Boulders North

The Boulders Club, Carefree. North Course by Jay Morrish, 1984.

The older and generally less spectacular of the Boulders courses, though for that it often offers better golf by staying away from some of the dramatic rock formations.

There are a couple holes on the front that feel a bit tight off the tee, like the seventh and eighth. Also the par-3 14th over a pond feels rather out of place.

But for the most part this is a very solid course with some really nice holes using both features on the ground and in the field of vision. The first is a strong start. The fairway is wide but narrows considerably the farther you hit it, so if you have designs at trying to reach the green in two you’ll have to be precise with your first swing of the day. Otherwise, your second shot is across a wash and short of a field of bunker that protect the right front of the green.

#3 green (Credit: Bogeys Across America)

The third is another par 5 that curves hard to the left with the green set on the far side of a dry wash.

The fourth isn’t a spectacular hole but the tee shot looks great, playing toward a boulder-strewn mountain in the distance. The fifth tee shot plays in the same direction, but then the hole turns left around bunkers with a lone mesquite tree guarding the green.

#5 green

The ninth tee is dramatic, right up against a large rock pile. It is not a long hole, but the green is L-shaped and anything through it will find a deep bunker. The back portion is raised and very tricky to find with the bunker on one side and a fall off on the other.

#9 looking back (Credit Golf Pass)

There are more strong par 4s on the back side. There are no bunkers around the 12th fairway but the offset green makes a drive down the left side highly preferable. And the 13th is a strong par 4 with its green across a wash, though again the angled green is often a bigger challenge than the hazard in front.

It’s a pretty flat site, but cart ball without a doubt as here are numerous long jaunts between holes. But that’s about the biggest negative I could name here. For a semi-private club at a high end resort, I always found The Boulders a refreshingly low-key place to play. Some people want the pomp and circumstance of a CCFAD experience. Here you actually get more of the vibe of an actual club.

Arizona 2nd Decile [2014]

#13 (Credit: Bogeys Across America)