Hey I lied. Had to go back for a meeting, but visited a couple of places as time allowed.
A newly re-done ChiChi R and Johnny Miller course called Badlands had been singled out, but it was beautiful, thoughtless pasture pool and it wasn't cheap. Target golf in the extreme, it is the ideal for some, but I think this kind of golf is abhorrent to every thing I believe in. Now run by Troon golf, expect uber-conditioning, but for my money a trip to Paiute with three Dye courses and long vistas of the basin and range west trump mega-houses and green point-to-point any day. Paiute is always fast and firm, it seems, and that trumps wall-to-wall green.
I really need to say Paiute is perhaps - having three quality courses the place to go in Vegas. The earlier (November 2008) mentioned Coyote Springs Chase Course (now with a few photos) is twice as far away and is almost twice as much to play, but architectural quality-wise I must say that there you have the pick of the litter for Vegas golf. Coyote Springs is real golf for real golfers, it is a seriously good golf course. Then there is Boulder Creek in Boulder City down south of Vegas town it is the best mix of quality, fast/firm conditioning and price by far! It is a Muni, but all muni courses should come close to this one. If it had a resort attached to it, you would know it.
Cascata - a dumb blonde, but God I love! this place!
One of the three courses is called Wolf
This is not its best moment, but I'll bet they got what they asked for.
Personally I prefer Snow Mountain, classic Dye with angles and visual tricks and the like.
Including scenery so breathtaking one cannot hold the camera straight. Sorry, I enjoy playing at Paiute so much I've hardly ever taken photos there!
Encore and Wynn
I got a deal to stay at the Encore, Steve Wynn's new $2 Billion Palace, courtesy of US Airways vacations. I don't pay $400 a night for rooms, trust me.
Floor 56 nighttime
Jarring Decor, not my taste. The hard edge black was unsettling with the bright gold and that blech! peach-ey hue to the tan areas.
He is well known to have an eye disease that creates tunnel vision and consequently he loves high contrast well defined things. Having built Shadow Creek he established his taste in Golf Courses when Fazio built it for him. He delivered again with Wynn, not my taste but it does exactly what it was supposed to do and you cannot fault either for requesting or building same. Suffice it to say conditioning was ridiculously good and green ruled.
Here's a glimpse from above.
Thanks, C.B., it was good to see you again.
Wolf Creek Mesquite, NV
I made one special trip to go and see the famous Wolf Creek - the place that requires to apparently sign your rights to recovery away to play there. They are all very nice people out there, don't mis-interpret what I just wrote. It is quite a place, but if you stay off the back tees it really is not that demanding. In fact, I thought there were too many simple holes out there (Even from the back tees - clearly here as anywhere play the correct tees for your meagre abilities). There are few more scenic places to play golf, the views are almost overwhelming, but the architecture while "great" for 90% of golfers, the more you know about architecture, the more you realize that this is a dumb blonde as Tom Doak calls them in Confidential Guide. I do not recommend drinking and driving these cart paths!
From the back and some near back tees you have demands for accuracy and distance simultaneously in several tee shots. Unfortunately, many hazards are more penal for the weaker player and just about out of play for the better player.
Famous Hole Alert!
That shaping for my taste is a little excessive, but it is dramatic.
As I intimated, the visuals here are at times overwhelming and distracting. Some really neat holes are here, too but several holes the architects (There is a current lawsuit about the authorship of this visual treat!) missed strategic opportunities rather opting for the penal instead.
The good stuff!
Tee shot on the second hole - a real leap of faith but pretty forgiving and the best use of natural features to create interest on the entire site. This is the "Up" tee, from one more back there is even less fairway to see, but there is plenty there. As a Clint Eastwood character once said "A man's got to know his limitations" seems appropriate here.
The way fun par 5 12th
Favorite hole - short par 3 15th. The yardage guide erroneously states: Not much to this one. (I think they meant visually). I loved this one!
Certainly, I recommend visiting, just don't expect another Black Mesa.
Have to see:
Cascata - another dumb blonde but I love this place
Shadow Creek (up to you, it's your gambling money or this)
Have to play:
Chase Course at Coyote Springs
Paiute (all three)
The G G Award I vant to be alone ....
-only South Shore at LLV not played (currently in some sad financial limbo)