Tucson, Ariz.

Yes, it snowed during the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship in February, but the High Sonoran Desert outside Tucson is perfect for golf in spring, a time when many of the cacti, including the multi-armed saguaros, are in bloom. Top choices include The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain, a 27-hole spread by Jack Nicklaus carved into the foothills of the Tortalita Mountains; Ventana Canyon, its pair of Tom Fazio-designed gems ranked among the region’s finest; and La Paloma, a 27-hole tour de force by Nicklaus that’s tough as nails from the tips. The area’s sleeper, Vistoso, is a brilliant Tom Weiskopf design threaded through the desert.

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