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These are the top 18 golf holes in Southern Nevada

Top 18 Holes in Las Vegas

Uh oh. I was given—and for some reason accepted—the challenge of picking the best 18 golf holes in Las Vegas. There are more than 50 courses in the area and that equates to about 900 holes from which to whittle it down to 18.

Good luck to me.

Adding to the challenge is that most of the world’s best golf course architects including Tom Fazio, Pete Dye, Rees Jones, Robert Trent Jones, Jr. and Sr., Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Greg Nash, Billy Casper, Lee Schmidt, Brian Curley and others have twirled their design magic in our desert oasis. Over the years, Las Vegas has become known for both quality and quantity of golf. It is a deserved reputation.

Some of the holes chosen are from exclusive and private courses but several are accessible to all. The task assigned from the editor was to opine on the best, no matter where they were. We managed to create a wonderful Las Vegas golf layout complete with a bonus hole where all bets can be decided should a match have ended all square.

The final 18 is a par 72, 6,884 yard golf journey. The outward nine is a par 36 and plays to 3,476 yards from the back tees. The inward nine is a par 36 and plays to 3,408 yards. The course is highlighted by two drivable par 4 holes plus reachable par 5s and tantalizing par 3 holes.

So here we go; the best holes in Las Vegas. Fore!

Note: no one facility could be used twice in the creation of this list.

1. Red Rock Country Club

Hole 6

Par 4, 412 Yards

Designer: Arnold Palmer

RedRockCountryClub.com

With the recent passing of Arnold Palmer, there was no other choice but to start this list with a hole designed by the King himself. The par 4, 6th hole at the private Red Rock Country Club plays to a fairway that is elevated on one side and with a bunker in the middle of it. It is a great driving hole and finishes with a green guarded by a bunker to the left and a caliche wall to the right.

2. Bear’s Best Las Vegas

Hole 10

Par 4, 411 Yards

Designer: Jack Nicklaus

BearsBestLasVegas.com

Appropriately, the Golden Bear Jack Nicklaus, a lifetime friend and foe of Palmer, is up next. The par 4, 10th hole at Bear’s Best Las Vegas is the choice. Bear’s Best features replicas of Jack’s favorite holes from courses he has designed around the globe. The original hole that inspired the Bear’s Best version is the 10th hole from the private course at PGA West in La Quinta, Calif. A two-tiered fairway, dramatic bunkers and an uphill shot to the green highlight this hole.

3. Cascata

Hole 7

Par 3, 157 Yards

Designer: Rees Jones

CascataGolf.com

They literally moved a mountain to create this beauty of a par 3 so it must be included on the list. Designer Rees Jones and former Caesars Entertainment executive Dan Wade found the perfect spot for a par 3 during the planning process, but a mountain was in the way. A dynamite blast removed the obstacle, and a few short months later an emerald putting green surrounded by bunkers and rugged cliffs emerged.

4. Reflection Bay Golf Club

Hole 18

Par 5, 561 Yards

Designer: Jack Nicklaus

ReflectionBayGolf.com

It was a positive for golfers in Las Vegas when Reflection Bay, a top 100 course designed by Jack Nicklaus, re-opened two years ago after being closed for several years due to the recession. The par 5, 18th hole is one of five holes on the course that play along the Lake Las Vegas shore line. Nicklaus managed to birdie the hole to shoot 1-under par when he christened the course by playing a ceremonial 18 holes in 1998.

5. TPC Las Vegas

Hole 14

Par 4, 365 Yards

Designer: Bobby Weed, Raymond Floyd

TPC.com/LasVegas

TPC Las Vegas is one of two Las Vegas golf courses owned and operated by the PGA Tour, and is described as desert elegance. The layout once hosted both PGA Tour and PGA Tour Champions events. The par 4, 14th hole is a dogleg right and plays over a large canyon off the tee. The same canyon runs the entire right side of the hole before cutting between the fairway and the green. Precision on every shot is a must for success on this hole.

6. Rio Secco Golf Club

Hole 11

Par 4, 478 Yards

Designer: Rees Jones

RioSecco.net

The par 4, 11th at Rio Secco is arguably the most picturesque hole in the city. This hole is a dogleg right with a well-guarded green while the hole is back dropped by views of the entire Las Vegas valley. This hole combines maximum challenge with maximum beauty and is a must play for all Las Vegas golfers.

7. Bali Hai Golf Club

Hole 16

Par 3, 141 Yards

Designer: Schmidt/Curley

BaliHaiGolfClub.com

One of the best spots for a business lunch in Las Vegas is Cili, the restaurant located in the Bali Hai club house. What makes the experience at Cili even better is the view of the par 3, 16th hole just off the patio. This par 3 is decorated by a lagoon-like water feature, palm trees and bunkers, and is as beautiful as it is challenging.

8. Las Vegas National Golf Club

Hole 13

Par 4, 329 Yards

Designer: Bert Stamps

LasVegasNational.com

The potentially drivable par 4, 13th hole at Las Vegas National—originally the Stardust Country Club when it hosted the Tournament of Champions and the Sahara Invitational—was said to be Arnold Palmer’s favorite hole on the course. The dogleg right hole is shaded by mature pines and water, and bunkers guard the green, but the longest hitters can risk it and go for eagle.

9. Southern Highlands Golf Club

Hole 18

Par 5, 622 Yards

Designer: Robert Trent Jones, Jr. and Sr.

SouthernHighlands.com

The final course designed by both Robert Trent Jones, Jr. and Sr. is the home of the UNLV men’s golf team and a former host course of Las Vegas’ PGA Tour event, the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. The finishing hole at the exclusive club might be the most majestic in the city and the split-fairway hole offers multiple options to play it. Golfers have to decide to play to an upper fairway to the left or a lower fairway to the right, then another decision is faced when laying up prior to the approach to the green that is heavily guarded by multiple bunkers. The beautiful clubhouse overlooks the hole.

10. TPC Summerlin

Hole 15

Par 4, 320 Yards

Designer: Bobby Weed/PGA Tour Design Services

TPCSummerlin.com

There are many compelling holes to choose from on the host course of Las Vegas’ PGA Tour event, the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. But the most underrated hole, the par 4, 15th hole, begins our outward nine. TTour players can drive the green and go for eagle down the stretch but playing the hole as a regular two-shot par four isn’t a gimme because the narrow fairway is lined by desert and strategic bunkering makes shot placement off the tee important. The green is also fortified by several bunkers.

11. Shadow Creek

Hole 17

Par 3, 154 yards

Designer: Tom Fazio

ShadowCreek.com

How many holes could someone pick at Shadow Creek to be included on a Las Vegas best holes list? Plenty. But the par 3, 17th is our pick and is an opinion shared by many other golfers including NBA hall of famer Michael Jordan, a regular at Shadow Creek, who loves the hole. A small green is guarded by water in front and back, bunkers all around and mature pine trees shadow the hole.

12. DragonRidge Country Club

Hole 14

Par 4, 441 Yards

Designer: Jay Moorish, Dave Druzisky

DragonRidge.com

This par 4 at DragonRidge Country Club is one of the most challenging in the city. The hole features a large lake on the right side, out of bounds to the left and the approach shot is played uphill to a green surrounded by bunkers, making the official yardage on the scorecard play about 10-15 yards longer.

13. Anthem Country Club

Hole 9

Par 4, 421 Yards

Designer: Keith Foster, Hale Irwin

The front nine at the private Anthem Country Club ends with a picturesque par 4 that plays up the hill towards the club house. It is a challenging finish to the opening stanza of holes. A bunker in the middle of the fairway is a magnet to tee shots while the approach shot to an elevated green is made more difficult by strategically-placed bunkers.

14. Legacy Golf Club

Hole 10

Par 3, 193 Yards

Designer: Arthur Hills

TheLegacyGC.com

Any discussion about the best holes in Las Vegas needs to include the “suits” hole at Legacy Golf Club. The four tee boxes of the hole were built in the shape of a deck of cards: clubs, diamonds, spades and hearts. But the hole not only features some Vegas flare, but architect Arthur Hills crafted a challenging par 3 with a waste area in front of the hole and bunkers guarding the putting surface.

15. Wynn Golf & Country Club

Hole 18

Par 4, 425 Yards

Designer: Steve Wynn, Tom Fazio

WynnLasVegas.com

The Wynn Golf & Country Club stands on the hallowed ground where the historic Desert Inn course once was and while some trees from the original layout remain, not much else does from the holes where Palmer and Nicklaus won PGA Tour events. The new 18th hole at Wynn culminates to a green decorated by a waterfall and shadowed by the Country Club Steakhouse patio, where patrons enjoy lunch, brunch, dinner while gazing at the beauty of the Steve Wynn and Tom Fazio finishing hole.

16. Coyote Springs Golf Club

Hole 18

Par 4, 463 Yards

Designer: Jack Nicklaus

CoyoteSpringsGolfClub.com

Any hole named “All In” in Las Vegas has to make the best of list, right? The 18th hole at Jack Nicklaus’ Coyote Springs, located about 50 minutes from the Las Vegas Strip, carries that moniker and is a beauty. The hole features a lake along the entire right side and golfers must go “all In” and trust their swings on this one or they will go bust.

17. Royal Links Golf Club

Hole 10

Par 4, 466 Yards

Designer: Schmidt/Curley

RoyalLinksGolfClub.com

Possibly the most famous—or infamous—golf hole in the world is the Road Hole, the par 4, 17th hole, at St. Andrews in Scotland. A replica of the hole is the 10th hole at Royal Links Golf Club, a course created to honor the history of the Open Championship. On the original, golfers play over the sign of the Old Course Hotel while at Royal Links players tee off over a replica Open Championship scoreboard. Both the original and the replica culminate with a road guarding the right side of the hole and green, forcing players to come up with creative shots should the ball come to rest on the paved surface with little chance for positive relief.

18. The Las Vegas Country Club

Hole 18

Par 5, 525 Yards

Designer: Edmund B. Ault (Mark Rathert renovation)

LasVegasCC.com

Who knows how much money has changed hands on the 18th hole at the historic and notorious Las Vegas Country Club. This private club has been the site of some of the biggest money games in the city and the par 5 includes several bunkers in the landing area of the drive off the tee plus a lake decorates the entire front of the green. Bunkers behind the green gobble up any balls that go deep. Legend has it that back in the day, certain members placed a sprinkler with the wrong yardage about 110 yards from the green, causing unsuspecting golfers to come up short on the approach, causing them to lose their golf balls in the water and dollars out of their wallets.

The Decider 19th Hole

Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort – Wolf Course

Hole 15

Par 3, 182 Yards

Designer: Pete Dye

RealPureGolf.com

Since this is Vegas, there most likely will be betting action on the course. So what happens if the match is tied after 18? You have to play a “decider” hole and there is no better hole to settle the action than the Pete Dye-designed par 3 island green at the Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort Wolf course. Sharing similar characteristic of the par 3, 17th at TPC Sawgrass (also designed by Dye) that is home to the PGA Tour Players Championship, this Vegas version causes the same angst in every day golfers as the Sawgrass version does for the pros who have millions on the line.

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