The GOLF CLUB at VISTOSO (520-797-9900)
Arizona Golf Course Review
Located about 17 miles north of downtown Tucson sits one of the most beautiful golf courses you will ever have a chance to play. The Golf Club at Vistoso is the premier public
layout in the Tucson area - voted so by Golf Digest as the BEST PUBLIC COURSE IN TUCSON and the 4th best in the state!. Designed by Tom Weiskopf, Vistoso is nestled
between the Tortolita and Santa Catalina Mountains.
This is a pristine desert scene, with giant Saguaro cactus, beautiful flora, abundant desert wildlife and spectacular mountain views. Everything at Vistoso is first class. There is a
beautiful clubhouse with pro shop and a restaurant with an outdoor patio overlooking the course. A complimentary grass driving range stacked with pyramids of balls and huge
putting green are on property. Spend some time practicing your putts as these greens are as smooth as glass. A cooler stocked with ice, and ball and club washers come with
each cart. The Uplink GPS system provided on every golf cart provides accurate measurements to the pin. Bring your camera, as there are some great golf shots to be taken!
Speaking of golf shots, you will need all the skills you have and the wit to use them. Vistoso is a true desert layout with some premier target holes. The opening hole is quite gentle
however. A wide fairway and fairly flat green on this mid range par 4 creates a good par opportunity right off the bat. In fact, the first four holes are very reasonable. Number two is a
par 5 that plays from 410 - 530 yards. A tee shot to a target fairway precedes an uphill approach to gorgeous green with a stately bunker complex to the right. The third is an easy
and very pretty par 3. Avoid the sand traps on the left and a good score is probable. A mesquite tree sits in the middle of the fairway on the short par four 4th. Lay up in front of this
tree and aim for the front of the green to avoid the bunkers in back. The going gets tough on the last 5 holes of the front. On five you will have to avoid the "desert island" complex on
the left side of the fairway, and the deep bunker green-side to the right. Six is a long and tough par five that is a three shot hole for most golfers. The tee shot involves a long carry
over desert, and a wash near the 150 yard marker will require you to calculate your approach correctly. A large deep bunker is lurking just short of the putting surface on the left,
challenging any shots to that side of the green. Check out the gorgeous mountain backdrop on the mid-range par 3 seventh. A shallow green with a beautiful bunker complex
provides the challenge here. The eighth features water and bunkers to the left off the tee. There is more room than it seems down the middle and right. The approach is
intimidating, though there is some bail out room to the right side of the green. A long carry is necessary on the closing hole of the front. The desert juts out into the fairway on the
left, effectively hiding the green. With a fairly accurate tee shot, you will have a good chance at reaching the green on your approach. It took us a few holes to learn how to read
these greens, which are extremely quick and of tremendous quality. Needless to say, we suggest staying below the hole!
Rolling mounds and bunkers along the left side dictate a tee shot and approach to the mid - right on the par four tenth. This hole is called the "sleeping snake" because of the
serpentine design of the fairway. Eleven is just plain tough. The longest par four on the course demands distance and accuracy off the tee. The approach is affected by a giant
Saguaro cactus in the middle of the fairway, over a desert wash about 80 yards from the center of the green. Be thankful if you are putting for par here. This is followed by one of the
easiest holes on the back. Whether you drive over or lay up prior to the many fairway bunkers on your second shot, an manageable short iron approach will probably be the result.
Thirteen is an extremely beautiful par three, with a very deep bunker complex on the both sides. Split these traps and a birdie opportunity is possible. The par 4 fourteenth presents
a classic risk/reward shot off the tee. It is very possible to drive the green if you hit it long and straight over the desert bush. Even mid-range hitters can do this from the silver tees.
A safer method is to aim just right and approach the green over a bunker on that side. It is possible to drive through the fairway if you error too much to the right. Fifteen is the
toughest par three of the layout, playing between 221 - 155 yards with intimidating bunkers right and desert to the left. There is a ravine (about 30 yards wide) just 30 yards in front
of the green on the par 5 16th, making this a three shot hole for nearly everyone. Another long par three follows, with an extremely sloping green surrounded by sand traps on all
sides. The finishing hole is a beauty. There is a legitimate chance to reach this par 5 in two if your tee shot is long and to the left of the fairway bunker, just short of the desert. A
gorgeous green surrounded by more deep bunker complexes means your approach will have to be nearly perfect.
The conditions of the putting surfaces, bunkers, fairways and tee boxes were excellent when we played in mid-February. Like many upscale desert courses, Vistoso's desert area
has been cleared of many of the obtrusive rocks and stones found on some layouts. Landing in the desert does not necessarily mean a lost ball or a "drop". You may be fortunate
to find a good lie with a clear shot if you have not strayed too far from the cart path and can find your ball easily enough. Come early and warm up on the complimentary range and
putting green. Enjoy the attentive service and conditioning that consistently exceed player's expectations.And keep in mind that the beautiful Tortolito Terrace is available for
banquets, weddings and special events, and can accommodate as many as 200 people. This is a wonderful facility and a memorable golfing experience!
Click here to visit the Two Guys Who Golf detailed listing page with a link (if available) to this course's website.