Two things before we get into the golf stuff. First, let me ask a question: Am I the only one who believes in the notion of karma? Chance, fate, destiny, providence, luck, fortune, coincidence, accident, kismet or design. Why, a year ago, did I purchase shares of Netflix? Just because I started subscribing to its service? Or was it a well-researched stock pick? Anyway, it turned out very well.
Secondly, I think I'm getting spoiled. Enjoying the best of everything. Living the high life.
I made the reservation at Canyon Gate Country Club three weeks in advance. The weather had been beautiful, with moderate temperatures and calm days.
The golf day arrived, and with it, a drop in temperature of 23 degrees, wind gusts of 50 mph and a mean forecast of rain storms. Bad weather karma?
Peter Vent of the Peter PR Network in California had invited me out to check out Canyon Gate Country Club and enjoy a round of golf. "Come check out the finest country club in the valley," he said when issuing the invitation.
Ted Robinson designed the course at the club, which opened in 1989. Valley golfers are familiar with Robinson's work: he designed Rhodes Ranch Country Club, 20 Rhodes Ranch Parkway, and the Phantom/Eagle/Falcon nines at Sunrise Vista Golf Course, 2841 Kinley Drive, at Nellis Air Force Base. He was a favorite of incorporating water hazards into the course, using them as significant challenges to players.
Canyon Gate Country Club is tucked into an enclave of expensive homes just off Sahara Avenue west of Durango Drive.
"I counted last night -- there are 13 holes which have water hazards to challenge the golfers," said Rachel Stull, membership director at Canyon Gate. "You'll get a good test."
The course plays to 6,769 yards, has a rating of 73 and a slope of 136. On paper, a challenging layout. I love golf courses that begin with a par-5 on the first hole. The first at Canyon Gate is a 545-yarder that's the 10th easiest hole on the track. Combine its downhill layout, even with water on the right, and it's a great opportunity to get off to a great start. The sixth and seventh holes test your skill with approach shots to the green over water. The same challenge waits on No. 9, a 399-yard par-4, if your tee shot wanders to the right. Throw in traps to the left and right of the green and it becomes a fun hole.
The weather caught us on the short, par-4, 297-yard, uphill 14th hole. For long hitters wanting to drive the green, it's a difficult task due to the water hazard crossing the front of the green. Wind and rain might have cut our round short. But not our enjoyment of the course.
So, even with the threatening weather, all four players scored better then normal. My game? I logged four pars, which, for me, is crazy. So karma turned out favorable this time. So next time, let it rain, let it rain.
Let's talk about being spoiled. A few years ago, the thought of joining a country club seemed far-fetched. But now, the idea seems more reachable. Rachel Stull guided the tour of Canyon Gate's facilities. Sure, everything was top cabin: the tennis and fitness center, the swimming facility, the dining opportunities, the meeting rooms and of course the golf experience. Even the events at the club would keep one busy throughout the month. Golf clinics, tennis clinics, tournaments, dining specials and even happy hour specials.
But what really sets Canyon Gate apart from other country clubs are the add-ons that come with membership. In addition to privileges at Bear's Best Las Vegas, 1111 W. Flamingo Road, membership includes the ClubCorp network of associate clubs providing access to private clubs worldwide. ClubCorp owns or operates a network of more then 150 golf and county clubs in 25 states, the District of Columbia and two foreign countries.
With the upgraded signature gold membership, members are entitled to complimentary greens fees at designated golf and country clubs and complimentary meals at business and sports clubs, two times per month. Taking a trip to San Diego? Enjoy two free rounds of golf at the Morgan Run Club & Resort, the Shadowridge Country Club and the StoneRidge Country Club. Then enjoy two free meals at the University Club Atop Symphony Towers. These benefits are available each month. Sounds good to me. The bottom line? With the nontransferable membership, the $10,000 initiation fee is waived. Monthly dues are $546, with a quarterly food and beverage minimum of $200.
The signature gold membership is an additional $50 a month. All memberships provide equal privileges to spouses and dependent children younger than 23. Polishing my math skills, this comes to $663 a month -- still less then I spend at Tenaya Creek monthly.
You can do your own budget figuring.
Unlimited golf, golf tournaments, activities, social and professional networking, dining specials, happy hours, first-class amenities and the prestige of one of the finest country clubs in Las Vegas. Sounds like good karma to me.
John Asay is a longtime golfer and local freelance writer. Contact him at email@example.com.