A mere 30-minute drive from the bright lights and bustling boulevards of downtown Las Vegas, the Nevada desert is a haven of natural beauty. It’s here you’ll find the Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort. Owned and operated by the Las Vegas Paiute Tribe, the resort — a work in progress — currently features three individual 18-hole courses and a fully operational clubhouse. Plans call for a 4,000-acre resort complex and conference facility consisting of 300 luxury accommodations (30 hotel rooms and 270 individual casitas); a 30,000-square-foot conference center; 17,500 square feet of meeting space; a 17,000-square-foot spa and wellness center; a 16,000-square-foot casino; and retail and restaurant space in a village setting.
While the three courses — The Wolf Course, Snow Mountain and Sun Mountain — currently attract more than 100,000 golfers annually, further development remains in the offing as the ever-vigilant tribal council awaits the results of impact studies designed to ensure construction does not hurt the environment. During construction of the golf courses, special provisions were made to protect the habitat of the desert tortoise, which is sacred to the Paiu>te people.
The Wolf Course
At 7,604 yards long, the Pete Dye– designed Wolf Course is the longest course in the state of Nevada. (Although it’s important to note the course — Kwetoo-Unuv in Paiute — is actually located on sovereign Native American land.) It’s one of three Dye-designed courses in the state, and one of the others is the Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort’s Snow Mountain Course. The Wolf Course features myriad interesting holes, including a difficult island green; wind that at times plays havoc with your shots; and pot and waste bunkers to challenge your skills. Fairways and roughs are perennial ryegrass, and greens are bentgrass.
The key to enjoying your game is to keep the ball in play, but on this course that becomes a challenge as each fairway is carved out of the natural desert landscape. The rough is not particularly large, so on occasion balls you think are in play from the tee box are not. You can play balls in the desert, but it is rough terrain and there are constant warnings from the staff about rattlesnakes. Heed the warnings, but be aware that balls can be found and are sometimes playable. There were a few remarkable shots made from the desert the day we played.
Hole 6: This hole is reachable in two. It’s a downhill par 5, but don’t let the distance fool you. A large waste bunker lines the left side of the fairway, making this a real “risk/ rewards” hole. The bunker continues along the left up to and across the green. A misplaced shot here can turn your dream of reaching in two into a nightmare.
Hole 7: This is an incredibly long par 4 that plays uphill on your quest for the green. Rated the No. 1 handicap hole, it has a long carry off the tee to an eventual elevated green that will take more club than you think to reach on your second (or third) shot.
Hole 8: Par 3s are easy, right? Wrong! Depending on the wind direction, this hole can be a monster. If you miss the green to the right, you will end up in a series of bunkers. On the left, there isn’t much room to bail yourself out of the large mounds guarding the approach. Maybe that’s why this is one of the most photographed holes on the course.
Hole 14: With a sharp dogleg to the right, this hole sports several well-placed fairway bunkers. Big hitters can shave off some distance by cutting the nearly 90 degree corner. Take an extra club to reach this elevated green.
Hole 15: Mirroring the 17th hole at the tpc Sawgrass Stadium Course, this is a true island green — in the desert! The wind, which can be howling at times, will cause you to consider carefully before making your final club selection. The green itself offers challenges as it is three-tiered. It’s 42 yards deep, but looks like a postage stamp from the tee box.
Hole 17: You’ll have fun with this one — or not. A ditch/ waste bunker runs diagonally across the fairway with high sloping sides and deep rough. It’s right in the landing area, so you have to ask yourself, “Can I clear it?” Make sure you use the gps system — there’s one in every cart — as this obstacle is invisible from the tee box.
Las Vegas Paiute Golf resort
10325 Nu-Wav Kaiv Blvd., Las Vegas, NV 89124 tel 702 658 1400, www.lvpaiutegolf.com
I had just taken off my sandals, stepping onto the white-sand beach for a late-morning walk to a secluded spot I heard about from a front desk clerk, when I glanced down and saw the time on my phone. It had just turned 11 a.m., which meant it was only 7 am back home, the perfect time to call and say good morning to by husband before he left for work. Not quite ready to head back to my room, I decided I’d test the WiFi signal and made the call as I continued walking toward the shoreline.
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