WHERE TO GOLF
What most people who find themselves on the Vegas Strip don’t know is that the best view of the glittering lights is from afar. While the Strip is buzzing with electricity and activity, not too far from the chaos lies natural wonders beyond anything man could produce: pure rock formations over 250 million years old, steep cliffs that poke into the clouds, not to mention about 300 natural hot springs. So why not trade in the casino chips and heels for a water bottle and hiking boots and head to the hills to fill your lungs with some fresh air?
Most exclusive COURSE
Shadow Creek is a modern-day marvel—a track of flat desert land transformed into a lush, tree-lined oasis. The immaculate Tom Fazio course offers all the traditional challenges of a classic parkland course but with mountain vistas and extra thrills, including a top-notch short game practice area and a dramatic 17th hole. Here, golfers play from atop a ridge down to a green surrounded by rocks and water and a massive waterfall. Shadow Creek is not just about the golf, though; it's about the VIP experience, which, from the private limo and personal caddie, is just about as extravagant as the $500 green fee. You must stay at an MGM Resorts International property to play here.
Visit Website: shadowcreek.com
high end experience
LAS VEGAS PAIUTE GOLF RESORT
Paiute is just 25 minutes north of downtown, but feels miles away. The three Pete Dye courses here – Snow Mountain, Sun Mountain and Wolf, all ranked in the top 6 in Nevada – play through the desert and mountains and provide Dye's signature touches. There's water to contend with as well, including Wolf's No. 15 island hole, which aficionados claim is one of the best holes in the Vegas area. Wolf is the toughest of the three and the longest in the state; for a gentler challenge, the Snow course is a good choice.
Visit Website: lvpaiutegolf.com
pga Pro Course
TPC LAS VEGAS
This is the go-to spot if you want to play where the PGA Tour pros play and experience top service all around. The elegant course, nestled in the high-end Summerlin neighborhood, features a number of elevation changes, steep ravines, a lake and plenty of desert canyon along the way. The layout and length will give a serious golfer a real test with greens that are fast and true. (If you're playing from the back tees, be prepared to hit long drives over native areas.) The blended tee options for both men and women bring fewer forced carries into play, offering a fair test to the mid-handicap golfer.
Visit Website: tpc.com/lasvegas
ZION NATIONAL PARK
The Angels Landing Trail is one of the most famous and thrilling hikes in the national park system, the towering monolith being one of the most recognizable landmarks in the Southwest. Zion's pride and joy runs along a narrow rock fin with dizzying drop-offs on both sides. The trail culminates at a lofty perch, boasting magnificent views in every direction. Rarely is such an intimidating path so frequented by hikers.
Length and duration: 5 miles, takes an average of 4-5 hours.
Distance from the strip: 3.5 hours.