The par-4 16th at Royal Links Golf Club was modeled after no. 15 at Carnoustie. (Courtesy of Royal Links G.C.) The par-3 17th hole sits in a secluded section of the Shadow Creek Golf Club.  (Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor ) There is a treacherous waterfall in addition to numerous other hazards on the 18th hole at Wynn Golf Club.  (Kelly Meier/Golf Channel ) A stream trickles down the right side of the 14th fairway at Cascata. (Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor) The closer at Bali Hai G.C. is one of the toughest golf holes in Las Vegas. (Courtesy of Bali Hai G.C.) Bear's Best Las Vegas' 18th hole punches hard. (Brandon Tucker/Golf Advisor)

Get pumped up for the 'Fight of the Century' with Las Vegas golf's hardest-hitting holes



It's on. Finally.

After years of negotiations and speculation, Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao and Floyd "Money" Mayweather Jr. will trade blows on May 2 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Already billed as the "Fight of the Century," the bout could end up being the highest-grossing boxing match of all time.

To get golfers in the spirit, Golf Advisor has found 10 of the "hardest-hitting" holes in Las Vegas golf. All 10 of them -- selected from public-access courses -- pack a mean punch. Don't let them knock out your chances for a good round.

Hole 14, Wolf Course at Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort, Las Vegas: Of course Pete Dye makes an appearance. This crescent-shaped 492-yard hole doglegs through a remote desert landscape 30 minutes from the Las Vegas Strip. The waste area up the entire right side dissects the fairway, adding a splash of visual intimidation to the approach. Seven bunkers protect a two-tiered green.

Hole 2, Wolf Creek Golf Club, Mesquite: The elevated second tee boxes introduce the stunning red rock cliffs of Wolf Creek. The problem is they're in the way. The 445-yard par 4, the no. 1 handicap hole, doglegs severely left. All golfers can see is the sliver of the fairway on the right. Those who hit driver can hit it through the dogleg into trouble on the far side, and those who hit 3-wood risk not carrying the rock. Take an extra club to account for the uphill approach and to avoid the five bunkers near the green.

Hole 2, TPC Las Vegas, Summerlin: The 196-yard par-3 second hole might not even be the hardest hole on this dynamite course by Bobby Weed and Raymond Floyd. There are a few daunting par-4 canyon holes on the back nine, too. But executing a do-or-die shot to an island green so early in the round isn't easy. It's so hard to judge what club to pull. Do you play a club less for the downhill or do you take an extra one to make sure you carry the desert and risk going into the canyon on the back side? Good luck whatever you decide.

Hole 11, Rio Secco Golf Club, Henderson: The view of the Las Vegas Strip from the 11th tee box of this 478-yard par 4 is spectacular. It also messes with your depth perception. The fairway veers right, diagonally running away from players. Rees Jones was kind enough to build an aiming bunker on the far left side of the fairway. It takes away the temptation to carry the desert up the right side.

Hole 14, Cascata, Boulder City: During the height of his powers, Tiger Woods posed for a Golf Digest cover on the picturesque 14th hole. This 434-yard par 4 falls from an elevated tee, doglegging right to follow a creek up the right side that pools into a big hazard at the green. Woods hosts his Tiger Jam and the Tiger Woods Charity Playoffs at Cascata to benefit his foundation. The way Tiger's playing these days, bogey would be welcome.

Hole 16, Royal Links Golf Club, Las Vegas: A rippled fairway? Tall fescue? Bunkers galore? Welcome to Carnoustie in Scotland. The menacing, 454-yard 16th at Royal Links was modeled after no. 15 at "Carnasty." Golfers who can draw the ball off of the two fairway bunkers to follow the dogleg left have a great advantage. Anything that ends up in the bunkers or fescue is in trouble. Flat lies rarely materialize on such a bumpy fairway. More bunkers flank a small, sloping green.

Hole 17, Shadow Creek Golf Club, North Las Vegas: There might be tougher holes on this ultra-exclusive Tom Fazio design, but standing on the jaw-dropping 17th tee is the moment everybody remembers. The elevated perch looks down upon a sliver of a green. The waterfall in back feeds the pond in front. I have missed the green both times I played it, because the swirling winds were different each time.

Hole 18, Bali Hai Golf Club, Las Vegas: The only chance to make par on Bali Hai's 486-yard, par-4 closer is a pure drive over the bunker on the left-hand corner of the dogleg. On the approach, aim to the left portion of the green to take the "Kuda Bay" pond and the waste bunker that wraps around two-thirds of the green out of play. A swale bisects the green, making putting a challenge.

Hole 18, Bear's Best Las Vegas, Las Vegas: Jack Nicklaus recreated some of the best holes of his design career at Bear's Best, a unique tribute course in the desert. Nicklaus copied the finishing hole at the PGA West Tournament Course in La Quinta, Calif., to end the day at Bear's Best. The tee and approach shots of the 18th hole, a 463-yard par 4, should favor the left side, respecting the waste bunker and pond up the right side. There's no margin for error to a sloping green protected by three bunkers and water.

Hole 18, Wynn Golf Club, Las Vegas: The 448-yard, par-4 18th rates as the most intimidating hole at Wynn, a modern marvel re-imagined by Tom Fazio on the old site of the Desert Inn Golf Club. Even with a bomb of a drive, golfers face a daunting approach to an elevated multi-tiered green guarded by a pond in front and a roaring waterfall behind.

Bonus hole

Hole 18, Southern Highlands Golf Club, Las Vegas: Of the more than 20 courses I've played in and around Las Vegas, this is by far the most difficult hole I've played. Maybe it's a blessing that this bonus hole is hidden away at an exclusive private club owned by Pacific Links. A winding stream that splits the fairway and zigzags all the way to the green makes the 603-yard uphill climb even tougher.

Apr 14, 2015



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Jason Scott Deegan

Senior Staff Writer

Jason Scott Deegan has reviewed more than 700 courses and golf destinations for some of the industry's biggest publications. His work has been honored by the Golf Writer's Association of America and the Michigan Press Association. Follow him on Twitter at @WorldGolfer.