Vegas, Baby! It’s Time to Play

12 reasons to hit Sin City

You won’t need to win beaucoup on the slots or tables to score a jackpot Las Vegas golf memory. Sin City’s high-desert action includes top-ranked recreation, attractions and properties, all superbly suited for week-long getaways highlighted by more than 300 days of idyllic sunshine… and this 12-point list of recommendations:

1. Looking to add to your premier course played-it list? Golf Digest ranks Shadow Creek and Cascata—Nos. 6 and 46, respectively—on its America’s Top 100 Public Courses list. Other best-in-state plays include DragonRidge CC, Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort, Rio Secco Golf Club and Wynn Golf Club (above).

2. Why fly to the UK when you can play Royal Troon’s “Postage Stamp,” St. Andrews' “Road Hole” and 16 other legendary holes from the British Open rota just nine miles from the Strip? Royal Links Golf Club, what David Feherty called “stirring tribute to the game,” is Scotland without the rain but with the buggies—known as “carts” on this side of the pond.

3. It’s no fad: Shorter courses are significantly more attractive to time-sensitive golfers. If that describes your game, tee it up at the Lee Schmidt/Brian Curley-designed Durango Hills Golf Club, an executive-length test that boasts four par-4 holes, 14 par-3s and stunning panoramas of Red Rock, Snow and Sheep mountains.

4. Five-star luxury golf awaits at gated Cascata, the decorated upscale daily-fee experience in Boulder City. Guests relish the Rees Jones-designed golf course, tour-class caddies, fine and casual clubhouse dining, and lüxe-appointed locker rooms for both men and women.

5. Pampering its well-heeled members and guests is standard fare at Rio Secco Golf Club in Henderson. The Rees Jones course, open to golfers who overnight at any hotel in the greater Las Vegas area, offers steep canyon challenges and mesmerizing city views. The club's lovely T-Mates can assist you. Bonus amenity: If your game hits the skids, celebrated swing guru Butch Harmon’s golf school is based here.

6. Congratulations to 2014 Best Las Vegas Experience CAGGY Award winner Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this season. The destination property offers a trifecta of spectacular golf courses—7,164-yard Snow Mountain, 7,112-yard Sun Mountain and 7,604-yard Wolf, the longest course in Nevada—all designed by legendary architect Pete Dye.

7. Often described as the world’s most complete Las Vegas golf memory, Angel Park Golf Club boasts 36 holes of Arnold Palmer/Ed Seay golf, lighted 12-hole short course and 18-hole putting course, golf academy, breakfast and lunch fare, and an all-female caddie crew known as the Angel Park Angels.

8. Thirty-six holes of sensational golf headline Primm Valley Golf Club, located an easy 30-minute drive southwest of Las Vegas. The 6,945-yard Lakes Course and 7,131-yard Desert Course—both masterfully designed by Tom Fazio—are Par 4 Golf managed and open to daily fee players.

9. The guest experience is nothing less than magical at Caesars Palace Las Vegas Hotel and Casino. The legendary property offers five towers of luxury lodging, gaming, live entertainment, nightlife, restaurants, upscale shopping and superlative recreation at Qua Baths and Spa and Garden of the Gods Pool. Plus, guests earn privileged access to Cascata and Rio Secco golf clubs.

10. Last year, the North Vegas Strip’s glamour and glitter moved up several notches with the opening of SLS Las Vegas. The 1,600-room, three-tower resort already is celebrated for high-energy gaming, poolside day clubs, intimate live performances and eight luscious dining options, including the savory signature cuisine at Bazaar Meat by José Andrés.

11. Vegas is a who’s-who of celebrity cuisine, and a new feast-able just opened that bears the internationally regaled moniker of Chef Alain Ducasse. Rivea at Delano Las Vegas was inspired and influenced by the casual elegance and delectable food markets of the Mediterranean coast, and offers eye-popping, 180-degree views of the city.

12. Sin City is rooted in gaming, yet it maintains big-hat ties to the American West. For 30 consecutive years, Las Vegas has hosted the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, the richest and most prestigious event of its kind. This year’s bronco-buckin’ thriller again takes place at the Thomas & Mack Center on Dec. 3-12.


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Chris Duthie is a contributor to Colorado AvidGolfer, the state’s leading resource for golf and the lifestyle that surrounds it. It publishes eight issues annually and proudly delivers daily content via