Hole Profile: No. 12 at Santa Rita's is a Marksman's Dream
TUCSON - Wind is one of the few elements that modern golf technology cannot prevent against nor deal with. And if you're playing the 12th hole at the Santa Rita Country Club off Houghton Road in Tucson, wind can be a major factor.
The 12th hole is a par 3, 275-yard with no place to bail out. Basically, a golfer must hit the ball straight and hard if they want to get out of there alive, or at least with a bogey.
Gary Kilhullen, the sales manager at Santa Rita and a self-described "scratch golfer", explains the peril of the hole.
"The toughest is, without a doubt, the 12th hole," he said. "There's an out-of-bounds on the right and a lateral hazard on the left. It's so darn narrow, there's no place to bail out."
One's ability to sink or swim relies heavily on the wind facing you in the box.
"The hole's different when there's wind," Kilhullen said. "With no wind, you're looking to play a long iron or fairway wood to get to the green."
And, if there is wind, the hole becomes an entirely different entity upon itself.
"If there's any breeze out there, four is not a bad score," Kilhullen said. "But it's so narrow that people go out of bounds often. Mix in the wind, and there's potential for a rough hole."
But, as bad as the hole can be, it's only a par three.
"I've seen people score 19's before," he said. "I've pulled sevens. I'm a scratch golfer out here, and I think it's one of the most challenging holes I've played."
Kilhullen, who claims he has been playing golf for over 20 years, is constantly challenged by his home course.
"It all depends on the wind," he said. "There's many different ways you can play the hole."
The Santa Rita Country Club is located off of exit 275 near Interstate 10 near Tucson. Take Houghton Road seven miles to the club.