Revitalized Stallion Mountain Golf Club hits its stride
LAS VEGAS -- Stallion Mountain Golf Club is an ideal example of golf's version of "Survivor."
The 18-hole course was, at one time, a three-course, 54-hole golf facility. It was designed by Jim Colbert and Jeff Brauer and opened its doors in 1991. In 2004 (as the housing boom took over two of the courses), Lee Schmidt and Brian Curley re-routed it into one golf course. Then came the recession in 2008, and the club was closed for a couple of years. Following a sale, the doors reopened in 2011, and the layout slowly came back to life -- one fairway and green at a time.
Now that comeback is in full stride.
Stallion Mountain is a par-72 course that can play to 7,351 yards from the tips. It has played host to its share of high-profile events. Included in those was season two of Golf Channel's "Big Break." The PGA Tour also stopped in during the early days (when the Vegas stop was known as the Las Vegas Invitational). And, speaking of history, Chip Beck's 59 was shot in the third round of the LVI in 1991 at Stallion Mountain.
Stallion Mountain: The golf course
On the course, players will see early -- and often -- plenty of water. Eight of the holes feature ponds that come into play off the tee or around the green (or sometimes both).
Daniel Gaddis, from Alabama, has lived in Las Vegas since 2013 and plays the course a couple times a week. He says "it's just a very nice golf experience."
Stallion Mountain's wide range of golf hole distances appeal to Gaddis.
"There are short and long par 3s, short and long par 4s, and short and long par 5s, so it's a great mix," he said. "It's nice that you aren't going to be hitting a driver and a wedge on every hole. There's just a lot of variety."
It's also a great place to work on your game, Gaddis said.
"One of the best things about Stallion Mountain is the practice facility. There's plenty of room to work on every part of your game. I come out here for (nearly) two hours and just practice."
The par 3s on this layout definitely stand out. Three of the four play longer than 200 yards from the tips. Add in water, bunkers and desert landscaping, and you'll find that pin-point accuracy is a must to score well.
Stallion Mountain's two closing holes are as demanding as they come. The 17th -- a par-3 stretching to a massive 218 yards from the tips -- and the 18th -- a 566-yard, par-5 brute -- will put players' shot-making skills and nerves on display.
The 17th green is fronted by a huge pond. And when we say fronted, that's exactly what players will see. The green is just a step (or maybe two) from the pond, so coming up short isn't an option. A couple of bunkers add to the test, and with a green sloping from front to back, escaping with a par (or a possible birdie) may just win you that skin from your buddies.
Then there's the finale -- all 566 yards of it. Add in a pond that runs up the right side of the hole, and you've got that age-old dilemma on par 5s -- can I get home in two? Well, the short answer is yes, with two great shots. The smart answer is lay up the second shot, and hit a wedge into the green. Playing it smart will give players a look at a birdie to finish up.
"The last two holes are very good ones," Gaddis said. "If you're in a match, it doesn't matter if you're one or two up, or one or two down, there's a chance these holes will make or break the match. You've got to play them smart."
Stallion Mountain: The clubhouse
This one's massive. Try 38,000 square feet. You can bring 599 of your best friends in for an event and not feel cramped; it's that big. Or, bring your sweetheart for that romantic dinner; it's that intimate.
Whether it's just a night out or a corporate function, the staff can certainly handle all of the details to make sure the evening goes off without a hitch.
Stallion Mountain Golf Club: The verdict
Stallion Mountain is a course that may have gotten lost in the Vegas shuffle. It was shut down for a few years but has come back strong. With an outstanding layout, stunning water features and a nice ambiance, it's a golf course definitely worth checking out again -- or maybe for the first time.
"There's a lot of history out here, and the course is definitely a challenging one," said Brian Jones, general manager. "It's just a good, solid golf course, and that's what players want."