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"No grass" Valley golf course offers unique challenge

Posted at 5:00 PM, Nov 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-24 12:53:36-05

A Mesa community boasts a golf course that only the Arizona desert could provide.

“First thing to know is to stay in the fairway if you can,” said golfer Kenneth Johnston.

At Sandy Greens Golf Course, that’s a bit difficult. 

Tucked in the shadow of the Superstition Mountains lies a course like no other. 

Here, golfers trade in divots for dust clouds. 

“You know they can’t imagine that you would go out there and not have grass, I said, 'You don’t need grass to have fun,'” said golfer Hollis Grorut.

That's right -- no grass. 

As the ball bumps along the ground, its scattering of bushes and rocks can cause unpredictable outcomes. 

“I’m a putter guy, I like to putt it when it’s this close,” said David Goroski.

The name of the game at this uniquely desert-centric course is the bump and run.

Flags ruffling in the distance offer salvation for those who can grit their teeth through Arizona’s endless natural obstacles. 

“You can hit a perfect shot, it comes down and it hits a rock, and it’ll go to the right, it’ll go to the left, sometimes it’ll come right back to you,” Grorut described of the course's one-of-a-kind challenges.

Your normal Valley greens boast Bermuda and ryegrass, but here, vegetable oil and silica sand are what you get.

Each time you leave the green, old pieces of carpet are dragged, as you see on the baseball diamond, to smooth them out for the next group.

Sandy Greens has been around since the '90s. 

It’s an area of the Valley that saw some desert courses over the years, but as time passed, many have disappeared. 

“Before, they used to have quite a few members," said Goroski. "It’s starting to trickle down now to less and less."

And those who are left say development is threatening this unique venue's future. 

But until then, these golfers will keep swinging among the ant hills and thorn bushes, keeping it fun no matter the score.