Bobby Weed with Fuzzy Zoeller laid out the eye-catching course at TPC Summerlin in 1991. It’s a fond venue for Tiger Woods as he claimed his very first professional victory here in 1996 at the Las Vegas Invitational – now called the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.
“Twenty minutes from the Las Vegas strip, Summerlin is more than a golf course,” wrote George Peper in Golf Courses of the PGA Tour, “it is the largest master-planned community in America, a 22,000-acre project that will be the home of 150,000 people. It was developed by the Summa Corporation, heirs of billionaire Howard Hughes’s empire; Summerlin was the name of Hughes’s mother.
Designed by Bobby Weed with player consultant (and 1983 LVI champion) Fuzzy Zoeller, the TPC received strongly favorable reviews from both the pros and amateurs. Zoeller, who likes to build courses that are fun, said his goals at Summerlin were simple: to give players clear targets from the tees, to allow them a chance to roll their approach shots onto the greens, and to keep the green undulations subtle.”
The architecture isn't compelling but it's hardly pedestrian given the close proximity of housing on a number of the holes. The site was also not bulldozed to death so that the final outcome is completely out of place.
For those who come to Vegas and want to play a PGA TOUR stop it's best to keep your expectations grounded. The architecture is good but hardly riveting.
The final four holes do bring players home in fine fashion as you face a mixed bag of holes with the options provided at the driveable ar-4 15th, the risk/reward par-5 16th and the challenging par-3 17th. The end hole can be a bit hard on one's eyes as you must battle with the late day sun setting.
Turf quality is generally very good and should the wind pick up in terms of velocity the challenges will quickly escalate on certain holes. TPC Summerlin will clearly resonate with many players but if you are a architectural connoisseur you likely will come away feeling a bit underwhelmed.
M. James Ward