In Las Vegas we have some equally dramatic par-3s that can either make or break a round of golf. It is surprising that many of the best par-3s in the desert use water as a hazard to intimidate golfers. Below is a list of the best par-3s Las Vegas golf has to offer. Each of these holes is sure to test the golfer not just in their length but also in the accuracy required to score well on these holes.
Badlands Golf Club - Desperado
Badlands Golf Club has 27 of the toughest holes anywhere in Las Vegas. The 8th hole on the Desperado golf course has teeth and is not afraid to use them. This hole measures 196 yards from the back tee, but plays shorter due to the slight elevation change from the tee. The biggest problem on this hole is the narrow green and the deep canyon that sits in front of the green. There is no room for error on this hole.
If you are going to miss the ball the best place is to the left, although the chip shot you will be left with would challenge even Phil Mickelson. There is a bunker on the left-hand side and a severe slope that makes finding a flat lie almost impossible. This is a long green and if you are on the wrong tier par will be a great score.
Paiute Golf Club - Snow Mountain Course
If you hit the green in regulation on the 16th hole of the Snow Mountain Golf Course at the Las Vegas Paiute Resort, you have hit a great shot. This hole measures 198 yards from the back tee but is all carry over a huge lake that guards the front and left sides of the green. This green sits away from the tee which makes the green seem more narrow than it really is. The front part of the green is bordered by rocks that look like teeth in the mouth of a monster.
The best play on this hole is to hit toward the middle of the green and hope the ball lands somewhere near the pin. The only bail-out area is short right but this will leave a difficult pitch to a multi-tiered green. Par on this hole is a great score.
Rhodes Ranch Golf Club
Rhodes Ranch Golf Club is located in the Northwest section of Las Vegas and was designed by Ted Robinson. The 3rd hole is by far the most difficult par-3 on the golf course. Not only is the hole tough, but it has been wonderfully landscaped with numerous palm trees and a huge lake on the right-hand side. Honestly, there are not many places to miss the ball on this hole. From the back tee this hole measures 227 yards.
Obviously the biggest hazard on this hole is the water on the right but there is also an oasis of trees and small creek that borders the left side of this hole. This green is slightly elevated with three small pot bunkers on the back right side of the green. This is a long green so be sure to take enough club if the pin is in the back of the green. The golf course is usually in good condition with fast smooth greens.
Reflection Bay Golf Club
The 17th hole at Reflection Bay Golf Club sits right along the shores of Lake Las Vegas. This is a semi-island green that plays 164 yards from the back tee. The green on this hole is relatively small and usually tough to hold. If you are going to miss the ball, the left-hand side of the green is the best option. Toward the back left of the green are bunkers that will save balls from going into the water that surrounds this green.
This green has several palm trees surrounding it that further enhance the aesthetic beauty of this hole. The wind has a tendency to blow on this hole so be sure to check the tops of the palm trees to determine wind direction. Hitting the middle of the green on this hole is a good shot. This hole usually plays slightly shorter than the yardage on the card.
Paiute Golf Club - Wolf Golf Course
The 15th hole at the Wolf golf course is an island green that was designed by Pete Dye. It would seem like the inspiration for this hole came from the 17th hole at the TPC Sawgrass. Although this hole is not overly long - only 182 yards from the farthest tee - it is quite intimidating from the tee. This is a very large green and usually will hold a shot struck crisply into the green.
The green is surrounded on all sides by water so you either hit the green or take a penalty. There are two bunkers on this hole, one in front and one in back of the green. There are very few trees on this golf course so wind can play a big role when playing this hole. Take care when playing this hole and just try for the middle of the green.
All of these par-3's are some of the most difficult and beautiful in all of Las Vegas. Each of these holes take the definition of gambling to a whole new level. But it won't be a roll of the dice or luck of the draw that will determine your fate on these holes – just pure skill.