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Tuesday, April 9, 2024

A Nicklaus Gem In the Desert - Coyote Springs

Coyote Springs Golf Club

Story by Bill Bowman

Coyote Springs Golf Club, an hour north of Las Vegas, is one of the ultimate hidden gems when it comes to golf courses. The hidden part comes into play as the course is nestled in the middle of the desert. And the gem part comes from the fact that it is not only a Jack Nicklaus design, but it is one of his ‘Signature’ layouts.
When it opened for play in 2008, Coyote Springs drew rave reviews, and those continue some 15 years later. “It’s a golfing experience like no other,” says Curt Russell, general manager. “I would just go back to our tagline—It’s an hour away and a world apart. It sounds cliché, but there are no planes, no cars. It’s just you and the golf course.” Even before players hit the first tee, they will be impressed with the practice facility. “I can’t tell you how nice it is to just sit there and just soak it all in, even on the driving range. There’s a full hitting area, chipping area, putting green, and instructional tee. I think you can have 100 people out there at a time. It’s one of the largest driving ranges in the West.”

On the course, it’s 18 holes of Nicklaus at his finest. There are holes that dogleg left and right, as well as a couple that dogleg both ways on the same hole. To say it’s a layout that challenges players of all abilities would be an understatement. The course reaches a jaw-dropping 7,471 yards from the tips all the way down to 5,349 from the forward tees, giving players plenty of options.

“The course conditions are at the top of the list of why people come out here,” says Ian Mackenzie, PGA head golf professional. “We also don’t overseed and that’s a big benefit because we can take advantage of the time when other courses may be shut down.” It’s a course that rolls through the desert beautifully. And we do mean roll, as there are very few level lies on these immaculate fairways. And just because it’s in the middle of the desert doesn’t mean players won’t face their share of challenges when it comes to water features. In fact, water comes into play on 11 of the 18 holes adding to the challenges and the beauty.

“We also have five sets of tees so players will get a different look at the course, as well as different challenges, if they change which tees they play from,” Mackenzie says. “Plus, a lot of players will enjoy the game better if they move up a tee box. And no matter which set of tees players choose, they will find challenges on every hole.”

Two of the more impressive holes at Coyote Springs run side-by-side and finish up each of the nines. The ninth and 18th holes are both par 4s that are mirror-images. The ninth is a dogleg left playing 410 yards while the 18th is a dogleg left reaching just 375 yards. Players will find bunkers coming into play off the tee, and both greens share a pond that will test players’ aggressiveness with second shots trying to set up birdie chances. “The ninth and 18th holes are definitely great golf holes. There are so many different ways to play those holes to get the best score possible. Driver may not always be the right choice depending on which set of tees you’re playing from, and the second shots are definitely challenging on both holes.”

If you’re a fan of Nicklaus designed courses, or even if you’re not, this one checks all the boxes when it comes to a must-play layout. And if it’s your first trip to the course, don’t worry—they’ve got you covered with an app for your phone that features flyovers of each hole. “It’s a great tool for communication,” Mackenzie says. “And it gives tips and tricks to use while you’re on the course.”

To make the course even more appealing, Coyote Springs offers more than its share of specials to both locals and visitors that will enhance your experience. For locals, there’s a special that gives players every sixth round free. And for everyone, there’s a special that gives players the chance to tee it up in the morning, grab a bite to eat and then play another 18 holes. “It’s a great promotion,” Russell says. “Golfers love it. They can’t get enough of it.”

Russell says the staff at Coyote Springs always has the players on their mind. “It’s important for the players to have a memorable round,” he says. “Our whole thing is we want to try and create the best experience for the golfer we can. We want them to come back and play again, and it’s up to us to make sure we provide a top-notch experience.”

Coyote Springs Golf Club
3100 State Route 168, Coyote Springs

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