The best of Las Vegas golf courses and resorts

With the whole of Las Vegas sitting in the middle of the Mojave Desert, you'd think it'd be impossible to transform arid land into lush golf courses. But the Entertainment Capital has proven itself capable of making the impossible possible. There are more than 50 Las Vegas golf courses near the famous Strip, and most of them are desert oases just stunning to look at. So, if Lady Luck won't give you the time of day at the gaming tables, maybe you'll fare better when you tee off at one of these top Las Vegas golf courses and resorts.

Elevated Las Vegas golf at Angel Park

At Angel Park Golf Club, your game gets elevated literally. This Las Vegas golf course spreads on land that rises 3,000 feet near the foothills of the Red Rock Mountains. So when you play there, you get to enjoy lush, green scenery with views of the mountains, Las Vegas Valley, and even the Strip below. Angel Park boasts 4 courses: Palm, Mountain, Cloud Nine, and the Devine. Palm Course is an 18-hole, Arnold Palmer-designed championship course with tricky sand bunkers. Also designed by Arnold Palmer, the Mountain Course is a longer 18-hole in which your focus will be challenged by the playing surface and the mountain views. With only 12 holes, Cloud Nine is great for short games, but it's no less challenging, as it recreates famous holes in other golf courses that have baffled the pros. The Devine is a 9-hole putting course that claims to be the first to use natural grass.

Strip-side Las Vegas golf at Bali Hai

If you want the convenience of being able to play golf within minutes of your Strip-side vacation home rental and the pleasures offered by Las Vegas' mega-resorts, then you may want to book your tee times at the Bali Hai Golf Club. Bali Hai is on Las Vegas Boulevard South; the "Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas" sign is right outside. Thus, you can easily walk from your vacation home to this Las Vegas golf course if you're not too beat from your night out on the Strip. Just as its name promises, Bali Hai has a tropical vibe, with abundant water features, tall stands of palm trees, and thriving groves of Balinese shrubbery. Try not to get too distracted by all that green, though Bali Hai's 7,002-yard, par-71 course requires accuracy and focus. When you're done with your round, you can walk back to your vacation rental for lunch or a dip in your private pool. At sunset, you can gussy up for another entertaining night on the Strip.

Bear's Best Las Vegas: golf close to nature

If you want to fill your itinerary with both golf games and nature jaunts, you may want to find a vacation rental near Bear's Best Las Vegas Golf Club. Bear's Best sits near the foothills of the Red Rock Mountains, just minutes away from the entrance to the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. While playing a round at Bear's Best, you get to enjoy Jack Nicklaus-designed holes, whose greens and fairways make a bright contrast against the surrounding desert landscape. You can take a break from golfing to explore that desert landscape more closely on the hiking trails of Red Rock Canyon. And if you feel like exploring a different kind of landscape say, one with bright neon lights the Strip is only a half-hour drive away.

If you want to have the unique experience of playing in a traditional Scottish links-style golf course in the middle of the desert, Royal Links Golf Club offers that experience. Royal Links recreates some of the best Scottish holes on this side of the Atlantic, such as Royal Troon's Postage Stamp hole and the Hell Bunker at Saint Andrews. This Las Vegas golf course also pays tribute to past Open Champions with monuments erected in strategic locations around the course, as well as with its Champions Wall at its clubhouse. The clubhouse itself underscores the Highland vibe that Royal Links tries to evoke, with its castle design complete with a bridge and moat. Vacation rentals near Royal Links include villas and bungalows, where you can spend afternoons after your game lounging on the deck or swimming in your private pool. If you feel like trying your luck at the roulette wheel, the Strip is only a 30-minute drive away.