By Jeff Alexander
This course is not public. TPC Summerlin is a country club in the strictest sense: plush, private and manicured to the high levels expected by tour professionals. To play at the course, you must be accompanied by a member. So those of you who care to play on an exceptional golf course, need to call in your chits and make arrangements as soon as possible. Whether you live in Vegas, or are visiting, this is the premiere course to put on your schedule.
We all know that heavy gamblers get VIP treatment and the casinos are more than happy to comp a round of golf for those big shooters at the casino-affiliated courses around town. At TPC Summerlin, they could care less whether you’re a big shooter, little shooter or no shooter at all. You’re either a member or a friend of a member—or you don’t play there. That’s what makes for a true Country Club and though that may seem a bit elitist to some of you, there is an aura of excellence prevalent at exclusive country clubs that is absent at public or semi-private clubs. The facilities and amenities at TPC Summerlin are first-class, to say the least. The clubhouse is huge, impressively beautiful, and reminiscent of a classy hotel. The staff is professional and ready to accommodate your every need. All charges go on your host member’s account, so mind your manners and don’t over-gouge your welcome. Since your actions and attitude reflect directly upon your member/friend, correct golf etiquette is the order of the day.
The pro tees are back there: 7243 yards with a slope of 139; don’t bother if your handicap is over 10. At less than 400 yards shorter, the blue tees are a terrific challenge, while the blue/whites at 6557 and whites at 6292 are certainly manageable with slopes of 132, 129, and 121 respectively. This course is not a walk in the park, but rather a really challenging course with rolling topography that makes each hole unique and interesting. The large, magnificent homes that sit high above some of the holes are breathtaking, comparing in opulence with any course in the world. Of course, no matter how beautiful the facilities or pro shop or homes on the course, the proof of the pudding is the golf course, itself! There’s no disappointment here at TPC Summerlin. The fairways are practically putting surfaces and the greens are tight and true and tough.
I played the blue tees and there’s no easy start here, as the first and second holes are long par 4’s that require a solid straight drive and accurate second shot to bunker-protected greens. Three is a short but difficult par 5 and four is another long par 4. The next five holes ease up a bit, but the number one handicap hole is the par 4, 6th, another over-400-yarder that I don’t know how I parred, ‘cause two holes later I was triple-bogeying the 17 handicap 9th hole! Sometimes the game sucks. Sometimes it’s exhilarating. The back nine is full of long par 4’s much like the front. On this course, eight of the ten par 4’s are over 400 yards long and the number 2 handicap hole is the par four, 11th which features fairway sand bunkers right about where your drive lands. There are just four holes (all on the back nine) with any water, and it seriously comes into play on the 12th, 16th, 17th, and 18th holes. The par three 14th is a fun up-the-hiller, with tough putting angles. The other back nine par three 17th has a large left-side pond that eats golf balls like a piranha eats raw meat, and to add insult to injury, it’s also bunkered on the right. You’ve gotta hit a long iron and it better be straight. The 18th is a fine par four finishing hole leading you to the sweet, cushiony comfort of the 19th hole. Here’s where you can relax in an ambiance of luxury, lick your wounds, and thank your gracious friend or member for giving you a chance to play a TPC course right here in Vegas at which the touring pros make a stop each year. Beg, borrow, or steal—but get yourself a day of golf at TPC Summerlin.
TPC Summerlin 702-256-0111 • TPC.com/Summerlin