Plan a Las Vegas golf vacation for any season
LAS VEGAS -- Teeing off at 8 a.m. with no sleep isn't exactly uncommon when it comes to playing golf in Las Vegas. There's so much to do and see, and it's 24/7 in Las Vegas. But taking a golf vacation in Sin City can be as wild or tame as you want it. And depending on the time of year you go, there are all sorts of distractions and other activities away from golf that no place but Vegas can offer.
Here, then, is a look at the different seasons in Las Vegas -- what you can expect and some suggestions on taking in some of the annual events and activities:
Winter is cool in Las Vegas
This is the time of year, believe it or not, when many Vegas golf courses are in their best shape because of the heavy over-seeding. It's had a few months to establish, and the courses jump out with the dark green contrast of rye grass against the brown desert landscape.
It is, of course, cooler this time of year, so playing in the late morning or afternoon is probably your best option. Fortunately, there are all kinds of things you can do this time of year to fill your day.
In January, for example, it's college football bowl season, and there's no better place to be than the sports books of Las Vegas. If you're a gambling man, you can wager all kinds of bets -- parlays, teasers and even by the half. Vegas sports books are also great places to watch the games.
By the time February rolls around, it's time for the biggest sporting event of the year -- the Super Bowl. In Vegas, close to $100 million is wagered each year on the big game, and the excitement level in Vegas can't be matched.
It doesn't get any better than March in Las Vegas for a number of reasons. If you're a NASCAR fan, the Las Vegas Speedway is the site of NASCAR weekend events in early March. And right after that, it's college basketball's March Madness, a splendid three weeks leading up to the national championship game.
There's no better place than Vegas to watch the first week, when games go from morning until night. At many golf courses, you can get updated scores on the GPS system as you play so you can keep up with your wagers.
Spring in Las Vegas means spring training in baseball, and the city does host exhibition games from time to time from the Cactus League.
Of course, by April, the regular season begins, and Vegas is a pretty good place to take in the action of opening day. We should also mention that golf weather in Las Vegas is just about perfect this time of year: highs in the 80s, lows in the 50s and 60s.
In early May, Vegas is the site of the Supercross motorcycle races at Sam Boyd Stadium. And, of course, what better way to spend your Memorial Day weekend than in Las Vegas? You can take in a round of golf at terrific courses such as Siena Golf Club or Bali Hai Golf Club, then head to the Strip at night for a great dinner, a table game or two, and perhaps see a show.
And in early June, be sure to check out the Vegas Cruise car show, which takes place under the 2.1 million lights of the Freemont Street Experience in downtown Vegas. The theme is vintage cars with bands playing 1950s and '60s music.
Sizzling Vegas summers
While temperatures start to reach triple digits during the day, this is still a good time to play golf in Las Vegas. This is when you'll find some of the best rates and bargains on golf packages. And if you play a course in the morning when the temps are cooler -- such as Royal Links Golf Club, for example -- you can always sleep before hitting the town in the evening.
If poker is your game, then Vegas is your destination in July, when the nationally televised World Series of Poker, sponsored by Harrah's Entertainment, takes place for much of July and involves thousands of players.
August might mean hot nights, but it's still a good time to be in Las Vegas (everything indoors is air conditioned). Play golf early and often and take in the shows, such as Zumanity by Cirque du Soliel at New York New York or Terry Fator at the Mirage.
Early September brings Labor Day weekend -- again, the perfect time to take in Las Vegas for some golf and fun. The streets and clubs will be crowded with party-goers anxious to get in one last long weekend before school starts in the fall.
Fall might be the best time of year in Vegas. It brings college and pro football, which means the sports books will be bustling in September. It's also when the Barrett-Jackson Collection Car Auction takes place.
Early October is when you can take in one of the more popular events on the PGA Tour's Fall Series schedule, the Justin Timberlake Shriners Open at the TPC Summerlin. There's also the Professional Bull Riders Championships and NHRA Nationals in drag racing.
November brings the Aviation Nation Air Show at Nellis Air Force Base for aviation enthusiasts. And in early December, it's the National Finals Rodeo at the Thomas Mack Center. This is the granddaddy of all rodeo events, featuring the best cowboys from all over North America.
January 10, 2012