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Las Vegas National Golf Club

Las Vegas National Golf Club in Las Vegas, NV

Las Vegas National pro shop
The practice green and the pro shop

The Stats

Tee Time: April 19, 2013, 12:40, 76 F, Light wind

Designer: Bert Stamps (1961)

Playing Partners: Mike and Garrett

Tees: Professional, Par 71 (73.5 rating/137 slope/6,721 yards)

Course Handicap: 15 (12.2 index)

Stats: 87 (48-39); 27 putts; 4/13 fairways; 2/18 greens; 2 penalty strokes

The Course

Las Vegas National Hole 17 green
The chip up to the green at 17

I’ll just start this by saying that Las Vegas National Golf Club is awesome. Not only are the grounds steeped in over a half-century of Las Vegas history, but to this day the atmosphere still feels like it’s stuck in the 1960s. It probably would have been better to have an old Kodak film camera to log this round and maybe some persimmon woods to knock around. But at more than 6,700 yards for this par 71, I’ll take advantage of today’s NASA-engineered, 460cc titanium drivers and ultra-forgiving cavity-back irons, because half of the par 3’s come in at more than 200 yards and I’m no Lee Trevino with a 1-iron. In many ways it feels that time has passed this place by, but it takes nothing away from the experience. This is the site of Tiger Woods’ first career PGA Tour victory, the 1996 Las Vegas Invitational (one can only guess what he did with those showgirls afterward…) It’s even crazier to think that it is because of Tiger Woods that the PGA Tour will probably never return here. Within six months of that first victory, Tiger put up his landmark performance at the 1997 Masters. The carnage was so great that the hallowed course in Augusta underwent massive changes to toughen the place up, giving rise to the era of “Tiger-proofing.” Golf soared in popularity. When Tiger won that ’96 Invitational he took home $297,000. The event’s winner in 2012, Ryan Moore, pocketed $810,000. New courses (most of them cookie-cutter) sprouted up like weeds after a spring rain and the equipment industry put so many springboard drivers and rocket golf balls on the market that classics like Las Vegas National got left behind. Just 16 years later, a tour pro would tear this place up, but it is still a great challenge and very refreshing when compared to all the modern course styles in golf today. Continue reading Las Vegas National Golf Club

Paiute Golf Resort

Paiute Golf Resort – Wolf Course in Las Vegas, NV

Pat, CJ, Mike, Greg, Brendan and Me

The Stats

Tee Time: October 27, 1:57, 75 F, Calm

Designer: Pete Dye, 2001

Playing Partners: Mike Harvey, Brendan Noonan, CJ Phelan, Greg Ryan, Pat Spomer

Tees: Yellow, Par 72 (70.7 rating/126 slope/6,483 yards)

Course Handicap: 13 (11.7 index)

Stats: 88 (44-44); 37 putts; 8/14 fairways; 8/18 greens; 0 penalty strokes

The Course

A thirty minute drive north from the glitz and glamour, the neon lights and ringing slot machines, and the fishnet stockings and sleeve tattoos of Las Vegas places you at Paiute Golf Resort. Close enough to be a stop on any Vegas trip and a welcome change from the atmosphere of the Strip. After pulling up to the bag drop (where some may be later than others if they got caught speeding…), just stand up and take a deep breath of fresh air to let your lungs filter out all the Marlboros you inhaled walking out of the casino. Wander around the massive pro shop and enjoy the sheer luxury Paiute has to offer. From then on it’s all business. Get the clubs on the cart and head off to whichever range is closest (they have 2). I suggest dialing in the short irons before getting a feel for the speed of the greens, because those are the areas that will be taxed most. Continue reading Paiute Golf Resort