Cascata: A waterfall runs through one of Las Vegas' premier golf playgrounds

BOULDER CITY, Nev. -- In Italian, cascata translates to "waterfall." In English, it might as well mean "wow." Cascata, the lavish country club owned by Caesars Entertainment Corp., is the most affordable, and probably most scenic, of the three bucket-list Las Vegas golf experiences.

Playing Cascata often costs 20 to 35 percent less ($195-$395) than Shadow Creek Golf Course or Wynn Golf and Country Club, yet it's got all the same five-star service, immaculate conditions and great caddies of the other two.

That's the discount golfers get when they escape 22 miles from the Strip to tackle red boulders, rocky cliffs and wild elevations 3,200 feet above the desert floor.

Cascata is named after the 418-foot waterfall that runs through the Rees Jones layout and lavish Tuscan-style clubhouse. It's probably a big reason the course cost a reported $70 million to build before opening in 2000. This waterfall greets golfers while rushing under the atrium of the 37,000-square-foot clubhouse and gives them an aiming point on the range. On the 7,137-yard course, though, it's a complete nuisance from the first tee (running along the left side) to the final green (crossing the fairway to feed a pond near the green).

Cascata's holes tend to be uphill or downhill, climbing 800 feet in either direction near the peak of Red Mountain. Teeing off 12 minutes apart allows each group to savor their surroundings, especially the knockout views from the par-3 seventh and par-4 14th holes. A caddie, required in every group, helps solve slick greens.

Life inside the gates at Cascata isn't too shabby.

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.
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Cascata: A waterfall runs through one of Las Vegas' premier golf playgrounds
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