Window Shopping: Midweek golf in Las Vegas tough to beat

By Brandon TuckerSeptember 20, 2012, 3:29 am

Brandon Tucker spent a few days in Las Vegas this September on the hunt for mid-week bargains, and he found plenty of them (like Angel Park, pictured right). Here's his trip report: 

LAS VEGAS, Nev. -- For bargain-seekers, there is nothing quite like a mid-week trip to Las Vegas. When my brother and I flew into Vegas a few days early to play some golf before a family wedding, reverse sticker shock ensued: $23 per day for a Nissan Altima and $45 per night at a three-star hotel. Not only that, you can practically name your price for casino table limits. 

These Vegas deals stretch to green fees too, especially in September. Simply put, if your group is willing to sacrifice the fact it might be a little tougher to find a hot party than on the weekend, you'd be silly not to come up with a couple extra vacation days and bask in weekday bargains, where visitors can feel like they're getting the 'local rate.'

Seeking out midweek bargains in Vegas on the golf course

Playing Las Vegas golf in mid-September has its pros and cons. While temperatures have cooled off enough to be comfortable throughout the day, the majority of area facilities over-seed this time of year. Consequently, a few courses we'd hoped to play were closed. If you see a real bargain tee time online, there may be a catch. Over-seeding requires 7-14 days, and the week or two afterwards, playing conditions are sub-prime. Thankfully, every shop we called to inquire about their status was brutally honest about what to expect.

For example, when researching tee times the night before we wanted to tee it up, a $25, 11 a.m. rate at the Primm Valley Desert Course (normally $99 at the very least) caught our eye. I've never heard of a Tom Fazio-designed course ever costing what amounts to merely a cart fee. Suspicious, I called up the pro shop, and they told me that conditions were quite dry because they planned to close the course down two days later to over-seed. The shop did tell me the greens were rolling very well, which made us consider pulling the trigger, but we eventually opted for a course a little closer to our hotel and booked a $45 morning time at Angel Park Golf Club's Mountain Course.

The Mountain had over-seeded a week earlier, which meant our round was cart path-only, fairways had their rough patches and the greens were on the slow side. But seeing as though it was the first round of the trip and the round was about half the cost of anything else we could find that morning, we didn't mind. The facility itself is one of Vegas' most complete, with 36 holes, plus a lighted Cloud Nine par 3, a putting course and a great 19th hole. I'll certainly be back.

For the next round, we ponied up $50 for an afternoon tee time at Silverstone Golf Club, a 27-hole semi-private facility in a residential community to the north of Las Vegas. A Bob Cupp design, the course is a little longer and wider than Angel Park, which meant you could hit a few more drivers off the tee and hit a few less shots out of desert rock.

Prime time at Royal Links Golf Club

Royal Links

Cart path-only is a common casualty of fall golf in the desert, but not everywhere. For our third and final round of the week, we stepped it up and played a top area experience, Royal Links Golf Club. While it's a premium green fee ($179-199), it's worth every penny. Rather than desert golf, you're playing lush fairways and smooth, fast greens. Instead of looking for errant drives in desert rock and shrub, the rough is tall and thick, which actually turns out to be a refreshing alternative once you've been in Vegas long enough. 

While I've played enough golf in Scotland to not be overly enthralled by replica holes of the British Open, the main draw for me at Royal Links are the wide playing corridors with wall-to-wall grass to go along with high-roller service and conditions. Royal Links stopped over-seeding last fall to both promote a links-style game year round as well as healthier bermuda turf for all seasons, so the course was in perfect shape from tee-to-green, while service and amenities were pretty flawless, too.

The best part of our midweek trip to Vegas? We caught a couple hot shoes on the tables at the Silverton Casino and the week nearly paid for itself (we've been on the wrong side of the cards in Vegas before, so please excuse the gloating this time around).

Getty Images

Tiger Tracker: Tour Championship

By Tiger TrackerSeptember 22, 2018, 5:25 pm

After grinding out a 68 on Friday, Tiger Woods is trying to get the lead all to himself in Round 3 at the Tour Championship. We're tracking him.

Iowa State Cyclones cheerleaders pause at a memorial in the Jacobson Building honoring Celia Barquin Arozamena, at Jack Trice Stadium on September 22, 2018 in Ames, Iowa. Getty Images

Iowa State honors Arozamena before football game

By Associated PressSeptember 22, 2018, 4:57 pm

AMES, Iowa - Iowa State honored slain golf star Celia Barquin Arozamena with an elaborate ceremony ahead of the Cyclones' game against Akron on Saturday.

Iowa State's band used a formation that spelled out Barquin's initials, and both teams wore a decal on their helmets in her memory.

A tribute to Barquin played on a video screen before a moment of silence, and fans were also asked to wear yellow, one of Iowa State's main colors and a nod to Barquin's Spanish roots. Most of the roughly 60,000 fans in attendance complied with yellow and with golf shirts on a chilly morning in central Iowa.

"I think it's fantastic. The tribute is amazing. But ultimately, it would have been perfect if she could have been here for her tribute, which was going to happen anyway." said Ed Hamilton, a retired police officer from nearby Ankeny, Iowa.

Barquin, the Cyclones' first conference champion in 25 years, was finishing up her degree at Iowa State and working toward her ultimate goal of becoming a professional golfer.

A memorial honoring Celia Barquin Arozamena at Jack Trice Stadium. (Photo by David Purdy/Getty Images)

Barquin competed in the U.S Women's Open earlier this summer, and coach Christie Martens said she was approaching "the pinnacle of her career."

"Iowa State fans are very loyal. We haven't had too many winning football teams over the years. Yet the fans turn out. There's a great loyalty here -- but it spills into other sports as well," said Iowa State fan Kent Hollrah of Denison, Iowa.

Collin Richards, also 22, has been charged with first-degree murder in Barquin's death. Police said Richards stabbed Barquin and left her body in a pond on the course, where it was found after other golfers noticed her abandoned bag.

Cyclones coach Matt Campbell also wore an Iowa State golf hat on the sideline to show solidarity with his colleagues.

"Be with all of us today Celia, your legacy will forever live on & we are forever grateful for your impact. Much love from your Cyclonitas," Iowa State linebacker Willie Harvey tweeted earlier Saturday, using the nickname that Barquin had for her teammates.

Getty Images

Tiger, Bryson testing each other's golf balls ahead of Paris

By Rex HoggardSeptember 22, 2018, 4:21 pm

ATLANTA – The U.S. Ryder Cup team won’t arrive in Paris for next week’s matches until Monday, but one pairing already seems to be penciled into captain Jim Furyk’s lineup.

Tiger Woods and Bryson DeChambeau have become regular practice-round partners, and when Furyk made both captain’s picks, it added to the notion that they would be paired during the team sessions in France. On Tuesday at East Lake, Woods and DeChambeau teed it up yet again.

Both Woods and DeChambeau play Bridgestone golf balls, although they use different models.

“The two are very similar, they are very numbers-oriented and that translates to their feel on the course, but they get fitted to two different golf balls,” said Adam Rehberg, Bridgestone Golf’s ball-fitting manager.

Projected FedExCup standings

Full-field scores from the Tour Championship

Tour Championship: Articles, photos and videos

Woods plays the company’s Tour B XS, which is softer and spins more, while DeChambeau plays the Tour B X, which is designed to take spin off shots.

Although DeChambeau played a version of the company’s golf ball that was close to what Woods now plays earlier in his career, he appeared to be preparing for a pairing next week during Tuesday’s practice round.

“I’ve seen some chipping of the other’s ball during practice rounds, getting used to it,” Rehberg said. “There’s been some sharing of golf balls internally between those guys. It’s almost like the worst kept secret in golf. It seems they are going to be paired up one way or another.”

The rules for the Ryder Cup were changed in 2006. They allow for foursomes teams to change golf balls between holes but not during a hole, which explains the duo’s interest in becoming comfortable with the other’s golf ball, particularly around the green and for chip shots.

Getty Images

Casey: RC teams planning Lyle, Celia tributes

By Rex HoggardSeptember 22, 2018, 3:58 pm

ATLANTA – Throughout this season Paul Casey has been in regular contact with European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn, with most communication being via text messages that the Englishman said always included an eclectic range of emojis.

But when the Dane decided to make Casey one of his four captain’s picks, it had to be a phone call.

“He called on Monday (Sept. 3). I was in the parking garage at the Philadelphia Marriott,” Casey said this week at the Tour Championship. “It was rewarding, emotional, so many things.”

Projected FedExCup standings

Full-field scores from the Tour Championship

Tour Championship: Articles, photos and videos

Since being named to the team, Casey said his communication with Bjorn and the other members of the European team has been via WhatsApp, which allows the team to share ideas and finalize plans for next week’s matches. Casey said the exchanges have mainly featured good-natured teasing and a some silly pictures, with a few serious moments.

The European team, in coordination with the U.S. team, is planning to honor Jarrod Lyle, a former PGA Tour player who died last month following his third bout with leukemia, next Thursday in France. There is a public memorial service planned for Lyle on Thursday in Australia.

Casey also said the team is coordinating a plan to also honor Celia Barquín Arozamena, a top college player from Spain who was murdered this week in Iowa.