We all know that Las Vegas has world class hotels, some of the best chefs in the world, plus entertainment and nightlife to fill up months on end. While most visitors are not in town for strenuous athletic activity, a leisurely 18 holes can be a great respite from all of the city’s indoor entertainment. Thankfully, Sin City has some of the best golf courses in the country. Here’s a quintet that will satisfy duffers and scratchers alike.
When Steve Wynn spent $60 million on this Tom Fazio-designed course in 1990, it was the most expensive ever built. At $500 a round, it is one of the most costly to play, too. Only guests of MGM properties have the opportunity to get on the course, and it is reserved for high-rollers on the weekend. That said, it is the best course in town. It is beautiful, elegant, and perfectly maintained. Be warned, though, it’s also a challenging course. Luckily, when your score soars above your handicap, the complimentary limo ride that comes with every round will keep your spirits high.
Cascada, located 30 miles from the Strip in Boulder City, is Shadow Creek’s main rival. Originally, it was exclusively for Caesars guests, but not anymore.
The course is set on a mountainside, overlooking the valley below, and (since this is Las Vegas) features a grandiose man-made waterfall. But man-made additions notwithstanding, the Rees Jones-designed course does a marvelous job of highlighting its stunning desert landscape.
Cascata is a little more affordable than Shadow Creek with green fees ranging from $250 to $375, but that doesn’t include mandatory $50-per-round caddies.
Most people know about Indian casinos; how about Indian resorts? The Paiute Nation chose golf over gambling, retaining Pete Dye to design three stunning courses on their land. Wolf Course is the most difficult of the trio and can be frustrating for average players. Snow and Sun Mountain are more easygoing desert courses. With discount rates available, these are the best bargains in town.
Royal Links design doesn’t get any points for originality, but it’s concept is unique. The course replicates some of the best holes in Europe, including the Postage Stamp par 3 from Royal Troon, the Road Hole from St. Andrews, and Carnoustie’s long par 4 (dubbed “Luckyslap”). The clubhouse is also designed to mimic those across the pond.
Most of us will never get the chance to play 18 at Troon or Turnberry. Royal Links is the next best thing, and comes at a fraction of the price. (Foursomes can usually book online for well under $100 per golfer.)
It’s a full hour from the city, but this Jack Nicklaus-designed course is in great shape year round and has terrific views throughout. Are you feeling a little rusty heading into your round? Not a problem. Coyote Springs claims to have the largest practice facility in the world and the driving range is free. It is not overly expensive, either. If golf is one of the activities that brought you to Nevada, this course should be on your list.
Image: dpursoo (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.
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