Golf Vacations - - Front Page - by TERRY ROSS

You some­times hear that golf clubs are “hid­den gems” or a “di­a­mond in the rough” be­cause they go un­known or are over­shad­owed by other cour­ses nearby. If that is the case, then Quin­tero Golf Club could be in the wit­ness pro­tec­tion pro­gram of golf with it be­ing sit­u­ated in a re­mote area of High­way 74 in Peo­ria, Ari­zona -- and the clos­est thing to an out­side eatery, gas sta­tion or store be­ing 20 miles away with noth­ing more than a two-lane road, cac­tus and tum­ble weed in be­tween. This is not to say that Quin­tero is not a great golf course - it is ranked by Golfweek in its Top 100 cour­ses - but this is cer­tainly not the down­town, glitzy desert ex­pe­ri­ence of say, Las Ve­gas and ev­ery­thing about this quaint, un­der­stated com­mu­nity says it is for those that want to get away, re­lax and en­joy one great desert golf trip. The gated com­mu­nity of Quin­tero, which is less than an hour from the Phoenix Sky Har­bor Air­port, con­tains only about a half dozen de­signer homes that are avail­able for some unique stay and play op­por­tu­ni­ties. The golf course it­self does a brisk vis­i­tor busi­ness from lo­cals in the Phoenix and Scotts­dale area, but as a place to go and stay - this is a real ex­pe­ri­ence. Quin­tero Golf Club, for­merly Quin­tero Golf and Coun­try Club, is a semi-pri­vate club that opened for daily-fee play in Novem­ber of 2011and sits at el­e­va­tions be­tween 1,986 and 2,670 feet in the stun­ning Hiero­glyphic Moun­tains. The homes on-site come com­plete with all the com­forts that a lux­ury trav­eler or ex­ec­u­tive would want - en­ter­tain­ing spa­ces with large kitchens, wet bar, fam­ily rooms with big-screen TV’s, for­mal din­ing ar­eas, pool ta­ble and even putting ma­chines to work on your game in­doors. All the com­forts of home and then some. A chef is even avail­able to pro­vide meals and host a party, if you are so in­clined. When who­ever coined the terms Guys Get­away or Cor­po­rate Re­treat - this is the kind of place they had in mind - se­cluded places to hang out, play cards and shoot pool by night and ex­pe­ri­ence great golf by day. The kid glove ser­vice that goes along with pro­vid­ing this type of stay is over­seen by Mike Poe, the Gen­eral Man­ager at Quin­tero, who di­rects a staff that prides it­self on cus­tomer care and feed­back to pro­vide the best stay-and-play ex­pe­ri­ence pos­si­ble. The re­mod­eled club­house and grill has an ex­panded out­door din­ing area and up­dated menu items, and the ren­o­vated golf shop now fea­tures col­lec­tions of lo­goed ap­parel by Nike and Greg Nor­man. Among the other re­cent up­grades to the fa­cil­ity is a newly-con­structed per­gola, aptly named “The View from the Q”, that over­looks the prac­tice range and in­cludes a bar­be­cue and ser­vice area that al­lows golfers to or­der food and re­fresh­ments while warm­ing up on the range or wait­ing to tee off. Other added ameni­ties in­clude a newly-de­vel­oped 6,500 square foot putting green, ad­di­tional tee boxes that will al­low the course to of­fer seven dif­fer­ent sets of rated tees for men and four sets of rated tees for women, so the course can be played any­where from 7,249 yards to 5,043 yards. The Reese Jones de­sign that me­an­ders through this Sono­ran Desert is kept in im­mac­u­late con­di­tion and is an ex­cel­lent test of golf. The lush fair­ways that break up this desert coun­try­side are a lit­tle more gen­er­ous

than they ap­pear at first glance, but this is a strate­gic lay­out that is bet­ter served us­ing long irons, hy­brids and fair­way woods off the tee in many ar­eas to avoid the many bunkers and the na­tive desert ar­eas that can add to your score in a hurry. The greens are rel­a­tively flat, but get­ting the right speeds takes some work on the prac­tice greens to get an ac­cu­rate feel for them. Know­ing the course and get­ting fa­mil­iar with its quirks is the key to scor­ing at Quin­tero, and their ex­cel­lent web site has some great fly­over videos and help­ful hints on learn­ing about this course be­fore tak­ing it on. The Par 5 8th Hole--which also hap­pens to be the No. 1 hand­i­cap - could be the most spec­tac­u­lar and the most in­ter­est­ing to play. The first shot is to a wide split fair­way, but place­ment is the key here be­cause the sec­ond shot needs to go over a deep wash and into the sec­ond half of the fair­way that is much tighter. This hole plays any­where from 586 yards to 453, de­pend­ing on which set of tees be­ing played. Be­cause of the many com­bi­na­tions of tee­ing ar­eas - such as the Gold, Gold-Sil­ver Combo, Sil­ver, Sil­ver-Cop­per Combo and the Cop­per tees, etc., you can find a com­fort­able dis­tance for most play­ers at 6,655, 6,437 and 6,069 yards - in ad­di­tion to three longer and two shorter op­tions than th­ese. If you are look­ing for great cus­tomer ser­vice and an ex­pe­ri­ence that has a re­laxed, lux­ury feel, then a trip to Quin­tero Golf Club is well worth it. To learn more about the course and the ameni­ties, you can go to the web­site: www.quin­tero­golf.com

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