Arizona Golf Course Reviews – Quintero Golf Club: Nestled in n the Hieroglyphic Mountains just west of Phoenix, Quintero has garnered several awards in its short history, and deservedly so. This place was created as the ultimate dream of wealthy Ford dealer Gary McClung and his wife, Lea, and they didn’t cut corners. Unfortunately, their vision ran headlong into a failing economy and Quintero, like many other terrific golf properties at the time, ended up in receivership late in 2010.
Fortunately, for daily fee club player, Quintero Golf Club is now a semi-private operation and available to everybody. The gorgeous Founders Course designed by Rees Jones and the exquisite clubhouse designed by Bing Hu remain intact. Now managed by Troon Golf, this facility ranks as one of the crown jewels of golf in Arizona.
Plans for a sister course by Greg Norman were put on hold several years ago, but even it never happens, this layout will work just fine as an only-child. Jones’ design can be a beast from the tips at 7,208 yards with a rating of 74.9 and slope of 147, but there are as many as nine sets of tees on some holes, so golfers are able to lighten the load considerably. The course borders hundreds of acres of protected desert wilderness in the high Sonoran Desert near Lake Pleasant and was created as a low-density property, so it maintains a secluded feel.
Gently rolling greens, bowl-shaped fairways and deeply taxing bunkers accentuate the course that has some of the best par-3 holes in the state. Simply put, there are no bad holes here, and that’s not a cliché in this case. Among the crème de la crème is the par-4 fourth at 460 yards from the tips with a slight dogleg left, protected by water along the left side. A desert ravine runs the width of the fairway about 120 yards out, forcing you to make a decision between driver and layup club off the tee. The green is guarded by bunkers on the right and desert on the left. It is a wonderfully strategic hole and typical of what you will find here.
One of Jones’ favorites is the eighth, a 586-yard par 5 with an uphill dogleg right heavily guarded by cross bunkers. The visual line off the tee is partially obscured by desert and the next two shots are uphill with bunkers on the right to an elevated green. Back nine gems include the par-5 14th at 552 yards to another uphill green guarded by bunkers on both sides and the 16th, a breathtaking par 3 at 201 yards with a 60-foot elevation drop and bunkers lining the right side.
Tee it up at Quintero the first chance you get because no one knows how long the semi-private status will remain in effect. Once you do, you’ll find yourself returning again and again – it’s that good!