Boulder Creek Golf Club in Boulder City, Nevada: Variety is the name of the game
BOULDER CITY, Nev. -- With Las Vegas bathed in bright lights and filled with the hustle and bustle of tourists from around the world 24 hours a day, there are times when people just need to get away from it all.
And if golf is your game, that getaway should be Boulder Creek Golf Club. Located 20 minutes southeast of the Strip, this 27-hole Mark Rathert design fits the bill to perfection. There are no houses on the golf course, no traffic, no distractions. It's just you on a course that is as visually impressive as it is challenging.
Don't believe us? Just ask Andy Schaper, the head pro who has been at the Boulder Creek Golf Club course since day one, which was more than 10 years ago.
"The course has really matured nicely," he said. "Everything's grown up and it's gotten more scenic. And the course conditions keep getting better."
Well, what are you waiting for? Grab the family (there's something in Boulder City for everyone) and the clubs and head out.
Boulder Creek Golf Club: On the course
With 27 holes, variety is the name of the game. Whether it's the Desert Hawk (a personal favorite), Coyote Run or Eldorado Valley nines, you'll find an 18-hole combination that features lakes, white-sand bunkers, rolling fairways and undulating greens.
The Desert Hawk and Coyote Run nines feature two stunning closing holes that will test players' courage and shotmaking ability. The ninth hole on Desert Hawk is a 480-yard, par-4 dynamo. Players need to bite off as much of the dogleg as possible without getting wet as a lake guards the right side of the dogleg. The second shot is into an elevated green (very undulating by the way) with a false front that feeds back toward a creek that meanders through the fairway.
California's Mike Fitzgerald wanted to play the ninth again.
"Man, it's just a tough hole," he said after he and his buddies put up a few crooked numbers. "You really, really want to hit it over the lake, but there's just no way we can make it. And if you go left, I mean really left, it's a 3-wood into the hole. It's tough but I'll get it next time."
On the ninth hole at Coyote Run, also a long par 4 at 469 yards, there's water left off the tee. A big drive can carry the pond, as well as a stream that cuts through, but accuracy is a must. The green is guarded left by a beach-like bunker left (along with another pond just past the bunker) and another bunker on the right.
Finishing both of these nines with par requires nerves and pinpoint shots.
Boulder Creek Golf Club's Eldorado Valley nine is waterless, but the challenges are still there with a few forced carries, a couple of severe doglegs and picture-perfect bunkering. One of the key holes is the seventh, a 410-yard par 4. What the hole lacks in length it more than makes up for in potential trouble. With desert left and right, a straight drive is essential. The smallish green has a bunker short and another long with desert right so take aim at the center of the green.
Boulder Creek Golf Club: In the grill
The Boulder Creek Grill's dining options are almost as varied as the golfing options. From an omelet for breakfast to a sandwich or burger for lunch, players (and non-players) will find great food at moderate prices. The banquet facility is also a popular place for weddings, reunions, conventions and other functions.
Boulder City off course
Okay, you have friends in your group who don't play golf. Well, that's no problem. Within minutes of the golf course are plenty of options, including skydiving, skeet shooting, boating and the world-famous Hoover Dam.
"It's absolutely a great place to spend the day," Schaper said of the Boulder City experience. "We have a great number of attractions and plenty of things for the whole family to enjoy."
Boulder Creek Golf Club: The verdict
Play it. And not just 18, but all 27. You'll find lush, tropical golf holes combined with desert-style golf holes (especially on the Eldorado Valley nine). What you won't find is a rushed atmosphere. You'll get a chance to relax, take a breath and enjoy your day.
"Getting away from the city for a day is always a nice thing," Schaper said. "And you definitely get that when you come out here. Our golf course and the surrounding area really show off the natural beauty of the Mojave desert."