Q&A with Steve Talentino of Torreon Golf Club

Q&A with Steve Talentino of Torreon Golf Club

Scottsdale.com's Fred Mercaldo recently interviewed Steve Talentino, Director of Golf at Torreon Golf Club. Torreon features 36 holes of golf in the gorgeous White Mountains of Show Low, Arizona.

Fred Mercaldo: Steve, you have 36 holes of great golf here at Torreon Golf Club. Please describe both the Tower Course and the Cabin Course in detail.

Steve Talentino: The Tower Course includes 18 of the original holes at Torreon. It is a beautiful Ponderosa tree lined course with each nine returning to the clubhouse. This makes it a preference to those that wish to play only nine holes. The Tower is a favorite of many players due to a variety of different golf holes. Each hole is truly memorable and different from the others. Unique to the Tower Course are the many meandering washes which place a premium on shot placement. The eighteenth hole on the Tower is a great finishing hole with the beautiful Torreon club house in the background. It is a great risk reward hole and many matches are decided on this challenging hole.

The Cabin Course includes the newest nine holes at Torreon and was completed in 2007. A memorable aspect of the Cabin Course is the change in elevation. This aspect provides challenging uphill Par 5's as well as downhill approach shots to well protected greens. The layout is nine holes out and nine holes back to the clubhouse. The "Cabin" is located at the ninth green. It is a very unique rustic building that serves as both a snack bar during golf as well as a dining establishment in the evenings. It is also available for private parties. The strength of the Cabin Course is its Par 3 holes. They are challenging in length as well as design. Players that experience this course for the first time usually comment on the Par 3's as well as the number of the bunkers on the golf course. There are very few houses on the Cabin Course and views from the highest elevations are the best in the White Mountains.

Mercaldo: In your opinion, how do these courses compare with the top courses in Arizona

Talentino: The two courses at Torreon are among the best in the country. The architects did an awesome job of providing 36 holes of unforgettable championship golf. While beautiful for all to enjoy, they are challenging at all skill levels. Torreon provides 5 sets of tees so a player can choose the set that fits his or her game.

Mercaldo: Steve, how long have you been at Torreon, and prior to coming to Torreon, what are some of the other courses you have worked at?

Talentino: I began my golf career at Arizona Country Club in the valley where I enjoyed staying for 13 years. I was provided an opportunity by Desert-Troon Co. which placed me at Hassayampa Golf Club in Prescott, where I remained for 6 years. At that time the opportunity to move to another Desert-Troon property, Torreon Golf Club, came to my attention. It was a great decision to move to Torreon in the White Mountains.

Mercaldo: What are the membership plans, and is the course open for public play?

Talentino: We basically have 3 types of memberships at Torreon. An Associate Membership is provided to our property owners. This membership allows limited access to the golf facilities. The Golf Membership is available for purchase to all property owners. This membership provides total access to all courses, facilities and events. There are also a limited number of Unit Memberships available. This type of membership also allows access to all aspects of Torreon. The unique feature of the Unit Membership is that it is transferrable to family, friends or renters. Torreon is not open to public play but can be accessed through our rental properties. Those that rent one of our villas or lodges have golf course access during their stay.

Mercaldo: Steve, in my opinion, I think the courses are outstanding for many reasons. When you are playing a specific hole, you cannot see any of the other holes...the hole you are playing is framed beautifully by the Ponderosa pines and incredible real estate, but the homes are set back enough from the fairways as not to intrude on your game. A trio of archeticts, Von Hagge, Smelek, and Baril designed these courses. Please tell us about them, and what you believe they accomplished with both courses.

Talentino: The architects are a trio with very unique skills. They use mounding, bunkers and landscape very effectively to frame the hole as well as provide distinctive characteristics to each hole. It is also interesting that cart paths are rarely visible from the teeing ground.

Mercaldo: Steve, you are Director of Golf at Torreon. Your wife Sue is Director of Golf Instruction. What is it like working with your wife at Torreon?

Talentino: It has really been a nice experience working with my wife. We are very compatible and have a love for teaching the game of golf. It is great to always be able to discuss operations and new ideas together whether at work or at home.

Mercaldo: What are some of the comments players make as they visit and play Torreon for the first time?

Talentino: Every person is always impressed with Torreon. They usually can't wait to play one of our courses again. Normally comments compare Torreon to other great golf courses in the state or country. Everyone mentions the beauty of our setting as well as the quality of our golf experience. Many of them eventually become our members!

Mercaldo: Steve, one of the members recently described the perfect day....he played 18 holes at Torreon in the morning, went fishing in the late afternoon, and as dusk fell, hundreds of trout were leaping and feeding on bugs, a herd of elk came down to the lake, and an American Bald Eagle flew overhead...he said "it just doesn't get better than that!" What other activities do the White Mountains and Show Low offer your golfers?

Talentino: Living in the White Mountains is an amazing experience. If you are an outdoor enthusiast you will never run out of things to do. My favorites are the hunting and fishing while many others enjoy hiking, mountain biking or taking their ATV for a ride on the hundreds of miles of trails through the Sitgreaves National Forest. Wildlife viewing is also popular as some of the biggest elk in the world live in our area. It is difficult to describe the bugle of a bull elk in September!

Mercaldo: Steve, what programs are you offering this summer to get people up to Torreon for them to experience both the Tower and Cabin Courses?

Talentino: Torreon provides opportunities to people that would like to experience the club. The property rental programs include Stay and Play packages that allow access to our golf course and club facilities. We also have guest day golf events and charity golf events that many players look forward to.

Last month Mercaldo interviewed Torreon Golf Club's Joe Long. Read the Joe Long, Torreon Golf Club interview here.

For more details about Torreon Golf Club visit Torreon's website.