Mesquite Offers Exceptional Golf Experiences
It’s time to double down on the small town of Mesquite and cash in on the exceptional golf experiences. Once one of Nevada’s best kept secrets and in the shadow of nearby Las Vegas, Mesquite now shines with a life of its own and is a popular alternative to Sin City. Only one hour north of Vegas on I-15, exits 120 and 122, Mesquite offers what are arguably both the best packages in desert golf and the best values in hotels/casinos. Located near Bryce Canyon, the Grand Canyon, Lake Mead, and Zion National Park, Mesquite has become a major travel destination.
Wherever you stay, wherever you play, and wherever you go, the good news is that nothing resembles what we have in New England. Also, whenever you go, the climate provides great year-round golf weather. So, for a getaway with a tableau that has no equal, Mesquite cannot be beat.
Mesquite, situated in the Virgin River Valley, is a veritable oasis for the golfer-gambler who doesn’t want to wait for tee times, table games, poker buy-ins, sports book bets, or fine dining. It’s also easier on the pocketbook than Vegas. From table game minimums to green fees to restaurants to lodging, the prices are much more reasonable, and, just as importantly, the small town atmosphere comes with all the big city amenities that guests expect.
Go Low with Golf Mesquite Nevada
I have twice taken advantage of the management company Golf Mesquite Nevada (www.golfmesquitenevada) and have very much appreciated its attention to detail and organizational skills. It promises, “Low green fees, low resort room rates, and low scores!” Then, it hedges a little bit by saying, “Well, the low scores we will leave up to you!” With its seven championship courses, all with different but pleasing challenges and different but stunning settings, Golf Mesquite Nevada gives each golfer plenty of opportunities to find a layout he can’t wait to play again and again. Each venue offers excellent practice facilities, fully stocked pro shops, rental clubs, and grill rooms.
GMN customizes the golf vacation so that you spend your days on the golf course and your free time and evenings either exploring the unique environs or resting in luxurious accommodations at one of the three world-class hotels/casinos: Eureka Casino Resort, CasaBlanca Resort-Casino-Golf-Spa, and Virgin River Hotel-Casino-Bingo. (It also offers a Holiday Inn Express and Suites for the non-gamblers.) All three resorts are spacious and modern venues that specialize in personal service and plush surroundings.
A Bear’s Best and a Falcon’s View
As with all golf vacations and the drama that accompanies them, the play is the thing.
Coyote Springs CC, a Nicklaus Signature Golf Course, is a visual delight. A short drive from Mesquite into Nevada’s hinterland, the layout sprawls throughout the desert and is extremely playable and picturesque. The greatly undulating greens are the real challenge and push the player to putt like Jack—or to keep putting. With yardage ranging from 7,471 to 5,288 yards, Coyote Springs has all the real estate a golfer can desire. It also has water and water falls throughout the layout, an unusual aspect for the desert locale.
Falcon Ridge, located just around the corner from the CasaBlanca and the WalMart, presents spectacular roller-coaster topography, with elevated tees and greens and twisting/turning ribbons of fairway on almost every hole. True to its name, the course gives a falcon’s view of all of Mesquite and the Virgin River Valley for as far as the eye can see. It is a fun course from its 6,546-yard tips to the 4,423-yard forward tees that must not be missed.
The 36 Holes of Oasis Golf Club
Just to the north of Exit 122 is the Oasis Golf Club, Mesquite’s only 36-hole golf facility and a residents’ favorite. Arnold Palmer designed the 18 holes that bear his name and routed his par-71, 6,633 to 4,875 yards through what the website describes as “some of the most scenic desert panoramas in Southern Nevada.” Home of the Golf Channel’s “The Big Break,” The Palmer sports rugged canyon fairways and meticulously contoured greens that have earned it a “Top 10 You Can Play” by Golf Digest. The King has always maintained that this course is one of his own top-ten favorite designs.
On the other side of 29,000 square-foot Oasis Golf Clubhouse is The Canyons, another par-71 layout but a little shorter at 6,408 to 4,739 yards. These 18 holes are a combination of the remodeled Vistas nine and the recently completed Arroyo nine. It complements the demanding Palmer layout with its large fairways and large, true Bermuda greens. With its 67 fairway and green-side bunkers and elevation changes, The Canyons has a particularly scenic front nine—hence its original “Vista” name—and a back nine sculpted from the canyon walls of the Mesquite landscape.
Close to Home and Close to Unbelievable
The three-year-old Conestoga GC is just a ten-minute ride from the CasaBlanca and is an engineering marvel as well as another scenic masterpiece. The 7,232 to 5,017 yards are carved throughout canyons and mesas with the ultimate in dramatic changes in elevations. Surrounded by the majestic Flat Top Mesa,
Conestoga, which has already garnered state-wide recognition from Golf Magazine, Golfweek, and Links Magazine, provides both a real test of golf and a constant source of amazement. The golfer often stares in wonder at the hole he is playing and the adjacent desert and thinks, “How did the architect Gary Panks create such a memorable track?”
A Drive and Two Layouts to Remember
Coral Canyon Golf Course and Sand Hollow Resort, in St. George, Utah, furnished my wife and me with a most incredible drive. We took I-15 northeast into Arizona and then into Utah, both states in the Mountain Time Zone. I-15 became the Veterans Memorial Highway, and when we drove through the Virgin River Gorge, we marveled at the highway’s architectural plan as it followed the winding course of the river. The Gorge featured “The Narrows,” limestone cliffs that were as high as 500 feet above the road and dwarfed the cars as they passed through.
St. George, a major Utah city, was named in honor of George A. Smith, an apostle of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and a cousin of founder Joseph Smith, Jr. Although the drive took about an hour, we didn’t begrudge a minute of it, and both Coral Canyon and Sand Hollow would have made a boring drive worthwhile anyway. The layouts are superb and eminently fair, and as the courses spread throughout their surroundings, we could see in the distance the magnificent mountains of Bryce Canyon and Zion National Park.
Coral Canyon, which measures from 7,200 to 5,052 yards, is located in what is called “Color Country” because the course meanders around the most brilliant red-rock formations in the area. With this unusual backdrop and with the lush conditions of the course itself, playing Coral Canyon is always a treat. The generous fairways keep most drives in play, but the enormous greens require accurate irons to minimize the dreaded three putt.
Sand Hollow Resort is located just 15 minutes up I-15 from Coral Canyon and is only 25 minutes from Zion National Park. Designed by former BYU star and PGA Tour player John Fought, Sand Hollow’s Championship course has perfectly blended a mixture of Blue and Bent grasses across the large expanse of native red sand. Spanning from 7,315 to 5,306 yards, the tees, fairways, and greens seamlessly flow through the natural terrain, utilizing the natural slopes and gradations. The routing also incorporates an impressive series of holes that Fought has carefully set the length of the red sandstone ledges that exist along the ridge of the property.
Cash in on a Sure Thing
Mesquite has been in the public eye with the Golf Channel’s 2007 “Big Break: Mesquite” and the annual ESPN-televised RE-MAX Long Drive Championship. As important as golf and gambling are to the area, other activities abound: horseback rides, mountain bikes, go carts, ATV rentals, kayak trips, gun range practice, and bowling. Include the elegant spas and salons, the exceptional restaurants, and the headliners and top talents on stage with the golf and gambling, and Mesquite has just about everything you could possibly want in a world-class sojourn.
Therefore, as the winter doldrums slowly but surely cast a pall over New England courses and allow swings and putts only in your dreams, examine the www.golfmesquitenevada website to plan your escape.