Welcome to Great Britain, Las Vegas Style

By Ray Brewer, Contributor

LAS VEGAS - Have you ever wanted to golf some of Great Britain's most historic courses?

18 Holes | Public | Par: 72 | 7029 yards
Royal Links Golf Club, Las Vegas
The "Hell Bunker" from St. Andrews' Old Course makes an appearance at Royal Links.
Royal Links Golf Club, Las Vegas

If you are like any golf purist, getting to step foot on courses like St. Andrews - home of the 2000 British Open, would be a dream come true.

And getting to play one of these courses, well, let's not go there.

Plain and simple, the history on a majority of European courses is overwhelming.

When most links in the United States are newly designed, golf on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean is filled with tradition instead multi-million dollar constructed facilities.

The folks at Las Vegas' Royal Links Golf Club are attempting to provide a connection to the history and tradition that makes golf so special to each of us.

"The Royal Links Golf Club provides a rare opportunity to give something back to the game by allowing players who might never visit Great Britain a chance to experience golf the way it was meant to be," is stated in course literature.

This par-72, 7,029-yard Walters Golf facility is hands down a tribute to the rich history and even richer traditions of the game - Las Vegas style. In a city with an Egyptian pyramid and the Bellagio battling for attention, the Royal Links duplicates golf in a similar fashion.

Every aspect of the golf experience reflects the spirit of play invented in the British Isles. Each of the holes on Royal Links was inspired by a different famous golf hole on a course where the British Open Championship was played.

In addition, there are monuments and markers placed throughout the golf course to pay homage to the great players and moments in the game's history.

For example, the first hole - a short, but challenging par-4 - was inspired by No. 10 at Royal Lytham Golf Club. Despite the holes' tight dogleg-right, elevated green and deep bunkers, Bobby Locke's biggest challenge was simply making it to the course for the final round of the 1952 Open Championship.

His car and clubs were locked in the garage of the hotel he was staying, forcing Locke to almost miss his tee time.

Other holes resemble courses like: the Royal Troon Golf Club, Prestwick, Royal Liverpool Golf Club at Hoylake and Royal Birkdale, to name a few.

Playing this course gives one the feeling of swinging the sticks on several prominent British golf courses.

Another layout that is interesting is No. 15, inspired by the fifth hole at Turnberry Golf Club, a Scottish course where Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson went head-to-head in the 1997 Open. Watson eventually captured the title.

Editor's Note: Some of the historical information for the piece was taken from literature provided from the course.

Ray Brewer, Contributor

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