El Conquistador Golf Resort – Canada Course

ADDRESS: 10555 N. La Canada Drive
Tucson, AZ 85737
TYPE: Resort
PHONE: 520-544-1800
WEBSITE: www.hiltonelconquistador.com/golf

El Conquistador Canada Course

The Buzz: Hilton Tucson El Conquistador, Cañada Course: This is one place where you might like to bring along a camera, because with its saguaro-capped hillsides, natural desert terrain and spectacular views of the Santa Catalina mountain range from nearly every hole, the Cañada Course is as scenic as it is challenging.

It is among three courses (45 holes) offered by the Hilton Tucson El Conquistador Resort, all of which were designed by Greg Nash and Jeff Hardin. It looks and plays a little more rugged than the resort’s signature Conquistador Course, and is something of a paradox with its desert design yet parkland feel. Cañada is the Spanish word for canyon, and this layout winds among forests of mesquite trees with natural terrain that snakes through ravines and arroyos, providing several natural hazards. Considerable mounding, doglegs and elevation changes are prominent in this varied layout, placing a premium on strategy and club selection. By no means is this a driver-and-wedge course.

Its signature hole is the eighth hole and is considered one of the toughest par 3s in the Tucson area. It plays at 183 yards from the back tee, overlooking the city and is bordered by desert on both sides with a green well guarded by a large bunker in front.

The back nine starts strong with a 453-yard par 4 that has a desert wash running down the entire right side and some strategically placed mesquite trees on the left in the primary landing area. For most, the approach requires a well-struck long iron to a narrow, elevated green. Perhaps the most memorable hole is the 16th, a risk-reward par 5, where a wash cuts across the fairway 260 yards from the tee. If you manage to clear it, the green is reachable on your second shot, provided you carry it over a large pond. There also are a couple deceptive holes, such as the third, a 380-yard par 4 that will play at least a club longer than you think to an uphill green, and the eighth, also an uphill shot to a 183-yard par 3 to a sloping green protected by bunkers.

The par-72 layout has four sets of tees, ranging from 5,093 to 6,626 yards, and overall has more character than Conquistador. From the tips, it is rated at 72 with a slope of 135.

If you’re lucky enough to stay at this Hilton resort, you are in for a rare treat. El Conquistador includes five restaurants; two lounges; four pools; 31 tennis courts; basketball court; seven racquetball courts; volleyball court; two exercise rooms; three Jacuzzis, saunas; bike rentals; horseback riding and a 143-foot water slide that is pure fun. Sunsets are fantastic and most guest rooms are built around a central courtyard with manicured lawns and a large oasis of swimming pools. All rooms feature Southwestern-influenced contemporary furniture, spacious marble bathrooms, and balconies or patios. Be sure to ask for a mountain-view room so you can take a lasting look at the scenery that dazzled you during your round.

And if you need a warm-up before you head over to the Conquistador Course, tee it up on the Pusch Ridge Course, which surrounds the resort and is among the most scenic nine holes you will find in Arizona.

Before hitting the tee, try the Sundance Café coffee shop with a Southwestern buffet-style breakfast. For dinner, the Last Territory Steak House serves cowboy-style steaks, seafood and chicken. Country singers and saloon-style cancan shows also are popular with resort guests.

If you are up for adventure, Pusch Ridge has an extensive trail network and is highly popular with nature lovers. Be advised that water is scarce in these primitive surroundings.

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