Ritz course set to open - The Explorer: Accenture

Ritz course set to open

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Posted: Wednesday, February 4, 2009 12:00 am | Updated: 7:53 am, Wed Nov 28, 2012.

A thick blanket of hunter-green rye grass covered the fairways and greens of the new 27-hole, Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course at the Ritz-Carlton at Dove Mountain.

A series of undulating pathways through the saguaros and desert scrub, the course features a multitude of bunkers and sharp doglegs. “It’s not for the faint of heart,” said Jeff McCormick, the Ritz’s head golf professional.

McCormick zipped around in a golf cart last Friday pointing out the various features of the course, that next month — Feb. 23 through March 1 — will play host to the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship.

The PGA’s top 64 golfers will take to the Tortolita and Saguaro courses (the first 18 holes) to test their mettle on what will “be the longest golf course they’ll play on the PGA tour this year, at almost 7,900 yards,” McCormick boasted.

Crews busily worked under a bright sun last Friday to install scaffolding at various points along the course.

At the clubhouse and pro shop, construction workers and resort employees hummed around in a mad dash to complete work before the Jan. 17 grand-opening of the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club.

Public play, for $225 per player this winter, begins Jan. 18 and will run until the resort opens sometime in October.

McCormick stopped his cart in full view of Hole 5 of the tournament course. With a view of Picacho Peak in the distance, the par-4 hole extended some 539 yards through the desert. “It’s forever,” said McCormick, who’s had the chance to play the challenging course twice.

“The fairways are generous,” he said, motioning to the wide swaths of rich grass carpeting between each tee box and green. “But it tests your short game.”

Not a single green contained a level path to a hole. Too far to the left or right on any hole, and a player risks losing a ball in a bunker or the rough. Too deep or too short — it’s the same sad story.

With its tranquil setting and mountain views on all sides, “it’s almost like you’re the only one here,” McCormick said.

The golf pro’s domain features an appropriately luxurious clubhouse and restaurant.

“There’s 19 fireplaces in there,” he said as he blitzed through the place, which was about a week short of substantial completion.

The golf club’s part of the Ritz-Carlton’s 850-acre complex at Dove Mountain, that once complete, will feature a 250-room resort, full-service spa and 400 luxury home sites.

To mark the opening of the golf course, project developers Kathryn and Tim Bolinger of Greenbrier Southwest Corp. and David Mehl of Tucson-based Cottonwood Properties will hold a “Fore for Four” charity golfing event. Four community organizations will benefit from proceeds of the event — the Ara Parseghian Medical Research Foundation, the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, Tucson Museum of Art and the University of Arizona Foundation.


WHAT: 27-hole course at Dove Mountain designed by Jack Nicklaus, his first Tucson course in 25 years

WHERE: 6501 Boulder Bridge Pass in Marana, off Dove Mountain Boulevard

DETAILS: Three 9-hole segments — Tortolita, Saguaro and Wild Burro, with a fourth planned for the future. The Tortolita and Saguaro sections will play host to the World Golf Championship-Accenture Match Play Championship Feb. 23-March 1.

CONTACT: 572-3500; rcgolfclubdovemountain.com.

© 2014 The Explorer. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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HS Schedule

Tuesday, September 30

Boys Golf (3 p.m.)

Mountain View at Haven Golf Course

Ironwood Ridge, Buena, Catalina at Rincon (Dell Urich)

Girls Volleyball (4, 5, 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Marana at CDO

Maricopa at Mountain View

Ironwood Ridge at Vista Grande

Poston Butte at Catalina Foothills

San Miguel at Pusch Ridge

Freshman Football (6 p.m.)

Maricopa at Marana

Wednesday, October 1

Girls Golf (3 p.m.)

Mountain View vs. Ironwood Ridge (Omnu Tucson National)

CDO, Sunnyside at Flowing Wells (Silverbell)

Sabino at Catalina Foothills

Cross Country (4:30 p.m.)

Ironwood Ridge, Sahuarita at Flowing Wells (Columbus Park)

Marana, St. Gregory at Catalina Foothills

Girls Volleyball (4, 5, 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

CDO at Ironwood Ridge

Freshman Football (6 p.m.)

Mountain View at Salpointe

Catalina Foothills at CDO

JV Football (6.p.m.)

Marana at Maricopa

Salpointe at Mountain View

CDO at Catalina Foothills

Thursday, October 2

Swimming (4 p.m.)

Mountain View, St. Gregory’s, Pusch Ridge at Marana

Girls Volleyball (4, 5, 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Mountain View at Poston Butte

Catalina Foothills at Flowing Wells

Pusch Ridge at Willcox

Varsity Football (7p.m.)

Maricopa at Marana

Mountain View at Salpointe

Catalina Foothills @ CDO

Ironwood Ridge at Rincon

Friday, October 3

Boys Golf (all day)

CDO, Ironwood Ridge at Santa Rita/Flowing Wells Invitational

Girls Vollyeball (all day)

CDO, Catalina Foothills at Falcon Invitational

Cross Country

Catalina Foothills, CDO, Ironwood Ridge at Desert Twilight Festival

Varsity Footbal (7 p.m.)

Pusch Ridge at San Tan Valley

Saturday, October 4

Boys Golf (all day)

CDO at Santa Rita/Flowing Wells Invitational

Swimming (all day)

Catalina Foothills, CDO, Ironwood Ridge at Brophy/Xavier Swim Invitational

Girls Volleyball (4 p.m.)

Pusch Ridge at Desert Christian

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