Tucson: Lush Desert Links

Located just 25 miles Northwest of Tucson, The Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain is arguably the finest resort, golf, and living the state of Arizona has to offer. Nestled in the desert foothills of the Tortolita Mountain Range and sprawling over 800 acres, the Ritz-Carlton includes a 253-room resort hotel and spa, The Ritz-Carlton Residences and The […]

Tucson: Lush Desert Links
January 5, 2015
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The Dove Mountain Community encompasses 800 acres

Located just 25 miles Northwest of Tucson, The Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain is arguably the finest resort, golf, and living the state of Arizona has to offer. Nestled in the desert foothills of the Tortolita Mountain Range and sprawling over 800 acres, the Ritz-Carlton includes a 253-room resort hotel and spa, The Ritz-Carlton Residences and The Golf Club at Dove Mountain featuring one of the greatest Jack Nicklaus Signature courses.

Although The Golf Club at Dove Mountain was just opened for play in 2009, it is already rich in history. Home of the PGA Tour’s World Golf Championships (Accenture Match Play Championship)where the top 64 golfers in the world battle yearly, the course has offered dramatic matches with thrilling endings. The Golf Club at Dove Mountain was designed by the legendary Jack Nicklaus, who calls the Golf Club at Dove Mountain “one of the top 18 courses I have created.” The Nicklaus Design Company has close to 380 courses open for play in 36 countries and 39 states. Of those golf courses, Jack Nicklaus has been involved in the design of 290.

With elevation changes from 2,300 to 3,000 feet, Nicklaus did a fantastic job strategizing to use the natural desert setting in building 27 unparalleled holes of golf that fit like a glove inbetween the thousands of Saguaro cacti. When arriving at the spectacular 45,000 square foot clubhouse, you will immediately feel as though you just arrived at one of the most prestigious country clubs in the world.

With three unique 9-hole golf courses, Saguaro, Tortolita, and Wild Burro offer a challenging day on the links with breathtaking views of the Sonoran Desert. The combination of the Saguaro and Tortolita courses are the 18 holes played by the pros and is one of the lengthiest courses the PGA Tour plays all year, measuring an enormous 7,852 yards. Don’t let the alarming length deter you from this masterpiece, as there are five sets of tees to accommodate any level of golfer. The par 3 third hole on the Tortolita course is considered the signature hole with an elevated tee shot from up to 219 yards. Miss the large putting surface and like many holes on the course, it is going to be quite a challenge managing to make a par, with many undulations that sometimes are subtle and hard to negotiate.

There are many risk-reward holes, such as the shortest par 4 of them all, the 6th, also on Tortalita, which is only 343 yards from the farthest tee and often play forward at around 300 yards. Long hitters can attempt to drive the green and take a shot at an easy birdie or perhaps a putt at eagle. That choice comes with plenty of risk if your ball veers off in either direction, the hole narrows drastically by the green and is surrounded by desert, which is usually not a recommended place from which to play your ball. Although you might need the help of a calculator to add up your score at the end, with the course in impeccable shape year round and out-of-this-world service, you are assured to have a wonderful golf experience.

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There are over 6,200 acres of foothills, canyon and mountainside living in the Tortolita Mountains

Dove Mountain Living

With recent accolades including World’s Best Award for #1 Hotel in Arizona, #10 Hotel in the Continental U.S. by Travel & Leisure, as well as the #1 Spa in Arizona by Condé Nast Traveler readers, the Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain is a must-stay experience. Located just up the road from the golf course, the resort is a picturesque retreat set high in the Sonoran Desert in the scenic town of Marana. If you are looking to get away from it all, this is your destination where time seems to stand still. There are three unique pools with one featuring a 235-foot water slide.

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With six different dining options ranging from casual pool-side ordering, the Sushi & Sake Bar, to the esteemed Core Kitchen & Wine Bar offering innovative Southwestern flavors, you are sure to find wonderful cuisine. As a guest of Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain, you will be able to enjoy true Southwestern adventure experiences with more than 20 miles of hiking and biking trails that carve through the desert terrain offering spectacular views. The resort also offers adventures such as Jeep off-road tours, stargazing, and horseback riding. The 17,000 square foot spa features 14 indoor/outdoor treatment rooms with lavish views of the mountains and unmatched services. After experiencing the Ritz-Carlton Spa at Dove Mountain you will quickly understand why it has been ranked #1 spa in Arizona multiple times. If you are looking for the perfect business retreat or group meetings, look no further. With a variety of spaces to choose from, including three ballrooms ranging from 2,100 to 9,000 square feet and five individual meeting rooms, this is an ideal location.

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Once you have experienced this grand getaway, you might not ever want to leave, and that is the exact reason many have decided to make their primary or second home at The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain residences. With views of the Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course, these highly customized homes offer beautiful indoor and outdoor spaces to be enjoyed year-round. The community offers 16 exclusive custom home sites and 110 customizable residences in phase 1. Homes range from 1,668 to 5,460 square feet with prices beginning in the high $600,000s. Ownership includes access to The Ritz-Carlton hotel and spa, as well as membership to the Golf Club at Dove Mountain. / theresidencesdovemountain.com

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Also in the Area

Ventana Canyon Golf Club

Mountain Course
HOLES 18
DESIGNER Tom Fazio
OPENED 1984
DISTANCE 6,902 yards
FAMOUS FOR Hole 3, par 3; 107 yards that plays across a plunging ravine to a granite-encased green.

Canyon Course
HOLES 18
DESIGNER Tom Fazio
OPENED 1984
DISTANCE 6,836 yards
FAMOUS FOR Hole 18, par 5; showcases a partial island green and a steep, cascading waterfall.

/ ventanacanyonclub.com

Arizona National Golf Club

HOLES 18
DESIGNER Robert Trent Jones, Jr.
OPENED 1996
DISTANCE 6,785 yards
FAMOUS FOR Hole18, par 5; presents a tee box elevated 200 feet above the fairway with a lake guarding the left side of the hole.

arizonanationalgolfclub.com

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Winding through Sonoran Desert are the two Tom Fazio-designed championship golf courses at Ventana Golf Club

 

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Inside the Ropes

A hall of famer’s perspective on shaving strokes off your game
BY O.D. Vincent, Executive Director, PGA Tour Northern Trust Open

O.D Vincent is a former NCAA All-American and former professional golfer on the PGA European Tour. From 1995 to 2008, Vincent was head men’s golf coach at the University of Washington, UCLA, and Duke University where he coached 30 individual medalists, 35 team champions, 11 All-Americans, and 4 academic All-Americans. Vincent is enshrined in the Palm Springs High School (2014), the University of Washington (2012), and GCAA (2014) Halls of Fame. Following are some tips from a bona fide pro.

Wedge game – Superior distance control

If you watch the best players on the PGA TOUR, they take advantage of their opportunities inside 125 yards. Tour pros work countless hours to perfect their craft, but it’s all about understanding how far your ball is going. First, you need to establish how far you hit your wedge with a full swing, then you can vary the length of your backswing to hit to different distances. For example, if your full wedge goes 125 yards then your ¾ wedge should go around 110 yards. By varying the length of your backswing (full, 3/4, half) you then have three different distances you can hit your wedge.

Shot selection around the greens – Read the lie

There are good lies, marginal lies, and bad lies. It’s always important to make sure you read your lie and understand what type of shot you should hit to produce the best result. With a good lie, you always want to get the ball rolling on the green as soon as possible. If you have green to work with, try varying what clubs you use (lower lofts). If you have a marginal or poor lie, requiring possibly a flop shot, it is good to lower your expectations somewhat and accept 6-10 feet, which helps you decide what shot you should hit.

Trajectory – Varying your shots

Along with distance control, PGA TOUR players do a great job at varying their trajectory. Club selection and ball position are the keys to success and learning how to hit different clubs different distances (varying trajectory) can really help expand your game. For example, hitting an 8-iron from 120 yards will inevitably lower your trajectory, lessen your spin, and allow you to keep the ball more under control. Be creative when you practice, and learn to hit different shots.

Game plan – Proactive vs. reactive

Golf is never the same each day. You might be playing the same golf course as the day before, but there are many factors that can change your plan. Pin positions, weather, and your attitude, can all affect how you play a certain hole. Choosing the right plan, the right shot to hit, and playing the high percentage shot, will ultimately lower your scores. Finally, knowing where to miss your shot can take the “big number” out of play.

The PGA Tour Northern Trust Open will be held at Riviera Country Club February 18–22, 2015. /northerntrustopen.com

 

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