As temperatures across the country plummet and many Americans prepare for winter, there’s plenty of golf to be played in the Southwest. And, golf is a great way to enjoy the outdoors while also social distancing.
For beginners and seasoned ball-strikers alike, here are some of the very best courses and resorts to have in mind when planning a weekend golf trip!
Gaines County Golf Course — Seminole, Texas
This hidden wonder located in the Texas Panhandle hosted Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer in a 1963 exhibition match. The layout features good elevation and plenty of trees, which is impressive considering the flat terrain surrounding it. The course is renowned for the amazing quality of its greens, which are large, fast, and in always excellent condition.
Yoakum County Golf Club — Denver City, Texas
Yoakum County Golf Club is a consistently high-rated course that comes at an affordable price. Located between Denver City and Plains, it’s a wide-open course that was built on moderately rolling terrain. Water hazards including ponds, lakes, creeks, and streams come into play on over half the holes, which is not common for most golf courses in this region. Have fun, but come ready to play!
Sand Hollow Golf Course — Hurricane, Utah
This course experience includes 18 holes of championship golf as well as a walkable nine-hole links-style course designed after the early traditions of the game. The championship course has been open since the fall of 2008 and at one point earned the #1 spot on Golfweek’s top 100 resort courses list. The golf course incorporates steep ridgelines, deep canyons, and expansive elevations to create one of the most incredible golf experiences in the country.
The Ledges of St George — St. George, Utah
This 7,200 yard par 72 golf course features impressive red rock backdrops, immaculately designed greens, and an expensive view of Snow Canyon State Park. The golf course and surrounding residential community provides a dynamic culmination of nature, creative designs, and lifestyle. The 19th Hole Lounge is also the perfect place to relax and it includes a fireplace.
Sunbrook Golf Club — St. George, Utah
Sunbrook Golf Course offers some magnificent views similar to those beheld at the luxurious championship courses in St. George—but they come at a more affordable price. Play from the top of the bluffs to the desert floor. Shoot through back lava rock and try to avoid the red sand traps. With beautiful views of red rock formations and nearby alpine mountains, you’ll be in awe the entire time.
Rockwind Community Links — Hobbs, New Mexico
As PGA Tour Great Fred Couples once said, “You’re not going to see many public facilities like this in the country. It’s phenomenal!” This 27-hole golf facility is owned and operated by the TDS community of Hobbs, New Mexico. The award-winning facility features a championship 18-hole course, a 9-hole par-3 course, and a dual ended practice range near multiple short game areas and practice greens.
Besides the reasonably-priced course, there are many other attractions here—including multiple trail heads, various outdoor seating areas, picnic spaces, and multiple scenic viewing points including access to the site’s five-acre lake overlooking the golf course.
Rainmakers Golf Course — Alto, New Mexico
In 2019, Golfweek Magazine ranked Rainmakers the #1 residential golf course in New Mexico and #32 in all of America—and for good reason. This 18-hole journey is carved into high mountain walls with meandering arroyos and natural rock outcroppings. Each hole is complete with six different tee box sets, along with an incredible, unique view. Even better, the course is committed to protecting the natural splendor of the site. Elk, deer, bobcats, and even black bears are common visitors.
Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort and Casino — Mescalero, New Mexico
Ten minutes southwest of Ruidoso Downs lies Inn of the Mountain Gods—an upscale golf environment complete with a relaxing spa resort and the thrill of a top-end casino. This spectacular course is nestled among tall pine trees under the majestic Sierra Blanca Peak. It was designed by Ted Robinson and features an island fairway as well as fast-breaking greens that are as beautiful as they are challenging!
Wolf Creek Golf Resort — Mesquite, Nevada
Wolf Creek occupies a rocky landscape above Mesquite Airport and has taken the breath away from visitors since it first opened in 2000. Standing on the elevated first tee and looking down several hundred feet the fairway in the valley below only gives a glimpse of what is yet to come. The 360-degree views of red rock mountains, surrounding desert, mesas, steep cliffs, and ravines make you wonder how Course Architect Dennis Rider could create a course so beautiful, yet so practical.
Do yourself a favor and plan a weekend around this gem of course.
Conestoga Golf Club — Mesquite, Nevada
Featuring several spectacular elevation changes, the lush, bright green fairways of Conestoga Golf Club sit in sharp contrast to their harsh desert surroundings. Undulating through canyons and gently ascending and descending elevations, rugged rock outcroppings, and tranquil water elements, the integrity of the land is preserved at every opportunity. Versatile is a key word for this Gary Panks layout that opened for play in 2010. Tee boxes can be played at various lengths and the championship markers will put experienced players on notice quickly.
By Garrett Seymour, TDS Communications Intern