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Thursday, September 11, 2014

Public Spotlight Fall 2014 - Laughlin Ranch Golf Club

A Gem on the Ranch

Laughlin Ranch Golf Club

Story by Bill Bowman

When you’re looking for those golf course gems in the world, it takes awhile to find that perfect spot that yields the big reward. You play many courses until you find that nugget you’ve been searching for.

Welcome to Laughlin Ranch Golf Club. The layout is a David Druzisky design that’s 90 minutes south of Las Vegas.

What’s so special about this course, you may ask. Well, where do we start?

How about a golf course with severe elevation changes from start to finish. Want more? Okay, it’s a par 72 course that stretches out to 7,155 yards from the tips. It’s also got 70 bunkers scattered around and just enough water features to keep players on their toes.

More? Okay, you asked for it. It’s just plain fun. It’s not a grip-it-and-rip-it course. With the elevation changes, the doglegs and the elements (arroyos, bunkers, water), players will need to think before they grab a club.

“With all the amenities, it’s just a great golf course,” says Tom Underwood, general manager and director of golf. “It’s been ranked in the top 15 of Arizona courses. It’s definitely a change from your normal Arizona golf experience. It’s got a desert type feel but with rolling hills and nice elevation changes.”

The highlights of the round are the 9th and 10th holes (formerly the opening and closing holes). Both of them are par 5s and both play severely downhill. They are reachable in two, but desert outcroppings (and a large pond on the 9th) will challenge players’ nerves as they decide whether to go for the green in two or play it smart and lay up.

“The 9th is a challenge,” Underwood says. “The average golfer has a thing for water and this one has water. It’s downhill and a little narrow on the left side. Aesthetically, it’s a beautiful but tough golf hole.”

There are also the ever-popular drivable par 4 holes. At Laughlin Ranch there are two—the 7th and 11th holes. Both are between 220 (forward tees) and 315 (back tees). “With all of the long holes, it’s nice to have those,” Underwood says. “Both have really well-placed bunkers and greens that are nicely built. They are definitely good birdie chances.”

Like most courses, check your ego at the door. “The course can play from 5,000 yards to 7,200 yards. “We’ve got at least six tee boxes on each hole,” Underwood says. “The main challenge is to find the right set of tees for you.”

As players make their way around the course, keep an eye out for historic markers. “We’ve got 10 to 12 historic pieces out there including old mining equipment,” Underwood says. “They are really nice pieces and add to the beauty of the course.”

And finally, this clubhouse has it all…from a spa to a swimming pool to hot tubs to fine dining. It’s a great destination spot whether you’re playing golf or just visiting (or living) in the area.

Overall, Laughlin Ranch is one of those courses that must be seen to be believed. Like history leaves a lasting impression, so will a visit to Laughlin Ranch.


Laughlin Ranch Golf Club

1360 William Hardy Dr., Bullhead City


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