out of 4 GT logo rating.
In Vegas, a course's proximity to the airport/strip is directly proportional to its greens fees. Bali Hai is the only golf course closer to the airport and the fee there is $250. Well, Las Vegas National is no Bali Hai... greens fees at LVN are $65. I realize that Goat Trackers are inclined to scrutinize this imbalance. I can assure you this is no mistake. Wink and I enjoyed Bali Hai two years ago. At $250, the place is well worth it. Located behind the Mandalay Bay adjacent to a McCarran runway, the location is convenient, the course impeccable, and the help are all gorgeous women in their mid 20's. Well, LVN gives you none of that, but what it lacks in visual candy, it makes up for in history.
Tiger Woods won his first professional tournament at LVN in 1996. The movie Casino, starring Robert DeNiro, Joe Pesci, and my favorite, Sharon Stone, was filmed at LVN, including a scene where a Cessna full of FBI agents doing surveillance on Ace Rothstein, Nicky Santoro and crew lands on the #1 fairway as it runs out of fuel. Arnold Palmer set the course record here in 1967 with a 63. Tom Kite went lower in 1991 and the course record is now 62 (shared with David Graham). The course was in the Las Vegas Invitational rotation until 1992 and is still a gem, though it's hard to believe Jack Nicklaus once walked these fairways.
The houses around each hole are circa 1960 and are now well past their prime. This neighborhood has declined and now features bars on windows, bail bond storefronts, and sirens blaring at two in the afternoon. Hey, it's not dangerous like North Las Vegas, but clearly the bloom is off the rose and this neighborhood is caught in the swirl of Nevada's economic flush. Pun intended.
The course is a par-71 from 6,800 yards. The blue tees are typically 6,500 yards of fun with palm trees on every hole and water in play on half of 'em. Conditions from tee to green are muni-licious, while the greens are kept in reasonable condition.
Don't miss the 19th hole, complete with its piano bar, which used to play from noon 'til 4 a.m. Sinatra and the rat pack frequented LVN and made this watering hole famous. If you're fortunate, the starter will group you with some locals in their 70's who will tell you about the gamblers that used to play this track and the high stakes games LVN was known for.
Settling into old age nicely as an old Labrador sinking into a comfy couch, Las Vegas National just keeps getting better for Trackers. I'm already looking forward to seeing the old neighborhood next year. I give Las Vegas National Golf Club a neon...
Las Vegas National Golf Club - Happy Birthday!
(review submitted by Sherpa JB; November, 2010)
Established in 1961 as the Stardust Country Club and now known as Las Vegas National, this old-school layout has finally reached Goat Track status, just in time for its 50th birthday in 2011. Congratulations.
Wink and I have played this track every year upon arrival in Vegas for the SEMA show. Located 10 minutes from the airport, we rely on the quick baggage service that McCarran Airport is noted for and tee off within 40 minutes of our arrival time. Gotta love that.