Cascata - Boulder City, NV

Cascata is the Italian word for waterfall and it doesn't take long to realize where the course gets it's name.  On your way to check in at the pro shop you will notice a 418 foot waterfall that runs from the far end of the driving range turning into a river that runs right through the inside of the clubhouse.  From there, you will find your clubs loaded onto a cart passing through a staging area on the lower level of the clubhouse.  A very cool to a start to what would be a great day.

Cascata opened in 2000 and was designed by Rees Jones with a price tag of around $60 million.  The plan was to provide an upscale golfing "experience" for the high rollers and celebrity guests of Caesars' in Las Vegas.  The course is Caesars' answer to Steve Wynn's nearby Shadow Creek.  Cascata has notably hosted Tiger Woods' annual Tiger Jam in the past and the May 2002 cover of Golf Digest shows Tiger Woods standing on water by the 14th green at Cascata.  Fortunately, the course is open to the public so guys like me can feel like a high roller for the day.

After a brief chat with our forecaddie about the greens rolling to a 12, we headed out to the first tee.  The course starts out with several uphill par 4's.  Before plunging downhill onto the 561 yard 3rd hole.  I would go on to make an eagle and break my streak of 53 consecutive missed eagle putts here. YEEEHAAW!  It must also be noted that I made a 75 foot par putt on the par 5 5th hole.

One of the nicer aspects of the course is that only the current hole is visible at any one time.  Almost all of the cart paths are also hidden from view and Jones can also be applauded for the tremendous amount of variety he has created in a desert landscape.  I have typically find this to be lacking in typical desert layouts.  The only drawback was the big gap (10 holes) in between par 5's.  The good news is that one of those is the outstandingly fun, double dogleg, risk reward, finishing hole.

The par 3's particularly stood out for me as they all are tremendously varied and each requires a well struck golf shot.  Each of the par 3's also provides a great opportunity for those that brought their cameras.  I was glad that I brought mine.  If you have the funds or just made out big on blackjack the night before, I would highly recommend Cascata for a once in a lifetime golfing experience.