One of Arizona`s best kept secrets is our Robert Trent Jones championship golf course - one of the top three rated golf courses in Arizona and located less than 45 minutes south of Tucson in one of the most picturesque and historically fascinating areas of Arizona.
Rio Rico is also home to the PGA`s Qualifying School and is therefore deemed to the highest standards of the PGA. The course is in excellent shape and the weather is always great golf weather.
As one of Arizona`s top courses, and one of the best in the U.S., every round at Rio Rico is memorable. From the amazing views of the pristine mountains of the Sonora Desert to the lush, meticulous fairways and greens you`ll find Rio Rico a golf experience to remember.
Here`s what Robert Trent Jones, Sr. has to say about his design:
"When laying out the design for the eighteen-hole championship course at Rio Rico, I felt I had a classic on my hands. Now, almost twenty-five years later, I still feel that way. Its gently rolling fairways and large greens provide for a beautiful yet challenging golf experience for even the most accomplished golfer."
Rio Rico Golf Club and Tubac Resort named top hidden gems in Arizona!
The automobile club of Arizona, in its recent monthly magazine, Highroads, was named the top hidden gems in Arizona. Rio Rico was named #1 and Tubac was rated #2. The article describes Rio Rico with “fabulous foothills with mountain backdrops” and one of Robert Trent Jones signature golf courses.
Rio Rico’s management was recently changed, with LMT Management taking over in late fall. Numerous changes are being made, with the goal of re-establishing Rio Rico as the finest championship course in southern Arizona.
In recognition of this great honor, Rio Rico will be offering a special for all Golf Now members though the month of January. Any GolfNow reservations will include a free lunch and fountain drink. GolfNow players will be able to order any item off the menu including our famous 1/3 pound Rio Rico burger. This offer will continue until the end of the month.
Robert Trent Jones did not invent golf course architecture, it only seems that way. In a career that spanned nearly 70 years, Jones built or rebuilt some 400 courses in 45 states in the U.S. and 35 countries worldwide, with more than three dozen of them having played host to national or international championships. Still, the numbers tell only part of the story.
Jones made an art form of heroic architecture, institutionalizing the risk-reward shot in modern courses. With his often quoted philosophy to make every hole a hard par but an easy bogey, he also had a profound impact on tournament golf. Jones built or remodeled some of the most muscular courses the pros have ever faced, including Firestone, Hazeltine, Spyglass hill, Baltusrol and Oak Hill. In his early years Jones’ designs often created criticism as too severe, and the complaints from the pros reached a crescendo when he remodeled Oakland Hills for the 1951 U.S. Open. When a victorious Ben Hogan boasted of having brought that “monster to its knees” and Herbert Warren Wind followed with a complimentary and widely read-article in The New Yorker Magazine, Jones was introduced to a mass audience and the cult of the golf course architect was born.
Jones was born in Ince, England, in 1906, and he immigrated with his parents to Rochester, N.Y., three years later. He was a scratch golfer by his early teens but an ulcer sidelined him from tournament competition. A high school dropout, Jones was working as a draftsman for a railroad company when the famous world architect Donald Ross came to Rochester to build Oak Hill. Jones was fascinated with what he saw, and in short order, he parlayed some golf connections into a special entry to Cornell University. There he designed his own course of studies to prepare for a career in golf course architecture, and although his special status failed to earn him a degree, he learned his lessons well enough that in 1930 he formed a partnership with Canadian architect Stanley Thompson to build and remodel golf courses.
Jones’ first masterwork came in 1948 when he collaborated with Bobby Jones on Peachtree Golf Club in Atlanta (to avoid confusion, Jones adopted the name Trent, from the river in England, and it stuck). Peachtree had all the design features that would become Trent Jones hallmarks: enormous, subtly-contoured greens that offered a host of pin positions, expansive tees that permitted numerous setups, unobtrusive hazards and a fanatical devotion to preserving the land’s natural beauty.
Trent Jones brought an unmistakable showmanship to his craft. This was never more evident than in the wake of his remodeling of Baltusrol’s Lower Course in 1952, when a particularly outspoken member criticized the newly-designed fourth hole, a 194-yard par-3 over water. Eager to rebuff the sniping, Jones grabbed a spoon and heroically marched his critic and a few bystanders to the tee. He took a swing and the ball took one hop and dived into the hole for a hole in one! “Gentlemen,” said Jones, “I think the hole is eminently fair.” Jones, who spent his final years confined to a wheelchair, held sway in 2000 at 93. After having one stroke, he awakened in his hospital bed to see his two sons at his bedside. “What are you doing here?” he questioned. “You had a little setback,” he was told. “You had a stroke.” “Do I have to count it,” he asked.
Jones finished the construction of Rio Rico in 1971, at the height of his career. His philosophy of risk reward architecture is never more evident than at Rio Rico. Huge bunkers and greens, strategically placed hazards, and multiple dog legs all place a premium on shot making. Jones also was obsessed with making sure the lay-out complimented and even improved the natural beauty of the land- and he achieved it with Rio Rico GC. With a championship length of 7200 yards, Rio Rico has been the site of multiple PGA sponsored events. .