Primm Valley - Lakes golf course - 10th tee
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Primm Valley - Lakes golf course - 10th tee
Tom Fazio and crew displayed tremendous prowess with bulldozers and imagination with the creation of the Lakes Course at Primm Valley Golf Club in Nevada. Many call it the "The Poor Man's Shadow Creek." Agreed. � 2014 Brian Oar ��� All Rights Reserved
Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort - Wolf - 12th green
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Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort - Wolf - 12th green
With two other solid courses completed at Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort, Pete Dye had to create something fresh for the third installment, the Wolf. Big, bold features, fast turf and dunes-like transition areas offer a rollicking desert links course. Brian Oar/GolfAdvisor
Coyote Springs golf course - 13th tee
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Coyote Springs golf course - 13th tee
Great things can arise from big dreams, and Jack Nicklaus' construction crew spared no expense on Coyote Springs in Nevada. Stunning bunkers and imaginative strategy combine for a one of the Golden Bear's best. � 2014 Brian Oar ��� All Rights Reserved
Wolf Creek Golf Club - 14th tee
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Wolf Creek Golf Club - 14th tee
What is there to say about Wolf Creek Golf Club in Mesquite, Nev.? Pictures are worth 1,000 words. One thing is for sure, this course is one of a kind. � 2014 Brian Oar ��� All Rights Reserved
Indian Wells Golf Resort - Celebrity Course - 16th
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Indian Wells Golf Resort - Celebrity Course - 16th
Clive Clark moved massive amounts of dirt to sculpt the Celebrity Course at Indian Wells Golf Resort in southern California. The holes on this wonderfully secluded beauty are totally immersive and landscaped to the maximum. � 2014 Brian Oar ��� All Rights Reserved
Snow Canyon golf course - Entrada - 17th green
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Snow Canyon golf course - Entrada - 17th green
The closing holes on the Snow Canyon golf course at Entrada in St. George, Utah are surrounded by black lava rock and towering red-rock mountains. Just try to keep focused on your golf swing. � 2014 Brian Oar ��� All Rights Reserved
PGA West - Stadium golf course - 17th green
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PGA West - Stadium golf course - 17th green
While this shot of no. 17 on the Stadium Course at PGA West doesn't show the massive earthwork Pete Dye infused on this course, this closing hole is either a memorable beauty or a definitive beast. � 2014 Brian Oar ��� All Rights Reserved
Barona Creek golf course - 3rd green
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Barona Creek golf course - 3rd green
Barona Creek Golf Club a desert course? I think so. Situated just northeast of San Diego, it offers virtually 18 perfect golf holes. � 2014 Brian Oar ��� All Rights Reserved
Cascata golf course - 7th green
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Cascata golf course - 7th green
Want ultimate luxury and jaw-dropping golf holes? Cascata in Boulder City, Nev. is your place. � 2014 Brian Oar ��� All Rights Reserved
Shadow Creek golf course - 9th tee
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Shadow Creek golf course - 9th tee
Shadow Creek just north of Las Vegas should be in the Smithsonian for all to admire. Steve Wynn and Tom Fazio built a fantasy-come-true golf oasis atop a dead flat piece of featureless desert. � 2014 Brian Oar ��� All Rights Reserved
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Behind the lens: Brian Oar's Top 10 desert golf masterpieces

Certain golf courses are truly living, breathing works of art, whether they were created by machine or the gentle hands of Mother Nature. Most golf architects and their bulldozer operators are gifted with an uncanny vision to create large-scale landscape sculptures into stunning golf holes. Some of these golf artists could arguably be compared to the talent of a Michelangelo or as gifted as Da Vinci.

While there are many opinions and theories about what makes a golf course great, I have compiled 10 photographs of courses I deem desert masterpieces. Beyond the power rankings and Top 100 lists, I think this collection is worthy of the title just for their sheer beauty and inspiring architecture.

This photo essay offers a look at courses I dream about photographing. These are the tracks that give me goose bumps when I get to shoot them, and these are the ones I lay awake the night before devising a meticulous location plan for capturing the morning Golden Hour light.

Brian Oar is well known as one of the top golf course photographers in the world. Since 2002 he has been traveling the globe shooting and writing about interesting golf destinations, and has photographed some of the top courses in the world. He also was an 11-year veteran of the GolfWeek's Best panel of course raters and helped create the annual top 100 courses and best-of-state lists for GolfWeek Magazine. In 2014, Brian won the prestigious "Golf Photographer of The Year" award from the International Network of Golf -- the golf industry's media awards -- for his exceptional imagery in industry publications like Golf Digest, The Golfers Journal, Golf Magazine and many others.  You can find Brian online on his website BrianOar.com, on Instagram @BrianOar and Twitter @BrianOarGolf.

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Behind the lens: Brian Oar's Top 10 desert golf masterpieces