Golf Center Has 120 Tees--Just a Chip Shot From the Strip

Reed Travel Features

LAS VEGAS -- Senior Tour Players Development Inc. unveiled the Las Vegas International Golf Center in January.

Designed to be a venue for golfers to improve their game, the center also is the home practice facility for the University of Nevada Las Vegas golf team.

The $5 million practice center is the largest in Las Vegas and boasts the only driving range in the downtown area, according to Michael Melus-key, vice president of operations for Senior Tour Players Development.

The facility is located minutes from the Strip on the corner of Paradise and Tropicana. It is across from the Thomas and Mack Center at UNLV and from the entrance to McCarran Airport.

Meluskey said that approximately 30% to 40% of the golf center's clientele are Las Vegas visitors.

Open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the Golf Center features 120 tee stations, including 39 natural grass tees and 81 artificial turf tees, 26 of which are located on a second tier.

More than 50 of the tee stations are shaded and are equipped with cooling misters, and many stations are heated.

The driving range, which is more than 300 yards long by 200 yards wide, features eight target greens.

One of the target greens is a replica of the 17th Island Green at the TPC Sawgrass course, complete with water hazards and sand traps.

The facility also has food and beverage concessions.

The cost to use the golf center ranges from $6 to $10, depending upon the number of balls purchased for practice play.

Private lessons are available at a rate of $40 per person for 30 minutes and $60 for an hour.

Additionally, two-day golf instruction programs are offered at approximately $295 per person.

Las Vegas International Golf Center was planning to premiere a golf instruction school, a putting green and a short-game practice area April 1.

Players participating in the golf school will learn tips for improving their game with the help of amenitities such as video analysis.

The putting green will sprawl over 10,000 square feet, and the short-game practice area will feature sand traps and chipping areas.

Other additions will include a 20,000-square-foot Pro Golf of America retail store.

Every customer who walks into the store will be greeted by a starter, handed a score card and directed down a tree-lined, brick-paved cart path through 18 "manufacturers holes" displaying merchandise in a theatrical setting.

Senior Tour Players Development, based in Boston, also owns Badlands Golf Club in Las Vegas.

Badlands is an 18-hole championship golf course that opened for public play in October 1995.

Badlands, which has been nominated by Golf Digest magazine as one of the best new resort courses, was designed by Johnny Miller, with consultation by Chi Chi Rodriguez.

On tap is a nine-hole expansion at Badlands, which also will be designed by Miller. The additional nine holes are expected to be completed by the fall.

Other golf facilities owned by Senior Tour Players Development include the Golf Town driving range in Saugus, Mass.

The firm also manages New England Country Club in Bellingham, Mass.

Meluskey said the company is eyeing other opportunities to develop golf courses and driving ranges around the country, citing the Dallas and Houston areas as possible sites for expansion.

For more information about the Las Vegas International Golf Center, call (702) 798-8700.

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