Las Vegas, Nevada: By the numbers, on and off the golf course

By Bill Bowman, Contributor

LAS VEGAS -- Sin City lives by the numbers. Whether it's 21 (gambling age), 18 (golf holes) or 24/7 (the time frame that it's open), you just can't escape numbers.

Angel Park Golf Club - Cloud Nine
The Cloud Nine course at Angel Park Golf Club features a set of interesting par 3s, including an island green.
Angel Park Golf Club - Cloud NineBali Hai Golf Club - No. 18Wolf Course at Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort - 15thDesert Pines golf courseStratosphere - Sky Jump

With that in mind, here are a few numbers that you may or may not know. Some are golf related, some are lifestyle related, but all of them are intriguing.

0: Percentage that you won't get the chance play golf on a few bright, sunny days in Las Vegas during a week-long stay. Sure, there's always the chance of a little rain, but with 320-plus days of sunshine, you've got to love your odds.

2: Number of Walters Golf courses in Las Vegas. Bali Hai Golf Club and Royal Links Golf Club will let Vegas visitors take on courses with different styles. Royal Links gives players the British Open feel as the layout replicates holes used in the British Open rotation, while Bali Hai transports players to the South Pacific with lush green fairways, brilliant white-sand bunkers, deep-blue ponds and thousands of mature trees.

3: Places players can tee it up for a round of golf at night. At Angel Park Golf Club, there's the Cloud Nine Short Course, a 12-hole layout, with nine holes lit for night play. On the south end of the Las Vegas Strip, the TaylorMade Golf Experience features nine holes, ranging in length from 110 to 185 yards. And for night-time practice, remember: The practice range at Desert Pines Golf Club stays open until 11 p.m. in the summer and 10:30 p.m. in the winter.

4: Rides high atop the Stratosphere Casino, Hotel & Tower. How high? Try 112 stories. Sky Jump, Insanity, X-Scream and Big Shot will test your nerves more than an upcoming 10-footer for par. Take a deep breath before attempting any of the rides -- and the 10-footer.

28: Number of golf holes at Silverstone Golf Club. With three nine-hole layouts -- the Desert, Valley and Mountain -- Silverstone is your typical design. Until you add in the 28th hole: The Decider. The hole is a par 3 that lets players tee it up to decide bets if regulation play isn't enough.

40: Casinos/resorts on or near the Las Vegas Strip. And there's one for everyone's budget -- from the high-roller to the family of four. Add in the variety of themes (Paris, Luxor, Rio, etc.), and if you can't find a place that suits you and your family, you're probably in the wrong city for your vacation.

59: That's right, a 59. Chip Beck carded the magic score at Sunrise Country Club in 1991 during the PGA Tour's annual stop in Las Vegas.

108: Pot bunkers at Royal Links Golf Club. And like the courses across the pond you've got to play it smart as many of them are hidden off the tee. Trusting your caddie is a must as players navigate this stylish and challenging layout.

900: Golf holes in the Las Vegas region (give or take a few holes depending on your definition of the Las Vegas area). You're bound to find 18 holes -- and more than likely many, many more -- that will fit your game perfectly.

1,000: Approximate number of golf balls retrieved every three months from the pond that circles the island green on no. 15 on the Wolf Course at Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort. The par 3 plays 182 yards from the tips, and it's all carry. But, considering the number of rounds played on the course in that time frame, the odds are pretty good you'll find the green if you play the right set of tees.

1996: The year that Tiger Woods recorded his first PGA Tour victory -- in Las Vegas, of course. He won the five-round event in a playoff over Davis Love III.

1 million: That's dollars, and it's the prize money for Rio Secco Golf Club's Million Dollar Hole-In-One program. Make an ace on the par-3 seventh (witnessed by a hole attendant), and you're qualified for the Million Dollar Finals. But there's more: With the ace, you win a new set of Nike Golf woods and irons and are invited back for the finals (with a hotel room and two rounds of golf included). Then players will have three shots to record an ace to win the million dollars. You're probably gambling while you're in Vegas, so why not take a gamble on $1 million?

1.6 million: Gallons of water in Mandalay Bay's Shark Reef Aquarium. Sawfish, rays, piranha, jellyfish and others call it home as well. In all, more than 2,000 animals call this spot home on the Las Vegas Strip. Now that's a water hazard to remember.

39 million: Visitors to Las Vegas each year. Some play golf, many don't. If you're reading this, you probably do, and now you know a few numbers that you can use to win a drink or two from your playing partners after the round.

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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