Top 4 Desert Golf Courses in the United States

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Top 4 Desert Golf Courses in the United States
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Troon North Golf Club. (Photo courtesy of flickr.com/photos/john_hall_associates.)

What do rock formations, the occasional rattlesnake sighting, and arroyos have in common? These elements frequently provide the backdrop for desert golf courses. If a game of golf at a standard city course has become too tame for you, then desert golfing is the type of thrill you are ready to experience. Four U.S. desert venues stand out.

Troon North Golf Club: For a 36-Hole Experience

10320 E. Dynamite Blvd., Scottsdale, AZ

480-585-7700

Course owners claim the distinction of operating the "hallmark of the Scottsdale desert golf experience." Granite boulders and saguaro cacti adorn two 18-hole courses. The greens are nevertheless lush and inviting. Play the Monument or the Pinnacle course. Hardcore golfers opt for the 36-hole experience and go for the double-play deal. Fees vary by season. It is not unusual to pay between $175 for a single player and $399 for a foursome playing both courses.

Primm Valley Golf Club: When You Need a Break From the Desert

1 Yates Well Road, Nipton, CA

702-679-5509

Designed by Tom Fazio, the Primm Valley desert course features a par 72 and stretches over 7,131 yards. Mesquite trees set the scene, and a tricky network of bunkers demands your undivided attention. Enjoy the narrow fairways and the gorgeous desert wildflowers. If you need a change of scenery, play Primm Valley's lakes course, which features a backdrop that is tropical in nature and lets you temporarily forget the desert. Green fees for the desert course vary by season. Expect to pay between $24 and $99. Lakes course fees are slightly higher.

Desert Pines Golf Club: For the Planner

3415 E. Bonanza Road, Las Vegas, NV

702-450-8170

If you like planning your golf excursions well in advance, the Desert Pines Golf Club is your destination of choice, because you can book tee times two years in advance. About 4,000 mature pine trees dominate the visual aesthetics of this course. The hot, dry air bespeaks the desert location. Pay between $69 and $169 for a round of golf and a cart. Insiders know to book tee times online for substantial savings.

Desert Aire Golf Course: When You Bring the Kids

3620 E. Ave. P, Palmdale, CA

661-538-0370

Desert Aire is a secret insider tip among golfers in the know. The small nine-hole course takes up 3,178 yards. Most vacationing golfers do not know about this hidden gem since it is not tied to one of the major resorts in the area. Insiders, however, flock to Desert Aire for the laid-back atmosphere, a huge practice chipping green, and the snack bar that refuses to be pretentious. If you bring along kids or just want to improve your game while on vacation, Desert Aire is the place to visit. Pay between $8 and $16 for a round of golf. Youngsters usually play free when accompanied by a paying adult.

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