Wonderful, over the top, larger than life, excessive, delicious indulgence! The money, the lights. The glitz. With nearly 50 courses sprinkled throughout the greater metro area and designed by some of the best in the business, the question for most visitors isn’t whether they can get a round in during their trip, but rather, where should they play.
1. Shadow Creek
Designed by Tom Fazio, this course of 350 acres of desert was once accessible only to personal guests of Steve Wynn or VIP guests of the Mirage Hotel. Now, the course is playable for the general public, provided you are prepared to pony up the substantial fee. One bonus though, the fee includes a round-trip limo ride.
Wow. Talk about dramatic. This course drapes dramatically across stark mountain slopes at more than 3,000 feet above the desert valley, this Rees Jones design includes Tour-quality caddies, bighorn sheep sightings and a river that runs through the 37,000-square-foot clubhouse
3. Rio Secco Golf Club
Rio Secco's views of the Strip from the foothills of the Black Mountain Range distract golfers from just how tough Rees Jones made the 7,313-yard course in 1997. Don't forget to try your hand at the Million Dollar Hole-in-One Challenge at the watery par-3 seventh hole. Butch Harmon's golf school also calls Rio Secco home.
Cost: $79 - $139
4. TPC Las Vegas
Just 15 minutes west of the Strip, you'll catch sight of the Vegas skyline on a number of holes throughout. The back nine is a bit more scenic with Red Rock Canyon views. Experts will tell you most putts will break in the direction of the Stratosphere Casino and Hotel, visible in the distance on the northern end of the Strip.
5. Coyote Springs Golf Club
Take the hour drive away from Vegas, you won't regret it. Here you'll find the world’s largest practice facilities — including a free driving range. Perfect for that quick tune-up before taking the challenging course’s undulating greens and clinging rough. One drawback, though: the course's popularity means nine holes can routinely run around the 5-hour mark at peak playing times.
Cost: $49 to $67 (Nevada resident); $99 to $184 (non-resident)
6. Las Vegas Paiute
Pete Dye designed all three courses for The Paiute Nation in the Las Vegas region, which decided to forego the casino route and make mark in the world of golf. Of the three (Snow Mountain, Sun Mountain and Wolf), Wolf is definitely the most challenging. But you'll find something for everyone -- including plenty of scenic beauty.
7. Bali Hai Golf Club
The only championship golf course located right on the Las Vegas Strip. The South Pacific inspired layout measures over 7,000 yards from the back tees. Designed by Lee Schmidt and Brian Curley in 2000, the course features seven acres of water, 2,500 towering palms and 100,000 tropical plants and flowers.
Cost: $89 - $283
8. Royal Links Golf Club
Just a scant 15 minutes from the famed Vegas Strip, Royal Links prides itself as a tribute to the game's storied past. Each hole at Royal Links is designed after a great hole from courses played during the British Open. Featured holes include Royal Troon's Postage Stamp and St. Andrews' Road Hole.
9. Bear’s Best Las Vegas
A Jack Nicklaus golf course like no other, Bear’s Best Las Vegas bills itself as an upscale, daily fee public Las Vegas golf course offering a world-class private club experience in a public facility. The course is a short, 20-minute drive west of the Strip. As an added bonus, the cart's have video tips available.
Cost: $49 - $129
10. Wildhorse Golf Club
This course opened in 1959 as the Paradise Valley Country Club. It served as co-host for the PGA Tour's Sahara Invitational in the 1960s. Its most recent makeover took place in 2004, when architects Brian Curley and Lee Schmidt hacked yardage and improved playabilty. Today, the parkland course, with excellent mountain views, is operated by the City of Henderson, and it's a steal for locals at $35 during the week.
11. Las Vegas National Golf Club
Just 10 minutes from the strip, The National, was designed in 1961 by architect Bert Stamps. The par 71 course features thousands of trees, well positioned sand bunkers and a few water hazards that protect lush fairways and manicured greens.
Cost: $25 - $139
12. Siena Golf Course
Surrounded by the towering Spring Mountains, architects Brian Curley and Lee Schmidt designed the course with dazzling views of the Vegas skyline.
13. Mountain at Red Rock Country Club
Designed by Arnold Palmer and Ed Seay in 1999, this gem features rolling fairways, dramatic water features and multi-tiered greens. Both the 7001-yard, par-72 Private Mountain Course and the 6883-yard, par-72 Public Arroyo Course are architectural wonders and a joy to play.
Cost: $75 - $160
14. Desperado/Outlaw at Badlands Golf Club
Set against the majestic Red Rock Canyons, Badlands features three unique 9-hole layouts; Desperado, Diablo and Outlaw. All three courses were designed by award winning golfers Johnny Miller and Chi Chi Rodriguez. These three courses test golfers of all levels, especially those who tend to miss the green.
Cost: $79 $119
15. Canyon Gate Country Club
This private, championship-caliber 18-hole course plays to a length of 6,769 yards and is situated in a prestigious gated golf community. Designed by Ted Robinson, the course features tranquil lagoons, beautiful waterfalls, strategic sand bunkers and mature landscaping that break up the 160 acres of lush fairways.
Cost: $125 - $150