Shadow Creek Golf Course
|This article does not cite any references or sources. (October 2007)|
Shadow Creek is an 18-hole golf course in North Las Vegas, Nevada, designed by Tom Fazio and built by Las Vegas casino magnate Steve Wynn in 1989. Built from empty desert flatland on a 350-acre (140 ha) site, it cost a reported sixty million dollars. During construction, over three million cubic yards of dirt was dug up from the desert floor and pushed around the perimeter, creating a berm that blocked any view from the outside. An estimated 21,000 trees of more than 200 varieties were then planted around the sides of the course and in and around each individual hole, providing a sense of seclusion and intimacy. It opened in 1989 as one of the most exclusive golf courses in the world. Only invited casino guests of Steve Wynn or the Mirage properties could play the course, and tee times were one hour apart, so only a handful of groups played the course every day. Today the course is open to all MGM Resorts International property guests, and the green fee is $500, including round-trip limousine rental from the Strip and club rental. The course rarely sees more than two dozen rounds in a day, many from PGA professionals, Las Vegas local dignitaries and VIPs, celebrities, professional athletes, spokespeople, and the occasional CEO. Some of the names on the lockers in the clubhouse are George Bush, Michael Jordan, John Elway, and Wilt Chamberlain.
The course features lakes, waterfalls, rolling hillsides, more than 200 varieties of trees, flowing rock bed streams, rocky outcroppings, and exotic birds. Through its design, it was intended be an experience; one that worked in movements that would begin subtly and crescendo to a peak every several holes, and then repeat. No hole was to be visible from another. All four par 3s are unique and extraordinary; one is hit over a valley full of trees, another is in a bowl-shaped valley entered and exited through a tunnel.
The course is also the location of private residences. One, near the 18th hole, was Steve Wynn's home until 2005, when he sold it to MGM Mirage for $17 million. The four-bedroom house includes a two-story library, theater, wine cellar, and two pools, one with an underwater speaker system, and a zero-gravity jacuzzi. The second house was owned by Wynn Las Vegas COO Mark Schorr until 2004.
The course went through a 17 million dollar renovation May 2008 – December 2008 through care of Tom Fazio and is now open. The course received all new tees, fairways, rough, bunkers and greens. A number of holes were redesigned and lengthened with bunkers added. The course now sets up at 7,560 yards compared to 7,239 on its original design. During renovation they also added a 7-acre (28,000 m2) short game facility with four target greens and bunkers and a generous putting green.
- Course record: Original design: Tiger Woods and Fred Couples (60)
- Current course record: Post renovation: Dustin Johnson and Chien-Soon Lu (66)
- 17: par 3, plays from 150 to 130. The hole features an island green with a waterfall in the back.
- 16: a behemoth par 5 that measures 622 yards (569 m). The hole doglegs right and features an elevated tee box.
- 15: a par 4 of 483 yards in which players hit back into the mountains. A creek runs down the left side of the hole and across the green.
Shadow Creek is generally ranked among the top 25 courses in the world by many major golf publications.