Reflection Bay Golf Club (702) 740-4653
Las Vegas Golf Course Review
Note: Set on luxurious Lake Las Vegas and part of the Westin Lake Las Vegas Resort & Spa, Reflection Bay Golf Club is located directly next to the resort. Built in 1998, the
course reopened in 2014 after a complete restoration guided by Jack Nicklaus, its original designer. Some of its 18 holes run along the shoreline; the par-3 eighth hole ends in a
peninsula that juts out into the lake.
The marking system at Reflection Bay features sprinkler heads are measured to the center of the green and 150 yard markers on the cart paths of all par fours and fives. GPS is
mounted on all the carts as well, providing accurate information from tee to pin. The greens are of PGA quality - meaning well conditioned, quick (about an 11 when we played)
and with mild undulations - an absolute joy to putt on . The rough is firm but playable, and the bunkers that are situated near the landing zones on fairways or strategically places
greenside (approximately 65 of them), are filled with soft white sand, making recoveries quite possible. 8 holes feature water in play, with some spectacular landscaping along
the way. Rangers and golf course personnel are eager to provide friendly service.
The Reflection Bay Course has been named as one of the "Top 100 Best Courses You Can Play" by Golf Magazine and the resort was honored with a # 28 ranking in Golf Digest's
"Top 75 Golf Resorts in America".. The layout varies as it meanders through and around desert canyons, then plays along 320 acre Lake Las Vegas, providing 5 beautiful water
holes along a mile and a half of pristine shoreline. Five tee settings allow golfers to choose from distances of 7170, 6828, 6322, 5841, and 5125 yards, with the slope ranging
from 150 to 122. The white (mid tees) are very playable for the average golfer, as many of the longer holes feature elevation changes and doglegs that can be strategically reduced
in length. There is only 1 par four of 400 + yards from the white tees. Our webmaster, who is female, remarked as to how playable the course was for ladies and those playing
from the forward tees, as the forced carries from these tee areas were negligible. From the tips - look out! The approach on the par 5 fifth is amazing, with a cascading waterfall
running alongside the right side. The photo above right and below left highlight some of this hole's aesthetics.
The opening hole features a wide fairway and bends left into the prevailing wind. Avoid the deep green-side bunker on the left, and this is a score-able hole. The par 4 second
also bends slightly left, with a desert area on that side encouraging approaches from the middle of the fairway. Long hitters will love number three. If you can catch the down slope
which begins about 280 yards from the green, you may get quite an advantageous roll, and a lie that may tempt you to go for the green in two. If you must error, the right side does
have a bit of bail out room. Aim for the wide (left) side of the green on number 4. A deep bunker short right will dissuade anyone from aiming at the flag if the pin is placed on that
side. The par five 5th plays extremely tightly, as desert looms on both sides of the fairway. The approach is tight and uphill, towards a gorgeous green complex with a cascading
stream along the right side. A narrow, rolling fairway confronts you off the tee on six. Accuracy on the approach is also at a premium, as the putting complex is well guarded by
bunkers. A 180 - 200 yard lay up is called for on seven - as a creek cuts across the fairway about 160 yards out. There is a huge bunker behind the green and in front of the lake -
that may help keep you ball in play if your approach is long. The eighth is a gorgeous par three that runs between Lake Las Vegas and the Loews Resort property. If the wind is up,
this hole can be treacherous. Number nine also runs along the water, but some distance can be cut here, with a tee shot that bends right to left over the edge of the last fairway
bunker. A good tee shot may leave an easy wedge to a two tiered green - and a possible birdie to end the front.
The back side opens with a dangerous tee shot to a stretch of fairway guarded by water on 3 sides. Distance is needed here, as the approach is all carry over another water
hazard. Although this is only the number 10 handicap, we found it to be one of the toughest holes on the course. A tight fairway on 11 is flanked by a desert ravine along the right.
You need 1 club extra to reach this elevated green, with bunkers on 3 sides. After a simple par three and the number 16 handicap, you confront the easiest hole on the back side,
a mid range par four with an incredibly generous fairway. There is a bit of bailout room right, as you approach the green. Number 14 is the # 2 handicap, and the longest par four
on the course (457 from the tips, 406 from the white tees. The left side of the fairway is best here, for an approach to a putting surface that is surrounding by grass mounding. A
deep ravine must be navigated off the tee on 15. This is a gorgeous and demanding golf hole. The fairway here is wider than it seems from the tee areas. Grip it and rip it, as the
approach must carry another ravine (that is about 180 out) and avoid a set of formidable sand traps before it reaches the green. The wide fairway on 16 slopes gently left to right,
and an approach from the right side is best here - to avoid having to deal with a humungous green side trap on the left. There is quite a bit of room here. A beautiful par three over
water awaits on 17. Bunkers left and the water hazard right make this one of the most demanding iron shots of the round. Anything long is gone! Short left is best, as long as you
miss the sand... The finishing hole features a row of bunkers on the right side - which just may keep your ball in play if it is angling towards the lake. The water hazard is in play all
the way to the green, and is especially tough to deal with on the approach. This is a well earned par!
Reflection Bay at Lake Las Vegas is without question one of the top few courses in the Vegas Valley - and worthy of consideration as NUMBER ONE. It has something for everyone - demanding distance for those who choose the tips, tightness for those looking for shot values, water holes, elaborate bunkering, a diverse layout, and outstanding
views of the lake, desert areas and surrounding mountains. It is a top dollar golf course for the area... but it is also like few other courses you will ever get a chance to play. With
the type of conditioning, service and quality that are found here, the Two Guys Who Golf can only tell you that you are getting your money's worth. If you are worth it - Reflection Bay
is like a great night out - a treat to the senses, and a round you will remember. We are thrilled this course is back! Play it!!!!
For more information on Reflection Bay and a link to it's website, click here.