The Boulders (theboulders.com; Gold Medal Premier Resort): This property in Carefree is a good drive north of the airport and downtown nightlife, but more than holds its own with renovated casitas, a superb spa, desert solitude and 36 holes well worth playing.
Four Seasons Scottsdale at Troon North (fourseasons.com/scottsdale; Gold Medal Premier Resort): The high-end option in the area, with all the amenities expected of a 5-star facility in a fairly isolated location north of downtown. But with the two layouts at Troon North, plus having Grayhawk and TPC Scottsdale a short drive away, not being in the middle of town isn't a major issue for golfers.
Fairmont Scottsdale Princess (fairmont.com/scottsdale; Silver Medal Premier Resort): Bordering a handful of TPC Scottsdale holes, the Fairmont offers stellar dining at Richard Sandoval's La Hacienda and Michael Mina's Bourbon Steak, plus nightlife at the indoor/outdoor Plaza Bar and memorable pampering at the Well & Being Willow Stream Spa.
The Phoenician (thephoenician.com; Silver Medal Premier Resort): Located at the base of Camelback Mountain a short drive from Sky Harbor Airport, this sprawling resort has three colorful if shortish nines, with a handful of elevated tees that put the downtown skyline in plain sight. Even better is dinner at the J&G Steakhouse.
Westin Kierland (kierlandresort.com; Silver Medal Premier Resort): Get an upper floor room here to take in mountain, sunset and golf course (27 holes onsite) views. There are also plenty of restaurant options both onsite and within walking distance at nearby Kierland Commons. If you like surf with your turf, check out the resort’s Flowrider, an artificial wave machine where even beginners can ride successfully (on boogey boards or mini-surfboards) in a short amount of time.