Top Five: Las Vegas


LOCATION: Las Vegas, Nv.

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) and go 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  Las Vegas strip, Rhodes Ranch has swiftly grow to be a popular tract in the Vegas valley. The layout presents a mixture of challenge and playability to golfers of all talent levels.

Highlighted by a collection of par threes that architect Ted Robinson calls the finest that he has  designed, this 6,909-yard course will envelop you in a rich tropical environment. There’s a multitude of water features, varying elevations, stunning city and mountain views with gentle rolling fairways that spread out over the 162-acre property.

SIGNATURE HOLE: No. 3, par-3, 227 yards. 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.


LOCATION: Las Vegas, NV.

DIRECTIONS FROM MCCARRAN AIRPORT: Take I-15 north to US-95 north to Summerlin Pkwy. Exit on Rampart and go left to Alta Dr. Take a right on Alta Dr. The course 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: Three nines: Desperado: 3,349 yards, par 36; Diablo: 3,586 yards, par 36; Outlaw: 3,256 yards, par 36 (four tee positions)

LOWDOWN: Badlands 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.

Set in the beautiful Red Rock Canyons, Badlands 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. Among the awards for Badlands is the Best Desert Course in Las Vegas by Vegas Golfer Magazine in 2006.

SIGNATURE HOLE: No. 6 (Diablo), par-4, 389 yards. It is tough to single out any one particular but this one is a kick. Your tee shot must swing around a grove of trees and over a waste area to a narrow patch of green fairway then you turn to your right on the severe dogleg for an approach shot over another waste area while avoiding a wide trap to the length of the green on the left.



DIRECTIONS FROM THE STRIP: Take I-15 North to US 95 North (Reno Exit). Take US 95 North for eight miles and exit onto Summerlin Pkwy/(81 A. Head west on Summerlin Parkway for three miles and exit onto Rampart Blvd. 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 (web site:

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/Ed Seay)

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

LOWDOWN: At almost 3,000 feet in elevation, Angel Park offers spectacular views of Red Rock Canyon and the Las Vegas Valley. The course has been the recipient of several awards, including Best Golf Course in Las Vegas in the ‘Best of Las Vegas’, Las Vegas Review Journal Readers Poll, one of ‘Americas Top 50 Course for Women’ by Golf Digest Magazine (Palm Course) and ‘Favorite Golf Course’ in Las Vegas by visiting golfers.

SIGNATURE HOLE: No. 17, par-5, 557 yards. It is an interesting par-5 in that it front-loads the risk/reward at the beginning, 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.



DIRECTIONS FROM MCCARRAN AIRPORT: Take I-15 north to I-95 South. Take I-95 South to Flamingo exit, make a left on Flamingo. Take Flamingo across Boulder Hwy 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, featuring 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.

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



DIRECTIONS FROM MCCARRAN AIRPORT: Follow signs to 215 West. Exit Las Vegas Blvd.,turn right. Entrance is 1.5 miles on the left.

PHONE: 888 427-6678 (website:

GREEN FEES: $95 to $265 (including cart). Check with for best rates

OPENED: 2000: (Architects: Lee Schmidt/Brian Curley)

LAYOUT: Par 71, 7,002 yards (four tee positions)

LOWDOWN: The Bali Hai course is a worthy namesake of the famous Indonesian nation. The lush surroundings include seven-acres of opulent water features, a total of 4,000 trees with 2,500 stands of towering palms and 100,000 tropical plants. Transition and out-of-play areas are accented with Augusta white sand and black volcanic rock.

Water hazards are coming into play on several hoes and the collection of par 3s are exquisite. The 18th hole has been recognized as one of the finest par fours in Las Vegas. Golf Digest ranks it as a Top 50 Resort Course.

SIGNATURE HOLE: No. 16, par-3, 141 yards. With a beautiful South Pacific theme, there are plenty of pretty holes at Bali Hai, but the quaint 16th completely embraces the theme. It’s framed by palm trees and plays to an island green featuring a pair of brilliant white sand bunkers. The putting surface features a prominent ridge.

– Jim Street