There have been some constants at Boulder Creek Golf Club since it debuted Jan. 1, 2003. Among those that have stood the test of time are quality golf and Andy Schaper, who originally served as director of golf upon the course’s opening. Schaper has played a key role in Boulder Creek’s evolution ever since.
Over the last 20 years, some of which was bumpy due to economic downturns and other uncontrollable outside forces, Boulder Creek has developed a strong reputation amongst Las Vegas and Boulder City golfers, visiting players, and those who pursue the game at the highest levels, including PGA Tour professionals and collegiate golfers.
“Everyone says it’s amazing how time flies, and it is hard to believe that it’s been 20 years,” says Schaper, who is the general manager and director of operations at Boulder Creek and Boulder City Golf Course. “I’m very excited and proud of everything that we’ve accomplished. We had to fight through multiple downturns in the economy, but we just kept plugging away. I think our perseverance says a lot about the staff. A lot of our team members have been here for the entire time and others have been here more than 10 years. I can’t thank them enough for their hard work and effort to help create what we set out to do. We also have loyal customers, and we have made a nice mark on the Las Vegas, Boulder City and Southern Nevada golf communities.”
Boulder Creek was designed by esteemed golf course architect Mark Rathert and features 27 holes. Looking back, he appreciates what he helped create in Boulder City.
“I am very proud of the golf course at Boulder Creek and it was our vision to create a golfing experience for the municipal golfer that would emulate traits found at the exclusive clubs in Las Vegas,” Rathert says. “The course design took advantage of the natural sandy terrain and was accentuated with lakes, streams and waterfalls providing an oasis feel on many holes. The design promotes long-term sustainably for maintenance requirements, while offering quality conditions at an affordable price per round.
“The design concept for Boulder Creek embraces each nine having three desert environments that include desert, arroyos and water hole oasis. That keeps the holes from becoming monotonous. With that said, my favorite holes are those that offer choices from the tee such as #2, #7 and #9 on Desert Hawk and #4, #7, and #9 on Coyote Run. One feature incorporated into my green designs was taking advantage of the site scale where putts often look uphill or downhill, but are actually much less severe than they look or feel. The good player has to keep in mind that the site slopes toward the dry lake far off in the distance and has a great influence on what is level or not.”
Besides the everyday golfers who enjoy Boulder Creek, some of the best in the world have tested the course over the years. The facility hosts top junior tournaments, high school events, men’s and women’s amateur tournaments, collegiate tournaments, plus is the annual host for qualifying for the PGA Tour’s Shriners Children’s Open.
Boulder Creek has also been selected as a host site for a few upcoming NCAA golf post-season events. The 2024 NCAA Division III Men’s Golf Championships, the 2025 NCAA Division II Women’s Golf Championships and the 2026 NCAA Division II Men’s Golf Championships are scheduled to be played at Boulder Creek Golf Club.
The top golfers have been—and will continue to be– challenged by Rathert’s subtleties.
“Boulder Creek is good, and you know what you’re going to get out here,” said PGA Tour veteran Spencer Levin after successfully qualifying for the Shriners Open in 2022. “If you play well, you can shoot a low score, but it’s not so easy as to where if you hit a foul ball, you’re going to be fine. It’s not the most difficult course in the world, but you still have to drive it where you’re looking. And, obviously, you have to make putts if you want to shoot a low score.”
Schaper’s goal has remained constant in managing Boulder Creek, whether it be catering to the PGA Tour or to the local men’s and women’s associations who frequent his facilities.
“It has always my goal that when anyone gets in their car and drives away, they think, ‘Wow, I had a great time today. I can’t wait to come back,’” Schaper says. “It’s a good layout that allows it to be played from so many different levels and lengths. One of the things that we are most proud of here is that we host junior events all the way up to the PGA Tour. It is a golf course that everyone can play and have as much challenge as they want, but they also won’t get too beat up and frustrated because it’s too difficult. It is a very fair layout and that is a main reason for our success.”
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Flashing back, the idea for the course was inspired because Boulder City Golf Course, Boulder Creek’s sister layout that is also owned by the city, was turning away hundreds of golfers during the heyday of golf in the late nineties and early 2000s.
Roger Hall, director, Boulder City Parks and Recreation, has also been involved from the beginning. He appreciates what Schaper and his team have accomplished at Boulder Creek. He is the first to admit that the journey wasn’t always easy.
Hall said that golf at the Boulder City Municipal Golf Course was excellent prior to the 2000s, but the the city was missing out on a lot of revenue due to not having enough golf capacity. To take advantage of the opportunity, the idea of a new 18-hole course was floated. A golf committee create by the city was put in place, and that group evolved the idea into the 27-hole facility and large clubhouse that makes up Boulder Creek today.
Unfortunately, during the planning and construction process, the economy spiraled down, which negatively affected the amount of play at the original course and Boulder Creek when it became operational. Due to economic reasons, Boulder City officials terminated a contract with TRIAD Corporation, the course’s original management group and took course operations in house.
“It has been a constant battle to increase the number of rounds at Boulder Creek, but Andy and his staff have done a masterful job of attracting more players and increasing revenue in the pro shop and concessions,” Hall said. “As the result of Covid, golf in Boulder City has exploded because people were tired of being locked up in their homes and wanted to get back to normal and play golf. This phenomenon is in still effect today and revenue is way up, and both courses are doing very well and paying for all operations.
“From the beginning, Andy has been the catalyst for the positive evolution of the Boulder Creek Golf Course. His perseverance has paid off as Boulder Creek is one of the best golf courses in Southern Nevada. Turf Tech, in charge of maintenance of the course, has done a great job maintaining a premiere destination for the golfers in Nevada. They should be commended for a job well done.”
Schaper, a PGA of America member, is now engrained within the Boulder City community and raised his family there. He coaches the golf boys and girls golf teams at Boulder City (he is a former coach of the year) and he is always quick to share how there is something different about the small non-gaming city.
“There’s just a different feeling about playing golf in Boulder City because of our distinct courses, plus the overall vibe and history of Boulder City,” says Schaper. “You really feel that small town hospitality everywhere you go. We are proud of our heritage in Boulder City and also our golf courses.”
The Boulder City courses are official LasVegasGolfInsider.com partners.