Angel Park Golf Club: The world's most complete course

By Murray Anderson, Contributor

Las Vegas Golf - Angel Park Golf ClubLAS VEGAS, Nev. -- It's one-stop shopping for golfers who just might require a full day to get the complete experience.

Angel Park Golf Club has something for every duffer. Two 18-hole courses, a par-3 lighted course featuring replicas of some of the most famous par-3s in the world and an 18-hole natural grass putting course complete with bunkers and water hazards.

Situated in the northwest part of town, Angel Park bills itself as "the world's most complete golf experience" and has had to adjust to golf courses coming in on every side of it. The course was built in 1989 and has seen its share of competitors.

Badlands, TPC the Canyons and TPC Summerlin have all been built near Angel Park, but the course still draws a full house with a nice mix of tourists and locals.

"We try to offer golf to a variety of players," said Don Cramer, Angel Park's head professional. "A lot of golfers like to come out and just have a good time and not get beaten up. A lot of the new courses are getting tougher and tougher and while we have some tough holes, we also have some good scoring holes."

The two 18-hole courses (Mountain and Palm) were designed by Arnold Palmer. The par-70 Palm course was the original, opening in 1989. The par-71 Mountain course made its debut in 1990.

The Palm course was remodeled in 1993 by Bob Cupp and John Fought. Part of the remodeling was to make room for the Cloud Nine par-3 course which Cupp and Fought designed.

"The highlight of the Palm course is the five par-3s with the average length being between 175 and 220 yards," Cramer said. "The difficulty on the Palm course comes off the tee."

The par-5, No. 6 hole on the Palm course is a double dogleg 525-yard hole with a split fairway. Playing this hole from the tips requires even the big hitters to lay up. And if you decide to go for the green on the second shot, bunkers sit in front and behind the green.

"A long, accurate drive will be rewarded, but if you are off with the driver, you are going to have to lay up with the second shot," Cramer said.

When arriving at the 220-yard par-3 No. 12 hole, pay special attention to the large boulder at the right front of the green. Hit it with your tee shot and send your foursome on a search mission to find the now square golf ball.

Gently place your tee shot over the bunker and next to the boulder and get ready for a birdie putt.

Las Vegas Golf - Angel Park Golf ClubWhile tee shots take priority on the Palm 18, the Mountain course plays havoc with approach shots. Undulating greens and uphill approaches are the keys to master for a good score here.

"Most of the greens are elevated and mounded," Cramer said. "Reading the greens on the Mountain is tricky."

The 428-yard par-4 No. 10 hole defines the Mountain course. It requires an accurate tee shot, a second shot over the cart path and over a strip of desert landscaping onto a very uneven green.

And don't think the course is going to get easy as you near the clubhouse, No. 17 has a split fairway and long hitters will probably come up short of the green on their second shot.

No. 17 measures out to 557 yards and if you hit the tee shot too far, it will fly off the first fairway, leaving you with a shot out of the rough. Keep it in the fairway and a fairway wood is certainly needed for the second shot. Oh yeah, be careful of the bunkers guarding the right side of the first fairway and the end of the first fairway.

The Mountain course was closed in May of 2002 to repair the greens. A disease took over the greens causing Angel Park officials to close the course and resurface the greens with Tiff-dwarf Bermuda grass.

"Our golf course is in excellent condition right now," Cramer said. "One thing you'll notice is how green it is and the mowing stripes certainly give it a tournament feel."

Cloud Nine

"The Postage Stamp" hole from Royal Troon, the "Island Green" from TPC at Sawgrass and the "Valley of Sin" from St. Andrews are just three of the replica par-3 holes Cloud Nine has to offer.

Angel Park offers 12-hole rounds during daylight hours and has installed lights to offer golfers the ability to play nine holes in the evening hours.

"We wanted to offer the public an alternative and also offer our customers a fun alternative to experience some famous golf holes from throughout the world," said Bob Cramer, Angel Park's head golf professional.

Las Vegas Golf Course - Angel Park Golf ClubAnd if "chicks dig the long ball," they won't like anything about this course. The average hole length on the Cloud Nine is only about 140 yards, and while the woods should stay at home, expect some interesting shot selection.

"This gives people the chance to work on certain aspects of their game," Cramer said. "And since we are open in the evenings people can come here after work and still get to play nine holes of quality golf."

The course opens with a replica of the "Double Green" from St. Andrews, and if you are on the wrong tier of this green, good luck getting the first putt anywhere close to the hole.

The most talked about hole on the Cloud Nine is the "Island Green" replica from TPC at Sawgrass. An intimidating shot for the PGA players on the real thing, this replica is just as unnerving when standing over the ball on the tee box.

The hole measures out to only 100 yards at Angel Park, but with only a small margin for error, the distance is the least of a golfer's worries. It's all about the direction and getting the little dimpled ball to stop.

"Once people come out and see it and hear about it, they want to play it," Cramer said. "It's great for every level of golfer. We get a lot of junior players who have a great time on the Cloud Nine."

Seventh Heaven

Tired of putting through the clown's mouth or through the windmill? Want to have a little fun and practice your putting on real grass? Try Seventh Heaven.

The 18-hole, natural-grass putting course features sand bunkers, water hazards and some of the most undulated greens you'll ever see.

Las Vegas Golf Course - Angel Park Golf Club"We get a lot of people that want to come out during their lunch break or just come out during the day on the weekend and have some fun," Cramer said. "They don't have to be serious golfers to enjoy it. In the hot summer months, it makes for a nice evening to come out and putt around on the course."

The 18-hole course has all par 2s and 3s and the holes range from 50 feet to 180 feet. But playing the distance isn't the hard part, it's playing the break and avoiding the sand.

Putters and balls are available for those who don't have their own.

The Restaurant at Angel Park

The ultimate golf experience continues at Angel Park's restaurant.

The restaurant is open from about 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. and recommendations include the skillet breakfast for golfers needing some energy before their round. The breakfast includes two eggs, potatoes, cheese and breakfast meat served in the skillet.

For lunch try the one-pound Heritage burger. It is cooked to order and served with a giant bun and a steak knife sliced right down the middle.

"It's a challenge," Cramer said about the burger. "Just like the golf course."

Offers

Angel Park offers locals the Heritage Club card membership which will get duffers a discount in green fees for one year. The Heritage Club gets golfers discounted rates at both Angel Park courses and it's sister property, The Legacy in Henderson.

For the dedicated golfer, Cramer said Angel Park will begin selling a summer player's card in May that will offer discounted rates during Las Vegas' sweltering summer months.

The course also offers special junior golfer programs.

Green Fees

Cramer said green fees for the two 18-hole championship courses vary depending on the time of year, time of day, day of week and residency.

Stay and Play

Angel Park Golf Club is part of Las Vegas Golf Partners and offers special stay and play packages and a number of Las Vegas resorts.

Direction

From McCarran International Airport: Take Interstate 215 North to Summerlin Parkway. Exit Summerlin Parkway and go east (right) to the Rampart Boulevard exit. Exit Rampart Boulevard and head south (right). Angel Park is located on the left at 100 S. Rampart Blvd.

From the Strip: Take Interstate 15 North to U.S. Highway 95 North (Reno). Exit Summerlin Parkway off U.S. Highway 95 and continue to Rampart Boulevard exit. Turn south (left) onto Rampart Boulevard and Angel Park will be on the left at 100 S. Rampart Blvd.

Murray Anderson, Contributor

Murray Anderson attended Imperial Valley College for two years and then California State University, Fullerton. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in communications in 1992 with an emphasis in journalism. He began his journalism career at the Imperial Valley Press newspaper as a sports writer and later became a full-time news writer, then sports writer and eventually sports editor.


 
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