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A great place to play, hone your skills, eat

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Aliante Golf Club

A great place to play, hone your skills, eat

Story by Bill Bowman

Photography provided by Elite Golf

  

Aliante Golf Club is all grown up.

The Gary Panks designed course opened its doors in December of 2003 and has been a favorite of locals and visitors ever since. The reasoning is simple: It’s a solid design with mature surroundings and it’s affordable – just a few of the items golfers look for when they are on the hunt for a course to play.

Aliante, owned by the City of North Las Vegas, is managed by Elite Golf. The course features a variety of tee choices and is playable for everyone, from the beginner to the pros. “Aliante is just pure golf,” says Bill Rowden, general manager at Aliante who has been with Elite Golf for eight years and a member of the PGA for 26 years. “It plays to more than 7,100 from the tips so it’s a challenge. A couple of par 3s that stretch to more than yards and we have a couple of short par 3s. Overall, it’s a great mix of golf holes.”

While the course features lush fairways, there is an arroyo that meanders around the course and comes into play on 14 of the holes. This arroyo will force golfers to think just a little more before picking a club to hit. Will I reach the arroyo with this club? Will this club carry the arroyo?

But, we’re getting ahead of ourselves.

At Aliante, players will find a comfortable clubhouse and pro shop awaiting as they get set for the round. The restaurant portion of the clubhouse, the 3100 Grille, offers a wide variety of dining options including a full breakfast and lunch menu. And that includes a quick bite to eat at the turn. “The restaurant is just outstanding and it’s got great mountain views,” Rowden says. “In fact, we have some local non-golfers who come in just for breakfast or lunch only and others come in to just work on the range.”

On the range, players will be able to stretch out to loosen up. It’s a huge, all-grass facility that can accommodate more than 40 players at once. Add in putting and chipping areas as well as a practice bunker, and you’re ready for your round. “Golfers are welcome to just come and use the practice facility,” Rowden says. “They don’t have to have to a tee time. If they want to just work on their game, they are more than welcome anytime.” To that end, Aliante offers a 20-bucket range pass as well as a year-long range pass. There are also membership options for those golfers looking to play on a regular basis. These include memberships for singles as well as couples. In fact, membership has tripled over the last four years.

Let’s take it to the course where Jeff Lezon, course superintendent, has used his tools of the trade to bring Aliante’s course conditions up to pristine status. “He and his staff have done a tremendous job of bringing the golf course back to life,” he says. “It’s in tremendous condition and they are working hard to keep improving the course every day.”

Now, grab your clubs and get ready to head to the first tee. Two of the most challenging holes on the course are on the back nine: the par-3 13th and the par-4 17th. The 13th, a par-3 reaching 233 yards from the tips, is the ultimate shot-makers hole. The green has a bunker left with some bailout area to the right to offset the length. But hitting the green doesn’t necessarily mean a good score as, depending on where the ball winds up in relation to the pin position, three putts certainly can come into play on this large, undulating green. “It’s a long and challenging par-3. It’s 233 yards from the back tees. It’s certainly one tough hole,” according to Rowden.

Let’s move on to the 17th. At 420 yards it’s not the longest par-4 on the course. Not by a long shot. (Take the 472-yard second as an example). And standing on the tee, players will be able to hit any club in the bag they feel comfortable with as there are no bunkers in the fairway. Sounds easy, right? Well, wait until you get to your ball and see what the second shot has in store for you. Three bunkers and a deep-blue pond stand guard if approach shots aren’t accurate. “It does demand a little draw off the tee,” Rowden says. “And you don’t want to lay back too much as that leaves a longer approach shot and the green is surrounded by water and bunkers.” The hole comes late in the round, and a birdie would be a nice way to head to the 18th tee, a solid finishing hole that measures 428 yards.

Let’s circle back to that arroyo for a moment. It can sneak up on you off the tee or on approach shots depending on the hole. It’s off to the side on most holes, but remember to check the scorecard for where and when it may come into play on the hole you’re teeing off on. It can, and will, wreak havoc on your score if your ball finds its way into the arroyo. But, you’ve got help available. The course features a mobile downloadable scorecard which puts each hole right in front of you on your phone to help you navigate around the trouble.

And just because the sun goes down doesn’t mean the action is over for the day at Aliante. Twice a month, usually on a Wednesday or Friday, they feature live entertainment starting around 6 p.m. Based on the weather, the festivities will be held on the 3100 Grille patio or inside the grill.

“It’s been well-received,” Rowden says. “We are almost to capacity every time.”

Overall, Aliante Golf Club is one of those courses that looks like it should be a pushover. But that’s not the case as players can certainly find out it has the ability to jump up and bite them if they lose concentration.

“The course conditions have been fantastic,” Rowden says. “It is pure golf and one of the best values in Las Vegas.”

  

Aliante Golf Club

3100 West Elkhorn, North Las Vegas

702-399-4888

www.aliantegolf.com

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