Conestoga Golf Club is an 18 hole facility based in Mesquite, Nevada. While many connoisseurs of golf are familiar with Mesquite because of Wolf Creek, Conestoga is definitely worth checking out while you’re in town. Read on to see my full review for the golf course and its facilities.
Practice Area: A-
Conestoga has one of the better practice areas you’ll find. It has almost everything you need to prep for your round in the desert. There are multiple target greens on the range with yardages, practice balls are already laid out, and there are club cleaners for use. The practice area, while not terribly large, is sufficient. There is a small chipping area as well as the usual practice putting green. The only reason I say it has almost everything is because there is no sand bunker from which to practice. And trust me, this is the kind of track you’ll want to practice in the sand before venturing out to the course. More insulting is the fact that they do indeed have a sand bunker as well as a full short game area, but it is only for their “pass holders.” This wouldn’t be an issue if most visiting golfers were paying $25-50 to play here. Unfortunately most are paying well over $100. Minor gripes aside, the practice facilities at Conestoga are extremely nice.
Course Conditions: A-
Much like the practice facilities, the course conditions at Conestoga are mostly impeccable. Everything is as one would expect at a top-notch golf course. The tees, fairways, and greens are all in excellent shape. Even the rough is nicely manicured. The only reason I gave it the minus is I’ve played the course a few times and recently they are lacking a bit of sand in the bunkers. I’ve certainly played worse but some work could be done to make it better.
First the good at Conestoga: I really like the layout. There is an excellent mix of holes; drivable par 4’s, short and delicate par 3’s, long par 4’s, and everything in between. It’s a fun course to play because it features so many different types of holes. With a few notable exceptions, the course is all out in front of you. This is always nice at a resort course that many are playing for the first time.
Unfortunately, the notable exceptions I mentioned earlier drop the course a notch. There are about three holes that one must be careful off the tee, in some cases taking less than driver in order to avoid ending up in an arroyo. While the course provides a very helpful yardage guide to all players, some of these shots are downhill and hence play much shorter than the yardage indicates.
For example, the 17th hole is about a 350 yard par 4 where the tee shot must be laid up in front of a massive drop into an arroyo. What makes it challenging, and near-impossible for the visiting golfer, is that while the yardage book indicates it’s about 220 to the arroyo, the downhill nature of the shot calls for a 190 yard shot max. It’s almost impossible to realize this the first time you play the course without local knowledge.
The course also loses a notch on the grading scale due to its many forced carries. Hole number six is known locally as the “three ditch bitch.” That should provide some indication as to its difficulty. In no way to I mean to imply that a difficult course is a poor golf course. Just be aware that those who struggle with getting the ball airborne, escaping out of deep bunkers, and keeping the ball in the fairway will be in for a long day. Arroyos aside, this is desert golf, and missing fairways in many cases means balls lost to the desert.
Pace of Play: A
Every time I’ve played the course, play has moved along quite nicely. There are marshals on the golf course, but they’ve only been there to offer a friendly word or advice, never to tell us to speed up play. Considering much of the course is occupied by tourists playing it for the first time, the pace is quite good. Part of the reason for this is that some time ago a local rule was implemented that dictated that the desert is played as a lateral hazard. This means that if you spray one out into the rocks and sand, don’t go look for it, just drop a ball and take a stroke. Not only does it speed up play it avoids the potential hazards of walking through the uneven desert terrain in golf shoes.
There are no two ways about it. Conestoga is an expensive golf course. I believe in season golfers pay close to $125 per person. While there are certainly more expensive courses, Conestoga is relatively pricey for the area, especially compared with some of its more famous neighbors. There are, however, deals to be floating around if you have some flexibility regarding your timing. Keep an eye on sites like teeoff.com and you might get lucky and find a deal. Conestoga also uses a dynamic pricing model for their tee times. While I don’t fully understand how this works, I know that generally speaking, if there are times that will likely go unsold, the system discounts the prices. That’s my vague understanding at least. Much like the way airlines price tickets, it’s a mystery but there are deals for those with time to shop.
While pricey, Conestoga is an upscale facility that has most of the perks one would expect. There is usually a cart girl selling drinks and snacks on the course. There are two bathrooms you’ll pass during your round. As a golf course built in the desert, I think they could benefit from a water station on the course (with ice, cups, etc.) but there are a few coolers of water around the course, plus they provide a bottle of water in the cart for you.
The clubhouse at Conestoga is built more around the restaurant housed there rather than the locker room. As a matter of fact, it’s probably a stretch to call it a locker room. It’s more of a place to change one’s shoes before the round and not much else.
Where the clubhouse does shine is in the breakfast options. The breakfast sandwiches are an excellent way to start your day, and I’ve been known to enjoy them even on days I’m not playing golf. Just don’t expect to get one outside or breakfast hours as they are quite strict regarding when the kitchen turns over. In addition to the excellent breakfast, they also have a happy hour that runs from 11 am to 7 pm. The cheap drinks plus a plethora of large TV’s make it worth sticking around after golf.
If it’s not already abundantly clear, Conestoga is an excellent experience from start to finish. Minor details aside, it’s a beautiful track with some fantastic views of mountains, mesas, and the desert. If you have time to play it while you’re in town to play Wolf Creek, by all means stop by and check it out.
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