Boulders South Course Review

Carefree, AZ

The Boulders South course is one of two 18 hole championship courses at the spectacular 5 star Boulders Resort & Spa so expect top class facilities and service on your arrival.

A feature of the South Course in particular is the backdrop of magnificent pre-historic boulder formations that give the resort it’s name.

The Boulders Club is a semi-private country club for members, resort guests, and daily fee players. Only one of the two 18 hole layouts is available for outside play on any given day so we cannot always guarantee which course you will play until you book.

The South course, featured in this review, is a 6,726 yard, par 71 layout. For the record, the North is 6,811 yards long, par 72. Both courses were designed by Jay Morrish.

Boulders Resort & Spa
The spectacular Boulders Resort & Spa, part of the Hilton Curio Collection

Playing The Course

From the tips, it is a serious challenge at 6,726 yards with a course rating of 72.4 against a par of 71. However, there are multiple sets of tees which help to make it playable for golfers of all abilities.

Unusually, there are two sets of ladies tees. It plays 5119 yards off the gold tees with a course rating of 70.1 or 4684 yards off the red tees with a course rating of 67.7.

You can see full scorecard details of both courses here.

You really get the feel of being in the desert once you start playing the course. Resort buildings do come into view as you work your way around the course but the desert flora and fauna is never far away.

The front nine in particular gets you up close and personal with the giant boulder formations but best keep your mind on your golf because there are plenty of hazards to avoid.

Boulders South Course
One of the many spectacular boulder formations on the South Course

The desert landscape impacts your impression of many of the holes from the tee and there are plenty of gulleys and rock formations around the greens to avoid with your approach shots.

We found the course to be in immaculate condition when we played it in December. The fairways were in pristine condition and the greens were fast and true.

Boulders South
Boulders South Course

Apart from the natural defences of the surrounding desert, there are one or two water hazards to avoid as well although nothing too taxing.

Boulders South Course
Water hazard on Boulders South Course

Layout

The front nine has two par 3s and 1 or 2 par 5s, depending which tees you are playing off. The back nine is quite different with 3 par 3s and 3 par fives. The par 5s in general are pretty long off the back tees but greatly shortened from the forward tees making it very playable.

The par 3s are a good mix with the shortest being 150 yards off the back tee and the longest, a challenging 227 yards.

The par 4s also vary in length so there is good variety overall, making it a very interesting and enjoyable layout.

My one criticism, and it is just a personal thing, the par 5 fifth hole is a layup off the tee. If you take the driver out you will run out of room and end up in the desert. I don’t like not being able to take a driver on a par 5 , seems wrong somehow.

Still, it is one of the most scenic holes so just enjoy the view!

Boulders South Course
Dramatic prehistoric rock formations at the 5th hole on Boulders South Course

Location

Situated in Carefree, Arizona, just north of Scottsdale, Boulders is no more than 30 minutes drive from any of our featured Scottsdale resorts, or you can stay on-site and enjoy the luxury accommodation and facilities of the Boulders Resort & Spa.

Dining

As you would expect from a 5 star resort, there are a number of dining options on-site. We enjoyed an excellent lunch in the main golfers bar, Bogey’s, but you can take advantage of the other dining options while you are there.

You can check out the latest menus here.

The Spotted Donkey Cantina

Overall impression

A memorable golfing experience whichever course you play. Immaculate conditioning, interesting layouts with plenty to challenge golfers of all abilities and, if you are having a bad day on the links, just enjoy the scenery!

Boulders Resort & Spa is a quite magical place to stay and play golf, we highly recommend staying at the resort and playing both courses if your budget will stretch to it.

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