Quintero Golf and Country Club is the realisation of the dream of Lea and Gary McClung whose determined mission was to provide top golf to a friendly community.
With a little help from Rees Jones and co-designer Steve Weisser, the McClung dream has come true. Formerly called the Founder’s course (as there was a second Quintero course in the offing called Charter, which was billed to be a Greg Norman design but never broke ground), it's a spectacular layout set amidst the cacti of the Sonoran Desert. The layout is routed through valleys in the foothills of the central Arizonan Hieroglyphic Mountains. Not only do the mountains provide a dramatic backcloth but also thrilling elevation changes.
Perhaps the best hole, or at least one of the most unforgettable one-shot holes you’re likely to encounter, is the 9th, where you’ll need to carry a diamond shaped lake in order to find the green which is set stage-like atop a rock wall.
Once the exclusive preserve of a select number of members, the course was made available to the general public in 2011.
Had the opportunity to play and it is a haul from Scottsdale but it is so worth it. First and foremost, a very challenging track where there are only 2-3 holes where you can catch your breath off the tee and that starts with the opening hole. The collection of Par 3SM are fantastic especially the two on the front, #6 and #9.
As a public course, it certainly is the finest in the area and competes well with some of the high-end resort and private courses. Well worth the drive.
One of the issues that has often impacted the efforts of Rees Jones designs is how the actual finished product blends or fails to blend in with the property used. When Quintero shifted its status from a private club to a public one it clearly opened the doors for more people to play this interesting layout.
The isolation of the course in Peoria is also a plus. You don't get the bombardment of housing and other insertions found at many of the Phoenix / Scottsdale courses.
Once you get past the pedestrian opening hole the remaining eight holes on the outward side are very good. The split fairway at the 2nd is nicely done. The par-4 3rd is a wonderful contrast turning left in the fair fairway with water tugging close to the left side of the green on the approach.
The par-3's on the front are quite challenging. The dropshot 6th is quite vexing with unpredictable winds impacting one's approach as it flies high into the air. The conclusion for the front comes with an even more daunting challenge at the 9th. The par-3 plays 212 yards but water diagonally angles necessitating proper club selection. Any pic placement hugging the right side -- whether front or rear -- will need one's total respect or it's a near certainty you'll be donating one's ball permanently to Quintero.
The inward half is routed on a far more compact piece of land. And the initial holes starting the back nine go primarily back and forth. There's also a bit more shaping involved and, as a result, the holes tend to stand apart -- rather than blend in as well as those from the front side.
Peoria and the surrounding area was looking to be the "next" big time development area for the broader Valley of the Sun area. That goal was derailed when The Great Recession hit hard and even though economically matters have settled and doing quite well in the core Phoenix / Scottsdale areas -- the isolation of Peoria clearly impact what is likely to happen from an expansion side.
I read the previous review and I find it hard to imagine how someone could rate the course at the maximum high level. The only rationale I could come to is having a limited portfolio of other desert courses from which to compare / contrast.
Quintero is a testing golf course with sufficient shotmaking challenges requiring plenty of clear thinking in tandem with solid execution. Merits taking the ride from the core areas of Phoenix and Scottsdale and checking out.
M. James Ward