Ritz-Carlton adds resort and spa to WGC-caliber golf course

By Mike BaileyFebruary 16, 2010, 2:16 am
ritz carlton dove mountain
The par-4 ninth hole at Ritz-Carlton Golf Club's Tortolita nine. (Russell Kirk/Ritz-Carlton)

MARANA, Ariz. – There's a new bonus to ranking as one of the top 64 players in the world. Not only does it secure you a spot in the WGC Accenture Match Play, but the pros can stay near the golf course in luxurious surroundings.

And now you can too.

For more golf in Arizona, or to plan your next trip, visit GolfArizona.com
Just in time for its second Match Play Championship, Ritz-Carlton has added a world-class resort and spa to the Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course.

Opened in December 2009, the Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain resort nestles into the foothills of the Tortolita Mountains north of Tucson. Giant saguaros grace the Sonoran Desert landscape as great care preserved several of the majestic plants next to the hotel.

The resort features a large spa, meeting rooms, fantastic restaurants and 250 ultra-comfortable and functional guest rooms. Guests can also enjoy an array of outdoor activities, including trail riding, biking, a jeep tour and 27 holes of Nicklaus-signature golf.

This marks the 72nd Ritz-Carlton property worldwide, and it's one of the Marriott-owned company's most exceptional.

'You can see that this is going to morph into something very, very special,' said Stephen Deucker, director of sales and marketing of the Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain.

Golf at the Ritz-Carlton

No matter the high quality of the spa and restaurants at the Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain, it all starts with the golf course. The Accenture Match Play, contested nearby at the Gallery Golf Club's South Course before moving to the Ritz-Carlton last year, utilizes the Tortolita and Saguaro nines.

Other golf options at the resort include the Tortolita/Wild Burro combination and the Wild Burro/Saguaro.

After the inaugural event drew criticism from players, Nicklaus' team made modifications – mostly on the severely undulating greens. Most of the holes changed, ranging from minor adjustments to more drastic measures that included the addition and relocation of bunkers.

The changes don't make the course any easier, especially for the resort golfer, but they do allow for more pin placements and higher green speeds, notably in tournament play. Nicklaus believes the course will develop into a favorite among the world's top players and resort guests. For now, though, it's in tip-top shape with plenty of interesting holes.

And lest we forget the Wild Burro nine, absent from the tournament rotation. Nicklaus describes it as his favorite layout among the three nines. At the very least, it's a great complement to the Tortolita and Saguaro. With its use of lakes and other design characteristics, it has a different look than the others, too.

An easy recovery at the Ritz-Carlton spa

The resort is about a five-minute shuttle ride from the golf course. And while walking back and forth is unreasonable, it is within the 850-acre property, which also includes residential units for sale.

Upon arrival, notice how the hotel lobby opens to a large deck, pool, and the great outdoors behind the resort. To your left sits the resort's 17,000-square foot spa, which, according to promotional material, 'embraces the enchanting habitat' of the surrounding mountain desert landscape.

With one of the finest setups in the Southwest, the spa offers 14 private treatment rooms, two esthetic rooms, a hydrotherapy room, Vichy shower and two oversized suites ideal for couples therapy. You can get a massage, facial, body treatments and a number of other services, including manicures, pedicures and hair salon treatments.

The layout includes separate facilities for men and women with secluded jacuzzis, saunas and steam rooms. Outside, you'll find an outstanding co-ed area with a pool situated in front of petroglyphs that date thousands of years. You can even schedule a lunar massage near the outdoor fire pits that illuminate a terrace.

Dining at a higher level at the Ritz-Carlton

Rarely do you see a chef who enjoys his work as much as Joel Harrington, who was lured from the renowned Fearing's Restaurant in Dallas.

Easy to spot with his mohawk hairdo as he walks through the Core Kitchen and Wine Bar – the Ritz's signature restaurant – Harrington often visits with guests, getting their feedback and telling his story.

This is unlike most dining experiences. Harrington's talent involes his imagination and ability to combine unusual ingredients. Have you ever tried avocado fries? How about Vermont syrup as a base ingredient for the lacquer in a chili-lacquered New York steak?

The menu blends the best of American flavors at the Core, though it's anything but ordinary. Unless you're a vegetarian, don't pass on the filet of buffalo. You won't need a knife or any sauce.

The wine room is fully stocked and then some. Or you can check out the Ignite lobby lounge, which offers a wide array of single-malt scotch, whiskey and brews from around the world.

Ritz Carlton Golf Club at Dove Mountain: The verdict

If you're looking for an upscale golf and spa experience, you won't be disappointed. Being new, it may need to work out a few kinks. But largely, it's a very serene experience – important if you have a little trouble with the Nicklaus greens or fail to reach the par-4 holes in regulation. It's an 8,000-yard golf course, so make sure you play the right tees.

I've been fortunate to enjoy a few spa experiences in the past few years, and this ranked right up there with the best. First, the massage treatment was first rate. My therapist hit all the right spots without causing undue pain. Additionally, the jacuzzi was very therapeutic. Relaxing under the stars – in both men's and co-ed areas – just added to the ambiance.

The rooms are also spot-on. Most impressive was the giant tub, big enough to accommodate a small swim meet. The tub allows full immersion in front of a small, flat-screen TV perched near the faucet. A separate shower, plus two his and her basins make the bathroom the envy of most luxury venues.

The room itself is state of the art. You can connect your computer to the large, high-definition LCD television to preview PowerPoint presentations or simply to watch HD programming. (Yes, hotels are finally marrying the high-def TV with an HD signal.) A very comfortable bed, dimmers on every light switch, turn-down service, an honor bar, a functional work area, high-speed Internet and great views of the desert complete the picture.

Ritz Carlton golf packages

The best way to enjoy the Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain? Book a golf-and-spa package. As of early 2010, the resort offered packages that started as low as $529 a night for accommodations, two rounds of golf, two spa treatments, valet parking and breakfast. For more information, visit www.ritzcarlton.com/dovemountain.

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With Woods living up to his legend, Tiger-mania is back

By Rex HoggardAugust 21, 2018, 4:13 pm

PARAMUS, N.J. – Just two weeks ago at the PGA Championship, fans pushed in along every corner of Bellerive’s 18th hole chanting, “Let’s go Tiger,” undeterred by the oppressive heat or the hopelessness of Tiger Woods’ title chances.

It was a fitting send-off for a player who would come up two strokes short in his quest to win his 80th PGA Tour title and his 15th major championship, not to mention an apropos snapshot of the massive St. Louis galleries who cheered Tiger’s every step.

It was also a sign of the times for the game’s most recognizable athlete.

Since Woods embarked on this most recent comeback from injury, the sense of excitement has steadily built. What began as a curiosity now looks like certainty.

Woods has repeatedly explained the 2018 season was always going to be filled with more questions than answers. He didn’t know how his repaired back would hold up under the pressure of competition or what swing he would have.

Fan didn’t know which Tiger would arrive on the first tee each week – Vintage Woods or the often-injured guy who managed to play just 19 events the last four years.

As Woods progressed, the answer seemed to be the former, with Tiger electrifying fans at the Valspar Championship on his way to a tie for second place.

“This entire year has been so different,” Woods said on Tuesday at The Northern Trust, his first playoff start since 2013. “I've had excitement. I've had people into it over the years, but this has been so different. We go back to how everyone received me at Tampa, that was very special and I had not received ovations and warmth like that.”

Woods tied for fifth at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and fourth at the Quicken Loans National. Despite Tiger's regular calls for patience and perspective, a fan base that was reluctant to dive back in with a self-described medical miracle is now wading into the deep end.

This zeal has built to a crescendo, with the PGA Championship emerging as the new raucous standard.

“I’ve played with him a lot during that time [in his prime],” Stewart Cink said late Sunday at Bellerive. “After the round yesterday, I commented it sounded like the old times, but the truth is it was more intense yesterday then I remember it being at any time.”

The Northern Trust: Articles, photos and videos

A portion of that Bellerive buzz was the byproduct of a community starved for major championship golf. And, to be fair, eventual champion Brooks Koepka earned his share of cheers for his third major triumph in his last six major starts. But the majority of that fervor was attibutable to Woods’ play.

Woods is not playing the role of ceremonial golfer and this is not a farewell tour. For the first time in a long time, his play has lived up to his legend.

There’s nothing better in sports then a comeback, and Woods may end up being the most compelling reclamation project golf has seen in decades.

“I think that everyone can relate to that because they have all gone through it. Everyone has got aches and pains, and whether you've had kids or not, you get to your 40s, you're feeling it, and I'm not the only one,” Woods explained. “The only difference is I'm an athlete and I'm playing at a high level and one of the best players in the world as what I do for a living. That's hard. People understand that. They understand, trying to compete against the younger generation, and it gets a little more difficult.”

Although Woods has given fans plenty to cheer along the way, this is about more than numbers on a scorecard. Approaching his 43rd birthday in December, Tiger has embraced his newfound health as much more than simply another competitive chapter. Woods’ comeback has been defined by a perspective that only comes when one faces their own competitive mortality.

He’s openly appreciative of this opportunity, and the crowds seem to realize that.

“I think that people are more, I guess appreciative. I don't want to make that sound wrong or anything but they know that I'm at the tail end of my career, and I don't know how many more years I have left,” he said. “I'm certainly not like I was when I was 22. Forty-two, it's a different ballgame.”

There’s still plenty of competitive compartmentalization, as evidenced by the all-too-familiar scowl he wore on Sunday at Bellerive. The difference, however, is that he’s more willing to offer the world a glimpse of a softer side where the sharp edges have been dulled by age and injury. On Tuesday, he was asked about his relationship with the crowds that line every fairway.

“Unfortunately, I've gotten to know a lot of them because I've hit a lot of wayward balls. I've signed a lot more gloves this year than I have in the past,” he laughed.

He’s also introduced an entirely new generation of fans to a concept only those of a certain age could previously understand: Tiger-mania.

Vandalized green at Sunshine Tour event (Micheal Hollick/Twitter) Getty Images

Vandals damage greens at site of Sunshine Tour event

By Golf Channel DigitalAugust 21, 2018, 3:20 pm

This week's Sunshine Tour event will continue as scheduled despite at least six greens being vandalized.

Sunshine Tour player Michael Hollick posted to his Facebook page photos of greens at Wild Coast Sun Country Club in Port Edward, South Africa, showing severe damage.

He stated that disgruntled former employees were to blame.

"So the local community near the Wild Coast Sun weren’t happy about something so what do they do.... they go onto the golf course and dig up the last 6 greens!! Boggles my mind what goes through the heads of some people..... apparently there were some staff fired for illegal striking this past week and this was their retaliation."

Here's a look at the photos posted by Hollick:

Vandals also left a message on a flag that stated: "This Is The Start."

The Sunshine Tour stated that the event, the Sun Wild Coast Sun Challenge, will still start on Wednesday, and that the tour has increased security measures. Here's a look at how the diligent grounds crew has repaired the putting surfaces:

Getty Images

NBC Sports Group to Air More Than 70 Live Tournament Hours of FedExCup Playoffs

By Golf Channel Public RelationsAugust 21, 2018, 2:35 pm

Coverage Begins with First Round of The Northern Trust on Golf Channel; Final Three Playoff Events Airing Across Both Golf Channel & NBC

Following last week’s Wyndham Championship – the 44th and final event of the 2017-18 campaign – the PGA TOUR this week kicks off its season-culminating FedExCup Playoffs, with a $10 million first-place prize on the line at the conclusion of next month’s TOUR Championship. Beginning with the opening round of The Northern Trust on Thursday, NBC Sports Group in total will showcase more than 70 hours of live tournament coverage spanning across the four playoff events, including the final three stops airing exclusively across Golf Channel and NBC.

Being staged at Ridgewood Country Club in Paramus, N.J., The Northern Trust will feature the top-125 players in the FedExCup standings having earned their PGA TOUR card for the 2018-19 season. Golf Channel will air live early round coverage on Thursday-Friday, Aug. 23-24, along with lead-in coverage on Saturday-Sunday, Aug. 25-26.

The following week, the top-100 players will be eligible to take part in the Dell Technologies Championship (Aug. 31-Sept. 3) at TPC Boston in Norton, Mass., the first of the final three events that will air exclusively on Golf Channel (Thursday-Friday, weekend lead-in coverage) and NBC (Saturday-Sunday). The top-70 players then will advance to the BMW Championship (Sept. 6-9) at Aronimink Golf Club outside of Philadelphia, and ultimately, the top-30 will go on to the TOUR Championship (Sept. 20-23) at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta.



Play-by-Play Host

Lead Analyst




The Northern Trust

Rich Lerner

Nick Faldo

Matt Gogel

Billy Ray Brown

Todd Lewis

Dell Technologies Championship

Dan Hicks

Steve Sands

Johnny Miller

Frank Nobilo

Gary Koch

Peter Jacobsen

Roger Maltbie, David Feherty, Notah Begay, Jim “Bones” Mackay

Steve Sands

George Savaricas

BMW Championship

Dan Hicks

Steve Sands

Johnny Miller

Gary Koch

Peter Jacobsen

David Feherty

Roger Maltbie, Mark Rolfing, Notah Begay, Jim “Bones” Mackay

Steve Sands, Todd Lewis

Jimmy Roberts (Essays)

TOUR Championship

Dan Hicks


Johnny Miller

Frank Nobilo

Gary Koch Peter Jacobsen David Feherty

Roger Maltbie, Notah Begay, Jim “Bones” Mackay

Steve Sands, Todd Lewis

Jimmy Roberts (Essays)


NEWS COVERAGE: Golf Channel’s news programs, Golf Central and Morning Drive, will provide comprehensive wraparound news coverage throughout the FedExCup Playoffs with interviews, highlights, on-site reports and features. Golf Channel analysts, including Notah Begay, Brandel Chamblee, David Duval, Trevor Immelman and Mark Rolfing, all will contribute to pre-and-post round coverage on Golf Central during the course of the playoff events. Chantel McCabe and Brian Bateman also will contribute to Morning Drive on-site from TPC Boston at the Dell Technologies Championship, Friday-Monday.


In addition to NBC Sports Group’s more than 70 dedicated live hours of tournament coverage surrounding the FedExCup Playoffs, fans also will have an opportunity to follow the action via PGA TOUR LIVE. Coverage of “Featured Groups” will be available during first and second round play at each of the four events leading up to linear broadcast coverage, along with “Featured Holes” during all rounds throughout the Playoffs airing concurrently during live broadcast coverage.


Golf Channel Digital will have comprehensive editorial coverage of the FedExCup Playoffs with columns and daily blogs. Coverage across the four playoff events will be led by Jay Coffin and Rex Hoggard (The Northern Trust); Hoggard and Will Gray (Dell Technologies Championship); Ryan Lavner and Nick Menta (BMW Championship); Hoggard and Mercer Baggs (TOUR Championship).

Golf Channel’s social media platforms – Twitter, Facebook and Instagram – will provide expanded social coverage surrounding the final stretch of the season. Golf Channel and NBC also will integrate social media content throughout its live tournament telecasts, incorporating social media posts from players and fans. News and tournament action surrounding the FedExCup Playoffs can be accessed at any time on any mobile device and online via Golf Channel Digital. Fans also can stream NBC Sports’ coverage of live golf via NBC Sports.com and the NBC Sports App.



The Northern Trust (Aug. 23-26)

Thursday, Aug. 23                  7:30 a.m.-3 p.m. (Featured Groups)  PGA TOUR LIVE

                                              2-6 p.m. (Live)                                   Golf Channel

Friday, Aug. 24                       7:30 a.m.-3 p.m. (Features Groups)   PGA TOUR LIVE

                                              2-6 p.m. (Live)                                   Golf Channel

Saturday, Aug. 25                   1-2:45 p.m. (Live)                              Golf Channel

Sunday, Aug. 26                     Noon-1:45 p.m. (Live)                        Golf Channel

Dell Technologies Championship (Aug. 31-Sept. 3)

Friday, Aug. 31                       8:30 a.m.-3 p.m. (Featured Groups)  PGA TOUR LIVE

                                              2:30-6:30 p.m. (Live)                         Golf Channel

Saturday, Sept. 1                    8:30 a.m.-3 p.m. (Featured Groups)  PGA TOUR LIVE

                                              3-6:30 p.m. (Live)                              Golf Channel

Sunday, Sept. 2                      1-3 p.m. (Live)                                   Golf Channel

                                              3-6 p.m. (Live)                                   NBC

Monday, Sept. 3                     11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. (Live)               Golf Channel

                                              1:30-6 p.m. (Live)                              NBC

BMW Championship (Sept. 6-9)

Thursday, Sept. 6                    11 a.m.-3 p.m. (Featured Groups)      PGA TOUR LIVE

                                               2-6 p.m. (Live)                                   Golf Channel

Friday, Sept. 7                        11 a.m.-3 p.m. (Featured Groups)      PGA TOUR LIVE

                                              2-6 p.m. (Live)                                   Golf Channel

Saturday, Sept. 8                    Noon-3:30 p.m. (Live)                       NBC

                                              3:30-6 p.m. (Live)                              Golf Channel

Sunday, Sept. 9                       Noon-2 p.m. (Live)                            Golf Channel

                                              2-6 p.m. (Live)                                   NBC

TOUR Championship (Sept. 20-23)

Thursday, Sept. 20                  10 a.m.-1 p.m. (Featured Groups)      PGA TOUR LIVE

                                               1-6 p.m. (Live)                                   Golf Channel

Friday, Sept. 21                      10 a.m.-1 p.m. (Featured Groups)      PGA TOUR LIVE

                                              1-6 p.m. (Live)                                   Golf Channel

Saturday, Sept. 22                  12:30-2:30 p.m. (Live)                       Golf Channel

                                              2:30-6:30 p.m. (Live)                         NBC

Sunday, Sept. 23                     Noon-1:30 p.m. (Live)                       Golf Channel

                                              1:30-6 p.m. (Live)                              NBC

Getty Images

Woods talks about Ryder Cup prospects in third person

By Ryan LavnerAugust 21, 2018, 1:47 pm

Conversations between Jim Furyk and Tiger Woods have gotten a little awkward.

That’s what happens when Woods, the U.S. Ryder Cup vice captain, needs to assess the prospects of Woods, the player.

“We’re talking about myself in the third person a lot,” he said with a chuckle Tuesday at the Northern Trust Open. “That’s one of the most interesting conversations I’ve ever had and I’m having a lot of fun with it.

“I’m one of the guys on the short list, and sometimes I have to pull myself out of there and talk about myself in the third person, which is a little odd.”

The Northern Trust: Articles, photos and videos

After placing second at the PGA Championship, Woods finished 11th on the U.S. points list with just eight months of tournament results. Three of Furyk’s four captain’s picks will be announced after the BMW Championship in three weeks, and barring a late injury, it’s almost a certainty that Woods will be one of those selected.

Still, Woods was named in February as an assistant for his third consecutive team competition, even though he told Furyk at the beginning of the year that he envisioned himself as a player on the 2018 squad.

“I’m very close to making that happen,” he said. “It’s been a long year, and that’s been one of my goals, to make the team. To be a part of that team you have to be one of the 12 best players, and I’m trending toward that.”