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:
[[m:####Black Mountain Golf & Country Club
A lush oasis in the Mojave Desert, Black Mountain Golf & Country Club has challenged golfers for more than half a century. The 27-hole layout was built gradually over the course of 45 years, starting with the establishment of the original nine holes in 1957 and culminating in the second nine-hole addition in 2002. Today, players send balls hurtling against the backdrop of the Black Mountains, taking care to avoid hitting the water or slicing their ball into the Las Vegas strip 25 miles away. Since each course features its own unique style, players must adjust their games accordingly. Whereas the Horizon course tempts sharpshooters with several birdie opportunities, the Desert course—ironically—features the most water, requiring golfers to select their clubs carefully and shake off the mirages of caddies appearing as khaki-wearing cacti.
Course at a Glance:
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.
Golf Summerlin operates a triumvirate of courses that roam the desert tundra just east of Red Rock Canyon and showcase the fairway-carving vision of renowned course architects Billy Casper and Greg Nash. All three courses—Palm Valley, Highland Falls, and Eagle Crest—present their own brand of tee-to-green challenges as golfers aim for fairways framed by sandstone-hued peaks.
Palm Valley Golf Course spans 6,849 yards of undulating fairways and bent grass greens. Relatively generous fairways entice aggressive tee shots throughout the course, but particularly ill-struck drives are likely to find the shadows of encroaching pine trees or the grizzly sands of 68 bunkers peppered throughout the course. Nine ponds also populate the course, occasionally forcing golfers into tricky course-management decisions and granting golf balls a chance to pursue their lifelong dream of becoming dinner for fat fish.
Highland Falls Golf Course measures a modest 6,512 yards, yet manages to present a gauntlet of treacherous greenery. Throughout the course, golfers may notice that their drives carry a few extra yards, a product of the dry, thin air—the course perches at an elevation of 3,000 feet—and golf balls galvanized by the electric lure of the Las Vegas Strip, visible from certain vantages across the layout. Careful club selection and a keen eye for distance are critical throughout the round, as dramatic elevation changes complicate basic readings of yardage and legions of sand traps await to ensnare misplayed shots.
The shortest of the three courses, Eagle Crest Golf Course cozies up to the amber mountainside with an 18-hole, 4,067-yard executive layout. The par 60 layout features 12 par-threes—where golfers can zero in with pin-high iron shots—and six par-fours, where players can unleash aggression with flush drives. Rounds conclude at the straightaway, 370-yard, par 4 18th hole, where the fairway plummets 40 feet into a large, bunker-fortified green that lets you punch it if it flinches in anticipation of a craterous ball mark.
Sister courses Siena Golf Club and Arroyo Golf Club are challenging, but at the same time, approachable for beginners and beautiful destinations for golfers of any level. Recognized for its serenity, Siena frames rounds with views of the Spring Mountains and the Las Vegas skyline. The course presents holes that vary in both routing and pacing. Hole five poses a particularly stiff test, since water surrounds its green on three sides, making it tough for golf balls or misplaced skydivers to land on.
Arroyo Golf Club, meanwhile, sets itself apart in one major way: it was designed by golf legend Arnold Palmer. Like a mailman who wears slippers on his route, the course weaves quietly through the community of Summerlin, and alongside Red Rock Canyon. Amidst these favorable views, golfers take on the course’s challenges, including at the 400-plus yard tenth hole—the first of three holes on the backside that calls for players to launch shots over water right off the tee.
Siena Golf Club Course at a Glance:
Arroyo Golf Club Course at a Glance:
Designed by World Golf Hall of Famer Billy Casper and course architect Greg Nash, Palm Valley spans 6,849 yards of undulating fairways set against a dramatic backdrop of striking mountainscapes. Relatively generous fairways entice aggressive tee shots throughout rounds, but particularly ill-struck drives are likely to find the shadows of encroaching pine trees or the grizzly sands of 68 bunkers peppered throughout the course. Nine ponds loom ominously throughout the course, occasionally forcing golfers into tricky course-management decisions and granting golf balls a chance to pursue their lifelong dream of becoming dinner for fat fish. The course’s emerald corridors play their way into expansive greens, where bentgrass surfaces, subtle breaks, and shape-shifting holes can complicate even the simplest putts. Together, these attributes are what make the course a popular destination for players of all skill levels, and what prompted the Southern Nevada Golf Association to select it as its home course.
Course at a Glance: