Golf in Arizona is so varied, from the hot and arid conditions of the desert, to the rolling hills and dramatic vistas of its mountains.
So, when we needed someone to identify the Top 5 Private Golf Holes in this beautiful state, we knew experience was invaluable – not only about golf in the state but about the game itself. That made Linda Dillenbeck an easy choice.
Linda’s been a mainstay in the Arizona golf industry for the better part of 20 years, with a passion for growing the game throughout the state. She was the Southwest Sales Manager for Golf Digest Companies from 2003 to 2009, and currently she’s a Senior Associate for Phoenix-based Global Golf Advisors.
Yeah, we got the right person. Here are Linda Dillenbeck’s Top 5 Private Golf Holes in Arizona.
This short par-3 is probably the most photographed hole in Tucson. Climbing to the tee box is almost as exciting as playing the hole, as the view stretches for miles across the Arizona desert. 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.
At this par 5, much of the drama is watching to see if the second shot from on-high can reach the green some 50 feet below, hiding behind a large lake. For the less adventurous, a blind second-shot layup to the left of the green and the lake can leave an easy pitch for par or bogey, so long as one doesn’t miss the fairway and end up in the long rough at the bottom of the hill. The is a great site for a foursome picture from the end of the fairway, but a better site for a perfectly played middle-iron. The latter would be the more memorable.
Oro Valley, Arizona
There are not many golf holes with such a spectacular backdrop, including those on the ocean. The background here on this par 4 is Mt. Lemmon, which rises some 7,000 feet above the valley. The hole itself, sans visuals, is all a player would want with cacti to the sides and a rolling, downhill landing area, leaving a mid-iron to a well-bunkered green complex. It’s a great finishing hole all by itself, but adding the mountain and desert landscape make it one of the most memorable finishing holes in golf.
This is one of the most thrilling shots you will find on a golf course. You may play almost any club in your bag, whether it be driver, hybrid, 5-iron or another. Whatever club you pick, it has to be a perfect shot because there is little margin for error on this short par-4.
Superstition Mountain, Arizona
Although this is a Jack Nicklaus golf course, this par 5 is one of the best renditions of Pete Dye’s watery finishing holes. The lakeside hazard
works its entire way along the side of the hole, in play on every shot with bunkers added opposite the hazard to force players into tough decisions, no matter what skill level is considered. Every player has a chance for a great score or a really bad one, all based on choices and execution. As the long hitter is enticed to go for glory with retribution awaiting a poor effort, so also is the less skilled player challenged to avoid bunkers guarding the best places for third shot approaches. All in all its everything a golfer could expect, possibilities abound for either memories or nightmares.