March 1, 2008–Some people think you're crazy if you ever use Las Vegas and history in the same sentence. We blow up hotels on a seemingly daily basis, new developments pop up by the hour, and our focus is always on the next big thing, and not looking back. But when it comes to golf, Las Vegas has a deep history, and Las Vegas National Golf Club remains as the single most historical layout in town. Just a few men and women who have won championships on the course include Jack Nicklaus, Mickey Wright, Lee Trevino, Lanny Wadkins, Al Geiberger, Tiger Woods and Don January.
This Las Vegas golf course originally opened as the Stardust Country Club and was designed by Bert Stamps. Arnold Palmer holds the original course record and it stood for 28 years until Tom Kite broke it. David Graham stands with Kite as the current record holder at 62. Palmer fired a 63.
Other Las Vegas golf courses that have hosted professional events include TPC Canyons, TPC Summerlin, Las Vegas Country Club, Bear's Best, Southern Highlands Golf Club, Canyon Gate and Spanish Trail.
The LPGA Championship was the first professional championship to be played at Las Vegas National Golf Club. That event was held from 1961-1966. Mickey Wright earned $2,500 for the victory in 1961, and then won the event again in 1963. The other winners were Judy Kimball, Mary Mills, Sandra Haynie and Gloria Ehret.
The PGA Tour played the Tournament of Champions at the course in 1967 and 1968, when it moved to the course from the Desert Inn following the purchase of the Desert Inn by Howard Hughes. Frank Beard and Don January were the champions.
The Sahara Invitational debuted in 1969 with Nicklaus pocketing the winner's check of $20,000. The following are the other champions of that event: Baby Hisky, Lee Trevino, Lanny Wadkins, John Mahaffey, Al Geiberger, Dave Hill and George Archer.
The event ended in 1976, but the PGA Tour returned to the course in 1993 when the Las Vegas Invitational used the course as one of three in the rotation.
Davis Love III, Bruce Lietzke, Jim Furyk and Tiger Woods were the champions in those years. The victory for Woods was his first on the PGA Tour. Woods shot 70 on the course the day he played.
Las Vegas National Golf Club is a Harrah's Golf Property as are other Las Vegas golf courses Cascata and Rio Secco Golf Club.