I've been playing Turquoise Valley Golf Course since 1966. It was formerly supported by Phelps Dodge, named Bisbee Country Club, PD is one of the World's Largest Copper and Mining Companies and then when Copper Mining ceased, it was turned over to the City of Bisbee. But then came along a Miracle, not only for the Community as a whole, but for those who love to play golf. And to us, it was a miracle. The City of Bisbee had let the Golf Course and the facility go downhill due to lack of money, among other things. Then along came Pete and Leslie Lawson from Canada. Pete liked the atmoshphere and the great weather, apparently, and decided to buy the course along with the old clubhouse.
What followed is the Miracle. Lawson must have put about 10 million dollars not only into the golf course, adding another 9 holes designed by a local golf professional, Dick Atkinson, but Lawson completely remodeled the rather large clubhouse added a 100 spot RV Park and more.
If you had been there 20 years ago, and went there today, you would see the Miracle. The place is a jewel, not a semi-precious stone like its name, Turquoise, but a Diamond. (The area has the world's best Turquoise which is dark Bisbee Blue with Gold Matrics and is a rare, semi-precious stone. The Turquoise was unearthed from the mining days of Phelps Dodge Copper-recently aquired, bought and now owned by Freeport Gold and Copper). At one point Bisbee was the largest City in Arizona. (Just a little history). And the city is growing, thanks to smart investors,
Now about the 18 Hole Golf Course and the newly remodeled clubhouse, Restaraunt, Bar and RV Park. Lawson decided to add a 100 spot top-notch RV facility to boot and spent another million there. (At least)
The front nine (9) was built long ago by the WPA, and is a spacious layout and challenging. The layout was kept original by Lawson, and he put a few million into that, too. So if you are a scratch golfer and can manage to hang around par on the front, you've done something, and there are tees for the Pro's, the Amateurs, Seniors and the Ladies. So it's not only a bit difficult for the lower handicapper (playing tha back tees), but the tees are closer for the ametures and accomodate every level of play. The fairways are lush and the greens are demanding and in fine condition. They are well manicured thanks to Superintendant Bobby Ruff and his crew. Not to mention Lawson investing millions of dollars, making this a well cut nd polished Jewel, fun and challenging to play. And onward to the back none (9), which Lawson bought the land from the Arizona Water Company and, spent a few more million building and fine tuning another 9 holes and had local Golf Professional Dick Atkinson do the layout and design, which, by the way, is as fun and challenging to play as it gets in golf. Here's where you can make up some shots, if you play it smart, or you can lose some strokes by hitting the Driver (And there are a couple of driveable par four's (which is one of Tom Weiskopf's trademarks, a golf designed and former PGA Tour majot winner). Atkinson didn't copy that theory, it's used at many courses including Bethpage Black where they recently played the U.S. Open and the Fed Ex Cup Playoffs.. One of the driveable par fours, number 10, can be reached by a long drive, but there's trouble if your long or right. The back 9 winds around historic Green Brush draw, where scientists have found rare dinasour bones, but if you take the risk, and don't get the reward, the layout can bury you too. There is a par 6 (Number 15-"The Rattlesnake") which is laid out much in the form of a Diamondback Rattler and is 747 yards. On 15 you can take 4 to get home and putt for birdie, or you can go for broke, like I have done, and wind up taking 13 blows. It's risk reward throughout the back nine (9). There are subtle slopes in the greens, and of course, well maintained and a great design and fun to play. The golfer's eye can be deceiving to him/her when you look from the tee forward, but there's actually plenty of room out there. But here's where you can make up a few shots, if you play it wisely. So it all equals out. And it's a great way to finish an entertaining and enjoyable 18 hole round. The entire course is sourrounded by beautiful mountains and is well manicured and beautiful winding through the high Southwest Desert. I'd describe the layout as exciting and challenging!
When you are finished enjoying your 18 holes of play, and you've probably worked up a bit of an appetite by then, there's The Best Mexican Food in the Southwest (I mean the best-I've been here 50 years and tried most every Restaraunt from Mexico to New Mexico, to California and in between) and this food is tops.
My favorite is the Green Chili Chimichanga with Rice and Beans, and if your not in the mood for Mexican Food, there's alot of variety on the menu-I prefer a the fat, juicy Hamburger with all the trimmings, and fries and you'll get a Burger that is out of this world, They had a Shrimp night last time I was there (Friday) with live music and I got to have a conversation with the Owners-Pete and Leslie, and you wouldn't know that they were Millionairs unless someone told you, because they are a couple of the most friendly, down to earth people I've ever met.
I would recommend you try Turquoise Valley (it's about a Driver shot from the Mexican border in Naco, AZ). The prices are unlike most luxurious Country Clubs, and you'll get the Country Club quality at a very reasonable price and it's open to the public. Now, I guess I gave my secret away (TVGC, RV, Bar and Restraunt)- It has spoiled me- but I do realize how lucky we are to have this sort of quality right here in our back yard. The Lawson's have done a great deal for Cochise County, the City and the State of Arizona by offering all of this to the public at Low cost Greens Fees, Great Food and Service at Great Prices. Try it, you'll love the place, and you may just join as a member (which is also offered at this Public Jewel), and the membership prices are about the lowest I've ever seen. Treat yourself to an outing of golf and a dinner-either or both, I'm spoiled and I do that alot there, but it's vary affordable, and for a low price you can spoil yourself, too. Why not, once you've tried TVGC and RV, Bar and Restraunt, I know-You'll be back.
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