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Premier Golf Resorts 2012: Top Newcomer, The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain

Dove Mountain, Premier Resorts 2012
John and Jeannine Henebry
Dove Mountain.

The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain
Marana, Ariz.
520-572-3000
ritzcarlton.com/dovemountain

Eighteen resorts join the ranks of Medal winners for 2012, but the splashiest debut, according to your votes, belongs to The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain.

Situated in the cactus-studded foothills of Marana, just north of Tucson, this two-year-old resort soared to Gold status almost in spite of itself. Golf fans may recall the wailing from many of the world’s best players when the Jack Nicklaus-designed Ritz-Carlton Golf Club first played host to the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship in February 2009.

Its wildly contoured greens were the source of the stir. The Golden Bear didn’t necessarily agree, but he did as the PGA Tour asked, and re-designed the putting surfaces immediately after the event. They’re still vexing today, but are considerably softer.

What remains unchanged are the wide fairways and stunning mountain and desert scenery enjoyed on all three burly nines. Perhaps the players were further soothed when the posh Ritz-Carlton opened in December 2009. Paired with the typical Ritz tip-top service and accommodations are a spa whose beautiful design fuses seamlessly with its eco-holistic therapies and dining experiences that are without peer in the region.

Don’t miss the CORE Kitchen and Wine Bar, a sleek, glass-infused wonder, with innovative cuisine that matches the décor. With The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain setting the bar so high, the Top Newcomer of 2014 will have a tough act to follow.

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