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Tuesday, January 9, 2018

The tournament, the Big Game and Las Vegas


Duel in the Desert

The tournament, the Big Game and Las Vegas

Story by Bill Bowman


One of the Golf Channel’s top events of the year—the Duel in the Desert—is returning in 2018, and the Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort’s three courses are once again going to be the centerpieces. The three-day, three-format event will be held January 31thru February 2, 2018.

The tournament, in Las Vegas for the 15th straight year and the last six at the Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort, is part of The Golf Channel’s Am Tour, a nationwide group of amateurs competing around the country.

“Our partnership with the Golf Channel and Golf Channel Amateur Tour is a longstanding one that goes back many years,” says Jeff Reid, general manager at the Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort. “We are honored to host one of their flagship events, Duel in the Desert, every year during Super Bowl Week. It’s a great tournament, and it’s incredible to see them sell out year after year.”

If you’re looking for variety when you play in a golf tournament, this is the one. Not only do players tee it up on three dramatic Pete Dye designed golf courses (Snow Mountain, Sun Mountain, and The Wolf), they also have the opportunity to play three rounds with three different formats for the teams of two (modified alternate shot, best-ball, and scramble).



Snow Mountain is the original 18 holes at the Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort. This layout plays to 7,164 yards from the tips and features some of the best par 3 holes at the resort…as well as around Las Vegas 

Sun Mountain, second of the two designs, is the shortest of the three at just 7,112 yards played all the way back. It is definitely a player-friendly course, but there are still challenges galore.

Then there’s The Wolf. This one is the state’s longest golf course at 7,604 yards. However, it has enough tee box choices to make it playable for everyone. The signature hole here is easy: it’s the par 3 15th hole, complete with an island green. One reminder—the further back you play the hole, the smaller that landing area looks. This one will definitely test the nerves and shotmaking skills of everyone.

“We’ve sold out the event every year we’ve been at the Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort,” says Rick Adamek, Golf Channel northeast regional director. “It’s just a tournament you don’t see very often with three different formats on three different courses over three days. We’ve had husband and wife teams, father and daughter teams, brother and brother teams… You name it, we’ve probably had it here.”



With three courses, players will face the challenges of three distinct and impressive layouts. It’s the same with the tournament format for the 54-hole event. (A reminder—a USGA handicap is required to play and there will be 12 handicap-based flights.) The opening day will be a modified alternate shot followed by a best-ball round the second day. The final day will be a scramble.

And whether you’re a single player looking to get paired up during the event or you and your buddy are coming to town, the Duel in the Desert has pricing for everyone. Single (GC Am Tour Member) is $900 for one golfer and one room; Double Occupancy (GC Am Tour Member) is $825 each for two entries and one hotel room; Single (non-GC Am Tour Member) is $975; Double (non-GC Am Tour Member) is $875. Hotel stays (at Planet Hollywood) will be Tuesday through Thursday, but additional nights are available through the event coordinators. 

And then there’s the tournament itself. Many players have teed it up in events where 100 players have been entered. Well, this one dwarfs just about any event players have participated in anywhere. There will be another sellout field of 432 golfers. That’s three full golf courses in action all at once. An added bonus is that the event is held right before Super Bowl weekend. 

“The tournament, the Big Game, and Las Vegas—that’s a pretty good combination,” Adamek says.

It’s a daunting yet impressive undertaking for the Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort staff as well as the Am Tour staff. “That’s the beauty of it,” Adamek says. “We just want them to come out and enjoy the event. We hope they don’t realize how much work is involved. That means it’s going smoothly and that’s great. We have guys who have played in all 15 of them and it’s their favorite event.” And that encompasses a lot of events on the schedule, as The Golf Channel features about 700 per year.

“If I could still play in these events, this is definitely the one event I would sign up for every year,” Adamek says. “We just love coming out to Las Vegas.”


Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort

10325 Nu-Wav Kaiv Blvd., Las Vegas





2018 Duel in the Desert



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