Arroyo Golf Club at Red Rock: A public golf course with a private feel

By William K. Wolfrum, Contributor

LAS VEGAS -- Combined with the private Red Rock Country Club, the Arnold Palmer-designed Arroyo Golf Club at Red Rock gives off its own private feel. The employees at this Las Vegas mainstay provide personal attention you'll rarely find at other public golf courses.

18 Holes | Public | Par: 72 | 6883 yards
Arroyo Golf Club - No. 18
At Arroyo, strategically placed bunkers combine with water hazards and a challenging design that will please golfers of all levels.
Arroyo Golf Club - No. 18Arroyo Golf Club at Red RockArroyo Golf Club at Red Rock - hole 1 greenArroyo Golf Club at Red Rock - hole 18Arroyo Golf Club at Red Rock - No. 7

Palmer originally designed a 27-hole run before adding nine holes to provide a daily-fee option. The original 27 holes meshed with the new nine and then split into two 18-hole entities.

The result? The play at Arroyo G.C. is pure Palmer class. Strategically placed bunkers combine with water hazards and a challenging design that will please golfers of all levels.

"You have to be able to play a little bit here," said Sandra Weddell, a 12-handicap from Washington. "They put a lot of bunkers in the way."

Arroyo Golf Club at Red Rock: Scoring awaits

Locals and out-of-towners return to Arroyo Golf Club for its scoring potential. Playing to 6,857 yards from the back tees, Arroyo presents manageable challenges if you're on your game. Water is present, but it's more aesthetic than penal.

The golf course demands a quick warm-up for the 580-yard, par-5 first hole. As Arroyo continues, long-hitting, average handicappers wonder if they should have played from the back tees. Distance is generally not a factor.

What is a factor are the greens. Firm and fast as lightning, they make three-putts a possibility on every hole. You may need a couple holes to determine how to deal with speedy putting surfaces, but that will ranks as the main scoring challenge for low handicappers.

No. 14, a short par 3, provides a challenge. Its two-tiered green tests accuracy, and a tee shot to the wrong part of the green almost guarantees a three-putt.

"Just some local knowledge," said Bruce Garon of Las Vegas, "but the greens always break away from the mountains."

Arroyo Golf Club at Red Rock: A visual delight

The most rewarding aspect of Arroyo Golf Club at Red Rock, its incredible desert scenery, caught the attention of Palmer, and he has taken full advantage.

"Come the sixth hole, you'll get some incredible views of the Red Rock Mountains," Arroyo's John Pearson said.

Your round will include encounters with wildlife, especially the ever-present rabbits and squirrels, though a coyote or two may join you for an early tee time.

Overall, Arroyo Golf Club at Red Rock perfectly represents desert golf in Las Vegas, from its stunning views to the large swaths of desert landscape and flora. And it challenges your game.

Arroyo Golf Club at Red Rock: The verdict

For players who enjoy overwhelming a driver, Arroyo Golf Club may not rank as the dream golf course. Many holes don't require a long shot off the tee to set up a good approach. Nonetheless, it's an entertaining golf course that will leave you licking your chops at times.

The service puts Arroyo G.C. over the top. From the moment you arrive, the staff takes care of your every need. Players are offered free range balls and a trip to the driving range, and Pearson will make sure everything is available -- from sunscreen to insider tips on the golf course.

In the end, the scoring possibilities, the layout and service make Arroyo an extremely playable and pleasant day of golf.

Arroyo Golf Club: Prices and Promotions

The price for an overall round has dropped almost 50 percent from 2007, said club pro Andy Elliott. It runs from $99 to $169 a round, but sister course, Siena Golf Club offers rounds at both golf courses for a reduced rate.

The carts at Arroyo Golf Club include a GPS system that helps when distances are confusing. At the clubhouse, the Arroyo Grill offers a fine menu for breakfast and lunch in addition to a full bar. The expansive locker rooms add to the private feel, offering many amenities.

William K. WolfrumWilliam K. Wolfrum, Contributor

William K. Wolfrum keeps one eye on the PGA Tour and another watching golf vacation hotspots and letting travelers in on the best place to vacation. You can follow him on Twitter @Wolfrum.

Reader Comments / Reviews Leave a comment