Las Vegas Paiute Resort: There's More Pete Dye Coming

By David R. Holland, Contributor

LAS VEGAS -- Since opening in 1995, The Las Vegas Paiute Resort has been known for excellent golf, beautiful conditioning, and for being the only place in Nevada where you can play Pete Dye golf courses.

Paiute Snow Mountain - Las Vegas golf course - Pete Dye design
The greens can be raised - and still overshadowed by desert - at Paiute Snow Mountain.
Paiute Snow Mountain - Las Vegas golf course - Pete Dye design

Paiute Golf Resort's Sun Mountain course and Snow Mountain course were dubbed: "Kinder and Gentler" Dye golf challenges.

Wonder if this one will be known as the "Meaner and Nasty" Dye golf course. A fourth golf course will follow and within the next 18 months to three years look for a hotel, spa and casino.

"I think people are going to love the challenge of the newest Paiute golf course," said Dick Huff, general manager. He's a former PGA Professional of the Year and Teacher of the Year in the Rocky Mountain and Southwest sections. "It should be a tough test of your skills."

As for the two existing Snow Mountain and Sun Mountain layouts: "The driving areas on our golf courses are very generous, there's lot of room, but we also have water hazards and the desert coming in to play," Huff said. "Then there's the well-bunkered small greens that get very firm in our winds. Both courses are good tests from the back tees.

The starter on this day asked pleadingly for all golfers to repair their ball marks. The courses are lush with green rye grass, but when a ball mark isn't repaired immediately on the bentgrass, Paiute finds the mark will be brown the next day.

"The ball-mark spot seems to brown a lot more in the winter because the bentgrass just doesn't creep across or grow that well in the winter," Huff said. "And we have had frost already, too. In the summer the bentgrass repairs itself fairly fast."

The Las Vegas Paiute Resort, the ancestral home of the Las Vegas Paiute Tribe, is a 3,800-acre master-planned desert oasis situated in the natural surroundings of the peaceful high desert with dazzling panoramic views of barren desert mountains at 3,000-foot elevation. The brand new clubhouse features two-story high windows to showcase the view of the golf course and mountains.

On this day the Snow Mountain layout was playing very tough on an early December day. It was sunny, but chilly and windy on the 7,146-yard, par-72.

Huff said the summers tend to be eight to 10 degrees cooler than Las Vegas and there were only six days last year of 100-degree plus weather. But, in the heat of the summer you might not want to be placing your hands in desert bushes looking for golf balls. A desert critter, snake or reptile might just be in there.

Four large lakes are in play on five holes and the finishing holes of 16, 17 and 18 will give you lots of water to challenge.

No. 16 is a par-3 that measures from 198 to 119. If you hit it a bit short you could collide with boulders fronting the water and bounce anywhere. There's a bail out area to the right.

No. 17, a par-5, 529 yards, doglegs left with a fairway bunker guarding that left side. The tee shot requires a carry over water for the back tees only so it's not that difficult. But on No. 18, a par-4, 445 yards, the water follows you from tee to green. Lots of folks are going to leave this tee shot too far right, fearing a watery tee shot.

The Las Vegas Paiute Resort has been home to the Nevada State Amateur two years in a row and has hosted the USGA U.S. Amateur qualifying. The Resort hosts 20,000 tournaments a year and the two courses host about 45,000 rounds each per year.

Pros who have signed the guest book include Johnny Miller, who staged a clinic, Jay Don Blake, Wayne Levi and Robert Gamez, who holds the Snow Mountain course record of 67.

"Playing Paiute was like I've died and gone to golfers' heaven," said Mark Shelton. "This course is one of the best I've played. The condition of the course was magnificent, fairway shots rolled forever, greens were like putting on glass. Really cool military air traffic goes by from time to time from Nellis AFB. Exceptional staff. I'll be back, and that's a promise."

Directions: The Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort is located on U.S. 95 just 20 minutes northwest of downtown Las Vegas. Take U. S. 95 north from Las Vegas to the petroglyph decorated Snow Mountain exit and turn right.

David R. HollandDavid R. Holland, Contributor

David R. Holland is an award-winning former sportswriter for The Dallas Morning News, football magazine publisher, and author of The Colorado Golf Bible. Before launching a career as a travel/golf writer, he achieved the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the Air Force reserve, serving during the Vietnam and Desert Storm eras. Follow Dave on Twitter @David_R_Holland.

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