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|Bali Hai Golf Club is a tropical-themed oasis right on the famed Las Vegas Strip. (Courtesy of Bali Hai G.C.)|
LAS VEGAS -- Step through the clubhouse doors at Bali Hai Golf Club in Las Vegas and you find yourself walking into a tropical-themed oasis where the golf course is immaculate, the ambiance exceptional and the surroundings stunning.
Located right on the famed Las Vegas Strip, Bali Hai is one of three themed courses in the Walters Golf family (along with Royal Links Golf Club and Desert Pines Golf Club). Bali Hai is a par-71 layout designed by Schmidt-Curley that stretches out to 7,002 yards. It's a golf destination that will cater to your every golf desire.
"We pride ourselves on the guest experience from the minute they arrive until they depart," said Josh Hill, corporate vice president of marketing for The Walters Group. "Our customer service is second to none."
Guests are greeted at the bag drop and their clubs are whisked away to the staging area. Players enter the magnificent clubhouse, which also houses Cili, one of Vegas' top restaurants and a great place for lunch or dinner.
With more than 2,500 soaring palm trees, 100,000 tropical plants and flowers, Augusta white-sand bunkers and deep-blue ponds, Bali Hai immediately welcomes players to a relaxing setting.
But it's the golf course -- with its challenging design -- that continues to impress guests.
"This is a great escape," Hill said. "It's a unique golf setting and one they are probably not expecting to find in Las Vegas. It's just a great, relaxing golf experience."
And it's getting noticed. Golf World rated Bali Hai the No. 6 public course in 2009.
Players get an early scoring chance of the first hole, a par 4 that's just 341 yards from the tips. A hybrid or long iron to the middle of the fairway will set up a short iron into an elevated green. Two good shots will set up a birdie chance. Take advantage because the challenge is about to be ramped up.
Pinpoint accuracy is a must at Bali Hai as fairways and greens gently slope and sway. While the par 5s are reachable in two (depending on which tees players use), there are enough perils -- bunkers, ponds, streams and volcanic rock outcroppings -- that players need to check their egos at the door and play smart golf in order to have the best chance to score well.
Caddies and forecaddies are invaluable on this course for reading putts as well as their course knowledge. They will help you enjoy your round.
Bali Hai saves the best for last. The 16th hole is a 141-yard par 3 from the tips to an island green, and two PGA Tour-length par 4s (the 484-yard 17th and 486-yard 18th) close the round. The 18th offers a view of Mandalay Bay in the distance.
"On the tee, you're so close to Mandalay Bay, you feel like you could actually break a window," Hill said.
The final drive must find the fairway because the second shot will tantalize the senses. The green is guarded in the front and right by a beach-like bunker, and a deep-blue pond adds to the test. A par here is a great score and a great way to end your round on an amazing layout.
Bali Hai Golf Club's tropical theme resonates through the clubhouse with the likes of Tommy Bahama, Fairway and Greene, Adidas, Ben Hogan and other lines dominating the selections. The clubhouse is continuously ranked as "One of the 100 Best Golf Shops in America" by Golf World Business.
Amenities include The Cabana Snack Bar, valet parking and so much more. One of the most unique touches at Bali Hai happens during the summer, when course hosts make the rounds with ice-cold, mango-scented towels to cool down golfers. In the winter, the staff brings out warm cookies directly from the Cili restaurant.
"We try to cater to their every need," Hill said.
You're not just any golfer to the staff at Bali Hai Golf Club, you're a VIP, and that's becoming a lost art but one the staff at Bali Hai takes very seriously. Tee it up once here and you'll wonder why you haven't checked out golf on the Las Vegas Strip before.
February 4, 2013
Bill Bowman is a Las Vegas-based writer who has nearly 40 years in the sports-writing business. He's spent the past 15-plus years covering the golf scene in Vegas and has teed it up for magazine profiles with celebrities including comedian Bill Engvall, actor Jeffrey Donovan (USA's Burn Notice), ESPN personality Colin Cowherd, NASCAR's Kurt Busch, Collective Soul's Ed Roland, the Baltimore Ravens' Jonathan Ogden and many others.
Any opinions expressed above are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the views of the management.
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