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Accuracy is key at Los Lagos Golf Club just south of Laughlin, Nevada

Bill BowmanBy Bill Bowman,
Los Lagos Golf Club - hole 8
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Los Lagos Golf Club is located 90 minutes south of Las Vegas. (Courtesy of Los Lagos G.C.)

MOHAVE VALLEY, Ariz. -- Los Lagos Golf Club is golf at its simplest -- a straightforward layout that is player friendly.

The course, located 90 minutes south of Las Vegas in Laughlin, is a Ted Robinson Sr. layout that stretches to 6,804 yards from the tips. But with several elevated -- and large -- greens, it's still a solid test for all players.

"It's all laid out right in front of you," said Daniel Hegney, the head golf professional at Los Lagos. "We call it the 'Oasis in the Desert.' With the unique views and the player-friendly layout, it's the kind of golf course that brings people back."

With water coming into play on seven holes and about 40 bunkers strategically placed around the course, it's also a scenic layout.

Los Lagos Golf Club: The course

The par-72 design opens with a 407-yard par 4 that features an elevated green. Huge mounds on the right side of the fairway and a large bunker on the left cut down the landing area off the tee, giving players a taste of things to come. Take an extra club for the approach shot as anything short or left will roll back down.

Now the course starts to show its teeth. The second hole is a 209-yard par 3. Short is better than left (a bunker) or right (rough), and the green is deep. It's a hole that can cost players strokes -- and golf balls.

There are two great risk/reward holes on the course that allow players to get aggressive. The first is the 554-yard, par-5 fifth. With a pond slicing through the fairway about 270 yards off the tee, only the biggest hitters can dream about carrying the water. But a perfectly placed shot just short of the water will leave a 3-wood into a green that is guarded left by rough. The smart play is a layup to 100 yards and hit an easy wedge, setting up a birdie putt.

The best risk-reward hole is the 309-yard, par-4 14th. If you try to reach the green off the tee, good luck. You're going to need it. A bunker wanders down the entire left side of the hole, while three pot bunkers guard the front of the green. A gentle fade here is definitely the shot required if players hope to have a putt at eagle. But if you play it smart, with a long iron or hybrid off the tee, a wedge into this undulating green makes the most sense and a chance at birdie.

Richard Daggett, from Lake Havasu City, Ariz., plays Los Lagos about four times a month.

"The course is laid out well and really suits my eye," Daggett said. "And the price is right. There are four sets of tees. so it is set up for golfers of every ability. It's just a nice course."

The course finishes with a dandy. The 18th hole is a 446-yard par 4 that favors a fade. A water hazard slices through the fairway about 270 yards off the tee. Players need to be careful if they reach for driver. Big hitters (and we mean really big hitters) can carry the water on the right side. The left side is off limits for a carry because of the length to reach the water. But that side is perfect for a layup with a good angle to approach the green. Being on the proper level of this huge green is a must as a 100-foot putt (or more) is possible.

"The 18th is certainly our signature hole," Hegney said. "It's a great golf hole with water and desert coming into play. It's difficult and the approach to the green is just fabulous."

In the clubhouse

From clubs to clothing to shoes (and even experienced golf balls for sale), if you need it, it's here -- or the staff will be happy to order it for you. Grab a bite to eat before or after the round in the spacious clubhouse.

Los Lagos Golf Club: The verdict

Looks can be deceiving. While Los Lagos Golf Club looks like a pushover, it's anything but. Players must think their way around the course, and accuracy -- both off the tee and with approach shots -- is at a premium.

"There are great views of the mountains, and it's a golf course that's not lined with a lot of homes," Hegney said. "Everyone who comes out loves the course. There are flowers everywhere and it's a nice layout. It's just fun to play."

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Los Lagos Golf Club - hole 12Los Lagos Golf Club - hole 13Los Lagos Golf Club - hole 18

Bill Bowman is a Las Vegas-based writer who has more than 40 years in the sports-writing business. He's spent the past 16-plus years covering the golf scene in Vegas and has teed it up for magazine profiles with celebrities including comedian Bill Engvall, actor Jeffrey Donovan (USA's Burn Notice), ESPN personality Colin Cowherd, NASCAR's Kurt Busch, Collective Soul's Ed Roland, the Baltimore Ravens' Jonathan Ogden and many others.

Any opinions expressed above are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the views of the management.

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