El Conquistador Golf & Tennis Resort (520-544-1800)
Arizona Golf Course Review
El Conquistador Golf & Tennis, located in the heart of Oro Valley, boasts three championship golf courses to choose from, the Conquistador Course, the Canada Course and the
Pusch Ridge Course. The courses provide a challenging, exciting play that is sure to deliver a true desert golf experience, with course enhancements designed by the original
architects Greg Nash and Jeff Hardin.
The Conquistador is considered the primary course, featuring country club like conditions. Natural mesquite and palo verde trees along with saguaro and indigenous desert flora
are abundant throughout the layout, with great views of the surrounding mountains. Consistent on El Conquistador are the elevated green complexes, with deep front-side
bunkering. The putting surfaces are of medium size and speed, and were in great shape when we played in early January. This is a good resort layout, with 4 sets of tee boxes
and slope ratings varying from 119 to 129. The fairways are not necessarily wide, but ample landing areas are provided for off most tees. The Golds will be the choice of most
average golfers. 6331 yards is a bit long (though many tee shots are downhill), but the next choice (Silver) is very short at 5374.
It is recommended to cut the opening hole, as there is much room to hit a long fade (for right handers) just over the first set of trees on the right side. Stay straight and it is possible
to run through the fairway. A bending tee shot will leave you with a mid iron approach to an elevated green. The second is a short par four that also plays downhill off the tee. It is
possible to get off to a good start here, as the third is a relatively easy par three. The green is elevated, with water front and left and a deep bunker forcing a high arcing shot to the
undulating green. The middle holes on the front are quite challenging, with many obstacles to encounter. The fourth is a tight driving hole, and is followed by the number 1
handicap. This mid length par five features a narrow fairway through a residential community, and an approach to a two-tiered green with a formidable water hazard left. The sixth
is a dogleg right which narrows as you get close, and the next par three is extremely uphill - 1 1/2 to 2 clubs. Hit it the correct distance and you should score well as there is little
trouble here. Another tight driving hole with an approach to a putting surface guarded by rolling mounds follows. The closing hole is straight away - a mid length par four which
gives you a good opportunity to make the turn in high spirits.
You will need to avoid the fairway bunker on the left on number ten, or this hole will play exceptionally long. The green is very elevated. A dogleg right par five follows. The fairway is
narrow and three bunkers behind the green dissuade you from hitting long on the approach. There is room to the left on the par 4 twelfth, with mounds funneling the ball back to
the fairway on that side. The approach narrows. Thirteen is a pretty par three that is heavily guarded by sand traps in front and long. Aim towards the tree in the center of the fairway
on 14. This dogleg right par four plays short. Position yourself correctly on the fairway and this is the best birdie opportunity on the course. The number two handicapped fifteenth is
a long dogleg left par four, with an incredibly beautiful green complex. Two bunkers right and 1to the left frame a two-tiered, undulating green against a gorgeous mountain
backdrop. Sixteen is also a postcard hole, and one of the pretties in the Tucson area. You will encounter an extremely tight approach on this mid range par five. The par three 17th
plays downhill, shortening its length considerably. Stay away from the 3 bunkers on the left and a good score is possible. The finishing hole is an interesting challenge. A fairly
straight tee shot will put you in good shape for an approach that bends to the right. The putting surface is surrounded by bunkers and small trees.
We found El Conquistador to be a good challenge and a fun place to play golf. The service was great and the conditions of the course and facilities were top notch. The
clubhouse, grounds and practice facilities are all beautiful. For more info on the Conquistador course, visit their page on our web catalog of courses to play in Tucson - with direct
link to their website by