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Golf Summerlin in Las Vegas: With three courses, it's all about choice

Bill BowmanBy Bill Bowman,
Golf Summerlin - Highland Falls - No. 15 fairway
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Golf Summerlin's Highland Falls Course offers some of the best views in Las Vegas. (Courtesy of Golf Summerlin)

LAS VEGAS -- If you're going to Vegas, you want choices. Whether it's Italian or steak for dinner; comedy, magic or musical for entertainment; blackjack or craps for your gaming. Well, it's the same with your golf.

That's where Golf Summerlin comes into play. With three golf courses, there are choices.

But it doesn't just stop with the number of courses. Want to play a quick 18 holes on an executive course? Check out Eagle Crest. A mid-length layout with stunning views? Highland Falls is the place to be. A lengthier and more challenging design? Palm Valley is the spot to tee it up.

With these three layouts, all designed by Billy Casper and Greg Nash, you'll find the variety you want at great prices. And in Vegas, that's a combination that can't be beat.

"All three courses at Golf Summerlin offer great views of the Las Vegas Valley and very enjoyable golf without beating you up," said Joe Kelly, director of golf at Golf Summerlin. "And our prices offer some of the best value for golf anywhere in the country."

Golf Summerlin: On the course(s)

Starting with Eagle Crest, players will find a par-60 course that reaches 4,067 yards. This is a solid test of golf, especially for the short game.

The par 3s range from 115 yards to 224 yards so it's definitely no pushover. And with undulating, quick greens, even the best players in your group will be tested with the flat stick.

The closing hole is a risk/reward dynamo. At 370 yards, this par 4 isn't long, but what it lacks in length, it more than makes up for in challenge. At about 220 yards off the tee, a drop-off takes players some 30 yards down to the fairway below. Hitting driver isn't always the right choice as players can find themselves with a very tricky side-hill lie facing a narrow green. The best shot is a long iron to the edge of the drop-off and a mid-iron in from a fat lie. But if you're up to the challenge, go for it. After all, we're talking about choices.

"Eagle Crest is a great executive course," Kelly said. "It's a good challenge with great views. It doesn't get much better when you're talking about executive golf courses."

Highland Falls is the spot to be for some of the best views in Vegas. Don't believe us? Grab your clubs and your camera and step onto the 14th tee. This par 3, stretching to 206 yards, drops some 30 feet to the green below.

But that's not the impressive view. Look straight ahead and gaze at the famed Las Vegas Strip -- in its entirety, right before your eyes. On the rest of the course, it's the elevation changes -- both rising and falling -- from most tees to greens that will impress players and challenge them to pull the right club.

"At Highland Falls, you're looking to play more of a finesse game," Kelly said. "It's not always driver off the tee here. You're looking more for position off the tee for that perfect yardage in to the green. And then you're looking for position on the greens, looking for uphill putts. It's a challenging course, but it's also a thinking course."

Palm Valley's the longest of the three at almost 6,900 yards. The course opens and closes with par 5s that are both long enough to challenge everyone (537 yards and 534 yards) but also in the range where the big hitters can give them a go in two and take a shot at opening or closing the round with eagle putts.

But beware: Strategically placed bunkers can wreak havoc if shots stray off-line both off the tee and into greens. "If you're a power golfer, Palm Valley is definitely your place to play," Kelly said. "There are longer par 3 holes here, and length off the tee is a definite plus to scoring well."

Golf Summerlin: In the clubhouse

All three Summerlin golf courses have that hometown feel to them. There are no bells and whistles, just friendly, attentive staff members along with good selections of clothing and accessories.

All three also have restaurants to fill up before or after the round.

Golf Summerlin: The verdict

With three different golf courses in the Golf Summerlin family, you'll find one (or two or three) that will fit your needs.

You can pick one of the three layouts to tackle on your next trip to Las Vegas, or you can tee it up on all three. After all, the choice is yours.

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Golf Summerlin - Palm Valley - hole 8Golf Summerlin - Eagle Crest - hole 1Golf Summerlin - Palm Valley - hole 15Golf Summerlin - Eagle Crest - hole 5Golf Summerlin - Highland Falls - 5th green

Bill Bowman is a Las Vegas-based writer who has more than 40 years in the sports-writing business. He's spent the past 16-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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