May 8, 2008–With THE PLAYERS Championship underway at TPC Sawgrass in Florida, our mind wandered to how some of the best Las Vegas golf courses share the feel and style of the PLAYERS' site. TPC Sawgrass is a sister course to Las Vegas golf courses TPC Las Vegas (resort) and TPC Summerlin (private). All are owned and operated by the PGA Tour and are where the pros play, while Sawgrass designer Pete Dye has twirled his design magic three times here in the Las Vegas desert with the three Las Vegas golf courses at the Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort (pictured). Dye recently added to his legend when it was revealed that he will be inducted with the World Golf Hall of Fame Class of 2008. "This is really a surprise," Dye said. "With all the great people that are in the Hall of Fame, it's an honor to be part of them because they've all given back to the game of golf, and I'm certainly proud to be here as one of them."
Eight PGA Tour players with Las Vegas ties are competing in the 2008 PLAYERS Championship: Alex Cejka, Nick Watney, Adam Scott, Charley Hoffman, Tommy Armour III, Dean Wilson, Ryan Moore and Chad Campbell.
The par 3, 196-yard, second hole at TPC Las Vegas is a true Las Vegas island green, but in this case, the water is replaced by the rugged desert terrain. Whatever the hazard, hitting your ball into the desert is just as penal as dropping one in the water at Sawgrass.
At the Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort WOLF course you will find the par 3, 182-yard, 15th hole, an island green surrounded by water, just like at Sawgrass. And much like Sawgrass, there are very few bailout options available. Either hit the green or buy a wetsuit.
The Las Vegas golf holes play a bit longer than the hole at Sawgrass, but the 'pucker factor' while standing on the tee of any of these three is very comparable.
Dye built the Stadium course at Sawgrass on swamp land and the story goes that the hole was originally going to be only bordered by water, but when valuable sand that could be used in the fairways was discovered near the proposed hole location, Dye's wife, Alice, suggested they make the hole an island green. The rest is history, and the water is now the prestigious burial area for thousands of golf balls annually, including dozens from the best golfers in the world who continually dunk shots during the PLAYERS Championship.
Dye has built more than 120 golf courses worldwide..