The eco-friendly, $10 million project at Camelback Golf Club in Scottsdale, Ariz., was unveiled November 19, and is the first new golf course development in the Phoenix-Scottsdale and Paradise Valley areas in over five years. The completion culminates a seven-year, $70 million Marriott renewal project at Camelback Inn.
The JW Marriott Camelback Inn Resort & Spa unveiled its Ambiente golf course at Camelback Golf Club on November 19.
Spanish for the word “environment,” Ambiente, which is designed with a detailed eco-friendly focus, is the first new golf course development project in the Phoenix-Scottsdale and Paradise Valley areas in over five years, and one of a select group of new courses to be built nationwide.
The completion of the $10 million Ambiente golf course culminates a seven-year, $70 million Marriott renewal project at Camelback Inn. From preserving the resort’s 1930s adobe brick to the renovation of the Inn’s 453 casita-style guestrooms, and from a new 20,000-sq. ft., hi-tech grand ballroom to the debut of BLT Steak, Laurent Tourondel’s modern American steakhouse, the renewal project involved virtually every aspect of the historic resort.
“We are very proud to unveil Ambiente and add it to the vast array of recreation amenities available to our guests at Camelback Inn, while providing an amazing new course for both local golfers and golfing travelers visiting the Scottsdale and Paradise Valley region,” said Jim Rose, General Manager, JW Marriott Scottsdale Camelback Inn Resort & Spa. “For Camelback Inn, this is more than just a new golf course, as it represents the final phase in Marriott’s unmatched commitment to reinvigorate this acclaimed resort for the future, while preserving its history and the unique Southwestern style that has made it a favorite for generations of travelers.”
Ambiente, which was designed by notable golf architect Jason Straka on behalf of Hurdzan/Fry Environmental Golf Design, has been recognized by the American Society of Golf Course Architects in its 2013 Design Excellence Recognition Program. Ambiente is one of 12 courses to be honored for addressing unique design challenges that lead to improved social, economic and environmental benefits.
The launch of Ambiente is in concert with the popular Padre golf course, establishing a 36-hole Southwest golf destination. The new course, which replaces the Indian Bend golf course, creates a different golf experience than the Padre course, in which golfers will find the eye-catching elevation changes and rolling fairways with significant drops throughout the course. It offers a par-72 layout that measures 7,225 yards from the back tees and 5,538 yards from the forward tees. The course features five sets of tee boxes, designed to positively impact the golf industry’s “grow the game” effort, by providing varying distances for golfers of all handicap levels.
Environment is a significant part of the Ambiente golf course story, which centers on water conservation, wildlife habitat creation and an overall 50 percent decrease in pesticide/fertilizer and fossil fuel use, as compared to the former Indian Bend golf course. The layout of the course is highlighted by 100 acres of new native desert and grass areas that features a mix of acacias, jojobas and sagebrush among many other desert shrubs and grasses, as well as an eye-catching collection of both summer and winter desert wildflower mixes.
These native areas, which will require one-third less water than Indian Bend, are complemented by 85 acres of hybrid turf grass that also requires significantly less water, while reducing the daily labor and machinery intensive maintenance of traditional Bermuda grass. Overall, the combined native areas give the course a more Northern desert look compared to the area’s traditional Sonoran Desert layouts.
From an Audubon standpoint, Ambiente is designed to cater to wildlife, which is part of Marriott’s overall role as a steward of the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary program. By removing over 100 acres of turf grass and replacing it with native desert and grass areas, bird inventory, as well as the local mammal population, will increase substantially.
“Environmental consciousness has long been a hallmark at Marriott, and we believe that Ambiente is a perfect example of the company’s commitment to protecting wildlife and natural resources, while continually serving as a leader in eco-friendly business practices,” Rose said.