The most unique golf courses in Las Vegas: Unlike anything else in Nevada

LAS VEGAS -- The easy way to pin down the word "unique" is to go to the dictionary where you'll see: "Unlike anything else."

Welcome to Las Vegas, the epitome of unique.

Like the Stratosphere Hotel Las Vegas. Where else in the world will you find four outdoor thrill rides some 1,150 feet above the ground on top of the tower?

Want more? There's also the fabled New York skyline resting impressively on the south end of the Las Vegas Strip at New York-New York Hotel & Casino. This skyline comes complete with a 150-foot replica of the Statue of Liberty and a 300-foot-long Brooklyn Bridge of its own.

Or how about Las Vegas' Eiffel Tower, a half-size replica at Paris Las Vegas that offers stunning views of Vegas as well as an 11th floor restaurant?

Now you're getting the picture.

That uniqueness extends to many of the golf courses here where you'll find course designs unlike anything else. Here are five that brand Las Vegas with a uniqueness all their own:

Bear's Best Las Vegas

Leave it to Jack Nicklaus to turn your trip to Vegas into another trip, this one covering some of his best course design work throughout the southwest.

Over Bear's Best Las Vegas' 18 holes, players will take on golf holes replicated from courses far and near -- from Cabo Del Sol (Mexico) to PGA West (California) to Desert Mountain (Arizona) to Castle Pines (Colorado) and Old Works (Montana), as well as others.

Add in the fact you're 10 minutes from the Strip, and this is a world-wide adventure.

Royal Links Golf Club

We all want to play the golf courses in the British Open rotation. Well, Royal Links Golf Club offers a second chance to play a variety of those world-famous golf holes (including the Postage Stamp from Royal Troon and two from the Old Course at St. Andrews) without all the hassle of a long plane trip, finding your passport and that driving on the wrong side of the road thing.

Add a walk to the first tee over the famed Swilcan Bridge, and the cuisine, such as fish and chips and bangers as well as a Guinness at Stymie's Pub, and your day is complete -- all without leaving Las Vegas.

The Legacy Golf Club

The Legacy Golf Club is an Arthur Hills design located in Henderson, just 15 minutes from the Strip. But while the other courses have gone out of their way to take you away from Vegas, this one keeps you right here -- and in a big way.

The 10th tee box reminds you that, yes, you are in Las Vegas. The four tee boxes are shaped like the four suits in a deck of cards -- heart, club, diamond and spade. It's one of those things you might not notice if you're not looking for it. But make sure to check it out. It's certainly unique, and it's all Vegas.

Wynn Golf Club

The uniqueness of Wynn Golf Club lies in that your commute to the golf course is simply, well, simple. It's an elevator ride from your room to the casino floor.

From there it is mere steps through the casino (and maybe play a hand or two of blackjack) to the welcoming service professionals in the luxurious locker room. There, you're treated with VIP service before and after heading out the door and onto the first tee. There's no muss, no fuss and you're playing at this stunning Tom Fazio-designed layout.

Add in the over-the-top, 37-foot waterfall that cascades into a deep-blue pond next to the 18th green, and you've got all the makings of a course that tantalizes the senses. It may not be a trip to another country, but this course will take players to a new level of luxury.

Plus, after the round, the Country Club restaurant gives new meaning to fine dining. The fare will satisfy any dining desires, and it also overlooks the 18th hole and that massive waterfall.

Bali Hai Golf Club

Bali Hai Golf Club transports players from Vegas to the South Pacific. From the massive tropical clubhouse (complete with the amazing Cili restaurant that offers elegant dining options along with stunning golf course views) to the brilliant white-sand bunkers with lush foliage everywhere, this one screams opulence.

And, as it's on the south end of the Strip, it's just minutes from your resort room. The 16th hole is a Kodak moment in itself, as the par 3 (just 141 yards from the tips) plays to a multi-tiered island green with the clubhouse in the background.

Don't be surprised if you've got a gallery of those dining at Cili while you're playing the hole.

Bill Bowman is a Las Vegas-based writer who has more than 40 years in the sports-writing business. He's spent the past 16-plus years covering the golf scene in Vegas and has teed it up for magazine profiles with celebrities including comedian Bill Engvall, actor Jeffrey Donovan (USA's Burn Notice), ESPN personality Colin Cowherd, NASCAR's Kurt Busch, Collective Soul's Ed Roland, the Baltimore Ravens' Jonathan Ogden and many others.
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I would nominate Badlands for a different, challenging Las Vegas golf course. Lots of sloping fairways, blind shots, and big punishments for little misses. It owns me, but that's okay. I love a challenge.

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The most unique golf courses in Las Vegas: Unlike anything else in Nevada