Originally designed in 1959, the Tubac Golf Resort & Spa is a classic that has only improved with time.
In 2006, the original Robert “Red” Lawrence 18- hole design was augmented by another nine, courtesy of Ken Kavanaugh. The Anza, Otero and Rancho each present their own beguiling challenges, featuring stately old growth cottonwoods and mesquites throughout. Of course, there’s more to the resort than golf. Its 3,000-square-foot earth-inspired spa offers multiple treatements, integrating botanical oils, desert earth elements and fragrant candles to create a uniquely Arizona experience that even includes a rehydrating eucalyptus steam room. The resort also is home to 98 luxury hacienda-style accommodations and three dining options—Stables Ranch Grille & Patio, Stables Bar and La Cantina. It also features a recently updated swimming pool with spacious cabanas. tubacgolfresort.com
The head pro at Tubac Golf Club, Kristie Fowler, is a native of Grand Junction. Named the 2017 LPGA National Professional of the Year, she grew up on Tiara Rado Golf Course—which was built by her dad—Tom Kolacny, and won the women’s 1984 State Match Play and ’85 Stroke Play titles.
Built on the site of the 500-acre Otero Ranch, Tubac Golf Resort’s bovines are as iconic to the course as the scenes from Tin Cup that were shot there. A marker on the Rancho nine’s 568-yard 4th tempts players to imitate the 3-wood shot “Roy McAvoy” (Kevin Costner) hit onto the green in two after “David Simms” (Don Johnson) laid up with a 7-iron. tubacgolfresort.com
The quaint, one-square-mile village of Tubac abounds in galleries overflowing with paintings, sculptures and crafts. It also features Pancho’s Resource and Design, a home-decor candy store brimming with one-of-a-kind Southwestern furnishings. panchosdesign.com
Tucson is a foodie mecca, and its oldest Mexican restaurant, El Charro, turns 100 this year. In Tubac, the place to go is Elvira’s, which started 90 years ago in Nogales, Mexico, and still greets patrons with a free “Hola!” Tequila shot and a variety of traditionally prepared meals served in a delightful setting. elvirasrestaurant.com
This article can also be found in the 2022 Spring Issue of Colorado AvidGolfer.