An introduction to Henderson
In this post we’re going to explore the best golf courses in Henderson, the large city located to the south east of Las Vegas.
There are very few people, if any, who haven’t heard of Las Vegas. But what about Henderson?
Yet Henderson is the second largest city in Nevada, just behind Boulder City. It was also ranked as one of the best places to live in the U.S. by Money Magazine. It is conveniently located close to Las Vegas and to the east lies Lake Mead and the Hoover Dam.
Maybe one of the things people appreciate in Henderson is how the pace differs to that of Vegas and its infamous strip. Here the ambiance is more chilled, the pace slower. The city is picturesque and there are plenty of things to do to keep you occupied.
Clearly golf sits highly amongst these activities. So without any further delay, let’s dive into the best golf courses in Henderson. It’s worth noting, a number of these were featured as the best in Las Vegas.
See also: What are the best golf courses in Las Vegas?
The best golf courses in Henderson, Nevada
1. SouthShore Golf Club
So we kick off our list of best golf courses in Henderson with the sensational SouthShore Golf Club.
Forty minutes drive due east from the Vegas strip, is the serene Lake Las Vegas. This is an upmarket area, with two elegant championship golf courses, five-star hotels and luxury housing.
As the name suggests, SouthShore Golf Club is positioned on the southern bank of the lake. Bedded into the hilly terrain, the routing climbs to the top of ridges and then falls away across stark canyons down to the glistening lake. There are times when the course reaches 1,750 feet high.
Fortunately the fairways are relatively forgiving and with five sets of tees, most levels of golfer can enjoy the course. But you should still expect forced carries, strategically positioned bunkers and fast but true greens.
And it wasn’t any old designer responsible for bringing SouthShore to life. It was Jack Nicklaus and one of his Signature Designs no less.
So good is SouthShore Golf Club, it has a myriad of awards and impressive rankings. Every major golf publication has shown this layout the due respect it deserves.
2. DragonRidge Golf Club
Next up is the private member’s DragonRidge Golf Club.
This superb golf course is located along Henderson’s southern border up in the MacDonald Highlands. This whole area is a gated private community and has a distinctly upscale feel to it.
Routed on higher ground, there are some magnificent views out towards the Vegas skyline. Not only are you playing a sensational course, but the outlook is special.
The course was designed as a collaboration between Jay Morrish and David Druzisky, two fine architects. One of their main goals was making best use of the natural hillsides and canyons. This they have done to great effect.
There are holes with tricky elevated tee shots, vast areas of wasteland, canyons and ridges to carry to approach greens and many more pensive shots required. Fortunately though, both fairways and greens are large.
This really is a spectacular course in top class condition. Befriend a member and enjoy one of the top courses around. Make sure you also take time out to enjoy the 60,000 square feet of practice facilities!
3. Reflection Bay Golf Club
Located on the banks of the 320-acre, man-made Lake Las Vegas, is the fantastic Reflection Bay Golf Club. This is a top class layout in a special location.
Just like SouthShore Golf Club, Reflection Bay is located to the east of Las Vegas in North Henderson. Unlike SouthShore which is on the south bank of the lake, Reflection Bay climbs up the northern slopes.
The layout was designed by the great Jack Nicklaus and opened for play in 1998. In fact, it is one of only two Jack Nicklaus golf courses in the state of Nevada, to be designated as a Jack Nicklaus Signature Design.
It really is a special routing, one which has received numerous awards as a ‘Best of Las Vegas’. As to be expected, it is a desert style layout, but one which climbs and drops throughout the natural landscape.
There are five holes routed alongside the lake, all with stunning views. Little wonder the course was chosen to host the Wendy’s 3Tour Challenge between 1998 and 2007.
4. Anthem Country Club
Due south of Las Vegas and to the west of Henderson, are three championship golf courses all tucked up together. This includes three of the last four courses on this list. Anthem Country Club, Rio Secco and The Revere.
Unlike the other two though, Anthem Country Club is a private club which has long been considered one of Nevada’s finest. There are a number of facilities onsite, including a massive fitness pool, gym, tennis courts and more.
But the centerpiece of the resort is the championship golf course which was designed by Hale Irwin and Keith Foster.
This desert style layout is routed in the foothills of the Black Mountain, which allows for some dramatic elevation changes. As to be expected, the views back across to downtown Vegas are magnificent.
From the back tees the yardage reaches just shy of an impressive 7,400. Fortunately, five sets of tees shorten the course depending on your ability, with the Anthem tees (the next one after the Championship tees) reaching 6,762 yards.
5. Rio Secco Golf Club
Without doubt one of the top public offerings in the Henderson/Las Vegas area, Rio Secco is a fine golf course.
Positioned up in the Black Mountains, the course twists and turns as it climbs and drops across canyons and ridges. Throughout the front nine the routing is entwined with a dry river, which is where the course gets its name, Rio Secco in Portuguese.
The back nine is arguably more spectacular. You climb up onto a plateau and this is where those views of the Strip are most resplendent.
The course was designed by the acclaimed Rees Jones and from the championship tees can tip-out at around 7,400 yards. But for most of us playing off the Blue Tees, the course reaches 6,921 yards.
There are plenty of special holes. But I love the challenge and unforgiving nature of the par 3s. Every single one has a carry over desert wasteland, oh, except the 16th hole where you have to carry the water.
All in all this is a top class public golf course in Henderson. This is also where the great Butch Harmon is based. In fact, the training facilities are worth a visit here just by themselves.
See also: What are the best public golf courses in Las Vegas?
6. The Revere Golf Club (Lexington & Concord)
It’s easy to bulk when you’re told The Revere Golf Club is open to the public. The quality of the layout, the class of the clubhouse and conditioning of the courses are all private club standard.
The award-winning Revere Golf Club now has two 18-hole championship layouts, the Lexington and Concord. Both were created by the design duo of Billy Casper and Greg Nash.
Casper achieved huge success in his playing days, winning over 50 PGA events. Whilst Nash is an immensely gifted architect who’s been responsible for designing plenty of golf courses worldwide.
A key component in their design philosophy is to create golf courses which aren’t designed for the one percent of people who can play them. Instead making them approachable and enjoyable to all levels. This they have achieved to perfection at Revere.
Both courses are draped in the desert landscape, crossing canyons and entering valleys. This rugged landscape is awe-inspiring. But fairways are generally forgiving, allowing you the freedom to pull out the big dog. To score well here, is to take on the risky shots.
All in all, a thoroughly enjoyable day out. Just make sure you visit the impressive Buckman’s Grille post-round for a spot of lunch and a cold beer whilst enjoying views of the Strip.
7. Chimera Golf Club
Up in the northern parts of Henderson, on your way towards Lake Las Vegas, is the Calico Ridge neighborhood. It is here you will come across the really enjoyable and great value Chimera Golf Club.
Relatively new, having opened this side of the millennium, Chimera was designed by Ted Robinson Jr. and opened for play in 2003. It was originally called Tuscany Hills Golf Club but the name was changed not long after.
The quality of this layout is really unheralded and flies slightly under the radar. But this is a thoroughly enjoyable round of golf and the design is fun.
There are many risk/reward holes and occasions which will really test a long hitter. For those of us a little less consistent, the fairways are forgiving but there is enough movement in the swales and undulations to keep things interesting.
There is a lot to like here. You get the Nevada desert-style landscape. A well-thought out design by the talented Robinson Jr. Water is in play on a handful of holes. You have commanding views of the Strip. And if you’re flexible to play later in the day, you can get a tee time for around 50 dollars.
8. Wildhorse Golf Club
In Green Valley North, towards the international airport, is Wildhorse Golf Club. It is located in the heart of a vast residential area, although there isn’t a house to be found within the property.
In fact, there has been such an emphasis on maintaining the environment, the site was recognized as an Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary.
Wildhorse has had a tumultuous past, certainly when it comes to ownership and its name. The course opened in 1958 and within ten years had already changed ownership. It then had five different names before they belatedly settled on Wildhorse Golf Club in 1994.
One of the first golf courses to be built in southern Nevada, Wildhorse for many years was a regular stop on the PGA Tour. In the early 1970s the PGA Tour’s Sahara Invitational was held at Wildhorse, although at the time it was known as Paradise Valley Country Club. A half-decent golfer called Jack Nicklaus won the event multiple times.
In recent years, the layout was completely renovated and redesigned. This work was undertaken by the award-winning Lee Schmidt and Brian Curley. Their work is highly admired and they’ve been responsible for vast numbers of ‘best-in-class’ designs worldwide.
Their touch and attention to detail has given Wildhorse a new lease of life. This is another course which flies under the radar, but open to the public, it is well worth the detour.
What is the best golf course in Henderson, Nevada?
The best golf course in Henderson is SouthShore Golf Club. It is located on the banks of Lake Las Vegas, up in northern Henderson. It is one of just a couple Jack Nicklaus Signature Designs in the region.