Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2003 | 9:39 a.m.
Peter Benton's golf column appears Wednesday.
The new North Las Vegas Aliante Golf Club opened its doors last week to rave reviews -- as well it should have -- because it truly is a gorgeous gem of a course.
Designed by award-winning course architect Gary Panks of Scottsdale, Ariz., this 7,022-yard, par-72 layout is a most welcome addition to the valley. Panks, a landscape architect with a love for golf, has combined those passions to design some of the nation's finest courses, with Aliante being his first venture in our fair city.
The course is highlighted by numerous water features, generous landing areas and the strategic use of trees that are not commonly found on most desert courses, such as Pear and Purple Locust. As a matter interest, 3,500 trees were planted, and rest assured, once these rascals are mature they will play havoc with any errant shot. Additionally, 400,000 assorted shrubs surround the rolling, undulating fairways.
True to his design philosophy, Panks has once again fashioned a golf course that will challenge the low handicapper to use every club in his bag, while still providing a most enjoyable experience for the higher handicap player.
The presence of meandering, stone-filled flood canals that come into play on 14 holes are, to say the least, very interesting. Be forewarned that they will eagerly devour any wayward shot and accordingly spell doom for par.
Although not inundated with many fairway bunkers, the greenside sand traps are tantamount to diabolical and offer a stern challenge -- which of course is the primary objective. The generous greens, as with any new course are firm, but these offer some incredibly subtle breaks. Take it from me, endeavor at all times to place your approach shots below the hole.
Aliante is a 1,905-acre master planned community being developed in the City of North Las Vegas by North Valley Enterprises, LLC, an affiliate of American Nevada Co. and Del Webb Communities Inc. The master plan incorporates residential, commercial, recreational and public uses designed to complement the lifestyles of its residents.
As this course (like Angel Park, The Legacy and the Oasis Golf Club in Mesquite) is managed by OB Sports, their OB Sports Golf Card is available.
Now through Dec. 31, 2004, the cards cost of $250 allows the purchaser to play any of the above layouts at greatly reduced green fees. Until May 31 they are $50 weekdays and $55 on weekends; June 1 through to Sept. 15, $35 all week; and from Sept. 16 until Dec. 31, 2004, $50 weekdays and $55 weekends. (There are of course many other privileges included).
Charles Hardy, formerly of Dragon Ridge, is Head Golf Professional, while Director of Golf Operations is the well-known Andy Deiro. Either of these two gents would welcome any inquiries, be it for tee times, general information, or questions regarding the OB Sports Golf Card. Contact them at Aliante, (702) 399-4888.
Just to let you know that Aliante is no pushover, the pairing of Patrick Duty (Tuscany) and Greg Allbright, visiting from Idaho, won with a 4-under, 68. Brad Durr (The Falls) and partner Steve McPherson (Dragon Ridge) followed at 69, while in third place with 70 went to Andy Deiro (Aliante) and Bill Metcalfe (Stallion Mountain).
On Tuesday, local media had the pleasure of checking the place out, and winning their scramble event was Larry McGovern, Sue May, John Overall and David Bogue with a wonderful score of 60. Tom Carroll, along with Robert Paravia and Liz Carroll were close behind in second spot at 61, while Bill Bowman and his team of Mike Morwick, Lance Ringler and Mike Skenandor were third with 67.
Liz Carroll won the longest drive competition plus also won closest-to-the-pin honors on the sixth hole, John Overall did likewise on the 15th and garnering the glory on the fourth hole was Robert Paravia.