Golf Course Reviews
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Played Sunday, 5/19, final day of the trip, with an early afternoon tee time. Arrived about 10 minutes prior to tee time (Orlando traffic is crazy, everything is 30-45 minutes away, no matter the direction or time of day). Course pushed back our time to allow us to play as a 5, which we appreciated, except we ended up pushing a 3some in front, who was waiting on the 4some who took our time. Finished in about 4:15 and was told expected pace is 4:30.

Found the course in great condition, and typical of what we found for the entire trip. Tee boxes were level, but were a bit thin with the Bermuda coming out. Rough was almost non-existent, as it had been punched and cut to fairway height. You only knew you were in it by how it looked, rough Bermuda compared to a different fairway grass. Bunkers were white sand, thin top layer with a clay like base. Fantastic greens, incredible undulations and elevated with shaved run off areas.

Another great resort course. An Arnold Palmer Design Company redesign of the original (unknown when). Wide fairways and crazy greens. There is water on almost every hole. Service is top notch, don't ask for directions without expecting to be escorted (not pointed), even if it's right down the hall. High end golf carts with to-the-pin GPS. Drink cart and snack shack available with ok prices.
Played Saturday, 5/18, late morning tee time, day 3 of the trip. We had to tee off as a split group, 3 & 2, then joined up as a 5 on the 2nd tee. Course was virtually empty and we never had to break up (carts have GPS that can be monitored from the pro shop), finished just under 4 hours.

Course conditions were what you would expect from a high end resort course. Nice tee boxes. Lush, green fairways. Rough was cut short with Bermuda coming out of dormancy. The bunker sand was what I found as common in Florida, thin layer of fine white sand over a clay like packed down. Greens were terrific. Soft to walk on but running fast and smooth with some ball marks.

This was such a fun course. An Arnold Palmer Design Company course, with typical AP feel. Wide open fairways. Small strips of rough between fairways and hazards. Undulating greens but not too tough to play and some great look par 3s. There's a cool section from 13-16 where you crisscross a group of lakes with shots over water to the green. Service was top notch. Nice carts with to the hole GPS. Only issue I had was the Palm course was so far from the pro shop (almost a 5 minute drive) you're not stopping at the turn for a snack, there's no shack on the course, and the drink cart only carried sandwiches and chips to eat. We did eat at the Evergreens Sports Pub afterwards, which is part of one of the resort's vacation areas (and part of the golf course area) and found great food and drinks at a nice price (for a resort).

NOTE: it rated a 7.6, but should be closer to 8.5
Played on Friday, 5/17, with a 9ish tee time. Day 2 of the Orlando trip. We were able to play as a 5 "as long as we kept pace," and we finished in exactly 4 hours, including a stop between 9s to grab some food. Service was basic, easy check in, friendly F&B staff (with great prices!), and a great starter. Carts are basic, no GPS or coolers.

Course was in really good condition. Flat tee boxes with the markers on the par 3s spread wide to give you plenty space. Fairways were pretty lush, with no bare areas. Rough was almost non-existent, Bermuda growing back in and cut short. Bunkers were the best of the trip, the sand was a little dense, but loose and easy to hit from. The greens had some of the craziest undulations and elevation changes I've ever seen. Great condition and running at 11.5 according to the starter. They were fast and smooth.

This course is definitely not a high end resort, but more of a mid to high locals place. I really enjoyed it. Laid back feel. The course has 2 different nines, the front is wide open, with few trees, but plenty of marshland areas. The back is very tree lined with pine needles everywhere. Not a destination course, but a nice break in the area.
Played on Thursday, 5/16, with a late morning tee time. 1st course of 4 of an Orlando trip and a heck of a course to start out on. There was 5 of us on this trip, teed off a 3 and 2, then joined up and played as a 5 with no issues. Finished the East-North in 4:20, then jumped onto the South and played in about 2 hours. No pace issues and the course posts 4:30 for pace of play.

Course was immaculate. Level tee boxes which are better than many fairways I've ever played. Fairways were lush, carpet like, and green every where. Rough was about 1-2 inches, no real issues, Bermuda coming out of dormancy. Greens were smooth and in great condition. My only issue was the sand in the bunkers. A thin layer of fine white sand with a clay-like hard packed underneath it.

Overall, I loved the course. Service is what you would expect from a high end resort, food and beverage prices were a bit higher than I'm used to paying. This is probably the tamest Jack Nicklaus Signature course I've played, and I was surprised when I looked up the designer. I would rate the 9s as South, East, then North.
Played Friday, 5/10, with a 10:30ish tee time. Joined Famed02 and 2 of his buddies on a fantastic Vegas day, slight breeze, temps barely hitting 80*. Teed off on time and finished at exactly 4 hours.

After my last experience at Chimera a few years ago, I've intentionally avoided going back. A late invite and no other tee times planned (overnight and early morning rain), I decided to give Chimera a chance to redeem herself and I'm pretty glad I did.

Conditions were outstanding. Tee boxes need some leveling, but mostly divot free. Fairways were lush but a bit wet, and green from tee to green. Rough was about a few inches and the ball would settle down, making it difficult to advance it. Bunkers were wet but it did rain overnight. Greens were smooth, medium fast, with a light dressing on them.

Service is saved by the outstanding F&B staff. Drink cart with specials and a bar/grill that specializes in excellent tasting pizza, staffed by friendly staff. Outside staff was non-existent, I saw them but never encountered them. Carts are upgraded above basic, with overhead bids, USB ports, and a great GPS system with distance to hazards, hole, and other carts on the hole (very underrated especially on a course with some blind shots).

The only sore point for me was the price, $60 for residents. The course is nice, but nothing really stands out about it outside of the approach shot to the 9th green (over water with a waterfall to the left). It's a Ted Robinson Jr design that feels like other Robinson Family designs, like Rhodes Ranch with more elevated changes and less dramatic par 3s. I'm a huge fan of making the par 3s different, but all 3 of the 4 here felt identical and #17 was a close cousin with only water to the right added to change it up. I used the same club on all 4 holes.

Would I play here again? Yes, but maybe only twice a year, due to the rates and the drive across town for me.
Played on Friday, 5/3 with an afternoon tee time, thanks to GK and Sixpez for the free foursome certificate! Very busy day at Royal Links. Valet/bag drop was only one guy, so I dropped my clubs and walked up. They were waiting for carts so left the bag with the cart guys, who had them all set and ready well before our tee time. Bar/grill was packed, which slowed down the service a little, but the food was fantastic. Like I said, it was busy, but running smooth and we actually were offered the chance to sneak out early but the next group pulled up as we did, so we declined. The course was stacked and we finished in about 4:30, not too bad, but the 3some in front of us was waiting for greens to clear on all the short par 4s and 3rd shots on par 5s. After running into the drink cart once on the front, ran into her 3 times on the back with excellent prices and specials.

Course was a little different from when I played in February. The Bermuda has come fully back from dormancy and the fairways are not playing as firm and fast. Very green from tee to green with no thin areas. Rough was just slightly longer than fairway and barely noticeable unless you really looked. I was in 1 fairway bunker (no green side!) and once I had a good chance to hit it, was good to hit from. I felt the greens were pretty good, but not as good as earlier in the year. Still firm but a little slower, and the back 9 had some top dressing on a few greens. Overall though the course was in really good, almost great shape.

Royal Links is based on holes from "The Open" rota, both old and current. Holes include the Postage Stamp (finally hit the green and not the front right bunker!) and St Andrews' Road Hole (just take it over the scoreboard to simulate the corner of the hotel). I only wish they had a set of tees between 5800 (plays even shorter) and 6600 yards (some really long par 5s and a few par 4s). Such a fun course and worth the experience.
Played on Saturday, 4/20, in the late afternoon with a high school buddy and his co-workers. Pretty empty course, but we caught a slow moving 4some (even after we took a break after 9). Thankfully they picked up the pace when they saw the nasty clouds moving in and we finished in about 3:45.

Course was in really nice shape. Tee boxes did have some divots but relatively flat. Fairways were lush, no thin or dead areas. Rough was thick and gnarly, about 3 inches, and the ball would just sink down. A good chance to lose one if you didn't see where it went in. Bunkers were nice with some decent sand, easy to pop out. The greens were amazing. Flat as glass and almost as fast. Some unfixed ball marks but they were great.

I can't believe this is only the second time I've played here. Such a nice course. It's an old school, flat tree lined course and not a Vegas style desert course. Anything hit inside the perimeter fence is playable (outside of the water hazards). Some course knowledge helps, there's some hidden hazards and lots of dog legs with different lines in play. Afterwards, an Old Vegas bar with tons of memorabilia to look through waits for you. It may not be a "must play" course, but it's worth a look if you can get a good rate.
Last year, Famed02, John_T and I bought a 4some here at a charity auction and used it on Friday, April 19, joined by John's dad. The course is consistently rated 1 of the best in the state and has no public access (unless you know a member). We took full advantage of the "member for a day," arriving early and leaving late.

Amenities: A full bar/grill with surprisingly low prices. We had lunch on the front patio with good service and great food. After the round, we enjoyed Happy Hour on the back patio overlooking the 18th green with half off drink specials (3 beers, 1 cocktail= $11). Carts have GPS with distance to the hole. There are coolers full of water stationed around the course, a drink cart that was around at least 4 times, and a snack shack between 9 and 10.

Practice area: Full grass driving range, Callaway practice balls, chipping/bunker area, and 2 practice greens (1 by the clubhouse, and a smaller one next to the 1st tee)

Course: Simply incredible. Tee boxes were spotless, but some were slightly not level. Fairways were lush and immaculate, almost to the point of apologizing for a taking a divot. Rough was up and somewhat gnarly, 2-3 inches. Bunkers were the best I've ever played in the Vegas area, no pebbles, whitish sand that was easy to hit through and get out. The greens were pretty nice. It appeared they had been aerated a few weeks ago, and had a light top dressing on them. They were smooth, with almost no ball marks, and medium speed. I would have loved to see them running fast (starter said they were running at a "10").

Design: a Jay Morrish design with some good risk/reward holes and a mix of short/long par 4s. An interesting mix of par 3s (3 downhill and 1 uphill). Mark calling #10 funky is an understatement, even with the GPS in the cart, I had no idea of where to go from the tee. There's a few holes where once you're on the green, you look back and see a different way to play it.

Overall: with it's location in the hills of Henderson, the course has the best views of Vegas than any course in the area. From almost every hole, you can see the Strip and if not, you're in the lava rock canyons. I would easily jump at any chance to play here again.
Played following Masters Sunday. Walked on, checked in, grabbed a wrap from the grill, and was on the 1st tee in less than 30 minutes. Teed off solo but joined a 3some while waiting on the 2nd tee. Finished under 4 hours, even though the 3 in front of us were throwing down multiple balls on the tee.

Course seems to be transitioning from the winter rye to Bermuda. Some of the tee boxes need to be leveled. Fairways are a bit thin, with some GUR marked off. Rough is starting to grow. The new sand in the bunkers is a little heavy. The greens were the best part. Pretty smooth, on the fast side, but with some ball marks that haven't been fixed.

Easy check in, great starter, and drink cart was around every 3 or 4 holes. Always a good challenge on the Mountain.
Played on Friday, 4/5 with John_T. I found myself with an unplanned free Friday afternoon and wanted to get a round in. After checking some courses, decided to just try Aliante. Checked in and on the 1st tee in 20 minutes, teeing off at 1:20, just ahead of a group outing. We were joined by a single on #2 and were behind a 3some until we played through on 6. Finished in 3:10, with no one around.

Course is in pretty good condition. Bermuda is coming out of dormancy and growing in the fairway and rough. Tee boxes need some level work, and they placed at least one set of markers on the front, with a huge downslope. Bunkers were firm, too firm for me to negotiate the deep, high face bunkers. Greens were in great shape. While they are a little multi-colored, they ran smooth, with some unrepaired ball marks. The front was a little slower than the back.

Staff is great. Easy check in and out to the 1st tee with wet towels. Drink cart was around once each nine, plus the grill at the turn. Carts now have GPS tablets with distances to hazards and front/middle/back.

I feel Aliante is an underrated locals course. It's a fun course with some good risk/reward holes. Houses are set back and mostly out of play.
Played on Friday, 3/22, with a 10ish tee time. Joined a high school buddy and 2 of his friends for the round. 1st tee was running a few minutes late, but once we teed off, we never saw the 2some in front, no one behind, and finished in about 3:40.

Course amenities are basic, plain carts with just divot filler (coolers are available if you buy a 6 pack), no drink cart, on course snack shack was closed, but bar/grill was open (and you can hit it twice as you make your way around).

Course was in pretty good condition. Mostly level tee boxes with minimum amount of damage, nice length fairways with coverage from tee to green, rough was about 1-2 inches. Bunkers had some medium/heavy sand with some small pebbles. The greens are incredible. Smooth as glass and pretty fast for the undulations they have and steep slopes.

Like Boulder City is a different type of town (no gambling!), their municipal course is a different type of course in the Vegas area. Originally built in 1936, the fairways are tree-lined, with a couple of water hazards. There are some houses, but they are well hidden and out of play. Prices for locals and out of towners are incredible for Vegas golf.
Played on Thursday, 3/14, with JohnnyGK, kevbig, and phunteratc, what a fun fantastic group.

I arrived early to grab a bite before our start. The bag drop is always staffed and they had my clubs set up on our cart and ready to go. It was busy in the bar/grill, but service was fast, friendly, and my street tacos were pretty tasty. They also have wide variety of beer on draft and in cans for on the course. Drink cart was around often before last call at 3:30. Reflection Bay recently upgraded to new carts, with some super comfy seats and a new GPS system. The tablet size display shows an overview, and touchscreen to see distances to hazards. It also shows other carts on the hole, for the few blind shots.

Course was in great condition. Green from tee to green, with no dirt areas. Fairways were lush, firm, and running out in the dry afternoon breeze. Rough was about 1-2 inches up. Greens were fantastic, with a light top dressing that did not affect roll. They were fast and firm, playing to the front of the green yardage was usually the play.

Overall, a true Vegas resort experience from start to finish. The course is easily in my top 3 of Vegas area courses, I love it more each time I play. A must play in the area.
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