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Nevada's best gorilla golf courses: Beat your chest and let it rip

By Chris Baldwin, Contributor

The toughest golf courses in Nevada? We rank the gorillas, including Paiute Resort's Wolf course in Las Vegas, The Falls at Lake Las Vegas, Wolf Creek in Mesquite, Montreaux and ArrowCreek in Reno, Edgewood Tahoe in Stateline and Primm Valley's Lakes course in Primm.

Edgewood Tahoe - Stateline, Nevada - Best Gorilla Courses
Edgewood Tahoe takes you on long drives toward the lake.
Edgewood Tahoe - Stateline, Nevada - Best Gorilla CoursesWolf Creek Golf Club - Mesquite, Nevada - best gorilla coursesPrimm Valley Lakes Course - Tom Fazio golf course - Las Vegas, Nevada areaArrowcreek Country Club - Reno, Nevada

LAS VEGAS - Nevada is about as subtle as a punch to the kidneys. This is the state where Paris Hilton feels most at home and everyone from the casino foreman to the grocery clerk is (legally) packing heat.

It's a place where you expect outright displays of power to be rewarded, and that goes for the golf too. If you're they type who loves to intimidate your playing partners with booming drives, who wants to see those Pro V1s sail, sail and then sail some more, Nevada is a must-visit.

From golf in Las Vegas to Reno to Mesquite, brawn is the name of the game. There are showy towering tees, knee-knocking forced carries and fairways that seem to stretch forever.

"There are a lot of what I call he-man courses," regular Vegas golfer Allen Saunders said, "courses you're really going to struggle on if you don't have a good drive."

He-man, caveman, gorilla - call 'em what you will, the Silver State's got 'em. And because all monsters are not created equal, here's TravelGolf.com's guide to the best of the best in Nevada power golf.

1) Paiute Resort, Wolf course, Las Vegas: It's the longest golf course in the state, a whopping 7,604 yards of wide fairways and stark desert. The wind whipping across the Paiute Indian reservation can reach a cart-rattling 30 mph. Oh, did we mention it's a Pete Dye design?

Now, now ... no need to whimper in the corner. At least until after the round.

2) Wolf Creek Golf Club, Mesquite: Carrying a beyond-evil 154 slope rating from the back tees, Wolf Creek is rated the third-hardest course in the country by the USGA. The course is so theatrical and the views so postcard-perfect you might not notice how badly you're getting beaten up.

There may be no greater course in America at which to carry a big stick. Sixteen of the 18 tees are elevated - we're talking several-stories-up elevated. Seeing your drives soar and soar into the blue sky, over tons of jagged desert rock, can make any mortal feel like He-Man or Wonder Woman.

3) Montreaux Golf & Country Club, Reno: Jack Nicklaus piled on the distance - 7,552 yards worth, with two holes topping 600 - and encouraged golfers to go for it through the towering pines in this northern Nevada design.

Montreaux is the site of the Reno-Tahoe Open, and it's easy to see why the second-tier pros love that week. It's bombs-away, worry-about-regrets-later golf. Biggest driver rules.

4) Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course, Stateline: There are long climbs uphill, long drives toward the casinos and a long par 3 along sparkling Lake Tahoe itself (No. 17). Having the driver yips at George Fazio's Edgewood Tahoe is a sure recipe for scary scorecard numbers. You may be temped to scream at your ball to go farther.

5) Boulder Creek Golf Club, Boulder City: Play the Desert Hawk and Coyote Run nines at this 27-hole facility near the Arizona border and you're staring down 7,628 yards of golf. With football field-sized landing areas and sand you can actually play out of, there's no need to think twice about going John Daly.

6) The Falls at Lake Las Vegas, Henderson: The Falls' 7,250 yards of Tom Weiskopf design includes some dazzling elevation changes on Nos. 12, 13 and 14, but Weiskopf lets you warm up first with some very driver-friendly holes in the opening six.

7) Primm Valley Golf Club, Lakes course, Primm: The fairways are wide and so green it's easy to forget you're out in the desert (and at Primm, hard by the California line, you really are out there). Tom Fazio takes it easy on golfers here, letting them unleash the driver without the usual worries about his super-sized bunkers.

8) ArrowCreek Country Club, Reno: ArrowCreek would be higher up on the list if its design wasn't a little goofy. Still, Fuzzy Zoeller's Challenge course is 7,445 yards of gorilla golf. Every hole seems to have a forced carry. And it's visually intimidating from the forward tees.

Chris BaldwinChris Baldwin, Contributor

Chris Baldwin keeps one eye on the PGA Tour and another watching golf vacation hotspots and letting travelers in on the best place to vacation.

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