6 Memorable Golf Courses You Can Play Around Las Vegas and Henderson
The Las Vegas Valley is certainly a desert paradise. However, Las Vegas and Henderson residents that love golf inevitably come to see it as a paradise of another sort. There are literally dozens of public-access golf courses from which to choose, including everything from world-class resort courses to sporty, more affordable layouts.
There are lush courses caressing lake shorelines, and there are minimalist designs that reward almost any wayward shot with a trek into cacti, sagebrush or boulders. Many courses are spread out across the valley floor, but some dare to scale the foothills to elevations of 3,000 feet and more. Play one of these more mountainous tests, and a bighorn sheep or two might stare down in approval when you roll in a birdie putt.
Here's just a sampling of the incredible golfing opportunities in and around Las Vegas and Henderson:
Shadow Creek Golf Club - Las Vegas
Shadow Creek is perhaps the premier resort course in the valley. Over 20,000 trees transform the desert into an Augusta-like oasis, and the clubhouse is reminiscent of the Georgian original that is featured so prominently on Masters telecasts every April. The rolling terrain features elevation changes of as much as 50 feet. Golf Magazine rates Shadow Creek number 17 on its list of America's top 100 public courses. A 2008 re-design added 321 yards to an already demanding test. The sprawling par-72 course now stretches to 7,560 yards from the tips. Before the renovation, the course record was 60. Since the renovation was completed, no one has shot any better than 66.
Rio Secco Golf Club - Henderson
Rio Secco is the home of Butch Harmon, one of the world's most well-known golf instructors. It is also distinguished by the "Million Dollar Hole" contest, where a well-timed hole-in-one on number seven gets the lucky golfer a seven-figure check. The unique layout in the foothills of the Black Mountains is divided into thirds, with six holes routed through steep canyons, six others in a desert wash and six additional holes set atop a plateau. The Rees Jones layout opened in 1997, and it can pay as long as 7,332 yards.
Paiute Golf Resort - Las Vegas
The 54-holes at Paiute Golf Resort are just minutes north of the strip, and every hole was designed by Pete Dye. Those familiar with him know that he is one of the most accomplished golf course architects of his generation. The newer 18, known as the Wolf Course, stretches to a prodigious 7,604 yards, and players are treated to an island green along the way. Golfers have the option of playing the track at a much more manageable 5,900 yards or less. The complex also includes the Sun Mountain and Snow Mountain layouts. All are world-class courses featuring beautifully manicured fairways, white sand bunkers and crystal blue lakes.
Chimera Golf Club - Henderson
This 6,906-yard, par-72 layout boasts great views of the Strip. Wide, emerald green fairways wind their way amid lakes and voluminous bunkers. Chimera Golf Club offers a pure championship experience, yet it appeals to golfers of virtually all skill levels. This Henderson-area masterpiece was designed in 2003 by well-known architect Ted Robinson Jr., and it is known for its excellent playing conditions.
Angel Park Golf Club - Las Vegas
With two 18-hole layouts and a lighted, par-3 course, Angel Park Golf Club offers diverse golfing experiences to players of every level of interest. The Mountain Course bears the imprimatur of the legendary Arnold Palmer. Demanding greens, heavily contoured bunkers, waste areas and sparkling lakes provide a stern test of talent. Views of the Red Rock Mountains are an added bonus. The slightly shorter Palm Course is also a Palmer design. For an enjoyable change of pace amid cool night breezes, tee it up at night on the "Cloud 9" lighted par-3 course.
Revere Golf Club - Henderson
The Concord and Lexington 18s at Revere Golf Club offer the best of southern Nevada golf, including well-manicured fairways, panoramic views of the Strip and target golf amid rolling desert terrain. Both par-72 layouts play at more than 7,000 yards from the back tees. Golf Digest awarded Revere its coveted 4.5-star rating, thanks in part to the intelligent risk-reward challenges that a player confronts throughout the round. Tricky chip shots from heavily contoured areas around the greens are common. Dramatic mountain backdrops are particularly inspiring early in the morning and just before dusk.
Ultimately, resident golfers are the beneficiaries of scores of golf bag-toting tourists that arrive year-round. For decades, they've spurred innovative golf course designs across the valley and up into the foothills. If you time your golf well, it's possible to play excellent championship courses at competitive rates. The ever-changing views of the mountains and the Las Vegas Strip will refresh and reinvigorate you regardless of your score.