BY JEFF ALEXANDER
The most beautiful par 3 in Las Vegas? Play it yourself—you’ll see.
Tucked in the hills of Summerlin, surrounded by a Sun City community, is an exceptional golf club that every golf visitor to Las Vegas and every golf enthusiast should make the effort to play. My description of golf at Highland Falls Golf Club is that it’s a joyful experience. Now I know that’s kind of a strange way to describe a round of golf, since to many of us a round can sometimes be excruciating. But “joyful” is the word that jumps to my mind when I think back to my day at Highland Falls.
At 6512 yards from the back tees, 6017 from the white tees, and just 5579 from the men’s front tees, it’s certainly not a long course, but what it lacks in length, it more than makes up for with some demanding, interesting holes. There’s also a tranquility that is sadly lacking at some of the Vegas courses that sometimes run along busy roads or are deafeningly close to airport traffic.
Although the golf course meanders through the development, there is no feeling of claustrophobia or tightness because of the uniquely intelligent design of the holes. The homes are positioned high above the holes, for the most part, with sloping hills allowing errant shots to filter down to the fairways.
This topography allows for difficult, elevated, greens that considerably toughen the course. Three of the four par 3’s are really interesting holes with the 17th being one of the most beautiful par three’s in the Vegas area. It’s just 168 yards from the back tees to an elevated green, but water rings the right side and the stacked stones with a rippling stream running through them is a sight to see and photograph; just a spectacular hole.
Play at Highland Falls begins mildly enough with a short par five, moderate par four and a rather easy par three. But the next three par fours are long and a good challenge to your game as you then come to the par 5 seventh, which is moderately long and followed by the difficult par 3 eighth hole. The front and back nine are almost exactly the same yardages (3276 and 3236 respectively), but the back nine par 4’s are shorter and the par 5’s are longer, calling for different club selection—so you don’t get the feeling you’re hitting the same clubs on every hole. There are some interesting lay-up holes where your driver needs to stay in your bag, but you can stray a bit at Highland Falls and still have the opportunity to score well.
The course is immaculately maintained and it is clear that the members are proud of their club and meticulously replace divots on the fairways and greens. It’s easy to be quite envious of these retired folks that have such a great course to play everyday. The pro shop and clubhouse are more than adequate, the staff is professionally friendly, and the practice range is readily accessible. Highland Falls is a bit of a hike from the Strip, but if you grab a taxi, it’s only about a twenty-minute ride. The guest rates are reasonable for all golfers, whether local or from the four corners of the world. And if you want to bet your golf winnings or recuperate your gambling losses—three spectacular casinos are just a stone’s throw away: Red Rock Casino, JW Marriott’s Rampart Casino, and the Suncoast Casino. In short, I highly recommend the Highland Falls Golf Club. Play it, and I know you’ll have a great “joyful” day of Las Vegas Golf!
Highland Falls Golf Club
GolfSummerlin.com • 702-254-7010