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Las Vegas celebrity golf course designers light up Sin City

By S. Adam Cardais,

There's no shortage of so-called 'brand name' golf courses in Las Vegas, that much is for sure.

Any ranking of Vegas' courses could indeed be read like a ranking of the world's celebrity golf architects competing for recognition as the most ambitions, the most daring, high roller in no-limit course design. Practically every Vegas track carries the stamp of names like Dye, Fazio and Weiskopf.

When you're ready to cash in your chips at the Bellagio, check out these Las Vegas golf courses by celebrity designers.

When you're ready to cash in your chips at the Bellagio, check out these Las Vegas courses by celebrity designers.

Top designers glitter in Las Vegas

Shadow Creek: If you're going to play one 'brand name' Vegas track, this would probably have to be it. Designed by Tom Fazio, this is arguably the most exclusive golf course in Sin City (it's surrounded by a fence, after all).

It is only open to guests of MGM Mirage properties and remains the standard in high roller Las Vegas golf. A private limousine transports golfers to and from the course, where they┬╣re met by a personal caddy. This luxury doesn't come cheap, with green fees running around $500, but it's worth it.

"What do you get for this fee?" Doug Saunders wrote in a review for LasVegasGolf.com. "You will find yourself transported to the greatest golf course created by man."

The Falls: This Tom Weiskopf design is one of the most visually stunning courses in Vegas, with its dramatic elevation changes and sweeping views of the city's skyline. It also has lightning fast greens and some severe bunkering, making it a great, if shocking golf experience.

"Dramatic? The Falls is Sean Penn in full ham-it-up, Oscar-seeking I-Am-Sam form," Chris Baldwin wrote in a review for LasVegasGolf.com. "It is so over the top it practically clonks you over the head with its grand ambitions. And you know what? It works."

The Wolf course at Las Vegas Paiute Resort: This track is the diabolical Pete Dye at his best, or his worst, depending on how you look at it. The golf course is full of swales, fake fairways, alternate landing areas and plenty of uneven lies. And at a staggering 7,604 yards, it is the longest golf course in Nevada.

"They should never have let Pete Dye loose in the desert," Tim McDonald wrote in a story for LasVegasGolf.com. This golf course "brings out the darkest side of Dye, probably the most controversial golf course architect of his time. The course is so treacherous, it's almost mystical.

Cascata Golf Club: This Rees Jones design ranked fourth in LasVegasGolf.com's Las Vegas Top-10 list. It features undulating, fast greens and plenty of solitude. The opening hole is a pleasure to play, with a stream winding along the left side and well-thought-out bunkering. The final hole is even more impressive. The par-5 has spectacular views and a truly formidable, 200-foot elevation change from the tee to the green.

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