Which phrase best sums up our decision to play today? A few beers short of a six-pack? Seems fitting for a couple of beer drinkers. The elevator doesn’t go to the top floor? Could be, but we only needed to get to the 12th floor. Couple of quarters short of a roll? Getting closer but no quarters needed anymore. A few cards short of a full deck? Perfect since we were spending time in the Las Vegas area.
On this hot August day we decided to walk the 9 holes on this course. The round started at 93-degrees and ended at 105. No water on the course, no cart-person, and no shade – no problem we thought after being assured that it is a very “walkable” course. We purchased a bottle of water and set off to the opening hole.
Hole #1 is straight and short (284 yards – white) but can be deadly if driven too far right. There is water hiding behind that clump of bushes. The fairway is slightly burned out but it is August in Mesquite. We are already starting to regret not taking a cart (which was included in the $22 price) as the distance between holes #1 and #2 is quite a hike. Hole #2 is a par 3 with a few bunkers around it but a fairly benign hole. Another long trek takes you to the par 5 third hole. “Walkable my…”, not in the rising 100+ heat of summer! Houses could come into play to the right on this hole if you have a big slice. However, many of the homes have erected screens to keep all errant shots out of their living rooms. Still a good idea to favor the left side. So far, even though the fairways have taken a hit during summer the greens were in excellent shape.
You don’t see back-to-back par 5’s very often on a 9-hole course, but here is another at Hole #4. I strategically drove my ball into the only large tree on this fairway, which by the way, offered the only shade for a few holes. As the fairway bends to the right, the course management has added a number of small trees that will offer additional shade when I am about 120 years old. I joke, but it looks as though they are adding some scenic value to the back part of the course. Hole #5 is a straight-away par 4 with the only trouble being a line of bushes down the left side. I believe the Virgin River is beyond the bushes but we never got a glimpse of it. More trees are being planted down the right side, so more work being done to upgrade the course.
Hole #6 is a straight-forward par 3. As we approach Hole #7 the temperature is reaching 105 degrees but it is a “dry” heat. The water we have left is now suitable for a nice hot cup of tea. Due to the lack of cold water we are starting to see a mirage of a pond in the distance, but with our 70-year-old eyes, we see no green in the distance. The scorecard does not have a diagram of the layout, so as they say, we are hitting blind. There is a large tree in the fairway and the green is just to the right of it. It sucks getting old and becoming visually handicapped!
It wasn’t a mirage, there is water at Hole #8. Water not to drink, but to clear with your tee shot, and possible second shot. This is a fun risk/reward tee shot. The water at the tee box will not create an issue for the low handicap golfer, but there is hidden water down the fairway on the right side. The safe shot is to aim at the 150 yard stake. There are houses along the left side, so once again you may run the risk of your ball ending up in someone’s living room. DC Dave’s ball headed that direction. We heard no sound of breaking glass, but found no evidence of his drive. Possible trouble left and possible trouble right – fun hole!
The round ends with a tricky 130 yard par 3. There is a creek that winds its way down the middle of the ninth hole. The creek was dry today, but it will not come into play unless you hit a “wormburner” off the tee. Pay close attention to the pin placement because the green has two tiers. Luckily we both found the lower section where the flag was placed today. If we would have been on the upper tier, it would have been a rollercoaster to the flag.
Rating – Birdie (45 out of 60): As we dragged our butts past the clubhouse, a local foursome was “sarcastically” asking how our round went. We couldn’t answer because our tongues were so parched from lack of water that they were incapable of making sound. Luckily the pro shop was still open and we cleared out their supply of water. I now understand why the course is only open 6am to 12pm during the summer months. Nobody crazy enough to play in the afternoon! All joking aside, we enjoyed the course and can see the management group that bought the course in 2017 is making improvements that will make this another “go-to” course in the Mesquite area.
P.S. For GPS directions, the entrance to the course is actually 940 W. Hafen Lane.
426 Hagens Alley, Mesquite, NV 89027; 702-345-3222; www.coyotewillowsgolf.com