Arizona National Golf Club – Arizona Golf Courses
Designer Robert Trent Jones Jr. is known for creating golf courses that make good use of their natural terrain and has shown respect for their historic highlights in the process. That was the case at Arizona National Golf Club, originally known as Raven at Sabino Springs, in north Tucson.
Nestled in the foothills of the picturesque Santa Catalina Mountains and adjacent to the Coronado National Forest, Jones took full advantage of the natural flow of the terrain and designed the course around nine natural springs, intimidating craggy rock outcroppings, mesquite-lined arroyos and some of the most spectacular scenery in the Southwest.
In the midst of it all, more than 1,000 years of history are represented by an old Hohokam Indian dwelling. The green for the par-3 12th hole was built on top of that dwelling and a pond, which was created by Native Americans for their livestock, was preserved as a water hazard off to the right of the 12th tee.
At 6,780 yards, it isn’t exceedingly long for a championship course, but its fangs deliver a nasty bite to those who dare tease its tees. Wayward shots, literally, end up between a rock and a hard place guarded by giant saguaro cacti.
The round concludes with the spectacular, yet scary, par-5 18th hole, which plays at 513 yards with a 200-foot drop from tee to green and was voted by the Arizona Daily Star and Arizona Republic as the best finishing hole in the state.
On a clear day, you can see Mexico from the tee, but don’t let it distract you too much because there is water down the left side waiting to grab your attention. In fact, this is a course where you are well advised to think before you swing on pretty much every shot, and laying up isn’t always the best strategy.
The AZGA “Local Hang” for Arizona National is the on-site patio bar, located lakeside where you can keep watch over both the 5th and 18th holes.