The Gallery Golf Club (South)
There's no point in beating around the creosote bush: It's clear that the new South Course at The Gallery is a winner. Diverse elements, including the rolling terrain, the rich texture of the natural desert, and the generous attention spent on creating the most understated features reveal the lengths to which the owner and architect have gone in order to further refine the concept of golf in the desert-not just "desert golf."
The South Course, meanwhile, has an entirely different feel. Architect John Fought began his magic by following the beautiful, gently downhill terrain that has the golfer playing seven holes in a row to the west before making two loops in "links" fashion. Tees, slightly elevated, are rectangular and will be mowed back to front as well as placed with a geometric precision that will allow a dead center setup to the fairway.
Tee-box positions also vary in location, with the championship tee on any given hole either back right or back left, and the others just the opposite. Either way, clear choices as to how to best shape one's drive are present, especially from the tips. Shallow fairway bunkers aid in framing the holes, and they're not so deep you can't use the sand as a reference point.
The hybrid 328 Tifdwarf Bermuda lines the fairways. Interestingly, this same grass was used in the 60s and 70s on the greens at the finer golf clubs in the desert. The greens are Dominant Plus, a blend of three different bentgrasses. In short, the South will play fast once fully grown in.
La Paloma Country Club
A 27-hole Jack Nicklaus Signature Design golf course is the centerpiece of the 800 acre property of La Paloma.
To play a round of golf at La Paloma is to experience the desert in its finest form. There is not one water hazard. The natural desert, which lies just beyond the green, is all the hazard needed. Great care has been taken to preserve the indigenous vegetation and natural wildlife habitats. Coyotes, bobcats, rabbits and quail are among the many natives which call La Paloma home.
The three 9-hole courses known as Canyon, Hill and Ridge are named for their diverse landscapes. Each offers an innovative design with thrilling play for all range of handicaps. There are four to five tees per hole varying as much as 80 to 120 yards. Multiple pin placements on the green continually change the character and difficulty of each hole.
Ventana Canyon (Canyon)
Nestled against the dramatic backdrop of Tucson, Arizona's beautiful Santa Catalina foothills are two incredible golf courses in Ventana Canyon, the Ventana Canyon Mountain and Canyon Courses. Both courses were designed by Tom Fazio and have won Golf Magazine's Gold Medal Award and Links Magazine's Best of Golf Award.
Both golf courses are equally as impressive and are "must plays" for every level. Ventana Canyon is a Troon Golf maintained facility, so it goes without saying that golf course conditioning is perfect and minor details are covered to make your experience a memorable one.
Each course has dramatic golf holes carved out of rock and overlooking the city. You will play tee boxes you will not believe were created and see wildlife throughout each course. Ventana Canyon has some of the most developed desert vegetation and the largest saguaro cacti in Tucson.
NOTE: The Canyon course is played on odd days. We will arrange your times accordingly....leave it to us!
Why odd days? Ventana is a semi-private golf club, so one course is reserved for the membership each day and the other is reserved for our guests and resort guests staying at The Lodge and Loews Resort. Play one of Fazio's first and best designs at Ventana Canyon! You will be able to play the Mountain course on even days.
The Golf Club at Dove Mountain
Legendary champion Jack Nicklaus took advantage of the high Sonoran Desert setting to integrate strategy, variety and fair shot values into his Signature Golf Course at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club, Dove Mountain. With his first Tucson golf course in 25 years, Nicklaus designed 27 holes that present unique challenges and distinct character, blending naturally among noble saguaros that stand together along the surrounding Tortolita Mountain Range.
The course is a 27-hole expedition through dense desert-mountain foothills, with roomy landing areas, strategically placed fairway bunkers and a handful of forced carries. But the real fun comes on the greens, which deliver intricate interior contouring rather than the sharper-edged broad levels that Jack favored too many times in years past. The Match Play will be contested over the Saguaro and Tortolita nines.
Jack's favorite nine is the Wild Burro loop, which sits closest to the future hotel site. The PGA Tour opted to use the other two nines for gallery flow purposes, so when you tackle Wild Burro you'll get to see what the pros missed. That includes perhaps the most dramatic triangle in desert golf: holes 3, 4 and 5, which tangle with Wild Burro Wash. The green at the 470-yard 3rd is an island isolated among the sand and cacti.
The Golf Club at Dove Mountain has received the following recognition:
Stone Canyon Club
Recently rated the BEST DESERT GOLF COURSE IN THE COUNTRY for 2009 by Golf Digest Magazine--- Stone Canyon came in at #68 in Golf Digest's Top 100 public and private courses and was the highest rated desert golf course at #68 on the list!
"Nature designed the course," Jay Morrish says of his course at Stone Canyon, one of Arizona's most elite private clubs in the center of a 1,400-acre desert paradise. "I was just a custodian." Morrish is spot on as the desert terrain at Stone Canyon is simply unbelievable! You truly have to see it to believe it....massive rock outcroppings and the largest saguaros in Tucson make you wonder how Morrish was able to envision a golf course and then build one on this land.
This land is so amazing that Tom Fazio, Greg Norman and Tom Weiskopf - the top course architects of the day - all wanted the design job when Stone Canyon was still in its infancy back in the late 1990's. In fact, Norman thought so much of this special piece of real estate, he tried to buy it.
Jay Morrish refers to Stone Canyon as the "the culmination of my career." That's quite a statement, considering that Morrish, who once teamed with Weiskopf, has a design resume in Arizona that is to die for. Among his courses of record are such gems as Forest Highlands, The Rim Golf Club, Troon Country Club, Troon North and the TPC @ Scottsdale. With that resume you can understand why many refer to Morrish as the "Master of the Desert" when it comes to golf course design.
Trying to determine what the signature hole is at Stone Canyon is highly debatable. Throw a dart at any hole and you'll likely have an argument for why that hole should be the golf course's signature.
Becoming a member of this club would be a "bucket list" item for most; however, having the opportunity to play here would be pretty special as well. Talk to our Broker/Partner, Frank Estrella, about purchasing property or a home at Stone Canyon. You can't go wrong either way!
Quarry Pines Golf Club
In December 1997, Tucson's first Scottish Links style course, The Links at Continental Ranch, opened for play. The Links, which was designed by Brian Huntley, was unlike other Tucson Arizona golf courses because it was built on the edge of a 90+ acre, 100 foot deep sand and gravel quarry.
In 2000, following the decision to abandon the sand and gravel quarry, the Town of Marana and the quarry/golf course owner agreed on a plan that would reclaim the quarry by relocating 10 golf holes into the old quarry and reconfigure 8 of the existing holes. The remaining land provided for residential development in an area previously zoned for industrial use.
To complete the transformation of one of the most popular Tucson Arizona golf courses, the property owner agreed to build a nature trail along the adjacent Santa Cruz River and donate it to the Town of Marana thereby allowing local residents to enjoy the Santa Cruz River on one side of the trail and dramatic views into The Pines Golf Club on the other.
The reclamation of quarries by the construction of golf courses has become increasingly popular due to a number of factors, including; creation of a community asset instead of a community eyesore, more efficient use of water resources due to the water run off from slopes and most importantly from the golfer's point of view, dramatic elevation changes and golf course design opportunities that are not normally available at more traditional Tucson Arizona golf courses.
The new course was designed by the Phoenix architectural firm of Gilmore Graves, course management at the Links and the in house construction team.
Given the elevation changes and the addition of thousands of trees it was determined that the Links name was no longer appropriate for this Tucson Arizona golf course and therefore when the new course opened for play in October 2003, The Pines Golf Club at Marana was born. We therefore changed Tucson's first links course, to Tucson's first quarry course. We're sure that you will find it to be one of the most beautiful Tucson Arizona golf courses.