May 11, 2007–Legendary Golf Architect Perry Dye won't soon forget the day about a decade ago that he met with Bill Walters about a new Las Vegas golf course project. Walters, a man who gets to the point as quickly as anyone, sat Perry down and said, "Perry, I want to build a golf course with 18 holes from the British Open." And with those words, Dye and his team were off on the Royal Links Golf Club adventure that just might have been the most memorable, challenging and enjoyable of Dye's long career. After several weeks of research and study, it became clear to Dye that selecting 18 existing British golf holes to place in one 18 hole golf course was maybe too difficult of a task. "Damned if it wasn't like putting a puzzle together," Dye recently told us. "The holes are individual, but they have to work well together, and it was tough to determine which ones to use. I even asked Bill if we could stray from the original concept to make it work, but he flatly told me, 'No!'" But in the end, Dye was very pleased that they stayed true to the mission.
But along the way, Dye–the son of the legendary Pete Dye–told Walters that he needed to travel across the pond to breathe in the look and feel of all of the British Open golf courses before completing the Las Vegas Golf Royal Links Golf Club project. So Dye and a few others set off on about a week long journey. They walked every step of the golf courses that have hosted the British Open (Dye was surprised to learn that only 13 golf courses had hosted the event), and soon had narrowed down their hole choices to about 6 or 7 from each course, but that still meant about a hundred total holes from which to choose. Cynthia Dye, who was also on the trip, brought back hundreds of photos from the trip and those helped the group determine the final routing.
Looking back, Dye is pleased they spent the time and effort, and stayed true to Walters' goal.
"There was no doubt that it was 100% Bill Walters concept to create what became Royal Links Golf Club," says Dye, who also worked with Walters on Las Vegas golf course Desert Pines. "He loves golf more than anybody, and his commitment to it is phenomenal. When people come to Las Vegas they want something different, unique and exciting, and Royal Links is that. It's a true golf 'experience', and it fits perfectly in Las Vegas because everything is themed there."
You will truly experience a taste of the British Open when you play Las Vegas golf's Royal Links Golf Club from the castle-themed clubhouse (decorated by Walters' wife Susan and complete with museum-quality golf items) to the working cannon to the larger-than-life re-creation of the claret jug, not to mention the quality golf holes from legendary golf courses like St. Andrews and Royal Troon. among the others.
The other Walters Golf operated Las Vegas golf course is Bali Hai Golf Club, a beautiful layout with a South Pacific theme.