The Boulders – Arizona, USA

After having a day off golf on Sunday we were raring to go at 5am on Monday morning.  Today’s destination was The Boulders which is in Carefree, about an hour from where we are staying.  We were meeting Ken & Mary again – this is one of their favourite courses in Arizona.  We have played here before but it was a few years back.  We left home at 5.30am only to be re routed due to a truck having jack knifed just before the freeway entrance.  We managed to get to The Boulders about 6.45am and make it to the tee just before 7am.

The Boulders, located in the Sonora Desert foothills, features two championship-level, Jay Morrish-designed courses, these links are known for breathtaking surroundings and sweeping panoramic views. Both courses stretch across an enchanting Sonoran Desert landscape and are listed among the finest in the United States.  Some of the boulder formations are thought to be about twelve million years old.  There are a number of houses around the course but they are quite unobtrusive as they have melded the architecture nicely with nature.  There is also a resort out there and tennis courts.

I didn’t have my best day in the office but I certainly enjoyed the company and beautiful vistas.  We also got to see some coyotes cruising across one of the fairways.  I learnt a bit more about cacti – there are so many weird and wonderful varieties.  The starter warned us about the ‘jumping cactus’ or ‘jumping cholla’ which we were to avoid like the plague.  Ken had experienced this cacti first hand and it did not sound like a pleasant experience!  These type of cactus are native to the Sonora Desert and the Southwestern United States.

The “jumping cholla” name comes from the ease with which the stems detach when brushed. These cacti do not actually jump. It is thought, however, that the softness of the soil in which the cholla typically grows is easily compressed. When this easily compressible soil is stepped upon (near the base of the cholla), the cactus leans toward the compressing entity, and the cholla segments (easily detachable from the main plant) affix to the compressor (giving the appearance of “jumping”). Often the merest touch will leave a person with bits of cactus hanging on their clothes to be discovered later when either sitting or leaning on them. 

There are 36 holes at The Boulders – Boulders North and Boulders South.  We played the back nine of the North Course and the front nine of the South Course.  The South Course is definitely has the more dramatic vistas.  The original 18 holes opened in 1984 with another 9 holes in 1986 and the last 9 holes in 1991.The Jumping Catcus

A Saguaro Cactus – when they lean towards the sun they can sometimes topple over earning them the nickname of the Suicide Cactus 

The holes in the cacti are made by birds – if you look closely you will also see a golf ball lodged in it towards the top – someone had a really bad day!


This blog was originally set up to share our 9 month adventure around Europe and the USA with friends and family in 2014. On returning to NZ in January 2015 I decided to carry it on so I could continue to share any future travel adventures - it has become my electronic travel diary. I hope you enjoy and get inspired to visit some of the wonderful places we have visited.
This entry was posted in Arizona, USA, United States of America. Bookmark the permalink.

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