Las Sendas golf course - No. 9
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Las Sendas golf course - No. 9
Not surprisingly, given the fact that it's owned by Canadians, Las Sendas -- a difficult Robert Trent Jones, Jr. layout in Mesa, Ariz. -- is the winter playground for many crazy Canucks. Andrew Penner/Golf Advisor
Images
Boulders Resort - South golf course - No. 1
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Boulders Resort - South golf course - No. 1
Cut through giant Fred Flinstone-era rock formations, the two golf courses at The Boulders in Carefree, Ariz. are bold, beautiful, and, at times, brilliant. Andrew Penner/Golf Advisor
Sedona Golf Resort - No. 10
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Sedona Golf Resort - No. 10
The postcard-perfect, par-3 10th at Sedona Golf Resort features one of the best backdrops in Arizona golf. Andrew Penner/Golf Advisor
The Golf Club at Dove Mountain
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The Golf Club at Dove Mountain
The sunsets at the Golf Club at Dove Mountain -- a Jack Nicklaus Signature Course in Marana, Arizona -- are as good as it gets! Andrew Penner/Golf Advisor
Seven Canyons golf course - No. 7
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Seven Canyons golf course - No. 7
Designed by Tom Weiskopf, Seven Canyons in Sedona is one of the most spectacular golf courses in Arizona. The course is private but open to guests staying at the nearby Enchantment Resort. Andrew Penner/Golf Advisor
Phoenician Resort golf course - No. 8
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Phoenician Resort golf course - No. 8
Nestled at the base of Camelback Mountain, The Phoenician is home to 27 holes of golf -- and one of the finest hotels in the Southwest. Andrew Penner/Golf Advisor
Ak-Chin Southern Dunes golf course
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Ak-Chin Southern Dunes golf course
Situated on an unassuming piece of property in Maricopa, Arizona, the Troon-managed Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Club is impressive from start to finish. Andrew Penner/Golf Advisor
Ventana Canyon - Mountain golf course - No. 3
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Ventana Canyon - Mountain golf course - No. 3
Routed through saguaro-peppered hills at the base of the Santa Catalina Mountains, the setting at Ventana Canyon in Tucson (the upscale resort features two championship courses) is outstanding. Andrew Penner/Golf Advisor
Saguaro at We-Ko-Pa Golf Club - No. 2
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Saguaro at We-Ko-Pa Golf Club - No. 2
The Coore & Crenshaw-designed Saguaro Course at We-Ko-Pa Golf Club in Scottsdale is one of two spectacular courses on the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation. Andrew Penner/Golf Advisor
Arizona golf
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Arizona golf
Photographer Andrew Penner shares some of his favorite golf course images throughout in Arizona Andrew Penner/Golf Advisor

Photographer Andrew Penner shares some of his favorite golf course images throughout in Arizona

Unquestionably, photographing the beautiful desert golf courses in Arizona has been a highlight of my dozen years, give or take, working as a writer and golf course photographer. As so many fellow Canadians know, the state is blessed with many outstanding golf destinations and hundreds of courses. Indeed, for the hard-luck golfers (and photographers) of the North, there really isn't a better place to hunker down and play.

From the Saguaro-studded hills of Scottsdale to the riveting red rocks of Sedona, each destination has a vibe, a character, a beauty, that is all its own. This always adds plenty of spice to the experience -- both from a playing standpoint and an image-making standpoint!

And, speaking of "spice," what I've encountered on many of my trips to Arizona to photograph the many great golf holes are the dangers that always seem to be lurking in the desert. From jumping cholla cacti (I accidentally backed into one at Dove Mountain in Tucson and had to beg for help from a nearby hiker to remove the barbs out of my back!) to a charging javelina (think wild boar) in Sedona, I've definitely had some "fun" photographing in Arizona.

But, regardless of those challenges, when the Great White North freezes hockey-puck solid -- as it always does -- my mind always drifts off to Arizona. To the cacti, the critters, and the photogenic golf holes that slide through the stunning Sonoran landscape.

Andrew Penner is a freelance writer and photographer based in Calgary, Alberta. His work has appeared in newspapers and magazines throughout North America and Europe. You can see more of his work at www.andrewpenner.com.
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