During the course of reviewing golf courses, one encounters players who hold strong opinions about Southern Nevada’s numerous tracks. Most of those views, it should be noted, are eerily correlated with that particular golfer’s most recent score on the course in question.
When it comes to the Revere Golf Club’s Lexington course, however, a clear divide emerges. Those who lack the brute force to muscle their way around a golf course love Lexington; those more accustomed to pulling a wedge after every drive are less endeared.
The conflicting views are both valid. Like its sister course at Sun City Anthem, Concord, the Lexington track was seemingly designed to level the playing field between the young bucks and their more experienced playing partners. Brawn versus guile, as it were. As a result, although Lexington plays 7,143 yards from the back, there are numerous holes on which a driver is not a prudent option. Hence the frustration among long hitters.
Sure, people who know their golf have made a few flattering remarks about the course. Golf Magazine, for instance, listed it among its “Top 10 You Can Play,” while Golf Digest gave it 41/2 stars. Lexington does offer some of the most breathtaking vistas of the Las Vegas Valley, and the course conditions are consistently immaculate. But for those who can’t bear to leash the big dog, it is understandable if they would prefer to play Pete Dye’s Wolf course from the tips. All 7,604 yards of it.
For mere mortals, on the other hand, Lexington unfolds like a puzzle. Each shot must be thoughtfully considered, each angle of approach carefully contemplated. While driving is generally a low-stress affair, seldom will golfers suffer more angst with a high iron in their hands. Lexington is one of those courses where a birdie opportunity from the center of the fairway can instantly turn into a scramble to save par.
The course opens with a short par 4 that plays even less than its 390 yards as it descends toward the valley. Ideally, the drive will skirt or carry the left fairway bunker, leaving only a wedge approach. However, the slender putting surface presents a meager target, and the greens are an exercise in trigonometry. As with all of the downhill holes, landing behind the pin is acceptable, as the downhill putt is to some extent offset by the slope of the mountain.
Lexington’s next offering, a par 5 measuring 591 yards, presents a sample of images to come. The only word that does justice to the view from the tee box is “spectacular.” While most players would be wise to favor the left center portion of the fairway, it is possible for longer hitters to navigate the serpentine hole in two if they carry directly over the right bunker. The green is protected only by grass knolls, so taking a rip at a fairway wood is a chance worth taking.
Beginning the arduous trek back up the mountain, the 384-yard par-4 sixth hole presents an awkward angle from the tee box. A left-to-right ball flight is a definite plus on this hole, and big hitters should club down lest they run out of real estate. Tee shots that land just left of the twin bunkers along the right edge will be fine, as the steep hill will funnel them down to the short grass. Anything long and left, however, is dead in the desert.
The key on this hole is the approach, which for most will be a short iron or wedge. The lake fronting the green is definitely in play, and any shots that stay behind the pin will be treacherously fast as design and topography conspire to create a luge track.
After a birdie opportunity disguised as a long par 4 to close out the front side, golfers begin the second nine with yet another stunning view of the valley, this one attached to a short but dangerous hole. The multitiered fairway plays so steeply downhill that it easily adds 30 yards to most drives, leaving only a wedge approach to a shallow green sandwiched between bunkers and a deep ravine. Although favoring the right side of the fairway creates the optimal angle, there is no easy approach.
Lexington’s shortest par 4 is immediately followed by its longest hole, a 625-yard behemoth punctuated by a pair of midfairway rock outcroppings. While the stone island in the first fairway really shouldn’t be a factor, the more prominent one in the second presents a significant obstacle.
The ideal line from the tee is toward the two pines on the hill right of the cart path. Balls consistently careen off of that spot and roll onto the fairway. The second shot, on the other hand, is a complete gamble. While the more conservative route lies to the right of the island, many elect to take a fairway wood right over the desert to set up a short approach.
The last par 5, No. 16, is the one seen by golfers as they climb Anthem Parkway toward the Revere Golf Club. Although only 534 yards, it plays steeply uphill and is a three-shot hole for most players. There’s little point in getting too aggressive from the tee, because a deep ravine fronts the green about 80 yards out, making any attempt to reach in two an undue risk. Just for good measure, the putting surface is elevated, making the approach virtually blind from the fairway.
Lexington’s final battle takes place on a 431-yard par 4 that bends to the right around a massive bunker and desert area. Aiming for the U-shaped trap in line with the 150-yard post provides the best angle to attack the large but amply bunkered putting surface. A two-putt from the center of the green is a fine way to end the round.
The Revere Golf Club is located at 2600 Hampton Road in Henderson. For information or to reserve a tee time, visit www.reveregolf.com or call 259-4653.