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Celebrate the new year in Mesquite, Nevada with golf, golf and more golf

By Bill Bowman, Contributor

It seems like yesterday that we rang in 2010, and it's already almost time to celebrate 2011.

Palms Golf Club - 10th hole
Hit the ground running with a round at The Palms Golf Club, Mesquite's oldest course.
Palms Golf Club - 10th holeConestoga golf course - hole 4Falcon Ridge G.C. in Mesquite - 12th holeOasis Golf Club - Palmer Course - hole 8

Is there a better way to ring in a new year than with a great golf getaway? Celebrate with a golf trip to Mesquite, Nev., that will let you enjoy rounds of golf at some of the best courses in the Southwest.

So grab your clubs and make your reservations. The clock is ticking.

December 30

Book an early flight into Las Vegas and get to Mesquite early in the morning to take advantage of a full day. Start the trip off with a stop at one of two courses where you'll find two different nines -- The Palms Golf Club (a William Hull design) or Conestoga Golf Club (a Gary Panks layout). Both courses feature nines that are lush, traditional tracks (the front nine at The Palms and the back nine at Conestoga), and nines that are target-style desert designs.

At The Palms, you will play back-to-back holes (the par-3 14th and the par-5 15th) with elevation changes from tee to green that will force you to take an extra deep breath before pulling the trigger on your tee shot.

At Conestoga, you will find a front nine that weaves beautifully through canyons. The par-3 second is a stunner, with an 80-foot drop from tee to green with canyons surrounding the green. Accuracy, especially on the front nine, is paramount to success.

If you've got the time, tee it up on both courses. You won't regret it. Then check in at one of the resorts (CasaBlanca Resort and Casino, its sister property Virgin River Hotel and Casino, Falcon Ridge Hotel or the Eureka Casino Resort) and grab dinner (Gregory's at the Eureka or Katherine's at the CasaBlanca put the 'fine' in fine dining). Take a little time to gamble. But beware, we have 36 holes of golf lined up for tomorrow, so take it a little easy and make it an early night.

December 31 (New Year's Eve)

Only one day left in 2010, so you might as well make it special with two rounds of golf. Grab a quick breakfast buffet and then hit the road for the five-minute ride (no matter which resort you're staying at) to get warmed up to take on Falcon Ridge Golf Club (a Kelby Hughes design). This golf course is an amazing roller-coaster ride. Then wander down to CasaBlanca Golf Club (a Cal Olson design) for a late-afternoon round. While most of Mesquite is desert-oriented golf, CasaBlanca is nestled in the wetlands of Mesquite with water features coming into play early and often. Both courses will take your breath away with stunning views and amazing golf challenges. It's the ideal way to end your golf for 2010.

Then, it's time to officially welcome in 2011 with evening festivities that will be in full swing at all of the hotels/casinos. Just don't stay up too late or party too hard (we know that's easier said than done). But, we do have one more day of golf and two 18-hole layouts that will be a great way to ring in the new year.

January 1 (New Year's Day)

Grab a quick bite to eat and maybe a mimosa, and head for the car.

Sure, there's college football galore on the big screens in all of the sports books, and it's fine to catch up on a few scores and maybe make a bet or two.

But remember, you're here to play golf. And is there a better way to start the new year than with a round of golf?

Yes. Two rounds.

We're going to squeeze in one final day of 36 holes, teeing it up at the Oasis Golf Club. The two 18-hole tracks at Oasis -- The Canyons Course and The Palmer Course -- require pinpoint accuracy and a deft putting touch. They are just across the street from each other, so you'll have time to play 18 holes, order a burger or sandwich in the clubhouse and head to the final 18 holes of your trip.

Play The Palmer Course (designed by the legendary Arnold Palmer) as early as you can and tackle The Canyons Course (a Dave Druzisky design) later in the day. Both courses feature dramatic elevation changes and immaculate course conditions.

There you have it. A great way to end 2010 and start 2011. Does it get any better than this? Well, you could stay one more day.

Bill BowmanBill Bowman, Contributor

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.

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