The Pines at Marana - The Only One of Its Kind, Twice

The Pines at MaranaOur best laid plans often don’t turn out the way we intended, especially on the golf course. You aim right, the ball goes left; you compensate for  the wind, the wind dies as you make contact; you aim for the fat part of the green, your ball somehow nestles up nice and close to the pin.

When Brian Huntley and the team at Gilmore/Graves design set out to create an unmatched Arizona golf experience they didn’t plan on incorporating any of the pine trees that now give the course its name, instead their aim was to create Tucson’s first Scottish Links style course; an original. They would eventually succeed in producing something new, just not what they intended.

In 1997, the Links at Continental Ranch opened for business and Tucson had its “St. Andrews,” but the links landscape was quickly scrapped in favor of another original idea.

That’s because in 2000, the Town of Marana and the golf course’s ownership group agreed on a plan that would reclaim the previously abandoned 90+ acre, 100-foot-deep sand and gravel quarry that lie below the golf course by relocating 10 golf holes into the old quarry and reconfiguring eight of the existing holes.

When the transformation was complete in October 2003, Tucson was home to Arizona’s first quarry golf course. The visually stunning and dramatic The Pines Golf Club at Marana is now one of the most prominent, enjoyable and unique courses in Arizona and the second oneof-a-kind golf course to be constructed on the exact same property.

The Pines at Marana

The links footprint is still present on the opening nine that features stunning views of the surrounding mountains. But the real bread and butter of this desert dream is an unforgettable nine that dips down into the quarry.

The Pines signature hole is the par-3 11th. This spectacular hole requires a daunting tee shot across the quarry to an island green bordered by nothing but sheer cliffs; you can call it quarry golf’s version of No. 17 at TPC Sawgrass.

Mostly everyone who has played the Pines at Marana will agree the defining characteristic of this golf course is the variety displayed from hole to hole. The course isn’t a bruiser from the tee boxes, playing less than 6,500 hundred yards, but the Pines does require great imagination and shot-making ability if you hope to score well on the par-71 layout full of risk-reward opportunities.

While the desert surrounds this course, it doesn’t come into play all that often. Neither does water, as only one hazard exists off the third tee at No. 4 if you go for the green over the dogleg – about 320 yards from the back tee.

Like most courses, scoring is more dependent on putting than on navigating hazards and rock formations. Most of the greens at the Pines feature some modest undulation but some are steeply sloped, adding an extra element of challenge.

The Pines at Marana

Players who prefer pushing the pedal to the floor have three chances to do so on the opening nine, as the Pines offers three potentially drivable par-4s if a favorable wind exists. Make sure to save strokes on those holes because the two par-3s on the front can each play to over 200 yards.

The aforementioned quarry land reclamation project not only produced a wonderful golf facility, it turned a community eyesore into an asset. A nature trail has been built along the adjacent Santa Cruz River and donated to the Town of Marana, allowing local residents to enjoy the river on one side of the trail and dramatic views into the Pines Golf Club on the other.

Although the stunning landscape is the most acclaimed asset present at the Pines, the commitment to excellent customer service shouldn’t be overlooked. Additionally, golfers will experience toplevel conditions and affordable rates 12 months a year.

Players can save even more with the popular Gold Play Pass that includes two free rounds of golf and nine additional discounts for just $99 or by purchasing an annual membership. The Pines offers a full complement of services and amenities and is capable of hosting golf tournaments and group outings.

When planning your next golf tournament, be sure to consider the Pines. To ensure the success of your event, the Pines offers a variety of assistance including an online tournament planner. Through the online application, organizers can develop a customized Web site specific to any outing, online registration with payment options, tournament planning checklists and communication tools.

The Pines at Marana

The Pines Golf Club at Marana  is also on the cutting edge in terms of teaching and technology. In addition to comprehensive instruction from private lessons to group clinics offered by the PGA professionals at the Bright Side Golf Academy, players can learn the finer points of the game online courtesy of the Laptop Lessons offered at www.playthepines.com.

The Pines is the perfect place to warm up or work on your game, with a full-practice facility with a driving range, separate short-game area, chipping green with tow bunkers and putting greens.

The Pines at Marana is located just northwest of Tucson off I-10, an easy 90 minute drive from Greater Phoenix. To discover more about what The Pines has to offer, visit www.playthepines.com.

If you have any questions about one of the most unique golf courses in Tucson, please call The Pines Golf Shop at 520-744-7443 or 866-PINES-18.

Oakmont has its “Church Pew” bunkers, Augusta National has Amen Corner and Pebble Beach has a beautiful oceanfront finale. The Pines at Marana also has that “it” factor, capable of turning a great day of golf into an unforgettable adventure.

 

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