Desert Rose course reblooms as the Club at Sunrise

Several readers have asked about the status of the old Desert Rose golf course in the northeast part of the valley. The course, owned by Clark County, has been closed for about three years after devastating flooding in 2012.

The layout, part of the overall Las Vegas Wash Project, has finally reopened as the Club at Sunrise. Golfers can play it on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8 to 10 a.m. during a soft opening. The new grass is still young and needs additional grow-in time, and the clubhouse still is being organized. The facility should be open every day beginning July 1.

While the project was originally scheduled to be completed in 2015, the intricacy and massive detail caused delays. Multiple agencies have been involved, including the county, the Army Corps of Engineers and the course architect.

“It’s important to remember that this a regional flood control project with a golf course in it,” said new general manager Matt Kalbak, who is employed by KemperSports, the management company. “The project was designed to take 1,700 homes out of the flood zone. This is huge for this area, and the golf course will be a great benefit for the surrounding community.”

Today, longtime local golfers still will see and feel some of the Desert Rose mystique, including many of the original pine trees, but there is a new clubhouse, and several holes are completely different. Plus, the old 6-foot “ditch,” a true course landmark that ran down the middle of the course between fairways, is now a massive, winding, grass-banked flood channel. Kalbak said 350,000 cubic yards of dirt was removed to create the channel.

The course opened as Winterwood in 1964 and is where many locals grew up playing the game and some of the top amateur tournaments were decided. Current and PGA Tour player Craig Barlow and 1990 PGA Tour Rookie of the Year Robert Gamez each won the Clark County Amateur at what was then Desert Rose.

For tee times, call 702-813-6800. Clark County rates are $32 to walk and $42 to ride. Seniors are $29 and $39.

TPC junior event starts season

It’s pretty simple to pick the fastest-growing junior golf initiative in the world. The PGA Junior League — a Little League for golf concept — started nationally in 2011 with a few teams, but as of last year, there were more than 30,000 kids playing. The PGA Junior League began locally two seasons ago and grew from a handful of teams to more than 20.

The official opening ceremonies for the league and an areawide junior golf event will be from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at TPC Las Vegas. The free event is open to all junior golfers and parents and will feature a barbecue lunch and speakers from the PGA of America.

RSVP to TPC Las Vegas head professional Mason Spalding at

Help grow the game

The Southern Nevada Golf Course Superintendent Association Scholarship and Research Tournament at DragonRidge is set for June 5 and 6. The Par 3 challenge is $25 per player, and the two-person scramble is $125 per player. See

Junior Tour, beginners spots available

Registration is open for the Antigua Junior Prep Tour, a summerlong schedule for kids ages 5 to 18. Plus, the first session of First on Course clinics for kids new to the game runs from June 6 to July 11 at various courses. Both are operated by PGA of America professionals. See

Deal of the Week

Get three unrestricted rounds of golf for $89 at Las Vegas National Golf Club. Plus, a player’s card is on sale for $69 that guarantees rates from $19 to $35 through Dec. 31.

Stars on, off course

• Jose Canseco taking swings at the new Topgolf Las Vegas near the MGM Grand, which is now open for play.

• Legendary course architect Bobby Weed at the grand opening of the new TPC Summerlin Lifestyle Center.

The golf notebook appears each Thursday. Freelance writer Brian Hurlburt is a two-time author who has covered golf in Las Vegas for more than two decades. He can be reached at or @LVGolfInsider

Editor’s note: This story was updated at 10:05 a.m Thursday.

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