The Wynn Golf Club Brings World-class Fairways and Greens Right to the Edge of a Desert Boulevard That Never Sleeps
Chip stacks and chip shots.
- Written byShaun Tolson
“A good starting point for this shot is Barry Manilow’s left leg.” That’s a statement you might actually hear from your caddie at the Wynn Golf Club’s fifth hole, provided you’re a right-handed golfer who hits pronounced, 10- to 15-yard fades. The second of six par 3s on the course requires a shot hit downhill to a long, kidney-shaped green guarded by a pond that wraps around much of its left side. In the distance beyond the right edge of the water hazard, a promotional banner depicting Sin City’s resident crooner hangs from the south wing façade of the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino less than a mile away.
The view (and the speculative caddie advice) are strong reminders of the club’s prime location along Las Vegas Boulevard; however, golfers will soak up that Vegas ambience even earlier in their rounds. A skyline view of the northern Strip—one punctuated by the torch-shaped tower of The Strat Hotel, Casino & SkyPod, not to mention the parabola-shaped roofline of the Las Vegas Convention Center—commands players’ attention as they hit shots from the fourth hole’s elevated tee box.
Similarly, golfers who take a glance back over their shoulders as they’re walking off the first green will be rewarded with a panorama of the shimmering, bronze-tinted Wynn and Encore towers rising majestically above a lush emerald fairway.
Predictably, the Wynn Golf Club’s biggest allure is its accessibility. “When you can tailor your commute based on how many times the elevator stops, that’s pretty special,” says Brian Hawthorne, the club’s executive director of golf operations.
“It’s not rushed, but it can be brief if you want it to be,” he adds, alluding to a round of golf played at the club and the pace of play that the resort is able to maintain. “You can still have an entire half day ahead of you.”
“Once you get onto this golf course, you’re lost in this paradise.”
As Brian acknowledges, the Wynn Golf Club elevates a weekend getaway to Vegas by offering visitors a chance to enjoy a round of golf played on beautifully manicured grounds without sacrificing an entire day’s worth of sunlight to do it. Conversely, the club also enhances the itineraries of broader Vegas golfing vacations, as it allows avid links-goers a chance to experience some of Vegas’ glitzier offerings during the day without foregoing 18 holes.
Remarkably, the 6,722-yard, Tom Fazio-created course exists as a true desert oasis. During the course’s recent redesign, more than 400,000 cubic yards of earth were moved and shaped across the property’s 129 acres to create eye-catching ridges and valleys.
Those topographical manipulations—combined with the design team’s preservation of 100,000 shrubs and 7,000 mature trees—create a sense of isolation on each hole. If it weren’t for the resort and casino towers, which rise above the tree line and frame some of the fairways, players during their rounds might easily forget that they are only 500 yards from the Vegas Strip.
“Once you get onto this golf course, you’re lost in this paradise,” Brian proudly declares. “It’s just this magical transportation that occurs, which brings you to this pristine environment that you would never imagine existing where it does.”
Resort guests can book tee times 90 days in advance, while outside visitors can do so as far out as a month. In either case, the experience isn’t cheap. Playing a round at the Wynn Golf Club will set you back $550. While that certainly sits at the pinnacle of daily-fee golf experiences, the greens fee does include top-end Callaway rental clubs (if needed), a golf cart with a fully stocked cooler, and the use of a caddie—many of whom are PGA of America members.
Playing a round also offers golfers a chance to walk off the course with some serious cash, thanks to a hole-in-one challenge on the 18th—a long par 3 played over both a creek and a pond to a wide (if not deep) green protected by a broad bunker and framed by a 100-foot-wide, 35-foot-tall, man-made waterfall. An ace on this hole comes with a $10,000 to $20,000 payday, depending on which tee is played.
The way Brian sees it, a round of golf played at the Wynn—even factoring in the greens fee and excluding an unlikely hole in one on the finishing hole—is a thrilling experience where players conceivably still come out ahead. “If we keep somebody from gambling for 4½ hours,” he laughs, “we might be saving people money.”