The Revere Golf Club's Lexington Course: Memorable holes, memorable views
HENDERSON, Nev. - Here's a simple test to gauge a golf course: When you finish playing it for the first time, how many holes can you recall? If the answer is "Just about all of them" - as is the case with The Revere Golf Club's Lexington's Course - there's a pretty good chance you'll give that course favorable marks.
You also know a golf course is top-grade when the only complaint seems to be that it's hard to concentrate on the shot at hand because you're distracted by the distant surroundings. Again, the Lexington Course scores well.
In 1999, the 7,143-yard, par-72 Lexington Course was the first to open at this property, formerly owned by Deb Webb and now owned by Troon Golf.
Three years later, the Concord Course debuted at The Revere, and both, which were designed by Billy Casper and Greg Nash, provide plenty of spectacular scenery. And in case you're wondering, yes, everything here has a Revolutionary War theme, including the names of the holes.
The Revere's Lexington course provides intrigue early. After the first hole (named Midnight Ride, of course), you'll probably wish you had a panoramic camera. For as far as the eye can see, there are the Black Mountains, providing the backdrop not only to the course but Las Vegas and the Strip as well.
The second tee is probably close to 100 feet above the landing area, which makes the "Old Ironside" 591-yard par 5 reachable in two by long hitters - that is, if you can focus enough to make a good swing while taking in the views. After a good drive, players have the option of cutting a corner with a blind shot to the green or hitting a pair of wedges to set up a conventional birdie opportunity.
Perhaps the most memorable hole on the front side, however, is the seventh, a 489-yard, par 5 that belies its yardage. Reachable in two, it's anything but easy, because the approach shots are severely uphill, making the hole play more like 550 yards. Aptly named "King's Chapel," there are a series of bunkers cascading down from the green. Get in any one of them on your second shot and reaching the green on your third is anything but certain.
Finding the plateau, however, reveals more than birdie opportunities; this is when you get your first glimpse of two signature waterfall scenes on the course - this one gushing from behind the green. The other set of waterfalls front the green on the par-3 16th, which also has waterfalls in the background in front the Sun City retirement community's recreation center.
"There are some amazing views," said Head Professional Bill Klemke. "Sometimes, people hardly look at the golf course."
The latter is an overstatement, of course, because the golf course, even without the vistas, has plenty of merit.
First, there are the outstanding bentgrass greens, which have enough slopes to be formidable, especially when they're fast.
Secondly, you'll be hard-pressed to find a bad lie anywhere on the course, unless you find the desert. And keeping it in the green grass really isn't all that difficult here. If you miss one of the wide fairways, there is ample thick rye on both sides to keep the ball from bounding into oblivion.
"People come out to Vegas and expect that desert golf experience, and a lot of people don't like desert golf," Klemke said. "You miss the fairway by 2 or 3 yards and you're in the rocks. That's not the case here."
Klemke also points out correctly that every hole is fair, and for the most part, they're right in front of you. The only exception might be the 379-yard, par-4 10th, where first-timers on the tee might be wondering, "Where am I supposed to aim?"
Named "Lantern," the 10th might warrant a short drive in the golf cart below the tee before hitting your drive to get a look at the landing area. In the end, it's wise to pick a club like a fairway wood or hybrid that will take it over the 150-yard pole, which you can barely see from the tee, to land short of an arroyo in front of the green and the desert to the right.
"Longfellow" is next, and, as you might guess, the 11th is the longest hole on the course. Again, the tee is perched high above the landing area, and while this par 5 is more difficult to hit in two that the second hole, it doesn't play as long as the 625 yards posted on the scorecard.
In the end, The Lexington is as enjoyable to play as its views. And here's another suggestion: Play this course late in the day, then dine or have a drink at Buckman's Grille during sunset. Located next to the open golf shop, the entire north side of the clubhouse has floor to ceiling glass providing one of the best views anywhere of the city and surrounding mountains.
Dinner is served on Wednesday and Sunday evenings, making Buckman's Grille a favorite hangout for non-golfers as well as golfers.
November 3, 2008