Desert Pines Golf Club in Las Vegas has a traditional country club feel -- with some bling, too

LAS VEGAS -- Desert Pines Golf Club makes the most of limited land to create the feeling of a traditional country club nestled into the pine-forested hills of North Carolina.

It feels a million miles away from the neon glitz and crowds of the Strip, yet it's just a short cab ride away.

Thousands of pines line the narrow, curvaceous fairways manufactured by Perry Dye. The trees give golfers the sense of solitude, muffling out the noise from the adjacent freeways and roads, while keeping the players on adjacent fairways mostly out of sight.

Opened in 1997, the 6,810-yard, par-71 course plays tricky and tough from the 6,464-yard white tees. Conquering the place requires more brains than brawn. Laying up leads to wedges into the short par 4s at Nos. 1, 4, 14 and 15. Four ponds dictate strategy on eight holes, especially the parallel par-4 finishing holes at No. 9 and No. 18.

A two-tier practice range, where balls automatically tee up after every swing, and the opportunity to hire beautiful women as caddies -- a program called Parmates -- proves that Desert Pines isn't just any country club. It's got bling, like everything else in Las Vegas.

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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It's a good idea to get the swing dialed in before heading onto the 6,810-yard, par-71 Desert Pines Golf Club in Las Vegas. Opened in 1997, Desert Pines pinches narrow in a number of spots. It's just a short cab ride (each way) from the Vegas Strip, but it feels miles away thanks to a setting reminiscent of the rolling hills of the Carolinas.
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Desert Pines Golf Club in Las Vegas has a traditional country club feel -- with some bling, too