Arizona National Golf Club (520-749-4089)
Arizona Golf Course Review
The Arizona National property is renowned for service and high quality golf facilities - with good reason. First of all, the surrounding vistas at the Sabino Springs Course are
unmatched by any golf club in the Tucson area. From atop the tee boxes on many holes, you can see panoramic views that stretch across Tucson and all the way to Mexico. This
Robert Trent Jones Jr. design meanders its way through the foothills of the Santa Catalina Mountains, with elevation changes and a sloping terrain across mesquite-lined arroyos
and rugged rock outcroppings. Forests of giant saguaros can be seen at every turn, and natural springs provide water hazards not often seen on desert layouts. There is a nice
restaurant serving lunch daily with breakfast also being served on Saturday and Sunday, both inside and on an outdoor terrace, and a full service lounge.
We were hoping for a easy opening hole and got it. A mid range par four with little danger and a fairly flat putting surface greeted us on number one. The greens at the Arizona
National are of beautifully conditioned bent grass - and are mostly flat with subtle undulations. A first time player will have difficulty reading them however, as most putts break
away from the mountain, regardless of how contrary it may seem. Lay-up before the water on the difficult par 5 second. Check out the yardage booklet for a hole diagram. You will
not gain much by trying to drive the hazard, as your next shot will also be a lay-up before a desert ravine. The fairway narrows and the approach is uphill. Stay below the hole on the
short par four 3rd, and you may have a good shot at birdie. This number 18 handicap plays uphill to a green sloped back to front. You can see the entire valley from the tee box of
the spectacular par three fourth. Bunkers right and left create a demand for accuracy here. The fifth features an elevated tee shot to a rolling, downhill fairway with the green
protected by a lake on the right side.
There is a good photo opportunity of the lake and green complex in front of the beautifully designed clubhouse. The next hole is a short carry over desert, making the par three sixth
one of the easiest holes on the front. With two short par fours following, this is your best chance to put up some good numbers before you make the turn. You can cut some
distance off number seven by playing to the left of center on your drive. On eight the best play is to lay-up to about 100 yards from the green, as huge bunker complexes are waiting
to make par/birdie difficult for those tempted to drive it off the tee. The ninth is the first of a stretch of three tough holes. It is a par three that plays uphill into the prevailing wind.
The back opens with an uphill tee shot and a carry over a desert wash stationed about 80 yards out. A long drive is needed, or you may have to waste a shot with a wedge lay-up.
Eleven is the longest hole on the course - a par 5 that plays at 625 from the tips and 550 from the mid tees. Aim just over the edge of the rock outcropping and bend it right onto an
incredibly downhill fairway and you may hit the longest drive of your life. Tigger's drive measured almost 350 yards! A ravine about 60 yards out makes the approach difficult. An
easy par three over desert precedes a risk/reward par four that can be cut to the right. Stay just to the left of the last fairway bunker however, or the slope on that side will push the
ball into the desert. You can also cut the next hole, which is a dogleg right par four over desert and waste area. Fifteen plays spectacularly into the mountain. The green appears to
slope from front to back. This is illusionary though, as it actually breaks away from the mountain. We lost a couple of strokes here...The beautiful par four 16th plays uphill all the
way, to a green that is sloped front to back. Deep bunkers left will persuade you to stay on the right side of this double tiered green. Seventeen is another carry over desert. This
mid range (except from the tips (227 yards) par three has about 20 yards of fairway in front of the green. The 18th features an elevated tee shot to a fairway guarded by an ominous
water hazard on the left. A long narrow fairway bunker is there to stop balls from bouncing into the water. This is your last chance to view some of the most spectacular desert
scenery in the Southwest. Take a last look before descending to your ball, which hopefully is in a good location on the fairway. The approach is intimidating. You can play it safe by
laying up to the right side, thus taking the lake (at least somewhat) out of play.
The Arizona National is tough (slope of 127-Whites to 139-tips) but playable, especially for juniors and women. The red tees play at 4653 yards with a slope rating of 117. We did
not feel "beat up" by the course. There is ample landing areas on most holes and with course knowledge the greens should be very putt-able. This is the type of course you would
not grow tired of. Choose the correct tees for your game and enjoy the gorgeous desert scenery on a course that has been named "Top 100 Courses You Can Play" by Golf
Click here to visit the Two Guys Who Golf detailed listing page with a link (if available) to this course's website.