Monday, January 1, 2007
Las Vegas, Nevada
America's most exciting city has great golf tooStrip Golf. Golf course operators in Las Vegas regularly concede and admit that gambling is and always will be the main draw to the area. But that doesn’t mean you can’t combine the two during your stay. A few of the casinos have golf courses nearby; however, they come with a price. The new Wynn Golf Club and Bali Hai are both on the Las Vegas Strip, and both have relatively high green fees. The Wynn ($500/round) is Tom Fazio’s follow-up to his Shadow Creek masterpiece (located off the strip about 15 minutes northward), this time with scores of trees, steep undulations and waterfalls. Bali Hai ($325/round) is a departure from the norm too, with a look and feel that’s supposed to mimic the South Pacific. Hmmm, that might be a stretch for us, but the scenery is beautiful nonetheless, and the golf course is a solid test—with or without the tropical white sands. For more info, visit www.shadowcreek.com, www.balihaigolfclub.com and wynnlasvegas.com.
Hoover Dam. You’d have to be born yesterday to not at least have heard of the Hoover Dam. Yet, how many of you have actually seen it? The Hoover Dam is worth your while, and even better, it’s within 30 minutes of The Strip. Few people realize the Hoover Dam helped lead the migration west across the United States by supplying power to the sprawling Los Angeles Basin. Another little-known fact is that none of the energy produced is used to charge Vegas’ neon lights. For more info, visit www.usbr.gov/lc/hooverdam/.
Big Hitters. It’s only fitting that a long drive contest occur in the dry, warm Nevada desert. Taking place an hour from Las Vegas, in Mesquite, in October, the RE/MAX Long Drive Championships feature not only some of the longest hitters in the world, but also a chance for golfers to test their own long-drive ability to win the $125,000 prize. Local qualifiers are spread throughout the country and are open to men, women, juniors and seniors. For the scoop on dates and qualifying, visit www.longdrivers.com.
Locals Only. The slots and blackjack tables have no guarantees, but when it comes to choosing the right “local friendly” golf course, there are a few sure bets. Courses like Angel Park GC, The Legacy Golf Club and Siena Golf Club all serve as more-affordable alternatives from the higher-priced (sometimes overdone) courses around The Strip. Angel Park is also a great place to brush up on a lesson with its huge learning center, putting course and lighted par-3 course. The Legacy is a solid test—it’s often host to several marquee events and local qualifiers. As for Siena, it’s a lovely stroll. For more information, visit www.angelpark.com, www.thelegacygc.com and www.sienagolfclub.com.
Paiute Golf. Yeah, we know it’s hard to spell and pronounce, but the courses at Paiute (pie-oot) Golf Resort shouldn’t be missed. There are three Pete Dye-designed courses to choose from: Sun Mountain, Snow Mountain and Wolf. Both Mountain courses are fun, but it’s the Wolf Course that leaves golfers howling for more. Make no bones about it—this course is tough, but the sense of accomplishment after playing it makes it worth it. For more info, visit www.lvpaiutegolf.com.
Lake Las Vegas. A tranquil retreat from the hustle and bustle of The Strip, the Lake Las Vegas Resort is becoming more and more popular, thanks to a new Ritz Carlton, the spectacular Falls Golf Club and the popular Reflection Bay Golf Club. There’s also a Hyatt Regency and Vacation Villas for rent, as well as the relaxing Montelago Village where guests can eat, drink and often attend one of many outdoor concerts. If you catch our drift, the Lake Las Vegas Resort is definitely classier than The Strip—and by the looks of things, it’s going to stay that way. For more info, visit www.lakelasvegas.com.
Food Lines. Las Vegas was once known as the unofficial home of the food buffet line, with many hotels offering up the standard fare of 24-hour foods from morning until night. Nowadays, Las Vegas cuisine is anything but run-of-the-mill, as several of the world’s leading chefs have relocated to the area. Eat in decadence at Emeril Lagasse’s Delmonico Steakhouse in the Venetian or eat in style at Wolfgang Puck’s Spago at Caesar’s Palace. For a thorough listing of celebrity chef restaurants, visit the Dining section of www.visitlasvegas.com.
Evening Entertainment. No other place on earth rivals the variety in evening entertainment that Las Vegas provides. Whether it’s boxing, magic, music, theater, dance, acrobatic acts, comedy, live animals, marquee celebrities—if you can think of it, it’s probably already there. Popular shows include Blue Man Group, Danny Gans, any Cirque du Soleil show, Elton John, Celine Dion and the new Phantom Spectacular. But, before you plunk down more than $100 for a ticket, check out Vegas’ own version of New York’s TKTS. Look for Tickets2Nite (located by the huge Coke bottle in the middle of The Strip) for discount show tickets, or visit one of many trusted ticket brokers online. (888) 4-TIX-2-NITE
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