American Society of Golf Course Architects

Ty Butler, ASGCA, collaborates with Notah Begay III on new Sewailo Golf Club

Tucson, Ariz.'s Pascua Yaqui Tribe has unveiled the Sewailo Golf Club. The club is the product of a collaboration between Ty Butler, ASGCA, and Notah Begay III. The course is expected to open for play in July.

Situated on formerly flat desert terrain south of the Casino Del Sol Resort, the site has been transformed into a rolling 18-hole, par 72 championship golf course.

“We started with a completely flat piece of desert terrain and created a dramatic golf course winding seamlessly through rolling terrain,” said Butler, of JMP Golf Design Group. “Notah and I worked hard to create a mix of superbly crafted strategic holes combined with a wonderful range of shot values and aesthetics.” The stream system plays a strategic role in many holes, as do the desert wash areas created to meander through the course. “We have incorporated multiple tee areas and generous fairways to increase playability and highly crafted bunkering will enhance strategic options and challenge the best players. It is a beautiful course that we believe will be a challenging and memorable golfing experience for players of all abilities.” 

“Sewailo is going to be a wonderful golf destination for southern Arizona.” said Begay, 4-time PGA Tour winner and Founder of golf course development firm NB3 Consulting. “It is a unique opportunity to showcase the beauty and tradition of the Tribe and further their mission of improving of the lives of the Pascua Yaqui community, as well as provide a tremendous recreational facility for generations of Yaqui, young and old to enjoy, and learn the great game of golf.”

The course features a picturesque stream system with lakes and waterfalls to create a very unique golfing experience. Sewailo, meaning “flower world” in the Yaqui language, includes abundant landscaping interwoven with the desert environment culminating at the finishing holes with extensive lush plantings of rose and other flowering plants. Thousands of existing desert plants were salvaged from the site and transplanted back to the course. The course transitions through the lush environment and desert terrain to create a wonderful “oasis” effect. Ken Alperstein of Pinnacle Design was charged with the landscape planting design.