Spring '17 Issue - Readers Choice Award Winners Announced & More
Monday, March 14, 2016
Don’t underestimate this beauty
Story by Bill Bowman
Photography courtesy of Desert Willow Golf Club
When they have a wide choice of courses, golfers look for many different reasons to tee it up, including history, challenge and reputation.
Well, here’s a novel approach: How about golfing just for the fun of it
At Desert Willow Golf Club, an executive par 60 layout in Henderson, that’s the bottom line. But, don’t think for a minute that this layout is a pushover.
World-class designers Billy Casper and Greg Nash came up with a picturesque, and challenging, 3,811-yard layout. The course features elevation changes (both rising and falling from tees to greens) and just enough water features to keep players on their toes. Throw in well-placed bunkering and you’re ready to take on a course that may just prove to be tougher than players thought when they were standing on the first tee.
“We’ve been trying to get the message out that this is just a very good test of golf,” says Doug Sipe, director of golf. “A lot of players get a little disenchanted when they hear it’s an executive course, but once they give it a chance and realize what our course and greens are all about, we get a lot of repeat players.”
What the course lacks in distance, it more than makes up for in challenges. Check out the 9th and 18th holes as prime examples. Both require tee shots to find the fairways to set up short irons into greens that have ponds fronting them. And the second shots require pinpoint accuracy as the greens are both fairly wide, but are narrow from front to back.
“There’s no question that these are the two toughest holes on the course,” Sipe says. “Even if you’ve got a short iron into the green, it’s still a tough shot.” The pond on 18 has also just been redone and reshaped. There are more boulder features on it, adding to the eye appeal. And here’s a hint. If you’re going to miss on either of these two holes, long and left is just about your only option.
Once on the greens, players are in for a treat. Sipe is especially proud of the drama these beauties provide. “The greens are very fast and provide a great test for players,” he says. “They aren’t only fast, they are also undulating and will present players with quite a challenge.”
Add in the fact that players can get around the course in around three to three-and-a-half hours and Sipe points out Desert Willows is a course that is very appealing.
“We put a big emphasis on customer service,” he says. “We want to make it a great experience. We’ve got ideal conditions, great rates—the most expensive round is $42 and that’s for prime time—and an outstanding staff,” he says. “It’s just a nice place to get out and play golf. And, it will certainly help players with shots that will help them work on their short game. Where else do you have 12 shots at a hole-in-one?”
Desert Willow Golf Course
2020 West Horizon Ridge Pkwy., Henderson