Las Vegas golf: Act now to score tee times during Super Bowl weekend

By Mike Bailey, Senior Staff Writer

Can't make it to the Super Bowl? Las Vegas is the next best thing, especially with tee times at excellent golf courses still available.

Desert Pines Golf Club - 18th
Classic Las Vegas golf courses such as Desert Pines - not to mention the sports books - make Sin City a great place to watch the Super Bowl.
Desert Pines Golf Club - 18thBali Hai Golf Club - No. 18TPC Las Vegas - clubhouse

LAS VEGAS -- In a sense, the end of the football season is really the beginning of golf season in Las Vegas. Although there are plenty of good days to play golf in Las Vegas during the winter, the first week of February means spring is just around the corner.

"Pardon the pun, but the Super Bowl really kicks off the golf season," said Charles Fralix, general manager at the Dye-designed Desert Pines Golf Club. "There's a little bit of a lull during the second week of February, but after that it's non-stop until the middle of June."

That lull is preceded by Super Bowl mania. At night the high rollers and celebrities pack the casinos and sports books. During the day, many pack Las Vegas' best golf courses.

Few would argue that if you can't be at the Super Bowl, Las Vegas is the next best thing. In fact, many say that there is no better place to spend Super Bowl week than in Sin City.

Especially if you like to put a few bucks on the big game.

And while this week isn't the busiest time of year for the city, it isn't too shabby. Occupancy rates at Las Vegas' hotels are expected to be in the 92 percent range, a figure most destinations envy.

"There are many different reasons people come to Las Vegas," said Kris Tibbs, senior research analyst for the Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority. "Not all of them can be attributed to the Super Bowl (this week). But obviously some of them come out for that atmosphere."

Many of them are high rollers who love to play golf, said Charles Packard, head professional at Harrah's-owned Rio Secco Golf Club. Packard and his staff specialize in catering to their needs.

"They gamble and they want to play golf," Packard said. "We make sure their needs are taken care of."

It's not exactly impossible to get a tee time in Las Vegas during the days leading up to the Super Bowl, but they do go fast.

"We are ridiculously busy," Fralix said. "Tee times are at a premium."

Other popular Vegas plays with available tee times are TPC Las Vegas, Siena Golf Club and Revere Golf Club.

Because of demand, green fees are also slightly higher in many instances. But with those higher rates, there are some perks. For instance, for $349, Walters Golf's Big Game Golf & VIP Viewing Party deal gets you a round at Bali Hai Golf Club, all-you-can eat gourmet buffet, all-you-can-drink premium open bar, multiple big screens showing the game, shot girls, raffles throughout the game, and much more. Reserve your spot early, as this event will fill up fast.

All across Las Vegas, not just at Bali Hai, Sunday presents playing opportunities, no doubt, because revelers wouldn't mind sleeping in a bit or recovering on Sunday morning. Or maybe they just want their rest before the big game. In any event, there are times available for a quick round.

"We'll be slammed on Friday and Saturday," said Matt Utter, director of sales at SilverStone Golf Club in northwest Las Vegas. "But Sunday might be light."

Sounds like a great way to start the golf season.

Mike BaileyMike Bailey, Senior Staff Writer

Mike Bailey is a senior staff writer based in Houston. Focusing primarily on golf in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean and Latin America with an occasional trip to Europe and beyond, he contributes course reviews, travel stories and features as well as the occasional equipment review. An award-winning writer and past president of Texas Golf Writers Association, he has more than 25 years in the golf industry. Before accepting his current position in 2008, he was on staff at PGA Magazine, The Golfweek Group and AvidGolfer Magazine. Follow Mike on Twitter at @MikeBaileyGA and Instagram at @MikeStefanBailey.

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