There is a lot more to Las Vegas than the casinos, the nightlife and all the fancy restaurants. Most people who have never been may imagine Sin City as a flashy paradise where people can blow off steam and see if lady luck will favour them with rewards beyond their wild dreams. Whilst you can find these stereotypes and the city does offer it all, there are lots of other reasons to visit Vegas too. What if you went to Vegas to play golf for example? Right in the middle of the Mojave Desert, there are a surprisingly large number of resorts and facilities that have golf fields. And we don't mean crazy golf (mini golf) either, but the real deal, with 18 holes and real golf pros.
The climate is not the only difficulty the golf course designers faced, but also the flatness of the terrain. There aren't many hills or drops to give golfers a challenge, and so this all had to be built from scratch. Considering all of that, and the need to turf all these courses and maintain them, it is quite miraculous. What is more miraculous is that they actually rival some of the best courses in the world, and a lot of pros have come to Vegas to play on them. It is all thanks to the dedication and attention to detail provided by golf course architects like Tom Fazio and Ted Robinson. Even legendary golfers have designed some of the Las Vegas golf courses, such as Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer.
Wynn Golf Club is conveniently located behind the Wynn Resort, on the Vegas Strip. This golf course was originally called the Desert Inn Golf Club and opened in 1952. It hosted numerous PGA Tou Tournament of Champions events in the 50s and 60s. In 2000 the resort was bought by Steve Wynn, who opened the Wynn Resort on the land. In 2005, the Wynn Golf Club was opened, which was redesigned by Tom Fazio. The golf course has lots of amenities. These include PGA-member caddies, a pro shop and a driving range where you can warm up.
Just a block East of the Strip lies the Las Vegas Country Club. It is behind the Westgate Las Vegas Resort and Casino and can be accessed by foot if you are coming off the Strip. This golf course was opened in 1967 and was designed by Edmond B. Ault. The club is the oldest continuously running golf club in Vegas, and the course includes other sports facilities such as tennis courts, a lap pool, a driving range and a fitness centre. The course has hosted numerous Las Vegas Invitationals and a lot of celebrities have come to golf here too. Michael Jordan, Joe Dimaggio and Dean Martin are just a few of the stars who have teed off here. You can get a membership at the golf club, which includes a range of dining and leisure amenities. There is also a 19th hole for short games or practising.
To get to the Shadow Creek Golf Course, you will need to drive onto the Las Vegas Freeway and head North, get off on Cheyenne Avenue and then drive up Losse Road. From the middle of the strip, it is about 20 minutes by car. This golf course is owned by MGM Resorts and opened in 1990. Spread over 350 acres, it cost around $60 million to build and was designed by Tom Fazio. Shadow Creek has featured some match play challenges as well as some PGA Tour events. If you are staying at one of the MGM Resorts (such as the MGM Grand, Bellagio, The Cosmopolitan, ARIA, etc.), as part of the package a private limousine can take you to the course, where you will have a personal caddie to help you out.
The Paiute Golf Resort is just outside the city of Las Vegas, you just need to head Northwest on the Veterans Memorial Highway for about 25 minutes by car. This golf course was designed by Pete Dye, and is one of the most unique courses on our list. It is built on the land of the Las Vegas Paiute Tribe, which was recognised as a state in the 1934 Indian Reorganization Act. To pay respect to the native heritage of the land and tribe, the golf course has three 18-hole ranges, the Snow Mountain, the Sun Mountain and the Wolf. Each part of the course has its own natural features, obstacles and vibe, which gives golfers a lot to think about. It is also considerably cheaper to play at than the courses on the Strip.
Heading back to the Strip, the Bali Hai Golf Club is further down South, next to the Mandalay Bay Hotel. To put you in mind of exactly where this course is – it is next to the “Welcome to Fabulous Vegas” sign. The golf course was opened in 2000 and designed by Lee Schmidt and Brian Curley. It has lots of natural features, including islands, creeks and a Restaurant Patio. The golf club boasts a five-star service, with its Best Cart Girls service and Bali Hai Forcaddie Program. You can also get Parmates to guide you around the course as you play with the latest and most developed Callaway Clubs. If that is not enough, you can hire PGA member instructors, who will give you private lessons on this exciting course.
Chimera Golf Club is a bit further out from the centre of Las Vegas. You can get there if you are heading Southeast, in the direction of Henderson. It is only a 25-minute drive from the Strip, and definitely worth the journey. This golf course opened in 2003 and was designed by Ted Robinson Jr., with amazing views of the desert landscape and snow-capped Mount Charleston. This golf course has it all, there is a pro shop, GolfBoard and 3-wheel trikes to get around the field, and even a TrackMan Range mobile app. That's right, you can track your ball speed, carry distance, and even play games like Capture The Flag and Bullseye. It can make for a great family day programme too, with golf lessons for all ages, skill levels and group sizes.
TPC Las Vegas is in Summerlin, which is a brisk 15-minute drive on Veterans Memorial Highway, from downtown Vegas. This golf course was designed by Bobby Weed, and it opened in 1996. This is a professional golf course, that is part of the PGA Tour's Tournament Players Club and has hosted numerous events. The amenities, service and golf course are world class and the panoramic views of the desert are unforgettable. You can practise lowering your handicap, and take lessons with professional staff. The Golf Shop is the perfect place to bring golf enthusiasts, as it is packed with some classy gear and cutting-edge products.
The Bear's Best is near South Summerlin, also a 25-minute drive from downtown Vegas. Golf fanatics will remember The Bear, Jack Nicklaus, as one of the best golfers in history, with a long successful career, spanning from the 60s to the 80s. Off the course, he has also helped design 270 golf courses around the world, and his Vegas course is one of the best. Open to all, you can get lessons here, play in groups, or go to watch some tournaments. There are loads of amenities too, including a short game area, a premier practice facility and Meet & Play events. You will have a truly great time here. If not for anything else, it is at least worth a visit to see what The Bear has designed.
Angel Park Golf Club is near the Rampart Casino, in Summerlin. It is about 13 minutes by car from downtown Las Vegas and has some stunning views of Red Rock Canyon. Arnold Palmer designed this golf course, and it opened in 1990. It has 36 holes and consists of the Cloud Nine Short Couse and the Putting Course, made of natural grass. The Cloud 9 Leagues are weekly tournaments that are held for amateur golfers. If you are confident in your game and want friendly competition, then it is definitely worth signing up for. Additionally, there is also a clubhouse where you can get some delectable meals and make the most of your day out.
Rhodes Ranch Golf Club is the furthest from the centre of Las Vegas. You need to travel nearly half an hour from the centre of Vegas, going Southwest on the Las Vegas Freeway. Though it is far away, this golf course draws in loads of avid golfers, despite its location. Designed by Ted Robinson, Rhodes Ranch opened in 1997. The golf course has held many tournaments and can also hold private tournaments for big groups. It hosts many corporate and charity events and is open to golfers of all skill levels. You can book lessons here with PGA members, go to the shop and buy some classy gear. Should you get hungry during your time at the golf course, then you can enjoy fine dining at the Ranch House Grille. Rhodes Ranch Golf Club is also relatively cheaper than a lot of other entries on our list.
So next time you are in Las Vegas then you should consider fitting a golfing session into your programme. You do not have to be a confident golfer at most of these courses. You can be at any skill level to join in on the fun. Take in a nice meal, you can check out the golf club shops and see all the latest pro gear. If you are feeling up for it, then definitely go for a session and hire a caddie. Should you want to improve your game, the majority of these golf courses offer lessons with seasoned professionals.
Lloyd is passionate about online gambling, he lives and breathes blackjack and other table games, and he enjoys sports betting.
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