In a thriving metropolitan city like Tucson, it is refreshing to find 300 beautiful acres centrally located in the heart of a city dedicated to golf. The Randolph Golf Complex is comprised of two championship golf courses – the Randolph Course and the Dell Urich Course. The Randolph Course (formerly called Randolph North) was opened in 1925, and was the site of the PGA Seiko Tucson Match Play Championship, the PGA Joe Garagiola Tucson Open and the PING/Welch’s LPGA Championship. Measuring 6,902 yards from the championship tees and a lengthy 5,952 from the forward tees, this course will give golfers ample opportunities to use their drivers.
The course setting is a scenic one with numerous tall trees, lush fairways, and beautiful views of the mountains surrounding Tucson. The course features water hazards on five holes and long fairways. With parallel fairways and few blind shots, some might consider the course to be easy. However the subtle breaks in the greens, generally breaking towards Hi Corbett Field have fooled amateurs and professionals alike.
The Dell Urich Course opened in 1996 after a complete re-design on the site of the former Randolph South Golf Course and was named in honor of Randolph’s first golf professional. The dramatic makeover features spectacular views from four sets of tees and dramatic elevation changes. Dell Urich is the former home of the Tucson LPGA tour stop. It measures 6,629 years from the championship tees and 5,257 from the forward tees. Golfers who hit it long off the tee will gain an advantage of extra roll as most fairways are crowned about 240 yards off the tee. Shorter hitters will drive into the upslope and not gain the extra yardage through roll. The fairways are also lined with numerous tall trees, lush fairways and just 3 water hazards.
Other amenities offered at the Randolph Golf Complex include a large lighted driving range, a chipping area known to locals as “the pit”, three large putting greens, and a large well stocked pro shop.
. . . representing the gals and playing Dell Urich: BY Josie Trapnell and Charlie Sullivan
Dell Urich Golf Course is currently in great shape and has at least 4 holes any course would be proud to use as their signature hole, with mature trees, undulating and twisting fairways and scenic mountains in the back ground.
Although this is a somewhat hilly course, we watched a mobility impaired rider on her solo-cart move with ease over the terrain, we also admired her smooth fairway swing.
The fairways are wide and the greens are large, making scoring on this course easy. That is; if you avoid the tree line and water hazards that you will find on three of the holes, number 17 being one that you must clear water, about an 80 yard shot to land on the green and avoid going too long, or you will find a back bunker to the left and a downhill slope to deep grass and possible water on the right.
Some areas on the course need to be roped off, as some cart drivers are not being respective of the course; such as on the 12th tee. Just to the right of the green is a swell that many balls will find, the carts cut through here in lieu of using the cart path and it can be a muddy tire tracked mess where grass should be, thus penalizing you further for not finding the green.
The staff at Dell Urich is friendly and knowledgeable; they even keep a supply of frozen Snickers in the Club House for those who need a pick me up at the turn. The cart girls are the best I have ever seen. They always have a smile, ice, are well stocked, a good joke or story to tell, and visit frequently if need be.
To put it simply, Dell Urich is a wonderful place for anyone to play golf and have a great time.
. . . representing the guys and playing Randolph: BY Reggie Browning and Peter Morash
Arriving at the Randolph Complex we were reminded of the old days when the courses were named Randolph North and Randolph South and it’s history since the mid-1980’s, when the PGA and LPGA Tours made Randolph North/South an annual stopping place. A Municipal Course, Randolph has aged gracefully as subtle improvements have been made. As we walked into the Pro Shop we were pleasantly greeted by Golf Professional, Pam Drake and noticed a large variety of golf apparel, competitively priced, with ample items marked on Sale.
Once we picked out the best looking cart in the line of carts ready to go, we proceeded to the Starter on the Randolph Course. The Starter was friendly and efficient as he told us the tee-box was ours. Although we did not have time to practice or putt before the round, the practice facilities are nice and there are two putting greens for use.
Randolph is an oasis in a concrete desert. Unlike most desert courses, Randolph is very similar to courses back east, with holes paralleling each other bringing you back to the clubhouse after each nine. Errant shots rarely result in penalties for unplayable lies or OB.
Almost every tee box view offers a tree-lined green fairway, brown dormant Bermuda grass rough on each side and the Catalina Mtns. visible in the distance. Course condition was very good the day we played. The rough was mowed to about 4″, high enough to create tough approach shots or to lose your ball if you didn’t follow its flight. Fairways were cut perfect but had numerous unfilled divots, an indication of heavy usage. Greens were patchy in spots and a bit bumpy, but oh so green.
Most greens slope from back to front, so long iron approach shots hold well. However, accuracy is a must because the greens are quite small. A slight fade or draw and your next shot is a chip, pitch-n-roll or bunker. The greenside bunkers are strategically placed to catch the slightest off-line shot. The green aprons are wide enough, however, to allow one to run the ball up to the cup as an alternative approach to a high shot.
Accuracy is also a must off the tee. The tree-lined fairways offer a narrow landing area and either a dogleg left or right. The par 5’s are reachable in two if you can hit it through the dogleg. The par 4’s and 3’s are deceptively longer than they look. On many of the par 4’s, even after hitting a good drive (for instance 240 yards off the white tees) Peter found himself hitting long irons into small greens.
We saw the beverage cart 3 times in our round. It was fully stocked with beer, liquor, soda and snacks – all at what we believed to be low prices. While there are four restrooms, they are only available to players on or around the 4th, 10th, 13th and 16th holes. It would have been nice to have had a restroom somewhere around the 6th or 7th hole as well, and the existing facilties are in need of a facelift.
We were disappointed to see the water on #9, #16 and #18 gone, but even the dry beds are formidable hazards. You can easily lose your ball in them and if you’re lucky to find it, the next shot is still difficult. If you can’t hit long approach shots, I suggest you layup on #9 and #18. If you find yourself in the hazard on #16, take a drop. I was most impressed with how the greens putt so true. Get the right line, hit it firm and you’ll hole some long putts. Try to stay below the hole. Downhill putts can run off the front and putting from the left or right will give you a testy breaker.
The two most intimidating holes are #10 and #15, but the course is a challenge for all skill levels. It requires accuracy and a precise short game.
After your round, stop at the El Con Club & Grill. We were served by Mia, whose pretty smile and infectious laugh raised our spirits after a tough round. The menu is varied and quite reasonably priced. The atmosphere is relaxing and with 3 flat screen TVs you can watch the sports of the day while unwinding.
We can say unequivocally, that Randolph North offers an enjoyable round of golf at an exceptional price that is sure to create a new memory or two.