Shadow Creek Tops List of Casino Golf Courses, Two Other Nevada Tracks Make Cut

Posted on: August 2, 2021, 02:10h. 

Last updated on: August 2, 2021, 02:23h.

MGM Resorts International’s famed Shadow Creek Golf Course tops Golfweek’s list of top 50 courses owned or operated by gaming companies.

casino golf
MGM’s Shadow Creek golf course in North Las Vegas. It’s again the top-ranked casino course in the US. (Image: Golf Digest)

Golfweek panelists rate courses on a variety of criteria on scales of one to 10. They also file an overall composite rating. The Tom Fazio-designed course in North Las Vegas scores 8.13 overall, well ahead of the 7.26 notched by second place Fallen Oak. That course, which is also a Fazio layout, is located in Saucier, Miss. The associated casino is Beau Rivage, also an MGM property.

Last month, MGM made Shadow Creek — already the most expensive public course in the country — even pricier. The gaming company boosted the 18-hole green fee to $1,000 for peak season, which is considered March to May, plus October and November. It’s $750 per round in the other months.

MGM became the owner of Shadow Creek in 2000 when it acquired the Mirage from Steve Wynn.

Pair of Nevada Courses Join Shadow Creek

The next-highest Nevada course on the Golfweek list is Edgewood Tahoe in the 17th spot. Located in Stateline at the Edgewood Tahoe Resort, the course is also a Fazio design, and is the only lakefront golf offering in the region.

Edgewood is the home to the American Century Championship and hosted the 1985 US Senior Open. Green fees vary by season, but the current weekday and weekend rates are $290 and $320, respectively — deep discounts relative to Shadow Creek.

The only other Las Vegas course on the list is Bali Hai Golf Club, which comes in at number 45. Located on Las Vegas Boulevard and designed by Brian Curley and Lee Schmidt, the course was previously owned by Billy Walters — perhaps the best sports bettor of all-time.

Several years ago, there was speculation the course would be turned into parking for Allegiant Stadium. But it appears those efforts are dead. Bali Hai has affiliations with some MGM properties.

Tribal Courses Show Strong on List

Due in part to some states only allowing tribal gaming, a slew of courses with ties to Native American casinos appear on the Golfweek list.

For example, a combined 13 courses in golf-rich Arizona and California make the cut, with the course at the Cache Creek Casino in Brooks, Calif. scoring highest among casino golf offerings in that state at number five. That’s followed by the Ben Crenshaw-designed course at We-Ko-Pa in Fort McDowell, Ariz. That’s one of two courses in the top 20 associated with that tribal casino.

Conspicuous by its absence from the Golfweek rankings is Florida. That state is home to more golf courses than any other, and some of the most prestigious venues in the US. Despite the presence of casinos in the state, no related golf entities are featured among the Golfweek top 50.