It's a quarter to midnight, you've been at the craps tables all night and you're number still hasn't come in. Dejected, you head back to your room with the few dollars you've got left.
It wasn't your night. But lucky for you, one thing in Las Vegas isn't a gamble: the golf. Tomorrow you'll wake up to all the possibilities of one of the world's most luxurious golf playgrounds.
When it comes to having an unparalleled golf experience, the odds in Vegas will always be in your favor - though we can't promise you won't need at least a bit of luck to conquer some of these tracks.
Las Vegas National Golf Club: In a town where the first half the 20th century qualifies as caveman times, circa-'61 Las Vegas National is positively medieval. This is truly old-school Vegas - but nothing lasts this long in Sin City unless it still has something to offer.
"It's been going strong for 45 years and counting…and it's anything but a tired track," Chris Baldwin wrote in a story for LasVegasGolf.com. "This is the kind of place Frank Sinatra and Bob Hope would love, with towering palms trees, green as far as the eye can see and lakes spread around. It's about as desert-looking as San Diego."
The Falls: This Tom Weiskopf design is one of the most ridiculously ambitious courses in Vegas, with its dramatic elevation changes and lightning-fast greens. And with sweeping views of the skyline, it's also one of the most beautiful courses in the area and a great golf experience.
"The Falls delivers one of those rare, rare rounds you'll still be talking about five years later," Baldwin wrote in a 2004 review. Of course, rarity isn't cheap: Green fees here run about $300.
Shadow Creek: One of the most exclusive courses in Las Vegas, this Tom Fazio design is only open to guests of MGM Mirage properties. It remains the standard in high-roller Las Vegas golf: A $500 course that sends a private limousine to pick you up and greets you with a personal caddy.
"What do you get for this fee?" Doug Saunders asked in a 2002 review. "You will find yourself transported to the greatest golf course created by man."
A bit of an exaggeration, perhaps, but Shadow Creek is definitely one of the best places to play in Vegas, especially if you cleaned up at blackjack table the night before.
Cascata Golf Club: This Rees Jones features fast, undulating greens and plenty of solitude. The opening hole is a delight, with a stream winding along the left side and a series of well-placed bunkers. The final hole is even more impressive, a par 5 with spectacular views and a formidable 200-foot elevation change from tee to green.
October 2, 2006
Finding a golf course to play in the Sarasota/Bradenton area 45 miles south of Tampa is easy. World-ranked beaches, European-style boutique shopping and al fresco dining, and a fantastic circus museum are just a few of the choices available for off-course entertainment.
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