Question for all the golfers out there: How dedicated, really, are you to the game of golf? Do you play every week, maybe twice, and feel cheated if you don't?
For, me the answer is an unqualified no. Don't get me wrong. I love the game. The shot striking, the strategy, the camaraderie and the mental aspects of the challenge are great fun. But at times, it's really hot out there. Other times dictate that household chores become the priority for that afternoon. My wife has to take precedence every once in a while. And, of course, there are my other hobbies: tightrope walking between tall buildings and filming giant oceanic manta rays in their native habitat.
Which brings me to an old friend and a new acquaintance. Vic Fenimore and I play golf together about eight times a year. He's a retired executive of 34 years at the post office, spending much of his time as manager of the bulk mail section. That's where I met him. He's a golf fanatic. Plays golf four to five times a week. Sometimes 36 holes a day.
Vic also has a new part-time job. So it was no surprise that he invited me out for a round of golf at the Arroyo Golf Club at Red Rock, 2250 Red Springs Drive. The Arroyo is one of my favorite plays, with beautiful environs, in great condition and one on which I score pretty well.
Vic's new job? It's guest services at the Arroyo, where he works in the pro shop and occasionally welcomes guests outside before their rounds. He carries a 4 handicap, which should greatly improve with this new position. You see, Vic can now play all his golf free on his time off.
Andrew Grisnik is my new acquaintance. Andrew is seeking a Bachelor of Science from the UNLV PGA Golf Management program. He too is an employee of the Arroyo, working alongside Vic in guest services. He carries an 8 handicap. Obviously, Andrew loves golf and plans to spend his career working in the golf industry.
Andrew is working on his final internship, which includes the PGA Players Ability Test, or PAT. Simply put, can the candidate play golf at the higher levels the PGA program demands? Andrew explained the challenge: "Here at the Arroyo, the goal is to score 154 over two rounds. The rounds are played back to back from the black tees, measuring approximately 6,433 yards. That goal is calculated by taking the course rating (69.7) multiplied by two (rounded off = 139) and then adding 15 (154)." That's an easy day's work of 77-77. Andrew can also play all the golf he wants, practicing for the PAT.
Two guys who love golf, the Yin and Yang of golf lovers when it comes to age. Ask them both what they like most about their jobs, and both will answer, "The golf." These guys share a passion for the game, and it proves to me once again how powerful it is to us.
The first thing you notice upon arrival at the Arroyo is the stunning geography of Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. You also notice the stunning houses there. Arroyo is next door the exclusive Red Rock Country Club. In fact, when Arnold Palmer designed and built the Arroyo in 2003, only six new holes were constructed and combined with 12 holes of the original 27 at Red Rock Country Club to form the Arroyo.
With the choice of five tee boxes, the course ranges from 6,883 yards from the gold tees to a short 4,866 yards from the greens. Obviously, all levels of golfers can enjoy time at the course.
With wide-open fairways, golfers have the chance to score low here. There are plenty of challenges, however. Thrown in for good measures are almost 70 sand traps and seven water hazards, adding to the shot-making mind games I so enjoy.
Palmer has been designing golf courses for more than 40 years and has the Arroyo to his credit. Another of the more than 300 courses he's worked on is the Palm course at Angel Park Golf Club.
Pay particular attention to hole No. 7 with its magnificent views of the city. It's a par-3, 215-yard challenge made easier with its rating as one of the easiest holes on the course. The finishing hole is a 401-yard par-4 with water right off the tee. Players on the tips might have to worry about the water coming into play. An elevated green add to the challenges of the hole.
The Arroyo is a sister course to Siena Golf Club and has a player card club offering discounts on play and merchandise from the clubhouse.
Go say hi to Vic and Andrew. Don't be jealous now.
John Asay is a longtime golfer and local freelance writer. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.