Stallion Mountain Golf Club springs back to life in Las Vegas

By Travel ArticlesJune 21, 2012, 4:59 pm

LAS VEGAS -- It's the feeling you get when you run into an old friend after they've been gone awhile.

You want to catch up, see how things are going, compliment them on how good they look, and tell them they've been missed.

It's time to welcome back an old Las Vegas golf favorite: Stallion Mountain Golf Club.

The par-72 layout, designed by Jim Colbert and Jeff Brauer, has four sets of tees ranging from 7,351 yards from the tips to 5,747 yards from the front.

Stallion Mountain opened in 1992, but it was closed for three years due to financial troubles. It recently reopened under the guidance of OB Sports and is now a semi-private course that has golf fans buzzing.

'People are excited to get reacquainted with the facility,' said Dan Romstead, Stallion Mountain's head professional. 'And they are amazed at the excellent conditions we have in such a short time.'

Variety and challenge are two words golfers use most often when they look for a course to play. At Stallion Mountain, players get both -- in a big way.

The golf course winds through a gated community, but it doesn't feel cramped. The wide, rolling fairways offer players generous landing areas, and the large greens are receptive and getting better by the day.

Stallion Mountain G.C. opens with a straightaway par 4 at 428 yards from the tips. Bunkers on the right side will challenge players to keep it left, but a receptive green can give players a good look at birdie. The seventh and eighth, both par 4s, share a huge pond (on the left on the seventh and the right on the eighth) and are two scenic and testing holes. Both require pinpoint accuracy off the tee, with water, bunkers and trees providing the challenges. Beauty and toughness never looked so inviting.

They've definitely saved the best for last at Stallion Mountain. The 17th, a par 3 that reaches 218 yards from the tips, and the 18th, a par 5 that checks in at 566 yards, are everything closing holes should be -- and more.

The 17th plays to a triangular-shaped green with the base of the triangle nestling up against a shimmering pond that guards the front of the green. It's just a step or two from the green to the pond, so take an extra club here because short is not good. There is bailout room to the right of the green, so take that into consideration.

The 18th is a sweeping dogleg right with bunkers guarding the left side off the tee and a pond running down the entire right side. A good drive here sets up the dilemma -- be bold and go for it, or play it safer and lay up. Both shots have their pros and cons. Going for it requires a 3-wood second shot (unless you're a really big hitter) and accuracy is a must because the green, while it's huge, is a small target from about 250 yards out. Laying up also has its perils as the pond right and bunkering left pinch the fairway just short of the green. Solid shots and good thoughts from tee to green just may give players a look at a birdie (or even an eagle) to close out their round.

Stallion Mountain Golf Club: In the clubhouse

Stallion Mountain Golf Club's 38,000-square-foot clubhouse is opulent from the moment you walk through the doors. Whether it's lunch for two, a corporate outing, a wedding for 300 or any other special event, the staff and facility can handle everything from start to finish.

'It's just a beautiful clubhouse, and we've got the room to handle multiple events at one time,' Romstead said.

Stallion Mountain is a semi-private layout that will be capped with a membership of 300. They are at about 80 in the first month of being open, and that has Romstead smiling.

'The golf course is the centerpiece of the community, and we're getting busier with new faces every day,' he said. 'We've got a great facility with great people.'

Stallion Mountain Golf Club: The verdict

If you've never played Stallion Mountain, or if you're a local who remembers it from its heyday, it's definitely a course that should be on your must-play list. With a challenging layout, just enough water, sand and trees to add to the test, rolling fairways and beautiful landscaping, this classic has been brought back to life in a big way.

Forget bells and whistles. This is just good, solid golf on an outstanding course.

'People forget how good a track this golf course is,' Romstead said. 'Combine that with great conditions, great people, great service and great food, and it all adds up to a wonderful experience.'

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Winning on Kerr's mind this week and beyond

By Randall MellMarch 24, 2018, 2:11 am

Cristie Kerr moved into position Friday to do more than win the 21st LPGA title of her career.

She moved into position to claim an LPGA Hall of Fame point this week.

Yes, winning is foremost on her mind at the Kia Classic, where she took the lead with an 8-under-par 64 in the second round, she’s on a larger quest, too.

After turning 40 last fall, Kerr was asked what her goals are.

“The Hall of Fame is attainable, if I stick with it,” she said.

Kerr is five shots ahead of Lizette Salas (67), In-Kyung Kim (69), Hee Young Park (70) and Caroline Hedwall (70).

It’s a good time for Kerr to get on a hot streak, with the year’s first major championship, the ANA Inspiration, next week. She has long been one of the best putters in the women’s game, but her ball-striking is impressive this week. She hit 17 greens in regulation Thursday, and she hit 16 on Friday.

“I like winning,” Kerr said. “I like challenging myself. Definitely doesn't get any easier as you get older, with the travel and recovery time. I got up this morning and I'm like, `Man, why does my hamstring hurt?’ From working around this hilly golf course.”

Kerr acknowledged Friday that her body is more vulnerable to time’s realities, but her mind isn’t.

Full-field scores from the Kia Classic

“The golf ball doesn't know an age,” Kerr said. “I've always said that. As long as I stay hungry, going to just keep playing.”

Kerr won two weeks after her 40th birthday last fall, boosting her LPGA Hall of Fame point total to 22. She is five points short of eligibility for induction. A player earns one point for an LPGA victory and two points for a major championship title. So there’s a lot of Hall of Fame ground to gain this week and next.

It’s a long-term goal that motivates Kerr to take care of her body.

“I don't think the golf changes,” Kerr said. “I think, physically, it gets harder as you get older. Like I said, I've got tape on my hamstring. I strained it, just a little bit yesterday, walking around this golf course. It's tough as you get older, just being fresh and rested. I put more focus into that as I've gotten older. I still practice, but off the course I try to get more rest.”

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Big names chasing Kerr into the weekend at Kia Classic

By Associated PressMarch 24, 2018, 1:55 am

CARLSBAD, Calif. - Cristie Kerr shot an 8-under 64 on Friday in the Kia Classic to take a five-stroke lead into the weekend.

The 40-year-old Kerr had eight birdies in her second straight bogey-free round to reach 13-under 131 at rain-softened Aviara.

''I like winning. I like challenging myself,'' Kerr said. ''Definitely doesn't get any easier as you get older with the travel and recovery time. I got up this morning and I'm like, 'Man, why does my hamstring hurt?' From working around this hilly golf course. The golf ball doesn't know an age. I've always said that. As long as I stay hungry, going to just keep playing.''

She has 20 LPGA victories, winning at Aviara in 2015. She won twice last year and helped the U.S. beat Europe in her ninth Solheim Cup appearance.

''It's tough as you get older just being fresh and rested,'' Kerr said. ''I put more focus into that as I've gotten older. I still practice, but off the course I try to get more rest.''

Lizette Salas, In-Kyung Kim, Hee Young Park and Caroline Hedwall were tied for second. Salas shot 67, Kim 69, and Park and Hedwall 70.

''I really like this golf course. I really like the environment,'' said Salas, the former University of Southern California player from Azusa. ''My family gets to come out. So much confidence at the beginning of the week, and definitely showed the first two days.

Jeong Eun Lee was 7 under after a 69, and defending ANA champion So Yeon Ryu had a 70 to get to 6 under.

Full-field scores from the Kia Classic

Ariya Jutanugarn (72), Brooke Henderson (70) and 2016 winner Lydia Ko (71) were 5 under. Shanshan Feng (68) was another stroke back, and Singapore winner Michelle Wie (72) was 1 under.

Lexi Thompson was 2 over after a 74, making the cut on the number in the final event before the major ANA Inspiration next week at Mission Hills.

Kerr opened with birdies on the par-5 10th and par-3 11th, added birdies on the par-4 16th, 18th and second, and ran off three in a row on the par-3 sixth, par-4 seventh and par-5 eighth.

''I don't think you can fall asleep on one shot,'' Kerr said. ''It's a really good golf course. I think I play better on courses that demand the focus, so I think that's why I've played well here in the past. ... I'm trying not to put limits on myself right now. I've got some good things going on with my swing.''

She has long been one best putters and green-readers in the world.

''I can see the subtleties that a lot of people can't,'' Kerr said. ''It's a gift from God being able to do that. I've always had that, so I'm lucky.''

Laura Davies withdrew after an opening 82. The 54-year-old Davies tied for second last week in the Founders Cup in Phoenix, playing through painful left Achilles and calf problems.

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DJ hits 489-yard drive, but it doesn't count for history

By Rex HoggardMarch 24, 2018, 12:22 am

AUSTIN, Texas – Dustin Johnson is no stranger to big drives, but even for DJ this one was impressive.

Trailing in his Day 3 match at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, Johnson launched a drive at the par-5 12th hole that traveled 489 yards, but that number comes with an asterisk.

“He got lucky it hit the road,” smiled Kevin Kisner, who was leading the world No. 1, 3 up, at the time. “I thought he would make an eagle for sure, he only had 80 yards [to the hole]. He didn’t hit a very good putt.”

WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play: Full bracket | Scoring | Group standings

WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play: Articles, photos and videos

Johnson’s drive, which was 139 yards past Kisner’s tee shot, is the longest recorded on the PGA Tour in the ShotLink era, surpassing Davis Love III’s drive of 476 yards in 2004 at the Tournament of Champions.

The drive will not go into the record books, however, because the Tour doesn’t count statistics from the Match Play.

It should also be noted, Kisner halved the 12th hole with a birdie and won the match, 4 and 3, to advance to the round of 16.

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Durant leads Champions event in Mississippi

By Associated PressMarch 24, 2018, 12:21 am

BILOXI, Miss. - Joe Durant had three straight birdies in a back-nine burst and a shot 6-under 66 on Friday to take the first-round lead in the PGA Tour Champions' Rapiscan Systems Classic.

Durant birdied the par-4 11th and 12th and par-5 13th in the bogey-free round at breezy and rain-softened Fallen Oak. Because of the wet conditions, players were allowed to lift, clean and place their golf balls in the fairway.

''It just sets up nice to my eye,'' Durant said. ''It's a beautiful golf course and it's very challenging. The tee shots seem to set up well for me, but the greens are maybe as quick as I've ever seen them here. You really have to put the ball in the right spots. I played very nice today. With the wind swirling like it was, I'm really happy.''

He won the Chubb Classic last month in Naples, Florida, for his third victory on the 50-and-over tour.

Full-field scores from the Rapiscan Systems Classic

''Done this long enough, Friday's just one day,'' Durant said. ''Especially in a three-day tournament, you've got to go out and shoot three good numbers. Fortunate to put one on the board, but I know I have to back it up with a couple of good days because you can get passed very quickly out here.''

Mark Calcavecchia was a stroke back. He won last month in Boca Raton, Florida

''It's probably my best round I've ever had here and it was a tough day to play,'' Calcavecchia said. ''The greens are just lightning fast. They're pretty slopey greens, so very difficult to putt.''

Steve Stricker was third at 68. He took the Tucson, Arizona, event three weeks ago for his first senior victory.

''Just getting it around and managing my game I think like I always do,'' Stricker said. ''You get in the wrong position here with the greens being so fast and you're going to be in trouble. I did that a couple times today.''

Billy Mayfair, Billy Andrade and David McKenzie shot 69. Jerry Kelly, the winner of the season-opening event in Hawaii, was at 70 with Wes Short Jr., Glen Day, Gene Sauers and Jesper Parnevik.

Bernhard Langer opened with a 71, and two-time defending champion Miguel Angel Jimenez had a 72.

Vijay Singh, coming off his first senior victory two weeks ago in Newport Beach, California, had a 73.