The Boulders resort - South Course
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The Boulders resort - South Course
The Boulders features two 18-hole golf courses, including the spectacular South Course. Brandon Tucker/Golf Advisor
The Boulders resort - South Course - hole 1
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The Boulders resort - South Course - hole 1
Many green sites play beside boulder piles, like the par-4 first hole on the South Course at The Boulders in Carefree, Arizona. Brandon Tucker/Golf Advisor
The Boulders resort - South Course - 1st green
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The Boulders resort - South Course - 1st green
The South Course at The Boulders features fast greens and top-notch conditions. Brandon Tucker/Golf Advisor
The Boulders resort - South Course - hole 3
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The Boulders resort - South Course - hole 3
The par-4 third hole on the South Course at The Boulders plays 413 yards from the blue tees. Brandon Tucker/Golf Advisor
The Boulders resort - South Course - hole 5
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The Boulders resort - South Course - hole 5
The most dramatic of the boulder piles is the backdrop to the par-5 fifth hole on the South Course at The Boulders near Scottsdale, Arizona. Brandon Tucker/Golf Advisor
South Course at The Boulders - cart path
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South Course at The Boulders - cart path
Carts tip-toe past hanging boulders on the South Course at The Boulders in Carefree, Arizona. Brandon Tucker/Golf Advisor
The Boulders resort - South Course - hole 7
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The Boulders resort - South Course - hole 7
The par-3 seventh hole on the South Course at The Boulders plays 187 yards from the championship tees. Brandon Tucker/Golf Advisor
The Boulders resort - South Course - 7th green
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The Boulders resort - South Course - 7th green
The seventh green, like many others on the South Course at The Boulders, features tiers and ridges to navigate. Brandon Tucker/Golf Advisor
The Boulders resort - South Course - hole 10
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The Boulders resort - South Course - hole 10
The 10th hole on the South Course at The Boulders is a 221-yard par 3. Brandon Tucker/Golf Advisor
The Boulders resort - South Course - hole 11
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The Boulders resort - South Course - hole 11
The 11th hole on the South Course at The Boulders is a 601-yard par 5. Brandon Tucker/Golf Advisor
The Boulders resort - South Course - hole 12
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The Boulders resort - South Course - hole 12
The par-4 12th hole on the South Course at The Boulders is short at just 321 yards. Brandon Tucker/Golf Advisor
South Course at The Boulders - rabbits
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South Course at The Boulders - rabbits
Countless rabbits call the two golf courses at The Boulders home. Brandon Tucker/Golf Advisor
The Boulders resort - South Course - cactus
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The Boulders resort - South Course - cactus
The Boulders is located at the northern edge of Scottsdale, straddling Carefree, Arizona. Brandon Tucker/Golf Advisor
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South Course at The Boulders is one of Scottsdale's most dramatic desert golf experiences

CAREFREE, Ariz. -- The Valley of the Sun has roughly 200 golf courses, but none of them have the type of scenery as The Boulders, especially the resort's South Course.

Located at the northern edge of Scottsdale, it's easy to realize that you're close to this Waldorf Astoria Resort and club community: just look for the boulder piles in the distance and watch them get closer and closer until you've arrived.

The resort, set within granite rock and boulder piles estimated to be 12 million years old, is home to two 18-hole golf courses, the North and South. Jay Morrish designed each in 1984, helping to kick off the desert golf boom of the 1980s. Today, the two courses uphold a reputation for not only one of the most striking desert settings, but also fantastic playing conditions.

The North Course plays slightly longer than the South, but there's no debating which golf course is more dramatic, as the South plays closest to some of the property's most stunning rock formations. Most green settings sit beside boulder piles, but none quite the size of what's behind the par-5 fifth hole. This enormous structure towers over the green and can be seen from many points on the property. Another famous boulder is the balancing rock beside the seventh tee box.

The South features five sets of tees (plus a beginner set of tees) and plays 6,726 yards. Accuracy is required off the tee as this is a target, desert-style course, and precision around the greens is needed to handle slopes that are both dramatic and subtle.

A semi-private resort course that includes the Golden Door Spa and El Pedregal marketplace, The Boulders also allows a select number of non-resort play as well. It's also home to one of the better golf schools in the nation, led by Director of Instruction Donald Crowley.

Brandon Tucker is the Sr. Managing Editor for GolfPass and was the founding editor of Golf Advisor in 2014, he was the managing editor for Golf Channel Digital's Courses & Travel. To date, his golf travels have taken him to over two dozen countries and nearly 600 golf courses worldwide. While he's played some of the most prestigious courses in the world, Tucker's favorite way to play the game is on a great muni in under three hours. Follow Brandon on Twitter at @BrandonTucker and on Instagram at @btuck34.
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South Course at The Boulders is one of Scottsdale's most dramatic desert golf experiences