MountainView Golf Club: Public welcome to enjoy lush layout just north of Tucson

By Scott Behmer, Contributor

TUCSON, Ariz. -- Set against the western slopes of the Santa Catalina Mountains, MountainView Golf Club is a semi-private course just 15 minutes north of Tucson. Opened in the winter of 1997, it has generous fairways and receptive greens in fine condition, offering a layout that all players will enjoy. Here's a look.

MountainView Golf Club - 11th
MountainView Golf Club's 11th is the trickiest hole on course.
MountainView Golf Club - 11thMountainView Golf Club - 8th
If you go

MountainView opens with a straightaway, 373-yard par 4. The Catalinas shade the hole until mid-morning making for a cool start even in the summer. Its fairway slopes down to the right, so the ideal drive is up the left side to avoid finishing in the rugged natural terrain. A short iron remains to a wide but shallow green. The pins are color coded with red front, white middle, and blue back.

On your approach, if you finish short right, you'll be in a grass depression. These are common at Mountain View and often take the place of bunkers. Once on the green, give your putt a firm stroke to keep it on line. Rolling 8 on the stimpmeter, firmness is crucial.

No. 2 is one of my favorite holes. It's a dogleg right, 565-yard par 5. From the black tees you must choose the proper line to maximize the distance on your drive. From the other tees, it's a straight shot up the fairway. Two fairways bunkers dot the left side, capturing drives that attempt to scamper through the fairway.

Right of the fairway on the hill lies an old cattle lake where numerous species of wildlife, such as deer, mountain lion, and javelina, go to drink. MountainView sits at 3,300 feet, with temperatures a few degrees cooler than Tucson. Combining that with the nearby mountain terrain, it is easy to see why wildlife is a part of the course.

On your second shot, the best play is to the far left of the fairway, creating a straight approach into the green. Three bunkers partially guard the wide green's front. With an accurate wedge in, birdie is likely.

MountainView's most difficult par 3 is no. 8, measuring 207 yards. It's uphill into a large green. Two bunkers protect the back left portion. A back left pin placement is just a sucker pin. The smart play is to aim for the middle of the green and two putt for par.

MountainView Golf Club's back nine

The back nine opens with an uphill, straightaway 355-yard par 4. An ideal drive will find the right side of the fairway for a perfect approach angle. There really are no obstacles on no. 10, so with two good shots and a putt, you'll start the back side off the right way with a birdie.

Following such a straightforward hole, is the trickiest hole on course. Measuring 428 yards, a wash crosses the 11th fairway at 275 yards. The key here is to get as close to the wash as possible to leave a better angle of attack on the uphill second shot. Large trees will block a tee ball that comes to rest too far left, and a hook will be required just to reach the putting surface. Greenside, watch out for the large bunker left. Par here is a very good score.

Mountain View closes with a slight dogleg left, 495-yard par 5. Two left fairway bunkers need to be steered away from if you have hopes of reaching this green in two. With a long drive, a fairway wood remains into a large green. Three fairway bunkers within the last hundred yards are eager to catch any bounding drives headed for eagle territory. Further, there's a small bunker right of the green.

The large putting surface can leave long eagle putts if reached in two. From that distance you'll most likely be left with a testy four-footer for birdie.

After your round, relax at the large, luxury clubhouse behind the no. 18 green or at the grill by the pro shop. Both offer tasty food for a reasonable price. Further, the clubhouse can be rented out or reserved for parties or group outings.

MountainView Golf Club: The verdict

MountainView Golf Club is one of Tucson's best courses for all players, ideal for either a family outing or a competitive match. Take that short drive north of Tucson and check it out.

Scott Behmer, Contributor

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