Quarry Pines Golf Club sounds like a course where you might find Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble puttering around in foot-powered golf carts. But the time is today, not the Stone Age, and the place is Arizona, not Bedrock.
Still, you’d swear Quarry Pines was designed by Pete Dyenosaur or Jack Nickrock (inside joke for golfers who grew up watching The Flintstones). That’s because its stunning back nine was carved out of an actual abandoned sand and gravel quarry.
Quarry Pines is just off Interstate 10, 22 miles northeast of Tucson and just 100 miles southeast of Phoenix. The closest small town is Marana, where top pro golfers competed in the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship from 2007 to 2014. That event wasn’t played at Quarry Pines—but while other courses might be stronger tests for the world’s best, this 6,318-yard, par 71 public layout full of elevation changes provides plenty of fun and challenges for everyday players of all skill levels.
Even before major alterations in 2000 gave the course its unique present character, this course was one of the most popular in Tucson thanks to its desert valley setting. Mount Lemmon and the rest of the Santa Catalinas are to east, Wasson Peak and the Tucson Mountains to the southwest. The views were breathtaking even before course owners took possession of the adjacent closed quarry and relocated 10 holes beneath its gravelly rim. The updated course’s velvety green undulations and thousands of trees and shrubs set off jarring contrasts with the quarry walls as golfers advance from one chilling mountain vista to the next.
But the spectacular beauty isn’t all that attracts vacationers and new visitors regularly and brings local golfers back time after time. Simply put, Quarry Pines is eminently playable—comfortable early but laced with interesting challenges later in the round. Beyond that, the Quarry Pines staff has a well-deserved reputation for superior customer service. You’ll find leading brands of clubs and golf apparel in the pro shop, a breakfast and lunch menu (plus beer and wine selections) at Putters Grill, and a practice facility where the inexpensive options include unlimited range balls for a full day. The golf rates are inexpensive, too, especially when you take advantage of huge discounts for booking your tee time online.
Chances are you’ve played courses that are far more expensive than Quarry Pines, not to mention more exclusive. Almost certainly, you’ve played courses far longer.
But you may never have a golf experience that’s more memorable.