On the lookout for value-friendly golf? Journey to ‘old-school’ Las Vegas


Conestoga Golf Membership in Mesquite, Nev.

Andrew Penner

On my first day, after smacking it round on a $49 golf course (it performed like a monitor price 3 times that a lot), I hit the on line casino. , when in Rome. (I wasn’t in Rome. I used to be in Nevada.)

Fast quiz: as I entered the entrance door of the on line casino I used to be greeted by a) a semi-penetrable wall of cigarette smoke; b) choric rows of Surprise Lady-themed penny slots and $2 blackjack tables; c) a gaggle of grey-haired {couples} using souped-up wheelchairs outfitted with oxygen tanks; or d) all the above. Right here’s a little bit trace: there’s a fairly good likelihood it’s D.

When you’re a Las Vegas common you’ve most likely observed — regardless when you’ve declared private chapter or not — that issues there have gotten a tad dearer of late. Ten and $20 blackjack tables are the norm. Present tickets are exorbitant. Why, you possibly can’t even discover a gorge-yourself-silly buffet for underneath $30. And the golf, effectively, you’ve obtained to promote a kidney or a child to afford it. A whopping $1,000 for Shadow Creek? That’s numerous dishwashing. Or an awfully good run on the roulette desk.

Enter golf on the frayed, outer edges of the state; Nevada’s barren, wind-washed border cities the place grassroots golf and grandpa-approved playing joints are the bread and water of existence. Certainly, that is Vegas, prefer it was once.

Laughlin Ranch Golf Membership in Bullhead Metropolis, Ariz.

Andrew Penner

Laughlin and Mesquite are positively a few these “sinful” outposts that come to thoughts. These are locations the place glitz and glamour — and the excessive prices related to worldly exercise (together with golf) — haven’t fairly caught on.

And there are different cities in Nevada’s nether areas that, to some extent, are reduce from the identical material. West Wendover, Jackpot, and Primm are examples.

Nevertheless, on my latest go to to the state, I caught to Laughlin and Mesquite. For one foremost purpose: they’re heat(ish) in winter. And I actually discovered the important thing factor that I used to be searching for: wonderful value-friendly golf.

Sitting low within the valley and close to the banks of the mighty Colorado River, the Mojave Resort Golf Membership is without doubt one of the greatest golf values I’ve come throughout. For $49 (after 2 p.m., worth additionally consists of cart and driving vary) you possibly can play a superb Brian Curley-designed golf course that, regardless of the comparatively flat terrain, is stable from begin to end. True, the services right here usually are not prime of sophistication (the car parking zone is gravel and the clubhouse is small and considerably dated), however the place it issues most — the standard of the course — Mojave delivers. You’ll discover loads of daring bunkering and creatively contoured inexperienced complexes, Curley logos, on the format. Water additionally comes into play on half the holes.

When you like your golf with a couple of extra bells and whistles, Laughlin Ranch Golf Membership is the ticket. That is, indisputably, the premier course within the area. (It’s really situated in Bullhead Metropolis, Ariz., 10 minutes from the on line casino strip in Laughlin.)

Wolf Creek Golf Membership in Mesquite, Nev.

Andrew Penner

When it comes to bang on your buck, Laughlin Ranch additionally delivers. The course, which was designed by comparatively unheralded architect David Druzisky, tumbles by means of an upscale residential space. Nevertheless, super-wide taking part in corridors (you possibly can count on some wind right here), massive elevation modifications, deep arroyos, spectacular views and an exhilarating ending run make this a top-notch expertise. The very best half? In excessive season (early spring) the speed tops out at $128 (together with cart) and after 3 p.m. it plummets to $68. Put it this fashion, I’ve performed $250 golf programs that weren’t half nearly as good as Laughlin Ranch.

If Surprise Lady retains doling out the dimes like there’s no tomorrow and that you must prolong your keep in Laughlin, it’s also possible to play El Rio, which is a top quality Matt Dye design that’s additionally located close to the Colorado River in Mohave Valley. At $65 (morning) and $49 (afternoon), this also needs to go away you with loads of pennies to pump into slots.

Though Mesquite isn’t residence to an old-school on line casino “strip” like Laughlin, relaxation assured, there are quite a few locations to feed ravenous superheroes, if you realize what I imply. (There are three giant on line casino accommodations in Mesquite. I stayed on the CasaBlanca, the most important of the three.)

And on the subject of golf, Mesquite is an overachiever. The truth is, when you think about there are eight high quality programs in Mesquite — and all inside quarter-hour of one another — a powerful case will be made that that is Nevada’s greatest golf vacation spot.

Falcon Ridge Golf Course in Mesquite, Ariz.

Andrew Penner

When it comes to pricing, by far one of the best deal I got here throughout was the $99 stay-and-play package deal on the CasaBlanca. The opposite programs vary from $125 to $330 (Wolf Creek) throughout excessive season, which is in April and Might. Costs come down significantly throughout summer time.

Unquestionably, most guests would say that Wolf Creek is the ace of spades in Mesquite. Nevertheless, there’s a faction — and I’m in it — that discover this wild canyonlands romp a little bit overwrought. Driving it’s dizzying. And the quirky holes simply come a little bit too quick and livid for my liking. Nevertheless, undeniably, that is an eye-popping, one-of-a-kind format. And it ought to positively be in your record.

Personally, I’d depend Conestoga, a barely extra subdued “badlands” course, a fairer check. Designed by Gary Panks and routed by means of the dramatic landforms discovered within the Solar Metropolis growth, Conestoga exudes a clean, modern and upscale vibe. And proper from the get-go the format capitalizes on the rock outcroppings, the water-gouged arroyos and the desert’s uncooked and beautiful magnificence.

Sand Hole Resort in Hurricane, Utah.

Andrew Penner

Though the residential side of Falcon Ridge just isn’t a advantage, it, too, is an thrilling expertise with big elevation drops and plenty of mesa-framed holes that traverse alongside an aerie bench. When it comes to the views and the range, Falcon Ridge is unquestionably one other one you don’t wish to miss.

The 36-hole Oasis Golf Membership and the Cal Olson-designed CasaBlanca Golf Membership, which hosts the Nevada Open yearly, are additionally worthwhile locations to play. And, in fact, when you’re searching for “Las Vegas prefer it was once” pricing, the CasaBlanca and The Palms are the place you wish to ebook. Simply $99 for a room and a spherical in excessive season? Can’t beat that.

When you’re hunkering down in Mesquite for the lengthy haul, it’s also possible to head 40 minutes up the street to St. George, Utah, the place you’ll discover one other grouping of nice programs. The one concern there? On account of state legal guidelines, Surprise Lady has but to fly her invisible jet into these elements.

Andrew Penner is a contract author and photographer based mostly in Calgary, Alberta. You possibly can comply with him on Instagram at @andrewpennerphotography.

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