In a town where everything's so dazzling that ultimately nothing is, creating a distinctive course can be a dicey task. But Tom Weiskopf has rolled out a winner in The Falls Golf Club at Lake Las Vegas Resort. The second public course at this 2,500-acre complex in Henderson, Nevada, seventeen miles east of the Vegas Strip, Weiskopf's 7,250-yard layout is a worthy successor to Jack Nicklaus's Reflection Bay. (A Tom Fazio track called Rainbow Canyons will eventually follow.) Named for two waterfalls first visible from the par-three eighth hole, the course starts slowly and builds momentum as it climbs. The fun really begins at the 519-yard par-five seventh, where a solid drive into a canyon invites gamblers to try clearing a rock-faced wall to get home in two.
A century ago, riding a sturdy burro would have been the way to summit the steep back nine. The par-five twelfth plays 553 yards to a plateau and a tabletop green where golfers are rewarded with a grand vista of Lake Las Vegas and the distant Strip. "My goal was to make the whole course challenging and memorable," says Weiskopf, "but its real uniqueness is here—in these spectacular views of Las Vegas and the lake." His thirteenth and fourteenth holes, a pair of short par fours from elevated tees, make for a treacherous but satisfying descent from the heights of The Falls, which ranks as one of the high-water marks of Weiskopf's recent work.
Greens Fees: $145-$225; Ritz-Carlton and Hyatt Regency guests receive preferred rates. Tee Times: 877-698-4653 or visit lakelasvegas.com.