 under in the final round.  My game was solid throughout but I continued to shoot myself in the foot and miss the critical key shots. In my post event meeting with the coaches we talked about how my game has been trending very nicely with some noticeable functional improvements. It was just one of those weeks where I was a little off at the wrong times and paid the full price for it. Nothing to be concerned about; just a little bump in my upward trend.

We have 3 weeks to prepare for our next event; the Prestige at PGA West. The guys are all excited to get back to work at our facility and be as prepared as we can be. We are all achieving fantastic in the classroom and are working hard in the gym so there is nothing that’s holding us back! 

Sewailo Golf Club – the Pascua Yaqui Tribe knew they wanted to work within the land and honor its natural gifts and wonders when it came to designing a golf course in Tucson. They hired fellow native American, Notah Begay, a Navajo and Pueblo who has made his name both as a player on the PGA Tour, a commentator on NBC television and The Golf Channel, and as a noted golf course designer, to help carve the world from the high sonoran desert just south of the resort. Sewailo, meaning “flower world” in the Pascua Yaqui language, blends the native landscape with picturesque lakes and streams. This challenging course measures 7,400 yards from the championship tees, with 5 different tee boxes on each hole to allow for players of all abilities. It is known as one of the finest golf courses in Tucson and the state of Arizona.

The Golf Club at Dove Mountain –  Jack Nicklaus took advantage of the High Sonoran Desert setting to integrate strategy, variety and fair shot values into this 27 hole golf course.  The course blends naturally among noble saguaros and the surrounding Tortolita Mountain Range and has elevations ranging from 2,300 to 3,200 feet to challenge even the most seasoned pro. 



This blog was originally set up to share our 9 month adventure around Europe and the USA with friends and family in 2014. On returning to NZ in January 2015 I decided to carry it on so I could continue to share any future travel adventures - it has become my electronic travel diary. I hope you enjoy and get inspired to visit some of the wonderful places we have visited.
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