RIO SECCO GOLF CLUB (702) 777-2400
Las Vegas Golf Course Review
Rio Secco has consistently been ranked a top course in Nevada by most national golf publications. Tiger Woods, PGA star Nick Watney, and two others share the course record
(64) and a claim to fame is that this facility hosts the Butch Harmon School of Golf. One will notice quickly that this will not be just another day on the links. Spectacular vistas of
the mountainous desert and valley below, including views of the Strip in the distance, combine with a gorgeous clubhouse and outstanding amenities designed to cater to the
seasoned golfer. Everything is first class, from the exceptional layout and conditioning to the plush golf carts, equipped with the most comfortably padded seats we have ever
experienced. Having a bad day - just sit there and enjoy the views, it may get better. Room accommodations can be found in any of 8 Caesars Entertainment luxury hotel and
casino properties. For more information on Caesars Palace click here
Designed by Rees Jones, the course sits in the rolling foothills of the Black Mountains, along 240 acres of majestic scenery in Henderson, just 15 minutes outside of Las Vegas.
Though priority is given to Caesars Entertainment hotel and casino guests, this course is open for public play. Guests will find a full complimentary practice facility with spacious
range, short game area and a challenging putting green that allows you an opportunity to experience some of the undulations and slopes you will encounter on the course. The
clubhouse features a dining area and lounge (great food drinks) that serves breakfast and lunch items, with wonderful views of the surrounding area available on a comfortable
outdoor patio. The pro shop has a great selection of apparel and accessories, and also includes locker areas for men and women, and outstanding banquet facilities.
Each golf cart at Rio Secco is equipped with two coolers filled with bottled waters. On course golfers will find sprinkler heads measured to the center of the green, 100/150/200
yardage stakes, and pin placements indicated by red (front), white (middle) and black (back of green) flags. Four sets of tees measure 7313 (153 slope), 6927 (149 slope), 6356
(136 slope) and 5778 (127 slope). There is not much water in play on this layout, but elevation changes and wind make club selection a bit tricky. The key to scoring well here is
in reading the greens, which provide tricky slopes and not so subtle undulations. Keep in mind that most putts will break towards the strip. The putting surfaces on our visit were
amongst the best we have played - extremely well conditioned, quick and fun to play. Many are situated between rock outcroppings, or laid in front of grass or desert mountain
walls. This is one beautiful golf course!
The opening hole is an easy one and offers rolling fairway that bends slightly left. Great views of the Las Vegas Strip are available from the tees and fairway on 2, which plays
long and straight. At 489 (blacks), 460 (blues) and 436 (whites) yards long, this hole demands length and is difficult to reach in regulation. The third hole, presents a tee shot over
a ravine, with ample bail out room. Beginning and high handicapped golfers will appreciate this feature at Rio Secco - bail out areas on many of the holes with forced carries.
Beautiful mountains behind the upscale homes provide a postcard backdrop on the par four 4th - which is a very score-able hole. A tight fairway with mounding right and a desert
ravine all along the left make the tee shot on 5 one of the most demanding of the layout. The prevailing wind will make this 595 (tips) par five play long. The 6th is also a tough
driving hole, though those with prior experience here have an advantage. The best placed tee shot will clear the 150 stake, that is barely visible behind the middle right fairway
traps. Land on the fairway, and a low score is possible here. The pretty par 3 seventh demands a carry over a pond with room for error short right. This group of holes (3-7) is a
score-able stretch, and prepares golfers for a resounding finish. The 8th is extremely tight off the tee, with an approach over a desert area about 40 yards from the green. This
long par five will be a 3 shot hole for most golfers, with par being a very good score. The elevated putting complex, with a desert wall background is quite stunning. The 9th hole is
a challenging par four, measuring 472 yards from the championship tees. A short desert carry leads to a wide open fairway, with water left of the green creating a demanding
approach to a well bunkered green.
The opening hole on the back 9 is an easy one - a short par four with the putting surface sloped back to front. Golfers learn that in most instances at Rio Secco, approaches are
best left below the flag. The long par four 11th doglegs right from an elevated tee area. A shot placed right of the last fairway bunker will cut some distance on this # 1 handicap.
The beautiful par 3 twelfth plays over a desert ravine with plenty of room short and is followed by a risk/reward par four. Long hitters will be tempted to go for the green, though
treacherous bunkers and a severe slope that fronts the putting surface make a great case for laying up. A tee shot past the 150 will leave an even lie for the extremely uphill
approach. Fourteen doglegs left with a 215 yard carry over the left fairway traps, from the white tees. Those with this distance can cut the hole significantly; others should play
towards the 150. The par 3 15th is another beautiful hole, featuring a carry over another ravine, with room short for those who wish to approach cautiously. The sixteenth is also
gorgeous to look at, but tough to score on. An extremely accurate tee shot is necessary here, to a narrow fairway from an elevated tee. The green is surrounded by 20 foot rock
cliffs, with a beautiful residential building sitting atop. A wide open fairway will greet golfers on the seventeenth tee. A huge green-side bunker short left is the only obstacle to a
good score here. The finishing hole is very long (601 from the tips) but is playable.
The photos in this review merely begin to do the course justice. Cascata partners with Rio Secco Golf Club and priority is given to Caesars Entertainment casino and hotel
guests - but these courses are also open to the general public. Click on this link to the Caesars website www.caesarsgolf.com for info on golf and accommodations at
properties that include Harrahs, Caesars Palace, Bally's, Flamingo, Paris, Planet Hollywood or the Rio All Suites Hotel & Casino. For more information on Rio Secco - visit the
TwoGuysWhoGolf.Com information page by clicking here