BEAR'S BEST LAS VEGAS (866) 385-8500
Las Vegas Golf Course Review
Our experience at Bear's Best in Las Vegas began typically enough, with a courteous employee greeting us at the bag drop and directing us to the pro
shop. After checking in we decided to have a look around, and noticed a clubhouse filled with pictures and memorabilia from the legendary career of Jack
Nicklaus. During a quick lunch we were able to check out some Olympic USA - Canada gold medal hockey action on one of two televisions in the casual
dining area (another larger screened TV provides coverage on the Golf Channel in the pro shop). We were "relieved" to discover on a trip to the
washroom that we need not miss any of the game, as small monitors are uniquely provided for above each urinal. The locker rooms are filled with pictures
and plaques commemorating some of Mr. Nicklaus' many tour championships. Another appreciated feature is the small library of golf magazines and hard
cover books available to read while dining or enjoying a drink.
On our trip to the complimentary range, we were pleased to discover pyramids of Nike balls stacked high for our practicing pleasure. Green fees include
the use of the grass range that spans approximately 75,000 square feet and is part of a practice facility which also includes two 10,000 square foot putting
greens. As experienced Vegas golfers, we are accustomed to the fine amenities that many of the upscale properties provide. Bear's Best ranks high on
the list for providing the extras that make golfing in this area a special experience. A personalized bag tag, bottled water (in an ice chest on each cart),
divot repair tool, ball markers and tees, and an informational yardage guide are also provided.
Bear's Best Las Vegas is the first of a group of Nicklaus Courses designed to let you experience some of his top holes from around the world, in one
setting. In a joint venture with ClubCorp and the Nicklaus companies - two of the most prestigious names in golf, this project is designed to facilitate play in
some of the nation's foremost convention cities. Atlanta is the second city selected to host a Bear's Best Course, which provides consistency between
facilities but variety with different hole selections influenced by location, climate and the terrain of each particular site. The Vegas layout features awe
-inspiring holes from such celebrated courses as Castle Pines, PGA West, Cabo Del Sol, and private country clubs located primarily in the western U.S.
The opening hole is stunningly beautiful, replicating the sixth hole from the private PGA West Course. Water all along the left side will direct you to the
middle right off the tee. The approach is equally intimidating, with an elevated green protected by 3 traps and the water hazard left. The second, from
Cabo Del Sol, is a short par 5 featuring a green guarded by a visually pleasing but ultimately challenging green-side bunker complexes - 8 sand traps in
total. The third is a tough par four from Scottsdale's Desert Highlands layout, demanding a carry over a sand waste area to a green tucked in behind more
sand to the left. A downhill tee shot awaits on the par 3 fourth, one of two holes on the course that feature black sand (imported dark copper from
Montana) bunkers. You will have to clear another long waste area off the tee on the number one handicapped par four 5th. The slag composition of this
hazard makes a successful "out" easier than it looks. The sixth again features a waste area to the left of the tee, which also must be negotiated on the
approach. A beautiful mountain backdrop frames number 7, which plays uphill and demands one extra club. The eighth, from Castle Pines, plays downhill
and narrows on the approach. This par five plays shorter than the indicated yardage and is one of the best birdie opportunities of the layout. A long par
four is next, replicating #6 from the Geronimo course at Desert Mountain. It demands a carry over the arroyo that cuts in front of the green and wraps
around it. This is a formidable finishing hole on the front.
The par 4 tenth is another PGA West hole, and features a huge, steep bunker in the middle that splits the fairway in two. Palm trees, sand traps and
Mountains frame the green, making this one of he most gorgeous scenes anywhere. Black sands traps frame the green making number 11, from Old
Works in Montana, another unique experience. At just 318 yards from the tips, this is the easiest hole on the course. The 12th is an uphill par 5 that is
very open off the tee. Grass green-side bunkers and rolling mounds are the outstanding features of his hole. Thirteen is designed from the 8th at La
Paloma in Tucson, and is a short par three over desert with bunkers short right and deep left. The long par four 14th is open off the tee, with bunkers on
the right side of the fairway, and short and left of the green. Holes 15 through 17 are all from the Desert Mountain Courses in Scottsdale, Arizona. Fifteen
plays over a desert wash with a great view of the Las Vegas Strip in the background. Number 16 presents a tight downhill tee shot with deep fairway
bunkers green-side and in the middle of the fairway. The reachable par 5 seventeenth plays uphill off the tee and downhill on the approach. Avoid the
formidable fairway and green-side bunkers and this is a good birdie opportunity. The closing hole is a beauty. You need to be close to the water hazard
on the right off the tee, or very long to the left to have a chance to reach in regulation. A large sloping green awaits after an approach that flirts with an
intimidating water hazard all along the right. Par is great and bogie is acceptable here.
Our personal opinion - this course is awesome! The layout is always in great shape, and is deserving of a rating as one of the very top designs in the
Vegas Valley.. It can be as challenging as you like (slope of 147 and 7200 yards from the tips), and is certainly very playable from the mid or white tees
(122 slope and 6043 yards). With green fees in the $200 price range, you are paying top dollar. In "Vegas" dollars however, you are certainly getting your
moneys worth. This is a great course to experience at least once - and is highly recommended for corporate outings and events. If you are in town for a
convention or business purposes, this is one of the best options in the valley. Book it and Impress!
View the Two Guys Who Golf Detailed Listing Page for this course with a link to its website (if available): click here