Sewailo Golf Club Cools and Challenges
Tucson is known for golf courses that combine Sonoran Desert beauty with lush, green fairways for an old-school experience with a strong sense of place. Tucson’s newest golf property, Sewailo, is no exception.
Sewailo was built on tribal land of the Pascua Yaqui. The layout features water elements that cool and challenge and gardens of colorful flowers that are important to the Yaqui’s daily lives and ceremonies. The architect, Notah Begay III, is a PGA Tour player and golf media personality who is of Navajo and Pueblo descent. This combination has had golfers buzzing about southern Arizona ever since Begay struck the ceremonial opening shot on Dec. 12, 2013.
“Sewailo is different than anything I’ve done yet, chiefly because we had to move a lot of dirt to create the type of big-theater feel we were after,” said Begay, the four-time winner on the PGA Tour who just happened to be Tiger Woods’ roommate during that All-American career at Stanford.
“What we came up with in working with the Pascua Yaqui tribe is a golf course that is a hybrid between a desert and parkland layout. It’s a golf course that is in harmony with the desert, and that’s really the heritage of the Pascua Yaquis, who according to their history come from the ‘Flower World,’ which is ‘Sewailo’ in their language.”
Begay built Sewailo on 100 acres just south and west of downtown Tucson. The course is managed by Troon and includes six large lakes and waterfalls that take up 14 acres, as well as a serene creek that runs through it. With 65 bunkers, secluded green settings, and majestic mountain backdrops in every direction, the 7,500-yard Sewailo is big and bold with at least three signature holes. That trio of gems includes No. 3, a pristine par-3 over water; No. 10, a serpentine, double-dogleg par-5 that puts a premium on course strategy; and the par-4 18th, where the trek to the island-like green brings water into play on every shot.
A Perfect Fit
Sewailo’s success can be measured by glowing reviews from several national publications and the fact that it was chosen as the host course for the University of Arizona’s Wildcats. There is also talk of bringing an LPGA or Champions Tour event to Sewailo.
But most of all, Sewailo gives the Pascua Yaqui tribe yet another fabulous amenity to bolster its other great enterprise, the award-winning, 215-room Casino Del Sol Resort and Las Vegas-style casino.
Added Begay: “In the end, Sewailo was a very balanced project, and the cooperation and input we received from the tribe goes a long way in explaining why Sewailo Golf Club is so phenomenal.”
More information: http://www.visittucson.org/things-to-do/golf/