Exiting U.S. 95 at the gateway to the Paiute Golf Resort, the traveler gets a glimpse one of the most interesting off ramps that is possible to see, a $6 million highway interchange (built with both federal and tribal funds), which is decorated with petroglyphs (etched Paiute motifs) outlining the history the Native Americans - Paiute Indians.
At one time, the Southern Paiutes occupied the entire southern triangle of Nevada. In 1910, the Las Vegas Paiute Tribe was returned a portion of its initial homeland, now located close to downtown Las Vegas, through a deed from a prominent rancher. In 1983, the federal government returned an additional 4,000 acres to the Paiutes, which is the site of today's resort development.
Blended in the undisturbed beauty of the high desert and nestled between the rugged Sheep and Spring Mountains, the two 18-hole golf courses of the Paiute Golf Resort are quietly ingrained in a stretch of arid desert, which gradually slopes downward to the mountain range above. So inconspicuously it lies, that when you enter the resort via the two-mile entrance road, you drive your car by the fairways and greens of the Sun Mountain Course (opened August 1996). This reporter had to look twice to ensure what he thought he saw - a foursome!
On a new plot of the barren site, heavy equipment operates on excavation for the new golf courses scheduled to open in the near future. Also, by the year 2002, expansion at Paiute Golf Resort will provide 30 hotel rooms and 270 individual casitas, a 30,000 sq. ft. conference learning center, additional meeting and banquet space, spa and wellness center, a 16,000 sq. ft casino, retail space, gourmet restaurants, resort-style cafes, a golf academy, and equestrian center.
Here is a mystical and tranquil surrounding. From a distance, and well beyond the golf courses themselves, it appears as if a wash was cut out by nature through the lowest point of the sloping and harsh terrain. When glancing at this sacred, picturesque view which is offset well past the borders of the resort's tract of land, one may begin to dream of what life for the ancient Paiute people was like and the harmony they shared with their land. Utilizing the resources provided, they probably adapted their culture to the diverseness of the mountains (possibly to the escape the heat of summer), and inhabited the wind-protecting canyons of the wash (perhaps for shelter during the winter).
The temperature is noticeably cooler on this mid-November morning than of Las Vegas downtown 20 miles to the south. This is partly because Las Vegas Paiute Indian Colony rests some 3,000 feet in elevation making it approximately 1,000 higher than the rest of the city. This was further evidenced by the fact that there was a frost delay and starting times were set back by a half-hour on the inaugural Snow Mountain Course (opened March 1995).
The golfer soon discovers the fascination of this course, including the fast speed of the small bentgrass greens and the need to roll the ball up from the undulating rye-grass fairways rather than trying to stick it on the flag. This Scotland-style course features pot bunkers and deep native (fescue) roughs. Most holes have natural areas bordered by brilliant ribbons of wildflowers separating the long and unparallel fairways, including the world famous railroad tie bunkers and water hazards. This is a typical Pete Dye (Course Architect & GolfWorld's 1994 Architect of the Year) design of high standards, but considered a "kinder and gentler" layout than most.
Pin placements of white (front), checkered (middle) and green (back) flags with tee box images of the tortoise painted in the sacred colors of black, yellow, white and red represent the directives an inspired golfer needs to navigate their sundry adventure at Paiute.
You will feel the exhilaration as you hear the power of every drive and the tap of each putt. Both the novice and scratch golfer will savor every triumph! As Golf Digest rated Paiute Golf Resort as, "one of North America's best courses to play", you too will treasure your day at the Paiute Golf Resort as one of the elite facilities you ever played.
The Paiute Golf Resort is owned and operated by the Paiute Indian Tribe. The 50,000 sq. ft. club house includes a design to accommodate multiple events simultaneously, meeting rooms with Internet and networking access, sound and PA systems, a comfortable 3,800 sq. ft restaurant and lounge, 5,000 sq. ft. of banquet facilities for 300 guests, and a Pro Shop housing select golf equipment and apparel. Contact: Lisa Ferguson, Director of Marketing - (800) 711-2TEE at Paiute Golf Resort.
By Mel Barosay, Jetsetters Magazine Golf Correspondent.