Get your game on a night at Angel Park Golf Club's lighted Cloud Nine short course
LAS VEGAS - Everyone knows Las Vegas comes alive at night. If it's not officially the city that never sleeps, it's assuredly the city that almost always sleeps in.
You'll find early bird special regulars from Wisconsin arising at noon after a few nights. And forget about all the casino employees and the havoc their irregular schedules wreak on sleep patterns.
With this in mind, and considering Vegas' well earned reputation for over-the-top golf innovations, you'd think there would be some executive course with challenging par 4s under ballpark-worthy stadium lights, night golf's version of Shadow Creek, if you will. Dramatic waterfalls included.
That might be a tall order, but you do have Cloud Nine at Angel Park Golf Club, a 12-hole replica par-3 course that lights up nine of its holes (you can play 12 holes during the day).
Once the sun sets on one of Vegas' 110-degree summer days, you'll find a number of duffers engaging in this curious ritual. Did we mention Las Vegas tends to attract the night golf types?
When the heat gets particularly brutal, you will see large groups of guys showing up at Angel Park after sundown. Call them the golf zombies. There are your share of guys who've obviously had a few pops pre-round, but for the most part this is a serious bunch of hackers. Guys who are looking for more than they can find at Cloud Nine.
Cloud Nine can provide some moments of amusement. Playing ping-pong in the pot bunkers, watching your ball sail over a true postage stamp-sized green and into its second sand landing, on the Royal Troon would-be night No. 4, isn't without its thrills.
This harks back to the basic problem with using Cloud Nine as a night tool to keep your game sharp. Everything is so shrunk to model-scale here, it essentially makes it a completely different game.
In theory, having a replica of TPC Sawgrass' famed 17th island green on a par-3 course is a good one. In practice here, with the island less than 100 yards from the back tees, it's about as satisfying as trying to recreate Sawgrass' magic in your bathtub.
"It's pretty fun, especially for night," Vegas golfer Chico Delossento said. "It's better than losing all your money in a casino."
Cloud Nine's all about the attitude you take in. Take it for what it is and you'll leave with a smile.
August 29, 2005