#GolfVette Stop No. 6: The Stone Canyon Club; Oro Valley, Arizona

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Owned and operated by Phil Mickelson, he turns 50 today by the way. Happy birthday, “Lefty”. All of us at WBGD are hoping you chase down that U.S. Open trophy. Hale Irwin is the current oldest U.S. Open winner, he was 45.

1. One thing we’ll remember about The Stone Canyon Club in five years?
So many cactus and big boulders — many more than most desert golf courses. Golf aside, this is a beautiful piece of land with its hills, various cactus species and many beautiful gardens. Wild flowers grow in the rocky rough and they’re pretty to look at, but missed fairways here are typically lost balls. It’s a challenging golf course — it’s tight, but one a good player would want to spare with four times a week.

The late, great Jay Morrish designed this golf course and his opinions of the landscape are like ours, “It’s the most remarkable desert site I’ve ever seen. None of the others are in the same league with Stone Canyon. I think Stone Canyon will hold up over the years. It has everything but an ocean – changes of elevation, beautiful rock formations, desert flora. It’s an awesome piece of land.”

2. Favorite hole?
There isn’t a bad hole at Stone Canyon — this is an elite, world-class golf course. The 18th known as “Canyon Shadows” (photo top) gets photographed the most. It’s a long par 4 that plays back to the clubhouse patio where wagers are settled over cold beers. The burning Catalina Mountains set the backdrop for this slight dogleg right — the view from its perched tee is one of the best in all of golf.

3. Price?
Private club

4. Potpourri?
Like Lajitas in Texas, Stone Canyon is a topography marvel. The contrast of the sand, rock formations to green lush, fresh cut grass is extreme. Like many of the world’s best ocean golf courses in California, Dominican Republic and Ireland — Desert Canyon’s landforms are equally brilliant.

5. Location?
The Stone Canyon Club; 405 Tortolita Mountain Cir, Oro Valley, Arizona 85755, www.stonecanyon.com

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