Sewailo Golf Club Review

Texas Outside Rating: 9.8

Golf - Public Course · 18 Holes · Par 72
Tucson, AZ
Website · Book A Tee Time
Date Last Played: January 19, 2016

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Sewailo Golf Club Review

Review & Rating of Sewailo Golf Club in Tucson Arizona

Sewailo Golf Club is a new addition to a portfolio of excellent Tucson area courses and it's a beauty and must play if you're in the area! 

Sewailo means "flower world" in the Pascua Yaqui language and the course plays through the natural desert and includes more than 30,000 plants and native flowers plus native cacti and brittle brush. Planted trees include pine, Texas mountain laurel, weeping willows, palo verde, mesquite and flowering evergreen.  In early spring the course is alive with a variety of colors from the blooming cacti, brittle brush, over 500 rose bushes, and 80 pyracanthas.  Couple all of that beauty with multiple cascading streams and creeks with four waterfalls, several ponds, and the mountains and Casino Del Sol as the background for several holes - it just doesn't get much more scenic for a desert course.

The Pascua Yaqui Tribe wanted to work within the land and honor its natural gifts and wonders in their golf course design and as such they hired fellow native American Notah Begay (a PGA Tour player, an NBC Commentator, and a noted golf course designer) and Ty Butler to create a masterpiece that some would describe as a parkland desert oasis!  And to manage the course they hired the undisputed worldwide leader in top-shelf golf experience - Troon Golf. 

Sewailo is a well manicured and groomed 18 hole 5209 to 7283 yard par 72 course that's fun, challenging, in near perfect condition, and home to an excellent layout that will test your game by throwing a lot at you - doglegs both left and right, lots of huge treacherous bunkers, ponds and creeks, forced carries, minor elevation changes, and demanding green complexes.  But Sewailo is fair and has 7 yardage options to choose from - so pick a yardage that fits your game and if you don't bite off too much you'll have a fun and very enjoyable round that you won't want to end.  It's not surprising that Sewailo was named in the Country's Top 10 Golf Courses by Golf Advisor and ranks in the 25 Best Arizona Courses by GolfWeek.

The course is home to several excellent holes each of which is a little different from all the others and here are just of few of our favorites:

  • #1 gives you a little taste of what to expect during your round - a 364 yard par 4 with a sparkling pond on the left side and a natural area on the right side of a huge fairway, a creek to cross at 95 out, and a huge green (a double green big enough to have its own zip code) surrounded by four bunkers
  • #3 is a beautiful and short 155 yard par 3 that's all carry over the lake to a 38 yard deep green with a huge bunker on the left and right and the Casino Del Sol Resort and rugged mountain peaks as a backdrop
  • #4 is 407 yards with a wide fairway that takes a sharp dogleg left past four huge bunkers followed by an approach shot that needs to avoid a creek crossing the fairway, a pond on the right front, and two bunkers in back of the green - a great risk reward opportunity off the tee box to carry the lake and two bunkers and hit a narrow fairway for a short shot to the green
  • #6 is a fun 548 par 5 with a wide landing zone and fairway that takes a sharp left and then snakes its way between five bunker leading to a green surrounded by four huge bunkers

The back nine is a couple hundred yards longer and a little tougher thanks to the bunkers, native areas, ponds, and tough approaches to challenging green complexes.  Every hole is outstanding but here are a couple that we loved:

  • #10 is beautiful and challenging - a 638 yard par 5 that takes a sharp turn right around a pond and a landing zone off the tee with three bunkers waiting for your drive if it's long plus a cascading creek from the left of the green down and across the fairway to the pond and a huge 45 yard deep green with three bunkers, two of which pinch the green in the middle
  • #17 is fun - a 455 yard par 4 with a mound that cuts way into the fairway forcing you to try and fly it or stay right where a creek leads from near the tee box to a huge pond that cuts into the fairway at 90 out and guards the front and right side of the green
  • #18 is 390 yards that's all carry from the back two tees (a fantastic risk reward opportunity to carry more the lake to get very close to the green) over a lake stretching from the tee box to in back of the green or a straight shot from the forward tees but the lake is waiting on the right and two bunkers on the left - a beautiful waterfall is off the back of the green

When we played, the fairways at Sewailo were in perfect condition.  They range from wide open off the tee to a tad tight in other places and the rough is wide but a little dense and challenging.  Miss the fairway and the rough and you're with the cacti, desert sand, brush, and wildlife.  You won't find any homes, barking dogs, or sirens (in fact it's so quiet that you can hear the cascading waterfalls from several holes) and every hole is framed by the Resort or several rugged mountain peaks. Everything, including the desert near the fairways, is perfectly manicured and well maintained. 

The Sewailo greens range in size from 33 yards to 67 yards deep (most are huge in the 36 to 40 range) and they are a variety of shapes.  All but one of the greens are guarded by one to four treacherous bunkers and they all have some combination of slope, tiers, ridges, or valleys.  They were running at a great speed of 10 or so, were surprisingly soft for being so new, and putted very true.  Some are raised and others offer a good bump and run opportunity.  Practice putting before you head out.

The Sewailo Golf Club bunkers range from small to huge multi-fingered monsters but the good news is the sand is excellent (soft, light, and thick) and the lips are manageable.  A joy to hit from. 

Bottom line - it just doesn't get much better!  And the adjacent Casino Del Sol is a luxurious, 215-room resort with lots of restaurant choices, plenty of ways to win or lose some money, an Oasis pool, a spa, and very reasonable rates.

Head Pro's Corner

Some of the other amenities at Sewailo Golf Club include:

  • the latest Callaway rental golf clubs available
  • on board touchscreen DSG TAG Touch GPS with hole flyovers in every golf cart
  • On course food and beverage service
  • Private and group lessons from resident PGA professionals
  • Comprehensive practice facility with an expansive driving range, short game area with a bunker, and a large putting green
  • Callaway practice golf balls
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Course Slope & Ratings

Tee Box Yardage Rating Slope
Black 7,283 138.0 138
Gold 6,741 131.0 131
Blue 6,341 124.0 124
White 5,861 115.0 115
Red 5,209 69.6 123

Course Information

Course Architect:
Notah Begay
Greens Type:
Bent
Greens Condition
10.0
Greens Difficulty
9.5
Fairway Condition
10.0
Bunker Condition
10.0
GPS:
Yes
Walkable:
Easy
Scorecard
Course Map
Beware of water on 9 holes and the 72 sand traps.

Texas Outside Rating

Overall Rating:
9.8 out of 10
Beauty:
9.7
Difficulty:
9.1
Variety:
10.0
Fun to Play:
10.0
Value:
9.5
Condition:
10.0
Front Nine Rating:
9.7
Back Nine Rating:
9.8
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FEES & AMENITIES

Approximate Weekend
Rates:
$60.00 to $120.00

The Sewailo clubhouse is temporary but features a fully stocked golf shop. The Wildcats Grille located in the clubhouse serves freshly made sandwiches, hot dogs, and hamburgers. Service is very good and typical Troon - excellent!

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Here's How Texas Outside Determines the Scorecard Rating

The Texas Outside rating scale ranges from 1 to 10 – a perfect 10 course would be something like this:  links along a cliff overlooking the Pacific ocean and bordered by tall trees; lush fairways on rolling hills with lots of natural hazards; water (which is crystal clear) on most of the holes; immaculate greens (but they are undulating and tough); lots of variety and character (each hole is completely different and includes blind shots, elevation changes, doglegs, and significant challenges); perfectly manicured traps with the whitest and prettiest sand you’ve ever seen; a nice club house with great food and a 19th hole; a GPS; plenty of beverage carts or your own cooler and ice; and it only costs $40 bucks! What this means is that you probably won’t find any 10s in Texas – try Cabo San Lucas, Pebble Beach, or some of the Hawaii courses! 
Texas Outside rates courses on the following:

  • Beauty – tall trees, rolling hills, beautiful houses, waterfalls, and similar stuff would score high; a 1 would be flat, bushes or cactus instead of trees, and some grass but mostly weeds
  • Difficulty – a straight, 300 yard par 4 with no traps or hazards, no out of bounds or water would probably get a 1; if it is a 460 yard par 4 over two ravines, with water along one side, natural hazards on the other, strategically placed traps or that dreaded tree right in the middle of the fairway, we are talking a 10. 
  • Variety – what would you give a course where all the holes looked and played exactly the same (“I thought we just played that hole!”); were side-by-side, which is good for finding or dodging other people’s balls, but not much fun; and you can see the flag from every tee box?  That’s right, it gets a 1.
  • Fun Scale – a 10 is where you walk off the course and say “now that was fun” and you can’t wait to get back, or you immediately turn around and play another 18 holes
  • Value – a 5 is $50 to $60, a 10 is $20 to $30, and 1 is $200 or so – of course all of this is dependent upon how you liked the course.  For example, if a run down, boring municipal course, with six players on each hole was only $10; it would still get a value rating of 1.
  • Condition – this one’s pretty easy – what condition are the fairways. A 10 commands very lush perfectly manicured fairways, compared to a 1, which has fire ants, weeds, and more dirt than grass!
  • Condition of Greens and Difficulty – very hard to read greens with lots of undulation and tough pin placement, rate very high on the difficulty scale.  Condition is self-explanatory.  

All of the above determines the overall score for the golf course.  In other words, we like courses that are pretty, fun, very challenging with a lot of variety, and fairways and greens in excellent condition – all for $40.  We also tend to play the courses that are affordable for the masses, which means in the $30 to $80 range. We rate hard and we haven’t found a 10 in Texas yet – don’t worry we haven’t given up and we’re still looking. 

 

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