Top 10 reasons to take a Las Vegas golf vacation
LAS VEGAS -- Ideally, a golf trip to Las Vegas is a buddy trip, so you can cram as much golf into the day as possible, gamble and hit the clubs at night, and then wake up in the morning and do it all over again -- usually on about two hours of sleep or less.
A Las Vegas golf vacation is never boring, never safe. Here, you might take a limo to the bag drop, hire a caddie who will make you forget about your score or play gambling games you've never heard of while on the golf course.
What follows are 10 great reasons to plan a golf trip to Las Vegas:
1: Variety of golf courses
One of reasons Las Vegas is a great golf destination is that there is something for everyone. While there are plenty of premium golf courses, there are some lower price points out there as well if you look hard enough. For a feel of old Las Vegas, there's Las Vegas National Golf Club, or check out really good values such as Siena Golf Club or Chimera Golf Club. There are also courses such as Royal Links Golf Club or Desert Pines Golf Club that defy their desert landscapes.
2: Play golf like a high-roller
Of course, if you're willing to spend a little (like $500), Las Vegas offers daily-fee golf experiences you'd be hard-pressed to match at the world's finest country clubs. You could be king for a day at clubs like Wynn Las Vegas or Cascata Golf Club. Not only are the courses extra swanky and the service impeccable, but also in most cases you'll have the facility pretty much to yourself.
3: Weather (most of the year)
June, July and August can be a little extreme, encouraging early morning rounds before temperatures get into the triple digits (but it is a dry heat). Spring and fall, however, are perfect with cool mornings and evenings and ideal playing conditions. Early winter isn't too bad either, and while there are some blustery days in January and February, you can get a pleasant day as well that time of year. And since almost all the courses are overseeded, you can expect premium conditions throughout most of the year as well.
4: Gambling, of course
From blackjack to craps to poker and slots, you can't go to Vegas without making a wager or two, right? Well, some people can, but most have to take a shot at leaving with more than they started with. And there's no greater gambling Mecca than Las Vegas with nearly $9 billion wagered in Clark County annually.
5: Sports books
Sports books aren't just another form of gambling, but a source of entertainment all to themselves. Where else can you put together a teaser, a parlay or a place $10 bets on 15 games and spend the whole day tracking your picks. Best of all, most of the sports books have hundreds of screens with almost every race or game -- pro or college -- televised, so you can track your action.
6: Lavish spas
Las Vegas probably has more spas than any other location in the world. In fact, the casino resorts and hotels on the Las Vegas Strip alone probably outnumber any other location, and they are spas extraordinaire. From the Shiatsu massage at the Bellagio to the co-ed Roman bathhouse at the Reliquary Spa at the Hard Rock Hotel, Vegas has it covered in style. It may be a little pricey, but you'll feel like a million bucks afterward.
7: Dining in Las Vegas
There are so many great restaurants in Las Vegas that it would be difficult to come up with a list. There's something for every taste and every budget. But one thing that continues to make Las Vegas unique is the buffets, and we're not talking hometown country buffet; we're talking mega-buffets with great food. Even if you don't want to pig out, the mere selection and quality of the big-name casino buffets are mind-boggling, with everything from prime rib to seafood and more desserts. And the breakfast buffets are a whole other category.
8: The nightlife
Whether it's a long-running show, nightclub or special engagement, Las Vegas is the entertainment capital of the world -- hands down. It's whatever you're in the mood for. A bad day on the course can be countered with a funny night with Carrot Top, or you can check out Barry Manilow at the Paris Casino and Hotel. The list is a long one -- from Cirque du Soleil to Penn and Teller to Elvis impersonators. Vegas has it all.
9: Unique thrill rides
Not to be confused with Disney World or Six Flags, Las Vegas does have its share of G-rated amusements as well, and thrill rides are at the top of the list. Since most amusement parks don't have the Stratosphere Casino and Tower, they can't match the terror of the Sky Jump, X-Scream or Big Shot thrill rides 100 stories up in the air. Add a little wind, and you've really got fun. There are also the roller coasters at the New York-New York, Sahara and Circus-Circus casinos.
10: Parmates and T-Mates
Even if you've never taken a caddie, you might want to take one in Las Vegas -- especially if they are a Parmate or a T-Mate. You'll find Parmates at Royal Links. They're sort of like caddies, except really hot. Wearing short plaid skirts, they help you keep score and keep your cool. Never has a double bogey been so much fun. At Rio Secco Golf Club, you'll find the T-Mates, and these gals are actually trained to be caddies – a double bonus. They actually get yardages and help you read putts -- then many of them go back to their night jobs as showgirls. Nowhere but Vegas.
November 17, 2010