The Revere Golf Club – Lexington Course in Henderson, NV
Tee Time: October 28, 9:20, 80 F, Calm
Designer: Billy Casper/Greg H. Nash, ASGCA, 1999
Playing Partners: Mike Harvey, Brendan Noonan, CJ Phelan, Greg Ryan, Pat Spomer
Tees: Gold, Par 72 (71.1 rating/133 slope/6,590 yards)
Course Handicap: 14 (11.7 index)
Stats: 95 (44-51); 31 putts; 6/14 fairways; 4/18 greens; 7 penalty strokes
All I can say after that round is thank goodness I scheduled this course to be last up on the Vegas Trip. Because the Lexington Course at The Revere Golf Club is brutal and will test your resolve. I don’t think any of us brought that A-game this Sunday morning and it ate us all up. I know I’ll need a few days to recover after this shellacking. The best comparison for this course is the pair of 5-star tracks at Troon North in Arizona. Extreme target golf, unplayable desert just yards from the fairway and difficult greens mean a blowup hole is always one poor tee shot away. But ignoring the scorecard, this spot in the hills of Henderson, Nevada south of Las Vegas offers an unforgettable experience. Views of the valley below are abundant and seeing your ball soar above the Vegas skyline is a rush. The course itself is beautiful and very well maintained (still have yet to find a Troon managed course that isn’t in perfect condition). While the first takeaway after a round here is the difficulty, Lexington will test every aspect of your game, from hitting draws and fades off the tee to course management and even deciding whether to fly it on to the green or run it up. It is as exhausting mentally as it is physically.
From the gold tees, the Lexington Course sets up many different looks. A lot of doglegs to the right, some extremely extreme elevation changes and a few impossible greens. The first hole is actually one of the tamer ones, and it still features a nasty fairway bunker and lots of awkward lies from the short grass. The 561-yard par-5 2nd snakes right and left as it heads downhill with a minimum of three shots to the green. The narrow landing area at the par-4 3rd offer the first real desert in play for misplaced tee shots. You could lay up in the wider area of the fairway but risk leaving a long iron in. Probably the easiest hole this course has to offer is the 377-yard 5th. The water does not threaten at all and while still an uphill approach, the green is still large and much easier to reach than others. Water does affect the downhill 349-yard 6th, however, as a pond guards the front right of the green. The 8th is a par 3 that plays longer than the yardage and the 9th is a grueling uphill fight for par before getting a brief recharge at the snack bar.
Down the hot dog and Michelob Ultra quick, though. The nasty 10th hole waits for no man. From the tee, no part of the hole is visible. It is a blind shot a to a fairway a hundred feet below the tee box with the only advice being to aim at the winding cart path on the other end of the valley. Tee it up, spray and pray. No rest for the weary either. The 11th is a nasty par 5 with trouble to the right, to the left, in the center and also across the entire hole. Every shot here needs to be placed perfectly and with the next already in mind. It is not the hole to just whack a driver then bomb a fairway wood and see what happens. I honestly have never seen any other hole like it. A long downhill par 3 with water on the left is the 13th. A very tricky tee shot awaits at #15 with two small bunkers that divide the landing area into thirds. A layup to 150 yards may very well run into the far trap, rendering your safe play useless. The 16th is another fun par 5. At 511 yards it is not monstrously long, but the trouble is in all the right spots to make laying up on the second shot the safe play. The scenic par-3 17th offers perhaps the best views of the Strip from the green. You can’t help but feel like a high-roller sinking putts from fifteen feet in front of all the billion dollar casinos below. The final hole is tough in its own right, made even worse when it is the last hole of the day. Another narrow landing area to an elevated, shallow and well-guarded green that has three massive ridges to make any putt from over twenty feet an adventure.
A roller coaster of a course, Lexington presents a very distinct challenge. Not really unfair, it’s just a place that punishes bad shots a little more than most. All of my good shots were rewarded, but anything headed in the wrong direction seemed to get that one last kick from the course as a twist of the knife in the wound. Although my birdie putt on 10 did roll up to the hole before taking a sharp turn left on the last rotation, as if it looked down into the cup and got cold feet. I almost have to play this course one more time, now that I know a little more about the layout to hopefully break 90 possibly.
#17, Par 5, 459 yards, 1-handicap, My Score: 5
This is the most interesting hole on the course to me. A 240- to 250-yard tee shot will have you perfectly placed in the fairway behind the trouble jutting into the hole with about 200 yards to the front of the green. Two deep greenside bunkers guard the elevated putting surface with a false front. And I do mean elevated. From the fairway it’s about 50 feet up to get on, hard to do with a mashed fairway wood. The green itself is a nasty spot with the aforementioned false front and a back shelf that will run all but the most delicate of downhill putts right off the green like a slip and slide. The whole experience while putting is relaxing as the roaring waterfall framing the green drowns out your playing partners and, more importantly, the voice in your head.
Amenities: A; GPS, a very accommodating staff (who practically did calculus to find out how to split our discounted deal on the greens fees) and the cool part was all the Revolutionary War era prints on the walls, which I enjoyed looking at.
Difficulty: A; I’ve said enough about all the snowmen that lurk on this course, it’s best not to think about it again.
Scenery: A-; love the views of the Strip from many spots on the course.
Value: C+; got a $169 rate for $114 with various discounts applied. The course is still worth it at the sticker price, but only for the experienced golfer.
Overall: B+ (3.45); really an interesting challenge, our group was still talking about their round 3 days later and that is not an easy thing to do. Play it, but get a good night’s rest beforehand (as if that’s possible under all the neon lights of Vegas).