A compliment to the desert!

Story & Photos by: Ed Stone

Golfers visiting Las Vegas, you’ll find a sure bet some 35 to 40 minutes south of “the strip” on Interstate 15 at the Southern Nevada/California border. The Primm Valley Golf Club features two of Golf Magazine’s “Top Courses You Can Play” and Golf Digest’s prestigious “4 and a half star” award. They are the Lakes and Desert Courses…a true compliment to desert golfing.

Tom Fazio designed these courses after he created the famous Shadow Creek, just outside of Vegas for Steve Wynn.  Since then, Fazio has not designed another course in Nevada, until now he is involved with a new project at Lake Las Vegas.

Lakes Course #2 green
Lakes Course #2 hole

"The golf club is truly spectacular," said Fazio. "The commitment by Primm Valley Resorts to create a dramatic golf experience resulted in a golf environment that is considered a world-class golf facility.  The Fazio Design Group was honored to be a part of the planning team for these unique courses."  Mark Yelenich, director of golf operations for Primm Valley Golf Club said that Fazio did a superb job of spreading the difficulty out over the whole course and not just a few holes.  He indicated that golfers of every level would find both courses fun and challenging.  And, he is correct.  The foursome I played with consisted of two ladies with mid to low handicaps and a gentleman with a single digit handicap.  Each of us found the Lakes Course most challenging and enjoyable.

For those who have played Fazio courses, you will recognize his commitment to reflecting the natural beauty of the area’s total environment.  Both of these courses echo these qualities.  They are outstanding and as different as night and day.  If you play lots of “desert courses,” you know that finding one with large landing areas, broad fairways and changing elevations is a real delight.

Lakes Course
The Lakes Course is an 18-hole, par 71, championship course playing 6,945 yards and features generous rolling fairways with an extensive lake and river system that comes into play on 11 holes.  There are acres of mature pine trees and native vegetation that is sometimes hard to find on a desert course.  Opened in 1997, it was ranked as one of the top ten best new courses in 97’ by Golf Digest Magazine.  There are acres of beautifully manicured green rye and fescue grass interrupted by numerous bunkers of all shapes and sizes.

Lakes Course #10 hole
Lakes Course - par 3
Lakes Course #9 tee to green

Desert Course
Opening a year after the Lakes Course, the Desert Course is an 18-hole championship course playing approximately 7,131 yards, par 72 and features outstanding desert landscaping.  It is accented with colorful cacti, palm & mesquite trees, desert flowers and native grasses providing a stark contrast to the almost tropical Lakes course.  Where water was used on the Lakes Course, vast stretches of waste bunkers border the fairways on seven holes of the Desert Course. Water comes into play on five holes and the narrow fairways with elevation changes along with well-bunkered large greens will test even the best players,

Desert Course #17

Desert Course #18

Primm Valley Golf Club also offers a driving range and clubhouse with a restaurant and pro shop. The club is open to the public, but guests of the Primm Valley Casino Resorts properties receive priority status and a substantial greens fee discount.

Lakes Course vs. Desert Course

Desert Course:
More of a player’s course, a little more difficult than the Lakes Course.
Style of Course: Modern Design not a target course or desert course layout.
 - Native areas (out of play) are vegetated with Palm Trees, Mesquite Trees, cactus, and native shrubs.
 - There are 5 water features (Lakes and streams) that come into play on the Desert Course.
 - There are 6 large waste bunkers that also come into play on the Desert Course.

Signature Hole:
Hole #17 - Mirror Image
Stepping up to the picturesque seventeenth, a 385-yard par four, the player realizes that a driver may not be necessary.  With a right to left sloping fairway, and water hazard looming to the left, club selection from the downhill tee box is crucial.  The correct tee shot will give the player an opportunity to place his second shot onto the proper tier of this elevated heart shaped green.  If an ill placed shot is too long one might end up in a severely shaped bunker bordering the waters edge.  With the two shots being properly placed, one only need a steady hand while navigating a good putt for birdie.

Lakes Course
More of a Resort friendly course, the Lakes Course is a more aesthetically pleasing course.
Style of Course: Modern Design golf course.

Native areas (out of play) are vegetated with native grasses and large pine trees.
There are 11 water features (Lakes and streams) that come into play on the Lakes Course.
A stream runs through most of the back nine of the course.

Signature Hole:
Hole #15 – Carolee Creek

Hole fifteen of the Lakes Course, Carolee Creek, is a spectacular par four measuring 450 yards from the back tees.  A creek that runs up the left side of the fairway and spills into a lake adjacent to the tee box accents this beautiful hole.  The colonial style clubhouse can be viewed in the distance from the tee to the green.   The player will be best served with a right to left tee shot that will receive a favorable bounce toward the middle of the fairway.  Approaching a generous sized green, the player will still have to negotiate the shot with a mid to long iron, or a fairway wood.  Finding your shot on this green will only challenge your putting skills as there is a severe undulation dividing the two tiers.  The player that leaves this hole with level par will be doing well.

Practice Facilities

Primm Valley Golf Clubhouse entrance
View of clubhouse from the 9th fairway

Primm Valley Golf Club boosts of a 22-acre ESPN Golf School affiliated practice facility that is both enormous and beautifully designed.  It is that and more.  The facility is complete with a double-ended circular driving range, target greens, chipping and pitching greens with sand bunkers and practice putting greens. The use of the facility is complimentary with guests green fees prior to your round.

Clubhouse Facilities

Primm Valley Golf Club features a full-service restaurant and lounge with breakfast and lunch served daily.  Pre-arranged box lunches or catered events are available to accommodate your group needs. Call 702-679-5762 for further information.

Golf Academy

Primm Valley Golf Club offers two of the most picturesque courses in the Southwest.

For those wishing to improve upon your skills, you can take advantage of the premier golf academy.  They offer a complete range of instructional packages including individual and group lessons, playing lessons, golf clinics, seminars and all facets of club repairing.  Primm also features a private lesson tee and three practice greens with chipping areas and bunkers.  Call the Primm Valley Golf Academy at 702-679-5509 and set up your lesson package today! 

Primm Valley Casino Resorts is a wholly owned subsidiary of MGM MIRAGE. Primm Valley Resorts include Buffalo Bill's Resort & Casino, Primm Valley Resort & Casino, Whiskey Pete's Hotel & Casino, Primm Center, Primm Valley Golf Club and the Primm Valley Lotto Store.The hotels are complete resort destinations with more than 2,600 rooms and a host of amenities including the Desperado, one of the tallest and fastest roller coasters in North America.  Upon entering or leaving Southern Nevada, Primm Valley Casino Resorts marks the first or last opportunity for gaming in over 113,500 square feet of spectacular casino gaming space with more than 4,000 slot machines.

Whether you are staying on The Strip at the Monte Carlo Resort & Casino or at the Primm Valley Resorts, here are two golf courses worth checking out and playing.  For certain, they are sure bets and real winners.

For More Information:
Primm Valley Golf Club
31900 So. Las Vegas Blvd.
Primm, NV 89019
Phone:  (702) 679-5509
Toll Free: 1-800 FUN STOP - (800) 386-7867