by Bob Sparrow
It seemed like a good idea at the time – getting out of the house and playing golf at some spectacular golf courses not too far away. We thought our timing was perfect as it was just starting to cool down in ‘The OC’. Unfortunately, it was heating up in places like Las Vegas and southern Utah, where we were headed to play.
So, the usual suspects, John & Judy VanBoxmeer, Jack and JJ Budd, Chuck & Linda Sager and Linda and I headed to Las Vegas, the first leg of our trip. A lot of golfers brag about ‘shooting their age’, and that’s quite an accomplishment, but I’m going to brag about ‘shooting the temperature’ – which is not such a great accomplishment, especially when the temperature is in triple digits, but I did it!
There were only four of the eight that wanted to stop at an old haunt from our ‘Cinco de Mayo-Kentucky Derby’ weekend days, at the less-than-luxurious Primm Valley Resort. Since moving from that venue to the South Point Hotel Casino & Spa and Rhodes Ranch Golf Club, most of us had not been back to Primm Valley Golf Club in many years, so we decided to stop there for an 18-hole waltz down memory lane. As it turned out, it was more of a waltz into the scrub brush and rocky desert terrain under a blistering sun on a less-than-pristine Primm Valley Golf Course.
The following day we played at Reflection Bay at Lake Las Vegas, a development that began just before the 2008 recession and has never quite recovered. A lake in Las Vegas is an oxymoron – I was just a moron when I played it. It was still very warm, no, it was hot, but I was able to ‘shoot my temperature’ although I was feeling a bit feverish at the time! While I thought I had not been very lucky at golf, that actually turned out to be the luckiest part of my day, as I lost at black jack, craps, the slots and a bet I placed at the sports book on the New Orleans Saints – a quinella of loses. Vegas did offer to will fly me out there for free any time I want to go!
Next stop, Wolf Creek, a course carved out of the rocky, rugged landscape of Mesquite, Nevada. It is certainly one of the most spectacularly beautiful golf layouts in the country. While it was still very hot, I kept reminding myself to enjoy the scenery which I did while again managing to shoot the temperature on a hot three-digit day. We had a delicious dinner at Katherine’s, a great old-time restaurant in the Casa Blanca Hotel, a property originally owned by Merv Griffin.
The next morning, we drove to St. George, Utah and stayed in condos at the golf course at Entrada. It’s a very interesting course, on the front nine it feels like you’re in Sedona, as is surrounded by lots of beautiful red rock formations. On the back nine it feels like you flew over to the Big Island of Hawaii, as it is carved out of a huge lava field, but the temperature reminded us that we were still playing golf on the surface of the sun!
We journeyed back to South Point in Vegas for the night, just to break up our trip around the sun, as well as provide me with an opportunity to visit my money. Actually, the sun finally shone brightly on my craps game that evening, as opposed to beating down on my crappy golf game throughout the trip. If you haven’t already learned anything from this blog, and you’re looking to do a similar trip – go in the winter!