A guide to golf in Las Vegas
YOU can go to Las Vegas and enjoy the brilliant entertainment on offer, but that is not the only attraction the city has to offer, It boasts some of the best courses in the USA and with a great climate it has become some what of a Mecca for avid golfers.
There are more than 20 courses to choose from, including TPC Las Vegas, Cascata, Paiute, Bali Hai and the Westin Lake Las Vegas Resort, a superb property located only 30 minutes from South Las Vegas Boulevard (known locally as the strip) and featuring two courses designed by Jack Nicklaus. But more of that later.
Wynn Golf and Country Club
WHAT'S THE WEATHER LIKE?
There is much to see and do in Vegas that it is difficult to know where to begin. It is situated in the middle of the Nevada desert, and that means it can get very hot during the summer - temperatures around 100F are common. Or if that's too much for you, you could head there during the winter, when temperatures hover around the 55F mark.
HOW DO I GET THERE?
Travelling from London, it is a direct 10.5-hour flight to Las Vegas McCarran International Airport, but the really good news is that after a long, tiring flight, you only face a five-minute drive from the airport to the strip.
WHAT DOES IT HAVE TO OFFER?
If you are looking for a quiet, relaxed break, Las Vegas is probably not the place for you. And it certainly isn't a place to visit if you like a nice quiet night in! Vegas is a busy, bustling city that really comes alive at night, with its mix of bars, night clubs, bistros, restaurants, casinos and strip clubs. You will have gathered that it is not for the faint of heart either. This is an in-your-face place and, like New York, it never seems to sleep.
It all happens on the strip, a 4.2-mile-long stretch that features every type of entertainment you have ever dreamt of - and quite a few you haven't!
There are dozens of shows to choose from too. Typically, you can see Jay Leno, Rush, The Script, Cinderella, Penn & Teller, Cirque du Soleil and X Rocks. Or you can book a day trip to the Hoover Dam or spectacular Grand Canyon. This is where The King performed until "ladies and gentlemen, Elvis has left the building." Tom Jones, Elton John, Freank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Liberace - anybody who was anybody played Las Vegas and was paid bick bucks for doing so. And they still do.
And all joking aside, you can't come to Las Vegas without visiting at least one of the casinos and having a flutter. It's what the place was built for.
WHERE DO I REST MY WEARY HEAD?
There are lots of places to stay, with local hotels offering thousands of bedrooms. And some of those hotels are as iconic as Vegas itself - the Nobu Hotel at Caesars Palace, the MGM Grand, Wynn Las Vegas, the Bellagio, the Venetian, Golden Nugget. Whether you are looking for opulence or budget accommodation, there is something to suit all pockets, but no trip to Las Vegas would be complete without spending some time in the MGM Grand and Caesars Palace.
HOW MUCH IS IT GOING TO COST ME?
There are deals to suit every pocket. You can stay at the five-star Westin Lake Las Vegas Resort & Spa for seven nights, including bed and breakfast and four rounds of golf at SouthShore and Reflection Bay, including buggies and range balls, for £619 per person with golfbreaks.com. If you want to hire a car, golfbreaks.com can take of that for you too.
AND WHAT ABOUT THE GOLF?
There are simply too many golf courses for us to go into detail, so we have selected what we consider to be some of the best.
The first Jack Nicklaus-designed course in Nevada, SouthShore combines many distinct Nicklaus features, including greens guarded by small bunkers and holes that place a premium on long-iron play. SouthShore makes the most of the area's unique topography and dramatic elevation changes. It is located in the exclusive Lake Las Vegas Resort community, which also features a private lake, a members-only yacht and beach club and other amenities.
TPC LAS VEGAS
Located in the beautiful master-planned community of Summerlin, TPC Las Vegas is the only public PGA Tour golf course in Las Vegas. Designed by Bobby Weed and Raymond Floyd, the TPC course features scenic elevation changes, mature trees and a wandering canyon. As co-host to several PGA Tour and Champions Tour events, TPC Las Vegas is always in fantastic condition, features 18 terrific holes and offers the sort of great customer service you will find throughout Las Vegas..
WYNN GOLF AND COUNTRY CLUB
Designed by world famous architect Tom Fazio and Steve Wynn the 18-hole, 7,042-yard, par 70 golf course features dramatic elevations once considered impossible to create on the Las Vegas Strip. A breathtaking landscape of waterfalls, streams and a forest of trees envelop the contoured fairways to create a course that demands strategy, ingenuity and, most importantly, concentration. Whether challenging your skill on the greens or relaxing in the comfort of the clubhouse lounge, the professional staff and extensive amenities make playing at Wynn Las Vegas a special experience.
While many courses in the area are barely out of nappies, Black Mountain is a mature layout. It comprises 27 holes that meander through Henderson, a suburb of Las Vegas. Located just 20 minutes from Las Vegas Boulevard, Black Mountain offers cheap golf on a good course in the Vegas Valley. A new clubhouse and driving range add the finishing touches. PGA Tour players Craig Barlow and Edward Fryatt grew up playing Black Mountain
The late Billy Casper won 51 times on the PGA Tour, and teamed five times with Greg Nash to design courses in the Las Vegas area. Highland Falls offers quick greens, expansive views of the valley and holes played over water features and around desert canyons. Highland Falls is a semi-private course built against the stunning backdrop of Red Rock Canyon. A wonderful golf course
Legacy may well be in the best course in the Las Vegas area. It was designed by Arthur Hills and features numerous bunkers, rolling mounds, large greens and multiple-level fairways. Ranked as one of the "Top Ten Courses to Play in Nevada" by Golf Digest, the Legacy plays host annually to the local US Open qualifier and is certainly good enough to host PGA Tour events. It has a restaurant and banquet facilities, a 30-bay driving range, on-course beverage service and private, group and junior lessons are available.
Identified by Golf Week as one of the Top 40 Resort Courses in America, Bali Hai features seven acres of water hazards, 4,000 trees, including 2,500 towering palms and 100,000 tropical plants. It is beautiful and will test every part of your game, although it is very much a man-made course, hewn through the desert sands
Shadow Creek, a Tom Fazio design, is annually ranked as one of the best golf courses in the world. From arrival by private limousine to world-class service to your personal caddy, a round here is an experience you are unlikely ever to forget. Unfortunately, Shadow Creek is open only to a limited number of MGM Resorts International guests.
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