Piling award upon award, The Boulders Resort in Carefree/Scottsdale, Arizona, is on the new “Best Golf Resorts in the U.S.” list on the golf travel website, the A Position. The resort is also a winner of Golf Magazine’s “Platinum Medal” award as one of the “Top 10 US Courses” and on Golfweek’s “Best Courses, State-by-State”.
One of two stunning Jay Morrish-designed courses, the North Course rambles into vibrantly colored rock formations, rugged canyons and arroyos. Cooing doves and quail, roadrunners, fat Gila monsters, deer and the occasional bobcat and coyote roam the groves of cacti and the rocky streambeds (the "coyote rule" allows you to replay a shot without penalty when a coyote grabs your ball). A dozen doglegs and generous fairways careen across a rolling desert to super-fast greens. Towering cacti and giant boulders are so distinctive and sizable that they are marked in the yardage booklet. On 17, a monster rock stands in the middle of a greenside bunker.
7,007 yards from the tips, the South Course has a bracing 73.3/146 rating/slope. Forced carries and elevated tees show off the desert splendor along narrow fairways lined with 6-story-tall boulders and ancient saguaros, dry washes and sandy waste areas. On the signature "Boulder Pile" 5th hole, the green lies below a tremendous bastion of boulders. While fairways and shoulders are mowed short, off the turf in the low brush and cacti, you're dead. The starter hints at some interesting indigenous fauna: "You are welcome to hit out of the rough, but, bring a stick."
Two solutions are available to combat the challenges of “desert target golf”. #1: schedule a lesson at The Boulders Golf Academy with Donald Crawley, named among Golf Magazine's “Top 100 Teachers in America.”
#2: The Boulders has recently created two new faster-play layouts that are perfect for busy visitors who have only an hour to spare and for less experienced golfers. The new courses feature yardages of 100--200 yards and were created by installing new “pebble tees.” The short courses are available for play (afternoons only) with rates from $65 during peak season (January-May).
A Waldorf Astoria Resort, The Boulders is Southwestern luxury defined, with 160 guest casitas and 61 one-, two- and three-bedroom villas, 7 restaurants, 8 tennis courts and the full-service, world-famous Golden Door Spa.
- luxury casita accommodations
- daily choice of unlimited golf or $150 spa credit (per adult)
- $25/person food & beverage credit
Founder/editor of BestGolfResortsofTheWorld.com, Karen Misuraca is a travel and golf writer from the California Wine Country. She blogs golf travel here and writes about culture and eco-travel at DeepCultureTravel.com. Check out Karen's new iPhone app, California Coast North.