Rees Jones has been named one of golf's most influential people, and is known as the US Open docter for his work at re-tooling some of America's most traditional golf courses to get them ready to host the United States Golf Association's major championship. The world-renowned Cascata, right here in Las Vegas golfdom, reflects his design philosophy perfectly.
Cascata always generates a lot of buzz, and is worthy of the talk.
Cascata is as dramatic a golf experience as you will find, and plays in the hills above Boulder City, and just a few drivers away from Lake Mead and Hoover Dam. Each hole seems to be a private, exclusive golf experience.
"If I were to summarize my Philosophy for golf course design, it would be this: to create an environment for the game of golf that is challenging, fair, and aesthetically pleasing," Jones has written about his philosphy. "I would rather create a natural, classic course that blends with its surroundings, than a course full of unnecessary gimmicks which discourages the average golfer."
He accomplishes that goal at Cascata. Sure, an emerald green golf course popping up in the desert can seem forced or unnatural, but Jones used the momentum of the land to guide the holes. Some play uphill, some go down. Some play into canyons, some on the plateaus before plunging to fairways below.
"Of all the golf courses I have designed, I get the most calls about Cascata," Jones said last year while reflecting on his design. "Our goal was to create a course that looked natural in the desert, and to use the native surroundings to create the atmosphere for the course."
In writing an article for VegasGolfer Magazine, I called Cascata the finest client golf experience this side of Pebble Beach. I stand by those words.