Review: TPC Las Vegas - Las Vegas, NV
When golfers travel to a new locale, a commonly asked question is, “Where should I play.” The first thing I check whenever I am traveling to a new location is whether there is presence of a Tournament Player’s Club (TPC) course in that particular city. This most recent trip to Las Vegas included a couple rounds at TPC Vegas.
Over the years, I have had the opportunity to play several TPC courses, Twin Cities, Scottsdale, Vegas, Sawgrass, (just to name a few.) Although they all differ in their respective geographic location, topography, and rates, one thing remains constant: The experience will be awesome. Something you would come to expect by facilities that are owned and operated by the PGA Tour. Most of their venues host PGA Tour events.
When I evaluate courses, I usually rate them into two categories: The non-golf experience (staff and facilities), the golf experience (on course evaluation). This assessment criteria usually provides for a comprehensive evaluation as to whether or not I would return.
TPC LAS VEGAS & TPC SUMMERLIN
TPC Vegas is located about 20 minutes east of the Las Vegas Strip in Summerlin, NV. TPC Vegas is made up of two separate golf facilities, TPC VEGAS (Formerly TPC Canyons-Public) and Summerlin (Private.) Summerlin is the permanent host of the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open tour stop on the PGA Tour’s Fall Series.
Although TPC Summerlin is a private, members only facility, MasterCard holders can play the course during select days throughout the season as part of the MasterCard Club Series. MasterCard World and World Elite cardholders can access the course as part of the respective card’s concierge services.
Trust me, this is not a paid endorsement or advertisement for MasterCard. However, if you want access to one of the best private golf experiences in Las Vegas, MasterCard will grant that exclusive access.
THE NON-GOLF EXPERIENCE
The clubhouses that make up both TPC courses are beautifully designed and the facilities are immaculate. The locker rooms are well appointed and the pro shops are stocked with some of the best equipment and apparel in the game. TPC Vegas has that “private course for a day” feel to it. From the moment you exit your vehicle in the parking lot you’re treated and respected like a 15 year member of your local private country club. The players services attendants and pro shop staff go out of their way to give you that welcome feeling that is frequently absent at golf facilities today.
This is often an overlooked aspect of operating a golf course. Few facilities understand the concept, but no matter the venue across the United States, TPC clubs seem to grasp this better than most. It won’t help you shoot even par, but a friendly and courteous staff sets the tone for the day and contributes the total golf experience. At TPC Vegas, I immediately felt like the staff was glad I arrived to play their course.
Think about it, does anyone even listen to the thesis that a starter recites? But their demeanor and how you are treated is important before you poke the peg into the soil. TPC excels at the customer service experience. You truly do feel like a welcomed member on the day you play.
THE GOLF EXPERIENCE
TPC Vegas is celebrating their 20th birthday this year. They own a special place in the desert as it affords guests with one of the most unique challenges in golf. TPC Vegas was formally known as TPC Canyons. The original namesake provided an accurate description that surrounds many of the holes.
TPC Vegas is definitely a desert target golf course. If you’re knocking off some winter rust, you’ll want to ensure you have packed a few extra balls. If your tee shots fly wayward into the desert or canyon areas that carve out the topography, chances are it’s gone forever. The vast practice area at both locations is a must if you’re coming in off a several month layoff.
The conditions of the tees, fairways, and greens are absolutely immaculate, even in the heart of summer. Every bit of the course is pristine. The attention to detail surrounding the short grass ares are beautifully done, to desert perfection.
As much as TPC Vegas is a demanding point and shoot target golf course with little margin for error, TPC Summerlin is a polar opposite. Summerlin is every bit of a parkland styled golf course, or as close as you can get, in a desert. I found Summerlin to be a very forgiving, and friendly, venue with a lot of rough framing each hole for plenty of recovery options. I could’t help but conclude this is perhaps why the PGA Tour event is held on Summerlin to accommodate a larger population of spectators.
It’s not often that you can play on the same field or in the same venue in professional sports. Whenever I play on a track that plays host to a PGA Tour event, I consider it to be a special day. Sure the course is always going to be set up differently for a PGA Tour event. However, it is still enjoyable to play the same holes, hit from the same areas, as well as have some of the same breaks to the holes as you’ll see the professionals face on TV. TPC Vegas and Summerlin afford that unique opportunity.
One feature of the course that caught me by surprise is one I wish all courses around the country would adopt. TPC Summerlin had placed “Family Tees” into fairway’s about 100 or so yards out from the greens. This is the teeing ground for junior beginners that are just picking up the game. I thought it was a wonderful way to incorporate kids into the adult game, setting up a course within a course, just for them. Well done, and what a fantastic way to introduce our sport to our children.
TPC Vegas and Summerlin fit well into the TPC portfolio. They are reliably some of the best golf experiences in America, and the Las Vegas options share in this consistency of excellence. If you are planning a trip to the Southwest desert this winter, TPC Vegas is a worthy option.
TPC Website: https://tpc.com/