Golfweek's Best: Top 50 Casino Golf Courses in the U.S.

NORTH LAS VEGAS, NV - APRIL 05: A general view of atmosphere during Aria Resort & Casino's 13th Annual Michael Jordan Celebrity Invitational at Shadow Creek on April 5, 2014 in North Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Isaac Brekken/Getty Images for Michael Jordan Celebrity Invitational) Isaac Brekken/Getty Images

Golfweek's Best: Top 50 Casino Golf Courses in the U.S.

Courses

Golfweek's Best: Top 50 Casino Golf Courses in the U.S.

If there was a redeeming element to “The Match: Tiger vs. Phil,” it was that golf fans finally got a chance to see Shadow Creek Golf Course, the perennial No. 1 on Golfweek’s Best Casino Courses list.

Tom Fazio arguably has been the most influential course architect of the past half century. He certainly is the most decorated if we’re basing that distinction solely on top-100 rankings. It’s unlikely any of the courses he has built are a better reflection of his work than Shadow Creek, if only because it sprung wholly from his imagination on a godforsaken patch of desert in North Las Vegas.

Well, his imagination and casino magnate Steve Wynn’s money. It’s never been clear how much money Wynn spent building the course – $40 million? $50 million? $60 million? More? – but he was determined to produce something special, cost be damned. He and Fazio certainly accomplished that. Shadow Creek has become as sure a thing as the New England Patriots in the AFC East; your biggest question is, “Who’s playing for second?”

In this instance, not surprisingly, it’s another Fazio creation: Fallen Oak in Saucier, Miss.

Fazio is responsible, solely or in part, for seven of the 50 courses on this list:

Golfweek’s Best: Top 50 Casino Golf Courses

Rank Course Location Designer Year
Opened
Avg. 
Rating
1. Shadow Creek North Las Vegas, Nev. Tom Fazio 1990  8.08
2. Fallen Oak Saucier, Miss. Tom Fazio 2006 7.24
3. The Greenbrier
(Old White TPC)
White Sulphur Springs, W.Va. Charles Blair Macdonald,
Seth Raynor, Lester George
1914 6.80
4.  Pete Dye Course at
French Lick
French Lick, Ind. Pete Dye 2009 6.75
5. 

We-Ko-Pa (Saguaro) 

Fountain Hills, Ariz.

Bill Coore, Ben Crenshaw

2006

6.69

6. Salish Cliffs Shelton, Wash. Gene Bates 2011 6.53
7. Wilderness at Fortune Bay Tower, Minn. Jeff Brauer 2004 6.51
8.

Barona Creek

Lakeside, Calif. Gary Roger Baird,
Todd Eckenrode
2000  6.49
9. Nemacolin Woodlands (Mystic Rock) Farmington, Pa. Pete Dye 1995 6.45
10.

Spirit Hollow

Burlington, Iowa

Rick Jacobson

2000

6.41

11. The Preserve Vancleave, Miss. Jerry Pate 2007 6.34
12.

Ak-Chin Southern Dunes

Maricopa, Ariz

Brian Curley, Lee Schmidt

2002

6.23
13. Turning Stone Resort (Atunyote) Verona, N.Y. Tom Fazio 2004 6.17
14. Donald Ross Course at French Lick French Lick, Ind. Donald Ross 1917  6.16
15.

Firekeeper

Mayetta, Kan.


Jeff Brauer, Notah Begay 

2011 6.16
16.

We-Ko-Pa (Cholla)

Fountain Hills, Ariz. Scott Miller 2001 6.13
17.

Edgewood Tahoe GC

Stateline, Nev.

George Fazio

1968

6.13

18. Yocha De He at Cache Creek Casino Brooks, Calif.
Brad Bell
2008
6.12
19.

Sweetgrass


Harris, Mich.

Paul Albanese
2008  6.12
20. The Meadows at Mystic Lake Prior Lake, Minn. Garrett Gill, Paul Miller  2005 6.12
21.

Tatanka

Niobrara, Neb. Paul Albanese 2015  6.05
22. Circling Raven Worley, Idaho Gene Bates 2003  6.02
23. Sandia Albuquerque, N.M. Scott Miller 2005  5.93
24. Lake of Isles (North) North Stonington, Conn.  Rees Jones 2005  5.92
25. The Greenbrier (Greenbrier) White Sulphur Springs, W.Va.  Seth Raynor (1924), Jack Nicklaus (1977) 1924 5.92
26.

Sewailo

Tucson, Ariz.

Notah Begay, Ty Butler  2013
5.91
27. Turning Stone Resort (Shenendoah) Verona, N.Y. Rick Smith 1998 5.81
28.

Journey at Pechanga 

Temecula, Calif. Steve Forrest, Arthur Hills  2008 5.79
29. Belterra Florence, Ind. Tom Fazio 2001 5.79
30. Blue Top Ridge
Riverside, Iowa
Rees Jones 2007  5.78
31. Inn of the Mountain Gods Mescalero, N.M. Ted Robinson 1976  5.76
32.

Talking Stick (North)

Scottsdale, Ariz.

Bill Coore, Ben Crenshaw

1998

5.74

33.

Dancing Rabbit GC (Azaleas)

Philadelphia, Miss.

Tom Fazio, Jerry Pate

1997

5.74

34. Seneca Hickory  Stick Lewiston, N.Y. Robert Trent Jones Jr.  2011 5.73
35.

Turning Stone Resort (Kaluhyat)


Verona, N.Y.

Robert Trent Jones Jr.  2003 5.70
36.

Dancing Rabbit (Oaks)

Philadelphia, Miss. Tom Fazio, Jerry Pate  1999 5.69
37. Apache Stronghold San Carlos, Ariz. Tom Doak 1999 5.68
38.

Eagle Falls

Indio, Calif.

Clive Clark 2008  5.63
39. Sevillano Links Corning, Calif. Mike Stark 2007 5.57
40. Shell Landing Gautier, Miss. Davis Love III 2002  5.51
41. Whirlwind (Cattail) Chandler, Ariz. Gary Panks 2002  5.46
42.

Talking Stick (South) 

Scottsdale, Ariz. Bill Coore, Ben Crenshaw  1998 5.43
43.

Mohegan Sun at Pautipaug

Baltic, Conn.


Geoffrey S. Cornish,
Robert McNeil
2012  5.43
44. Whirlwind (Devil’s Claw) Chandler, Ariz. Gary Panks 2000 5.42
45. Sequoyah National Whittier, N.C. Robert Trent Jones Jr.  2010 5.25
46. Cherokee Hills Tulsa, Okla. Tripp Davis, Perry Maxwell  1924 5.18
47.

Bali Hai

Las Vegas, Nev.

Brian Curley, Lee Schmidt 2000 5.13
48. Windance Gulfport, Miss. Mark McCumber 1986  5.13
49.

The Bridges

Bay St. Louis, Miss.

Arnold Palmer

1997 

5.11
50. Contraband Bayou Lake Charles, La.  Tom Fazio 2005 5.09

(Note: This list appears in the December 2018 issue of Golfweek.)

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