Golf Course—First in Tucson

The first golf course in Tucson was a primitive "skin" golf course at the Tucson Country Club as early as 1914. A "skin" golf course is a dirt course which is sprayed with oil to make it smoother.

The first grass golf course in Tucson was completed in 1929. The El Rio Country Club was opened November 1, 1929, a week after the stock market crash. Despite the economic conditions the club had 250 members.

According to the Tucson Parks and Recreation brochure on city golf courses, the El Rio Golf Course remained a country club until 1968 when the city of Tucson acquired it for public use. Now known as the El Rio Golf Course, opens a new window, it is located at 1400 W. Speedway. In 1929 this was considered northwest of town. The first Tucson Open Golf Tournament was held at El Rio Golf Club in 1945 beginning a long tradition of professional golf tournaments.

Public golf courses maintained by Pima County Natural Resources, Parks and Recreation and the City of Tucson's Municipal Golf Courses are popular recreational sites for local residents as well as winter visitors.


Cox, Larry. The Book of Tucson Firsts. Tucson, Ariz.: Javalina Press, 1998. Page 61

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By any name, golf tournaments have thrived in Tucson. Arizona Daily Star, February 19, 2018.

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