By Randy O. Williams | October 18, 2019
The only resort golf course on the Las Vegas Strip returned to Wynn Las Vegas last Friday with the grand reopening of the Wynn Golf Club. The original 18-hole championship course was established in 2005 and closed in 2017 for a proposed massive water park, but when they changed plans and a return to the links, Wynn management wasn’t really rolling the dice when they bet on renowned golf course architect Tom Fazio to reimagine a layout that would provide players a new golf experience from the first drive to the last putt.
Fazio, who has designed more than 120 courses and has more courses ranked among the top 100 in the U.S. than anyone else in the business, this time joined by his son Logan, took special care to create a course suitable for players of all skill levels. New golfers will find it approachable and fun, while more experienced players will be tested by the movement of the land, locating the proper angles, and getting close to the pins on the large flowing greens.
Positioned on 129 acres of the resort’s private backyard, the Par 70 course with three par 3s and two par 5s on each nine, and a total yardage that stretches from 4,810 to 6,722 with a choice of four tees, features eight all-new holes and 10 revamped holes.
Fazio called it “basically a brand-new golf course.”
His process included moving more than 400,000 cubic yards of earth and 300 trees were relocated to accommodate wider landing areas, contours, and elevation changes to fairways throughout, as well as bunker alterations that make for easier access and egress. Each hole received an approximate 300-square-foot green expansion as well as a redesign and recontour to create new hole locations, while green surrounds were made more receptive with the addition of collection areas shaped to feed balls toward putting surfaces.
“This course offers distinct lush landscapes unique to desert golf including several water features and streams, 100,000 shrubs, and 7,000 mature trees, many of which date back to the 1950s when the land was home to the historic Desert Inn Golf Club when such greats as Ben Hogan and Sam Snead were regulars,” said Brian Hawthorne, Wynn’s Executive Director of Golf Operations. “The single-digit handicap will face a great test, and the foursome of casino customers who have never held a club can still enjoy themselves.”
And the potential for gambling certainly continues for those when they cash in their casino chips for a chance to leave Las Vegas with a bag of dough based on their golf skills. With a 35-foot-high, 100-foot-wide waterfall behind the green as your backdrop, make a hole-in-one on the par-3 18th at the Wynn, and you’ll walk off with a cash prize of $10,000 to $20,000, depending on the tee you play.
The $550-a-round luxury experience ($300-$375 in the summer offseason) includes lithium battery-powered golf carts, top caddies (many of them PGA of America members), the convenience of playing in the heart of the Strip and even Rolls-Royce cars that can deliver its high-rolling, off-property guests.
While the green fees are substantial, many visitors to the casinos will lose a lot more than that in a far shorter period of time at the roulette, blackjack, and poker tables. So comparatively-speaking, when considering higher-end entertainment options in Las Vegas, it is a relatively fair trade-off, especially for such a unique golf experience. One that designer Fazio explained as “a one-of-a-kind, never-to-be-duplicated environment, playing right on The Strip.”