LAS VEGAS -- Desert Pines Golf Club remains different from other courses in Sin City.
And that's a good thing. A little variety helps any golf destination. There are plenty of desert tracks loaded with target golf but few with wall-to-wall green fairways like at Desert Pines.
Here are five top reasons to play Desert Pines on your next trip to Vegas.
1. Variety rules at Desert Pines
The Sandhills of North Carolina will be on display during the 2014 U.S. Open and U.S. Women's Open at Pinehurst next June. Those who can't make it can get a taste of that style of golf at Desert Pines.
Perry Dye designed the 6,810-yard, par-71 course to be reminiscent of the rolling hills of the Carolinas. The thousands of pines and man-made mounding give golfers a real sense of solitude, muffling out the noise from the adjacent freeways and roads.
Even players one fairway over stay mostly out of sight. Dye creatively used the land to come up with a compelling course. At one point, three greens congregate within close proximity, but water separating all three gives each their own space and identity.
2. Convenience is king
If you're staying on the Strip -- and that's almost everybody, right? -- Desert Pines is conveniently located. It's just a short cab ride away.
Split that with a foursome, and you've got the perfect Vegas buddies trip for a day.
3. Range rats rejoice
Desert Pines reopened its two-tiered, climate-controlled, automatic driving range Sept. 27 after an extensive renovation. Pure grass, a rarity on ranges in the Las Vegas Valley, replaced the synthetic turf of the landing zone.
Five of the grass greens are modeled after famous PGA Tour locales. All new range balls help golfers better gauge their distances before playing the course. The second level of the two-tiered facility still includes an automated teeing system, which sets up a golfer to tee off without touching the ball.
4. Go low at Desert Pines
Although there's plenty of challenge with multiple lakes and slick bent-grass greens, Desert Pines does have a softer side that weekend players will love.
Desert Pines isn't as penal as many courses designed by the Dye family. It's very playable with a 125 slope from the tips. Most people play from the fun, 6,464-yard middle tees.
The mounds tend to funnel misses back into the fairways and away from the trees. These mature pines tend to protect the course from the wind on days when players at other area clubs are getting blown all over the place.
5. Clubhouse hangout
Duffer's Bar & Grill is a great spot for a post-round drink or meal. The menu serves anything from a Philly cheese steak to low-carb options. Wrap-around windows reveal the course and the Vegas skyline. The Champions Room and its covered patio can be used for private functions.