Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort: Discover 54 holes of playable Pete Dye golf in the desert

LAS VEGAS -- Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort is tailored to host tournaments and groups of all sizes.

Paiute's unique combination of 54 holes of Pete Dye golf, a mammoth clubhouse with one of the largest selections of merchandise in the Southwest, two practice facilities and a separate tournament department to sort out the details continues to attract major amateur events.

The ESPN National Golf Challenge finals have been held here five straight years. The 10th annual Duel in the Desert, a successful Golf Channel Amateur Tour event, is already sold out for 2013. Paiute will host 70 weddings this year alone in its 5,000 square-foot banquet facility, said Chad Gunier, the general manager at Paiute.

Whether you're a one-man band looking for a relaxing round or an army of players in an outing, Paiute (pronounced PIE-yute) aims to please.

"We tell people Paiute is 2,800 feet above stress level," Gunier said. "Las Vegas is usually a higher dollar golf market. This is high-end conditions at a midrange price. You can really enjoy the beauty out here. You get away from traffic and houses. This is an experience on a golf oasis."

The three golf courses at Paiute -- Snow Mountain, Sun Mountain and Wolf -- all bask in a gorgeous setting about a half-hour's drive from the Las Vegas Strip.

Getting here is easy, and falling for the place is even easier. Don't be embarrassed if you zone out staring off at the panoramic views of the Sheep and Spring Mountain ranges. It happens.

Paiute's remote desert location tends to be windy. Thankfully, Dye showed a softer side by creating memorable resort courses that are very playable. Golf Digest ranks all three Paiute golf courses among the top 15 in Las Vegas.

If you only have time for one round, choosing can be difficult.

"They are all great and they are all different," Gunier said.

Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort's Snow Mountain Course

The 7,146-yard Snow Mountain Course put Paiute on the map in 1995. Dye sprinkled water on seven holes. The three waterlogged finishing holes are the most challenging. Golf Digest ranked Snow Mountain No. 15 among the top golf courses in Las Vegas in 2011.

"Snow Mountain has more doglegs and water than the other courses," Gunier said. "It has three of the best finishing holes in golf, a par 3, par 4 and par 5. They are just gorgeous."

Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort's Sun Mountain Course

Paiute's Sun Mountain Course, which opened in 1996, has been branded the easiest of the three. At 7,116 yards, Sun Mountain is the shortest, and generally the most manicured, of the Paiute trio. Golf Digest ranked it No. 12 among the top 25 courses in Las Vegas in 2011.

"A lot of people say it is the less difficult," Gunier said. "When you talk to members and the staff, most will say it is their favorite."

Two ponds add drama to three holes, especially the par-4 18th. The bunkers lined with railroad ties on the sixth hole are quintessential Dye.

"Each hole has its own qualities," said Robert Goldstein, who played the course recently while visiting from Los Angeles. "It's unique compared to the other courses I've played in Palm Springs. It's definitely a return [to play again] course."

Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort's Wolf Course

The Wolf Course at Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort can stretch to 7,604 yards, playing as the longest layout in Nevada.

Karrie Webb and Annika Sorenstam celebrated its 2001 opening with a match on Shell's Wonderful World of Golf. Golf Digest ranked the Wolf No. 6 among the top 25 courses in Las Vegas in 2011.

Even straight tee shots can find trouble in bunkers in the middle of the fairway at holes No. 1 and No. 10. Dye's island green -- the 182-yard 15th hole -- is bigger but plays much longer than the famous island green on the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass.

"People assume yardage equals difficulty," Gunier said of the Wolf. "It is more mounded but wider. Ladies prefer [the Wolf] because it is more receptive.

Jason Scott Deegan has reviewed and photographed more than 1,000 courses and written about golf destinations in 20 countries for some of the industry's biggest publications. His work has been honored by the Golf Writer's Association of America and the Michigan Press Association. Follow him on Instagram at @jasondeegangolfpass and Twitter at @WorldGolfer.
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Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort: Discover 54 holes of playable Pete Dye golf in the desert