Wedging par for the course at Durango Hills

Let’s get the essentials out of the way. The day of golf started at 8 a.m.

Temperature: High: 45 degrees. Low: 42 degrees.

Average temperature: 48 degrees.

Departure from normal: -3 degrees.

Normal high/low: 61/42.

Record high: 79 degrees, 1954.

Record low: 21 degrees, 1952.

Precipitation last 24 hours: 0.

Wind: Gusts up to 30 mph.

Wind chill factor: 35 degrees.

The cold hit me while I was unloading my clubs. It was early, and my two cups of hot coffee were just distant memories. Wow, it was cold.

Durango Hills Golf Club, 3501 N. Durango Drive, is owned by the city of Las Vegas and managed by OB Sports. I haven’t played there in a decade, so it was the perfect course for a frigid day. Durango Hills is a par-58, 3,777-yard executive course that can be played in less than three hours, lessening the risk of frostbite.

Lee Schmidt and Brian Curley designed the course and opened it for play in November 2002. The duo have built more than 100 courses in 24 countries and are also responsible for 10 of the 12 courses at the world’s largest golf complex, the fabled Mission Hills Shenzhen in China. Locally, they were the design force behind Bali Hai Golf Club adjacent to the strip in 2000.

Durango Hills consists of 14 par-3 holes ranging from 136 yards to 218 yards. The four par-4 holes range in distance from 324 yards to 400 yards. Having not played the course in quite some time, I headed for the first tee. Wrong. Play now starts on what was hole No. 10. That means that three of the par 4s now play in the home nine.

Normally, I don’t mind playing in the wind, as the breeze, more often than not, blows my shots back onto the fairways. Not that day. That included the No. 1 handicap hole, No. 2, which is a 203-yard that requires almost that much in carry. A large trap guards the front, and anything short will test your sand skills. It’s about that time that you notice the condition of the traps. They might be better described as “rock and pebble” hazards. They are hardscrabble and one really can’t “blast” out of them.

It wasn’t until the fifth hole that I landed on the green of a 171-yard straight away. The course superintendent must not have been in the holiday spirit. The greens are naturally fast, and he cut several holes smack dab in the middle of pretty severe breaks.

Most of the holes have pretty wide-open fairways, but hole No. 9 requires a center of the green shot. It’s a 154-yard, narrow fairway with trees and a trap to the left of the green. To the right, there’s a water hazard and trap waiting for errant shots.

What made this hole particularly interesting was the flock of geese residing on the green. Having successfully scattered the gathering with spectacular tee shots, another surprise confronted us: There was an abundance of geese droppings on the green, and all four putts were affected.

Hole No. 10 shares the water hazard with No. 9 and again requires a testing tee shot. The green is guarded by two traps, front left and behind. The water extends fully down the right, and the putting surface is only a few paces from the hazard. It carries a little longer carry at 175 yards.

Another fun hole is the 136-yard 13th. From a very narrow fairway, there is OB to the left. The fun part is the green is entirely surrounded by a huge sand trap and another smaller one thrown in for good measure. Missing to the right, you’re in desert tundra and in the middle of a grove of trees. Not an easy approach.

Also entertaining is that all par-4s on the back have wide-open fairways, so go ahead and bomb away. It feels so good after so many par-3 challenges.

All in all, it was a pleasurable 165 minutes of golf. The 19th was enjoyable as well. Beverages were fairly priced, but mainly, it was warm. I’d play again.

Remember to bring your back-up sand wedge.

— John Asay is a longtime golfer and local freelance writer.

ad-high_impact_4
Local
Underground home was built as Cold War-era hideaway
The underground house at 3970 Spencer Street is one of the valley’s most unusual homes built 26 feet underground in 1978 by Girard “Jerry” B. Henderson, who, planned to survive the end of the world there.
Lip Smacking Foodie Tours takes you where the locals go
Donald Contursi talks about Lip Smacking Foodie Tours, which offers walking tours of restaurants on and off Las Vegas Boulevard with food samples and tidbits of history about the places they visit.
Bump stock manufacturers under fire
The Justice Department said last month that it had started the process to amend federal firearms regulations to clarify that federal law defines bump stocks as machine guns.
Art Bell’s Top 10 Shows
A selection of radio host Art Bell’s most popular shows.
Longtime Las Vegas attorney John Momot dies at age 74
Criminal defense attorney John Momot, who represented mob figures and even played himself in the movie “Casino,” has died.
David Copperfield in court after man injured during magic trick
The attorney for a British man who is suing illusionist David Copperfield said his client suffered serious injuries after being called on stage during Copperfield's show at MGM Grand.
5 things connecting Las Vegas and Marilyn Monroe
1. Marilyn Monroe, known then as Norma Jeane, obtained her first divorce in Las Vegas at the age of 20 on September 13, 1946. 2. According to some biographers, Monroe lived at 604 S. 3rd Street for four months during the summer of 1946. The house has since been torn down and is now the site of a parking lot. 3. In 1954, Monroe almost married Joe DiMaggio in Las Vegas but the wedding was called off last minute. The wedding was to be held at the Hotel El Rancho Vegas which was located on the southwest corner of Sahara Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard. 4. Las Vegas has at least one road dedicated to the star. Marilyn Monroe Avenue is located in east Las Vegas and intersects with Betty Davis Street and Cary Grant Court. 5. There are currently more than 20 Marilyn Monroe impersonators for hire in the Las Vegas Valley.
Sir Richard Branson announces purchase of Hard Rock Hotel
Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, has acquired the Hard Rock Hotel with partners and plans to turn it into a Virgin-branded property by the end of 2019.
3 Centennial High School students killed in Calif. crash (Full)
Three Centennial High School students were killed Thursday morning in Southern California when their vehicle was struck by a suspected drunken driver while they were enjoying their spring break, according to a family member of one of the victims.
Retail Restroom Sexual Assault Suspect
Las Vegas police are asking for help finding a man they said groped a woman in a south Las Vegas Valley restroom. (Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department)
Calvary Christian Learning Academy, “There was no fair warning.”
Samantha O’Brien, whose three-year-old daughter attended the Calvary Christian Learning Academy daycare, found out Monday night when her daughter’s teacher called about the school closing.
Mojave Max at Springs Preserve
File footage of Mojave Max at Springs Preserve. (Springs Preserve)
Companies bet their futures on cryptocurrency
Two Las Vegas entrepreneurs talk about finding their niche in blockchain enabled technologies and digital currency.
Solar panels reduce energy bill for CCSD
Wilbur and Theresa Faiss Middle School is one of 42 CCSD schools with solar panel installations, saving approximately $514,000 per year in energy costs.
Red carpet at MGM for Dan Reynolds Believer screening
Kats on the red carpet for the VIP screening of "Believer," the documentary by Imagine Dragons frontman Dan Reynolds about how the Mormon Church treats its LGBTQ members.
Driver dies in single-vehicle crash
One person is dead after an early Wednesday morning crash in the northwest valley. The single-vehicle crash was called in about 1:35 a.m. on Jones Boulevard just north of Deer Springs Way, according to Metropolitan Police Department Sgt. Robert Stauffer. The driver, who was the only person inside the vehicle, died at the scene.
Uber Health to Improve Patient Ride-Hailing Services
Uber Health to Improve Patient Ride-Hailing Services On Thursday, Uber launched its Uber Health platform for healthcare providers. Medical facilities, rehab centers, clinics and hospitals can book rides for patients from a centralized dashboard – no app required. According to Techcrunch, Uber Health general manager Chris Weber noted some 3.6 million Americans miss appointments due to lack access to reliable transportation. Uber’s endeavors into health care trace back to 2014, when Uber first offered on-demand flu shots in large markets across the U.S. Since then there have been similar efforts throughout the world, from diabetes and thyroid testing in India, to subsidized rides for breast cancer screening in the U.S., to many more. Last summer, over 100 healthcare organizations joined the platform during a private beta. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
ad-infeed_1
ads_infeed_2
Local Spotlight
Events
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like