Risk-reward chances fill Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort's Snow Mountain Course

By Bill Bowman, Contributor

LAS VEGAS -- The Snow Mountain Course at Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort measures 7,164-yards of pure risk-reward.

Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort - Snow Mountain - hole 9
The Snow Mountain Course at Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort features huge, take-your-breath-away ponds that players must carry or reload.
Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort - Snow Mountain - hole 9Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort - Snow Mountain - hole 14Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort - Snow Mountain - hole 10

Feeling lucky? Go for it in two at the 557-yard, par-5 third hole. But beware of the lake that looms right of the green -- and of similar bodies of water elsewhere on the golf course. And we're talking huge, take-your-breath-away ponds that players must carry or reload. (Okay, you can bail out on a couple holes, but what's the fun in that?)

Want another risk-reward challenge? Let it fly on the Snow Mountain Course's 330-yard, par-4 seventh hole. Bunkers lined with traditional Pete Dye railroad ties highlight this hole, drivable for big hitters or from the forward tees. It makes for a beautiful, but Dye-abolical, hole.

You're just getting warmed up. Water enters play on seven Snow Mountain holes, with bunkers perfectly placed all over the golf course.

Two of the final three holes present the toughest tests, with water serving as a major factor on the par-3, 198-yard 16th and on the demanding, par-4 18th, a knee-knocking 445 yards. In between sits the best scoring chance on the back nine, the par-5 17th, measuring 529 yards. A good tee shot will give players the chance to reach the green in two. But nine bunkers provide a stiff defense off the tee and with second shots.

"The final three holes are great golf holes," said Tom Fischer, head professional at Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort. "And the course itself is pretty straightforward. What you see if what you get. There's plenty of turf for golfers to aim at. It's definitely not target golf."

It is Pete Dye at his finest. The original course at the Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort, Snow Mountain ranks a great test for the beginner to the scratch golfer.

Bunkers force players to reconsider their initial club selection on many of the tees. Often, a driver may be too much, with tee shots attracted to bunkers placed precisely at the dogleg corners.

Take the par-4 fifth, for example. The longest par-4 on the course at 458 yards from the tips, this one includes seven fairway bunkers that come into play, no matter the tees.

As players wind their way through the 17 rolling holes, the stage is set for the finale.

The 18th features a pond along the entire left side, so players must favor the right. That's all well and good, but two perfectly placed bunkers again will catch errant shots from those who bail out. The second shot into this narrow but deep green requires perfection to avoid water on the left.

Dye positioned a bailout area long and left to allow players the chance to scramble for a par.

"It's a great finishing hole for players to settle their bets," Fischer said. "It's a good test off the tee, and the approach shot is also tough. But with two well-struck shots, there's a chance for a birdie."

An exciting finish to an exciting, 18-hole design. And as players realize after viewing the other two layouts at the resort, Snow Mountain was only a warmup for Dye. With Paiute Sun Mountain and Paiute Wolf, the resort sports 54 holes of championship golf that will satisfy every golfing need.

"There's definitely a lot of variety here," Fischer said. "And that's what helps make us a unique experience."

Return engagement

John Agnew, vacationing with buddies from Vancouver, B.C., especially enjoyed the par-3 holes on his first round at the Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort. "In fact," Agnew said, "on one of them, I hit about the only good shot I hit all day."

His friends, Alf Sanderson and Steve Snelgrove, have made numerous trips to play golf in Las Vegas.

"We come down two or three times a year," Sanderson said. "We really like the variety of the courses. We always try to include Paiute courses. We've played them all and always come back."

The trio played four courses in four days on this visit.

"The setup here, you just can't beat it," Snelgrove said of the trio of courses at Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort.

Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort's customer service

From start to finish at Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort, the customer always feels like he's the only one on the course.

"We are very conscientious of always being top quality," said Christie Shaw, Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort's director of marketing. "We're going to make sure the hours they spend with us are truly a great value for them. We want them to get the most out of their experience here. We want to make players feel like they are a member here. It's important for us to ensure they have a great golf experience."

Bill BowmanBill Bowman, Contributor

Bill Bowman is a Las Vegas-based writer who has more than 40 years in the sports-writing business. He's spent the past 16-plus years covering the golf scene in Vegas and has teed it up for magazine profiles with celebrities including comedian Bill Engvall, actor Jeffrey Donovan (USA's Burn Notice), ESPN personality Colin Cowherd, NASCAR's Kurt Busch, Collective Soul's Ed Roland, the Baltimore Ravens' Jonathan Ogden and many others.

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