Review for PGA West (Nicklaus Private)

Reviewer Score:


Be forewarned -- the Nicklaus Private is not meant for those with double-digit handicaps. The course has plenty of hard edges to the actual layout. What I mean by that is crazy bounces can happen and it pays to favor a conservative style for the purposes of one's sanity and your ball budget.

There's little question the Nicklaus Private has a far different look than all the other layouts at this massive complex. The contrasts are noticeable and the routing is quite good -- constantly moving one around and forcing to deal with different wind directions when present.

The tee-to-green dynamic is the heart of the layout. Unfortunately, the greensites, while good, do not have a range of situations from bold to subtle.

This is one of those courses that can clearly create major separation based on one's handicap and for that reason I see the lack of elasticity being one of the drawbacks for what is a course that clearly doesn't suffer fools gladly. Be forewarned.

M. James Ward

Date: July 03, 2019

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