Las Vegas, Nev. (March 17, 2016)–It was a beautiful spring day about 16 years ago when the King, Arnold Palmer, spent about 30 minutes posing for the cover of VegasGolfer Magazine, the publication co-founded by this writer. Palmer was jovial and took all the time needed for the photo shoot, which occurred on the same day he played 18 holes to christen the new Red Rock Country Club. Red Rock Country Club is now the home of two Palmer courses, the private Mountain and the public Arroyo. With the PGA Tour pros teeing it up this week at the Arnold Palmer Inviational, our thoughts drifted back to that special day with Palmer in Las Vegas. –By Brian Hurlburt.
It’s always a pleasure to play an Arnold Palmer-designed course, and such is the case with the Arroyo. The resort Arroyo is the sister course of Siena Golf Club and both Las Vegas golf courses now offer dynamic pricing for tee times. The dynamic pricing allows golfers to save money by booking in advance or picking non-peak times to play. Click now to reserve your official Arroyo Golf Club tee times via the official website.
Arroyo Golf Club features “gently swaying palms, cascading waterfalls, and emerald green fairways that weave a colorful tapestry that sprawls across the rolling terrain of the Southern Nevada desert and in the shadows of the Red Rock Mountains.”
A Day with Arnold Palmer at Red Rock Country Club
On that day a decade-and-a-half ago, longtime Las Vegas golf writer and historian Jack Sheehan caught up with Palmer and talked with him about his career and his love of the game. At the time, Palmer was 70 years young and still swinging. He had just spent 18 holes entertaining his fans, including obliging when one yelled out, “Arnie, how about a charge!” Palmer shook his fist in the air as he strolled by, thrilling his “Army.”
As this article was being written, unfortunately, came news that Palmer would relinquish his official starter duties at The Masters and not hit the ceremonial tee shot along with fellow legends Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player. The shot and photos with Player and Nicklaus had become a part of Masters lore over the past several years. It must be a difficult time for Palmer as he comes to grips with not being able to play the game that he adored.
“I just love the game so much,” Palmer told Sheehan in between photos and while his helicopter stood ready to whisk him to the airport. “And I love it no less because I am 70 years old. I love the things that go with it–the friendships, the camaraderie, the needling, the good scores … but not the bad scores. I don’t enjoy those too much. Plus I love being outside in beautiful surroundings like here at Red Rock Country Club and I enjoy all the people I meet. Golf is a wonderful, character-building sport. You know, I remember when I was 35 and Jack and Gary and I were talking, and they both said that they couldn’t imagine being competitive into their 40s. And look at them now. They are both in their 60s and they love it as much as ever and want to win every time they tee it up. I can’t imagine not playing golf, either competitively or on a friendly basis. I’ll never lose my fire for the game.”
He probably still hasn’t lost the first, but The Masters will be a little less important without his unique swing to start things off.
But we can all honor Palmer by getting out and playing the game he loved. And a great way to do that is by playing at Arroyo Golf Club, the place that he built.