Tubac Golf Resort - Otero Nine Review

Texas Outside Rating: 8.3

Golf - Resort Public Course · 9 Holes · Par 36
Tubac, AZ

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Tubac Golf Resort - Otero Nine Review

Tuba cGolf 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 Golf Resort's Otero nine is the easiest and most traditional and straight forward of all three nines.  This is a very player friendly nine with flat tree lined fairways.  In most cases you can see the pin from the tee box and easily access what you're up against.  No tricks and no gimmicks to get you.

That's not to say Otero is a walk in the park, you'll need to keep the ball in the fairway and away from the trees, you find a couple tough approaches, water on four holes, some dog legs that require a precise drive, strategically placed fairway bunkers and green side bunkers, and some tricky greens. 

There are also several fun holes, like:

  • #2 a 529 yard dog leg right par 5 that requires a precise drive off the tee box to make the turn or a good risk reward opportunity to try and fly some stately cottonwoods for a birdie opportunity
  • #5 is a slight downhill dog right then a tough approach through a slot and over a small pond in front of the green
  • #9 will make you want to play this nine again - a short but challenging 315 yard par four with water along the left side and a tough landing zone thanks to water, two fairway bunkers, and a narrowing fairway

The greens on Otero are all shapes and sizes (21 to 33 yards deep), with gentle but manageable slope, and they held the ball well.  They were in great shape but we thought they were running a little slow (around an 8) and a tad fuzzy (bumpy). 

The fairways are ample and the first cut is playable - after that you're under or next to the cottonwoods or mesquites.  They were over seeded when we played in early February but were in excellent condition - lush, green, and soft. 

The bunkers are about average size with fair and manageable depth as well as faces.  The sand was a  little harder and thinner than most resort courses. 

Bottom line - Otero gives you an opportunity to have a very relaxing and enjoyable round and turn in a great score if you can keep the ball in play. 

Read our review of Anza and Rancho and to learn more about Tubac Resort, read our Tubac Resort Golf Stay & Play review.   

The rating and slope are based on the Otero/Anza  course.

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Course Slope & Ratings

Tee Box Yardage Rating Slope
Blue 3,009 68.0 116
White 2,687 65.2 111
Gold 3,214 69.9 125
Red 2,414 68.8 115

Course Information

Course Architect:
Robert "Red" Lawrence
Greens Type:
Bent Grass
Beware of water on 4 holes and the 25 sand traps.

Texas Outside Rating

Overall Rating:
8.3 out of 10
Fun to Play:
Front Nine Rating:
Back Nine Rating:


Approximate Weekend
$39.00 to $109.00

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! 
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.