Chimera Golf Club: Different name, same challenges for popular Las Vegas course
HENDERSON, Nev. -- Golfers who have teed it up in Las Vegas may have noticed a new course in the listings, Chimera Golf Club. But it's a course that many golfers are all too familiar with.
Chimera Golf Club, located in Henderson about 20 minutes from the Las Vegas Strip, was formerly known as Tuscany Golf Club before new ownership took over.
The course was designed by Ted Robinson Jr. and opened for play in 2003. From the tips, it's 6,906 yards of golf that combines scenic views, dramatic elevation changes, quick greens and just enough water features to whet the appetite.
It's time to say hello to an old friend.
Chimera Golf Club: On the course
Chimera (ki-meer-uh) is one of those golf courses that is appealing for the simple fact that wide fairways let players grab the driver and grip it and rip it.
Well, to a certain point. Picture-perfect bunkering and a couple of ponds come into play should drives drift a little wayward.
That's one of the reasons it is a favorite of Canada's Thomas Clare. Clare and a few of his friends winter in Las Vegas and play all around the valley. "This course has plenty of room off the tee, and the greens are excellent," he said. "You give me those, and I'm a happy guy."
Tough finishing holes
"There are 16 holes that are about the fairest holes golfers will find," said Ty Rucarean, chief of operational innovation and golf professional. "And then there's the two big challenges: the ninth and the 18th. Players really need to think their way through those two holes."
The ninth is a par 4 that reaches 404 yards from the tips. A pond on the left side will catch drives when players try to bite off too much of the dogleg. But hitting it right also brings challenges into play as a bunker, around 220 yards off the tee, also catches its share of errant drives. The approach shot is into a green with that same pond standing guard left and long with a bunker on the right side. A par (or even a birdie) here will probably win you a skin from your buddies.
That sets the stage for one of the toughest finishing holes -- the par-4 18th.
At 440 yards, this one's a brute, so hitting the fairway is a must. But even that won't guarantee an easy approach shot as the fairway slopes downhill at around 240 yards. That will leave a slight (in most cases) downhill lie into a green that is guarded by a pond in front and on the right. On the left side is a stream that feeds the pond. Needless to say, pin-point accuracy is a must on this hole.
Clare added these two holes can definitely make or break the round. "The 9th is brutally tough," he said. "When you've got 180 yards over the water, it is a challenge. And the 18th, I made a par there today. I chipped up short of the water and chipped onto the green and made the putt. But you can just as easily make a 7 on the hole."
Chimera Golf Club: Additions
A fountain has been added to the lakes on the ninth and 18th holes to enhance the ambience. Other upgrades include a new fleet of carts, digital caddy GPS tablets in the carts and an upgraded clubhouse (that is scheduled to be upgraded even more in the near future).
The new clubhouse also has a deck overlooking the picturesque ninth. It's a comfortable and scenic spot for that post-round drink or a leisurely meal with friends.
Chimera Golf Club: In the clubhouse
From breakfast to lunch specials ('dogs, wings, tenders, wraps, etc.), the choices can satisfy any appetite. And there's more on the way: Plans are in the works for a second bar in the clubhouse complete with a pizza oven to add to the dining choices.
Add in a bar with more than 40 beer selections, and you can't go wrong. There's also new espresso equipment on site as well as a barista to mix your favorite coffee drinks.
Chimera Golf Club: The verdict
It may have a new name and new owners, but Chimera Golf Club has the same golf challenges that have made it a favorite of locals and visitors alike.
Risk/reward holes (the par 5s and the driveable, par-4 16th at 299 yards), dynamic par 3s and water features all add up to a round of golf that will test players from start to finish and bring them back for more.