Es­sen­tial tracks from Las Ve­gas to Shrop­shire.

Golf World (UK) - - CONTENTS - www.shad­

On No­vem­ber 23, the eyes of the world will be trained on a large stretch of green space in the Nevada desert. In a chal­lenge match a decade too late, Tiger Woods and Phil Mick­el­son will go head to head at Shadow Creek, Las Ve­gas.

For a $9m show­piece event, it’s an en­tirely fit­ting lo­ca­tion. Cre­ated back in the 1990s, the Tom Fazio track was, and re­mains, a play­ground for the rich and fa­mous, the likes of Michael Jor­dan, Wayne Gret­zky and oth­ers of their ilk.

Upon open­ing in 1989,

Shadow Creek was Sin City’s hottest golf ticket – a $1,000 green fee ticket. The buzz has some­what abated and the green fee been slashed in half, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to get on. Tech­ni­cally a pub­lic course, there are still hoops to be ne­go­ti­ated be­fore you can tee it up. Most no­tably, you must be a res­i­dent at an MGM re­sort, while tee time avail­abil­ity at week­ends is usu­ally tied to how much you’re throw­ing down at the re­sort’s casi­nos. Tick enough boxes, stump up the $500 tee time and you can ex­pect to be picked up from your re­sort and de­liv­ered at the door of Shadow Creek by pri­vate limou­sine, a per­sonal cad­die on hand to greet and guide you through your round.

Once in and on, Shadow Creek is as much about the set­ting as the course. Dug from the desert on an awe-in­spir­ing scale, the rolling ter­rain runs through thou­sands of im­ported pines, cut through by creeks and dot­ted with lakes. An ode to man-made ex­cess, it’s good enough to fea­ture in the top 25 cour­ses of the world by most US rank­ings, and to host The Match on No­vem­ber 23.

Whether it’s worth the 500 big ones and more de­pends largely on how high you roll.

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