Fall '23 - Knights Celebrate on the Links, Montana Getaway & More

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Course Spotlight Winter 2015 - Badlands Golf Club

Badlands Golf Club

A Desert Tour

Story by Bill Bowman


Welcome to the Wild, Wild West. Specifically welcome to the Wild, Wild West…Badlands style.

Badlands Golf Club, a Johnny Miller/Chi Chi Rodriguez-designed course, features 27 holes of unforgettable and unforgiveable golf. Badlands is one of the finest target golf courses anywhere. It’s a course that tests players’ shotmaking skills and accuracy more than their distance.

“Badlands appeals to a certain type of golfer who doesn’t have a desert-style golf course at home,” says Dustin Flatt, general manager. “It’s very unique like that. And we get a lot of repeat players because they like this unique type of course.”

With three nine-hole tracks—Desperado, Diablo and Outlaw—players have the opportunity to mix and match their outings. What they will find on the course is a layout that is tough, but fair, as long as players tee it up from the proper set of tees.

With plenty of forced carries off the tees and ribbons of fairways as targets, accuracy is a must. One gentle reminder: Driver shouldn’t always be the club of choice. In fact, leave it in the bag on most holes. Finding the fairway is much more important than ripping that huge drive. Miss the fairway and the end result won’t be pretty. You might come up with a decent lie in the desert landscaping, if you’re lucky. But chances are you’ll find an arroyo, the water (although it only comes into play on five total holes) or wind up behind a rock or in a bush. So check your ego at the door, grab that 3-wood for control and find that lush green fairway setting up a mid-iron into the green.

“The mental side of the game is definitely the key here,” Flatt says. “You’ve got to play a little conservative. It’s tough for a lot of players to hit an iron off the tee of a 400-yard hole and have a 6 iron in. They’d rather hit driver and have a wedge in.”

But the smart play will play off in the end. “I’ve seen players, like myself, who shot 92 and they think it’s just because they didn’t hit the driver well. But, if you miss the fairways here by 10 to 12 yards, you’re hitting three off the tee.”

The par 5s will give players the best scoring chances, as they are true risk/reward holes. Play them smart, and hit true shots, and there will be birdie (as well as eagle) possibilities. But get too aggressive and the big numbers can certainly add up quickly. 

On the greens, it’s still a test. “There are a lot of subtleties on the greens,” Flatt says. “Putting with the grain…putting against the grain…uphill or downhill…these greens will really force players to concentrate on their putts.” 

In the clubhouse, there’s a wide variety of dining options as well as plenty of drink choices to celebrate a great round—or drown your sorrows.

Overall, Badlands is a challenging course. There’s no other way to put it. But, if players take the time to think their way smartly around this course, it’s one they will have a great time playing. And, they will enjoy playing shots off the lush green fairways a lot more often. 

Badlands Golf Club

9119 Alta Dr., Las Vegas

702-363-0754 or 702-242-4653


Web Design and Web Development by Buildable