Just as not everyone comes to Sin City for the gambling and the glitz, not every golfer is here to go mano-a-mano for 18 holes a day. Fortunately, some places know that.
"Fear not," TravelGolf.com's Chris Baldwin recently reassured Vegas visitors, "there are more places to turn than you think. Vegas actually has a nice selection of courses for those not looking to prove anything except that golf is supposed to be fun."
Take Siena Golf Club. This course in the Summerlin neighborhood claims to be Tuscan-themed. There isn't much desert in Tuscany, as far as I know, but the course is beautiful nonetheless, and the Italian-themed clubhouse restaurant has a patio with vistas over Lake Siena to Vegas proper.
With 97 bunkers sprinkled around the layout, short hitters have a distinct advantage at Siena, and the sloped, tiered greens will put your putter to the test. This isn't the place for those aiming to get in touch with their inner Bubba Watson, but most golfers will enjoy it.
At an elevation of 3,000 feet, Angel Park is cooler than most Vegas courses, an important consideration for older golfers. You can also beat the heat at the club's Cloud Nine Night Course, with 12 replica par-3 holes to test your iron play under the lights.
Saving money can be fun too, especially in these parts. Up-market it isn't, but Craig Ranch Golf Course in North Las Vegas might be the cheapest game in town, and the player-friendliest, with massive fairways ideally suited for beginners.
Circa-1963 Desert Rose Golf Course may be one Las Vegas' oldest tracks, but it has kept up with the times admirably in terms of conditions and facilities. The prices are definitely old-school, though.
This is a walkers' course (although carts are available) with wide Bermuda fairways flanked by pine trees. Don't be lulled by the soft feel; those trees lay in wait for wayward shooters , as to the strategically placed bunkers. Prototypical of the course is the 607-yard, par-5 fourth - long but playable, moderately challenging and definitely enjoyable.
June 19, 2006
Having boarded the luxurious MV Europa 2 in Lisbon, Clive Agran had five days of golf cruising ahead. For those unfamiliar with the concept, golf cruising is a glorious combination of golf and cruising where a sedate sail is punctuated with the occasional round of golf.
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