It is considered the “Little Sister,” but for nearly 50 years, the Dell Urich Golf Course at Randolph Park has been like the favorite uncle to public golfers in southern Arizona. Formerly called Randolph South, it was renamed in honor of the first golf pro at the municipal facility, which hosted an LPGA Tour event for several years at the Big Sister course, now simply known as the Randolph Course. Together they are the second-most played public golf complex in the country, behind only Torrey Pines, the San Diego facility that hosts a PGA Tour event annually and was the site of the U.S. Open in 2008. That might be apropos in that the legendary William F. “Billy” Bell designed both golf complexes.
Dell Urich, which opened in 1961, plays to par 70 at 6,633 yards from the back tees and features some dramatic elevation changes and two large lakes that come into play on four holes. It is considered the easier of the two Randolph Park layouts, but still offers plenty of challenges. The course underwent extensive renovation and got its new name in 1996, along with a new clubhouse. It has a traditional, player-friendly design, devoid of the desert hazards that gobble up errant shots, which has particular appeal to many public golfers. For example, there are seven holes longer than 400 yards, but most play downhill. The 17th is the signature hole and one of the toughest short par-3s in the Tucson area. It plays at just 137 yards, but the tee shot is into a prevailing headwind, water surrounds the front and right side of the green and a shallow bunker and trees stand guard on the left. It plays like an island green and is one of Tucson’s more memorable holes.
Another bonus of the Dell Urich course is its location in the heart of Tucson, even though it has a more isolated feel once you get away from the clubhouse area. After your round, there are plenty of good options with restaurants, hotels and the University of Arizona in close proximity.