Jack Nicklaus brought his transformative style of golf course architecture to this ancient riverbed and created the remote golfing oasis called Coyote Springs.
Coyote Springs defines the saying, “If you build it, they will come.” At least, that it what has been hoped. To date, they haven’t, but hope remains. Coyote Springs was originally intended to be the Western home of the PGA of America and reportedly the first of ten courses to service a new city of more than 100,000. Well, the dream still persists though the PGA has long ago left it.
Driving to Coyote Springs, I had the sinking feeling that I had made the wrong turn as I had not paid too much attention to one particular turn. By travel time, I thought I should be there, but upon each turn the expected golf oasis had not yet materialized. Finally it did. Hurray!
Several of my friends have raved about Coyote Springs, but almost an equal number warned of severely contoured, quick-rolling putting surfaces that would not hold shots – and that the course was over the top too severe. What would I find?
Coyote Springs is, indeed, a very attractive, but testing golf course with very challenging greensites. Above is the par-four 463-yard 18th.
My verdict is that Coyote Springs is, indeed, a splendid desert golf course among the best in Nevada. Surrounded by 5,000 foot plus peaks, the Arrow, Delamar, Meadow Valley Mountains, plus the 9,000-foot high Sheep Range, the course sits in a prehistoric riverbed valley and enjoys panoramic views currently unobstructed by any housing or buildings. Nicklaus has bulldozed the terrain into some engaging shapes marked by amply wide fairways for the most part, but lots of bordering trouble in the way of desert, water, and nasty penal bunkering for those who stray. There is no doubt that they are intimidating factors. Yes, the greens are undulating, firm, and fast, but it is that most are elevated affairs that will not accept the lower trajectories of the weaker players.
The narrow uphill 450-yard 14th plays into the wind and for me is the most difficult hole among many at Coyote Springs.
The course was designed to host the expectations of club professionals who might visit or retire to the community so you can expect a stout test. The test measures nearly 7,500 yards from the tips with a 75.8/141 rating/slope, and even the forward tees measure a healthy 5,288 yards. Again, it’s the green surrounds that really make the test a challenging one.
Essentially, Coyote Springs is an excellent course for the single-digit player, but combines as a bit much for the new or casual golfer. Average players may find the course playable, especially if they are relatively accurate with confident short-games. Accomplished players will relish Coyote Springs and enjoy that they will be able to use the drivers off most of the tees. The conditioning is outstanding and the aesthetics complement the scale of the beautiful surrounds.
The 8th that ranges from 163 to 233 yards may be one of the toughest par-threes in America. Below is the green as seen from the left side. As you can see there is little margin for error if you hope to be putting for a birdie!
As remote as Coyote Springs is, it’s only 45 minutes from Mesquite and 50 minutes from Las Vegas. If you consider yourself a serious, discriminating golfer, you should make a beeline for Coyote Springs, one of the southwest’s best public offerings.
As seen by the par-four 13th hole below, Coyote Springs is a genuine golf oasis!