Six Las Vegas golf courses that let everyone, even beginners, enjoy the game

By Bill Bowman, Contributor

LAS VEGAS -- You're visiting Vegas or even live here and need a place to tee it up. The problem is, you're just getting started in the game and don't know where to play.

Black Mountain golf course - Founders - hole 7
Mix and match the nines at Black Mountain Golf & Country Club and you've got three 18-hole layouts that will test players, but also prove playable.
Black Mountain golf course - Founders - hole 7Desert Pines Golf Club - hole 15Las Vegas National Golf ClubLas Vegas Paiute Golf Resort - Sun Mountain - hole 17Rhodes Ranch golf course in Las Vegas - hole 18Siena Golf Club - hole 6

You want a challenge, but you don't want to get beat up. You want a choice of tees and scenery to add to the ambiance. But most of all, you want to have fun.

Not to worry. Here are six Las Vegas golf courses that nicely fit the bill. As usual, many options exist in Sin City, but these six will let you have fun, enjoy the sights and, hopefully, get hooked on golf.

Enjoy. And play well.

Black Mountain Golf & Country Club

A 27-hole layout, Black Mountain Golf & Country Club ranks as one of Vegas' oldest golf courses. The original 18 holes are tree-lined with wide, receptive fairways. The third nine, the Desert, challenges with more of a desert feel -- hence the name. Mix and match the nines, and you've got three 18-hole layouts that will test players, but also prove playable. Each of the three first holes offer wide-open shots to help get the round started on a positive note. It's a favorite among the local golfers. Play one round here, and you'll understand the attraction.

Desert Pines Golf Club

A Dye Designs golf course, Desert Pines Golf Club appears tight, but the fairways are lush from tee to green. Water comes into play on half the holes, but the forward tees play about 5,800 yards to remove some of the pressure and open landing areas. Players marvel at the brilliant, white-sand bunkers and the Pete Dye-trademark railroad ties that frame the traps. You'll enjoy the golf, and the tree-lined fairways add a soothing feel to the surroundings. A two-level, climate-controlled practice facility also lets players work on their game at Desert Pines no matter the weather conditions.

Las Vegas National

Another tree-lined masterpiece. Las Vegas National served as home to the PGA Tour for many years. Tiger Woods played a round here en route to his tour victory, the 1996 Las Vegas Invitational. Here's your chance to play where the pros played and see if you can beat Tiger's round; he carded a 70, 1-under par, his highest round of the 90-hole tournament. Beat it if you can. Even if you don't, you'll enjoy the golf course and the staff -- both are first rate. And you'll feel like the most important person on the golf course.

Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort (Sun Mountain)

With three 18-hole layouts, the Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort includes a golf challenge for anyone and everyone. All three Pete Dye designs are impressive -- with Sun Mountain viewed as the tamest, followed by Snow Mountain and the always-tough Wolf course. At 5,465 yards, the forward tees at Sun Mountain give players a comfortable distance from which play while still enjoying the sights and sounds of Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort. See that? Nothing but wide-open spaces. Hear that? Nothing but silence and the occasional rustle of the foliage as the desert wildlife tries to stay clear of errant shots. Wide fairways are the norm, and true-rolling greens give everyone confidence with the flat stick.

Rhodes Ranch Golf Club

In Vegas' southwest corner, Rhodes Ranch Golf Club features lush conditioning. The golf course, a Ted Robinson design, includes a group of par 3s that he has described as his best. No matter the tees, which range from 5,238 yards to 6,909, this one lets players pick a plan of attack that will suit their games. Take a minute to check out the par-3 third, as scenic a golf hole as you'll see. It proves tough, though, to avoid the bunkers and water. And if you're struggling -- and we've all be there -- this clubhouse provides a great place to sit back on the deck, have a cold one and watch the action on the golf course.

Siena Golf Club

On the west side of Las Vegas sits Siena Golf Club, a Schmidt/Curley design that ranks as the perfect spot for the first-timer or the experienced player. With forward tees at just less than 5,000 yards, Siena doesn't intimidate the inexperienced player but still provides a challenge. Enough doglegs and hazards keep players on their toes, but the golf course, overall, is straightforward and a joy to play. A warm, airy clubhouse and well-stocked pro shop welcome players before and after the round.

So there you have it, six Vegas golf courses with wonderful designs and attentive staffs that make your golf experience memorable. You'll definitely come back back for more. And remember, it's the forward tees -- not the ladies' tees. Don't be afraid to move forward if you're just starting out or struggling. Your confidence will improve along with your game.

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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