Golf Course Reviews
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Played on Friday, 7/1, with a 6:50a tee time for $100. Joined by buddy Cliff as he continues his quest to play Golf Digest's 100 Greatest Public Courses (#65). There's no formal bag drop but the carts are lined up right in the parking lot. The attendants will bring the cart to the car and load the bag, then walk back. Friendly check in in the pro shop, which has the Wolf Creek logo available on almost anything you can think of, and a wide variety of hats/shirts. Grill opens at 6 and the prices are pretty good, and there's a drive-thru snack bar after 5 & 14 (can't but a drink cart on those hilly/curvy cart paths.

Course conditions are pretty good but are showing signs of heat of summer and the drought. Fairways are lush and green, but there are spots of thin/dirt. 17 has a huge GUR area in the middle of the tee shot landing area. The greens are spectacular. They are running on the fast side of medium/fast, and a little faster than the practice green. The tee boxes and rough are the areas where it looks like they are cutting back on the water and directing it to the greens/fairways. Tee boxes are cut really short and are thin, however, it doesn't affect the tee shots and the par 3s are in a bit better shape. The rough has been cut to about 1 inch and is just above fairway height to give some course definition. The rough is dry and brown, like the first few days overseed prep. Bunkers are in good shape, but there's no rakes so plenty of footprints.

While not the lush green appearances of the past, the course is playing really well. The accolades are well deserved and is overloaded with spectacular sights. Definitely a must play, even just once.
Played Wednesday, 6/29, 6:15 tee time, with the Cocky&Lucky crew, joined by our youngest member, 11 year old Taco. They had us let a 2some out in front of us and we cruised around in a quick 3:05.

Course is in good shape considering we're in the dog days of summer, with 100+ temps for over the last month. Tee boxes were nice and level, with some divots on the par 3s. Fairways were firm and fast, with plenty of coverage, and just a handful of brown/thin areas. Rough was mostly just above fairway levels, giving it definition, but there was areas of thicker, gnarly Bermuda rough which gave the clubhead some issues. The only bunker I was in was still wet from the morning watering, but the others looked raked with some sand. I'm going to rate the greens based on the back 9, since we caught them after maintenance. Those greens were medium fast, receptive (a definite THUMP could be heard on shots), and smooth. The front 9 looked faster than they were rolling, maybe we caught them before they were cut, but if they were all back 9 quality, they were great. Greens were aerated on 6/21 and there are no signs of it.

WildHorse has a very long history: 6 different names, PGATour stop, and now owned by the city of Henderson and an Audubon Sanctuary program course. I wished I lived closer and could play here more often. The course is fun and a bit challenging, with a mix of short and LONG par 4s and challenging par 5s. The par 3 14th tips out at 252(!) and is a beast with water all along the right. While not a destination course, Wildhorse should be considered if you're looking for a nice economical course to fit in.
Played in the GK Plays on 6/26, making the trek from Vegas with John_T. Would we win "GK'er who traveled the farthest award?" Nope, because our buddy Williebeamon14 flew down from Alaska to join us for the golf weekend.

Olivas Links seemed to have a great "look at me" feel this weekend. Maybe it was the slightly cloudy skies, and ocean breeze which provided for a cool day, but made the par 5 2nd hole feel like it was a par 7. Fairways were pretty lush, with just a handful of brown/thinning areas which did not affect play. Rough was pretty consistent, with thicker 2-3 inches just off and fading away. Bunkers had some deep heavy sand. Greens were more on the fast side, I just could not get a read or feel of them.

Olivas has a large putting green (big enough to handle all the groups heading out) and a busy driving range. The pro shop, while small, did have some nice merchandise. No real grill, but they did have hot dogs and a nice cooler with some local beer selections.

Thanks to JohnnyGK, Linksoul, Golf Moose, and OnCore for a great event.
Played on Saturday, 6/25, at 6:30am, day 2 of our GK weekend with John_T and Williebeamon14. We were joined by a local and prepaid $44 each online (no extra fees). The 6:20 group was waiting for someone so they traded to get us out early and we finished in exactly 4 hours.

Course was in very good condition. Absolutely lush fairways that were carpet like. Rough was about 2-3 inches closer to the fairway but gradually faded away from the fairway. A few bunkers were still pretty wet but as it warmed up, they dried out, but still a bit heavy. Just about half the greens seemed to have a fungus issue causing some dirt areas, which seemed to be almost out of play with the hole placements today. However, it will be interesting if they can get it under control.

Full disclosure, I love Soule Park. There's just something about this course that makes me happy. Design. Conditions. Experience. Views. And a steal of a price. I would play here every time if I could, but early, as the late afternoon rounds tend to slow down. Only complaint, no bartender until 10, no drink cart either, but cold water coolers on the course. Food was good afterwards.
Played on Friday, 6/24, with a 2:10 tee time, first round of our GK Plays trip. It started off with a rather cranky pro shop guy, may have been a bad day, but all 4 of us interacted with him at a different time and we all pointed out how pissy he was. F&B and outside services staff were excellent though.

The course conditions were what I would expect from a course with a "links" feel to it. Fairways were firm with plenty of run out and some browning areas which played the same as the green stuff. Rough varied, with some thick grass around some of the bunkers. Bunkers were in good condition, with decent sand and not thin. Greens were running a nice medium-fast, but not as fast as the practice green.

I've been wanting to play Rustic Canyon for a while and it did not disappoint. I loved the design and it's definitely worth the $51 late afternoon fee (but disappointed in the $7 "convenience fee" for making me pay in advance).
Played on Wednesday, 6/22, 2pm-ish tee time, with an invite from a member. Played the Sunrise - Canyon 9s (Lakes is the other).

Everything you would expect from a private club from start to end. Excellent customer service with a super friendly staff. Course was in great shape. Tee boxes were level with little amount of divot damage. Fairways were running firm and fast, with no thin areas. Rough was about 1 inch, just enough to cause an issue with hitting the ball. Bunkers were filled with soft fine sand. Greens were running fast and smooth, but a couple on the Canyon 9 had some worm issues they were working on.

I always jump at the opportunity to play here. 27 hole Robert Trent Jones Jr design, which was one of the first of the 80s Vegas golf expansion. The course winds through a gated neighborhood but the houses are not in play. All 3 9s have a different feel and no holes are repeated.
Played on Tuesday, 6/21, at 5:50am with the Cocky & Lucky crew for $54. Saw 2 groups tee off before us and never saw them again, finished in 3:30.

National is one of my favorites and has never disappointed. Fairways were lush with full coverage and no bare areas. Rough was up about 2 inches just off the fairways and faded out as it was farther away. Greens were the only issue, as it looked they were punched a few weeks ago. They were rolling slow and had some light sanding on it. Bunkers were in great condition, thick sand that was easy to hit out.

I definitely need to play here more, pure old school Vegas and worth a round.
Played Friday, 6/3, with a 8:20 tee time with my brother Paul (williebeamon14), mpisarski01, and Paul's buddy Sam. Played here a few times in the last couple of weeks, including Memorial Day Monday, so this is going to be a hybrid review.

Customer service is very good. There's a bag drop and if you skip it, they meet you as you walk up. Easy check-in. Drink cart was around a few times, but doesn't start until 8. The bar/snack bar wasn't open for the super early Memorial Day round, and snack bar was open at 8 when we made the turn, but was at 10 for the second round.

Course is probably in the best condition I've seen in awhile. After having issues at the end of last summer, it has bounced back really well. Tee boxes are mostly level, with only issues on some of the par 3s, but those have large boxes to move around. Fairways are lush and fully covered, with the exception of the short par 4 #11, where they made it Cart Path Only to help. Bunkers may be the only complaint, as some were hard packed, and a few had standing water, including the right fairway on #10 which was completely filled and appeared to be a new water hazard. The greens were in excellent shape. Pretty smooth and less ball mark damage than Monday's round.

I love playing this course. I can't think of two holes that are the same and a nice mix of long/short holes. There are many many bunkers though, maybe a few more than necessary for a residential course. While it's not a must play, it's not a bad option if you can get a decent rate in the current Vegas high price (no summer rates) climate.
Played on Friday, 5/27, with a tee time just before 8am. Paid $70 with the Arroyo/Siena card. This review may mirror mpisarski01's from last week but with a little added in.

Condition wise, course was excellent. Fairways were lush, fast, and firm. The rough was super thick and caused plenty of trouble. We actually found a few balls that apparently were missed in the earlier group. The newly renovated bunkers were still in great shape with plenty of sand. Greens were running slower than normal, about medium-ish speed.

Outside the conditions, everything else seemed a bit off from normal. The pro shop is almost empty of merchandise. The course now starts at the 7th hole, which is the closest to the clubhouse. Supposedly this was to speed up play, but our round was still the typical 4.5 hours I am accustomed to here. The change was to take out the long drive out to #1, which caused you to leave the clubhouse at least 5 minutes early to be on time. Unfortunately, the course routing has plenty of long drives between greens and the next tee, so I don't think it matters. Plus, you now start your round on a par 3 (and only signature hole) which seemed to cause a back up as we waited almost 10 minutes past our time to tee off. The carts are usually pretty good, but the GPS/entertainment system seem to reset after every shot and always tried to place you on the private Mountain course instead of your current hole.

Golf wise, I love Arroyo, but this time I was just happy to get done and leave. It may be a while before I venture out again.
Played on Monday, 5/23, with a couple of guys from Cocky & Lucky Golf and Social Club. Paid $60 prepaid local, which is an absolute steal. Our tee time was around 8:30, but we started around 7:45 and finished around 11:30, waiting on many holes, but nothing major.

Very minimum interaction with the staff, but they are very friendly. Food and beverage prices are outrageously low. 2 beers, Gatorade, Monster, and some snacks ran us $15. Good selection in the Mitch Grill afterwards and again, cheap, with meals under $10.

Coyote Springs has one of, if not the best, practice areas. Huge all grass greens with various angles and distances to targets. You can easily adjust your aim almost 60* to get different wind directions with your shots. Big bunker/chipping area for multiple golfers at the same time. Putting green has 9 holes set up on two levels to enjoy.

Conditions were pretty good and close to great. Flat tee boxes with some divots on the par 3s. Fairways were lush, but played firm, fast and dry. Rough was cut low, about 1-2 inches, just enough to maybe cause an issue. Bunkers were the only negative as they were a mixed bag, some fluffy, some thin, and as Matt said, I found one with the liner causing issues. Greens were pretty good, having been punched about a month ago. Smooth and medium fast.

Coyote Springs may be the most difficult course I've played. Off the tee you get ultra wide fairways, but the most diabolical green complexes. Deep bunkers surround triple tier, super undulating greens. The only places on the course where you'll have a flat stance is the tee box, everywhere else is above or below your feet, even on the green. Hard but so much fun. A must play.
Played on Sunday, 5/22, in the GK event and had a great time with mpisarski01 and ARB during the round, and hanging out with everyone in the Tiki Bar afterwards.

Excellent service as you pull up to the bag drop/valet (or self park 100 yards away and walk up). Carts were set up and ready to go. Carts have the upgraded plush seats, to the pin GPS with GolfLogix greens maps, and some loud bluetooth speakers.

Conditions were on the really good side. Mostly level tee boxes. Fairways were pretty lush, with just a few bare spots in run off areas. I saw some aeration holes in a couple of fairways. Bunkers were filled with super soft, beach like sand. Greens ran pretty smooth and a few showed the very small aeration holes but no sand filler. They were a nice medium/fast and a bit different than the practice green, which showed more recent aeration.

With the high demand for tee times in Vegas, Bali Hai is on the visitors side of the bracket (vs a local track). You do get the full Vegas experience though. We saw a few groups using the different caddy options available.
Played Friday, 4/1, with a 9:20 tee time, joining the Lucky & Cocky crew, and joined by a local single. Tee times in Vegas are getting difficult and this was the only one available less than a week out. Paid $125 county resident rate and they checked IDs at check in.

Rio Secco is the perfect example of Vegas resort golf. Excellent customer service starts at the bag drop, and you'll find your bag on a cart right outside the pro shop after checking in. Large clubhouse with full restaurant and locker room area. Large grass driving range, 2 putting greens, and a chipping area, which is next to the 1st tee, along with a snack bar that you also pass on the way to 10th tee.

Conditions were perfect. Lush fairways with no bare areas. The dormant Bermuda is starting to "wake up" and the rough is turning from tan to green. Fairway bunkers were nice and firm while the green side bunker had medium/heavy sand which was easy to hit from. The greens were immaculate, smooth, almost zero ball marks, but a bit slower than they looked (pro shop had them at 11).

I love Rio Secco and worth it once a year. Incredible Vegas views, especially on the front 9 and a nice variety of holes, especially the par 3s (all playing different lengths, with different looks off the tee). Still not sold on the flip of the 9s, I love many of the holes on the front and only the par 3s on the back are rememberable. The difference is the last 2 holes on both: the front with back to back flat par 5s and the back with a risk/reward par 5 to a "desert island" green and a longish par 4. Also 18 is next to cart return and there's no crisscrossing the property now. Definitely a must for a true "Vegas" golf trip.
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