Rhodes Ranch Golf Club offers a pleasantly tranquil challenge southwest of the Vegas Strip
LAS VEGAS, Nev. -- At first glance, Las Vegas doesn't exactly give off a neighborhood, family-friendly aura.
But Rhodes Ranch Golf Club, 15 minutes southwest of the glitz is on a different kind of mission. The 5,000-home master-planned community is aimed at providing a slice of hometown the city built on out-of-towner losses.
Feel-good, mama's cookin' talk aside, frankly it would just be bad business not to pander at least a little to the herds of tourists who come to the desert looking for excitement and a little golf, which is why packages are available with Strip hotels and web specials can be found frequently.
The centerpiece of the development is the 162-acre golf course, which offers a fantastic round at one of the most reasonable prices you'll find.
"We took a look at the industry and decided we were going to give a good product for a good price," said Matthew Grobe, Rhodes Ranch's head professional. "What's happened here is we've created a good golf course that still offers something for the locals."
Architect Ted Robinson had some favorable features in mind when he built Rhodes Ranch, like basic par 4s and par 5s with wide-open fairways and mounds that might keep a stray ball in play.
The group of par 3s is the designer's favorite to date and are probably the most challenging characteristic of Rhodes Ranch. Three out of four brings water into play and the dry one, the long and has a bunker waiting behind the green for any shots that come in hot. To boot, the shortest of the bunch, the 14th, plays 191 yards.
Rhodes Ranch has another resort-style trait: mounded fairways that forgive slight mis-hits and kick back into position A.
"On the par-4s and 5s you will have some very makeable shots," Grobe said. "If you hit it in the rough here you're never out of the hole. The ball might hit a mound and roll back to the fairway or stick on the mound. You won't get yourself too far out of line. A bad shot doesn't get really bad."
The rough isn't much of a concern at Rhodes Ranch however. The eye candy, complete artificial water features will deter you for a moment from long waits on the tee. More than 3,000 palm trees line the fairways and the tropical setting features waterfalls, creeks and a even few rabbits scurrying across your line. Compared to the city, Rhodes Ranch is pleasantly tranquil.
Views off each tee box are incredible and an added bonus is on almost every tee there is a mountain peak or a "V" shape to use as your target line.
"If you move to the back tees the course measures 6,900 yards and will challenge even the scratch golfer," Grobe said. "But the course is not going to kill the average or even bad golfer. You'll leave here feeling good about your round."
Rhodes Ranch G.C. offers summer clinics for golfers looking to improve their game and six qualified instructors are putting together a series of summertime clinics.
"We're about 60 percent locals and 40 percent tourists, so we try to put together something that the local golfer will be interested in," said Grobe. "We realize a tourist isn't coming here for a golf lesson but the locals really seem to enjoy it when we offer some teaching."
Originally opened in 1997, Rhodes Ranch has been matured for several years now and the course, especially during peak season is in exceptional condition tee to green.
June 28, 2005