March 17, 2014
I played Shadow Creek Golf Club earlier today and the prevailing thought that has dominated my mind over the last few hours since finishing is wow!
As I wore my new Shadow Creek logo polo to lunch after arriving back at my hotel, I was asked half a dozen times if the cost was worth it. The short answer is most definitely. After all, it has two of the 500 greatest holes in the world as listed in The World's 500 Greatest Golf Holes (#17 and #18).
For those that aren't aware, the green fee is a flat $500. The caddie fee is anywhere from $50 to whatever you think the caddie has earned. A new logo shirt is $100. A logo ball is $5. That is a tremendous amount of money for one round of golf. My answer is still most definitely. Oh, and lest I forget to mention, you have to be a guest at an MGM resort property to even be considered for a tee time. Even the U.S. President and the Canadian Prime Minister were denied a tee time because they were not guests at an MGM Resort Property according to this news article in the Las Vegas Sun newspaper.
You don't drive to Shadow Creek. The front gate won't let you enter. You are picked up at the lobby of your hotel by a stretch limousine and transported north of the city to the golf course.
The course is surrounded by a big black wrought iron fence in a 360 acre area. The drive from the gate to the clubhouse is a few miles. Along the way, you see one of the two residences located on the property. The drive really sets the tone for what you are about to experience. Trees line the road and the gaps between the trees are filled with lush green grass. At the end of the drive is the clubhouse, a simple, green and white building. There is nothing that screams glitz or glamour like what you find back on the strip. But, attention to detail stands out as you stroll through the clubhouse to let you know you are in for a treat.
|The Shadow Creek Golf Course Club House|
|A look from the front right corner of the locker room.|
The lockers are hardwood and have famous names on them, from former presidents, to famous athletes, to business leaders across the world.
|A closer view of the back half of the locker room.|
One note to remember while reading this blog. Keep reminding yourself that each photo is taking at a golf course located in the middle of a desert. It shows what enough money and determination can build. It is reported to have cost more than $60 million to build. There are more than 200 types of trees spread throughout the course. There is also numerous forms of wildlife found throughout, including the ever-present pheasants. The course features rolling terrain, valleys, creeks, trees, and gulches, as well as any other topographical feature you can imagine, and all of them were sculpted from the once flat desert wasteland. I have read if you were blindfolded and a helicopter dropped you off here, that once you removed the blindfold, you would think you were in the Carolinas or Georgia. It is absolutely a true statement. The only sand I saw on the entire course was in the sand traps. There was no desert seen anywhere on the course. All distances noted below are from the regular tees. The back tees and championship tees are a good distance further than what is listed in the below notes and photos.
The day was perfect for golf. It was 55 degrees at the start of the day, rising to around 70 by the end of the round. There was a light breeze throughout the day to keep it pleasant. And, the sky was clear blue with only a few clouds scattered about. The greens were firm, but fair, throughout the day. A few greens ran quick, but it was nothing like my round at Cascata GC yesterday, where the ball would rocket off the green.
|A look down the fairway from the #1 tee box.|
On the approach shot to the green, you want to stay left. The rolling fairway runs down into the creek on the right. The green undulates a bit, but nothing that can't be read with the help of your caddie.
|A look in the the 1st green from 130 yards out.|
|A look down the fairway from the #2 tee box.|
|A look into the #2 green from 150 yards out.|
|A look back down the #2 fairway from behind the #2 green.|
|A look down the fairway from the #3 tee box.|
|A look into the #3 green from 180 yards out.|
|A look down the fairway from the #5 tee box.|
|The #4 green can be seen across the lake.|
|A look into the #4 green from 130 yards out.|
|A look into the #4 green from 70 yards out.|
|A look into #5 green from the tee box.|
|A look down the fairway from the #6 tee box.|
|A look into the #6 green from 200 yards out.|
|A look down the fairway from the #7 tee box.|
|A look down the #7 fairway at the top of the hill affords a great view into the green.|
|A look into #7 green from 50 yards.|
|A look back down the #7 fairway from the #7 green.|
Hole #8 is the second par 3 on the course, playing 162 yards. The elevation of the tee box is higher than the green, allowing you to go a club shorter. The green slopes down and to the right, so if you don't hit just the right shot, you will likely find yourself below the green, in either the rough or the sand trap.
|A look into the #8 green from the tee box.|
|A look down the fairway from the #9 tee box.|
|A look into the 9th green from 200 yards out.|
|A look into the 9th green from 60 yards out.|
|A look down the fairway from the #10 tee box.|
|A look into the 10th green from 150 yards out.|
|A look down the fairway from the 11th tee box.|
|A closer look into the 11th green from just below the bunker.|
|A look down the fairway from the 12th tee box.|
|A look into the 12th green from 130 yards out.|
|A look into the green from the 13th tee box.|
|A look down the fairway from the 14th tee box.|
|Looking down towards the 14th green from the turn of the dogleg.|
|A look into the 14th green from 160 yards out.|
|A look down the fairway from the 15th tee box.|
|A look into the 15th green from 200 yards out.|
|A look into the 15th green from 150 yards out.|
|A look back down the 15th fairway from behind the 15th green.|
|A look down the fairway from the 16th tee box.|
|A look from the center of the 16th fairway towards the green.|
|A look into the green from 30 yards out.|
|A look back down the 16th fairway from the 16th green.|
|A look into the green from the 17th tee box.|
|A look down the fairway from the 18th tee box.|
|A look into the 18th green from 150 yards out.|
|A look into the 18th green from 80 yards out.|
I look forward to the next time I can schedule a tee time at Shadow Creek. I definitely plan to play it again.