Eagle Crest Golf Course at Golf Summerlin: Time's no problem when you tee it up here
LAS VEGAS -- Want to play golf in Las Vegas, but you're a little short on time? No problem. Check out Eagle Crest Golf Course at Golf Summerlin.
This Billy Casper/Greg Nash executive course, which opened in 1995, is a par-60 layout that will let you get on and off the course in a little more than three hours. Plus, you'll take in some stunning views of the Las Vegas Strip as well as get some work in on that short game (something we can all use).
"Eagle Crest is just one of those fun courses and great for every level of player," said Brian Hurlburt, a lifetime Las Vegas resident who has teed it up all over the valley. "Beginners won't get drubbed by the length, kids will get introduced to the game in a cool way and high-level players can hone their short game."
The 4,067-yard layout features elevation changes, tricky (but true-rolling) greens and enough water features and bunkers to make players think their way around the course.
"When Billy Casper built it, he told everyone that he would be comfortable putting any of the holes on this course on any of his other golf courses he has built," said Jim Neighbors, head golf professional. "That says a lot about this course. If it's good enough for Billy Casper, it's good enough for us."
Grab your clubs, and let's go. You'll be done in time for brunch.
Eagle Crest: The course
Most of the par-3 holes at Eagle Crest are very straightforward, but very few of them are level. Whether it's a severe drop to a green below or a gentle rise to a green above, players will have to take the elevation changes into account on each hole to grab the proper club.
The sixth and 17th holes will be golfers' ultimate wedge test. Both play less than 120 yards from the tips.
"This is where Billy made the scoring on the green difficult," Neighbors said. "From 120 yards, it's not that tough, so there's got to be some type of defense, and he did a real solid job with the large, undulating greens."
And if players think this is just a pitch-and-putt course, think again. The par-3 12th reaches 224 yards from the tips and is a monster by any stretch of the imagination.
At the turn, players will take on the par-4 10th. The 345-yard hole is pocked with 10 bunkers -- including five guarding the fairway and another five around the green. This is a hole that looks easy on paper, but accuracy is a must to score well.
The finale -- a 370-yard par 4 -- can be attacked one of two ways. Players can hit a hybrid off the tee and stay on the upper level. That will leave a mid-iron into a green that is guarded by a bunker left. Or if players are big hitters, they can take out the driver and try to reach the lower level that will leave a flip-wedge into the green.
But if players don't hit it pure, the tee shot can wind up on the thick, grassy slope between the upper and lower levels. This will leave a wedge in, but it can leave an awkward approach shot from a severe angle. The choice is yours.
"From my experience," Neighbors said, "there is such a severe downhill lie and with such a lofted club, you're better off not hitting driver. It's just such a severe lie -- you can slide the club right under the ball, you can blade it. ... I've made more birdies hitting hybrid than I have with driver."
Eagle Crest G.C. at Golf Summerlin: The verdict
If you're looking for a round of golf that offers a challenge for even the best players but is still playable for everyone (both money-wise and challenge-wise), Eagle Crest is it.
It's also ideal if players are looking to get in a second round of golf during the day.
The cozy restaurant above the Golf Summerlin clubhouse offers a variety of food and drink options, but it's the ambiance that keeps people coming back. Grab your drink and food and head out to the patio and watch the action on the course.
"Sitting on the patio with your hot dog and a beer is just ideal," Neighbors said. "You've got a great view of the Strip as well as the first and 18th holes. It's set up really nice to just sit back and relax."
The Golf Summerlin practice facility includes a range as well as a putting green, a practice bunker and chipping area.
October 2, 2013