Sun Mountain Course at Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort a shining success

By Bill Bowman, Contributor

LAS VEGAS - As the middle child in Pete Dye's trio of golf courses at the Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort, the Sun Mountain Course doesn't seem to get the attention it deserves.

Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort - Sun Mountain - hole 17
Paiute Sun Mountain's demanding par 3s can make or break a player's round.
Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort - Sun Mountain - hole 17Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort - Sun Mountain - hole 10Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort - Sun Mountain - hole 6

It's not the elder of the three designs, the Snow Mountain Course, or the youngster, Wolf Course, but it is a challenge from start to finish that offers players an outstanding round of golf.

"A lot of middle handicappers and women tend to gravitate to the Sun Mountain Course because it's a little easier," said Greg Brockelman, head golf professional. "It may be a little softer, but that's not to say that it doesn’t have its toughness as well."

Indeed. From the tips, the Sun Mountain Course plays to 7,112 yards with the shortest of the par 3s topping out at 198 yards. The other three all reach that magic 200-yard barrier. Throw in some sand, a little water and elevation changes, and you have a set of par 3s that are demanding and can make or break a player's round.

"All of them require great shots to have a chance at a birdie," Brockelman added. "But they also have bail-out areas where players will still have the chance to get up and down for a par. So they are tough, but they are also fair.”

Paiute Sun Mountain's tough holes

The Sun Mountain Course's reputation is solidified by the finishing hole on each nine. Both are dog-leg-left par 4s, and both have major elements that make them dramatic closers.

The ninth reaches 449 yards from the tips with bunkers placed strategically on the left and right side of the fairway to catch wayward drives. The green is guarded short and right with bunkers forcing pin-point accuracy with the second shot.

The 18th is another stunner. Looking at the hole from the tee is intimidating with water coming into play all the way from tee to green on the left. Bunkers on the right side will catch drives of players who bail out from the tee. At the green, a bunker short and right and water on the left require players hit that perfect shot to get home in two.

Over the entire round, players will face the test of hitting fades as well as draws. Sid Desai, from Atlanta, was playing a second round at the Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort with buddy Gary Fink, from Philadelphia. They were part of a group of 10 in Vegas for March Madness, and these two had three rounds of golf lined up on all three Paiute golf courses during their stay.

"There's a lot that comes into play out here," Desai said. "It's a fun course, and you're always trying to navigate the holes and work your golf ball around. It's picturesque. You really feel like you're in the middle of nowhere."

Fink, sporting a brand new set of golf clubs, added his first impressions were of the solitude. "I really love the mountain views," he said. "And with my new clubs, this course is pretty wide open off the tee so you can miss a little and still be in good shape."

At the Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort, players get the chance to take on 54 holes of pure golf. No bells and whistles are needed here, just Pete Dye's impressive layouts mixed in with cool air and solitude.

Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort: Replay is the way

During the round, players will see more than one cart with the sticker "All Day Play" on it. These guys and gals are taking advantage of Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort's GolfaPalooza.

Pay one flat fee, and you get to play as much golf as you can fit in during the day (space permitting). Plus, you get lunch.

At the cart return area on a recent day, one member of a foursome was calling it quits, saying 36 holes were more than enough for him. His other three partners, however, were quickly heading back to the tee to sneak in a few more holes.

Paiute Sun Mountain has room (to hit it) with a view

Standing on every tee of the Sun Mountain Course at Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort, players can look around and take in the solitude.

"It's just you, your golf ball and the views," said Christie Shaw, director of marketing. Well, and maybe a few coyotes and roadrunners who also call the area home.

"That's why people keep coming back," Shaw added. "Whether on their own or with a group, they have a great golf experience, and the three courses put them over the edge."

Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort: The 19th hole

Before or after the round, the clubhouse at the Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort is the ideal spot for a meal or just a drink.

Catch up on the sports scores with the televisions around the bar or light up that after-round cigar in the smoking room. Or just grab a seat on the patio and catch the action as players finish up on the Snow Mountain Course's 18th hole.

Got a special occasion coming up? The resort staff can help you plan the event from start to finish, giving you the chance to just sit back and enjoy the outing knowing every detail will be handled.

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.

Reader Comments / Reviews Leave a comment