There are many famous places to play golf. Courses like St Andrews and The King’s Course in Scotland, The Stadium at Sawgrass, Augusta National Golf Club in the United States, and Royal County Down Golf Club in Northern Ireland, are world renowned for offering an exciting challenge in a prestigious setting.
But they are not the only places you can play a few holes. There are plenty of golf clubs right across the globe that are looking to muscle in on the action. Many of these can be found in the United Arab Emirates, including The Els Club, Yas Links Abu Dhabi, Jumeirah Golf Estates Clubhouse, and the Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club.
Not to be outdone, Las Vegas has also been making an effort to establish itself as a center for global golfing. But is a fairway punctuated by towering casino resorts really the best environment to play?
Why Would Las Vegas Build Golf Courses Anyway?
When you think of a golf course, you picture luscious green grass that stretches for as far as the eye can see, undulation, water hazards, and maybe some trees thrown in for an extra challenge.
The middle of one of North America’s most barren landscapes is probably not the most conducive of environments to build it. Yet, this is exactly where you can find several full-sized courses, many of which meet every one of the needed criteria.
Of course, major feats of engineering are required to make this possible, including systems to provide the foliage and fairways with sufficient water to keep them alive. This is an expensive effort and one that course owners, who are often also casino owners, wouldn’t expend if they weren’t able to generate a tidy profit.
But how and why would anyone invest? Well, Las Vegas is, of course, best known for its casinos. These venues are already accustomed to hosting major sporting events. The city has been hosting the Main Event of the WSOP since the 1970s and has been the home of boxing since the late 1950s. Vegas is also home to the Raiders NFL team, Golden Knights NHL team, and Aces WNBA team.
From 2023, the city will also be a stop on the Formula 1 calendar, with a night race taking place right on the famous strip.
The added attraction of spectacular golf courses for the general public to use in between major competitions helps to attract more revelers to the city, generating more revenue for the casinos and supporting the economy as a whole.
But is Golf in Vegas Any Good?
So we know why a casino or resort owner would invest eye watering sums in a golf course, but do these courses live up to the hype?
Well, not all courses in the city are equal, though the vast majority are reviewed favorably by most visitors.
For the casual golfer, the Las Vegas Golf Center is a great option. It features only nine holes and doesn’t have the same beauty as some of the others, but the driving range is incredibly popular. The center is also affordable and welcoming to everyone, making it a great place to play.
At the other end of the scale, the Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort offers a very different experience. From the air, its bright green fairways contrast sharply against the orange desert sand but, when you stand on them, you’d swear you were surrounded by acres of grass. Paiute Golf Resort’s three championship golf courses have been designed by Pete Dye, a leading golf architect, while its clubhouse offers all the amenities you’d expect from a prestigious venue anywhere else in the world.
Paiute isn’t the only luxury option. The Bali Hai Golf Club is a championship golf course right on the Las Vegas strip. It is a truly unique experience to tee off surrounded by the skyline of the city, including the golden facades of the Delano and Mandalay Bay resorts.
So in short, yes, Las Vegas is a great place to play golf. It may not have the same history and prestige as St Andrews, but it offers spectacular courses.
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