If you are a golfer, you’re probably always on the lookout for vacation spots that are sunny all year round. In Vegas you are usually able to play all the golf you want without having to worry about bad weather. Here are our choices for top ten Las Vegas golf courses.
Arroyo Golf Course at Red Rock
The Arroyo Golf Course at Red Rock is nearly 7,000 yards, located between stunning views of the city and the amazing landscapes of the Red Rock Canyon, Las Vegas’ best known natural landmark. Arroyo was designed by Arnold Palmer and is a mix of breathtaking natural green beauty, innovative design, strategic bunkers, alluring water hazards, and desert terrains. Well-manicured greens and well-defined hazards mean this course plays challenging but quite fair. And it gives day golfers a chance to play one of the great Las Vegas golf courses with a country club feel.
Aliante Golf Club
The Aliante Golf Course, designed by Gary Panks, is par 72 and more than 7,000 yards. It plays long and is as tricky as any course in Vegas. It’s quite challenging to even play the course at first, as it is highlighted by scattered bunkers and trees in random areas. The course is built around an indigenous desert area; a groomed arroyo often runs along or through the fairways or in front of the greens. Purple locust trees, pears trees, pines and shrubs surround much of the course as well, giving it an beautiful and exotic look while adding to the overall difficulty of play.
Badlands Golf Club
The Badlands Golf Club, a collection of three nine-hole courses, was actually designed by Johnny Miller, and he received a little bit of help from the talented Chi Chi Rodriguez. The Bandlands is in the Red Rock Canyon, with some of Nevada’s most stunning desert scenery including arroyos, canyons and washes throughout the courses. The Badlands is also home to one of the academies of the great golf instructor, David Leadbetter.
Legacy Golf Club
The Legacy Golf Club at Green Valley in Henderson, plays a yardage of 7,233 yards, and is known for having one of the longest tees in the area. The course, which was designed by Arthur Hills and opened in 1989, is quite challenging; it has a slope rating of 136 and has been chosen as not just one of the great Las Vegas golf courses, but the top course in Nevada by several publications. There are water hazards on almost every hole, and the famous “Devil’s Triangle” of three tough holes on the back nine, will make or break your round with grass and sand bunkers everywhere. The natural beauty of this course, and the tough play, make this an experience any golfer will relish.
The Wolf Course
The beautiful 72 par Wolf Course is located in the Paiute Resort, and at a yardage of 7,604, it’s a long and beautiful course any golfer would find exciting. In fact, many content this is the most challenging course in the Southwest. The Wolf Course was just recently opened by designer Pete Dye. This course has amazing views; its 360 degree mountain vistas and gorgeous fairways might distract you momentarily. But that would be tragic; some of the most difficult holes in the area require your full attention, particularly the famous par-3 15th with an island green and bunkers all around – the pond claims some 20,000 golf balls in a year. Crank up your game for this gem on our list of Las Vegas Golf Courses.
Wynn Golf Course
The Wynn Golf Course, the only one on the Las Vegas strip, is a design masterpiece. It was built on celebrated PGA ground by Tom Fazio on the site of the former Desert Inn course, but with elements and heights no one believed possible on the Strip. The par-70 course plays at 7,042. The Wynn course is a little of everything, with a huge dash of elegance; there are five gorgeous par-3′s, and three par-5′s including the 18th at a tough 448 yards surrounded by water and a fantastic waterfall. Steve Wynn’s name is attached to this course, and the attention to detail and the spectacular setting do him proud.
Falls Golf Club
The 72-par Falls Golf Club is located in Lake Las Vegas in Henderson, and it’s a unique course in a beautiful area. The 7,250 yard course was was designed by Tom Weiskopf; it starts with subtle elevation changes on the front nine, and soaring changes on the back nine, leading to some breathtaking views (of the mountains, the lake and the Strip) and difficult and exciting golf. It’s almost impossible to single out one hole as the highlight of the course, as Weiskopf seemingly outdid himself on most of them; the par-5, 553-yard 12th may be the best of the best, however, with an uphill tee shot and a mostly-blind second shot leading to a great green which nearly falls off a cliff. This is an often-overlooked gem when it comes to Las Vegas golf courses.
The stunning 72-par Cascata (Italian for “waterfall,” in honor of the 418-foot high waterfall that dominates the vistas) Golf Course, designed by Rees Jones, is actually in Boulder City, half an hour from the Strip. Many believe it’s one of the finest courses in the world. has a yardage of 7,137 yards. The stunning course is an example of outstanding golf architecture; the holes are isolated, so that you feel like you’re the only party on the only hole in the area. The 14th may be the most beautiful hole in all of Vegas, and the incredible 18th challenges you to hit over a mountain, and avoid the stream on your left and the pond on your right, to hit the green 559-yards away. It’s a thrilling hole on a fabulous course.
Black Mountain Country Club
Black Mountain has 27 holes laid out in three different and very challenging 9-hole Las Vegas golf courses. two of them dating back to the 50s and 60s. The Founders 9 and the Horizon 9 are highlighted by tree-lined fairways and gorgeous greens, giving the golfer a feeling of travelling back in time as well as a terrific choice between courses with very different feels – as the newest addition is a true desert course, the Desert 9, where accuracy is valued more than anywhere else on the courses. All are filled with bunkers and hazards; the greens are a bit tricky because their speeds vary so greatly. Perhaps the greatest attraction at Black Mountain is what’s become known as their own version of “Amen Corner,” the first three holes of the Founders 9 and three of the most challenging holes in the Vegas area.
Vegas National Golf Course
The 71-par National Vegas course opened in 1961, and plays at a yardage of 6,815. It is perhaps the most traditional course in Las Vegas (and it really is in Vegas, right in the middle of the city); it is filled with thousands of trees, putting ball position at a premium. The meandering fairways are flanked by water hazards and bunkers – both a challenge and a scenic joy. The feel as you play Vegas National is of a simpler time, when designers didn’t go out of their way to make a course “special” – they just used good elements to create a fun and challenging layout. That doesn’t mean this course is easy – far from it; the PGA and LPGA has had some memorable tournaments here, and the pros love the feel and the test of this course.
Ten very different Las Vegas golf courses – ten very different golfing experiences – and ten Vegas golf outings worth taking when you visit.