Omni Tucson National Resort & Spa

Friday February 16th, 2007

In between preparing for the Ryder Cup and beating back guys half his age on the PGA Tour, 47-year-old Tom Lehman maintains a thriving golf course design business. His latest piece of handiwork is for the venerable Omni Tucson National Resort & Spa, which has played host to the PGA Tour since 1965.

Named for the desert that dominates southwestern Arizona, the Sonoran Course is the perfect complement to the resort's 60s-era Catalina Course. Part of Lehman's layout was the property's third nine, the Orange course, which was built 23 years ago. He scuttled many of the dull parkland-style holes, reworking the terrain to better conform to the new target-style nine he sculpted from the desert.

At 6,552 yards (par 70), the Sonoran Course is tighter, hillier and 700 yards shorter than the Catalina Course. Yet with natural washes, dense vegetation and terrific par 3s like the 183-yard third (set beneath the Santa Catalina Mountains) and the 171-yard 10th (with stunning desert views) this compact course packs the kind of punch its architect is hoping to see from his team in Dublin this fall.

Green fees: $70-$180.
Call 520-297-2271 or visit omnihotels.com

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