Like a loyal but overlooked wingman, some golf courses never seem to get the credit they deserve. Despite having many worthwhile attributes, they are often dismissively referred to as "the other one." Such is the case with the Revere Golf Club's Concord track, which is frequently overshadowed by its flashier counterpart, the Lexington course.
At 7,069 yards from the tips, Concord is only 74 yards shorter than its neighbor, yet many golfers who have played both come away with the impression that it is easier, despite a slope that is substantially higher than Lexington's from the tips and virtually identical from the more commonly played gold tees, which still require players to traverse nearly 6,550 yards. If Concord offers one measure of forgiveness, it comes in the form of banked rough that on many holes kicks moderately errant tee shots back toward the fairway. However, drives that wander farther off course than that will almost certainly disappear into the ever-present desert that surrounds this scenic track.
Any preconception of Concord's ease will be dispelled on the first tee, as players search in vain for the green on the 408-yard par 4. While the hole plays steeply downhill, the fairway bends to the right around a grove of trees, making an overly aggressive swing imprudent to say the least. Even from the short grass, the downhill approach requires finesse to hold a surprisingly fast and unreceptive green. The triangular putting surface is flanked on all three sides by bunkers, although the one on the right edge is far less prominent than the others.
Those who reach the green in regulation are not guaranteed a par, however. The surface's slickness, combined with subtle breaks and the relentless influence of the valley below, requires an abacus to calculate the correct line and speed.
After a short but vexingly difficult par 4 comes the par-3 fifth hole, which spans only 184 yards (153 from the gold set) but provides ample opportunity for disaster. Beware of any front pin placement; with water lapping at the green's front edge, there is zero margin for error short. Long isn't much fun either, as a trio of bunkers along the back edge offers overly conservative players the chance to blast a bunker shot to a downhill green toward the water. What could possibly go wrong?
Concord's front side closes with a par 5 that plays only 508 yards but requires a Sherpa to carry the bag as one treks up the mountain. The most distant bunker visible from the tee makes a good target, as the hole bends almost 90 degrees to the left from that point. The second shot is blind; just inside the trees on the left is a good line. Those who elect to challenge this green in two must thread between a pair of staggered bunkers -- one along each edge -- short of the putting surface.
No. 12 is a cliffhanger-style par 3 with a sweeping vista of the valley's southern edge. Although the steep drop-off compels some to play two clubs less than normal, a one-club deduction is probably plenty on this 241-yard hole. While a sprawling bunker guards the entire back edge, left is the miss that must be avoided at all costs, as a deep ravine virtually guarantees an unrecoverable ball.
A reachable par 4 for bombers at only 361 yards (318 from the gold), No. 15 is a classic risk-reward hole. A large bunker sits directly in the fairway; those who attempt to carry it and fail face a 90-yard bunker shot. Those who opt for the more sensible approach, however, will have a wedge to a relatively defenseless green.
The Concord course's final offering is unusual both in that it is a par 5 and that it is one of the most intriguingly designed holes in Southern Nevada. The pond fronting the tee box is technically in play but really is employed only for psychological purposes. Beyond that, the fairway crests a hill, offering no glimpse of what is to come.
The second shot, which for most amateurs will be a lay-up, descends like a ski slope toward a massive gulley that defines the green's front edge. Fortunately, there are several stair-step tiers near the bottom. The prudent play is to subtract at least two clubs to stay well short of the hazard, then strike a lob wedge with conviction. While a cacophony of bunkers peppers the shallow green's back edge, long is much better than short. This closing hole can be a birdie or a double-bogey.
With its wide views, interesting design and wicked greens, Concord deserves more respect than it generally gets. Like many tracks around town, the course is being overseeded for winter and will reopen for play this Saturday. The Revere Golf Club is located at 2600 Hampton Road in Henderson, overlooking the Anthem community. For more information or to reserve a tee time, visit www.reveregolf.com or call 259-4653.