LAS VEGAS, Nev. (Feb. 15, 2017)—Bear’s Best, a collection of 18 holes from an assortment of Jack Nicklaus’ best layouts in the West, is a course that gives new meaning to the word challenging. We’re talking about from start to finish. And when we say start and finish, it doesn’t get any better than the first and 18th holes at this pristine course.–By Bill Bowman

Bear’s Best is 7,194 yards of golf that lets a player’s imagination run wild. Whether it’s the black-sand bunkers on the 4th and 11th holes courtesy of his Old Works Golf Course in Anaconda, Mont., or his pine tree lined stunning 8th hole replicating his masterpiece from Castle Pines, Colo., this one-of-a-kind (well, two if you count Bear’s Best Atlanta), showcases a wide variety of his talent. And when you’ve designed more than 350 courses world-wide, picking the top holes is challenging.

But Jack did just that at Bear’s Best. We’ll point out two that will open players’ round and close the players’ round impressively. The first and 18th holes at Bear’s Best will test players from tee to green. These two have everything….from elevation changes to perfectly-placed bunkers to huge ponds to tricky greens.

The first hole, replicated from the private course at PGA West, plays just 413 yards, but a pond on the left side and a severely elevated green will require players’ control be spot-on with the tee shot and the approach shot.

“You better have your game ready from the start because this course gets your attention right from the first hole,” said Jim Stanfill, general manager.

Then there’s the finale. The 18th hole, designed from the resort course at PGA West, plays 463 yards from the tips. Water and sand come into play down the entire right side of the hole. And to make it even more diabolical, the approach shot will be into a green that is perched tantalizingly close to the pond.

These two holes set up marvelous opening and closing masterpieces with 16 other Nicklaus beauties in between.

So take some time and explore a variety of golf courses (or at least a hole or two) from some of Nicklaus’ top designs.

And whether you’re a local looking to get away for a couple of nights on the town or are vacationing in Vegas, click here to check out stay-and-play packages. The packages include three-day, two-night stays at Treasure Island or The Orleans along with a round of golf at Bear’s Best. The packages, which start at $149, will not only let players check out the world-class course, but also experience the rest of what Las Vegas has to offer.