The Wolf Course at Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort: A howling success

By Bill Bowman, Contributor

LAS VEGAS - Your pulse starts racing the moment you make a tee time to play the Wolf Course at Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort. You've read about the outstanding course with the immaculate conditions. You've heard the stories about the lush fairways, top-notch staff and amazing 360-degree views.

Wolf Course at Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort - hole 15
No. 15 on the Wolf at Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort is not only a great golf hole, it's a beautiful hole.
Wolf Course at Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort - hole 15Wolf Course at Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort - hole 12Wolf Course at Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort - hole 8

All of that awaits you, but that's not why you're feeling a little giddy. Sure, those are all great attributes for your golf outing, but it's the one swing ahead of you that has your palms already sweating - the tee shot to the par-3 15th hole with the island green.

More great rounds have found a watery grave here, but the challenge keeps players coming back. It's a 182-yard shot (and that's from the tips, so if you're leery don't be afraid to move up a tee box or two). It's a shot players have hit thousands of times with no problem on other par 3s. But, this time it's different. It's all carry over that deep-blue pond with small bunkers long and short as the only bailout areas. It's time. Pull the right club and let it fly ...

But wait, let's not get ahead of ourselves. There are 17 other holes on the Wolf Course at Paiute that make this Pete Dye design one of the best around.

At 7,604 yards from the tips, it's the longest golf course in the state of Nevada. But, five sets of tees make it playable for everyone. There are forced carries, but the forward tees make those manageable and they don't require career shots to carry the trouble.

"There's just a lot of variety to the Wolf Course," said Greg Brockelman, head golf professional. "There are short par 4s and par 5s and long par 4s and par 5s. They add excitement to the round."

And then there's the sheer length. "From the tips it definitely has a lot of teeth to it," Brockelman added. But, it can be tamed. "Believe it or not, the course record is 62 so if you hit good shots, you can score."

But hit errant shots and the golf course has plenty of bite from any tee box as more than 100 bunkers are strategically placed all over the Wolf. In fact, sand is the major test as water comes into play on just three holes - 12, the island green 15th and the 18th.

And now, back to that dramatic 15th hole. With an annual dunking of some 20,000 golf balls into the pond, it's no easy tee shot, no matter where you're hitting it from. "It's not only a great golf hole, it's a beautiful hole," Brockelman said. "The hole adds excitement and anticipation during your round. Certainly the length won't intimidate players, but the water certainly does." And the drop area? Again, you've got to cross the pond to get home.

So take a deep breath, make the right club selection and put on your best swing and sit back and watch. If you do find land, pat yourself on the back because you've given yourself a chance at a birdie. Then, as you cross the path to the green take a look left and right into that ball-laden pond at those who failed to hit the green and smile knowing you've beaten this hole for at least one swing.

But, the Wolf will want a rematch.

Golf packages at Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort

Eighteen holes not enough for one day? Don't worry, you're not alone. The folks at the Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort have several packages in play that allow players to tackle as many holes in one day as daylight permits. "We want to make sure players get the most value for their dollar as possible," said Christie Shaw, director of marketing. "That's why we came up with GolfaPalooza where players can get in as much golf in one day as they can. It's a nice luxury when we get more daylight and they can get in 36 holes or even more."

And having a 54-hole resort also makes it possible. "With three courses we can comfortably accommodate players who want to play more golf," Shaw added. "They can play one course and play it again or, space permitting, can play one of the other two courses."

Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort's pro shop

Variety is the name of the game in the Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort pro shop. Everything from clothing to shoes to knickknacks is available.

Playing again during your stay? The staff will be more than happy to store your clubs overnight and have them on your cart and ready for your tee time the next day. It's a great feeling not having to haul your clubs to and from the course.

Special events at Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort

It's not just the golf that brings people out to the Paiute resort. Weddings and other special occasions can be catered by the staff. Whether it's a buffet style outing or a full-blown sit-down affair, no event is too big or too small for the staff to handle. And they will handle it with a smile and give you and your party a day to remember.

Bill BowmanBill Bowman, Contributor

Bill Bowman is a Las Vegas-based writer who has more than 40 years in the sports-writing business. He's spent the past 16-plus years covering the golf scene in Vegas and has teed it up for magazine profiles with celebrities including comedian Bill Engvall, actor Jeffrey Donovan (USA's Burn Notice), ESPN personality Colin Cowherd, NASCAR's Kurt Busch, Collective Soul's Ed Roland, the Baltimore Ravens' Jonathan Ogden and many others.

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