From Golf Digest Architecture Editor emeritus Ron Whitten:
Every so often I come across a golf hole so compelling that it overshadows my memory of every other hole on the course. The par-5 18th at The Victory at Verrado is such a hole. It’s a dogleg right from the back tee (590 yards) over an irrigation pond (not really in play for big hitters) to a wide diagonal fairway with a rock escarpment on the left. The second shot is uphill to a green that’s tucked into a box canyon and protected front right by boulder outcroppings.
It’s an unusual hole visually, the first hole you see driving up the street toward the course entrance, and it sets the tone for this very unusual course that was built partly on the site of an old Caterpillar Tractor testing grounds where operators learned to shove around chunks of rock using D-9 dozers.
Victory is golf on the moon, but with some grass and full gravity, around rockscapes and washes, buttes and canyons. There’s a small black mesa just right of the first green that you drive completely around to reach the par-3 second tee, where you hit to a recessed green that turns out to be just yards away (and below) the first green. The long par-4 13th is blind off the tee to an S-shaped fairway that rumbles and tumbles downhill to a wide green. The 14th is a reachable par 4, but if you choose to lay-up of the tee, you must deal with a serpentine wall of rock that divides the fairway into high and low.
This is one inventive golf course. I’ll let Lehman himself sum it up: “Every hole gives you something unique and different, with the theme being a surreal, beautiful, rugged rock environment. We truly used whatever the land has given us, whether it’s a cliff or a nob or a boulder or a drop-off or a sudden rise up the mountain. We left the terrain all natural, so it looks like it’s been built right into the land.”