Tubac Golf Resort - Rancho Nine Review
Tubac Golf Resort - Rancho Nine Review
Tubac Golf Resort & Spa is home to 27 holes of golf that are a real joy to play. Each nine has its own unique personality and characteristics, for example:
- Otero has eight of the Resort's original holes and it is the tighter of the three nines, lush from tee to green, and has the smallest greens
- Rancho is the toughest and most demanding of the three nines thanks to fairways lined with stately cottonwood and mesquite trees and it is known for two of the holes which were made famous by Kevin Costner's Tin Cup
- Anza is the newest of the nines and it has a desert links look and feel on the first five holes and concludes with four outstanding finishing holes
Common to all three nines is a first class resort, upscale stay and play lodging, excellent service, near perfect conditions, and beautiful scenery with two mountain ranges as the backdrop. All three nines are very player friendly and designed to deliver a very playable and enjoyable round of golf.
Tubac Resort’s Rancho course was our favorite – it’s challenging and demands some club and course management as well as shot making, it’s scenic and secluded as it crosses the Santa Cruz river and winds though some stately and majestic cottonwoods and mesquite trees, and it’s historic thanks to Kevin Costner’s Tin Cup having been filmed here. In fact, I lost a ball in the same lake that cost Kevin Costner’s Tin Cup character the tournament! And remember when Kevin’s caddy broke all his clubs, I was ready to do the same as my ball flew into the trees.
Each hole on the Rancho nine is a little different from the others and during your round you find a little bit of everything that makes golf fun and challenging – forced carries, dog legs, elevation changes, challenging green complexes, long par 3s and 5s, tight shots, risk reward opportunities, dog legs, water, and strategically placed bunkers plus the prevailing winds need to be manages. And then you’ll hit the “Tubac Triangle:”
- #6 a demanding 464 yard dog leg left that requires accuracy all the way to a well bunkered green
- #7 a booming 254 yard par 3 that requires both distance and accuracy to stuff it on a smallish 28 yard deep green
- The “Train Wreck” #8 which is a 651 yard par 5 that requires a precise shot off the tee box to avoid the trees and strategically placed fairway bunkers, a second shot that needs to miss the cottonwood in the middle of the fairway, and a third shot that needs to carry the pond to a fairly large green
The tree lined fairways (only one home on this nine) were in near perfect condition when we played, as were the greens. The greens, which ranged from 25 to 35 yards deep, seemed to be more challenging that’s to being elevated and with more slope and undulation. There are only 20 bunkers, most of which are guarding the greens, and the sand is good and the lips are very manageable – in fact, in a few cases we hit the bunker and rolled out and then said a few thank yous.
A very fun nine with enough challenges to keep you focused and test your game and it’s a great layout with lots of variety as well as some interesting and memorable holes.
Slope and rating are based on playing the Rancho/ Otero nines together.
Course Slope & Ratings
Texas Outside Rating
- Overall Rating:
- 9.2 out of 10
- Fun to Play:
- Front Nine Rating:
- Back Nine Rating:
FEES & AMENITIES
Rates: $39.00 to $1,094.00
Service is outstanding, the practice facilities are very good, the pro shop is well stocked, and the restaurant is top notch.
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!
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.