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
Story by Terry Ross