Thursday, December 06, 2007

National Pride

Arizona National (formerly The Raven)
9777 E. Sabino Greens Dr.
Tucson, AZ 85749
(520) 749-3636

This Robert Trent Jones, Jr. design (and the University of Arizona’s home course) is one of many plush courses you’ll find nestled within the Catalina Foothills. Although it’s not hotel or resort-based like that of its nearby neighbors (Westin La Paloma, Loews Ventana Canyon), this course provides challenging desert golf at a reasonable price (under $80, before the high season) and encompasses the same golfing experience as the aforementioned resorts.

The 9s differ, as the front plays notably shorter and narrower than the back, so you’ll have to play some well-positioned finesse golf before making the turn and ripping it. If you’ve ever dreamed of driving a golf ball off the top of the Sears Tower, you can realize said dream on holes #5 & #18, both of which overlook the clubhouse from a well-elevated tee.

Back story on the 18th hole: In the mid-90s, during a Pac-10 match, Tiger Woods (then a standout golfer at Stanford) drove to the rock in the middle of the lake about 370 yards away. After dropping and taking a penalty stroke, he went up and down for birdie.

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