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:
Designed by Dick Wilson and Joe Lee—the duo responsible for famed courses including Doral Blue Monster and Cog Hill’s Dubsdread—Desert Rose Golf Course spans 6,511 yards of tight fairways and player-friendly terrain. Runaway swings gain traction before the round at Desert Rose’s driving range, where players can warm up by hitting a bucket of practice balls or save them for later use in a seasonal cobbler. Nimble carts traverse the course’s emerald corridors, allowing clubbers to save their stamina for treacherous approaches and breaking putts. After the round, players can replenish energy with a tasty handful of sand out of the practice bunker or a nosh from the Desert Rose Grill or quench their appetite for sounder swings by heading to the onsite practice facilities or signing up for a private lesson.
Course at a Glance:
Nestled within the gated Los Prados community in the northwest corner of the Las Vegas Valley, Los Prados Golf Course challenges golfers with a track of tight fairways and desert surroundings. Designed by course architect Jeff Hardin in 1987, the course was strategically sculpted to incorporate fast-moving greens and golf carts that shape-shift into jousting steeds.
Before each demanding round, players can practice chipping and putting into the facility's practice areas, and afterward, they can drop by the restaurant to feast on a menu of steak and seafood. Guests can also visit the pro shop to pick up a new glove or replace clubs that have signed a peace treaty with all golf balls.
Course at a Glance:
Most golf courses aim to showcase a signature hole—the one hole they think will linger in golfers' memory banks long after they've sunk their final putt. The pros at Painted Desert Golf Club can't choose just one; they've anointed five holes as their course's signatures, a tribute to the inventive course design by architect Jay Morrish. The quintet of memorable holes includes the 538-yard, par-five third hole, where golfers launch golf balls towards a three-tiered green surrounded by sandstone-hued peaks and their tusken raider inhabitants. Two additional "signatures" boast intimidating water hazards; a pond is stationed menacingly in front of the green at the par-three eighth, and a large body of water hugs the entire right side of the par four, 14th hole, complicating golfers' tee shot into a fairway that dog-legs sharply to the right. Hemmed by desert sands and the adobe roofs of surrounding homes that line the course, the 6,781-yard layout incorporates large mounds and difficult, hard to read greens across all 18 holes.
Golfers can prepare for rounds at Painted Desert's practice facility, putting green, and bunker practice area. The club complements its multifaceted golf complex with a golf shop and a clubhouse restaurant, where clubbers can fuel up before taking to the first tee or replenish after long bouts of breaking their bucking golf carts.
Against the backdrop of a landscaped nine-hole course, Callaway instructors tutor students in the finer points of selecting, gripping, and swinging their golf clubs. With decades of combined experience, coaches transfer their golf-swing knowledge to students of all skill levels and provide video swing analysis in 30-minute lessons. Players can reap the benefits of hands-on attention from an instructor who has toured internationally as a golf pro and has experimented extensively with hitting donut holes. Afterward, students can exercise their newfound skills on Callaway’s five target greens or 113 range stations. With this Groupon, pupils can receive 10% off a five-pack of one-hour lessons, a far more efficient strategy than waiting for a nomadic tribe of golf pros to wander by.
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.