Las Vegas, Nevada (July 17, 2015)–Say the name Shane Sanchez among a group of longtime Las Vegas golfers and the chances are that most will know him and have good things to say about the head professional and tournament director at Palm Valley Golf Club. Palm Valley is a part of the Golf Summerlin Las Vegas golf trifecta and Sanchez, a member of the PGA of America, came to Las Vegas when he was named the assistant golf pro at Palm Valley in 1990. He went on to serve as head professional at the course from 1995-98. His Vegas golf career came full circle when he returned to the course in 2014. Over the years Sanchez has earned many awards, but he has also taken time to give back to the game and community that he says has given him so much. –By Brian Hurlburt
“When I look back at my golf career here in Las Vegas what really stands out is all of the relationships I have built and the terrific people I have met,” says Sanchez, who was named the Southwest Section, Southern Nevada Chapter PGA Professional of the Year and also the player of the year in 1997. “It’s also amazing to look back on the growth of the game here in addition to the amazing growth of the city itself. I really came to Las Vegas at a perfect time to see all of the changes and be a part of that.”
Sanchez, who grew up in Green River, Wyoming, has become ingrained in the Vegas community both as a solid player, but also by being actively involved in the local PGA chapter and other organizations. Sanchez served as Vice President of the PGA Chapter in 1997 and 1998, and was a member of the board of directors from 1997-2002. Sanchez also earned the 2011 Merchandiser of the Year award from the Southern Nevada PGA Chapter while working at Rhodes Ranch Golf Club.
In 1998, he was recognized by the Southern Nevada Golf Association as the Professional of the Year. His playing career highlight also came in 1998 when he won the prestigious Southern Nevada PGA Chapter Championship that was played at Highland Falls, the sister course to Palm Valley.
Sanchez has been a member of the Southern Nevada Sports Hall of Fame committee since 1997 and is still actively involved. Palm Valley Golf Club is the host course of the event’s annual golf tournament that is held in conjunction with the annual induction ceremonies. This year Joe Kelly, who oversaw the three golf courses at Golf Summerlin for several years, was an inductee.
“What I like about being involved with the Southern Nevada Sports Hall of Fame is not only that we are honoring people for wonderful careers, but that we are making a difference in the lives of kids through our scholarships and other outreach efforts,” says Sanchez, who has also volunteered for area junior organizations throughout his career.
One of the highlights of Sanchez’ long career was helping to open the Palm Valley course and getting to know Billy Casper, who co-designed the course with architect Greg Nash. Casper, who passed away in 2014 and was a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame, also designed Golf Summerlin’s other two courses, Eagle Crest and Highland Falls.
“Watching Billy Casper give a clinic was a thing of beauty because he was old school,” says Sanchez. “He would hit seemingly impossible shots and work the ball left, right, high, low, however he wanted to with ease, even as he got older. It was a privilege to also get to know him personally and listen to all of the stories he had about his career. It was also a thrill to be part of the group that went with Casper and Nash when they were first determining the design for Highland Falls and Eagle Crest. We would go with them and the vision they had to imagine a golf hole in the middle of a barren desert was incredible. They would have us hit shots for them to determine playing angles and some of the hole designs. I’d like to think we helped them a little.”
Palm Valley Golf Club was the first of the three courses that now make up Golf Summerlin to be constructed, and is the official home course of the Southern Nevada Golf Association. The courses are known for their great value plus the views they provide of the Las Vegas valley from the fairways, greens and tee boxes. Sanchez believes that Palm Valley is player friendly, but also provides a solid test of golf. “Our final three holes make up one of best series of finishing holes in Las Vegas, and is a perfect way to end your round at Palm Valley,” says Sanchez, who also is one of the top golf instructors in the area and available for lessons.
And after being involved in the Las Vegas golf community for three decades, Shane would know.
To contact Sanchez for lessons, call Palm Valley Golf Club at 702.363.4373.