Mojave Resort Golf Club: A golf oasis along the Colorado River

Stellar conditions and casino action among the attractions at Laughlin’s premier golf and gaming resort

Hole #3 – “Deception” is a 388-yard par 4 

The drive to Laughlin reveals mile after mile of starkly beautiful scenery with sharp mountain peaks set against clear desert skies. But, when the deep blue vein of the Colorado River comes into view, that all changes. This unique setting makes Mojave Resort Golf Club a special place to stay and play.

Located in the sandy lowlands a couple hundred yards from the bank of the Colorado River, Mojave Resort Golf Club opened for public play in 1997 with an 6,939-yard, par-72 Schmidt-Curley design that has grown into one of the finest, if not the finest, in the tristate area. It sits on the sovereign land of the Fort Mojave Indian Tribe “People by The River” who have been successfully cultivating a variety of crops in this area for centuries. We can now add turfgrass to the list.

“We’re very proud to say that excellent course conditions is one of the most frequent compliments we get from golfers,” said Mike Magnera, General Manager of Mojave Resort Golf Club and nearby Huukan Golf Club. “We work hard with the team at OB Sports to find the sweet spot between delivering exceptional conditions and preserving the most precious resource we have in the Southwest.” 

The result is a desert golf experience that is anything but parched. Groves of tamarisk trees, rolling dunes and marshy wetlands give the area a verdant feel not usually associated with desert golf. The watery three-hole stretch from 16 to 18 is a good example.

“Number 16 offers a terrific opportunity for birdie,” said Magnera. “It’s a short par 4 measuring 326 yards from the back with options from the tee. A precise drive over the right bunker will leave you with a short pitch, but if you peel one off to the right, you’ll be reaching back in the bag for another golf ball.”

Dubbed “Crap Shoot,” the par-3 17th is all carry over water to a green dramatically cut close to the hazard; then it’s on to the finishing hole – Double Cross.  

“Eighteen is a fantastic par-4 finishing hole that requires two carries over water,” Magnera added. “If you’re down, press! If you’re ahead, watch out! Anything could happen. To make a good number, it’s critical to hit the fairway with 3 wood or driver. From there you’ll be able to attack the green, which is 35 yards deep with water in the front and left. Club selection is key to carry the hazard all the way back to the hole for a realistic run at birdie.”  

Hopefully armed with a fistful of dollars, it’s time to try your luck at Avi Resort & Casino, which is decked out with all the favorite casino games including a Sports Book. In addition to gaming, the resort offers a unique sandy beach and private cove on the river where you can chill under the shade of a palm tree, grab a cold one at Aha Cantina and take a spin around the river on a watercraft. Other family friendly amenities include a lagoon-style pool, movie theater, arcade and a long list of fun stuff for kids of any age at Kids Quest.

Dining options abound at Avi Resort & Casino. Moonshadow Grille is the place for steaks and seafood; the newly remodeled Native Harvest Buffet offers the variety and volume that makes this option so appealing; and there’s always room for a late-night bite at Feathers Café or the food court.

After a couple days of golf, gaming, grub and beach going – of course – it’s time to play more golf! Formerly known as Desert Lakes Golf Course, the 18-hole Huukan Golf Club was purchased in 2013 by the Fort Mojave Tribe. It originally opened in 1989 and years later fell into disrepair. The tribe has since changed all that, including its name: Huukan means “stick hitting ball” in the Mojave tribal language. They also brought in Scottsdale-based OB Sports Golf Management to run the place. 

“We’re really excited by the turnaround at Huukan,” said Magnera. “The commitment by the tribe and OB Sports to revitalize the facility is already showing substantial progress, and once our new irrigation system goes online in September, we’ll really be able to effectively and efficiently water the golf course. It’s the linchpin of the capital investments ownership has made at Huukan. It’s gratifying to see it rebound to become a valued asset to the community.” 

As promised, the major upgrades have already elevated the golf experience and the future has never looked as bright for Huukan. Add this to the already established merits of Mojave Resort Golf Club, and golf in Laughlin becomes as rewarding as filling an inside straight.