Mesquite, Nev. – Wolf Creek Golf Club was constructed in the western desert, with golf target panoramas that swell to the IMAX.
Giddy, excited golf journalists from all over the world have described its beauty.
Those descriptions have become somewhat repetitive – sun-baked moonscape, holes plunge and squiggle through canyons, jagged escarpments, sandy pools of glacial white, emerald ribbons, jaw dropping, like watching a suspenseful thriller, surreal, tawny turf contrasting with lush green fairways, Martian landscape, howled about the Wolf – yikes, this must be golf heaven.
Here’s more: If Cypress Point is the “Citizen Kane” of golf courses then Wolf Creek Golf Club is akin to “Raiders of the Lost Ark”.
“They turned the Grand Canyon into a golf course.” Now that’s a stretch.
Another: Someone said Wolf Creek is to desert golf that Pebble Beach and Bandon Dunes are to USA seaside links.
OK, you get the gist. Wolf Creek is one special golf course. You should just visit and see what phrases you can come up with to describe your round of golf.
I’ve played Cypress Point, Pebble Beach, The Old Course at St. Andrews, Riviera, Ballyneal, Sand Hills, Colonial, Turnberry, Trump International, Castle Stuart, Cabot Links, Cabot Cliffs, Black Jack’s Crossing, and, yep, Wolf Creek visually matches or exceeds those experiences.
All day you are sizing up distances. Put the tee in a green tee box and determine how far you have to hit it over desert to reach another green patch of turf. No other hole is more intimidating than the second, a par-4, 445-yard No. 1 handicap. If the wind is in your face you may be tempted to move up a tee box (or two).
It can be a confounding day if you are striking it in a lousy fashion, or the windy, cold elements get you in winter. But if you have one of those days where the feeling is present and you are nailing good shot after another it can be exhilarating.
When you finish you might to run for the SUV or you may want to play another round — I’ve experienced both feelings — I want more or get me out of here.
Darren Stanek, general manager, says a golfer will admit to shooting their worst round ever then say he can’t wait to play it again.
“I believe Wolf Creek is the most visually stunning golf course I have ever seen,” said Jason Kauflin, owner of Wisconsin Golf Trips. “There may be courses that have more impressive mountains or scenery in the background, but no course can equal the visuals that a golfer faces while on the tee boxes. It is an absolute roller coaster of a golf course.
“Like a professional poker player getting dealt a pair of aces in a heads up match and having to control his emotions, a golfer’s main challenge when playing Wolf Creek is ignoring the visual onslaught you are faced with and focusing on the execution of the next shot. I don’t care how many times you have played, you cannot help but have your heart race when you are teeing off over the gorge on the No. 2 tee box.”
Well said Jason, but if you aren’t a single-digit handicapper, you can just let loose and have a blast. LPGA star Natalie Gulbis said Wolf Creek and Pebble Beach are her favorite courses.
From 2008-2015, Wolf Creek was a feature course on EA Sports Tiger Woods and the Rory McIlroy PGA Tour video game. In 2011, Wolf Creek won the prestigious Fan Choice Award naming Wolf Creek the favorite golf course to play by golf fans worldwide. Under Armour brought Jordan Speith and Gary Woodland out to Wolf Creek for a photo shoot.
The bright white sand is key to the visuals making the bunkers stand out with the green fairways and the red rock surroundings.
One of the most scenic holes is the par-3 eighth hole that drops four stories from the back, 240-yard tee. A stream heads down the flight line close to the green, snakes to the left of the green, runs around the back and ends on the right side as a pond and waterfall where you park your cart. Red sandstone walls also surround the ending of this hole behind the stream.
Dennis and John Rider, two unknowns, designed Wolf Creek. They are no longer unknown.
Where to Stay: Eureka Casino Hotel
At The Eureka Casino Resort swim, relax, enjoy the casino and the relaxing views of the red-topped mesas surrounding the resort. The rooms and suites are roomy for any travel occasion, from couples’ weekends to guys’ or girls’ golf or spa and gambling escapes. This is the best hotel in Mesquite. Don’t miss Eureka’s award-winning steak house, Gregory’s Mesquite Grill.
Boasting an average of 330 days of sunshine and warm temperatures for most of the year, The Eureka Casino Hotel minutes away from seven golf courses and can help you plan more golf.
Seven of Mesquite’s best courses are within a 10-minute drive of the resort.
Wolf Creek is a must-play. It is only 85 miles from Las Vegas’ world-famous strip and only 45 minutes from St. George, Utah’s impressive golf lineup.
By David R. Holland