As the sun sinks below the Santa Rita Mountains, towering shade trees and adobe haciendas cast long shadows across Agua Linda Farm’s 63 acres. Over the years, this idyllic farm has nabbed attention from the press as well as visits from celebrities such as Elizabeth Taylor and John Wayne, who may have played hide-and-seek amid the rows of organic vegetables and flowers. In addition to a focus on sustainable agriculture, the farm strives to serve as a community hub. Farmsteaders Stewart and Laurel Loew host dinners, weddings, and scarecrow support groups in the adobe hacienda, and spark the imaginations of young horticulturists with family-centric spring and fall harvest festivals.
The Divide—a name derived from the course's position within two counties—offers lush greenery, rolling hills, carefully crafted ponds, and impeccably manicured greens. Golfers of all skill levels are welcomed to blast off dimpled cosmonauts from one of four tee-box locations featured at each hole. After breaking into the vast Bermuda fairways, foresighted fore-shouters can implement a wide range of clubs—the scorecard pencils in a smorgasbord of game changing par 3's and par 5's, many of which are known for culling birdies, eagles, and sleeping snowmen from their respective numerical nests. Off the beaten cart path, The Divide pampers players with pro shop merchandise, driving range facilities, and on-site dining options at The Grill, including snacks, meals, and liquid performance enhancers posing as cocktails.
The Golf Club at Vistoso’s PGA Director of Instruction Noreen Chrysler draws from 16 years of coaching experience to sculpt rough-edged swings into smooth, dependable motions that result in tee-to-green success. Opt for a package of one or three private lessons and receive one-on-one swing therapy to correct chronic slices, shore up unreliable putting strokes, or determine whether or not your sand wedge is living a fulfilling life. During couples lessons, divot-tearing duos pulverize orbs in unison under Noreen’s watchful eye, allowing clients to learn from the triumphs and mistakes of their cohorts. With each lesson package, clients receive a commensurate number of sessions at the club’s expansive driving range, where clients sidle up to one of more than 20 hitting stalls to launch practice spheres at distant targets or hovering weather balloons of prey.
Each of the 18 fairways at Haven Golf Course presents golfers with a lush Bermuda-grass oasis in which to craft artful divots as they traverse the par-72 track. The Arthur Jack Snyder, ASGCA design leads playing groups along 6,905 yards of the Green Valley, clustering around a large elongated lake on one side and wrapping around several residential blocks on the other. Prior to embarking on their expedition, groups can warm up at the practice facility, complete with grass tees that mimic on-course lies.
Adjacent to the main championship course lies Haven's Tortuga Golf Course, a short par-3 course with holes that measure between 50 and 90 yards. This shrunken jaunt presents beginning golfers with an easy place to take up the game and more experienced golfers a place to practice air strumming their putter.
Course at a Glance:
Green Valley Lanes recently updated its facility to include a new scoring system with 32-inch LCD monitors and cameras, resurfaced and newly buffed lanes, and Brunswick all-wood professional pins. The biggest innovation, however, was the installation of rooftop solar panels, which allow the alley to be completely powered by the sun. But while the renovations have given the facility a modern luster, the rules of the classic sport remain the same, as couples, families, and pros alike engage in 10-frame competitions to see who can pummel the most pins and who can deliver the most heartfelt apology afterwards. The familiar beeps emanating from the video arcade act as a siren call for thumbs eager to twiddle the joysticks of games such as Street Fighter and Tekken 3, and bowlers can rest their throwing arms while savoring a cocktail or beer at the Wet Spot bar and lounge or slices of pizza crafted with homemade dough at the Perky's Pizza snack bar.