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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Kelly, Sauers co-lead in Hawaii; Monty, Couples in mix

By Associated PressJanuary 19, 2018, 3:52 am

KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii - Fresh off a solid performance on Oahu, Jerry Kelly shot an 8-under 64 on the Big Island on Thursday to share the first-round lead at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

The 51-year-old Kelly, who tied for 14th at the PGA Tour's Sony Open last week in Honolulu, birdied five of his final seven holes to shoot 30 on the back nine at Hualalai. He won twice last season, his first on the over-50 tour.

Gene Sauers also shot 64, going bogey-free amid calm conditions. Thirty-two of the 44 players broke par in the limited-field event, which includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

Rocco Mediate and Colin Montgomerie were one shot back, and Fred Couples, Kevin Sutherland and Kirk Triplett were another shot behind.

Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, was in the middle of the pack after a 69.

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Rahm (62) fires career low round

By Will GrayJanuary 19, 2018, 12:03 am

The scores were predictably low during the opening round of the CareerBuilder Challenge, where the top-ranked player in the field currently sits atop the standings. Here's how things look after the first day in Palm Springs as Jon Rahm is out to an early advantage:

Leaderboard: Jon Rahm (-10), Austin Cook (-9), Andrew Landry (-9), Jason Kokrak (-9), Brandon Harkins (-8), Martin Piller (-8), Aaron Wise (-8), Beau Hossler (-8)

What it means: Rahm is coming off a runner-up finish two weeks ago at Kapalua, and he picked up right where he left off with a 10-under 62 at La Quinta Country Club. It marked his lowest career round on the PGA Tour, and it gave him a one-shot lead heading to the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Cook is the only player within two shots of Rahm who has won already on Tour.

Round of the day: Rahm got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under, and he made it around La Quinta without dropping a shot. The 62 bettered his previous career low on Tour by two shots and it included an eagle on the par-5 fifth hole to go along with eight birdies.

Best of the rest: Cook was a winner earlier this season at the RSM Classic, and he's now in the mix for trophy No. 2 following a 9-under 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Like Rahm, he opened with a seven-hole stretch at 6 under and turned in a scorecard without a bogey. He'll now head to the more difficult Stadium Course for his second round.

Biggest disappointment: Patrick Reed blitzed the three-course rotation in Palm Springs en route to his first career Tour title back in 2014, but he's unlikely to repeat that feat after opening with a 2-over 74 on the Nicklaus Tournament course. Reed made only one birdie against three bogeys and was one of only 32 players in the 156-man field who failed to break par in the opening round.

Main storyline heading into Friday: Rahm deserves the spotlight, as he entered the week as one of the event's headliners and did nothing to lose that billing in the opening round. But the pack of contenders is sure to keep pace, while players like Phil Mickelson (-2) will look to put up a low score in order to build some momentum heading into the weekend.

Shot of the day: Wesley Bryan's 7-under 65 on the Nicklaus Tournament course was helped in large part by an eagle on the par-4 10th, where he holed a 54-degree wedge from 112 yards away. Bryan went on to birdie the next hole amid a five-hole stretch of 5 under play.

Quote of the day: "Shot 10 under par. There's not much more I can ask for." - Rahm

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Recent winner Cook contending at CareerBuilder

By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 11:45 pm

Patton Kizzire is currently the only two-time PGA Tour winner this season, but Austin Cook hopes to join him this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

Cook won for the first time in November at the RSM Classic, a victory that catapaulted him from the Tour graduate category into an entirely new echelon. Cook notched a pair of top-25 finishes over the last two weeks in Hawaii, and he's again in the mix after an opening 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course left him one shot behind Jon Rahm.

"Today was great," Cook told reporters. "The conditions were perfect, but I always loved desert golf and I was just hitting the ball well and seeing good lines on the greens and hitting good putts."

Cook got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under highlighted by an eagle on the par-5 fourth hole. He briefly entertained the notion of a sub-60 round after birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 before closing with six pars and a birdie.

CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

Cook was a relative unknown before his victory at Sea Island earlier this season, but now with the flexibility and confidence afforded by a win he hopes to build on his burgeoning momentum this week in California.

"That was a big, proud moment for myself, knowing that I can finish a tournament," Cook said. "I think it was one of those things that I've proven to myself that now I can do it, and it just meant the world to me."

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Photo: Fleetwood's phone cover is picture of Bjorn

By Jason CrookJanuary 18, 2018, 11:40 pm

There's phone covers and then there are Phone Covers.

Paul Casey has himself a Phone Cover, showing off the protective case that features a picture of his wife at last year's U.S. Open.

Now, it appears, Tommy Fleetwood has joined the movement.

Fleetwood, last year's season-long Race to Dubai winner, has a phone cover with a picture of Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn on it. And not even a current Thomas Bjorn. This is a young Bjorn. A hair-having Bjorn.


A post shared by Alex Noren (@alexnoren1) on

The 26-year-old is a virtual lock for this year's European Ryder Cup team, but just in case, he's carrying around a phone with a picture of the team captain attached to the back of it.

It's a bold strategy, Cotton. Let's see if it pays off for him.