Las Vegas' top risk/reward golf holes: It's time to gamble
LAS VEGAS -- Chances are that if you're in Las Vegas, you're going to gamble. Well you might as well take that gambling attitude to the golf course.
Grab your clubs. We have six risk/reward golf holes that will test how much you're willing to gamble. Do you grab the driver and go for it on a par 4? Will you try to get home in two on a dramatic par 5? Here's your chance to test your game and your mettle. We've even posted our own odds of success. The distances for all of these holes are from the tips, so players moving forward a tee box or two will have much better odds of success. Good luck.
No. 1 on the Desert Course at Silverstone Golf Club
ODDS: 2-1. If there's ever a chance to go for a green in two with limited risk, it's the opener on the Desert Course at Silverstone. It's a short hole, just 535 yards from the tips, with wide fairways and a receptive green. A bunker guards the front of the green, but this is a green-light hole to start your round. A birdie -- or possibly an eagle -- will put a smile on your face and a whole lot of confidence in your golf game. Editor's Note: Silverstone Golf Club closed down in September 2015.
No. 3 on the Snow Mountain Course at Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort
ODDS: 3-1. The third hole on the Snow Mountain Course at Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort is another par 5 that comes early in the round and can give your game -- and your scorecard -- a boost. But there is a catch to this one in that the green is guarded on the right side by a pond and a bunker. Getting home in two is a definite possibility, but the water will cause many players to bail out or grab an iron and lay up.
No. 4 at Desert Pines Golf Club
ODDS: 6-1. The par-4 fourth hole at Desert Pines Golf Club is 322 yards from the tips. Move up a set or two of tees and this one becomes an intriguing hole. Driver? Maybe. But it depends on your confidence level. A pond to the right side of the tee box doesn't come into play from the forward tees, but five bunkers surround the green (some of them will leave players with an awkward 70-yard bunker shot into the green) so going for it on the fourth hole at Desert Pines is indeed a risk.
No. 11 at Rhodes Ranch Golf Club
ODDS: 8-1. The odds of success on the par-4 11th hole at Rhodes Ranch Golf Club go up with more water coming into play. Drive this green and you've carried it more than 260 yards (from the tips) over a pond that has swallowed more than its share of short and wide-right shots. A bunker to the left of the green will catch those shots that bail out to that side of the green, but getting up and down from the bunker is no easy task. If you're a big gambler, this is one for you.
No. 16 at Siena Golf Club
ODDS: 10-1. The par-4 16th hole at Siena Golf Club is a dilemma. Laying up requires players to miss bunkers guarding both sides of the fairway, not always an easy task. But trying to drive the green (especially from the back tees) requires pinpoint accuracy as bunkers guard the front and left of this green. It's one of those holes where par is a good score and birdie is a treat. Drive this green and it's still no gimme, because this three-tiered green can be a challenge to putt.
No. 18 on the Concord Course at Revere Golf Club
ODDS: 20-1. The par-5 closer on the Concord Course at Revere Golf Club is the ultimate risk/reward golf hole because the bailout area is minimal. Going for this par 5 in two requires a big drive. But that drive will leave a downhill lie into a green with a dry creek bed cutting right in front of it. Then there's the dilemma of the nine bunkers surrounding the green. End up in one of these and your next shot will be downhill back toward that dry creek bed. So go for this green in two only after you've hit your best tee shot and your confidence level is high. After all, you want to finish the round on a positive note.
There you have it, six Las Vegas golf holes that will give you the chance to beat the odds. But like gambling with money, you've got to know your limits and stick to them.
March 21, 2011