NORTH LAS VEGAS, Nev. -- So is playing Shadow Creek worth the dent in your wallet? It's inevitable that the question comes up when talking about this exclusive club just minutes from the Las Vegas Strip.
It's certainly a matter of perspective.
Whether golf should cost $500 a round is an entirely different debate. Shadow Creek's prices are right in line with a round at Pebble Beach Golf Links ($495), Pinehurst No. 2 ($450), the Straits Course at Whistling Straits ($370) and other top 10-caliber experiences available to the general public.
Remember, everything costs more in Sin City, especially a desert golf course requiring plenty of water. Making a tee time comes with a limousine ride to and from the course, a caddie and the run of the place for the day. That adds up to a priceless day of golf. The only requirement is golfers must stay at a casino hotel owned by MGM Resorts International to book a tee time.
Tom Fazio designed Shadow Creek in 1989 and returned five years ago to lengthen and strengthen it. The 7,500-yard course looks like it belongs in North Carolina not Nevada. Its rolling mounds, bubbling brooks and tall pines sparkle against a backdrop of mountains that shimmer in shades of orange and pink at sunset.
Shadow Creek is match play heaven with a back nine laced with water. The 17th hole drops to a narrow green guarded by a pond in front and a waterfall in back. Water flows along the entire right side of the par-5 18th hole, making any attempt at the green a dramatic moment.
Worth all the fuss? You decide.