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Wednesday, July 12, 2023

Greens Makeover and Updated Layout

Greens Makeover and Updated Layout

Reflection Bay Golf Club

Story by Bill Bowman

Photography provided by Reflection Bay Golf Club


Reflection Bay Golf Club is located at Lake Las Vegas, 30 minutes from the Las Vegas Strip, and the makeover of the greens is well underway. Golfers should be anxious to take on an impressively updated Jack Nicklaus designed layout at the unveiling scheduled for mid-September. The resort course, which opened 25 years ago in 1998, is in the process of redoing all 18 greens, as well as other touchup work around the course that will result in an update look and playability.

For Eric Dutt, manager of operations at Reflection Bay, it’s an exciting time despite not having golfers out on the course right now. “I’ve done this a couple of times and it’s all going according to plan…so far, so good. We thought it out and grew a couple of test greens last summer and fall to get an idea of timing. It’s all going as expected.”

There’s a lot going on. Try bringing in 130,000 to 135,000 square feet of turf, ridding the property of a number of dying Mesquite trees, working on some of the bunkers around the greens as well as a few other touchups, and it’s quite the labor-intensive process.

But, it’s a labor of love. “If you’ve played the course in the last three or four years, you’ll definitely notice dramatic visual changes,” Dutt says. “And you’ll also notice the greens. We’re just giving it an updated look around the course and with the greens. We’re really looking forward to letting everyone play the finished product.”

The reasons players will notice the new greens are two-fold. “There are a couple of characteristics that will stand out with the new Paspalum greens we’re going with,” according to Dutt. “First, the greens will be very resilient to ball marks. And second, they will be very tolerant of heat, cold and humidity. They will be better than in the past.” He added that the paspalum will also be a lifesaver come the extreme heat in the Vegas summer months.

“In the past we’ve struggled with the bentgrass greens in the heat and humidity,” Dutt says. “The paspalum will give us tremendous operational flexibility. We used to have to baby the greens in the summer to keep them alive. Now, we’ll be able to run as many rounds as we want because these greens will hold up much better in the summer.” The new greens will help when it comes to everyone’s favorite topic—water conservation. “There will be big water savings,” he says. “Between not overseeding and going to the paspalum, we’re going to be saving 28-32 million gallons of water a year.” Saving water also means saving money. With the cost of the ongoing project, every penny counts. “We had an expenditure plan, including the clubhouse work and golf course work, of about $2 million,” Dutt says. “It’s money we felt we needed to spend to improve everything.”

The work on the new greens began when the club closed on May 1. With a re-opening of September 15 circled on the calendar, Dutt knows everything will have to go smoothly. And quickly. “With the 18 greens on the course, the two practice greens, and the two greens that are at The Falls at the golf academy, it’s going to take some time to get the turf down,” Dutt says. “We’re only going to be able to put down about 8,000 square feet per day, so it’s going to take two-to-three weeks to get all the sod down.”

After all the sod is in place and being watched over as it takes hold, the staff will then have the chance to do other touchup jobs around the property that Dutt has in mind. “It’s just the little things we want to take care of,” Dutt says of the tree removal, bunker upkeep, and other projects. “It’s hard to do them when you’re operating a golf course on a daily basis. When you’ve got four-and-a-half months of unrestricted access, it’s a great time to work on everything. We’re going to take full advantage of that time.”

In the end, Dutt says the finished resort will be impressive.

“We’re very excited,” Dutt says. “Reflection Bay is 25 years old. It was closed for four and a half years and was renovated to a point in 2013. It wasn’t done to the level I would have liked, but we’re going to get it in top shape. It was just time for the course to get some work and golfers will really notice all the changes and updates.”



Reflection Bay Golf Club

75 Montelago Blvd., Henderson


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