stretch through the ravines and foothills near Pinnacle Peak in Scottsdale—a signature desert atmosphere, but also one where few wayward shots go unpun- ished. Take it from personal experience. www.troonnorthgolf.com TPC Scottsdale: It’s impossible to taste
the true flavor of Arizona golf without hit- ting the tee shot on No. 16 at the Stadium Course, where the PGA Tour stops every winter for a rollicking party. Just imagine No. 16, the famed par-3, teeming with thousands of crazy, exuberant, cocktail- filled fans. There’s always cachet in playing on the same course where Tiger Woods (long ago) and company play—just don’t expect spectators to move a boulder out of your way, as they once did for Tiger. www.tpc.com/tpc-scottsdale Boulders: As one friend describes it, the
“wow” factor is off the charts at this resort track. The club’s name is no illusion, with giant granite boulder formations—seri- ously giant—at every turn. Both the North and South courses are built into the desert foothills and offer spectacular vistas. It’s also common for golfers to come across desert wildlife (bobcats, rabbits, coyotes) while searching for errant shots. The Boulders is located in Carefree, Ariz., at the north end of the valley. www.bouldersclub.com
VALUE HUNTING The Raven – Phoenix: Start with one of the coolest logos going, a sleek black raven with wings majestically spread wide. (You almost expect Ray Lewis to swoop out of the desert brush and make a tackle.) The Raven is a touch more traditional than many Arizona courses, with some actual trees along the fairways. It’s also an ideal location for spring training visitors, not far from the airport and several ballparks. www.ravenphx.com The Raven – Verrado: This is an even better deal, tucked in the foothills of the White Tank Mountains in Buckeye (on the west end of the valley). The location offers fantastic views of the mountains and downtown Phoenix on a clear day. The course includes a wide variety of holes— from scenic par-3s to short, risk-reward par-4s—and striking elevation changes. Golfers also might view flyovers during the round, courtesy of Luke Air Force Base in nearby Glendale. www.ravenatverrado.com Las Sendas: This track in Mesa is a
little more fairly priced than its contempo- 36 / NCGA.ORG / WINTER 2013
The fifth hole at the Boulders South course.
Catch a Cubs game at nearby HoHoKam Park after your round [at Las Sendas]—and the Cubs are due, bearing down on 105 years since their last World Series title.