Improvements abound - on the course and off - at Stallion Mountain in Las Vegas
Stallion Mountain Country Club, a quick drive from the Las Vegas Strip, has been re-tooled by EAGL Golf, with new routing, a cowboy theme, a commitment to conditioning and service, and plenty of value for the green fees.
LAS VEGAS - In what has become one of the world's most expensive golf destinations, "value" in Las Vegas isn't so much about what you pay, but what you're getting for your green.
Stallion Mountain Country Club, an upscale golf course in a country club setting just six miles east of the Strip, knows satisfaction is all in the details.
"We had a great property to work with, and we just wanted to take what's here and improve it," said Rob Akers, the general manager at Stallion Mountain. "There's really no tricks or gimmicks, it's all about the product, quality and service. Making sure we have as good of conditions as anybody and service people better than anybody."
Since its purchase by EAGL Golf in 2006, Stallion Mountain's main mission has been to make sure golfers get plenty of bang for their buck. The biggest change to the course itself was its rerouting to put the first tee closer to the clubhouse and create returning nines. Each nine is also a par 36 now instead of the original 35-37 split.
They've also set out to create more of a Southwestern cowboy theme throughout the property. For aesthetics, horseshoes were added as tee markers and marked whiskey barrels make for most of the course's signage. Horse saddles divide spots on the range, and each guest is given a personalized bag tag and black leather pouch. The clubhouse restaurant recently received new décor and furniture.
The course is a Jim Colbert and Jeff Brauer design that opened in 1990, but there were some upgrades performed by the Schmidt-Curley design team in 2004. Stallion Mountain can play long (7,272 yards from the back tees) and the middle-backs still command more than 6,600 yards. The back side plays more than 400 yards longer than the front.
"If you want to go off the back tees, Stallion Mountain is as hard of a golf course as Las Vegas has to offer," Akers said. "But if you're playing from the forward tees, the fairways are pretty wide, which is good for a lot of players."
What the course gives up in forgiveness off the tee, the green complexes make up for with a lot of the trickery, including swales and false fronts, along with steep bunkers and multi-tiered surfaces. Missing just a few yards to the wrong side of the pin can quickly result in a big number.
There are plenty of long par 4s and par 3s are no pushover, especially the fifth, which used to be the 17th. Playing into the wind, carrying the pond in front with a long iron is a deft challenge.
Holes 4-6, which used to be the course's finishing three holes, are tough. The difficult stretch culminates with a par-5 dogleg right around a large pond, which offers plenty of risk going for it.
You can use your driver plenty here, and the 18th is no exception: a 452-yard par 4 with water on the right near the green. You need a good poke here in order to have confidence going into this green. From the back tees, every par 4 is 400 yards or longer.
The verdict on Stallion Mountain Country Club
Stallion Mountain is out to offer a taste of the country club for tourists in Las Vegas. It's a semi-private club with about 300 members.
The course is challenging, but despite winding through a residential development, isn't overly tight. There is some good hole variety, quick, well-conditioned greens and the cowboy theme works well with the property and isn't tacky by any means.
Guests to the course are given their own personal locker with engraved name, and locker rooms include full club facilities. There is also an inclusive practice area with complimentary range balls and a short game area with bunker, so showing up to your tee time early makes plenty of sense, or even make Stallion Mountain your first round in Las Vegas if you haven't swung the sticks in awhile.
Las Vegas dining
For on-site dining off the Strip, the Squire Grill in the clubhouse offers a full-service dining facility that was recently remodeled. It is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and has a full bar, sandwiches and a variety of dinner entrees.
Las Vegas hotels
You'll run into countless options on the Las Vegas Strip for any budget. You'll run into countless options on the Las Vegas Strip for any budget. Good mid-high level options include the Monte Carlo and MGM Grand, both on the south end. If you're looking for a more relaxing spot away from the action, try the upscale Lake Las Vegas resort, which is home to three courses of its own.
Chip Beck holds the course record here: an incredible 59 at the Las Vegas Invitational in 1991.
October 22, 2007