Boulder City Golf Course: Playability teams up with beauty in Boulder City, Nevada

By Bill Bowman, Contributor

BOULDER CITY, Nev. -- There are plenty of terms to describe Boulder City Golf Course: quaint, charming, beautiful -- but the emphasis of this layout can be summed up in one word: playability.

18 Holes | Public/Municipal | Par: 72 | 6542 yards
Boulder City Golf Course - 5th green
Bells and whistles? Boulder City doesn't need 'em.
Boulder City Golf Course - 5th greenBoulder City Golf Course - 9th green

Located about 30 minutes southeast of Las Vegas, the course tips out at just 6,606 yards so it's not going to beat up players. But from the back tees, seven of the par 4s play 400 yards. Add in the 559-yard, par-5 fifth hole, and you've got a course that players will find is a very good test of golf.

"It's a great, traditional, 18-hole course that players love ... it's that simple," said Tony Fiorentini, head professional. "A lot of players tell me it's exactly the kind of course they grew up playing."

And one other factor Fiorentini pointed out: "It's a very walkable course, and not many can say that."

Opened in 1973, the Billy Casper/David Rainville layout is lined with mature trees (including pines, ash, palm and olive trees) that make finding fairways a must. Seven water features and well-placed bunkers add to the challenge.

Boulder City: The course

Boulder City Golf Course offers players an ideal way to start off the round: a par 5 of just 489 yards. Avoid the trees with the drive, and getting home in two is possible for a chance to open with an eagle. Play it smart, and you'll have a chance to head to the second hole under par.

One of the course's best holes is also one of its shortest. The par-4 eighth is a favorite because of the risk/reward factor. At 275 yards, it's driveable. That's the good news. The bad news is two lakes and a stream guard the hole and make a pin-point shot a must. Trust us: Lay up off the tee and put a wedge in your hand and go flag-hunting for that shot at a birdie.

"I love a driveable par 4," Fiorentini said. "You can make eagle or birdie or par. In fact, I've seen everything from a hole-in-one to a seven on that hole."

On the back nine, players will find holes that weave through homes and are guarded by streams. The 12th, 13th and 14th holes are all water-laden and tree-lined, offering picture-postcard views.

"The 13th has water all the way down the right side," Fiorentini said. "It will definitely keep you honest."

Lynne Hass has been playing with the ladies at Boulder City Golf Course for the past 20-plus years.

"It's close to home, and it's pretty forgiving," Hass said after her round. "And we all know that golf's a challenge especially since we don't always hit it straight. And it's not real long, and that makes it more fun, because I don't hit it that far."

One of Boulder City's signature holes is the par-3 17th. At 186 yards from the tips, it will get your attention. Add in a pond in front, and accuracy is the name of the game here.

"I tell people that every hole here is birdieable," Fiorentini said with a smile. "But, no one's birdied them all yet."

Boulder City off course

Before or after your round, the 5,000-square-foot clubhouse is an inviting place to grab a bite to eat or a drink. Open for breakfast and lunch, it's also an ideal spot for that special occasion -- whether it's a wedding, retirement party, graduation party or family reunion.

And there's more. If you're looking for lessons, club repair, club fitting or a chance to try out the latest equipment, it's all right here.

"We may not be the biggest around, but we can certainly take care of all of your golf needs," Fiorentini said.

It's also a popular hangout with the locals, some of whom have been teeing it up here since the early days. The stories, and the camaraderie, are priceless.

Boulder City Golf Course: The verdict

If you're a fan of simple golf courses, this one's for you. Forget the bells and whistles, Boulder City Golf Course doesn't have 'em, doesn't need 'em.

And if you're playing as a single, chances are you'll be paired up with one of the locals who can not only give you pointers about the course but also a history lesson or two along the way.

"We have a staff that makes people feel at home," Fiorentini said. "It's kind of like a neighborhood bar where everyone knows your name."

Bill BowmanBill Bowman, Contributor

Bill Bowman is a Las Vegas-based writer who has more than 40 years in the sports-writing business. He's spent the past 16-plus years covering the golf scene in Vegas and has teed it up for magazine profiles with celebrities including comedian Bill Engvall, actor Jeffrey Donovan (USA's Burn Notice), ESPN personality Colin Cowherd, NASCAR's Kurt Busch, Collective Soul's Ed Roland, the Baltimore Ravens' Jonathan Ogden and many others.

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