Rio Secco Reopens After Renovation

Rio Secco Golf Club Las Vegas (Image: Rio Secco)

Rio Secco twists through the foothills of the Black Mountain Range. (Image: Rio Secco Golf Club)

Las Vegas standout Rio Secco Golf Club is back in business following a six-month renovation by Rees Jones designed to improve the course’s playability.

Rio Secco Golf Club in Las Vegas reopened in mid-October following a $2.1-million (U.S.) renovation by the course’s original architect, Rees Jones.

Opened in 1997, Rio Secco lies in the foothills of the Black Mountain Range, 22 kilometres southeast of the Las Vegas Strip. The challenging 7,400-yard design features six holes that twist through steep canyons, six holes that play atop a plateau overlooking the city, and six holes carved through a broad desert wash. Rio Secco is also the home of the renowned Butch Harmon School of Golf.

The renovation included new green complexes, bunkers and forward tees, as well as an expansion of the practice facility. Improvements to the course were largely designed to improve playability.

“I have really enjoyed working at Rio Secco again,” Jones said. “When I originally saw the site over 20 years ago, I knew it was one of the most unique pieces of land in Las Vegas. It’s more rugged than most. This helped us create the original big, bold layout.

Jones is known as the U.S. Open Doctor for his renovation work on Bethpage Black, Torrey Pines South and five other U.S. Open courses.

During the six-month Rio Secco project, Jones made several trips to Las Vegas, and often sought the opinion of Harmon, the swing coach of Dustin Johnson, Rickie Fowler and other top stars.

Harmon applauded the changes made by Jones and said he thinks the industry needs to do more for the casual golfer. “Courses should be designed for the everyday player, not the tour pros.”