Checking Out the Las Vegas Golf Scene with Celebs, Pros, Excellence

UNLV's Lon Kruger hosted Coaches vs. Cancer in Las Vegas June 1, 2009–It's time to celebrate for visiting and local Las Vegas golfers because June 1 is pretty much the day when the Las Vegas golf summer rates and deals at Las Vegas golf courses go into full effect. Stick close to us here and visit our Las Vegas Golf Deals of the Day section to determine the best rates for your Las Vegas golf tee times at the best Las Vegas golf courses. But there's always a lot happening on and around Las Vegas golf courses, so read on for a sampling of the Las Vegas golf news of the day.

Heading the Las Vegas golf news is Las Vegas resident Jeff Gallagher, who shot a blazing 7-under par during the final round of the Rex Hospital Open on the Nationwide Tour, this past weekend. Gallagher burst into the lead down the stretch but was caught on the 18th hole by the leader following the third round, Kevin Johnson, who birdied the 577-yard par 5, 18th hole to sneak into the playoff. Johnson then won on the first hole of the playoff–the 18th hole–when he made another birdie while Gallagher missed his downhill five-footer for his own birdie.

"Jeff played an amazing round today," Johnson told PGATour.com. "I was watching the scoreboards all day and honestly, when I made the turn and saw what he was doing I didn’t think I could catch him." As of this writing, we here at Golf Las Vegas Now were awaiting a call from Gallagher, who has lived in the Henderson area–a Las Vegas suburb–for many years. In the near future, we will bring you the entire story and an update on his career that includes two previous wins on the Nationwide Tour and stints playing the PGA Tour. His great finished catapulted Gallagher fron 35th to 13th on the official Nationwide Tour money list, well within the Top 25 player number that signifies the players who will receive exempt status on the 2010 PGA Tour season based on money-list finish.

There is big news from the recent America's Top Golf Courses Survey by Zagat. Several Las Vegas golf courses received very high marks, including the Rees Jones-designed Cascata that was one of just three golf courses in the entire surver to receive a ranking of 29 out of 30 in the facilities category (Bethpage Black, host of the 2009 U.S. Open, scored 30). That cateogory includes clubhouses, pro shops, practice areas, etc. Plus Cascata was one of two courses to score 29 out of 30 in the "top-rated service" area. No courses scored a perfect 30 in that category. Overall, Las Vegas golf courses scored very favorably in the surver, again proving that Las Vegas is the Utimate Golf City.

Combined in all categories of ratings, Las Vegas golf courses averaged 24.75, landing in the high end of the very good/excellent category. For value, the Las Vegas golf courses scored 20.75, on the low end of the very good/excellent rating sector. We'll break down this survey more in the future. Cascata is a resort Las Vegas golf course operated by Harrah's Resorts. Click now for the official website for Cascata and all Las Vegas golf rates and tee times information.

Also in the news is UNLV basketball coach Lon Kruger's Coaches Vs. Cancer charity Las Vegas golf tournament that kicked off with a Party at the Palms on May 31. The Palms event was held in the Hardwood Suite that is complete with a half-court basketball court, pool table, bar, locker rooms and much more. The event was packed and attended by such current college coaches as Kruger, Utah's Jim Boylen, California's Mike Montgomery, and Loyola-Marymount's Max Good, a former head coach here at UNLV, among others. Also in attendance were former UNLV head coaches Jerry Tarkanian and Charlie Spoonhour, plus former Rebel players Leon Symanksi, Greg Anthony, Kevin Kruger, Corey Bailey and Curtis Terry. Click here for a nice article by Rebel Nation about the event and comments from Greg Anthony, an avid golfer.

Many of those attending the party were also playing two rounds of golf at Las Vegas golf courses Southern Highlands Golf Club and TPC Las Vegas, both former host golf courses for Las Vegas PGA Tour events. TPC Las Vegas is a resort Las Vegas golf course that is one of the many Las Vegas golf courses offering summer deals. TPC Las Vegas has hosted events on both the Champions and PGA Tour, and was designed by PGA Tour Design Services Lead Architect Bobby Weed with consultation by Bobby Weed. Southern Highlands Golf Club is a private course that also serves as the home course for the UNLV golf team. Thanks for reading just some of the Las Vegas golf news.–Brian Hurlburt, Ed.

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