Similar scenic wonders await at the Par-5, 490-yard fifth, Par-4, 390-yard ninth, Par-3, 215-yard eleventh, Par-4, 444-yard fourteenth and our personal favorite, the Par-5, 562-yard seventeenth, where a well-struck tee shot down the righthand side of the fairway will offer risk takers an opportunity to be dancing in two.
But, perhaps the greatest example of both the beauty and fear-inducing elevation challenges that await at Wolf Creek resides at the Par-3, 248-yard eighth, which features a downhill tee shot into a green that is surrounded by water on three sides with little room for error. It's a hole that requires a fantastic shot to avoid carding a high number, but is such an optical wonder that it won't leave you sulking if you wind up in the drink. Simply put, this hole is just too much fun and too impressive to the naked eye to get frustrated over.
Designed by Dennis C. Rider and opened to the public in 2000, Wolf Creek was recently ranked No. 65 on Golf.com's Top 100 Courses You Can Play List making it one of four Nevada tracts to earn that distinction (No. 17 Shadow Creek, No. 58 Cascata and No. 66 Wynn Las Vegas were the others). Priced anywhere from $125-$195 per round, it's Nevada's cheapest tract to appear in the rankings and definitely the best bang for your buck. The one drawback is the distance from The Strip (just over an hour), but there are six other courses within a short drive from Wolf Creek -- along with three casinos -- that make Mesquite a great choice for a 36-hour mini-vacation before venturing back across the desert to the bright lights of Las Vegas.
It won't take more than 20 minutes on Wolf Creek to understand why this golf club has received such high accolades. The course is in terrific shape with lush fairways and brand-new greens that feature a hybrid of Penn A1 and Bentgrass, with virtually no damage or divot marks. We completed our round in approximately four and a half hours, but had we not stopped to take so many pictures and admire the magnificent scenery, we could have cruised home in four.
If there's one piece of advice we can leave you with, it’s to avoid letting the 87-mile distance from Las Vegas serve as a deterrent. Wolf Creek is one of the most unique courses we have ever encountered, an experience that is both rare and welcoming amid the dozens of desert tracts that Sin City has to offer. If nothing else, Wolf Creek is a place you'll remember more for what it is and less for what you shot.
Not every course can say that.
ADDRESS: 403 Paradise Parkway, Mesquite, Nevada, 89027
WEBSITE: Click here
DIRECTIONS FROM THE STRIP: Take I-15 North for 83.7 miles and get off at Exit 122 (Pioneer Blvd.), Turn left onto East Pioneer Blvd., right onto Oasis Blvd., right onto Kitty Hawk Drive and then left onto Paradise Parkway.
RATES: From $125-$195 per round, depending upon time of day and day of week.
Challenger: 75.4/154 (6,939 yards)
Champions: 70.9/138 (6,309 yards)
Masters: 68.2/134 (5,798 yards)
Signature (Men): 65.7/125 (5,064 yards)
Signature (Ladies): 68.4/127 (5,064 yards)