Essential tracks from Las Vegas to Shropshire.
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.