Two championship courses, the North and the South designed by Jay Morrish in the mid-1980s, are the foundation of the Boulders Golf Club. Built in the foothills of the Sonoran desert covering 1300 acres, both courses feature scenic views of the Black Mountains, natural desert terrain peppered with native saguaro cacti and rock formations. Large mildly undulating and consistently well-conditioned greens are outstanding. One of a handful of public access courses in Arizona with bentgrass greens, the courses alternate between member access and public access daily.
Wildlife is abundant. You may be sharing your round with coyote, bobcats, quail, ducks, owls, roadrunners, and a resort favorite – the pig-like javelina. The Boulders Resort itself is a high-quality Hilton property with separate rustic casitas hosting wood-burning fireplaces, a 33,000 square foot spa and a variety of desert adventure activities. It is one of only two Golf Magazine Gold Medal resorts in the Scottsdale area.
The thirty-six holes were built nine-holes at a time. Jay Morrish completed both the third nine (1984) and the final nine (1992). The Boulders is his first solo design. “The Boulders afforded me the chance to create a sort of desert Pine Valley with a lot of forced carries for the good players,” Morrish said. Although desert carries are frequent, five sets of tees ensure that they can be reasonable if you select the correct tees for your skill level.
The South course is the newer course. Completed in 1991, it is more difficult than the North course and has multiple forced carries. If you have time for only one course, play the South. The scenery is so good that production companies film TV commercials here. Precision shot making is needed else you play with the cactus.
A 35-foot high boulder pile frames the first green and inspires the name. The Par5 Hole #5 teeing ground delivers one of the more fabulous views on the course. A steep drive up to the elevated sixth tee reveals a dramatic view. A boulder formation curls directly around the teeing ground.
The greens are large and only gently sloped. A spectacular medium length Par3 awaits you on Hole #7. Another massive boulder formation down the entire right side. The twelfth hole is a driveable Par4 that is protected by little else than a small tree near the front left of the green. Grip it and rip it.
The Boulders Golf Club is a tranquil and exhilarating experience at the same time. The South course is scenic and challenging.