Exploring the Golf Courses of Nevada’s Mesquite
By: Joel Beers
For most of its history, the Nevada city of Mesquite was little more than a dusty spot on Interstate 15. People were more likely to drive through it as opposed to it.
That is no longer the case.
Today, the highly regarded golf destination features a sprawling resort as well as 10 courses either in Mesquite or nearby, including some of the most praised in the state and even the country. Some are incredibly challenging, while others offer more standard resort-style layouts ideal for golfers of all skill levels. One thing you can expect from any Mesquite-area golf course is stunning views. Whether the courses are located high atop cliffs, nested in valleys or alongside riverbeds, scenic beauty abounds.
There are also some fine accommodations.
The CasaBlanca Resort is located about 45 minutes northwest of Las Vegas near the Utah border. Nestled alongside the gorgeous Virgin River, the resort includes two golf courses, a casino, a spa and a 450-room hotel featuring newly remodeled rooms. It’s ideal for stays of one night to multiple nights — all at prices far more economical than resorts in that other Nevada city.
The resort features two 18-hole tracks, the CasaBlanca Golf Club and the Palms Golf Club. Of the two, the Cal Olson-designed CasaBlanca is the most player-friendly. Its sets of tees can accommodate any golfer’s skill level. From the back tees, labeled the Double Spades, the course plays to 7,011 yards. From the front tees, the Hearts, the course is a much more manageable 5,161 yards.
Another friendly feature is that unlike other Mesquite-area courses, which require a lot of walking due to environmentally sensitive or rocky terrain, carts have access to most of CasaBlanca’s course. That comes in handy on days when the temperature soars above 100 degrees — as do the club’s air-conditioned golf carts.
The course also differs from most desert courses because it is built on and around the Virgin River wetlands. As opposed to a typical desert course that has lots of palm trees and red sand between holes, CasaBlanca is a true oasis of green.
The Palms Golf Club was Mesquite’s first track. It includes a gently rolling front nine and a back nine that winds through mountainous terrain, which requires pin-point precision from the tee. More than 200 palm trees adorn the property, which measures 6,804 yards from the back tees.
As an incentive to lure travelers, the CasaBlanca Resort is always bustling with special events. In late October, it will host the Re/Max Long Drive championships. There are events held year-round, ranging from the world championships of beer pong, BBQ and chili cook-offs, amateur boxing championships, jazz festivals and much more.
The resort features elegant fine dining at Katherine’s, 24-hour dining at the Fez coffee shop and buffets at Smorgasbord, including a Friday night seafood extravaganza, a Saturday night filet mignon spread and a Sunday champagne brunch. There’s also a Starbucks on the property.
The Spa and Salon at the resort offers a wide array of services ranging from massages and facials to its signature treatment, the CasaBlanca Desert Bliss, in which your body is exfoliated with a mineral-rich scrub and then replenished with an application of body butter.
With sand volleyball courts, outdoor tennis courts and a lagoon-style pool, there’s plenty to do during the day and, at night, free comedy shows are offered most Friday and Saturday nights and music and dancing are offered at the Skydome Lounge every night but Monday.
There’s the casino, which includes all the requisite gaming tables along with 750 slot and video poker machines and a sports book.
If golf, gaming and sipping a drink by a beautiful pool is only part of your vacation itinerary, CasaBlanca also has all the info you might need for taking advantage of the breathtaking array of natural, scenic wonders that are within a two-hour drive of Mesquite, including the wonders of Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon in Utah.
There are two other notable aspects to the resort. Since it’s located in a city of approximately 15,000 people, there is a refreshing lack of congestion and a more laid-back pace than resorts on the Vegas Strip. And then there’s the cost: In October, mid-day room rates are as low as $60 and even on a Friday night they peak at just $140.
The resort offers a golf and spa package for $79, Sunday through Thursday. The package includes one night in a deluxe tower room and your choice of one round of golf, one 50-minute massage or your choice of two 25-minute spa treatments including a body wrap, facial or massage. For more information on the resort, visit, www.casablancaresort.com.
Here’s a look at some of the other options for golf in the region:
Oasis Golf Club
This facility also includes two courses: The Arnold Palmer-designed Palmer Course and the Canyons Course. The Palmer Course, which was featured on The Golf Channel’s “Big Break: Mesquite,” features stunning desert panoramas and fairways built alongside rugged canyons. It can be played from 4,500 to 6,663 yards.
At 6,408 yards, the par-71 Canyons Course is one of the most user-friendly tracks in the region, but a number of risk-reward holes can make it as tough as you’d like. For more information, visit www.theoasisgolfclub.com.
Falcon Ridge Golf Club
This 6,546-yard track rests high on the cliffs that tower above Mesquite. Though it’s not the longest course, dramatic elevation changes, slick multi-tiered greens, and a very challenging design more than compensate. For more information, visit www.golffalcon.com.
Conestoga Golf Club
The newest Mesquite-area course, this Gary Panks-designed track, managed by Troon Golf, opened in 2010. It’s one of the most scenic in the area as it winds through rugged desert canyons. It’s 7,232 yards from the tips and made the short-list of best Nevada Courses in two national golf publication rankings in 2011. For more information, visit www.conestogagolf.com.
The Chase Golf Club at Coyote Springs
This Jack Nicklaus Signature design is an absolute bear from the tips, which measure 7,471 yards. Eleven lakes come into play and mountains surround its valley setting. It also features one of the largest practice areas in the Southwest, including 100,000-square-feet of tee area and a 10,000-square-foot practice putting green. For more information, visit www.coyotesprings.com.
Wolf Creek at Paradise Canyon
Opened in 2000, this Dennis C. Rider course measures 7,018 yards from the tips. It routinely makes the list of top public courses in the country and was recently ranked the third most difficult course in America by the USGA. Sixteen of its holes feature elevated tees and forced carries abound. For more information, visit www.golfwolfcreek.com.
Coral Canyon Golf Course
Though actually located in Southwest Utah, this Keith Foster-designed gem is only a short car drive from Mesquite. It measures 7,029 yards from the tips and, as the name implies, explodes with color. It also offers views of both Bryce Canyon and Zion National Park. For more information, visit www.coralcanyongolf.com.
Sand Hollow Resort
Also located in Southwest Utah, this facility features 27 holes designed by John Fought. The 7,315-yard Championship Course has earned best public course nods in Utah the past two years. There is also a nine-hole links-style course. For more information, visit www.sandhollowresort.com.