Most people know Grayhawk as one of the best places to play golf in Scottsdale. Some may even enjoy the world-class dining and shopping. But they usually don’t realize it’s also a place to rock out. Well, until they wheel up to the bag drop and get blasted by Jimi Hendricks wailing Voodoo Child.
The Early Years
It all started where Grayhawk began during its grand opening in 1994 when Huey Lewis and the News capped off golf festivities with a live show packed to the gills with revelers.
“Combining golf with live music was a concept we thought would fit the personality of the club,” said Del Cochran, Captain of the Club a.k.a. general manager of Grayhawk Golf Club. “It certainly fits our personalities. We’re big fans of rock ‘n’ roll, country and all types of music, and we think our guests feel the same way.”
The Place to Be Seen
Hosting golf events during the day that morph into concerts in the evening became a signature move for Grayhawk. Iconic shows such as The Celebrity and The Detour were hot tickets in The Valley around the turn of the century.[ngg_images gallery_ids=”44″ display_type=”photocrati-nextgen_basic_thumbnails”]
“We were lucky and were able to attract some great acts such as John Michael Montgomery, Toby Keith, Glen Campbell, Duck Soup, Trick Pony, Buck Owens, Mark Wills, and a bunch more I can’t recall at the moment,” Cochran added. “All the buzz really began to shape Grayhawk as not only a place to play golf, but a place to enjoy the golf lifestyle.”
Although it’s been a while since Grayhawk went that big, the club’s affinity for music continues: it’s pumped throughout the clubhouse, both inside and out. And classic rock even plays on the practice tee while golfers warm up for the day, thereby earning the nickname Rock ‘n’ Roll Range.
Live @ Grayhawk
Every Wednesday evening from 5-9 pm, Grayhawk throws a party on the Quill Creek Patio featuring the live six-string serenade of home boy, Ryan Sims. His repertoire of rock-infused country routinely has patrons tapping their toes before they can say “I Love This Bar.”
It runs every spring until it gets too hot, and it’s much more than a place to sip and sing along. Food specials featuring a handful of Grayhawk staples elevate the term “bar food” to another level satisfying even the worst case of the munchies.
Mixin’ It Up for Golf Groups
It’s not always necessary to have a big production to make a big impression. The music accompanying many of the golf groups at Grayhawk is handled by a lone DJ – neighbor and pal of the club, Jack Hardy.
Back in 1999 he established Arizona Creative Events to service the flood of business and hospitality groups that inundate The Valley each year. Music and entertainment are important items on his menu of services ranging from custom-themed events and team-building activities to dine-around culinary experiences.
“We really appreciate Jack taking a break from his day job to have a little fun entertaining our guests,” said Joe “Shoe” Shershenovich, director of golf for Grayhawk Golf Club. “It’s a unique twist we like to offer our golf groups that gets great reviews.”
For golf groups, Hardy sets up on the practice tee spinning tunes as golfers warm up for the day, and then moves to the after-golf gathering to keep the party going. A deep inventory of songs allows him to feature the genre best suited for the audience. During the Todd Graham Invitational, country music is on the play list; for the Thunderbird International Junior, it’s a bit more Top 40. He also performs periodically on the patio at Isabella’s Kitchen.
Whether reminiscing about the “ragers” from years gone by. Was it that long ago? Or, taking in some tacos and tunes on the Quill Creek Patio, it’s clear that Grayhawk’s connection to music is still going strong. Drop by any day of the week and you’ll see – and hear – why that’s as true today as it was in years past.