- The Boulders' South Course (Carefree, near Phoenix; tel. 480/488-9028): If you've ever seen a photo of someone teeing off beside a massive balancing rock and longed to play that same hole, then you've dreamed about playing the Boulders' South Course. Jay Morrish's desert-style design plays around and through the jumble of massive boulders for which the resort is named.
- The Gold Course at the Wigwam Golf Resort & Spa (Litchfield Park, near Phoenix; tel. 800/909-4224): If you're a traditionalist who eschews those cactus- and rattlesnake-filled desert target courses, be sure to reserve a tee time on the Wigwam's Gold Course. This 7,100-yard resort course has long been an Arizona legend.
- Gold Canyon Golf Resort (Apache Junction, near Phoenix; tel. 480/982-9449): This resort east of Phoenix offers superb golf at the foot of the Superstition Mountains. The 2nd, 3rd, and 4th holes on the Dinosaur Mountain Course are truly memorable. They play across the foot of Dinosaur Mountain and are among the top holes in the state.
- Troon North Golf Club (Scottsdale; tel. 480/585-7700): Designed by Tom Weiskopf and Jay Morrish, this semiprivate, desert-style course is named for the famous Scottish links that overlook the Firth of Forth and the Firth of Clyde -- but that's where the similarities end. Troon North has two 18-hole courses, but the original, known as the Monument Course, is still the favorite.
- Tournament Players Club (TPC) of Scottsdale (Scottsdale; tel. 888/400-4001): If you've dreamed of playing where the pros play, then plan a visit to the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess. Book a tee time on the resort's Stadium Course, and you can play on the course that hosts the PGA Tour's Phoenix Open.
- We-Ko-Pa Golf Club (tel. 866/660-7700): Located on the Yavapai Nation northeast of Scottsdale, this golf club includes two challenging 18-hole courses that are bounded by open desert and stupendous views.
- Sedona Golf Resort (Sedona; tel. 877/733-6630): It's easy to assume that all of Arizona's best courses are in the Phoenix and Tucson areas, but it just isn't so. Up in red-rock country, at the mouth of Oak Creek Canyon, the Sedona Golf Resort boasts a traditional course with terrific red-rock views.
- Lake Powell National Golf Course (Page; tel. 928/645-2023): With fairways that wrap around the base of the red sandstone bluff atop which sits the town of Page, this is one of the most scenic golf courses in the state. Walls of eroded sandstone come right down to the greens, and one tee box is on top of the bluff.
- Ventana Canyon Golf and Racquet Club (Tucson; tel. 520/577-4015): Two Tom Fazio-designed courses, the Canyon and the Mountain, are shared by two of the city's finest resorts. Both desert-style courses play through some of the most stunning scenery in the state. If I had to choose between them, I'd play the Mountain Course.
- Omni Tucson National Resort (Tucson; tel. 520/575-7540): With its wide expanses of grass on 18 holes and its additional 9 holes of desert-style golf, this course, once the site of the PGA Tour's Tucson Open, is both challenging and forgiving. The 18th hole of the combined Orange and Gold courses was considered one of the toughest finishing holes on the tour.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.