Las Vegas and North Carolina offer fun in the fall sun

By Katharine DysonOctober 22, 2008, 4:00 pm
reflection bay
Reflection Bay is the first public resort golf course in Nevada personally designed by Jack Nicklaus, and the host course to the nationally televised Wendys Three-Tour Challenge benefiting the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption.

With the economy struggling, finding a great place to stay and play can be a challenge. Here are a couple destinations to consider.
Lake Las Vegas, Nev.
Just 17 miles and mind sets away from the glitter and glitz of the Las Vegas Strip, Lake Las Vegas is a prime example of what modern technology can create. Rising out of the desert like Atlantis out of the sea, this once dusty, rocky, bleak terrain has been transformed into an oasis of lush plantings and vibrant resort living.
Twenty years ago Lake Las Vegas was merely a bold new idea. Just two decades later, at MonteLago Village Resort at Lake Las Vegas, gondolas glide across a 320-acre lake. Golfers tee it up at Reflection Bay, a Jack Nicklaus design, and The Falls Golf Club by Tom Weiskopf, where the most challenging hazard of all may just be the distracting scenery of mountains and desert.
Come here December 22-23, for the LPGA Wendy's Challenge or come on your own and experience the modern miracles that have been wrought out of a once arid land.
Bring extra ammo when you play Reflection Bay: five holes run along the lake and No. 8, a par 3, requires a 200-yard carry over water from the tips.
The Falls Golf Club features plenty of elevation changes from lakeside to stunning mountainous terrain and 360 degree views. With five tees, both courses work well for low to high handicappers. After golf take a stroll through the Tuscan-inspired MonteLago Village, kayak on the lake, enjoy a Stars on the Lake concert or try your luck at Casino MonteLago open 24/7.
With green fees running $215-$275, the best way to go is to stay at the Lake Las Vegas resort and book a golf package. For example at MonteLago Village a studio room accommodating two people with one round of golf person is priced from $362. Also check golf packages at The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Las Vegas, Loews Lake Las Vegas Resort and Lake Las Vegas Vacation Villas.
Value added: The entire place is full of energy, with enjoyable casinos, free entertainment, helicopter tours, spas, gourmet restaurants, and a full service marina. Side trips can be arranged to Grand Canyon and The Valley of Fire. Fly into Las Vegas, one of the most inexpensive gateways in the world.
Fayetteville, N.C.
Every golfer on the planet has heard of Pinehurst, but for a great golf experience at less than half the price of a round at Pinehurst #2, the Fayetteville area in central North Carolina, may just be one of the best deals in the country. Fayetteville has eight fine golf courses where green fees with a cart are about $35.
Stay overnight in one of the many chain hotels, most offering golf packages or stay in the romantic historic hotel on Hay Street which the streets are brick-paved, the cafes serve a mean cappuccino at tables set outside on the sidewalks under the trees. Or you can dine in one of the casual brew pubs or by candlelight in the antique houses-turned-restaurants. The movie theaters, art galleries, military museum and boutiques also provide off-course interest.
Its warm enough to play golf year-round yet off-season rates kick in about this time of year adding up to some great deals.
No-slouch tracks by designers like Davis Love III, Dan Maples, Ellis Maples, Stewart Gooden, and Willard Byrd challenge golfers to earn their stripes. Tee it up at Anderson Creek Golf Club, Bayonet at Puppy Creek Golf Club, Cypress Lakes Golf Course, Keith Hills County Clubs Creek and River Courses and Kings Grant Country Club.
Named North Carolinas Best New Course in 2001, Davis Love IIIs Anderson Creek rolls over the Sandhills, with fairways cutting through longleaf pines and wetlands. Greens with generous roll-off areas and undulations evoke classic Donald Ross architecture. Bayonet Golf Club at Puppy Creek, a Willard Byrd design appeals to golfers of all skill levels with five tee boxes.
Youll find no blind shots to greens at Cypress Lakes while Keith Hills Country Club, designed by Ellis Maples, serves as the home venue for Campbell University and numerous amateur events. Keith Hills features large, bent grass greens and rolling, plush fairways as it winds through a golfing community set on the Cape Fear River.
Golf packages start at $210 per person for three rounds of golf and two night accommodations.
Value added: A must-see is the Airborne & Special Operations Museum (ASOM) which relates the history of these exceptional troops through superb scenery, equipment, mannequins, audio-visual presentations and photography.

Katharine DysonKatharine Dyson is an award-winning freelance travel, lifestyle, golf and guidebook author based in the northeast.

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    What's in the bag: CareerBuilder winner Rahm

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 10:37 pm

    Jon Rahm defeated Andrew Landry in a playoff to earn his second PGA Tour title at the CareerBuilder Challenge. Here's what's in his bag:

    Driver: TaylorMade M4 (9.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Fairway wood: TaylorMade M3 (19 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Irons: TaylorMade P790 (3), P750 (4-PW), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52, 56 degrees), Milled Grind Hi-Toe (60 degrees), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red

    Ball: TaylorMade TP5x

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    Strange irked by Rahm-Landry friendly playoff

    By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 9:45 pm

    Curtis Strange knows a thing or two about winning golf tournaments, and based on his reaction to the CareerBuilder Challenge playoff on Sunday, it’s safe to say he did things a little differently while picking up 17 PGA Tour victories in his Hall-of-Fame career.

    While Jon Rahm and Andrew Landry were “battling” through four extra holes, Strange, 62, tweeted his issues with the duo’s constant chit-chat and friendly banter down the stretch at La Quinta Country Club, where Rahm eventually came out on top.

    The two-time U.S. Open champ then engaged with some followers to explain his point a little more in depth.

    So, yeah ... don't think he's changing his perspective on this topic anytime soon ever.

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    Randall's Rant: The Euros won't just roll over

    By Randall MellJanuary 22, 2018, 9:36 pm

    The Ryder Cup may not be the King Kong of golf events yet, but you can hear the biennial international team event thumping its chest a full eight months out.

    As anticipation for this year’s big events goes, there is more buzz about Europe’s bid to hold off a rejuvenated American effort in Paris in September than there is about the Masters coming up in April.

    Thank Europe’s phenomenal success last weekend for that.

    And Rory McIlroy’s impassioned remarks in Abu Dhabi.

    And the provocative bulletin board material a certain Sports Illustrated writer provided the Europeans a couple months ago, with a stinging assault on the Euro chances that read like an obituary.

    McIlroy was asked in a news conference before his 2018 debut last week what he was most excited about this year.

    The Ryder Cup topped his list.

    Though McIlroy will be trying to complete the career Grand Slam at Augusta National come April, he talked more about the Ryder Cup than he did any of the game’s major championships.

    When asked a follow-up about the American team’s resurgence after a task-force overhaul and the injection of young, new star power, McIlroy nearly started breaking down the matchup. He talked about the young Americans and how good they are.

    “Yeah, the Americans have been, obviously, very buoyant about their chances and whatever, but it’s never as easy as that. ... The Ryder Cup’s always close,” McIlroy said. “I think we’ll have a great team, and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”

    McIlroy may have been talking about Alan Shipnuck’s bold prediction after the American Presidents Cup rout last fall.

    Or similar assertions from TV analysts.

    “The Ryder Cup is dead – you just don’t know it yet,” Shipnuck wrote. “One of the greatest events in sport is on the verge of irrelevancy. The young, talented, hungry golfers from the United States, benefitting from the cohesive leadership of the Task Force era, are going to roll to victory in 2018 in Paris.”

    European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn won’t find words that will motivate the Euros more than that as he watches his prospective players jockey to make the team.

    And, boy, did they jockey last weekend.

    The Euros dominated across the planet, not that they did it with the Ryder Cup as some rallying cry, because they didn’t. But it was a heck of an encouraging start to the year for Bjorn to witness.

    Spain’s Jon Rahm won the CareerBuilder Challenge on the PGA Tour, England’s Tommy Fleetwood started the week at Abu Dhabi paired with American and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and won the European Tour event, and Spain’s Sergio Garcia won the Singapore Open in a rout on the Asian Tour.

    And McIlroy looked close to being in midseason form, tying for third in his first start in three months.

    Yes, it’s only January, and the Ryder Cup is still a long way off, with so much still to unfold, but you got an early sense from McIlroy how much defending European turf will mean to him and the Euros in Paris in September.

    The Masters is great theater, the U.S. Open a rigorous test, The Open and the PGA Championship historically important, too, but the Ryder Cup touches a nerve none of those do.

    The Ryder Cup stokes more fervor, provokes more passion and incites more vitriol than any other event in golf.

    More bulletin board material, too.

    Yeah, it’s a long way off, but you can already hear the Ryder Cup’s King Kong like footsteps in its distant approach. Watching how the American and European teams come together will be an ongoing drama through spring and summer.

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    Quail Hollow officials promise players easier conditions

    By Rex HoggardJanuary 22, 2018, 9:14 pm

    Quail Hollow Club - a staple on the PGA Tour since 2003 - debuted as a longer, tougher version of itself at last year’s PGA Championship, receiving mixed reviews from players.

    The course played to a lengthened 7,600 yards at last year’s PGA and a 73.46 stroke average, the toughest course in relation to par on Tour in 2017. As a result, it left some players less than excited to return to the Charlotte, N.C.-area layout later this spring for the Wells Fargo Championship.

    It’s that lack of enthusiasm that led officials at Quail Hollow to send a video to players saying, essentially, that the course players have lauded for years will be back in May.

    The video, which includes Quail Hollow president Johnny Harris and runs nearly five minutes, begins with an explanation of how the first hole, which played as a 524-yard par 4 at the PGA, will play much shorter at the Wells Fargo Championship.

    “I had a number of my friends who were playing in the tournament tell me that tee was better suited as a lemonade stand,” Harris joked of the new tee box on the fourth hole. “I doubt we’ll ever see that tee used again in competition.”

    Harris also explained that the greens, which became too fast for some, will be “softer” for this year’s Wells Fargo Championship.