Las Vegas, Nevada (December 17, 2013)–Leo Calabro, the new head professional at Las Vegas National Golf Club, took one look around the course and could feel the deep history of the place. Opened in 1961, Las Vegas National is located in the heart of Las Vegas and is one of the most historic golf courses in Las Vegas. Arguably, the most historic. And Calabro, who returns to the Las Vegas Golf Region after working for eight years at the luxurious JW Marriott Tucson Star Pass Resort in Arizona, will be embracing that nostalgia while bringing the course into the future. Las Vegas National is a previous host course for events on the LPGA Tour and PGA Tour in addition to being a celebrity hang out for the Rat Pack. –By Brian Hurlburt
"You can't help but feel the history of this place," says Calabro, who worked in the Vegas market for a short time at Red Rock Country Club in the late nineties. "In some ways you are transported back to 1961 and the Vegas heyday when you step onto the property. Sammy Davis, Jr., Frank Sinatra, and Dean Martin, they all were here. And it's pretty cool to be known as one of the courses where Tiger Woods won his first PGA Tour tournament. Plus the course also hosted the LPGA Championship and the best women players in the world in the sixties. But besides that, it's a gem in the city and is a traditional course lined with trees, and is a different Vegas golf experience than a lot of the true desert courses in the area."
Las Vegas National Golf Club is located minutes from the Las Vegas Strip, and offers tee times rates for under $100 for visitors most of the year. At National you will find a fun, traditional golf experience with holes playing through and around the historic Paradise Palms neighborhood where the stars used to live and play as well. These days, the neighborhood features a very active group of residents that also embrace the history of the area. Click below to view the official video of Las Vegas National.
Calabro believes that the history combined with current course conditions and other advantages of the location and course amenities will allow the course to prosper, and for guests to enjoy their experience. The course, which opened in 1961 as the Stardust Country Club, is the home of the Las Vegas Golf Hall of Fame exhibit and also the Rat Pack Bar and Grille. The Hall of Fame exhibit features the actual trophy that Woods was awarded when he won the 1996 Las Vegas Invitational. Woods fired a 70 at what was then called the Las Vegas Hilton Country Club en route to a playoff win over Davis Love III. The course was one of three courses used during the tournament.
As with anything, Calabro knows there are improvements that can be made to Las Vegas National and the process, but he is already making an impact and moving forward. "We are putting together a terrific team here and we all share a vision of making sure Las Vegas National returns and remains like it was during the glory days," says Calabro, who is bringing hospitality and service knowledge learned while he was part of the JW Marriott team at Starpass in addition to his other previous roles. "We will be dedicated–and will be persistent in the details–in offering a high level of service and hospitality to our guests. The perception of Las Vegas National might have slipped a little over the years, but we have a lot going here and I welcome everyone to come and check us out again."
Calabro is currently studying and is close to becoming a PGA of America Master Teaching Professional. Less than 5 percent of professionals achieve that ranking, and it is a grueling process. Calabro has been around the game of golf since he was six years old, and in the golf business for more than 30 years. That's a pretty good history for the new head pro of a true Vegas golf monument where the likes of Jack Nicklaus and Mickey Wright have teed it up and won. Click now to reserve your tee times at Las Vegas National and become a part of Vegas golf history and future.