The Vegas Five – Golf Courses To Play In Sin City

Cascata, 6th hole (Photo: Caesars Entertainment)
Rio Secco offers from expansive views of Las Vegas below (Photo: Scott MacLeod)

Rio Secco offers from expansive views of Las Vegas below (Photo: Scott MacLeod)

It’s a question I seem to field a few times a year. “I’m going to Las Vegas; where do I play golf?”

Yes, there is golf in Vegas (over 50 courses, in fact), it’s not all about life on The Strip…although there is golf there as well.

Here are five golf courses you should consider playing in Las Vegas (without mind to travel and budget).

I mentioned golf on the Strip so why don’t we start there:

Bali Hai

In the hustle of the South Las Vegas, within in sight of both McCarran International Airport and the towers of the Mandalay Bay and Delano casinos, Bali Hai has to be seen to be believed. Velvety green fairways were draped over the arid terrain and surrounded by more than 2,500 towering palm trees and 100,000 exotic plants. It’s not the toughest course you’ll face but there are 7,000 yards if you want it. Operator Walters Golf keeps it in impeccable shape and the service levels are in line for what you’d expect from a premium Vegas establishment. A convenient last game when you are in town with a five minute drive to the departure gate. 

Rio Secco

Head for the Seven Hills neighbourhood in Henderson to find this course. It is home to the Butch Harmon School of Golf. Don’t be shy about getting a tune up on your game; there are some holes here that will test you.

Located high on the hillside, the winds are known to whip up from the valley floor and cause havoc for golfers, especially those starining themselves on the full 7400 yards. Big elevation changes, some forced carries, and desert lining the fairways will provide all the challenge you need.

Cascata, 6th hole (Photo: Caesars Entertainment)

Cascata, 6th hole (Photo: Caesars Entertainment)


Like Rio Secco, Cascata is a Caesars Entertainment property and it shows. The trademark glitz and glam that the company is known for carries through in the spectacular nature of this course. Nothing was spared it its creation.

Located in Boulder City, not far from the Hoover Dam, Cascata is a true experience that will linger with you long after you play. The Rees Jones design is marked by many natural rock outcroppings and some mind-blowing water features. The most impressive of them is a 418-foot waterfall that spills from the hillside.

Premium conditions and premium service. You may never want to leave. 

Bear’s Best

Jack Nicklaus fans will be in heaven. The course is exactly as named, some of the Golden Bear’s best designs all concentrated into an eighteen hole stretch.

While feeling disjointed at times because of the concept, this place is a lot of fun with different types of shots and strategies required for each hole.

A sweet hillside property that climbs to a peak early in the back nine also serves up some panoramic looks at the Las Vegas skyline in the valley below.

Canadians hitting balls at the range should also look for their fellow countryman, Paul Wilson. The Ontario native operates his golf school from there.

Bear’s Best

Las Vegas Pauite Resort

Want a retreat where you can get all the golf you can handle from sun up to sun down? This is your spot.

Not one, not two, but three Pete Dye designs are available, including the longest course in Nevada.

Just 25 minutes northwest of the strip, it feels more like hours away. The overwhelming feeling is “space” and lots of it with a stunning array of holes over the entire acreage.

A personal favourite is the first course built, Snow Mountain. It has some intriguing par threes but the short par 4’s really endeared it to me. The 7th and 14th holes both fall in the 340-yard range from the very tips but offer shortcuts and the chance at an eagle putt for the aggressive player.

And it is Vegas, so why wouldn’t you want to gamble? 

For more Las Vegas info visit the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority on the web