On October 11, 2019, Wynn Resort began offering something special for every Las Vegas-bound air passenger lucky enough to choose a window seat. For the first time since 2000, passengers observing the Vegas skyline witnessed an 18-hole championship golf course on The Strip…. all compliments of Wynn.
After a mega-investment and a meticulous two-year construction process, it seems fitting that the 6,700-yard Wynn Golf Club opened in grand style on a sunny, 72-degree day. With perfect conditions and excitement in the air, you could almost feel Frank, Dino, and Sammy smiling up in heaven. Las Vegas’ most high-end hotel left nothing to chance as it set the stage for its 129-acre golf main event.
Wynn chose golf architect Tom Fazio and his son Logan to reimagine what a modern-day golf heaven feels like, especially in a gambling mecca that reinvented the art of one-upmanship. The drum roll leading to the first tee box includes walking inside the Wynn’s glittering array of two spas, 19 restaurants, 50 retail shops, and convention space the size of Texas.
Wynn Golf 2.0
Upon checking in with your tee time, a clubhouse attendant leads you through a posh locker room equipped with all the Vegas-style trappings. For those seeking a little side action, this spare-no-expense locker room features four big-screen televisions that are directly tied to Wynn’s Race and Sports Book. Can you say, “I’m all in?”
Once you step outside, that’s when the Fazio team’s expertise is on display in all its world-class golf glory. The first tee is a newcomer’s baptism to the sights, sounds, and energy that is Viva Las Vegas. Here is where you’re reminded that the Wynn Golf Club owns a return address that reads Las Vegas Strip.
If you haven’t already heard, return address is literal because you’re playing on what Director of Golf Brian Hawthorne refers to as Wynn Golf 2.0. That’s because the first Wynn Golf Course passed quietly back in 2017. It didn’t take CEO Matt Maddox long to realize that gamblers who golf were choosing another hotel. This realization spurred Maddox to reach out to Hawthorne and inquire if he was interested in returning to the best job he’d ever had.
Golf on The Strip – Back Where It Belongs
Hawthorne quickly reconnected with many former key employees and shared that Wynn Golf was coming back, this time on The Strip. On the Wynn Golf grand opening day, several caddies were caught beaming while doing their best “I’m baaack,” Arnold Schwarzenegger impression.
Golf insiders are saying that Wynn Golf Course is better than ever. When asked what he drew upon for his Wynn encore, Fazio shared a favorite piece of golf architecture philosophy. “There are no rules in course design, and there are endless possibilities. That flexibility is what makes what I do fun. We had all that and more at Wynn,” Fazio said.
On the Vegas hold-em side of the equation, Fazio retained and enhanced 10 of the former golf holes. On eight of the holes, Fazio doubled down and created something new that feels like an outdoor theater in the round.
A Rock Star Golf Environment
For those seeking a one-of-a-kind golf experience, imagine being surrounded by some of the world’s most famous skyscraper hotels. These architectural icons stand amidst the Vegas sky and watch to see if you’ve brought your A-game. On grand opening day, just beyond the first green and second tee box, a five-story vertical banner of Rod Stewart stands larger than life. Only in Vegas, baby.
Golfers who appreciate the sheer environmental beauty of golf will note that Fazio’s design revs it up a notch when it comes to Wynn’s six-pack of Par 3s. Each Par 3 tee shot challenges players to acknowledge an artistic mix that is equal parts exquisite conditions, picturesque water, abundant sand, and a canopy of Vegas skyline.
If camaraderie is your favorite golf intangible, perhaps your caddy will share a story or two on the golfers who came before you. The previous Wynn Golf Course was a favorite for princes, sports celebs, and titans of industry. The new Wynn Golf 2.0 is certain to also intrigue an international golfing clientele curious to experience the first course positioned on The Strip in 20 years.
The Big Finish – As Good as it Gets
The best Las Vegas entertainers are all about finishing strong and giving their audience a reason to come back. The drama, visuals, and memories surging from the first 17 holes culminate with a closing hole that is as good as it gets.
Fazio changed the 18th from a Par 4 to a Par 3. Today’s 18th hole is a formidable 200-plus yards that features a 100-foot-wide waterfall framing the green. With water embracing the entire left side and sand on the front left and back right, golfers have a lot to think about. In a city where the headliners leave fans wanting for more, Fazio’s closing number is worthy of a Par 3 standing ovation.
As your plane soars back home from McCarran International Airport, you peek outside and notice something fairway green just below the clear blue Vegas sky. Today you’re thankful for at least two things: You’re grateful that Wynn Resort brought golf back to the Las Vegas Strip. You are also humbled by the childlike thrill that comes whenever you choose a window seat. www.wynnlasvegas.com/experiences/golf
Story By Tim Cotroneo