Ancala CC, Scottsdale. Perry Dye, 1990.

This is where I got married, but I never played the course until years later (in fact at the wedding it was made quite clear to us and to our guests that we were not welcome near the course or even on the grass).

The front nine plays mostly down the hill, then back up. The third is probably the best hole going out—a long par 4 that employs the classic Dye trope of favoring a fade off the tee and a draw into the green.

The back nine offers the more memorable golf, particularly the short par 4s. The 13th offers a wide fairway and a downhill tee shot with the fairway running from right to left with the slope of the hill. There’s a single center line fairway bunker right where you’d love to land your drive. It takes a huge carry to get it over it, but if you can manage it, you’ll likely kick onto the green. Attempt the carry and go left and you’ll end up below the green with an awkward chip, and there’s precious little room to the right of the bunker. So the smart play is short of the center sand, but Dye and his sons made a career out of tempting people away from the safe, smart option.

The 15th is a shorter, more potentially reachable hole, only 300 yards from the back tees. But the front of the green is defended by a deep trench bunker to the right and a severe pot bunker to the left. The opening between them is only 10 yards wide.

Unfortunately, both nines close with the “Dye signature” holes—mirrored par 4s playing around either side of a railroad tie-supported pond. A bit hokey anywhere this finish is especially out of place here, on a course where water doesn’t otherwise appear.

Arizona 5th Decile [2012]

Credit: Golf Pass