It’s difficult to find something to say about Wolf Creek Golf Club that has not already been said… spectacular… visually stunning… jaw dropping views… awe inspiring. Located in Mesquite, Nevada, approximately 80 miles Northeast of Las Vegas, Wolf Creek is a golf course you will never forget.
Mesquite is a smaller, working class version of Vegas. The hotels and casinos there are not as large, as fancy or as fanciful. However, the golf is as good as Vegas, and Wolf Creek is just about as good as it gets anywhere. Standing on the first tee at Wolf Creek looking down several hundred feet to the fairway in the valley below only gives a glimpse of what is yet to come. The first question that comes to mind is “how did they ever build the course?”
The 360-degree vistas of red rock mountains, desert, mesas, steep cliffs and ravines would more likely be an environment to be explored on the Discovery Channel rather than the Golf Channel. Architect Dennis Rider somehow filled in the valleys with enough fertile soil to create eighteen emerald ribbons through this naturally hostile environment. The course plays over 7,000 yards from the tips, but because the majority of holes have downhill tee shots it doesn’t play that long. However, unless you are a straight hitter, it may be a wise choice to play from one of the other four tee boxes, because the wind can wreak havoc and there is often no recovery from errant shots. From the tips Wolf Creek is rated as the fourth most difficult course in the US. From the middle tees it is quite fair and will allow you to play to your handicap.
Riding a buggy makes you feel as if you are on the runaway train ride at Disney World both in terms of the roller coaster like route, and also because of the surreal surroundings. This would not be an easy course to walk even if walking was permitted. A steep up hill ride leads to the second tee box where you have a panoramic view of the first, second and seventeenth holes. Number two is a 445-yard dogleg left where the tee shot is aimed over a mountain ridge. Another uphill ride to the tee on the 227-yard par three third reveals a knee knocking slightly uphill shot that is almost all carry over a rocky peak.
The course does well in mixing long and short holes and very difficult and moderately difficult holes. The elevation changes and surroundings can produce optical illusions when trying to determine yardages. For example, the 305-yard seventh hole looks more like a 210-yard par three. There is a ridge in the fairway about 190 yards out with a wide ravine fronting the green that appears to be just beyond the ridgeline. Only when you get to the ridge do you realize that there is another 115 yards of downhill lie fairway beyond the ridge that must be factored into the approach shot over ravine to the elevated green. The tricky approach shot makes this short hole quite a challenge and is the type of design characteristic that makes Wolf Creek such an interesting layout beyond the beauty of the setting. Bring your “A” game and your camera when you play Wolf Creek.
The above article and all photographs are courtesy of Stewart, who nominated Wolf Creek as a Gem back in December 2006. Since then, Wolf Creek has moved into a prominent position within our Nevada Best In State rankings.
January 02, 2010