TPC Las Vegas Three letters signify quality to golfers

By October 20, 2010, 12:36 am


TPC Las Vegas
More than a handful of PGA Tour pros still call TPC Las Vegas home and can often be seen here honing their skills.

With the upcoming Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in Las Vegas, all talk is about the array of championship golf courses in Sin City. Playing Vegas' best will leave even Timberlake reluctant to say 'bye bye bye.'

LAS VEGAS – There are three letters that are sure to peak every golfer's interest when talking about places to tee it up: T-P-C. As in Tournament Players Club.

The TPC golf courses, run to the highest standards in the industry, dot the United States landscape. Las Vegas is lucky enough to sport two of these layouts: TPC Las Vegas (public) and TPC Summerlin (private).

'The TPC brand is huge for us,' said Todd Hajduk, head golf professional at TPC Las Vegas. 'It's synonymous with excellence and great golf. Here, you can stand on the tee box where Tiger Woods stands and play the same course.'

For years, TPC Las Vegas was in the rotation of courses when the PGA Tour came to Vegas, and more than a handful of PGA Tour pros still call the course home and can regularly be seen on the practice tee honing their skills.


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Some of the PGA Tour players who stop in regularly include Charley Hoffman, Dean Wilson, Chris Riley, Bill Lunde, Alex Cejka and others.


'People see them as the best of the best, but they are just friends of ours,' Hajduk said. 'To have them want to come out here is cool. It adds a little something to the property, and we take care to make sure they, as well as the rest of our guests, are taken care of.'

The course, designed by Bobby Weed with consultation from Raymond Floyd, is a par-71 roller coaster that plays to 7,080 yards over and around canyons (hence the former name – TPC at The Canyons) in the northwest section of Vegas.

On a crisp, sunny day in October, Las Vegans Mark Huttanus and Paul Racana were all smiles after finishing their round. Getting them to talk about why they chose TPC Las Vegas to play was easy.

'It's a very fair course, but you've got to hit a lot of good shots to score,' said Huttanus. 'The 14th hole (playing just 336 yards, but tee shots must be pinpoint in length and distance to carry the canyon and still find the narrow fairway) is a great hole. It's tough. You've got to be very accurate off the tee as well as with your second shot to score well. It's very unique.'

Racana chuckled that he loves the course for a different reason. 'I find almost as many golf balls out here as I lose.'

Get ready for a wild ride at TPC Las Vegas

The TPC Las Vegas golf course starts off with a prime scoring opportunity in the par-4, 359-yard first hole.

A bunker guards the right side, but a hybrid off the tee will set up a mid-iron into a green that slopes from back to front. So don't be short with your approach, or you'll get to hit another approach. Birdie is a great possibility here.

But then buckle up and hang on, because the ride has just begun.

The par-3 second is a stunner. It plays 196 yards from an elevated tee to an island green – but there's no water, just a 10-foot drop-off to the desert floor below. There is a bailout area to the right and bunkers long, but this is the first of many knee-knocking challenges golfers will face.

The par-4 third, reaching a staggering 466 yards, has around a 200-yard carry over the desert to the landing area (from the tips).

Then players get another breather with a 544-yard par 5 that is a definite birdie chance – providing drives hit the fairway and miss bunkers, and the approach shot manages to escape a huge, yawning bunker that guards the front of the green.

The back nine features a three-hole stretch that players won't soon forget. The 12th (another par 3 with an island green with desert below), and a pair of par 4s with canyon carries, will get the attention of players from tee to green.

'We get a lot of comments about the back nine,' Hajduk said. 'The 12th, 13th, 14th and 15th holes all play around the canyon, and it's just very unique.'

That sets the stage for the finisher, the 448-yard, par-4 18th. With water left (it's the only time water comes into play on the course unless you hit an unbelievably bad shot on No. 10), players should favor the right side of the fairway.

Bunkers left and right cut down the landing area, but find the fairway, and your approach shot becomes much easier.

After the round

The TPC Grille is a great spot to eat breakfast or lunch before or after a round.

It's also a relaxing place to celebrate with friends after that great outing. From fine dining to fine spirits, this one has it all in a comfortable atmosphere.

There's also an outside patio area where you can dine or drink as you take in the great views of the 18th hole and the surrounding Red Rock Mountains.

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Ortiz takes Tour clubhouse lead in Bahamas

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 16, 2018, 2:19 am

Former Tour Player of the Year Carlos Ortiz shot a bogey-free, 4-under-par 68 Monday to take the clubhouse lead in The Bahamas Great Exuma Classic at Sandals Emerald Bay.

Four other players - Lee McCoy, Brandon Matthews, Sung Jae Im and Mark Anderson - were still on the course and tied with Ortiz at 6-under 210 when third-round play was suspended by darkness at 5:32 p.m. local time. It is scheduled to resume at 7:15 a.m. Tuesday.

Ortiz, a 26-year-old from Guadalajara, Mexico, is in search of his fourth Tour victory. In 2014, the former University of North Texas standout earned a three-win promotion on his way to being voted Tour Player of the Year.

McCoy, a 23-year-old from Dunedin, Fla., is looking to become the first player to earn medalist honors at Q-School and then win the opening event of the season.

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Randall's Rant: Can we please have some rivalries?

By Randall MellJanuary 16, 2018, 12:00 am

Memo to the golf gods:

If you haven’t finalized the fates of today’s stars for the new year, could we get you to deliver what the game has lacked for so long?

Can we get a real, honest-to-goodness rivalry?

It’s been more than two decades since the sport has been witness to one.

With world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and former world No. 1 Rory McIlroy at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship this week, an early-season showdown would percolate hope that this year might be all about rivalries.

It seems as if the stars are finally aligned to make up for our long drought of rivalries, of the recurring clashes you have so sparingly granted through the game’s history.

We’re blessed in a new era of plenty, with so many young stars blossoming, and with Tiger Woods offering hope he may be poised for a comeback. With Johnson, McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, Jason Day, Justin Thomas, Jon Rahm, Hideki Matsuyama, Brooks Koepka and Rickie Fowler among today’s dynamic cast, the possibility these titans will time their runs together on the back nine of Sundays in majors excites.

We haven’t seen a real rivalry since Greg Norman and Nick Faldo sparred in the late '80s and early '90s.

Woods vs. Phil Mickelson didn’t really count. While Lefty will be remembered for carving out a Hall of Fame career in the Tiger era, with 33 victories, 16 of them with Tiger in the field, five of them major championships, we get that Tiger had no rival, not in the most historic sense.

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Phil never reached No. 1, was never named PGA Tour Player of the Year, never won a money title and never dueled with Woods on Sunday on the back nine of a major with the title on the line.  Still, it doesn’t diminish his standing as the best player not named Tiger Woods over the last 20 years. It’s a feat so noteworthy it makes him one of the game’s all-time greats.

We’ve been waiting for an honest-to-goodness rivalry since Faldo and Norman took turns ruling at world No. 1 and dueling in big events, including the back nine of multiple majors. 

In the '70s, we had Nicklaus-Watson. In the '60s, it was Nicklaus-Palmer. In the '40s and '50s, it was Hogan, Snead and Nelson in a triumvirate mix, and in the '20s and '30s we had Hagen and Sarazen.

While dominance is the magic ingredient that can break a sport out of its niche, a dynamic rivalry is the next best elixir.

Dustin Johnson looks capable of dominating today’s game, but there’s so much proven major championship talent on his heels. It’s hard to imagine him consistently fending off all these challengers, but it’s the fending that would captivate us.

Johnson vs. McIlroy would be a fireworks show. So would Johnson vs. Thomas, or Thomas vs. Day or McIlroy vs. Rahm or Fowler vs. Koepka ... or any of those combinations.

Spieth is a wild card that intrigues.

While he’s not a short hitter, he isn’t the power player these other guys are, but his iron game, short game, putter and moxie combine to make him the most compelling challenger of all. His resolve, resilience and resourcefulness in the final round of his British Open victory at Royal Birkdale make him the most interesting amalgam of skill since Lee Trevino.

Woods vs. any of them? Well, if we get that, we promise never to ask for anything more.

So, if that cosmic calendar up there isn’t filled, how about it? How about a year of rivalries to remember?

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McIlroy: 2018 may be my busiest season ever

By Will GrayJanuary 15, 2018, 6:28 pm

With his return to competition just days away, Rory McIlroy believes that the 2018 season may be the most action packed of his pro career.

The 28-year-old has not teed it up since the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in early October, a hiatus he will end at this week's Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. It will be the start of a busy spring for the Ulsterman, who will also play next week in Dubai before a run of six PGA Tour events leading up to the Masters.

Speaking to the U.K.'s Telegraph, McIlroy confirmed that he will also make a return trip to the British Masters in October and plans to remain busy over the next 12 months.

"I might play more times this year than any before. I played 28 times in 2008 and I'm on track to beat that," McIlroy said. "I could get to 30 (events), depending on where I'm placed in the Race to Dubai. But I'll see."

McIlroy's ambitious plan comes in the wake of a frustrating 2017 campaign, when he injured his ribs in his first start and twice missed chunks of time in an effort to recover. He failed to win a worldwide event and finished the year ranked outside the top 10, both of which had not happened since 2008.

But having had more than three months to get his body and swing in shape, McIlroy is optimistic heading into the first of what he hopes will be eight starts in the 12 weeks before he drives down Magnolia Lane.

"I've worked hard on my short game and I'm probably feeling better with the putter than I ever have," McIlroy said. "I've had a lot of time to concentrate on everything and it all feels very good and a long way down the road."

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What's in the Bag: Sony Open winner Kizzire

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 15, 2018, 6:05 pm

Patton Kizzire earned his second PGA Tour victory by winning a six-hole playoff at the Sony Open in Hawaii. Take a look inside his bag.

Driver: Titleist 917D3 (10.5 degrees), with Fujikura Atmos Black 6 X shaft

Fairway Wood: Titleist 917F2 (16.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Blue 95 TX shaft

Hybrid: Titleist 913H (19 degrees), with UST Mamiya AXIV Core 100 Hybrid shaft

Irons: Titleist 718 T-MB (4), 718 CB (5-6), 718 MB (7-9), with True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shafts

Wedges: Titleist SM7 prototype (47, 52, 56, 60 degrees), with True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shafts

Putter: Scotty Cameron GoLo Tour prototype

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x