According to folklore, it is thought that Johnny Miller turned to Chi Chi Rodriguez during the golf course's construction and asked, what should we name it? Chi Chi answered Baddddlanddds! Badlands Golf Club is adjacent to the brand-new Suncoast Hotel & Casino, traced-out over a similar stretch of dry unavailing acreage as the Angel Park - Mountain Course which borders the Suncoast on its opposite side. It too has many of the same characteristics of Angel Park courses such as putts which roll toward the Las Vegas Strip and all shots heading away from the strip will require one or two extra clubs to carry the distance. The unique 27-hole layout of Badlands meshes with the natural terrain of the mountains preserving the desert landscape, while unitizing beautiful washes, arroyos, gorges and canyons. The Badlands also offers panoramic views of the spectacular Vegas skyline.
Badlands, a Johnny Miller Design with special consulting from Chi Chi Rodriguez, is a 7,000+ yard layout which allows the golfer to chose different venues while enabling course management the ability to maneuver play for maximize speed. This article will be covering a round of golf, which went out on the Diablo Course, a target scheme, and came in on the more forgiving Outlaw Course. Both tracts are somewhat running parallel to one another, which are unlike the third nine-hole layout of the highly acclaimed Desperado Course that lies on the far Eastern parcel of the property.
Hole #10, a par 4, a straight and short 301 yards measure from the blue (middle) tees to an island-like green is the first hole of the Diablo Course. Its design manufactures difficulty from the surrounding dry ravine below it. Accuracy on your approach shot to the green is essential here!
The second hole played today is hole #11, a par 5, 482 yards that starts the golfer over another small ravine to a wide-open fairway for easy passage to the green. This green is quite reachable in two for a long hitter.
Hole #12, a long par 4, 441 yards hole and number one rated handicap on the Diablo Course weaves the golfer toward the Red Rock and Spring Mountains. As you travel westerly, away from the strip, a much longer second shot is upon you than the yardage markers may attest. Again, this is due to the combination of direction and uphill terrain.
Hole #13, a par 4, 371 yards test is not as long as the previous hole with a distance of 371 yards. It is the second most difficult hole on Diablo as it winds between several easily reachable sand traps protecting each side of its fairway. Once you are positioned correctly, the golfer is confronted with a short and graceful wedge to the angulating green.
Hole #15, a par 4, 374 tribulation is a beautiful mark perched some 50 feet above a fairway with a severe dogleg right to a green not visible from the tee boxes. A lay up shot using a long iron or fairway wood is appropriate for the downward amphitheater-like fairway nestled in the canyon walls. Not much rough between the far outer canyon wall and fairway exists. This means an arid golf shot may require a drop and penalty. This hole is very reachable in two if you stay out of trouble, although if you pull or overdrive your tee shot, this could be a costly mistake. The manicured fairway is well protected from the wind too. To reach the green in regulation, the golfer will be smart to bring the ball in from the right side, hitting over the less steep arroyo which borders the right side of the fairway all the way around to the back side of green.
Jumping ahead to hole #18, a par four, 442 yards quest is straight, but leaves the golfer faced with a narrow shot into a target style fairway with an approach shot over a small barranca to the green. The golfer may feel a sense of accomplishment after undertaking their last shot on this photographic green because they persevered a true yardstick of golf - Diablo. Here, there, and everywhere the golf computer on the cart reminds players to take a break in the clubhouse with a sandwich and soda before continuing on to either Outlaw or Desperado.
The last hole of the Outlaw Course, Hole # 27, a par 5, 484 yards gauge twisting downhill to the clubhouse is by far one of the tougher standards of the day, as it requires a good positioned drive in the middle-right of the fairway. Proper location will set up your second shot as a lay up in order to keep dry. It is nearly mandatory to lay up because of the narrowness of the fairway with water on left border and out-of-bound desert on the right. Only the fool-hearted will risk pulling a fairway wood from their bag here! A simple third shot to carry the green in regulation is left with an easy chip and putt for par.
The Badlands Golf Club lives up to its name as one of greatest and most intriguing golf experiences in Las Vegas. It requires golfers to hit accurate shots throughout the entire round, but rewarded by its high shot value. Every hole can be coined as the "signature hole."
Badlands offers a complete practice facility, clubhouse with name brand golf apparel and accessories, restaurant, and locker rooms. Computerized tee-to-green yardage and shot guidance systems are installed on all golf carts. This course is managed by Jeff Muller and tee times, which are recommended at least 60 days in advance can be made by calling 888-442-GOLF.
By Mel Barosay, Jetsetters Magazine Golf Correspondent.