Paiute - Wolf Course
"So I jump ship in Hong Kong, make my way over to The Paiute complex and the Wolf Course"
Pate Dye is the man responsible for the golf complex on the north west outskirts of Las Vegas. Built on Indian territory, the complex comes at you from out of nowhere after driving for miles on flat Vegas freeways. This is something that is amazing about this group of golf courses, you barely see another hole while playing. Dye has done a fantastic job of hiding each hole from each other and it makes heading to a new tee a great experience as they come into view. The Wolf course is the toughest of the 54 holes here. The Snow Mountain is the easiest and the Sun Mountain is in between. The best thing about having so many courses to choose from, is that it caters to all sorts of golfers. Snow Mountain has the most generous fairways and is the shortest. Sun Mountain starts getting a little longer and tighter. This review, however, is about the toughest test, The Wolf.
With a slope rating of 145 and a yardage of nearly 7000 metres, it's a bit of a monster, in fact, it's the longest golf course in Nevada. The fairways are undulating and tight in spots. The greens are smaller than the other 2 courses and have a bit more slope to them. But, fortunately, those amazing mountains are visable all the way while playing, so if you hit a bad shot and lose a ball, just look at them and a calm serenity will wash over you. Hopefully. The magnificent looking clubhouse, with a really good pro shop, is the starting point for all courses and after buying a few customary ball markers, we headed to the starter for our round.
Hole 1 is 395m of placement golf. The fairway bunkers left must be avoided and the desert rough on the right must be also. You will hear this a lot during this review, but "hit the fairway" or make bogey. The slightly elevated green runs towards the left and there is a generous area to catch the wayward shots. A difficult up n down though.
Hole 2 is similar to the 1st. Avoid going into the desert on the right and avoid going into the trap left. It's 20 metres shorter than the first hole, but can bite just as bad.
The 3rd is the first par 5 on the course and at 530m uphill, it's long. There is more room on the right than you think, so play the draw off the tee. Your second shot must not go too far left or you will be O.B. so keep it right for the best shot at the green.
The 4th is the first par 3 and at 203 metres, it will get your attention. The bail out is short right, or long. Keep it away from the left as 2 bunkers will swallow it.
Hole 5 and by now you are getting the idea that it is the fairway or the highway around the Wolf. Drive up the middle here with a fairway wood and take the 7/8 iron into the elevated green. Do not go long as this green slopes back to front.
The 6th heads back downhill and there are 2 hazards off the tee. The large bunker right and the long waste area bunker that goes almost the entire length of the hole on the left. Hit the fairway with anything and lay up your second with a mid iron. This leaves you an easy 3rd into this 523m, par 5. This green is no easy read either so don't go past the hole.
Hole 7 is 452m of uphill, par 4 torture. Hit as long as you can, but keep it out of the left desert because that is compass territory. Avoid also the bunkers on the right and hit your second up the hill towards a green that has a severe tier in the middle. Do not go long as you will lose your ball and the rattle from the desert makes you say "I'm not looking for it!"
The 8th is one of the best par 3's at Paiute. It's a downhill 188 metre hole that has a waste bunker sitting 40 feet below the green all along the right, a green that sits at the wrong angle for attack and your vision is taken up by those mountains in the background, and the bunkers in front. A tough tee to concentrate. Take one less club and hit this green.
The 9th hole is another that will take a great tee shot to set up any kind of score. Work out how much of the dogleg to take on, but perhaps, for the bigger hitters, driver is not the club. Going too far left will require a provisional. The green is well protected by a huge bunker left and a split tiered green.
Grab a Gatorade and a hot dog and head to the back nine.
The back nine opens up with a 519m, par 5. Hit over the bunker on the right and the contours will bring it back to the middle of the fairway. Your second will be uphill, so a layup is the best option. You do not want to miss this green with your third because there are some deep bunkers surrounding this green. Par is a great score.
Hole 11 does not require driver. Take a fairway wood and hit this fairway. From there a second to this 352m, par 4 just needs to hit the putting surface. Take the par and move on.
The 12th is a 191m, par 3 with water all the way down the right hand side. Not only that, but the bunker guarding the front may catch you as well. That's ok, you say, go long, this is not a great idea either. The green slopes horribly from right ot left and back to front. Par here and you have done very well.
The 514m, par 5, 13th is another long Paiute hole that requires accuracy. Long hitters may be able to go at this green in 2, but the green is elevated, so take plenty of club. Long is ok, just don't go right or left.
Finally, a chance to work some magic! The 14th is a 449m dogleg right par 4, that if you get the driver fade working, you can cut off plenty of this hole. Get greedy and work the fade. This will leave you with a short second to a very well guraded green surrounded by sand. Get to work and make the birdie.
Now we come to the hole you've all been waiting for. Well, ok, you haven't, but you should've been. This is the only island green, par 3 hole in Las Vegas. I'm talking a full island here. There is a place to walk onto, but even TPC Sawgrass has that. Depending on what tee you walk to will determine that shot you have and I mean that by saying, the long tees you will have to hit over a bunker and have the slim part of the green facing you. As you walk further around to the other tees, the hole becomes much easier, until the long tee of 166m is replaced by the short of only 89. It's a Pete Dye classic, so get out the camera, snap away, hit the green and make your score. Those in the group that keep missing, keep making them hit another, It's fun.
Hole 16 and it's back to the grind. Hit this fairway with a driver, avoid the water and the bunkers on the right and you should walk away with par. Stay out of the left side trap near the green, it's deep.
The 17th is cut in the middle by a desrt arroyo. Hit out to the right for your best chance of carrying it, or lay up. It's about a 6 iron from just before the gap.
The downhill finishing hole needs a good drive down the right side. Carry the water for the best position to this downhill second. Carry it all the way as fairway bunkers protect well. Bunkers also left and right. A par 4 here and you can be happy with your finish.
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1. Tees 15/15
2. Fairways 15/15
3. Bunkers 15/15
4. Greens 15/15
5. Design 15/15
6. The 19th 14/15
7. Price 10/10
Total: 99/100 The highest score ever!
I really find it hard to say anything bad about this golf course. The 5 tee system will keep any standard golfer interested, the fairways are perfect, lush and green. The bunkers were white, with great depth of sand and easy to play out of. The greens were not only receptive, but they were fast to putt on. The design of the course where each hole comes from nowhere is amazing. The 19th was a little small and that is the only point I could rob from the perfect 100. The price too was amazing, less than $200 for this! Incredible! There are a lot of golf courses in the Las Vegas area, but there would not be too many as close to perfect as the Wolf at Paiute. Not only was the course great, but so were the staff, the practice fairway, green, chipping area, scenery, weather, bag drop off. I could go on and on. I just can't think of a negative experience on the whole day. Oh, yes I can, my playing partner let me drink alone. This is a must play if you're in town.