Framed by the amber peaks of distant mountains, Wildhorse Golf Club's 18-hole course winds through rugged desert wilderness for 6,525 yards of challenging tee-to-green terrain. Eight ponds loom at the edges of seven holes, including the majestic ninth, where water hazards occupy both sides of the fairway as it draws nearer to the green, luring wayward approaches and contributing to the hole's rating as the course's most difficult. Sands, rocks, and tumbleweeds with dreams of becoming golf balls await misguided orbs in the unsown desert that flanks each pristine fairway, offsetting the course's lack of imposing tree lines.
Imbued with more history than Gene Sarazen's divot-tool time portal, the course counts Howard Hughes among its past owners and was once a regular stop on the PGA Tour, where players enjoyed its beautiful scenery and the compassionate waterfowl that helped earn the course honors as an Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary.
Course at a Glance:
18-hole, par-70 course
Length of 6,525 yards from the farthest tees
Course rating of 71.4 from the farthest tees
Slope rating of 136 from the farthest tees
Four tee options
When newly minted golf director Orrin Vincent assembled a team of sharp course management minds in 1972, he couldn’t have expected the reach he and his brain trust would one day possess. The enterprise formed that day at a course on the banks of Lake Tahoe now spans the nation, encompassing 41 courses scattered across 15 states, from Florida to Washington. In keeping with the standard set forth 40 years ago, the organization is made up of experts with experience across all aspects of golf course management—from construction and maintenance to design and soundproofing tee boxes. Their signature flare for perfectionism amid naturally dramatic settings can be witnessed at each course in the OB Sports directory, including the Robert Trent Jones Jr.-designed Monarch Beach Golf Links in California, the 36-hole Gamble Ranch in Washington, and the Arnold Palmer-designed Angel Park Golf Club in Las Vegas.
Staffed by experienced coaches and computers who’ve sworn allegiance to the three laws of golfing robotics, GolfTEC’s motion sensors and high-speed cameras monitor swings and break down each individual’s form on a video display to get results. Sensors chirp with approval whenever they detect the perfect stroke or an especially witty golfing joke. GolfTEC’s certified personal coaches will point out flaws and strengths while providing golfers with tips on how to permanently improve their game from tee to green.
3D Family Fun Center rescues people from the doldrums of mundane mini golf and laser tag by filling the glow-in-the dark complex with glowing pirate ships and floating blue spots. Erupting volcanoes, pixies flying over colorful castles, and bright-yellow windmills await on the mini-golf course's 18 holes, all given form with 3D glasses. Journeys into the laser-tag arena require complete sensory immersion as players navigate fog-filled hallways in search of opponents to blast with point-scoring laser beams. In the fun-center's arcade, rows of ski-ball machines, basketball hoops, and racing cabinets give players opportunities to test their hand–eye coordination and practice jumping cars over ravines for upcoming driver's exams.
A distinguished citizen of the golf world as both a competitor and coach, PGA Pro Mike Davis draws from his decorated career to help fellow golfers on their path to straighter drives and lower scores. A full-time contender in the PGA Tour during the mid-1970s, Mike’s playing career included appearances in three US Opens and one PGA Championship, where the world’s finest golfers compete for trophy jackets made of the finest divots.
After his time as a competitive golfer, Mike made sizeable contributions to the coaching world by publishing instructional articles in numerous publications—including Golf Magazine—and conducting groundbreaking research about the use of video analysis in golf instruction. Today, the passionate pedagogue roams the training ground at Royal Links Golf Club, smoothing out swing imbalances with the help of technological refinements such as V1 video analysis technology, TOMI putting-analysis software, and cybernetic caddies sent from the future to destroy underperforming irons.
From the framed photos of legendary players lining the walls of the stately clubhouse to the last putt on the meticulously manicured 18th green, Desert Pines Golf Club surrounds players with tradition. Named one of the Top 50 Public Courses in the nation by Golf Digest, the Pete Dye design opened in 1997 and received a major overhaul 10 years later, complete with 18 newly designed and rebuilt greens. The course features rolling mounds and thousands of mature pines that delineate narrow fairways, yielding beautiful views and occasional lucky bounces back to safety. Unlike other area courses and driving ranges that double as airport runways, wind isn't much of a factor at Desert Pines, thanks to its low elevation, dense foliage, and zero-gravity tee boxes.
Course at a Glance: