Tubac Golf Resort and Spa

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Experience golf at Tubac Golf Resort and Spa’s three distinct nine-hole courses in an Arizona desert oasis made famous in the 1996 film, Tin Cup.




Located in Tubac, Arizona, on the Santa Cruz River, the Tubac Golf Resort and Spa opened in 1959 when a group of investors – including crooner Bing Crosby purchased a historic Spanish-colonial ranch to be the site of a new luxury resort hotel. Its first 18-hole golf course opened the same year. The ranch dates to 1789 and the Tubac Golf Resort and Spa – a AAA Four Diamond Award recipient – was inducted into Historic Hotels of America in 2008. The architectural beauty of the resort, set with a backdrop of the distant Santa Rita Mountains and the local cattle ranch, gives the game played there a unique charm. The Santa Cruz River provides a surprisingly lush landscape, with plenty of ponds and tall cottonwood trees. In 1996, its beauty was recognized by Hollywood as the setting for iconic scenes in Kevin Costner’s golf movie, Tin Cup.

The first nine holes were designed in 1959 by renowned golf course architect Robert ‘Red’ Lawrence. That original course—the Otero Coursehas since been hailed as the "Jewel of Southern Arizona Golf Courses." Red himself was quite accomplished at the time, having helped found the American Society of Golf Course Architects in 1946. (The Otero Course was later expanded to feature a full complement of 18 fairways.) Then in 2006, the resort expanded to 36 holes in total when local golf course architect Ken Kavanaugh added nine new holes enhancing the course’s already beloved layout. The 18-hole course transformed into two distinct nine-hole courses: the Anza and the Rancho. The Anza Course—named after Juan Baptist DeAnza, the commandant of the Tubac Presidio—featured captivating mountain views, challenging holes, and ended at the famous par 3 island green in front of the Stables Patio Bar. Meanwhile, the Rancho Course was set along the banks of the Santa Cruz River. Unlike any other golf setting in Southern Arizona, the mesquite Bosques and cottonwoods created a unique and lush feeling.

Several of the holes on each course are particularly regarded for their beautiful design. On Otero # 9, water guarded the entire left side of this par-4 hole, which looked back at the Chapel. The Anza # 9 serves as the resort’s magnificent, yet intimidating island green. This par-3 hole is also reminiscent of the 17th at TPC Sawgrass, save for the cattle. Finally, Rancho # 4, is a gorgeous par-5 shot. The pond fronting the green prevents all but the longest hitters from getting “home” in two. In fact, it was this hole that served as the setting for the scene in the movie, Tin Cup, where Kevin Costner was caddying for Don Johnson and Johnson wanted to lay up with a seven iron. Today, the resort invites locals and travelers to play its three desert oasis courses. The design allows golfers to choose two nine-hole courses for an 18-hole game, for three different golfing experiences. The Tubac Golf Resort and Spa offers guests shopping opportunities at its golf shop and private instruction with on-staff PGA professionals.

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