Review and Rating of Dove Mountain Golf Club's Wild Burro Nine in Marana Arizona
Dove Mountain Golf Club is home to three very distinct and unique nine hole courses that were designed by legendary champion Jack Nicklaus. Jack designed each nine to take advantage of the natural high Sonoran desert terrain to create 27 holes that require some strategy, shot making, and excellent putting skills. The Saguaro nine, which was the front nine for the Accenture Match Play Championship which featured the top 64 players in the official World Golf Ranking, is the flattest and most wide open of the nines as it plays away from the Tortolita mountains and then back up toward the mountains. The greens on Saguaro are huge and heavily contoured, water on two holes can be troublesome, and the 39 bunkers can add some strokes to your game.
Tortolita was the back nine for the Accenture Match Play and it is the most difficult and most scenic of the three nines as it plays back into the canyon. Read our review of Tortolita to learn more of this nine that we rated 9.2. Wild Burro is the favorite with the local residents and is challenging because of it’s tighter fairways, more forced carries, and deeper bunkers.
With an excellent layout, challenging greens, scenic vistas, near perfect conditions, superb facilities, and good service, It’s not surprising that Dove Mountain has won a number of awards and accolades over the years, some of which include:
Arizona Magazine rated it the “Best Course in Arizona”
Golf Digest rated it the 27th Best Resort Courses in the United States
Golfweek Magazine listed it in their list of the “Best Courses You Can Play in Arizona,” “Best Resort Golf Courses,” and “Best New Courses”
Wild Burro was the Golden Bear's favorite nine of the three at Dove Mountain Golf Club and it's a beauty. You'll find some wide fairways off the tee box, long nasty bunkers, carries over the desert on almost every hole, a beautiful lake to carry on one hole, dog legs, and some washes to carry to get to the green.
All of the holes are great and a little different from the previous hole, but our favorites were:
#2 is 541 yard par five that takes a 90 degree left turn around two side by side fairway bunkers and requires some accuracy to avoid an 80 yard long waste bunker on the way to a green surrounded by 4 bunkers
#3 is a 437 yard par 4 with a wide fairway that heads right to a wash crossing the fairway about a hundred yards in front of a green with no room for error – a wash and bunker on the left and desert covering the rest of the green
#6 is the #1 handicap and it's a fun 541 yard par 5 with an elevated tee shot over a lake, then down and over a wash to a green with a left and right side bunker
The bent grass greens at Wild Burro were in very good condition, ran at a good speed of around 10.5 or so, and held the ball well. Some are raised and all of them require an accurate approach shot. They are a variety of shapes and range from 29 to 36 yards deep. Slope and contour can make for some demanding putts.
The fairways at Wild Burro were also in excellent condition. They are ample off the tee box and a little tighter on the approach shots. The rough is wide and playable but if you miss it watch out for the cacti in the desert! Some beautiful homes are scattered along one side of some of the fairways but shouldn't come into play unless you really spray the ball.
The bunkers are perfect with soft fluffy thick sand and manageable lips. They range in size from smaller pot type bunkers to some long and nasty waste bunkers.
The slope and rating are based on playing Wild Burro and Tortolita.
The pro shop is outstanding (it was rated in the Top 100 Golf Shops), the clubhouse is upscale and Clayton's Burger Bistro serves gourmet burgers, shakes, signature entrees and an extensive selection of Regional Craft Beers.