El Rio Golf Course
El Rio Golf Course

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While El Rio might appear to be just another municipal golf course, it’s not. It’s something very special. There’s a pro golf history, a celebrity golf history, an economic history, a civil rights history and a natural history, all at El Rio Golf Course. El Rio was the first grass golf course built in the state of Arizona, the third overall. It was originally designed by legendary golf course architect William P. “Billy” Bell in the late 1920s. Hi Corbett played the first round of golf at El Rio on November 10, 1929. A renovation was done in 1936 by another legendary golf course architect, A. W. Tillinghast. It was the only private golf club in Tucson until the Tucson Country Club’s grass course was built in 1949. El Rio remained a private club until 1968 when it was acquired by the City of Tucson. A restoration was done in 2004.