A Sin City Classic — Las Vegas National

A Sin City Classic — Las Vegas NationalLas Vegas National Golf Club is located just a stone’s throw from the famed Las Vegas Strip. This classic Bert Stamps design opened in 1961 and has since held a storied existence rivaled by only the most prestigious clubs in the world.

How many other clubs have been the regular hangout of the Rat Pack, held numerous events on the PGA, Champions and LPGA Tours and been a location for a major Hollywood production, Martin Scorsese’s 1995 crime drama classic, Casino?

While Las Vegas National (formerly known as the Sahara Country Club) has a tradition steeped in history, it remains a local favorite for avid golfers primarily because it’s a course that you don’t have to “hit it a mile” to reach the fours and fives in regulation. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that if you do hit it a long way but out-of-bounds, trees and water await the errant shots. 

With many holes running parallel to each other, if you err on the proper side, you can still find and play your ball. And there are few forced carries at Las Vegas National, so opportunities abound for the run up shot to receptive approaches. This traditional style is one of the many reasons “The National” still remains a favorite after nearly five decades of play.

Las Vegas National is not an overly long course, but the strategic placement of hazards and bunkers will quickly get your attention, as evidenced by the demanding par-4 6th. This dogleg left with hazard right places a premium on the tee shot, leaving a mid-to long iron for an approach to a guarded green. Escape with par there and move on quickly.

But anyone who has played Las Vegas National knows its real teeth can be found on the par 3’s, with tough pars at the 8th and 11th, the daunting 14th typically played into the prevailing wind, and none tougher than the 204-yard 16th. Perhaps the toughest hole on the course, it has an extremely shallow green protected by menacing bunkers in front. Par is a great score here and you are left with two reasonable birdie holes to finish the round.

Go to Las Vegas National and find out why golfers in the know still favor this Las Vegas classic. For more information, visit www.lasvegasnational.com


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