This is a page dedicated to those who love the game of golf but don’t play as often as they would like. These reviews of selected golf courses will give you an idea on which ones you might want to play.
Trump National Los Angeles- This course, nestled in the coastal hills of of Rancho Palos Verdes south of downtown, not only offers a dynamic panorama of scenery from sagebrush to blue water, but golfers of all persuasions will also experience a course they will definitely remember. From the first hole that features a waterfall behind the green to Hole No. 18 with a variety of bunkers located throughout the hole, pinpoint accuracy is the name of the game. Those who can keep it straight will lower their scores. Beginners should opt for shorter shots that will keep them in the fairway.
Stallion Mountain Golf Club- If you have ever visited Sam’s Town you have probably not noticed that there is a golf course that is almost just behind it. Stallion Mountain is in a gated community and is beautiful. Not only will you be treated to mountains and water, but the fairways and greens are in terrific shape. In fact I didn’t notice any flaws in any of the greens, a rarity in the valley. If you are a lover of narrow fairways you will love it here, especially the Back 9. The key is to keep your drives straigh and if you do you will keep your score low. Hooking or slicing will cause some problems on most holes. Overall this is a fun course for any player.
Wildhorse Golf Club- Nestled into nice neighborhoods of Henderson stands this tribute to narrow fairways and tricky greens. Completed redone in 2014, this course has a challenge on every hole. On a recent visit the fairways were cut short and anyone hitting there experienced a great role, terrific for hackers who need a boost. Because of water restrictions anything outside of the fairway is brown creating more roll than you would normally get. A visitor from the midwest who was part of my foursome complained about the role but I found it just right. Anyway the four hour round was enjoyable and this course is one of the most scenic in the valley.
Las Vegas National Golf Club- A round here is like experiencing golf in the days of the Rat Pack. Visions of Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr. teeing off on the 1st tee immediately come into your brain. Also on the left of the same first tee is the house Robert DeNiro’s character lived in throughout the movie Casino. It is still painted the same color, coral and white, and it is fun to take a look after you tee off. The first fairway was also used for the landing of the FBI plane during the flick. How about the course? It is a traditional layout with lots of mature trees, tricky bunkers and some narrow fairways. It does get your attention and even though the Weekend Hacker is not very good, he still had a fun round. It is definitely worth the trip down the nostalgia highway.
Black Mountain- This private country club course is actually 3 9 hole arrangements that wind their way through eastern Henderson. I played Founders and Horizon. The Desert course was totally brown. I don’t know if that is temporary of if they are saving money on water. Any the Horizon Front 9 was challenging, especially the narrow fairway at the first tee. The Founders 9 are more wide open, especially the final holes. Overall this is a good experience although the greens could have been better. There were several divots and bald spots that didn’t help my already-challenging putting.
Primm Valley-Desert- Folks who travel from California to Las Vegas on Interstate 15 probably don’t pay too much attention to an oasis that is located 5 miles south of Primm, but they should, especially if they are golfers. There are two championship 18 hole courses, Desert and Lakes. The kissing cousins both provide challenging golf in a beautiful setting. A recent visit to the Desert course provided more than enough thrills for this weekend hacker who managed to stay out of a lot of bunkers but hit a few of the ravines because of some bad shots. The greens were in pretty good shape but after all of the summer sun the fairways were in need of a little color. I’m told by regulars that in the Fall and Spring months this is one of the most beautiful courses in the ara. And that is saying something seeing as though there are so many around. Anyway you are in store for a fun day with a visit to Primm Valley.
Boulder Creek Golf Club-Great views, mostly-wide fairways and well manicured greens,,they all help to make up a very enjoyable course. Even it is a private club, they encourage the public to join in. They even pair deals with the municipal course Boulder City that is really just across the street. Even though the day I was there it was overcast and windy, it still played well. A couple of errant drives got caught up in the wind and went out of bounds, but that is on me not the course. I really enjoyed putting. The roll was fair, not too slow, not too fast. All-in-all a great experience. Can’t wait to play this one again.
Boulder City Golf Course- This course is well maintained and pleasant for the eyes. The fairways tend to be narrow and if you don’t hit it just right, you can land in another hole’s fairway. Mature trees are everywhere and the layout is a bit traditional which is fine in my book. Even the Back 9, that was built a few years after the front, have a little of the desert architecture that is prevalent in the Las Vegas valley, but the sage doesn’t enter in to the picture too much. I would definitely give this course another go at a later date.
Los Prados Golf Club- My first impressions of this course that is located North of downtown were negative. The fairways on the first holes were narrow and very slow. But as the day went along my mood got better. The fairways opened up, although the grass was still thihck. The whole course has a plethora of bunkers to keep you interested, including some deep canyon ones that I had a lot of problems with. Distances are not as long as some but they are long enough to give anyone a challenge. The staff is friendly and you can get some great rates on golf.now. It is definitely worth the visit. In fact I decided to give it try two weeks in a row.
Aliante Golf Club- This Sun City public course, located next to the Aliante Hotel and Casino, is a fun 18 hole experience that you can complete in 4 hours. Wide fairways wind their way through groups of homes. I sliced one into a patio and got to meet a very nice lady who pointed out some other golf balls I could retrieve. Water comes into play with a couple of holes but depending on which tee box placement you use, they aren’t difficult. All in all a nice course that is definitely worthy playing often.
Tuscany Golf Club- Wide fairways are a good thing, especially when you hit so many out-of-bounds shots like I do. That’s why I especially liked this course just a couple of miles south of Lake Las Vegas. Not only will you find wide fairways but the views of the strip and the nicely-manicured fairways and greens add to the enjoyment. A couple of water hazards will give you some difficulty but for the most part this is a great course. They also give locals great incentives like a breakfast buffet, lunch and two drinks that go with the already-discounted greens fees. If you haven’t experienced it yet, you should. It is one of the best in Las Vegas.
Dragonridge Country Club- Great views are a hallmark of this course that is located on Stephanie Ave. in the eastern part of Henderson, Nevada. The front 9 seem to easier than the back. Hole No. 1 is a wide open panoramic picture of greenery that will get you off to a pleasant start. The No. 10 hole has obstacles all over including a rock that is in the fairway. Later on there is a vertical short Part 3 and a hole with two fairways. All in all the experience is a great one. Four elevated tee boxes allow players of all skill levels to dig in and hit away.
Anthem Country Club- Many golfers in the Las Vegas valley consider this course to be one of the top 3 in the area. For a region with a lo tof great courses, that says a lot. The desert layout features tiered tee boxes that have a lot of sage between the boxes and the fairways. For those who are weak off the tea (which I am) it means a lot of balls landing in the sand. Even the forward tees are situated in the areas where you have to hit it right. That being said this is a terrific course with greens that are fair and challenges on every hole. Just when you are finding your rhythm trouble awaits. There are large areas of rought where you have to dig in with a hybird to get it out. The views are great and it is peaceful as the course doesn’t get too busy because it is private. A 4 1/2 round is standard. If you know someone that is a member have them invite you. You will be in store for a fun day of golf.
Las Vegas Golf Club- This course is the oldest one in the Las Vegas valley. Begun in 1938 it is the epitome of a traditional place. There are wealth of mature trees, wide fairways and greens that are in pretty good shape for the most part. A recent Saturday round was just over 4 1/2 hours and the pace was fine. It is a good course for all members of the family. There were several kids on it and veterans who could hit the ball long way. It is definitely worth your time.
Legacy-Henderson, Nevada is fortunate to have a challenging but fair course that winds through a couple of upscale housing tracts. Legacy is a fairly expensive course but if you are a resident the price goes down a lot. On a recent Saturday I played the course for $45. That included a cart and a bucket of balls. Most of the fairways are wide and the term “grip and rip” applies here. You can get into trouble if you aren’t careful but good shots are rewarded. The final hole is all uphill. It seems a bit unfair after all of the work done on the other 17, but at the end is a nice clubhouse where a libation awaits.
Angel Park Cloud Nine- This is a gem of a course located in Summerlin, Nevada, just northwest of Las Vegas. Many would dismiss it as a short 9 hole par 3 which it is, but it is also much more than that. All of the holes are shorter versions of classic holes located in some of the finest golf courses in the world. There are actually 12 holes here, 9 of which are lighted at night for those who don’t want to stand in the hot summer sun of the desert. Each and every one of the holes is interesting, touch in its own way and definitely memorable. Even though it is short, the challenges are there. Check it out!
Monarch Beach Golf Links- This course, nestled on the coast in Dana Point, California, is a challenging 18 hole affair that has a host of bunkers that show up on every hole. You will get plenty of practice using your sand wedge, but if you hit them right you can keep your score down. I had a terrible front 9 but then rebounded and finishined strongly. It seems as though the holes on the back 9 were a little shorter or maybe I was just hitting better. The course will definitely challenge you and make you play better or else.
Chester Washington- This 18 hole Los Angeles County course has an interesting mix of long and tough holes. The front 9 holes are the most challenging, especially 6, 7 and 9. On 6 there is water just past the tee box, On 7 the lake is right by the green. On 9 there are a trio of lakes to get past. I actually poked the first two shots into the water. The final holes are long and after a fairly long day they will wear you out, even if you have a cart. But overall the course is a challenge for any golfer.
Cerritos Iron Wood-This is a 9 hole tight course with an attitude. First of all the greens are beautiful and well kept. Each hole has its challenges with bunkers and water in play. You have to keep your shots straight or you will land up in the previous fairway. It is better to be short on this course than too long. The 9th hold is especially tricky with a small lake guarding the right side of the green. It is a fun course, inexpensive, and can be played in two hours of less. Great for people who want to work on their short approaches.
Olivas Links-There is a very challenging municipal course in Ventura that has been called by many as one of the 10 best in the country. This place defines “links” perfectly. There are wide open holes and ones that are filled with water, reeds, and sagebrush. Get caught in the reeds and you can play the ball, if you can find it. If not you will get a one stroke penalty. I found the front 9 easier than the back 9. The grass is cut very low throughout. The experience was much like teeing off on a green. It is a beautiful course and you will find each hole to be a challenge. I suppose that’s just the way it should be.
Angel Park-Las Vegas is known for many things, one of which is having expensive golf courses. But you can find some deals. I recently played at Angel Park Golf Course in Summerlin, about 9 miles west of the strip. There are actually three courses here: Mountain, Palm, and a 9 hole executive course that is lighted and open in the evening. I arrived for the Palm course on a recent afternoon for a 3:30 tee-off time. It wasn’t crowded and for $35 I played the great 18 hole course with a cart in a little over 4 hours. It is a challenge with lots of water hazards and bunkers to keep it interesting. The wind came up late in the afternoon but keeping the drives low didn’t affect things in the least. All in all it was great experience and I can’t wait to try the Mountain course next time.
Roosevelt Golf Course-Most folks know about the golf courses that are located on the east side of Griffith Park. But not so many know about a fun 9 hole course called Roosevelt that is located on Vermont Ave, just north of the Greek Theater. When I arrived to check in, the starter told me that this was a different kind of course. It is long for an executive course, with some hefty Par 4 holes. You will also spend a lot of time walking up and down hills. But that is what makes it fun. Along with the terrain there are narrow fairways and all kinds of ways to get into trouble. After navigating the course, you will be satisfied knowing that even though you played an executive course, you were stimulated as well.
River View Golf Course-This course has been called one of the most affordable in Orange County. Indeed it is. You can play 18 holes with a cart for less than $40, and that is on the weekends. The holes are all located along the Santa Ana riverbed. Depending on what time of the year you visit, water levels may be high or very low. But make no mistake about it, this course is a challenge. I have never seen greens so high up on ridges. The 17th hole has a green so far away that you first must hit south, then west across the river bed and then up to the top of the green, which is a small one for a hole that size. It is fun but be prepared, this course will challenge you on just about every hole.
Saticoy Regional Golf Course-This 9 hole course has had its ups and downs. A recent visit was a pleasant one. The greens were in very good shape as were the fairways. The recent rains had a lot to do with it. Also the management has been spending some bucks to fix things up. There is one Par 5 and two Par 3’s with a few bunkers to make it fun. It is inexpensive and a nice to way to spend a couple of hours.
Bixby Village-This little 9 hold Par 30 course in Long Beach is a lot of fun. The first couple of holes features a water hazard, sand traps, and condos on one side. I launched one into the patio of a condo owner just last week. It is a challenging course for both beginners and long-time players. It normally isn’t too crowded and if you can’t get on at Little Rec just up the street, this is a nice alternative. You can also play it for $15 on the weekends. Not bad!
Fullerton Golf Course-This 18 hole course is built in a canyon just north of downtown Fullerton. It is one of the best municipal courses I have ever played. Every hole is a challenge, even the four par 3’s that are next to each other. The fairways are narrow and there are lot of bends and doglegs that keep it interesting. I saw some people walking but I wouldn’t recommend it. The ups and downs will keep your knees working. By the way if you check on-line you can get some terrific deals. On a slow day it takes about 5 hours which isn’t bad for a full size course. Even though it is challenging, beginners will have fun as well.
Harbor Golf Course-This full-size 9 hole golf course, owned by the City of Los Angeles, is well maintained and is popular, particularly on the weekends. The first 3 holes are long and get you off to a challenging start. There are two Par 5’s and a fun Par 3 that has a slight dogleg to the left. Depending on the position of the pen, golfers have to guess where to hit. If you hit over the trees, an ending on the green is possible. If not, the forest will get still another ball. The course offers tests for golfers of any skill range.
Terranea Golf Course-This nine hole executive course at the Terranea Resort on the Palos Verdes Peninsula is a challenge for any skilled golfer. The bunkers are cavernous, and there is a lot of sage that borders many of the fairways. The 9th hole is a great example. Sitting about 140 yards from the green is a sagebrush hazard that fills the entire fairway. There is a sloping hill that empties into it. So if you hit just in front of the sage, the roll will put your ball in the sage anyway. The winds come up in the afternoon causing some problems if you are on the shots too much. The views are great with the Pacific Ocean providing at nice site.Olli