Sin City. When I was younger, it was one of my favorite places in the world. And the fact that it’s only a few hours from my home in Phoenix didn’t help. In those days, I was partial to the Blackjack tables and late nights out with my friends.
Not anymore. I still make it to Vegas whenever I get the chance, but the nights are a lot more subdued than they used to be. While I still get my fix in the casino, I come more for the entertainment off of the gaming floor. That includes great food, taking in the occasional show, and of course, golf.
I’ve found that most people don’t realize just what a great golf town Las Vegas is. There’s plenty of quality courses to choose from and you don’t always have to spend a small fortune.
Below is a list of my 10 favorite golf courses in Las Vegas.
I’ll be the first to admit, Cascata isn’t the cheapest option for golf in Las Vegas. However, it’s worth the price of admission at least once in my book.
Located in the town of Boulder City, Cascata gets its name from the Italian word that means “waterfall.”
That’s just what you’ll find as you warm up for your round at the world class practice facility – 418 of cascading water.
The course meanders through mountain peaks and rugged canyons to create a true desert oasis. Lush fairways, perfectly manicured greens, and tranquil streams and lakes make a round at Cascata feel like you’re on another planet.
In all likelihood, you’ll have the place to yourself. Except for the Tour-level caddy that artfully guides you around the course.
When you’re done with your round, put your feet up in the 37,000 square-foot clubhouse and relax. Indulge in a rare cigar and a glass of your favorite whiskey. If you’re feeling hungry, the restaurant serves five-star food and boasts a robust wine list.
A day at Cascata isn’t going to be cheap. But if you’re willing to bite the bullet, it’s more than worth it.
TPC Las Vegas
With Red Rock Canyon as the backdrop, TPC Las Vegas is elegantly carved into the natural desert landscape.
Voted a Golf Digest “Best Places to Play,” this Bobby Weed and Raymond Floyd design provides a fair, yet challenging test for even the most seasoned player.
The par three second hole is a great test early in the round. Measuring over 200 yards from the back tees, your tee shot is forced carry to an island green surrounded by nothing but desert nastiness.
If you’re going to be in town for a while, be sure to check out the many stay and play packages available.
Bear’s Best Las Vegas
Just a short 20-minute drive from the strip is Bear’s Best Las Vegas. This Jack Nicklaus design is inspired by the Golden Bear’s favorite 18 holes from his more than 270 designs worldwide.
In true Nicklaus design fashion, the fairways give you plenty of room off the tee. However, your approach shots need to be precise as the greens are large and well protected.
If you’ve always dreamed of going to a multi-day golf school, be sure to check out the Paul Wilson Academy. Here, you’ll have the chance to receive expert instruction in every facet of the game and a chance to showcase your newfound skills out on the course.
Mountain Falls Golf Club
If you’re looking to get away from the glitz and glamor of the strip, Mountain Falls Golf Club is the perfect excuse.
Located in the town of Pahrump, Mountain Falls has received numerous national accolades and is especially known as being one of the ”Top 25 Friendliest Courses in the U.S.”
The course has a nice mix of holes where trees, lakes, and a plethora of bunkers keep you on your toes.
Stay and play packages are available at a great price meaning you don’t have to worry about making the trek back to town when you’re done.
Rio Secco Golf Club
Designed by Rees Jones and opened in 1997, Rio Secco is desert golf at it’s finest.
Expansive waste areas, wide fairways, and dramatic features all the hallmarks of this course.
A player’s course, Rio Secco was meant to challenge the game’s best players. However, multiple teeing grounds make it accessible and fun to play for golfers of all abilities.
If you’ve ever wanted to work with a coach to the Tour Pros, you’re in luck. Rio Secco is home to Butch Harmon and his golf schools are world class. If you don’t see any improvement after a few days of one-on-one instruction, you might want to take up another hobby.
Wynn Golf Club
Arguably the nicest hotel on the Strip is the Wynn. What makes it even more special is that one of the best courses in the whole city is right on property.
A parkland style design with plentiful trees, lush fairways, and rushing creeks, Wynn Golf Club will make you feel like you’re anywhere but the middle of a concrete jungle.
Even though the course is on the shorter side, it’s sure to present all the challenge you want.
If you could use a little extra help during your round, the Wynn offers a stable of professional caddies that are adept at helping pick clubs and reading the course’s nuanced greens.
Even though it might not be the cheapest round you ever play, it’s an experience you won’t soon forget.
Mountain Course at Angel Park
Angel Park might be Las Vegas’ finest municipal facility. The Mountain Course is my personal favorite.
Designed by Arnold Palmer (my favorite player of all time) and opened in 1990, the Mountain Course affords stunning views of the Red Rock Mountains.
Compared to the other courses at Angel Park, the strength of the Mountain Course lies in the par fours and fives.
It’s safe to say this course gets pounded with play. With that being said, it’s well maintained and always a treat.
Rhodes Ranch Golf Club
Since it opened in 1997, Rhodes Ranch has continued to gain in popularity with both Las Vegas residents and out-of-towners.
Designed by Ted Robinson Sr., the course has plenty of water and risk and reward opportunities to make for a flat-out fun round.
Much of the course’s difficulty lies in its par threes. Several play over water and all are well protected by deep bunkers.
If you’re looking for both fun and value, Rhodes Ranch is sure to deliver.
Snow Course at Paiute Resort
Located on the outskirts of Las Vegas is the burgeoning Paiute Golf Resort. All three courses at this property are worth playing but the Snow Course might be the best.
As the original course, it’s not hard to see why golfers have flocked here since it opened.
Wide fairways let you swing away off the tee. However, water comes into play on seven holes and the greens are well guarded.
This track gets really fun at the end as holes 16, 17, and 18 all have elements of risk and reward that can make or break your round.
Even though it’s a bit of a drive from the strip, a round at the Snow Course isn’t one you’ll want to miss.
Highland Falls Golf Club
There are plenty of golf courses in the community of Summerlin, but locals rave about Highland Hills.
Designed by Billy Casper and Greg Nash, Highland Hills isn’t going to kill you with its length. Instead, tight fairways and plenty of water hazards are this course’s defense.
This spot is perfect for beginners or players looking for a fun, casual round at a reasonable price.
The staff are friendly and accommodating and on-site PGA instruction is available for players wanting help with their game.
An all-around fun course to play that won’t break the bank.
There’s more than enough to see and do in Las Vegas. From the frenetic party on the strip, to the nostalgia of downtown, to no shortage of great golf, it’s hard to be bored in Sin City.
I used to come here to stay and awake all night and sleep all day. Thankfully, those days are behind me. While I still get a rush from splitting aces, I’d much rather take in everything else that the city has to offer – especially the golf.