The Preserve Golf Club at Saddlebrooke
All photos by Steve Sandberg.
Open as of August 2004, The Preserve Golf Club at SaddleBrooke looks to be Robson Communities' premier gem in its collection of golf courses throughout Arizona. Set deep into the western foothills of the Santa Catalina Mountains, this challenging yet eminently playable layout by Scottsdale-based course designer Dick Bailey is already an immediate must-play in the greater Tucson area.
Playing from 4,920 to 7,006 yards from four sets of tees, the Preserve makes full use of the rolling desert ridges and deep arroyos, where fairways tilt and roll with the lay of the land. However, Bailey applied a gentle touch to the elevation shifts, never allowing the charge tee to green to become too severe or dramatic. The breathtaking exception is Number 6, a 168-yard par 3 with an 80-foot vertical drop to the green. The elevation change allows enough "hang-time" off the tee for a lasting stupendous view of the mountainous backdrop
The rolling foothills perhaps inspired a similar movement in the greens. Their decided undulations and interesting surface shapes place a premium on accurate putts and also allow for some challenging pin placements on tournament day.
From the zinc tees, Bailey has created a track to thrill the big hitters and low handicappers. However, he remained equally mindful of the majority of the players in this active adult community who play their respective games from their respective markers. Accomplished players appreciate the tremendous risk/reward opportunities, while higher handicappers thank the designer for ample landing areas and enjoyable routes around trouble. Of course, the dry washes that cross a number of fairways create the dominant strategy and pose an equal threat to everyone. The only water on the course comes into play down the right side of Number 18.
Where no more than 800 high-end luxury homes will eventually fill The Preserve at Saddle-Brooke, this course will always lend an open feel with the view alone worth the green fee.
|Course Designer||Dick Bailey|
|(M) = Men (L) = Ladies|