Gamblin' and Greenies: The Way to Play it in Las Vegas

So, if you’re like me and making the drive from the L.A. area to Las Vegas for a nice, long weekend of fun and frivolity, you’ll probably start feeling like you need a good stretch about the three-hour mark.

Well, have I got the perfect spot. It might be a longer stretch than you were counting on … four hours, to be exact, but what a break it will be.
We’re talking Primm Valley Golf Club.
Located about 45 minutes outside of Las Vegas at the California/Nevada state line, Primm Valley is designed by none other than Tom Fazio. The two courses at Primm Valley take advantage of the beauty and terrain of this remote desert setting. With gently rolling fairways, lush greens, spectacular water features set in front of a backdrop of distant mountains, The Lakes Course and Desert Course are two of the best Las Vegas golf courses you’ll ever play.
The Lakes Course opened in February of 1997 and was quickly given the ranking as one of the Top 10 Best New Courses that same year by Golf Digest Magazine. The Lakes Course will take you out of the desert and into another world. The course is complete with dense groves of tall pine trees, an extensive lakes and river system (in play on 11 holes) and acre-upon-acre of beautifully manicured green rye grass interrupted only by numerous bunkers. Generous fairways that slope toward the middle make the course very player friendly. But don’t be fooled – this 6,945-yard par-71 course is a challenge that puts even the best golfer to the test. The undulating, well-bunkered greens and plenty of water hazards will make it difficult to tame this beautiful beast.
The Desert Course opened in May 1998 and was built to showcase the beautiful desert landscape, providing a stark contrast to the almost-tropical Lakes Course. Slightly more demanding of the player’s ability, the Desert Course measures 7,131 yards with a par of 72. The course is accented with palm and mesquite trees, as well as colorful cactus and desert wildflowers to give it a true desert feeling. Where water was used on the Lakes Course, vast stretches of waste bunkers border the fairways on seven holes. Water does come into play on five holes, and narrow fairways with elevation changes and large, well-bunkered greens test even the most skilled players.
After you thank me for that sage piece of advice, head on in to Sin City where the world is your oyster, whether you’re looking for gaming, relaxation, fine dining, entertainment or some more flat-out great golf. You’ll need an anchor, a place to call home for a few days, right?
The pick here is the Suncoast Resort & Casino. Now, if you’re the type who has to have the ritz and glitter of The Mirage or the sheer opulence of hotels like the Bellagio, then the Suncoast may not be exactly what you’re looking for. But, if an elegant, more-remote retreat is what you had in mind, then Suncoast offers the perfect retreat for vacationers without all the hustle and bustle of The Strip.
Located on a 50-acre plot in Northwest Las Vegas, Suncoast has something for the whole family. The 64-lane bowling alley, arcade and movie theater cater to guests of all ages. The 500-seat showroom hosts a variety of headliners and restaurants such as Primo’s Steakhouse, Cafe Siena and The Oyster Bar give guests a variety of options of fine dining.
Guests at Suncoast are also treated to a variety of amenities with spacious, richly appointed rooms with overlooking views of the property. The casino measures in at 80,000 square feet with 50 table games, a 150-seat race and sports book and a 600-seat bingo hall.  Plus, the resort also includes full salon services at Jen’s Salon de Beaute, a pool, fitness center and the resort is only steps away from the some of the best golfing in Las Vegas in The Badlands and Angel Park.

The Badlands

The Badlands is your Ultimate Las Vegas Golf Adventure. You can search a long time and not find a course like the Badlands. It features 27 holes of target style golf and many breathtaking holes that demand accurate golf shots, offering an exciting challenge to both casual and experienced golfers. Located on the Southwest side of Summerlin Parkway, Badlands is carved through the canyons and this course is consistently considered among the top courses in Nevada.
Co-designed by Johnny Miller and Chi Chi Rodriguez, the Badlands will take you on the ultimate thrill ride. “The Badlands is an E-ticket ride at Disneyland,” Miller says. The 27 holes at Badlands are known all around for dramatic shot values and for flowing through the native washes and canyons of the desert. Every hole can be described as a signature hole. The greens are relatively large and are quick, and almost every hole puts you in the position to have to carry the ragged desert to find the fairway. Big hitter?  This may not be the place to try and overpower the course.
There are four tees to choose from and the course plays up front at around 2,600 yards for each nine, up 3,500 yards for each nine from the back tees. What is more revealing are the slope ratings of the combinations of nines. The original pairing of the Desperado/Diablo has a slope rating of 122 from the men’s tees and 133 from the back, while a pairing of the Desperado/Outlaw brings those slopes down to 120 and 125, respectively.
Angel Park

Angel Park Golf Club is dubbed the “World’s Most Complete Las Vegas Golf Experience.” At almost 3000 feet in elevation, Angel Park offers spectacular views of Red Rock Canyon and the Las Vegas Valley.
Along with the two 18-hole Palmer designs, there’s also the 12-hole lighted, Cloud Nine, par 3 course (with holes reminiscent of some of the game’s best par 3s), and Seventh Heaven, the world’s premier real-grass putting course complete with bunkers, water hazards and undulation. A complete golf experience is certainly the case here. At Angel Park, you’ll enjoy the type of unique country-club-like ambiance and exceptional service that is always appreciated at a daily-fee golf facility.
The Mountain Course at Angel Park provides a nice blend of resort-style golf holes. There are several holes you can just set the cruise control on and enjoy the beautiful views. There is a good blend of elements, such as forced carries over water and rugged desert terrain, as well as beautiful lush fairways and greens. If you were trying to decide which of the two championship courses at Angel Park to play, the Mountain Course would be for the slightly more advanced player. The Mountain course takes players up toward the Red Rock Mountains and through the desert terrain of the area that includes occasional forced carries and fairways guarded by bunkers and flowing grass. Early-morning and late evening tee times show off the beauty of a sunrise and sunset that reflect off the colorful Spring Mountains.
The Palm Course is a challenge from the professional tees and an interesting round from the rest of the tee boxes. Quick greens demand accurate putting and encourage you to stay below the hole on all approaches. The back nine is quite a bit longer than the front, presenting ample opportunities for long hitters to strut their stuff.
Need even more golf? Say no more.

Silverstone Golf Club

If you’re searching for a course that can settle that on-course wager after regulation play, look no further than Silverstone Golf Club. The beautiful course features three nine-hole layouts plus a 28th hole, dubbed “The Decider,” that’s adjacent to the clubhouse and handy for determining the best player once and for all. The 27 championship holes at Silverstone, home of the Las Vegas Celebrity Players Tour, are divided into the Mountain, Valley and Desert courses, all of which are Bob Cupp designs, Golf World’s Architect of the Year in 2002. Each course features lush fairways and smooth greens and all offer picturesque views of nearby Sheep Mountain.
Players at Silverstone Golf Club will not only find a pleasing and challenging round of golf, but also the longest hole in Nevada. The third hole on the Mountain course runs a whopping 653 yards, but both the Valley and Desert courses have memorable and lengthy holes of their own.
State-of-the-art practice facilities at Silverstone stretch 50,000 square feet and include an all-grass driving range, putting green and short game surface. The club also boasts the Silverstone Golf Academy for players looking to brush up with individual instruction. The clubhouse at Silverstone is designed as a beautiful Mediterranean villa and includes a grillroom and restaurant, banquet hall and more.

Coyote Springs

After years in the making, one of the West’s most anticipated golf course developments has opened its first course for daily-fee play – PGA Golf Club Coyote Springs. Located 50 minutes north of Las Vegas, Coyote Springs is the first new course to open in the Vegas area in more than six years, and it is certainly one of the most ambitious projects the region has ever seen. Initial development plans call for up to a dozen golf courses to be built at Coyote Springs over the next half-century and hundreds of thousands of residents relocating to this new desert sanctuary.
While golf will be a delightful centerpiece to a “new town” rising north of Las Vegas, this desert oasis will feature a variety of residential options ranging from lavish custom homes to multi-family housing plus retail shopping, commercial buildings, parks, hiking trails, schools and a full community infrastructure. In short, Coyote Springs will offer a full and complete lifestyle that will rival any master-planned community in America.
Jack Nicklaus’ Signature-designed course, The Chase, is a challenging 7,471-yard layout and is the first golf course on the Bear Trail – a series of Jack Nicklaus designed courses that will eventually flow throughout the Coyote Springs community. The Chase plays to a par of 72, has a demanding 75.8 rating and a testy 141 slope from the championship tees.  Eleven lakes come into play on the golf course that many consider to be one of Nicklaus’ finest desert creations ever conceived.

Siena Golf Club

No matter how many times you play the course at the Siena Golf Club, your experience will be unique. When the panoramic setting of the greens, bunkers, and water hazards is combined with the desert mountain scenery, the effect is different with every game.  In the morning, the cool breeze coming off the lush grass makes for a comfortable game whether it is the height of summer or the dead of winter. In the afternoon, the unvarnished sunlight creates a stark contrast between the green, the rough, and the sand traps.
Siena is a revival of the values and artistic styles fashioned by golf’s greatest courses.  What’s more, Siena is a celebration of the Italian Culture. In the Tuscany-themed Siena at Summerlin, a focal point of the Siena Golf Club is Lake Siena, a quarter-mile-long lake with cascading waterfalls on the first hole of the golf course. The 13,500-square-foot Siena Golf Club features a full-service golf shop, locker rooms, multi-tiered practice facility and The Siena Bistro with a patio dining room overlooking Lake Siena. The elevated characteristic of the terrain provides panoramic views of the mountains and city lights.
Arroyo Golf Club at Red Rock

Arroyo Golf Club at Red Rock is one of the finest public golf courses in Las Vegas and is nestled alongside the breathtaking Red Rock Canyon that runs throughout the master planned community of Summerlin. Take in the scenic beauty as you enjoy a golfing experience like no other.
The Arroyo course is a 6,883 yard Arnold Palmer Signature Course with Par 72 links style layout with Bermuda grass fairways and Bentgrass greens – overseeded with Rye grass in the cooler winter months. It has five sets of tee boxes to suit golfers’ abilities, but no matter where you tee it up from, a great test of golf awaits.
The Arroyo Golf Club at Red Rock also features a beautiful clubhouse dedicated solely to the daily fee player with a full-service golf shop, men’s and women’s locker rooms, as well as a bar and grill and terrace dining.  The expansive patio features excellent views of the Red Rock Canyon and the city below.
So, there you have it – the perfect Las Vegas getaway. Great golf, a great resort, relaxation and tons of fun.
Oh, forgot one thing to put that exclamation point on your trip: on your drive home, stop by Primm Valley and play another 18!

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