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Monday, April 3, 2017

DragonRidge Country Club shows off some new upgrades

From Elegant to Glamorous

DragonRidge Country Club shows off some new upgrades

Story by Bill Bowman

Photography by Colleen Chalmers of Giggle Box Photography


For DragonRidge Country Club owner and developer Rich MacDonald, he takes a simple philosophy to heart: “It’s important to make people feel like family.”

One of the main reasons behind MacDonald’s recent re-purchase of DragonRidge Country Club is because the course is the centerpiece of a lifestyle that surrounds homeowners at MacDonald Highlands in south Las Vegas. The 18-hole course, which opened under the guidance of MacDonald in 2001, was sold to Pacific Links International in 2014. MacDonald recently purchased the course again and is in the process of making major upgrades on the course as well as in the clubhouse and the community.

“It took about two to three months to get it firmly planted in my brain that I regretted selling the course,” he says. “And when the opportunity came to buy the club back, I jumped at it. We reached a price I was willing to pay and it turned out to be a very good deal for me.”

It’s proven to be a great deal for members and homeowners, as well. First up was a revamped clubhouse that takes the former elegant establishment and ramps it up to glamorous.

“The changes were primarily cosmetic,” MacDonald says. “We basically have the same room sizes but we’ve made it much nicer. In fact, we blew the socks off people when we showed it off. Everyone did just a great job with it.” 

That great job includes the 6,000-square-foot Grand Highlands Ballroom, five cabanas poolside that can accommodate up to 300 guests, the remodeled Montrose dining room with space for 80 guests (with dramatic Strip views), an updated Onyx Lounge that can hold up to 80 guests, and two adjoining patios to the Montrose Room and Onyx Lounge with Strip and 18th hole views.

The changes are reflected in MacDonald’s view of the members and homeowners. “We’ve got a new group of affluent people moving in from other states,” MacDonald says. “And we’ve also got people who left the club after it was sold coming back. So if you’re paying $5, $10, or $15 million for a house, you want the club to be just as comfortable and inviting as your house. And that’s what we’ve accomplished. Our object is to create the best quality we can and then improve on that.”

They aren’t done making changes, however. With more to entice future and present homeowners and members, there’s a 15,000-square-foot fitness center , five lighted PlexiPave tennis courts (one with stadium seating), a fitness center (complete with PRECOR Fitness Machines, free weights, and cardio equipment), two exercise studios, and enough fitness and exercise classes and training for all your needs. Included with all of this are sauna and spa services to pamper guests.

“It’s important to treat everyone like they are family,” MacDonald says. “And it’s important to make people feel they are important, whether it’s in the community or on the golf course.”

DragonRidge is a Jay Morrish/Dave Druzisky layout that is a par-72 beauty reaching 6,975 yards from the tips. The pristine course takes golfers on a ride through the McCullough Mountains. The elevation changes, water features, and immaculate bunkering add to the challenge, and the views of the famed Las Vegas Strip are some of the best around. 

“I really like the overall playability of the course,” MacDonald says. “It’s challenging, but fair. It’s just a really well laid out course.” The par 3s will challenge players’ shot making skills to the limits. Elevation changes on the par 3s are impressive—the 2nd, 5th and 17th holes feature elevated tees, while the 14th sports an elevated green. 

The finale, the 553-yard, par-5 18th, is all about options. The first option: Do I go left off the tee or take the shorter route to the right (a canyon separates the two strips of fairway)? The second option: Do I go for the green in two (having to carry a canyon that slices in front of the green), or lay up and take my chances with a wedge in for a third shot? No matter your choices, it’s a golf hole that has Vegas written all over it because there are plenty of chances to gamble.

“It’s really gratifying how many people rave about the course,” MacDonald adds.

Overall, MacDonald says the DragonRidge experience is one worth checking out—whether you’re looking for a golf club membership or that once-in-a-lifetime home. “I think our club… and this is echoing our members…is the most exciting, dynamic club in the valley,” he says. “This is the place to go to have a great time. No one’s being pretentious…no one needs to impress anyone else. It’s just a nice, relaxing place with a great atmosphere.”


DragonRidge Country Club

552 South Stephanie St., Henderson



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