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|The par-3 15th hole on Paiute Wolf plays to an island green. (Courtesy of Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort)|
LAS VEGAS -- At first glance, it's enough to send shivers down any golfer's spine.
The Wolf Course at Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort is long -- 7,604 yards from the tips. And it's very challenging -- with rolling fairways, undulating greens and enough bunkers to form your own desert.
Despite all that, this is one golf course that is playable for everyone.
While the length is intimidating from the tips, four other sets of tees make the Wolf Course not only playable, but also extremely enjoyable.
"Believe it or not it's a favorite course -- especially among the ladies," said Chad Gunier, general manager at the Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort. "It's just the 7,600 yards that sticks in people's minds. But, with five sets of tees it's certainly very playable."
The first two holes give players the chance to ease into the round. From the black tees (one up from the tournament tees), the par-4 opening holes are 398 yards and 369 yards, respectively. Solid short-iron second shots can give players a pair of birdie chances to open the round.
"Hitting the fairways here is key," Gunier said. "If you hit it into the rough or the bunkers, that's where you're going to run into trouble. But, the fairways are wide and the greens are big."
The third hole is the longest of the par 5s (580 yards), but long hitters can go for the green in two -- if they avoid the bunkers off the tee and guarding the green.
There are no water features on the front nine, but water comes into play on four holes on the back, including two impressive par 3s.
The 12th hole plays to 181 yards from the black tees with water up the entire right side. A sandy beach guards the green short and right, while a bunker on the left side of the green takes away from the bailout area.
That hole will set the stage for the 15th, a 162-yard par 3 from the black tees with an island green. It's all or nothing.
Just ask Mike Jameson, who was on a golf trip with three of his buddies and decided to play the Wolf.
"The island green is just tremendous," said Jameson, who is from Canada. "Of course I put my tee shot on the green and these guys had a little water trouble, so I like it a lot more than they do."
Jameson added the group will return to Vegas -- and the Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort.
"This was by far the best course we've played," he said over a post-round beer. "With the rolling fairways you never had a flat lie and really had to concentrate on your shots. We will definitely be back. After all, there are two more courses out here to play."
"We've got three championship courses -- all three are ranked in the top 15 of the state," Gunier said. "The course conditions are always consistent and we don't have to overseed so we are always open for business."
Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort's pro shop/clubhouse is spacious from front to back, giving players plenty of room to check out the merchandise. The menu has a wide variety of options. Or simply grab a beer or drink at the bar and head out onto the patio to watch players finish their rounds.
One more nice touch is the smoking lounge, where you can sip fine liquors and light up a cigar and reminisce about the round.
Let's see: There are 54 holes of golf, three Pete Dye designs, tranquil settings, immaculate playing conditions, scrumptious dining choices and a friendly staff. Need we say more? We didn't think so.
But Gunier did have one final thought to pass along.
"Out here, you're not playing through houses," he said. "You get away from it all. It's just a peaceful setting with great landscaping and a lot of wildlife. It's a great escape to just get out and enjoy your day."
April 19, 2013
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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