Mojave Resort Golf Club: An oasis in Laughlin, Nevada, 90 minutes southeast of Las Vegas
LAUGHLIN, Nev. -- You're in Nevada, the home of gambling, so it's likely you'll be making a wager or two during your visit. Well, if you're playing golf at the Mojave Resort Golf Club, players will also have the chance to gamble -- on their golf game.
Whether you're a high-handicapper playing from the forward tees or a scratch golfer playing from the tips, Mojave Resort Golf Club is an enjoyable layout as well as a shot-making challenge.
Ready to gamble? Thought so.
Mojave Resort Golf Club: On the course
Mojave Resort Golf Club is a Lee Schmidt/Brian Curley layout that opened in 1997. The course, located 90 minutes southeast of Las Vegas, is a par-72 layout that stretches to 6,939 yards from the tips.
Players will find one of their gambling chances on the par-5 first hole, which plays 547 yards from the tips. The wide-open fairway (although there are bunkers left and right of the expansive fairway) lets players grip-it-and-rip-it off the tee before taking inventory for the second shot. Do you want to go for the green in two or lay up to leave a wedge into the green? The green is elevated and well bunkered so accuracy, whether on the second shot or the third, is a must. It's definitely an opportunity for players to start the round off on a positive note, putting a birdie, or possibly an eagle, on the scorecard.
The next gamble comes on Mojave's second hole, the first of two driveable par 4s that play around 290 yards from the gold tees. That's the good news if you're taking out the big stick. The bad news is the bunkers on the holes will definitely make players think about their club choice off the tee.
"The front nine is definitely the tougher nine," said Justin Wilde, general manager of Mojave Resort Golf Club. "The fourth, sixth and ninth holes are the three hardest holes on the course and are definitely challenging."
Virgil Thompson, who lives in nearby Williams, Ariz., knows all about the sixth hole.
"It's just tough for me," he said of the 444-yard, par-4 sixth. "The fairway narrows off the tee on the left side with a bunker and forces you to play a little to the right. And if you go too far right, it brings trouble into play and double bogey into play for me. It's still a fair hole, but it's got my number."
And those tough holes on the front are just as challenging for the pros. Wilde admits he's had more than his share of 200-yard-plus second shots into the par-4 ninth green, a hole that plays 471 yards from the tips.
"When there's wind, it's definitely a hole where, if you told me before I teed off you would give me a 5, I would take it," Wilde said.
Mojave Resort Golf Club's back nine offers a variety of tests, finishing up with the other potentially driveable par 4, the 16th (with water), the 180-yard par-3 17th (over water), and the Z-shaped par-4 18th (with water off the tee as well as with the approach shot).
While many golf courses in the desert of Nevada will have green tee boxes, fairways and greens with desert surroundings, Mojave Resort Golf Club is wall-to-wall green.
Oh, don't get me wrong, there's also plenty of rough that will catch errant shots. Add in 84 bunkers, maturing tree lines and an abundance of water features, and this course is a dynamic package.
"It's my favorite course anywhere," Thompson said. "I play all over the area, but this is the one I prefer to play. It's just always in great shape and you'll have fun. Isn't that why we're out here?"
Mojave Resort Golf Club off course
In the clubhouse, players will find an atmosphere reminiscent of "Cheers," where the staff greets players by name and knows their order even before they sit down. And the burgers, along with other tasty menu items, offer a variety of dining options before or after the round.
There's also a nice selection of apparel and equipment in the pro shop, as well as those little knickknacks golfers need for the round. (Hint: Don't forget that sunscreen).
Just a driver and wedge away is the Avi Resort & Casino. The resort is located right on the river, and there's just as much excitement on the water (riding jet skis, boating, swimming or just floating the afternoon away in an inner tube) as there is inside. Stay-and-play packages are available at the resort, which features 452 rooms and suites.
Mojave Resort Golf Club: The verdict
Whether it's just for the golf or for a weekend getaway, the Mojave Resort (and the Avi) provides an oasis for couples or families to kick back, hit a few golf balls, take in a show, grab a bite to eat and recharge the batteries.