The Sensory Experience Of Stone Canyon

Golf courses can be described in many different ways and as a writer I always search for what generally describes the overall experience. Is the course forgiving, is it generous off the tee, does it require pinpoint accurate approach shots, are the bunkers deep and penalizing? What is the general condition of the golf course from a maintenance perspective? How is the service inside and out? Is the beer cold in the 19th hole? You get the picture…playing golf is all-inclusive and consists of many components.

Every now and then everything comes together in a rare harmony and at The Stone Canyon Club in Oro Valley, the total experience is second to none.

Designed by Jay Morrish, one of the premier course architects of our time, the course layout was given prime consideration over the real estate plotting. That is not always the case with contemporary golf community developments, at Stone Canyon the golf course had to come first! With an impressive list of top 100 courses in his portfolio, Morrish considers this one of his best designs. “It’s the most impressive desert site I’ve ever seen, none of the others are in the same league with Stone Canyon.”

And impressive it is….. from the moment you pass through the gated entrance to the final putt on #18 (or maybe it’s the tie breaking putt on the 19th because they have one extra hole, just in case there is a playoff needed in your match). Unlike a lot of desert courses, at Stone Canyon no two holes are alike. The layout snakes it’s way around and through massive boulder piles laying at the western base of the Tortolita Mountains. Some of the holes are straightforward off the tee with wide open landing areas, while others require a look at the yardage book just to
see what’s ahead of you and around the corner or over the hill. The 15th hole, a par 5 of 632 yards from the tips doesn’t even give you a look at the green until your third shot and a couple of doglegs to get there. The hole makes you earn every yard but will reward you with a well executed strategy. Number 10 tee has a commanding view of all of Tucson from the rugged Catalina’s to the Tucson Mountains. A perfect drive may get you long enough to carry the lake for chance at eagle on the par 5 or take the risk/reward challenge and bite off as much as you can chew on a narrow layup zone between the lake and the desert. An interesting hole by any definition!

The sensory experience of playing at Stone Canyon is particularly unique. There are aerobic climbs up rock precipices to some table top tee boxes with spectacular views and there is a feeling of solitude on each fairway, never seeing another hole until you get there. The desert quiet that surrounds you can be surreal at times and then all at once the noise can be deafening when you are putting next to the massive waterfall adjacent to #6 green… an audible hazard as it were. You can feel the magic of the site the first time you see one of the many petroglyphs carved on some of the rock outcroppings that surround you. Someone a long time ago left some interesting artwork on a rock palate to enhance your golf game.

The Stone Canyon Club is a private country club. Memberships are available and worth your effort to discuss a membership plan that may work for you. Take the time to explore the opportunity, you may just find that The Stone Canyon Club can enhance your enjoyment of the game and enrich your total golf experience.


14200 North Hohokam Village Place
Oro Valley, AZ 85755
Mike Russell – PGA Professional
Director of Club Operations
Brent Newcomb – PGA Professional
Head Golf Professional
Phone: (520) 219-1500 l

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