PRIMM VALLEY GOLF CLUB: THE LAKES
By Jeff Alexander
I know in past golf course reviews I’ve alluded to the three G’s that bring so many of you guys to Las Vegas: Golf, Girls, and Gambling. The girls are always spectacular, (more “10’s” per square foot than anywhere else in the world), the gambling is always exciting, (especially if you hit a hot streak), but some of you guys aren’t so nuts about our desert courses that are the norm here. You get no thrill hitting from sun-baked roughs filled with rocks, cacti, sagebrush, and sometimes hissing rattlers! I’m exaggerating a bit, but on a desert course, you better hit the green grass in the center of the fairway or there’s hell to pay and not much fun in your round.
If you’re one of those disenchanted with desert golf—hang on—‘cause Primm Valley Golf Club may be just the course that will have you schlepping your clubs to Vegas again.
Located about 35 minutes from the Strip on Route 15, just over the Nevada/California line, Primm Valley is like being transported to a course at a southern plantation, or to upstate Michigan or New York. It’s eighteen gloriously green holes of plush, tree-lined fairways with water in play on ten of those holes and absolutely no desert to be seen! Tom Fazio designed two courses here, so for those of you who do love desert courses, there is also another eighteen that they call, (oddly enough), The Desert Course. It, too, is a great course, but I’ll ignore it now, in favor of describing The Lakes Course for my non-desert-course aficionados.
The Primm Valley courses are really out in the boondocks. When you cross the California border and turn right onto a nondescript road, you see nothing but a vast expanse of dry, scrubby desert, and it’s a full three miles before the beautiful clubhouse appears, out of nowhere—like an oasis mirage! But here’s where the pleasure begins: unparalled courtesy right from the start; friendly staff that really lets you know they’re glad you came; (or was that last night?); and a verdant course you won’t believe is possible in such a harshly “desertous” (is that a word?) environment.
Do it—go to it—you’ll feel like you’re back home, as you tee off on the fairly long par four number one. Greenness surrounds you and the fairways are manicured to the max. The second hole is a sweet par 5 hugging a lake as it doglegs left to the green. Three, four and five are straight ahead par fours of good length with no water hazards, and six is a gorgeous par three over Ivanpah Lake to an elevated green. Seven, eight and nine are again waterless, but long and challenging with straight tee shots necessary to avoid the many trees lining their fairways.
On the back nine it’s “water, water, everywhere,” but more beauty than beast. Although seven of the back nine holes have water, they’re very playable holes and the water was designed into the course more for beauty than penalization. At 6945 yards from the black tees and 6444 from the blue, The Lakes Course is long enough to be challenging without beating you up, especially since you can spray the ball a bit without landing in any desert rough.
You have a lot of choices at Primm Valley. Replay rates are reasonable, so you could make a day of it and play 36: The Lakes twice or a taste of both courses by also playing 18 on The Desert. As you would expect, the pro shop and dining facilities are exceptional, the vistas are beautiful, and the short trip by car to the serenity of Primm Valley will be well worth it. Primm Valley will recharge your batteries, pumping you up for your night of the important casino sports: Gambling and Girls!
Primm Valley Golf Club • 702-679-5509 • PrimmValleyGolf.com