rizona National was designed by one of the most celebrated golf course architects of hie time, Robert Trent Jones Jr. , better known as the “Frank Lloyd Wright of golf course architecture - and what a fantastic course he created in the foothills of the Santa Catalina Mountains. He sculptured 18 fun and challenging holes out of the mountain and designed Arizona National to blend in with and be in harmony with the natural setting.
Arizona National meanders its way through the foothills of the Santa Catalina Mountains with:
You'll experience huge elevation changes, sloping and contoured fairways that cross mesquite-lined arroyos and natural areas, and panoramic vistas of several mountain ranges and the Tucson area. Bottom line, Arizona National offers spectactular scenery but it also has some fun, unique, and challenging holes that will test your skills - all of which is one of the reasons that Golf Digest named it as one of the "Top 100 Courses You Can Play" and it was ranked in the "Top 20 Best Arizona Courses" by Golfweek and the "4th Best in Arizona" by Zagat!
Arizona National is one of those courses that on almost every hole you'll utter a "WOW" for either the scenic view or the challenge or layout of what you see and encounter on the way to the pin. Each and every hole is different and unique and a blast to play. Some examples of holes that got our "WOWs" included:
The fairways at Arizona National were near perfect, ample size but with lots of contour (some will feel like a roller coaster ride), mounding, swales, and slope - all of which you need to carefully manage. The rough was also in great shape and a little thick but very playable. Make sure you check the wind and study the hole layout before you tee off - you'll need to manage each hole (wind, slope, hazards, elevation changes) and club selection can be critical if you want to score well. You'll also need to deploy some of your best shot making skills. With 4 sets of tee boxes plus a combo tee box, yardages ranging from 4414 to 6785 yards and a slope of 112 to 143, make sure you don't bite off more than you can chew. Arizona National is very friendly for the ladies with manageable yardages and not as many forced carries.
The Arizona National greens were also in very good condition when we played. The greens are about average size for the Tucson area, ran true and fast (around a 10 to 11), and have both slope and undulation which can cause some subtle breaks that are hard to read. Remember, everything tends to slope toward the valley. A number of the greens are elevated and turtle back, which can be challenging. And most of the greens are well guarded.
The bunkers range from small pot bunkers to some huge and treacherous monsters. The sand is firm and the faces are pretty steep!
Arizona National is a must play if you're in the area - fun, challenging, very scenic, and some of the best holes and conditions in Tucson.
Rates: $29.00 to $89.00
Service is excellent, the pro shop is well stocked, and the food is good - the deck is outstanding with a view of the mountains and the 18 hole and pond. Practice facilities are good.
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.