Image January 10, 2008–Las Vegas golf notes this week include Las Vegas golfer Natalie Gulbis partying in Las Vegas and looking forward to a big year on the LPGA Tour; a nice golf deal at the PGA Tour's TPC Las Vegas golf course where a foursome can save up to $400; and the PGA Tour season kicking off with Las Vegas golfer Adam Scott in the field of the Mercedes Championships. In a recent story this writer wrote for VegasGolfer Magazine, Natalie Gulbis' instructor–Las Vegas' Butch Harmon–said that in 2009 she will be longer, stronger and better than ever. Gulbis, who lives on Las Vegas golf course Reflection Bay Golf Club at Lake Las Vegas Resort, is 100% healthy and hitting it longer than ever. Recently, Gulbis celebrated her 26th birthday at Blush Nightclub at Wynn Las Vegas.

She was joined by her close friends and family, plus several hundred other partiers. Gulbis is also one of the contestants on Donald Trump's Celebrity Apprentice that airs in March on NBC, and during the interview she wouldn't divulge the outcome, but did say doing the show–where she plays to raise money for the Boys and Girls Club of New York–reaffirmed her commitment to help those less fortunate. On the course, Gulbis fired a 67 at Rio Secco Golf Club at the Wendy's 3-Tour Challenge in late 2008, the first signs that 2009 could be a big season.

“Natalie had a tough year in 2008 because of her back injury, and she couldn’t practice as much because of that,” says Harmon, who also works with Phil Mickelson, Fred Couples, Adam Scott, and other big names at his school that is located at Rio Secco. “We’ve gone back to the fundamentals, and one positive from the injury is that her rehab has made a difference. Her core is now stronger and that is helping to create more torque in her swing. She is hitting her irons a club farther and also driving the ball longer. She is really looking forward to the season because she is so much stronger than she has ever been.” Gulbis hopes to add to a trophy case that includes the Evian Masters win (pictured) and a couple U.S. Solheim Cup team wins.

TPC Las Vegas is Where the Pros Play in Las Vegas, and is a former host to events on both the PGA Tour and Champions Tour. Champions of Las Vegas pro tournaments played at this course include Jim Furyk, Stuart Appleby, Hale Irwin, and Jim Colbert, among others. And now via a special Las Vegas web golf special deal, you can play TPC Las Vegas for $175 through January 31. Here are the fine details direct from the management at TPC Las Vegas. Reservations must be booked by calling the Golf Shop directly at 1-888-310-465 and you must mention the internet special to receive the rate. Reservations can be made up to (5) days in advance. This offer is good on reservations booked on or after January 1, 2009 and is not available on previously booked reservations. This offer is good on reservations for (1 – 11) players and is not available for group bookings. This offer can not be used in conjunction with any other offer. TPC Las Vegas is described best as "Desert Elegance" and course was just recognized by for having the best conditions of the Las Vegas golf course during the winter of 2008.

The PGA Tour is off and running, albeit without a few of the big names (Tiger Woods, Sergio Garcia and Phil Micklelson) but former UNLV golfer Adam Scott is in the field for the Mercedes Championships in Hawaii. Scott fired a first-round 73, and is hoping to end some recent struggles that have been caused by a variety of injuries, including a re-curring knee injury. Scott has injured his knee many times over the years, and did it again in late 2008 in Australia.

"I'm feeling not too bad," said Scott this week. "I'm not really sure how I'm playing. It (my game) feels pretty good, although I haven't played for a long time. So it's good to start out here, first week of the year. I've played well here before, so I'm looking forward to that … the knee, it's probably about 90%, it's pretty good. It's not bad. Obviously good enough to be here. It's not quite a hundred percent. Unfortunately, this course is quite a tough walk, so that's going to be the test for me here this week. I dislocated my kneecap again, which is kind of a common thing with me. It's the sixth time I've done it now. I was running at the beach when it happened, and I twisted my leg and my knee came out." Scott went on to explain that he has "hyper-mobile" knees and that the first time he injured one was in high school while playing basketball.

Remember that right now is a great time to be traveling to Las Vegas. There are countless deals at Las Vegas hotels, and many Las Vegas golf courses are offering special rates and deals. And the weather is mostly nice–golfing in shortsleeves yesterday and today–and the courses are in good condition.

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