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Sunday, December 18, 2016

Course Spotlight Winter 2017 - Club at Sunrise

Course Spotlight

Club at Sunrise

Welcome an old friend back

Story by Bill Bowman

Photography courtesy of Club at Sunrise


It’s time golfers welcomed back an old friend.

The Club at Sunrise, formerly Desert Rose Golf Club, has emerged from the depths of raging waters from a 2012 flood (as well as another severe bout of flooding in July of 2016) and is showing off its new and improved lush facilities.

Dick Wilson and Joe Lee originally designed the course––a par-72 layout that stretches to 6,500 yards from the tips. Opening in 1964, it’s one of the original courses in Las Vegas.

Then came the flood and devastation in 2012 that left the course unplayable as well as damaging more than 70 homes and business in the water’s wake. Now the golf course is back under the re-design expertise of Randy Heckenkemper and run by KemperSports, their first Nevada course.

The Club at Sunrise, located just minutes from the bright lights of the Las Vegas Strip, is a straightforward golf course offering a fair, yet challenging, test for golfers of every ability. The challenge starts right from the opening hole. In fact, the first six holes will test players’ shot making ability and their aggressiveness.

Need proof? Just ask Matt Kalbak, general manager since August of 2015. He says it’s a group of holes that are certainly ones to remember. “The opening hole is just a great starting hole,” he says. “Players need a decent drive to carry the wash and the fairway leans left to right. The second and third holes are the only holes on the course with water (they share a lake, each on the right hand side) so players need to stay on the left side of all three holes.”

Then comes a trio of holes that will test players’ length and strategy. First comes the length portion with the monstrous par 5, fourth hole stretching out to 596 yards. Forget getting home in two (unless your name happens to be John Daly), so a strategically placed second shot that sets up a wedge into the green is your best bet for a birdie putt.

The fifth is a classic risk/reward hole. A par 4 just 249 yards from the tips, this one is certainly drivable. However, a bunker 30 yards short of the green on the left and the wash on the right will catch drives that aren’t straight. Around the green a bunker guards the front right and another will catch shots long and left. Can players drive the green? Absolutely. But is that the proper play?

Then comes the par 5, sixth hole. At 508 yards, it may be a short par 5, but add in a million-dollar view of part of the Vegas skyline and this one is priceless.

Along with the updated golf course, led by head groundskeeper Scott Sutton who oversees the comeback that includes 87 acres of turf and 107 new pine trees, there’s a new driving range, putting green, and chipping area, along with a spacious clubhouse and bar.

The course may be new and improved, but it will still provide all the charm and history that Las Vegas golf was built on.

“Golfers need to come back out and check out the course,” Kalbak says. “Our goal is that we want to be the best golf value in Las Vegas.”


The Club at Sunrise

5483 Club House Dr., Las Vegas



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