Shadow Creek golf course - 4th hole
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Shadow Creek golf course - 4th hole
With beautiful settings like the par-5 fourth hole, it's hard to believe that Shadow Creek sits in the desert. Jason Scott Deegan/GolfAdvisor
Images
Shadow Creek golf course - 1st
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Shadow Creek golf course - 1st
A stream meanders up the left side of the first hole at Shadow Creek in North Las Vegas. Jason Scott Deegan/GolfAdvisor
Shadow Creek golf course - 3rd
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Shadow Creek golf course - 3rd
Length, bunkers and a tough approach to an elevated green cause havoc on the third hole at Shadow Creek. Jason Scott Deegan/GolfAdvisor
Shadow Creek golf course - 7th
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Shadow Creek golf course - 7th
Several deep bunkers protect the par-5 seventh green at Shadow Creek in Las Vegas. Jason Scott Deegan/GolfAdvisor
Shadow Creek golf course - 10th
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Shadow Creek golf course - 10th
Shadows creep around the fairway of the 10th hole at Shadow Creek in Las Vegas. Jason Scott Deegan/GolfAdvisor
Shadow Creek golf course - 15th
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Shadow Creek golf course - 15th
The creek crossing the fairway makes the 15th hole at Shadow Creek so tough. Jason Scott Deegan/GolfAdvisor
Shadow Creek golf course - 16th
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Shadow Creek golf course - 16th
The par-5 16th hole at Shadow Creek winds through bunkers, playing 622 yards from the tips. Jason Scott Deegan/GolfAdvisor
Shadow Creek golf course - 16th green
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Shadow Creek golf course - 16th green
The mountain in the background of the 16th green is the only reminder that Shadow Creek was carved from the Las Vegas desert. Jason Scott Deegan/GolfAdvisor
Shadow Creek golf course - 17th
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Shadow Creek golf course - 17th
Even in the fading light, the par-3 17th hole at Shadow Creek looks fabulous. Jason Scott Deegan/GolfAdvisor
Shadow Creek golf course - 18th
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Shadow Creek golf course - 18th
The water hazard along the par-5 18th hole at Shadow Creek looks daunting every step of the way. Jason Scott Deegan/GolfAdvisor
Shadow Creek golf course - clubhouse
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Shadow Creek golf course - clubhouse
The Shadow Creek clubhouse is understated, with a hint of Augusta National. Jason Scott Deegan/GolfAdvisor

Shadow Creek: The ultimate jackpot for golfers in North Las Vegas

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.

Jason Scott Deegan has reviewed more than 700 courses and golf destinations for some of the industry's biggest publications. His work has been honored by the Golf Writer's Association of America and the Michigan Press Association. Follow him on Twitter at @WorldGolfer.
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