Take a shot at glory on Las Vegas golfs top par-3 holes

By October 19, 2010, 6:50 pm


TPC Las Vegas
No. 2 at TPC Las Vegas is an island green, not surrounded by water, but rather a desert floor some 15-feet down.

With the Justin Timberlake Shriners Childrens Hospitals for Children Open approaching, all eyes are on Las Vegas' spectacular golf courses.

LAS VEGAS – At first glance, the assignment sounded easy: Write a story about the best par-3 golf holes in Las Vegas.
Hmm. Shouldn't be a problem. Then reality set in as the first list of possibilities turned up 31 golf holes.
Back to the drawing board. A little tweaking here and there and here's one man's look at the top three-shot holes in Sin City...

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Bali Hai Golf Club, 16th hole, 141 yards: One of Las Vegas golf's island greens, the hole's beauty and its severely undulating green make it a must-play. One warning: Simply landing on the 16th green at Bali Hai G.C. does not assure a par.

Bear's Best Golf Club, 15th hole, 233 yards: This hole on Jack Nicklaus' Vegas design replicates the fifth hole at the Chiricahua Course at Desert Mountain in Scottsdale, Ariz. From the tips, it's an imposing shot that features a carry over a wash with desert outcroppings right and left to catch errant shots. This one's tough.

Boulder Creek Golf Club's Coyote Run course, eighth hole, 179 yards: Another hole that has it all. There's a waterfall, pond, huge bunkers and the location at the base of a mountain. With six sets of tees, players get to choose how much water comes into play. You can play it as a full carry or just cut a corner off the pond. Add some diabolical pin placement options and you've got the makings of a championship golf hole.

Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort's Wolf Course, 15th hole, 182 yards: The island green is breathtaking to view, but it leaves you breathless in the search for the right club. A true 'do-or-Dye' hole, it's all or nothing once you take a deep breath and unleash, hopefully, that ideal golf swing.

Legacy Golf Club, 10th hole, 193 yards: Nothing screams Las Vegas more than this tee, as the four boxes are shaped like the suits in a deck of cards – heart, club, spade and diamond. The three-tiered, tough-to-putt green makes this a great golf hole to open your back nine.

Rhodes Ranch Golf Club, third hole, 227 yards: A pond, waterfall, four bunkers and a narrow green make for one tough golf shot. To hit the green ranks as an impressive feat on this imposing hole.

Rio Secco Golf Club, seventh hole, 208 yards: Always a favorite for its aesthetics, it's all carry over a deadly-but-shimmering blue pond to a green guarded left, long and right by bunkers. The front of the green sits precariously on the edge of the pond, so short is not an option. Get the picture? Pick the right club and give it your best shot. You're going to need it.

Siena Golf Club, fifth hole, 159 yards: Another water-laden hole. Here, the wet stuff comes into play on three sides. It's not deceptively long but still a tough par, even with a good tee shot, because of a tough-to-read green. As with most of the holes on this list, take a moment to check out the views after you've putted. You won't be disappointed.

TPC Las Vegas, second hole, 196 yards: This version of an island green comes with a desert flair. Instead of water surrounding the green, the desert floor, some 15 feet below, serves as the grave for errant shots. It may lack the drama of a watery splash, but it calls for the same penalty – reload and try it again.

Wynn Golf Club, sixth hole, 163 yards: With a pond fronting the green and an imposing brick wall that elevates the putting surface above the water, this is a challenging shot. Beautiful, lush foliage and impressive background views make it the perfect spot for a perfect shot.

Also worth a look

There you have it, 10 of Vegas' best par-3 holes. Also worth a look are: The seventh hole at Cascata, no. 17 on the Lexington course at Revere Golf Club, the eighth hole at Royal Links Golf Club and the second at Silverstone Golf Club's Valley nine.

Well, you get the picture. When it comes to par 3s, the artists who created the many golf masterpieces around Vegas put forth their best efforts. And it shows.

There are so many more. But like most lists, this one remains subject to change. Next time a certain writer scores a birdie on a par-3 not seen here, that hole's stock certainly rises in its bid to rate among the best in Las Vegas.

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Watch: McIlroy gives Fleetwood a birthday cake

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 19, 2018, 2:58 pm

Tommy Fleetwood turned 27 on Friday. He celebrated with some good golf – a 4-under 68 in Abu Dhabi, leaving him only two shots back in his title defense – and a birthday cake, courtesy of Rory Mcllroy.

While giving a post-round interview, Fleetwood was surprised to see McIlroy approaching with a cake in hand.

“I actually baked this before we teed off,” McIlroy joked.

Fleetwood blew out the three candles – “three wishes!” – and offered McIlroy a slice.  

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DJ shoots 64 to surge up leaderboard in Abu Dhabi

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 1:48 pm

Dustin Johnson stood out among a star-studded three-ball that combined to shoot 18 under par with just one bogey Friday at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

Shaking off a sloppy first round at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Johnson matched the low round of the day with a 64 that put him within four shots of Thomas Pieters’ lead.

“I did everything really well,” Johnson said. “It was a pretty easy 64.”

Johnson made four bogeys during an even-par 72 on Thursday and needed a solid round Friday to make the cut. Before long, he was closer to the lead than the cut line, making birdie on three of the last four holes and setting the pace in a group that also included good rounds from Rory McIlroy (66) and Tommy Fleetwood (68).

“Everyone was hitting good shots,” McIlroy said. “That’s all we were seeing, and it’s nice when you play in a group like that. You feed off one another.” 

Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

Coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, Johnson is searching for his first regular European Tour title. He tied for second at this event a year ago.

Johnson’s second-round 64 equaled the low round of the day (Jorge Campillo and Branden Grace). 

“It was just really solid all day long,” Johnson said. “Hit a lot of great shots, had a lot of looks at birdies, which is what I need to do over the next two days if I want to have a chance to win on Sunday.” 

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Closing eagle moves Rory within 3 in Abu Dhabi

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:57 pm

What rust? Rory McIlroy appears to be in midseason form.

Playing competitively for the first time since Oct. 8, McIlroy completed 36 holes without a bogey Friday, closing with an eagle to shoot 6-under 66 to sit just three shots back at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

“I’m right in the mix after two days and I’m really happy in that position,” he told reporters afterward.

McIlroy took a 3 ½-month break to heal his body, clear his mind and work on his game after his first winless year since 2008, his first full season as a pro.

He's back on track at a familiar playground, Abu Dhabi Golf Club, where he’s racked up eight top-11s (including six top-3s) in his past nine starts there.

Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

McIlroy opened with a 69 Thursday, then gave himself even more chances on Day 2, cruising along at 4 under for the day when he reached the par-5 closing hole. After launching a 249-yard long iron to 25 feet, he poured in the eagle putt to pull within three shots of Thomas Pieters (65). 

Despite the layoff, McIlroy edged world No. 1 Dustin Johnson, coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, by a shot over the first two rounds. 

“DJ is definitely the No. 1 player in the world right now, and one of, if not the best, driver of the golf ball," McIlroy said. "To be up there with him over these first two days, it proves to me that I’m doing the right things and gives me a lot of confidence going forward.”

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Duke to fill in for injured Pavin at CareerBuilder

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:25 pm

Ken Duke will fill in for Corey Pavin for the next two rounds of the CareerBuilder Challenge – with nothing at stake but his amateur partner’s position on the leaderboard.

Pavin was 4 over par when he withdrew after 17 holes Thursday because of a neck injury. Tournament officials contacted Duke, the first alternate, and asked if he would take Pavin’s spot and partner with Luis Lopez for the next two rounds, even though he would not receive any official money.

Duke accepted and explained his decision on Twitter:

Playing on past champion’s status, the 48-year-old Duke has made only four starts this season, with a best finish of a tie for 61st at the RSM Classic.

Pavin received a sponsor exemption into the event, his first PGA Tour start since the 2015 Colonial.