Formerly known as TPC at The Canyons, the course at TPC Las Vegas is one of the few PGA Tour tracks that are available for public play.
Designed by Bobby Weed with help from Raymond Floyd, the 7,104-yard course – described as “desert elegance” – opened for play in 1996 and was built in an environmentally friendly manner where dramatic carries over deep arroyos and desert scrub provide for a testing and memorable round, especially when the wind blows as it so often does here during the spring months.
In its first ten years of operation, TPC Las Vegas (then TPC at The Canyons) played host to Champions Tour events and the Las Vegas Invitational (now the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open).
The TPC network of courses is sort of like the higher-end hotel chains one sees in the States. They provide the needed basics -- good conditioning, well rounded amenities such as presentable clubhouses with quality food / drink and you also have a pro forma practice facility that starts the day in fine fashion. In terms of architecture the layouts are fairly formulaic.
One of the main issues I have with the facility is the intrusive nature of the housing -- it engulfs the property so while the holes do have qualities you need to block out the mental interference out when playing.
The routing is also fairly pedestrian. You go out in straight lines for the first four holes -- then make a slight turn and do the same thing and a have final turn for the final three holes on the outward side. Why is this done? You guessed right -- have as many housing units as possible.
The desert does play a role so those who can't find fairways will have to throttle down the impulse to bang away and find the short grass.
The par-3 2nd provides a fine visual - the green sitting within the desert landscape. The par-4 8th is also a quality two-shot hole - the angle of the fairway makes it a necessity for players to aim correctly and execute with precision. The green ably defended too.
The inward side is a fine collection of holes but two standout. The short par-4 14th provides for plenty of options to ponder. The green is offset from the fairway and protected by a desert wash that has to be factored into one's decision making. Bold players can attempt to go for the green in conditions warrant but the shot must be struck with total precision. Those laying back will still need to a quality wedge to the ably protected target. The par-4 18th closes out the day with a typical TPC flourish. After finding the fairway you then need to account for a menacing pond that hugs closely to the left side of the green.
For many coming to Vegas the wherewithal to dig deep into one's wallets and play the higher named available courses such as Shadow Creek, Cascata, Wynn and Rio Secco, may not be doable for economic reasons. TPC / Las Vegas provides a quality golf outlet one can certainly enjoy. If you are an architectural maven and want something that really moves the meter, then you'll need to keep your expectations in check.
M. James Ward
Was just here for an event and played 3 days straight. This is a somewhat unique TPC course. It meanders thru a canyon and creates numerous opportunities to force a carry and loss your ball in the canyons on the side. The green complexes are nice. Conditions are very good. This course was really quite nice and better than I expected.
Excellent high desert mountain track. Great greens!
Played TPC Las Vegas a couple times. Nothing extraordinary, however it's a solid course. Better than average in every way. Fairways, Greens, Tee Boxes, where better than average but nothing great. Solid track that had decent rates. Would play again if I made it off the strip.
Even though we were playing Wolf Creek and the Wolf course at Las Vegas Paiute, in the same week, we were still quite excited to be playing an ex-PGA Tour course to see what the top pros had to face.
And we certainly weren't disappointed. TPC Las Vegas is an absolutely cracking course. We played it in 40 degrees in mid June and the course was in perfect condition. You got plenty of run on your drives and felt like a tour pro with the distances being achieved from the tee.
After a gentle first hole, the 2nd is a knee trembling par 3 with an island green, devoid of water. This had a rather disconcerting effect as you wondered what the rulings might be if your ball failed to find the dancefloor!
As with a lot of desert courses, there is gorgeous backdrop which in this case is provided by the Red Rock Canyon, so if your round is going west, you can always take in the majestic scenery.
The front 9 is solid and the course is quite a technical one with strategic bunkering and sloped greens to make you think but it is the back 9 when TPC Vegas truly comes alive.
The par 3 12th is a fine hole but extremely difficult. You have to hit over a canyon and then try to get enough loft to keep your ball on the green. The 14th is a scary drive over a canyon to a fairway which angles sharply to the right. Not only do you have to contend with keeping your ball airborne you also have to consider how much of the canyon to cut off. Following the tee shot you're likely to play your approach shot over the same canyon. What makes the canyon so special is that it looks like a tectonic faultline running through the back 9 which has a real visceral impact.
The 18th finishes with a drive that requires a carry and your first contention with water which runs along the left hand side of the fairway and a nice way to finish a great round of golf.