The Canyon Course
Find your flow in the foothills
A true desert gem
As the Mountain Course climbs up the Santa Catalina foothills, the Canyon Course takes a different route. The front nine winds down through the inspiring beauty of Esperero Canyon. Visit during monsoon season and you are sure to experience the excitement of water rushing through the desert washes. As you turn to the back nine, look for the iconic Whaleback Rock. With generous fairways and picturesque views throughout, you’ll always remember your day out on this award-winning course.
A sneak peek at all 18 holes
We open the Canyon Course with this delightful par 4 requiring a straight tee shot that favors the left side of the fairway. When approaching this generous green, it is advisable to stay right in the flag stick in order to leave yourself an uphill putt to the hole. This will be your first experience of the mountain effect.
The view on this uphill par 5 never gets old. To make birdie here, it’s imperative to keep your tee shot in the fairway especially for those who hope to get home in two. However, with the generous lay-up area, one must still be aware of the large bunkers that guard this two-tiered putting surface. Truly another Tom Fazio gem.
This lovely, downhill par 4 is a tempting invitation to the long ball hitter. But the trick here is to place your ball on the left side of the fairway. Moreover, be careful with your approach into a green that runs away from you and into the valley. Also, don’t be fooled by a front pin – par here is never automatic.
On this downhill par 4, a perfect tee shot would consist of a right-to-left ball flight. This sets you up for a great second shot into yet another putting surface that runs away from the player. Be aware of the bunkers that run along the left side, they can be long and treacherous. Oh and – by the way – the views of the valley are stunning here.
On this lengthy par 5, it is imperative to stay on the right side to avoid the gaping bunker on the left. This will be helpful in order to place your lay-up in the perfect position – which is left and short of the front fairway bunker – allowing you a clear look into this well-guarded green. If you are here in three, you have a great opportunity to make birdie.
We complete the front nine with this stunning par 4 directly into the face of the Santa Catalina’s. A favorable tee shot is left of the right fairway bunkers, which will allow you to come into this two-tiered putting surface guarded by yet another group of green-side bunkers. As always, the mountain is an ever-present factor.
The back nine opens with an intriguing downhill par 4. As you stare down this beautiful desert line vista, you will see the famous Whaleback Rock in the distance. It is tempting to go for it in one, but be aware of the sand bunkers and large mesquite trees that run along the right side of the fairway. All in all, par is still a good score.
Heading further down into the valley is yet another picturesque par 4. It is advisable to favor the right side on your tee shot. This allows you to have a wide open approach into a generous-sized green that is slightly guarded by a resident mesquite tree. Once again, while on the green you will feel the effect of the mountain slope.
Here is an uphill par 5 that is truly a spectacular piece of golf artistry. Undoubtedly a 3-shot hole for all players, it is mandatory to place the tee shot in the center of the fairway in order to avoid the desert wash on the right. While the fairway is separated, you will find the landing area of the rolling hills to be extremely generous. Don’t forget to take an extra club on your approach, which leads you into a beautifully two-tiered plateau green that runs into the mountain from left to right. This is Tom Fazio at his best.
This wonderfully creative par 3 covers the native habitat impeccably. But the green is protected by a series of bunkers left and demanding slopes on the right. One less club is advisable due to the downhill grade. Try to stay right of the hole in order to make par, which is a respectable score.
This dogleg left par 4 encompasses the full embodiment of canyon golf. With hazardous bunkers to the left center of the fairway, it’s best to stay straight. Or – if you can – clear the sand. From there, you will have an open shot to an uphill green that slopes heavily from right to left. It is a genuine challenge for players at every level.
This brilliant par 4 is indeed a true test of golf. Players will surely appreciate how this dogleg right traverses the living desert. Keep away from the group of bunkers on the right side of the fairway and the indigenous, large mesquite tree that protects shots into this uphill green. Once again, the mountain truly comes into play.
Tom Fazio finishes off the Canyon Golf Course with this brilliantly designed par 5. An accurately-placed tee shot will enable you to try to get home in two. But laying up to a substantial landing area is preferred due to a small desert wash that protects the front of the green perfectly framed by both waterfalls and mountains. A charming end to your experience at Ventana Canyon.