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The Lodge at Ventana Canyon - The Mountain Course  (520) 577-1400

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Arizona Golf Course Review

Lodge at Ventana Canyon - Mountain Course

Set in the foothills of the Catalina Mountains and making use of the spectacular desert terrain while preserving the integrity of the natural environment, Ventana Canyon is one of Arizona's desert jewels. Designed by Tom Fazio, these 36 holes of championship golf are associated with one of America's premier golf resorts - The Lodge at Ventana Canyon. 

The Lodge at Ventana Canyon

The Lodge at Ventana Canyon

The Lodge, a five time Golf Magazine Silver Medalist, is surrounded by a 600-acre preserve consisting of ancient desert canyons and arroyos, giant saguaros, massive rock formations and abundant wildlife which includes deer, roadrunners, quail, rabbits, bobcats, javelina and wide variety of birds. All of these features have been incorporated in both the Canyon and Mountain courses at Ventana Canyon and the combination creates a very memorable golf experience.

The pro shop at Ventana is conveniently located in the Lodge and carries a full line of men's and women's golf apparel as well as clubs, shoes and accessories. The staff is well trained and expert individual instruction is available as well as clinics. Guests at the Lodge enjoy unlimited use of the practice facility which includes a chipping green with bunkers, a driving range with spectacular views of the mountains and several large putting greens. Range balls and use of the practice facility are complimentary with green fees which range from $169 during prime time to as low as $60 in the summer. (The Lodge is sponsoring a "Heat Stroke" tournament in July of 2003 in which accommodations and tournament fees are being offered at an incredibly low price...contact The Lodge for more information.)

The Lodge at Ventana Canyon

The Lodge at Ventana Canyon

The conditions on the Ventana courses are immaculate from tee to green. The fairways have a base of Crenshaw blend and are over seeded with Bermuda from October through June. The greens are very short and fast and all putts slope away from the mountains. Yardage to the center of the green is marked on all sprinkler heads and 150 yard stakes are posted in the middle of the fairway. Daily pin placement sheets are provided. 

The Mountain Course

The Lodge at Ventana Canyon

The Lodge at Ventana Canyon

The Ventana Mountain Course traverses the foothills of the Catelina Mountains and takes advantage of the elevation changes and desert terrain found throughout the area. There are 5 sets of tees. The tournament tees play 6907 yards, the middle tees play 6314 and 5742 yards and the forward tees play 5301 and 4709 yards. This course provides a separate rating and slope for women off the second middle tees.

Play on the Mountain Course begins with a par 4 and a generous landing area off the tee. Bunkers guard the left side of the fairway where you should land in order to have a clear shot to the green on your approach. The green is very slick (as are all the greens on this course) and every putt breaks away from the mountain. Number 2 is a short par four on which you have to strike your tee shot solidly in order to carry the ridge on the fairway. This uphill hole will require an extra club. The green is very large and fast with deep sand guarding the left. The third hole is a very short par 3 and probably the most beautiful and most photographed hole on the Ventana property. The climb to the tee is as exciting as the hole itself and the view from the tee box stretches for hundreds of miles south across the Sonoran Desert into Mexico. The large green is only 107 yards from the tournament tees but this hole plays over a deep ravine, has a bunker on the left front, another ravine along the left side and large rock outcroppings along the right and back. The visual distractions are intimidating and any errant shot will be out of play. Take your time and enjoy this one! The fourth is a par 5 with a sharp dogleg to the left and is the #1 handicap on the course. The temptation here is to try to cut the corner by playing left off the tee but there is a large bunker there that carries 206 yards off the middle tees. The safe play is to the right about 200 - 215 yards. Water on the right will come into play on the second shot. The green is narrow and fast. Par is good on this hole. Number five is a short hole with a slight dogleg to the left. A good drive to the middle or a bit to the left will give a good look at the green. This green is well protected by very deep bunkers front left and right side and mounding is very strong all around. Six is a long par 3 with deep bunkers protecting the small green on the left. There is sufficient landing area on the right and a good par opportunity here. Number seven is a long par 4 with a tee off over desert landscape. A long straight drive and a solid approach is necessary to do well. The green is protected on both sides by deep sand and ever putt runs away from the mountain. The eighth hole on the Mountain Course is a short par 5 on which long hitters can make the green in two.  There is a waste area in front of the elevated green at the 90 yard marker and severe bunkering on the left side of the green with a very narrow approach. Smart players might lay up at the 40 yard marker and pitch up to the undulating green. Nine is a short par 4 where accuracy is more important than length off the tee. The green sits slightly below the fairway's plateau and is guarded closely behind by desert. Club selection is key to doing well on number 9.

The Lodge at Ventana Canyon

The Lodge at Ventana Canyon


The back nine opens with a short par 4 that requires a desert carry off the tee.  The right side of the fairway offers the best angle to the shallow green that slopes away from the fairway. Eleven is a long par 4 that also forces a desert carry off the tee. The fairway has a rough area down the middle near the 144 yard mark and is hilly. A long drive is required in order to make the green (that is protected by a deep bunker on the right) on the approach. Twelve is a very difficult par 5. Anything hit left off the tee will likely end up in a large bunker that follows along the fairway up to about the 190 yard marker. There is severe desert carry off the tee and the landing area is quite narrow.  The green is deep and protected by a bunker on the right. Par is a good score on this hole. Thirteen a short par 4. Avoid the fairway bunker in the middle of the fairway at the 60 yard marker and from there an approach the green from the right side will avoid large and deep traps on the left. Number 14 is a short par 3 on which the green slopes to the right toward some very deep sand. Mounding on the left can be used to roll the ball to a favorable position on the green. Fifteen, is slightly uphill to an elevated green. The somewhat narrow fairway is lined with desert on the left and mesquite trees on the right but offers no significant trouble. The green is one of the more difficult because of the severe undulation. Number 16 is a short par 3 to a big easy green. Deep bunkering will punish hitters who go long or left. The uphill #17 par 4 has a deep fairway bunker down the middle forcing hitters to play left or right. Players choosing the right will be forced to hit over a ridge. The green on this hole is well protected in the back by desert and deep bunkers. A very long par 5 is the closing hole.  The tee boxes are elevated and three accurate shots are required to reach the deep green. The greenside bunker to the right stretches nearly 100 yards forward into the fairway. The safe approach is to the left side of this very undulating green. Great closing hole.

The Lodge at Ventana Canyon

The Lodge at Ventana Canyon

Although it is shorter, the Mountain Course is more difficult than the Canyon course, and the forward tees offer less practiced players an opportunity to do well. Nearly every tee on the course forces a desert carry and the fairways tend to be narrow and offer uneven lies. The beauty of the mountain background and the desert can be both distracting and intimidating, especially off the back tees.

Lodge at Ventana Canyon - Mountain Course

Both the Mountain and the Canyon courses at Ventana Canyon are first class properties and are deserving of the many awards they have received. The Two Guys Who Golf highly recommend play on these courses as well as a visit to the Lodge at Ventana Canyon for a truly memorable golf experience.

For more information on the Lodge at Ventana Canyon:
Visit the Two Guys Who Golf review of the Ventana Canyon Course - Click Here
Visit our page for The Lodge at Ventana Canyon - Click Here
Visit our informational page for the Ventana Canyon Mountain Course - Click Here
Visit the website of the Lodge at Ventana Canyon - Click Here

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