When most people hear “desert,” they don’t immediately think of golf. But golfers aren’t “most people,” and many of them know the desert that is Las Vegas has some 50 golf courses. All of them are in close proximity to the Strip. In fact golf in Las Vegas offers excellent golfing experiences.
To help you plan a fun trip, here are some of the best places to golf in Vegas. As a bonus, some of these courses are also accessible via simulation with an indoor golf course setup.
Shadow Creek, North Las Vegas
Some 34 years after its opening, this beauteous “miracle in the desert” continues to offer a first-rate golf experience. After all, it has hosted The Match between Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson and the PGA Tour’s CJ Cup, among other competitions. The natural-looking course, with its abundance of trees and water sources, offers unique holes that are well thought out. Note that, to play, you’ll need to lodge at MGM Resorts International and fork over about $1,000.
Wynn Golf Club, Las Vegas
After reopening a year ago with a Tom Fazio design, Wynn Golf Club has a fun, challenging design with narrow fairways and sloppy greens. It’s aesthetically pleasing, too, with its lakes, lush greens, meandering streams, and 8,000-plus trees. The championship-length course is constructed for golfers of all levels, although it is a bit on the difficult side.
Rio Secco Golf Club, Henderson
Widely heralded as having one of the area’s best-designed courses, the Rio Secco offers Strip views throughout your round and is routed through high plateaus and steep canyons. For the average golfer, the course is eminently playable, with its share of tough holes. Speaking of holes, six of them are in the canyons, with the other 12 split among a broad wash and plateau.
Bali Hai Golf Club, Las Vegas
This idyllic location, with its wandering creeks, waterfall, black volcanic outcroppings, and tropical plants and flowers, has a South Pacific motif that imbues the clubhouse and carries over to the course. Bali Hai’s lush environs include 2,500 stands of huge palms and seven acres of high-end water features. The uniquely laid out course includes a number three hole with a creek running along the entire right side and a bunker on the left. Called “shipwreck,” the hole offers particularly challenging play.
TPC Las Vegas, Las Vegas
This 7,080-yard course has hosted both the Champions and PGA tour and offers what might be the swiftest greens in Vegas. Golfers will have GPS systems in their carts to guide them through the back nine’s five holes, which skirt a canyon. Featuring a rugged national landscape, the course will test even the most-experienced golfers.
The Wolf at Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort, Las Vegas
Located near the Spring and Sheep Mountain ranges, the 7,604-yard Wolf course – Nevada’s longest — is about a half-hour from the Strip. It features raw beauty, particularly wavy greens, alternate landing areas, and a spectacular 15th hole island green. The design has several wide-open fairways with ample difficulty, in addition to excellent practice facilities.
Bear’s Best Las Vegas, Las Vegas
At 7,194 yards, Bear’s Best is comprised of 18 holes hand chosen by Jack Nicklaus from his 270 global designs. The course really shines on the back nine, with its views of posh homes, the entire strip, and uninhabited desert. Watch out for the par-four 18th hole, though. That one’s a real test.
So, yes, Las Vegas is a veritable cornucopia of prime golfing opportunities at various price points and skill levels. Every golfer should consider making plans to hit one or two of them.