July 1, 2009–Las Vegas National Golf Club is a Las Vegas golf course that has gone by many names over the years including Stardust Country Club, Sahara Country Club, and Las Vegas Hilton Country Club. It is easily one of the most historic Las Vegas golf courses, having hosted a major on the LPGA Tour and many events on the PGA Tour including the Tournament of Champions, the long-running Sahara Invitational, and the 1996 Las Vegas Invitational when Tiger Woods won his first PGA Tour event. And now this Las Vegas golf course is home to the Las Vegas Golf Hall of Fame, and the kick-off event reminded many of the glory days.
More than 130 Las Vegas golfers from several generations descended upon Las Vegas National on June 29 to celebrate the unveiling of the first all-encompassing exhibit about the history of golf in Las Vegas. (Full disclosure, this writer is on the committee of the Las Vegas Golf Hall of Fame). The entire class of 2009 was there, former inductees as well, plus many Las Vegas PGA of America pros who were playing for the John DiFloure Cup. And the Las Vegas National course lived up to the honor of hosting the best of Las Vegas golf as the fairways and greens were good, and the hundreds of mature and historic trees provided cool shade during the hot June day. Plus the staff put in extra time and effort to ensure the day was a success.
"It's quite an honor, as you can imagine," said current UNLV Men's Head Golf Coach Dwaine Knight, one of four members in the Class of 2009 that will be inducted on October 15 during the PGA Tour's Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. Knight joins his former All-American Edward Fryatt, longtime Las Vegas PGA of America professional Jimmie Bullard, and Las Vegas golf author and personality Jack Sheehan in the class. Knight was impressed with the exhibit and also shared a story with KVBC TV 3 (Click here for the official video) about how he and his father would travel to Las Vegas to watch the PGA Tour's Tournament of Champions that was played at the old Desert Inn course in addition to the new home to the Hall of Fame.
Las Vegas National Golf Club is conveniently located about two miles from the Las Vegas Strip, and features 18 traditional Las Vegas golf holes that play over water and in the shadows of the trees. The layout is fun and challenging, and the course also offers five of the most challenging par 3 holes in Las Vegas. And the Las Vegas golf rates at Las Vegas National harken back to the past as they start at well below $100 for visitors and locals. Plus you can also book special Las Vegas golf packages at the course. Click now for direct access to Las Vegas golf tee times at Las Vegas National Golf Club. You can check out Las Vegas golf history while also getting a true Las Vegas golf value at Las Vegas National.
Fryatt, who grew up in Las Vegas, was transported directly back to his youth and to a time when he would sneak on the fairways of what is now Las Vegas National, and said that the course was where he first got hooked on the game. Fyratt went on to win many major Las Vegas amateur golf events and was the Southern Nevada Golf Association Player of the Year three times in a row before attending UNLV and then winning several times internationally as a professional in addition to playing on the PGA Tour.
Fryatt then hit a cold streak and has left competitive golf, but this new honor might be shaking up his thoughts. Fryatt admitted that he hasn't been playing much at all, but still fired a 1-under par 70 during his round. "I spent a lot of time on the range and practice putting green today, and that's the first time I have really spent a lot of time thinking about the game in a long time," said Fryatt, quick to say that he wasn't ready for a comeback but leaving those listening to assume that anything is possible.
Other current members of the Las Vegas Golf Hall of Fame are: Tommy Armour III, 2008; Jerry Belt, 1991; Helen Cannon, 2004; James Cashman, Jr., 1998; Clyde Cobb, 1991; James Colbert, 2002; Eddie Draper, 2004; Eric Dutt, 2008; Brady Exber, 2006; Las Vegas Founders, 2004; Robert Gamez, 2002; Butch Harmon, 2006; Ernest Haupt, 1998; Richard Huff, 2004; Louis Redden, 2008; Stuart Reid, 1991; Chris Riley, 2004; Jerry Roberts, 2008; Tom Storey, 2006; Charlie Teel, 1991; 1997-98 UNLV Golf Team, 2002; C. Pat Walker, 1998.
The Las Vegas Golf Hall of Fame is a free exhibit and is open to the public during the regular hours of operation of Las Vegas National Golf Club. Click now to view the official website of Las Vegas National and for directions to this Las Vegas golf course. The mission of the Las Vegas Golf Hall of Fame is to celebrate and bring awareness to players, administrators, benefactors, groups, instructors, teams, and other worthy golfers who have served the game of golf in Las Vegas in a positive and meaningful way, whether through performance on the course, volunteerism, financial support, promotion, or other dedicated service. A 12-person committee made up of Las Vegas golf professionals, media, amateur association leaders, and Hall of Fame members, oversees the voting process.–Brian Hurlburt.