Take Your Best Shot

By: Arizona Office of Tourism

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Experience desert golf in Tucson and Southern Arizona.

About the author

Arizona Office of Tourism

These articles are brought to you by staff of the Arizona Office of Tourism, as well as local tourism organizations around the state.

Let the surroundings envelop you on Tucson’s award-winning courses, which are situated within nature and designed by some of golf’s biggest stars, including Tom Fazio and Jack Nicklaus. Enjoy a traditional links-style layout, or take your best shot on a challenging desert golf course. Tucson’s desert golf experiences are out of the ordinary and just a bit off the beaten path.

Golf’s Big Names Play Here

Tucson’s golf choices and challenges captivate even the most discriminating golfers, and, along with the mild climate, make Tucson a favorite golf destination. Some of the sport’s biggest stars – Rickie Fowler, Ian Poulter, Martin Kaymer, Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Bubba Watson – have relished in the opportunity to compete on Tucson-area courses.

Omni Tucson National Resort

For decades, the Omni Tucson National Resort has enjoyed hosting prestigious PGA Tour events where legendary champions such as Nicklaus, Trevino and Palmer have graced the fairways and battled for glory. Its traditional-style fairways cap a bluff overlooking the beautiful Santa Catalina Mountains. The PGA pros rank the 18th hole as one of the most challenging finishing holes on the Tour. 

Continuing to build on its legacy, this distinguished Tucson venue will play host to a new Champions Tour event, aptly named the Tucson Classic. The inaugural event is set for March 16–22, 2015, on the Catalina Course at the Omni Tucson National Resort, and will be televised by The Golf Channel. The timing is ideal for locals to enjoy watching familiar and favorite golf legends, while allowing Spring Training baseball visitors in Phoenix to come down for a day or two of the action. 

Ventana Canyon

Along with the Omni Tucson National, many other area courses incorporate stunning natural surroundings into their designs. Dubbed “the most photographed golf hole west of the Mississippi,” the 3rd hole, a short par-3, of the Mountain Course at Ventana Canyon, is tucked into the rugged rocks of the Santa Catalina Mountains and plays across a canyon of cacti. 

Casino Del Sol Resort

The area’s newest golf course, Sewailo at Casino Del Sol Resort  features large lakes, flowing streams, waterfalls and a lush landscape blending with the desert environment to create a wonderful oasis effect. The course, designed by Notah Begay III, transitions through both desert terrain and the lush greenery, while taking full advantage of the surrounding mountain views to create an exciting and unique golfing experience. Sewailo also offers the first Jack Nicklaus Academy of Golf in Arizona, one of only a handful in the U.S.

Tucson’s Municipal Golf Courses

Tucson’s municipal golf courses include two long-time tournament courses. Randolph North was designed for PGA Tour and then LPGA events, so the greens vary greatly in slope and size and present a challenge for the serious stick. 

The adjacent Dell Urich course hosted LPGA tournaments in 2003 and 2004, is proven to reward strategic play. 

El Rio dates back to the 1930s and was the original site of the PGA’s Tucson Open, and Silverbell golf course is a championship layout located high upon the west bank of the Santa Cruz River. 

Southern Arizona Golf Courses

Just a short drive south of Tucson, the courses at Green Valley, Tubac and Rio Rico offer rolling hills and buildings with Spanish Colonial flair. Hollywood shot scenes for the 1996 movie Tin Cup at Tubac Golf Resort’s Rancho Nine course. It’s easy to recognize the par-5 4th hole with its menacing pond protecting the green. 

No matter your playing style, Tucson’s eclectic mix of courses will give you freedom to roam. Take your best shot and plan a Tucson golf getaway today. For more information, go to visittucson.org/golf

(Brought to you by Visit Tucson, (800) 638-8350, www.visitTucson.org.) 


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