The Catalina Course at Tucson National is the former host to the Tucson Open. This is where Phil Mickelson first won on the PGA Tour as an amateur fresh out of Arizona State University. The original rotation for the Tucson Open was the Orange to the Gold nine. The Orange nine opened with a slight dogleg right par 4 with water on the right and bunkers on either side of the fairwary.
The driving range is out of bounds on the far left and the green is guarded by bunkers and water just short and right of the green. The Gold nine started out with a wrap around dogleg left par 5 that was reachable for most pros and long hitters. Many players would take their tee shots over the water on the left and the trees to cut the corner and leave an iron in to the green. The Catalina course is still the same great test of traditional, playable golf! You can spray the ball a bit and not get penalized by cactus. The views are better than you would imagine at Tucson National as Tucson is surrounded by mountains.
Under the direction of 2006 Ryder Cup Captain Tom Lehman and his design team, the Omni Tucson National Golf Resort & Spa, home to the PGA Tour’s Chrysler Classic of Tucson, has begun construction on a new desert style course to complement the resort’s traditional parkland Orange/Gold championship course.
In addition, two holes on the championship course will be redesigned to lengthen and tighten the holes in time for the 2006 tournament, pending approval of the PGA Tour. The remaining 16 holes will remain unchanged.
“With Tom Lehman’s signature, the new desert course will become a much-in-demand destination for golfers,” said David Morgan, general manager of the resort. “And, it will complement and enhance our reputation as among the finest golf and spa resorts in America.” Ranked in 2004 as one of America’s top golf resorts by both Golf Digest and Condé Nast Traveler, the Omni Tucson National Golf Resort & Spa served as the host for the PGA Tour’s Chrysler Classic of Tucson for the last time, February 23-27, 2006. The course began hosting the Tucson Open in 1965.
“I’m looking forward to doing my part in creating a golf course that the members and guests will enjoy, find interesting, feel challenged by and look forward to playing again and again and again,” said Lehman. “Hopefully everyone’s expectations will not only be met but exceeded.”
Lehman and his team will create the new desert course by adding nine holes to the existing nine-hole Green course. The new nine will be built on an undeveloped parcel along the eastern edge of the property. In designing the course, Lehman’s objectives were to utilize and protect the natural washes and native vegetation, to create a seamless appearance between the two parcels and to fashion a layout that will require golfers to hit a variety of shots.
At 6,418 yards, length will not be the primary challenge. Rather, Lehman’s design incorporates strategic fairway bunkering that will require players to place their tee shots carefully while a set of green complexes will call for thoughtful approaches and a deft short game.
“Our goal is to create two distinctive golf experiences in a single resort,” said Morgan, general manager. “By offering both a PGA Tour-caliber championship course and a desert-style layout with a southern Arizona flavor, we are enhancing the playability of our facility for resort guests and members.”
Public 2727 W. Club Drive., Tucson, AZ Phone: 520.575.7540 BOOK A TEE TIME
Catalina Course: Par 72, 7262 Yards Sonoran Course: Par 70, 6418 Yards
Course Designer / Catalina Course: Robert Bruce Harris and Bruce Devlin (Opened in 1963)
Course Designer / Sonoran Course: Tom Lehman (2005)
Awards: Home to countless PGA TOUR and NCAA events, including the Chrysler Classic of Tucson; Selected as one of Golf Digest’s “75 Best Golf Resorts in North America”; A Conde’ Nast Silver Award Winner
Tucson’s only Mobil four star rated resort spa; Two championship golf courses