October 26, 2013 – Heading For The Pinnacle
Sleep came easily for both of us after a long opening day of travel and golf. Unfortunately the effect of the time change kicked in came early morning. The reward for a 4 a.m. wake-up? The opportunity to watch the sun create a rising glow on the famed Pinnacle Peak directly in sight of the Four Seasons. The chance to watch the desert open business for the day was not lost on us. It’s almost magical. The same could be said for the vibrantly coloured sunset the prior evening.
Two things were on our agenda for the day: breakfast at Proof, an early Western American themed restaurant located in the hotel, and a short jaunt to the much revered Troon North Golf Club.
Developed and opened just last year, Proof puts a twist on comfort food dining. We gulped down coffee from enamel covered tin cups and ate off plates of the same ilk. The food though, was far from your basic camp grub. Chocolate belgian waffles with strawberry compote, carrot cake pancakes with candied walnuts, and chicken and waffle sliders were just a part of the buffet selection. Staff casually dressed in jeans and patterned shirts completed the theme. When all taken in from the comfort of an outdoor dining space, it makes for a relaxing way to kick off the day.
When we arrived at Troon North we found a very busy facility that was moving as efficiently as any could. Sufficient range time gave me just enough time to lose a Bushnell laser range finder to a fellow golfer with sticky fingers but it amounted to the only negative moment of the day.
We were please to find we had been moved to the Pinnacle course versus the Monument course on our agenda. The more difficult of the two layouts at Troon North, Pinnacle is highly regarded for its’ vistas and it did not disappoint. Hole after hole we found ourselves remarking of things we could spot from the many elevated tees. Visual cues to play each hole were common as designer Tom Weiskopf clearly had identified natural rock formations and significant cacti that could be used as aim points. We were glad of them because they kept us focussed on where we needed to go rather than letting our eyes wander to the dense scrub that bordered each fairway, places from which you are unlikely to extract a golf ball very easily.
On the back nine we were joined by fellow Canadians James and Jennifer Sachkiw. The Banff, Alberta couple are owners of the Saltlik Steakhouse restaurants and their presence, with plenty of laughs and hockey conversation, really enhanced the day.
On our own for the evening we explored parts of North Scottsdale, and during our search for dinner fare stumbled upon several near the Grayhawk and Silverleaf golf/residential developments. Many had told us about the depth of the culinary scene in the area and the assessment proved correct. A nice slice of prime rib at the Market Street Kitchen capped another eventful day in Scottsdale.
In the morning we’re headed to TPC Scottsdale where our third, Rich McLean, will join us for the duration of the trip. We’ll also make the move to the JW Marriott Camelback Inn for the next three nights.