The Stone Canyon Club


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166. The Stone Canyon Club

Jay Morrish (2000)

The Stone Canyon Club, which climbs the slopes of the Tortolita Mountains north of Tucson, is considered the consummate desert design of the late golf architect Jay Morrish. Restricted by Arizona law to 90 acres of grass, Morrish’s routing demands forced carries over barrancas off several tees, but not into any green. Artful contouring mimics the ebb and flow of the rugged terrain, bunkers seem spun by nature and the glorious scenery, which includes the Catalina Mountains at the east end of the Sonoran desert, is spiked with Saguaro cactus. Ancient granite boulders and outcroppings don’t just frame holes, but play an integral part in many design strategies. Stone Canyon is a fitting punctuation to Morrish’s sterling career.

100 Greatest/Second 100 Greatest History: Ranked on America’s 100 Greatest, 2009-2010. Ranked on America’s Second 100 Greatest, 2013 to current. Highest ranking: No. 68, 2009-2010. Previous ranking: 155th.

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Panelist comments, Stone Canyon Club:

“Unique site in the desert laid out amongst giant rock formations in the foothills of the Catalina Mountains. Not flat like most typical desert courses the land really moves throughout the routing. Giant boulders throughout really make add to the scenic values compared to other desert course I have seen.”

“The entrance, landscaping, and general decor is high-end gorgeous, with every detail perfect. The clubhouse is tastefully designed and decorated. The practice area fabulous, with all the amenities one could ask for, including a 19th hole called “Double or Nothing.”

“Easily one of the most memorable golf courses I have played. From the second you walk up the steps to the clubhouse until you hit your final putt on 18, you are surrounded by incredible natural beauty.”

“Stone Canyon is likely to be considered Jay Morrish’s finest solo effort. It flows nicely through rocky mountain terrain and works through some very dramatic stretches of property. The stretch of holes 5 through 7 as well as the finishing three holes are the best that Stone Canyon has to offer. They are all excellent, sound, fundamental, and strategic holes using dramatic property.”

“Routing consists of two loops, clockwise on the front and counter-clockwise on the back nine. “

“Nestled neatly at the Catalina foothills of Tucson, weaving through formations of boulders and natural desert cactus. The conditions are firm fast and characterized by elevation changes. It is both challenging and fun while maintaining great tee shot that are unique and beautiful.”

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The fifth hole at Stone Canyon Club.

No. 15 green.

The approach to 17, and its desert surrounds.

The view behind the green at Stone Canyon’s 17th hole.

Stone Canyon 18.jpg
Rob Cross/courtesy of Stone Canyon

Looking up the home fairway at Stone Canyon.

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