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There really is an Oasis (Golf Club) in the desert in Mesquite, Nevada

Bill BowmanBy Bill Bowman,
Oasis Golf Club - Palmer Course - No. 8
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One of golf's legends and a world-class destination come together on the Palmer Course at Oasis G.C. in Mesquite. (Courtesy of Oasis G.C.)

O-a-sis (noun): A fertile or green spot in a desert of wasteland, made so by the presence of water. A refuge. See also: Oasis Golf Club.

MESQUITE, Nev. -- Welcome to Mesquite's oasis, Oasis Golf Club. Featuring two 18-hole golf courses, the Oasis Golf Club welcomes players to a tropical paradise.

The two layouts -- the Palmer Course (the par-71 original course that plays to 6,630 yards from the tips) and the Canyons Course (the old Vista nine with a new nine holes; it's also a par 71 that reaches 6,408 yards from the tips) -- offer players two distinctly different golf tests, as well as tremendous views.

Palmer Course at Oasis Golf Club

The Palmer Course, designed by The King himself, set the standard for Mesquite golf.

"It's one of Arnold Palmer's favorite layouts," said Randy Tickner, who is director of golf at the Oasis Golf Club. "It's a really dramatic design with tees high above fairways. It's pretty spectacular."

Take the sixth hole, for example. With the tee box about 80 feet above the fairway -- and canyon walls pinching the fairway on both sides -- the tee shot is intimidating. At 540 yards, it's reachable in two with a good drive, but bunkers left and right short of the green will catch errant shots. Getting home in two is an impressive feat. Take advantage, because more demanding tests are ahead.

The final hole, a 392-yard par 4, is as beautiful as it is treacherous. The tee shot -- from yet another elevated tee -- must stay left to avoid a pond that guards the right side of the fairway as well as three sides of the green. Staying dry here with two shots will set up a birdie chance on a tough -- but fair -- closing hole.

Canyons Course at Oasis Golf Club

The new nine holes on the Canyons Course is a great test as it has been carved into the desert landscaping beautifully.

With elevation changes (both rising and falling depending on the holes), pulling the right club is paramount to success. This nine has the feel of target golf as you have to pick your spots to be aggressive. Can I fly that arroyo? Is it better to lay up short of that bunker or go for it?

The back nine (or the Vista nine for those of you who have played here before) was always a favorite. Add in the new nine, designed by Dave Druzisky, and you have 18 holes that blend together beautifully. The finishing nine holes are more wide open with a few holes that require players to think before they pull out that driver.

Take the 12th hole, for example. It plays just 306 yards from the tips. A stream that is fed by a beautiful waterfall, however, fronts the green. Leave yourself a short wedge in to this small, wide green and set up a birdie putt.

The 17th hole offers one of the best views and challenges anywhere. At 180 yards, it's a relatively long par 3 -- until you realize it's an 80-foot drop from the tee box to the green. Go down at least one club (and maybe two) and aim for the middle of the green. Bunkers short and left and a canyon wall long make finding the green quite a test.

"This is a very challenging course if you don't drive it straight," Tickner said. "It's a tight driving course and it's a little longer, so it is a little tougher."

Play both courses at Oasis Golf Club

Not sure which course to tackle? Play them both.

After the first round, just store your clubs at the course, head out and enjoy the rest of the day (and night). Your clubs will be waiting for you on a cart the next day as you tackle the other course.

"We really encourage people to leave their clubs overnight," Tickner said. "That way they don't have to worry about them and they will be all set to play the next day."

In the clubhouse

There's plenty of room to spread out and enjoy the surroundings at Oasis Golf Club's clubhouse.

The Grille Room has enough room for that twosome to grab a quick bite before or after the round, as well as that shotgun event that fills the golf course.

"We have enough space for large groups to spread out and relax," Tickner said. "We have regular dining (The Grille) and fine dining (The Redd Room), so there's something for everyone."

In the pro shop, there's a wide array of clothing options, shoes and those last-minute needs.

Oasis Golf Club: The verdict

The variety among the 36 holes is impressive, as are the views, and the challenge is unique at Oasis Golf Club.

Overall, it's the perfect golf getaway.

"There are two great golf courses for anyone to play," Tickner said. "And we've got some of the best views of Mesquite and the surrounding mountains. It's a pretty special place."

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Oasis Golf Club - Canyons Course - 17th holeOasis Golf Club - Canyons Course - 13th holeOasis Golf Club - Palmer Course - 5th hole

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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