Winding its way through the foothills of the Santa Catalina Mountains, Arizona National Golf Club marks another triumph of the marriage between golf and the environment. Robert Trent Jones II is proud to have been involved in the design of this environmentally responsible golf course. During construction a biologist walked in front of bulldozers to help protect desert fauna, and horticulturists salvaged thousands of saguaro cacti, which now stand as a symbol of the course. Located within the Tucson city limits, Arizona National provides a 6,916-yard trek through the dramatic Sonoran Desert.
It encompasses mesquite-lined arroyos, wide desert washes, stark outcroppings of rock, and nine natural springs. The vibrant green grass of the fairways marks a striking contrast to the sere desert palette.
Strategic challenges abound. The second hole, which plays 575 yards, requires a tee shot over a water hazard to one of the layout's more sinuous fairways. The approach-whether on the second or fourth shot-must avoid a wash filled with sagebrush, cholla, and ancient saguaros.
Number twelve offers more than just a 187-yard par three-it's also a trip into the ancient past. The green site on this hole was once home to a Hohokam Indian dwelling. The small pond near the tee boxes served as a watering hole for the tribe's livestock. Our architects made integrating these sites a priority during the design of the golf course. This mystical desert journey wraps up with a serious decision for big hitters on the eighteenth hole. From a tee box elevated 200 feet above the fairway, this 513-yarder can surely be reached with two well-struck shots. But a lake along the left side will swallow all hooks.
RTJ II worked closely with the University of Arizona Athletic Department and golf coaches to provide a unique test for collegiate golfers. The course is home to the University's Men's and Women's Wildcat Golf Teams.