Top Five: Las Vegas

The signature 15th hole at Paitue Wolf Course is all carry

No. 1 COURSE: Paiute Golf Club (Wolf Course)


DIRECTIONS FROM MCCARRAN AIRPORT: Take I-215 west to I-15 North. Go to Exit 24A (US-95 North) and continue to Exit No. 99/Snow Mountain. Go right on Snow Mountain Rd., which runs into the resort.

PHONE: 702 658-1400; 1800 711-2833 (website:

GREEN FEES: $99 Monday-Thursday, $109 Friday-Sunday. Happy Hour (11 a.m.-1 p.m.), Twilight (1-3 p.m.) and Super Twilight (after 3 p.m.) rates also offered.

OPENED: 2001: (Architect: Pete Dye).

LAYOUT: Par-72, 7,604 yards (five tee positions). Facility includes two other 18-hole courses: Snow Mountain, Par-72, 7,146 yards and Sun Mountain, Par-72, 7,112 yards.

LOWDOWN: Coming in at an amazing 7,604 yards from the tips, the Wolf Course at Paiute Golf Resort will have golfers wondering what hit them. Luckily, with several sets of tees, it’s a course where high-handicapper can play alongside scratch golfer, but for golfers looking for a challenge, famed golf architect Pete Dye has given them just that.

Dye unleashes his full set of skills, taking advantage of desert mystique, combined with the ringing mountains that change color throughout the course of a round, to somehow merge a mercurial round of golf with a moving desert experience. It is desert golf of the highest order.

SIGNATURE HOLE: No. 15, par-3, 182 yards. Maybe Las Vegas’ most intimidating golf shot. It plays 182 yards from the tips, which makes it the shortest of the four par 3s on the course. The tee shot is to an island green with a bunker short and another bunker long. The green is circular with a swale in the middle, so reaching the green doesn’t  guarantee a par. It’s regarded by many as the single most intimidating shot on the course.

No. 2 COURSE: Royal Links Golf Club


DIRECTIONS: From McCarran Airport: Take I-15 North to I-95 South and go South to Flamingo exit. Make a left on Flamingo and go across Boulder Highway to Nellis Blvd. Turn left and proceed to Vegas Valley Rd. Turn right. Proceed one mile to entry gate on the right.

PHONE: (Toll free) 888) 427-6678 (website:

GREEN FEES: Check for best rates

OPENED: 1998: (Architect Perry Dye)

LAYOUT: Par 72, 7,029 yards (three tee positions)

LOWDOWN: Royal Links was built to honor the rich history and tradition of the game of golf. Designed by Dye International, this links-style course features holes inspired by eleven different British Open rotation courses, including the “Road Hole” and “Hell Bunker” from the old course at St. Andrews and the “Postage Stamp” from Royal Troon. Other courses in the loop include Carnoustie, Turnberry, Royal Liverpool, Prestwick, Royal Lytham, Muirfield and Royal Birkdale. Monuments were erected at various locations throughout the golf course indicating the spots where great moments in British Open history took place. A Champions Wall is erected near the all-turf practice range honoring American champions of the British Open.

Golfers may choose to engage the services of a professional forecaddie adding to the “Scottish” experience. These forecaddies are knowledge about the history of each hole, as well the location of the 108 pot bunkers, some of which are hidden. Walking caddies are also available and are required for those who choose to walk.

Royal Links was recognized as the “Best Course in Las Vegas” in the 2006 Review Journal “Best Of Vegas” poll and one of “America’s Best Courses” by GolfWeek.

Located less than 20 short minutes from the Las Vegas Strip, the castle-style clubhouse hosts a nationally recognized Golf Shop, which was ranked as one of “American’s Best 100 Golf Shops” in 2004 & 2005 by GolfWorld Business. It is stocked with name brand apparel, equipment, quality art and collectables.

SIGNATURE HOLE: With 18 holes being replicas of the most famous links holes, every hole is a signature hole.

Some of the famous holes on the course include the “Road Hole” from St. Andrews and the “Postage Stamp” from Royal Troon. Other courses reflected in the Royal Links design include Carnoustie, Turnberry, Royal Liverpool, Royal Lytham, Muifield, Royal Birkdale and Prestwick.

NO. 3 COURSE: Rhodes Ranch Golf Course


DIRECTIONS: From McCarran Airport: Take the exit tunnel toward the I-15 Freeway. Exit to the right after the tunnel, putting you on 215 West. Take 215 West nine miles to Durango Avenue. Turn left (south) andgo 1.2 miles to the guard-gated Rhodes Ranch community. Check in at the security gate for directions to the golf course.

PHONE: 702-740-4114; (website:

GREEN FEES: Call pro shop or for current rates.

OPENED: 1995: (Architect Ted Robinson)

LAYOUT: Par 72, 6,909 yards (four tee positions)

LOWDOWN: Located just a few minutes from the magnificent Las Vegas strip, RhodesRanch Golf Course facility has swiftly grow to be a meaningful leader in golf in the Las Vegas valley. Hand crafted by legendary architect Ted Robinson, the layout presents a one of a kind mixture of challenge and playability to golfers of all talent levels.

Highlighted by a collection of par threes which Robinson calls the very finest that he has ever designed, this 6,909 yard course will envelop you in its rich tropical environment as well as providing you with a world class golf experience.

The multitude of water features, varying elevations. Stunning city and mountain views with gentle rolling fairways that spread out over the 162 acre property provide a wonderful setting for a day of golf.

SIGNATURE HOLE: No. 3, 227-yard par 3. This long par three requires an accurate shot with a long iron or possibly a wood and is tough enough to put fear in the swing of any golfer.

Water guards the entire right side of the green, and any shot sent in that direction leaves you hoping to land in the pot bunker in front of the green. Once there the green presents you with some of the most challenging putts you will ever see. Par is a great score here.

No. 4 COURSE: Badlands Golf Club


DIRECTIONS: From the Strip/McCarran Airport: Take I-15 north to US-95 north to Summerlin Parkway. Exit on Rampart and go left to Alta Drive. Take a right on Alta Drive Badlands Golf Club will be on your left at the first traffic light.

PHONE: 702 363-0754 (website:

GREEN FEES: Through May 31: $125 Monday-Thursday, $145 Friday-Sunday. Twilight (after 12 noon) $75 Monday-Thursday, $85 Friday-Sunday. Super-Twilight (after 2 p.m.), $45 Monday-Thursday, $55 Friday-Sunday. Junior rates available.

OPENED: 1997: (Architects Johnny Miller and ChiChi Rodriguez)

LAYOUT: Desperado: 3,349 par 36; Diablo: 3,586 par 36; Outlaw: 3,256 par 36. (four tee positions)

LOWDOWN: Badlands Golf Club was definitely named appropriately. The 27-hole course, located in northwest Las Vegas, has harnessed every element of the Nevada terrain, from natural canyons to deep arroyos and natural washes. What might be seen by anyone else as an arid and desolate landscape has been converted into the ultimate golf challenge at Badlands. But don’t be scared off by the premise – though challenging, Badlands is a golf experience not to be missed, especially for the seasoned golfer.

Set in the beautiful Red Rock Canyons, Badlands is designed by Johnny Miller, a golf architect renowned for his challenging courses. And this is one desert course that will truly test your accuracy with three nine’s called the Diablo, the Desperado, and the Outlaw. Each nine provides the ultimate in target golf; ahead lays the lush green with perhaps a bunker to its side or some water, but should you fail to land the ball on it, you’re forced to navigate a dry earth marked with rocks, arroyos, and desert shrubbery. And should the wind happen to be in force on the day you play, you’re in for a real interesting ride.

While Desperado is a fairly straightforward game of accuracy, Diablo and Outlaw require a little creativity in addition to a good shot, with the ample use of elevation changes on the former and bunkers on the latter. However, many say that Outlaw is the friendliest of the three nines, with more grass and less desert on its holes. Overall, however, no one is calling Badlands easy – the course, however, is memorable, often fun, and definitely worth trying at least once.

Four different sets of tees are available so golfers of any level can play the course, and the course plays at roughly 3,500 yards for each nine from the back tees. Which nines a golfer plays on any particular day is determined by the tee time; usually, the earlier golfers are ascribed to the Diablo and Desperado, which are the originals (Outlaw was added later on). However, with the availability of three different nines, one of the enjoyable aspects of Badlands is that players can get a different golf experience every time they go.

Badlands also offers several nice amenities, such as heating and cooling units in all golf carts to ensure a comfortable game during the winter and summer. The Club also features a large practice facility with a 16-station driving range, as well as unlimited golf balls.

SIGNATURE HOLE: It is tough to single out any one particular hole as a signature hole, when all holes at the Badlands are so spectacular. In fact, the standard answer when asking Badlands staff what is their signature hole is “all the holes are signature holes.”

Among the awards for Badlands is the Best Desert Course in Las Vegas by Vegas Golfer Magazine in 2006.

No. 5 COURSE: Angel Park Golf Club


DIRECTIONS: From the Strip: Take I-15 North to US 95 North (Reno Exit). Take US 95 North for 8 miles and exit onto Summerlin Parkway (81 A). Head west on Summerlin Parkway for 3 miles and exit onto Rampart Boulevard. Make a left on Rampart and proceed for one half mile and you will see the course on the left.

PHONE: 702 254-4613; (toll free) 888 446-5358

GREEN FEES: Through May 6: Monday-Friday: $135; $75 after 1 p.m., $30 after 4 p.m. Saturday-Sunday $75 Monday-Friday after 1 p.m.; $30 Monday-Friday after 4 p.m. Saturday-Sunday: $155; $85 after 1 p.m., $30 after 4 p.m.

OPENED: 1989: (Architects, Arnold Palmer and Ed Seay)

LAYOUT: Palm Course: Par 70, 6,500 yards; Mountain Course: Par 71, 6,792 yards (four tee positions)

LOWDOWN: At almost 3000 feet in elevation, Angel Park offers spectacular views of Red Rock Canyon and the Las Vegas Valley. Angel Park Golf Club features 36 holes of championship Las Vegas golf designed by the legendary Arnold Palmer, the lighted Cloud Nine Short Course, and the world’s original natural grass Putting Course.

Both the Cloud Nine and Putting Course are lighted for evening enjoyment. Angel Park has been the recipient of several awards, including the accolade of Best Golf Course in Las Vegas in the “Best of Las Vegas”, Las Vegas Review Journal Readers Poll (15 out of the past 14 years), One of “Americas Top 50 Course for Women” by Golf Digest Magazine (Palm Course) and “Favorite Golf Course” in Las Vegas by visiting golfers (as nominated by What’s On Magazine Visitor Choice Awards). In addition, the Golf Shop at Angel Park has been selected as a “Top 100 Golf Shop in the Country” by Golf World Business four consecutive years!

SIGNATURE HOLE: No. 17, par 5, 557 yards. The 17th at Angel Park’s Mountain Course is an interesting par-5, in that it front-loads the risk/reward at the beginning of the hole, rather than saving the decision making for the penultimate or final approach shot. Once the arroyo is negotiated, most players are left with a wedge or 9-iron onto a generous green.