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VegasChatter Reviews / Golf / Golfing / Golf Courses / Primm / Primm Valley Golf Course / Off Strip / Adventure Vegas / Active Vegas / → All Tags
A 40-minute ride south on the I-15, before the elevation begins to rise and the driver becomes subject to the laws of California, lies Primm, Nevada. A dusty locale situated in the Mohave Desert, Primm signifies both beginning and end -- the commencement of an action-packed weekend in Las Vegas for those commuting from California, the final stop on the ride south for those departing Nevada.
To call Primm a city would be akin to designating the MGM Grand a sovereign state. The 2000 census population for Primm was just 436 people. It's more of a rest stop than a city, but it's a rest stop with plenty of attractions and, in typical Southern Nevada tradition, plenty of excitement.
We made the trek down to Primm under the guise of a round of golf at the Primm Valley Golf Club, but with an 8:00 a.m. tee time, there were plenty of hours left in the day for us to explore the various attractions the city has to offer.
Golf / Golfing / Golf Courses / Michael Jordan Celebrity Invitational / Shadow Creek / Michael Jordan / → All Tags
Even at 58 years of age, the Wizard of Oz still had enough magic left in his 15-time All-Star body to emerge victorious amidst a sea of worthy competition.
Hall of Fame shortstop Ozzie Smith and former Cardinals teammate Vince Coleman joined forces in Las Vegas over the weekend to win the 12th annual Michael Jordan Celebrity Golf Invitational (presented by Aria) at the world-renowned Shadow Creek. Smith and Coleman shot an 11-under, 133 during the two-day scramble and held off a late surge from the team of NHL Hall of Famer Wayne Gretzky and Ahmad Rashad for a four-stroke victory.
Golf / Golfing / Golf Courses / Active Vegas / Off Strip / → All Tags
Amid the blue-collar community of North Las Vegas -- where the style and swagger of the world-renowned Strip gives way to the more traditional American ambience of pickup trucks, apartment complexes and fast food eateries -- lies an emerald paradise whose beauty is matched only by its ferocity. Carefully secluded from the outside world, it's where privacy and splendor converge to stop time, if only for a few hours, before the necessary return to the rank and file.
With an understated elegance mindful of tradition, Shadow Creek golf course embodies the opulent lifestyle of Las Vegas without the overblown penchant for excess. You don't golf Shadow Creek, you experience it, just as one does not simply stare at the Mona Lisa or merely listen to Beethoven's Symphony No. 9. Shadow Creek transcends the expectations of what a golf course should be and emerges to the classification of what it truly is: A work of art.
Golf / Golfing / Golf Courses / Michael Jordan / Michael Jordan Celebrity Invitational / Shadow Creek / → All Tags
Did you honestly think His Airness would pick any other golf course? Greatness knows greatness. And, if Michael Jordan is going to host a golf tournament in Las Vegas for charity, you know damn well he's going to do it on the best track in town.
VegasChatter Flashback / Golf / Golfing / Shadow Creek / Michael Jordan / Michael Jordan Celebrity Invitational / → All Tags
Tickets are still available and general admission pricing is holding steady at last year's rate of $30 a day. Keep an eye on Travelzoo, though, as it has offered 2-for-1 deals in the past. Now, as part of a VegasChatter Flashback, we remind you of the seven things you need to know before showing up on the greens:
1. You don't need to cab it. Shadow Creek isn't located anywhere close to The Strip. In fact, it's about a 25-30 minute drive from Bellagio. Instead of forking over the cab fare, take MGM Resorts up on complimentary shuttle service. You'll have to get to the pick-up/drop-off point at ARIA's North Valet (that's in the back, off of Harmon Ave.), but they'll take over from there. On Thursday and Friday, shuttles will take guests to Shadow Creek from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. On Saturday and Sunday, shuttles will run guests to the course from 7 a.m. to noon. Continuous return service from Shadow Creek to ARIA will be provided until 7 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, and 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Whether leaving or returning, shuttles will run on a 30-minute schedule.
Of all the possibly thoughts that could have been running through this writer's mind during a recent outing at Bear's Best Golf Course, this was the cogitation that had seared itself into our cerebrum. The surrounding beauty of the nearby mountains, a unique layout and the tranquil environment with which Bear's Best calls home were temporarily forced to take a backseat to a third-tier quote from an Adam Sandler movie.
We didn't plan for this to happen. Nor did we want it to. But, 18-time Major Championship winner Jack Nicklaus had set a bear trap in West Las Vegas... and we happily walked right into it.
The first thing you'll notice is the quiet. It's unmistakable. Perhaps, it takes a few holes or maybe you become cognizant of this feature while standing on the tee box at No. 1. But, either way, there will come a point during any golfer's round at Arroyo Golf Club at Red Rock when they realize this course is almost completely devoid of ambient noise and distraction.
That's a big plus in this golfer's book, which is not to say we dislike courses that fail to offer such a benefit. But, this Chatter'er has long subscribed to the notion that the game of golf is as much about the physical and mental challenge as it is the opportunity to unplug from the world and relax for a few hours.
As if the serenity weren't enough to put our minds at ease, Arroyo Golf Club is nestled close to the base of the nearby Red Rock mountains in the Vegas suburb of Summerlin, meaning every hole that faces west offers a beautiful vista of the remarkable surrounding landscape. As you have no doubt already gathered, Arroyo scores well in the ambience and aesthetics categories.
Golf / Aria / Michael Jordan Celebrity Invitational / Shadow Creek / MGM Resorts / Michael Jordan / Golfing / Golf Courses / Events / → All Tags
Celebrities for this year's event haven't been announced yet, but the short list of famous people that played the MJCI in the past is quite impressive. Sports legends include Wayne Gretzky, Charles Barkley, Mario Lemieux and Julius “Dr. J” Erving while entertainment personalities have been highlighted by Mark Wahlberg, Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell and Don Cheadle.
The prominent topic in Las Vegas over the last few weeks -- both in face-to-face conversation and via social media -- has been the city's displeasure with the unseasonably cool temperatures that have swept across the landscape. Never mind the fact that not a single flake of snow has found its way onto the valley floor. (Although, quite a few things did freeze over including the fountains of Caesars.) Nevertheless, we live in the desert. We moved here because we prefer warm temperatures.
That's not to say that a colder climate is devoid of benefit. A big advantage awaits golfers unafraid of donning an extra layer of fabric to brave the Vegas morn. The chilly air has kept a large percentage of golfers away from the courses, paving the way for casual four-hour rounds spent focusing on one's game rather than the amount of time it's taking the group in front to clear the green.
We capitalized in full on nature's recent gift to the brave with an early January round at Painted Desert, an 18-hole layout situated on the western side of town. Designed by Jay Morrish and opened to the public in 1987, Painted Desert stakes claim to being one of the first desert layouts in Las Vegas. Tight fairways with a few strategically placed water hazards are two course characteristics to keep in mind when approaching the first tee.
Golf / Golfing / Golf Courses / Active Vegas / Wolf Creek Golf Club / Mesquite / VegasChatter Reviews / Off Strip / → All Tags
If not for the slightly chilled winter air that blew gently against our exposed faces during a recent December afternoon, it would have been easy to confuse our outing at Wolf Creek Golf Club with something out of a video game. After all, you don't encounter vistas with this type of jaw-dropping power during the rigors of day-to-day life. This was something different, something special. It's something that won't soon be forgotten and definitely something worth writing about.
Wolf Creek was ranked right near the top of our must-play list when we began writing this column at VegasChatter last summer for a variety of reasons. The course was named Golf Digest's 2011 Fans' Choice Champion (best public course in America) and appeared in the 2009 installment of the ever-popular Tiger Woods PGA Tour video game. And let's not forget about the pictures. One look at the Wolf Creek website is sure to seal the deal for any golfer tentative about making the 87-mile trek out to Mesquite for an afternoon on the links.
Let's start with the obvious: You're not going to find a more scenic or awe-inspiring course in Southern Nevada than Wolf Creek. The lush, 6,939-yard layout winds up and down through the rugged Mesquite canyons like a roller coaster, offering a combination of Instagram-friendly photo opportunities with challenging risk/reward tee shots and approaches. The first great example of this feature takes place on the tee box of the Par-4, 445-yard second, where you'll take in a breathtaking view of the course and surrounding mountains while contemplating how much of an angle to cut on this downhill, severe dogleg left.
Dark, ominous clouds hung over the city of Las Vegas Thursday morning as we made our way east on the 95, but the mood in the car was far from maleficent. A bad day on the golf course is still superior to a good day at the office. Lucky for us, the rain held off, the sun came out and Frank Sinatra continued to croon the way you look tonight over the speakers.
This last part is particularly important because we find Sinatra's music to serve a crucial function in the moments leading up to tee time. Your head needs to be in the right place if you're going to have any success on the links and we can't think of anybody better at easing the mood and calming the nerves than Ol' Blue Eyes.
And, you'll need to be of sound mind to tackle the challenge that awaited us on the east side of town.
VegasChatter Reviews / Golf / Golfing / Golf Courses / Off Strip / Adventure Vegas / Active Vegas / Spanish Traill Country Club / → All Tags
The text message arrived on Tuesday at approximately 10:35 a.m. PST and simply read, "Spanish Trail at 8:30 on Thursday" in such a matter-of-fact manner that we couldn't help but immediately clear our schedule and spit shine our clubs. Opportunities like this were meant to be seized.
Behind a guarded gatehouse intended to both intimidate and intrigue lie 27 holes of championship golf that will test every facet of your game. Founded in 1984, Spanish Trail Country Club was designed by the highly regarded Robert Trent Jones Jr. (Princeville, Chambers Bay) and offers three different nine-hole layouts (named Canyon, Lakes and Sunrise) with ratings ranging from 72.9 to 74.0 off the blue tees.
For the uninitiated, that means this place is no walk in the park. And, even if it were, it would be a park that you would need connections to access because Spanish Trail has one distinguishing characteristic from all the other courses we've reviewed here at VegasChatter...