The taste of Mesquite: Seven courses for that Nevada golf getaway

If you're looking for a golf destination with enough golf to satisfy any group, Mesquite, Nevada may be just the place you and your group should check out.

There are seven top-flight golf courses that offer enough variety and challenge that you can play a different course every day and not feel like you're playing the same hole day after day.

With that in mind, here's Mesquite Golf 101: Your guide to teeing it up.

CasaBlanca Golf Club

Natural wetlands and desert landscaping come together at CasaBlanca Golf Club. This is a Cal Olsen design that is a lush layout complete with water features from start to finish.

Favorite hole -- par-4 third: It's a risk/reward hole that, if played smartly, is a birdie possibility. It's also driveable from some of the tees, adding to the challenge.

Conestoga Golf Club

The newest course in Mesquite, Conestoga Golf Club roars like a lion right from the start. The first six holes take players through canyons with elevation changes that are dramatic. It's an 18-hole trip that's well worth the trip by itself.

Favorite hole -- par-3 second: This one features a 60-foot drop from tee to green to a semi-island green, but the island is composed of desert rather than water. It's all or nothing with the tee shot -- although there is a little bailout area to the right.

Falcon Ridge Golf Course

A roller coaster should be this much fun. With severe elevation changes -- some dropping dramatically from tee to green, others rising just as impressively -- players will need to think before pulling a club. Falcon Ridge is one course where 150 yards isn't always 150 yards.

Favorite hole -- par-4 15th: Players take aim at a fairway from a tee box perched some 100 feet above the fairway. A bunker left and a pond right narrow the landing area can, adding tension to the knee-knocking tee shot. It's a beautiful and deadly hole.

Oasis Golf Club

This one has variety written all over it. It's got not one but two 18-hole Arnold Palmer layouts. The Palmer Course at Oasis is the original and is an impressive, winding layout with many elevation changes. The course winds seamlessly through canyons and communities. The Canyons Course features 18 holes, nine from Arnold Palmer along with nine from Dave Druzisky. This course lives up to its name as it runs over and around canyons. Both layouts provide great golf shots as well as great photo opportunities.

Favorite hole -- par-5 eighth on the Oasis Course: This hole showcases an elevated tee with canyons guarding both sides of the fairway. The green is guarded on the right by a huge pond, so going for the green in two is a risk/reward dilemma. It's beautiful and deadly right from the start.

The Palms Golf Club

Players will find two distinct layouts at The Palms Golf Club. The opening nine holes are a traditional design with wide, lush fairways and undulating greens. The back nine treats players to a desert design with more of a target golf flavor. Add them together, and you've got a wonderful 18-hole layout that is full of variety.

Favorite hole -- par-5 15th: This is a scoring hole if players can find the fairway some 60 feet below. An open second shot to the green can let players be aggressive. It's definitely a birdie hole.

Wolf Creek Golf Club

Wolf Creek has it all. It's big-boy golf from the tips (6,939 yards, but more elevation changes than you can shake a stick at), but it is playable for everyone -- just make sure to play the proper set of tees. Beautiful and wide fairways, undulating greens and brilliant bunkering add up to an outstanding course for your next round of golf.

Favorite hole -- par-4 seventh: This isn't one that many might pick. It's not the most difficult; it's not the most scenic. That's not the point. The point is that it's a thinking man's hole. It's short with several separate fairways, each on a different level, that players can take aim at. Hit it all the way to the bottom of the fairway, and your second shot will be to an elevated green about 30 feet above you. Most times players will see just the top half of the flag. Rely on your yardage, and go flag hunting on this one.

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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Players need to follow one simple rule at Conestoga Golf Club: Think before you swing. Located just an hour north of Las Vegas in Mesquite, Nev., Conestoga is the only Troon-managed facility in the area. It stretches out to 7,232 yards, but with five sets of tees, it's definitely playable for everyone -- providing you use your brain and don't try to overpower the golf course. Ready for the challenge? Let's hit the course.
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The taste of Mesquite: Seven courses for that Nevada golf getaway