Trophy-course golf trips with their mortgage-payment greens fees can be unforgettable, but sometimes you just want value—great golf and great scenery at great prices. That’s when you have to look at Golf Mesquite Nevada. Just an hour north of Las Vegas, it’s a one-stop-shop for championship golf—nine quality courses plus hotel resorts and casinos.
Mesquite is a small town of 15,000 in a beautiful setting where the desert meets the surrounding 10,000 foot peaks. The weather is as spectacular as the views. In the winter you can ski in the morning, drive an hour back to town and golf in the afternoon.
Casa Blanca Golf Club: Just behind the Casa Blanca resort and casino, this 1996 layout measure 7036 yards from the tips, but also plays down to 5209 yards, making it fun and challenging for all skill levels. There are wetlands or water on more than half the holes, and an abundance of wild life, cranes, turtles and birds. We had Scott Sullivan, the director of golf, to point us in the right directions. Some of the holes inspire calmness—a relative term on a golf course—with soothing waterfalls, quiet streams, and warbling birds.
Even with all the water, the landing areas are generous and the bent grass greens putt very true. On many of the holes this looks like a stadium course, with rolling mounds framing the greens beautifully. Casa Blanca starts and ends gently. Seven through eleven is the most challenging stretch of the course, playing down and back along a pond, where the water poses a constant threat. Number thirteen is a drivable par-4 (for some), which always adds a thrill. Number fifteen, a 565-yard par-5 from the tips, was reached by John Daly in two earlier this year. That is two big shots! But this course is definitely not only for big hitters. My wife says that the Casa Blanca Golf Club, with its wide fairways and lack of punishing holes, is also a truly “women-friendly” course.
The Palms Golf Club is 7008 yards, par 71, with two very different nines. This is the oldest, most varied course in Mesquite. Over 200 palm trees define this beautiful property. The front nine is wide open, almost to the point where it can be hard to distinguish your fairway from the neighboring one. You have to pay attention to the monuments at tee boxes to be certain of the direction you should be heading.
Number 10 marks the beginning of a very different journey. As you enter the foothills, there are sweeping elevation changes on almost every hole. Number 11 is a big down hill par-3, and number 12 a short but steeply uphill par 4. Number 15, a par-5, has a spectacular 100- foot drop from the tee box to the fairway. If you want variety in one round, the Palms Golf Club is the place for you.
There are four casino/resort, hotels to choose from. We stayed at the Casa Blanca. The rooms were very nice, and the staff was wonderful. There are three restaurants, a full-feature casino, a large lagoon style pool, and a world class spa. The showroom has free comedy on weekends—the comedian we saw on Saturday night was hilarious. I would tell you it’s centrally located, but Mesquite is so small, everything is centrally located.
If you go: www.golfmesquitenevada.com
Green Fees: $45-90 depending on the time of year
Larry Berle is a travel writer who writes on many travel topics but specializes in golf travel. He is the author of A GOLFERS DREAM: HOW A REGULAR GUY CONQUERED THE GOLF DIGEST LIST OF AMERICAS TOP 100 GOLF COURSES. Learn more about his book at www.GolfersDreamBook.com. You can also access his travel blog from this site.WHAT'S YOUR REACTION?