Royal Links Golf Club brings British links-style golf to life in Las Vegas
LAS VEGAS -- Think you've seen it all when you've played golf in Las Vegas? Think again.
How about taking on the Road Hole from St. Andrews' Old Course? Or tackling Royal Troon's Postage Stamp hole?
It's all possible when players take on Royal Links Golf Club right in the heart of Las Vegas.
At Royal Links, a Dye Designs course, players get the chance to tee it up and experience the challenge of some of golf's most historic holes. These designs, inspired by many famous links-style courses featured in the British Open rotation, give players the sightlines and feel of the actual holes. Throw in links-style shotmaking challenges, knowledgeable caddies and immaculate conditions, and you've got a golf experience unlike any other.
Take the 10th hole for example. This is Royal Links Golf Club's version of the "Road Hole" at St. Andrews and it has all the trimmings -- and tests -- of the original. Players are forced to hit that perfect tee shot as they try to avoid the huge scoreboard erected just like on the 17th hole at the St. Andrews course. And at 467 yards, it's a lengthy test for players to get home in two with a diabolical bunker guarding the front of the green and a road cutting behind the green. It's a tough challenge to start with. Throw in some of the vaunted gorse and the hole just got a whole lot tougher.
"The golfers all want to talk about the holes they are familiar with, like the Road Hole," said Charles Bombard, general manager at Royal Links G.C. "They know that hole and what it means to post a par there ... let alone a birdie."
Another hole that will get players' pulse rates up on the tee box is the par-3 eighth, Royal Links' Postage Stamp. Like Royal Troon's hole, this one is only 126 yards in length, but five bunkers - one in front, two on the left and two on the right - force players to think long and hard about club selection. Throw in a little wind and this one becomes one tough test.
That's just two of Royal Links' tributes to the storied history of golf. With 16 more on the scorecard, you're bound to find a favorite or two of your own.
"The course is in the best shape it's been in," Bombard said. "Add in the ambiance and great customer service and you've got just a great golf experience."
Listen to the caddies at Royal Links Golf Club
This is one golf course where caddies really earn their keep. Even if you've played this course before, the caddies know this place like the back of their hands. They will take the guesswork out of many shots -- including those to fairways where hidden bunkers lurk in wait for those tee shots.
The greens are rolling and true and the caddies' reads will shave a stroke or two off your round. Just remember, no matter how good you think you may be at reading greens, these guys have seen every putt out here more than once. Listen -- learn -- and drain a few. And the caddies also keep the round moving at a steady pace, something every golfer will appreciate almost as much as making that 20-footer for birdie.
"These are professional caddies and they really know the course," Bombard added. "And they know how to take care of the guest."
Bombard added that players will usually ask for a certain caddie any time the tee it up at Royal Links.
"Most of the time, when players come back, they will ask for the same caddie they used last time," he said. "They know how they will be treated and players like to be relaxed on the course and be comfortable with their surroundings and that includes the caddie."
Royal Links Golf Club's gorgeous Parmates
Royal Links G.C. also features the Parmates, stunning female caddies who also know their stuff on the golf course -- from repairing divots and ball marks, raking bunkers or calling in drink and food orders. They are a great addition for your group and also enhance the beauty of this stunning course.
Hit Stymies Pub after your round at Royal Links
Your golf experience will get a little more impressive when you stop in at Stymies Pub. This pub's fare offers sandwiches, salads and -- what else? -- fish and chips and bangers to enhance that British experience. On the course, players can use an old-fashioned call box to order lunch at the turn. The clubhouse is filled with golf memorabilia and statues on the course -- as well as a tribute to the Swilcan Bridge -- transport players to places full of some of golf's famous history.
Royal Links Golf Club: The verdict
Sure we're in Vegas, not at the British Open. But this Bill Walters inspiration works on so many different levels. On each tee box is a historical look at the actual hole that will trigger memories of past Open Championships you've have seen on television.
It's a wonderful four-hour golf trip through some of golf's best holes. And, best of all, it's your chance to put yourself in the shoes of what the pros face on the tee box every year at the Open Championship. Does your game match up?
Book a tee time here and you can take your best shot.
June 10, 2010