The Wynn Golf Club is Closing. Are You Surprised?

with 14 Comments
Stories are circulating that the Wynn Golf Club will shut it down by the end of the year or even summer. Here’s my take/rant:

 

It’s a phrase that brings sadness to the hearts of golfers all over the world

NO LONGER OPEN FOR BUSINESS

 

For me, it has ringed true on several instances. The Falls and Reflection Bay out at Lake Las Vegas (thankfully Reflection Bay has made a decent return to the Vegas Golf Scene), Craig Ranch which was a hackers paradise is now a large park, a 100 % upgrade in my opinion. Most recently the iconic Desert Rose (easy now I grew up on the East side of Vegas, so that’s as iconic as it got for us) shut its doors. For Desert Rose, it was to be revamped and reconstructed to become the new KemperSports ran The Club at Sunrise so in that instance it’s a blessing to all of those who made “The Ditch” home for many, many years.



Not all closures have happy endings, though. With the recent news about My Wynn’s plan to shut down the Wynn Golf Club for good, a parcel of land on the Las Vegas Strip, which has an incredible history only to be scarred by overthinking, is going down in typical Vegas fashion. Destined to be plowed and filled with what will eventually become “Wynn Lake” or whatever self-serving disaster name befalls it, the former home to the legendary Desert Inn Golf and Country Club will no longer be as renowned in this bloggers mind.

Wynn Golf Club

 

That may be harsh, but if I’m going to be completely honest, I really could care less about the Wynn Golf Club. For years I’ve pondered the idea of shelling out ridiculous amounts of cash just to say “Yeah, I’ve played it.” But never could I bring myself to pulling the trigger.

But to toss out all the glorious fairways and lush surroundings that catapult you away from the Vegas lure of the gaming to an insane idea of the filling the property a resource that’s not exactly available in mass quantities out here in the desert is even more unreasonable than the $500 price tag they insist is value worthy.

My resentment for the Wynn machine started years ago when he demolished a fantastic golf course with a rich history for no other reason other than it was old. Vegas hasn’t been here for very long, and most of the truly legendary icons of Las Vegas have been imploded in firework spectaculars as the beautiful memories drift away in the night sky as ash and sadness. I didn’t think there was anything wrong with the old course and because it hindered the construction of the Wynn Resort, it had to go.

It’s a pattern this city has taken on too often.

 

I was lucky enough to play the Desert Inn Golf Club before they shut it down. My one prized piece of memorabilia from the course was a customized bag tag. I say “was” because some ass hole of a club attendant at a course here in town decided it was more valuable to him than me and they stole it. See, Ass Hole!! That was entirely my fault, though, I should have never had it on my bag in the first place, but I was proud to have it on my bag.

I had a friend of a friend get myself and a few of my buddies out on two separate occasions for a couple of incredible rounds of golf. I was such an amazing and fantastic course, clearly the best I had ever been on at the time, I only wish camera phones and social media was alive and well back then because the only memories I have are in my head and considering that was in my early 20’s you can say “foggy” is pretty good representation of the events.

Regardless of my lack of mental recognition it was two of the most memorable rounds of golf I played as I was falling in love with the game of golf.

wynn golf club

Back then, the historical nature wasn’t as important to me as it is now. Maybe that’s the fuel to my disgust for what’s happening. Greed killed the DI and it’s sad to have watched it happen.

So what went wrong with the Wynn?

I think it was just a bad spot for premium golf resort. Take for instance a place like Bandon Dunes where you can play, debatably, the best public course in America (Pacific Dunes) for less than the Wynn. It’s in a somewhat remote location, there’s not a line of 200 cabs waiting to hustle you over to one of a hundred different hotels and casinos. It’s an adventure just to get to Bandon let alone play the courses. Not only is the golf unbelievable but the area of the country is gorgeous, there’s multiple courses on the property to experience and you leave there with a lifetime of memories.

Pacific Dunes
Beats Wynn in every aspect of the game in my opion

 

Compare that to Vegas where there’s 60 courses in the valley ranging from $75-$500 who all cater to the tourist. The Wynn’s problem wasn’t and isn’t the golf course, it’s where the golf course is. There’s simply too much competition and unless your course is named Shadow Creek there’s just too many non-exclusive courses in this valley to justify a $500 round of golf when you could spend half that, have just a good a time playing and have an extra $300 in your pocket for the club or the tables.

wynn golf club

Exclusive golf is just that exclusive and as much as I believe the Wynn Golf Club wanted to be that type of club it was never going to happen. Wynn destroyed history and a wonderful golf course that could still be here today if not for his own greed and overthinking of the game.

As much as I resent what took place from the DI to the Wynn to the current news the golfer in me still wants to play the course just to have that pin in my hat so to speak. Unfortunately I don’t see it happening. With my Cabot trip coming up in just over two month my golf budget has been stretched to the brink for 2016. With the likely scenario of me not playing the course the good news is my list of course I haven’t played in Vegas just shrunk by one ha ha, but with the debut of The Summit next year I’ll be right back where I was. Fazio lives.

Have an opinion of the rise and fall of the Wynn golf course and the future Lake Wynn? Leave a comment below and let’s discuss!

Follow Mathew Wangrycht:

Writer and founder of the golf blog The Breakfast Ball. My wife will tell you I'm obsessed with the game, she's right! It's that obsession which drives me to become a better player and make this site enjoyable for everyone.

14 Responses

  1. Jules Lieff
    | Reply

    My FIRST round of golf was played at the Wynn, four years ago!

    I didn’t understand the gravity of it all at the time and was just worried I would shank.

    I had been introduced to the game by an ex, and had only been to the driving range a handful of times at that point.

    It was in May, the rates had fallen to I believe $250 a round – and that included a caddy, bag tag, free drinks, food and use of the club house after.

    There may have been a shop discount for clothing and gear as well.

    They set me up with a caddy, Moses, who was approximately my height and also had similar athletic experience (gymnastics). He was able to line up every shot, and talk me out of my own head on numerous occasions.

    The course was completely vacant – it was a 6am tee time (to us is 9am), and by the end of the round it was indeed getting pretty steamy out there.

    At the end of the round, I had a SECOND bag tag waiting for me.

    You see, I was registered as “Julie” as a hotel guest, but everyone calls me “Jules”.

    MOSES picked up on this, and at some point, contacted the club house, who engraved a new tag for me.

    The place was class act from beginning to end – and that’s the biggest shame of all.

    It seems in a world where manners, style, ettiquette and grace are becoming obsolete, so must the beautiful relics that embody those sentiments.

    The course? It was immaculate – I’ll never forget it to this day.

    I’m not one for pictures, but a few were taken without my knowledge and I’m so happy to have those memories.

    Today, Moses texted me to tell me the news. We have stayed connected on social media.

    I was shocked but not really.

    I’ve been mildly obsessed with the closure since I heard and might consider a weekend trip down just to have a final and proper goodbye.

    I’ve played other fun courses in the area, but I’d sure love one last round at the Wynn.

    If you haven’t played it – you should.
    I know it’s expensive, extravagant and Steve Wynn doesn’t need any more money from you… but the experience itself not to be missed.

    • Mathew Wangrycht
      | Reply

      Beautifly said, Jules. I’m so glad you’re able to have a lasting memory of the course.

      How you feel is very similar to how I thought about the Desert Inn CC before Mr. Wynn got his hands on the property.

      I appreciate you taking the time to leave a comment. Hopefully some of the other articles we’ve written here can earn some of your thoughts as well!

      Mathew

  2. Dan Roth
    | Reply

    Still here!!!!!!!!, Get your facts straight pal……….. Just curious, have you ever drank a bottle of Dom? rented a luxury car when you only needed an economy? The point is not whether or not its worth it. It all about making memories. This place does that, the whole town does that to some extent. That’s what most people never really understand about the city in general.

  3. john
    | Reply

    I agree with Ian. It’s not a value. But it is an awesome experience. I played it in August so it was $350. 6AM to 10 AM. I have played Shadow and Cascata too, and like Wynn almost as much as Shadow Creek. The sage and lavender and trees are spectacular at Wynn. The holes have a lot of character and beauty and it is a damn shame to close it down. They treated me like royalty and made the experience memorable.

  4. Ian
    | Reply

    Well I’m just flying out of Vegas having heard earlier this week that Wynn is closing. I’ve played the course a few times over the last 10 years, and disregarding the cost for a moment, the course is spectacular – sensational condition that you will struggle to find outside of PGA tour golf. Greens are fantastically true and a tough test with huge undulations on some. Plenty of elevation change which is amazing for a flat but of earth as a canvas. $500 basically buys you millionaires golf – i.e. no other players in sight – and a memorable experience. I’ve played Pebble as well, you can’t really compare the two of course, but Wynn stands on its own as a fine golf course and tough challenge. A real shame to bulldoze it IMHO.

  5. jeremy
    | Reply

    Played many tracks out there in 2014. Could not justify Wynn. However played Cascata( Awesome experience)…For the money I thought Conestoga was the best deal by far!!! Also if you can drop the $195 play Dragon Ridge if you can get on!!! Spectacular. I played Coyote Springs, Wolf Creek, Wolf at Pauite, TPC Vegas, Rio Secco, Dragon Ridge, Cascata and Conestoga!! Vegas golf was Awesome. While Wolf Creek was Spectacular to look at…. It was in uncharacteristic shape and I thought it was more amusement park golf..

    • Mathew Wangrycht
      | Reply

      I agree, Cascata is a fantastic golf course and an amazing experiece!

      Thanks for the comment Jeremy!

  6. Steven
    | Reply

    I had not heard this news. I am not from Vegas, but I 100% agree with the assessment. The couple times I was in town with an opportunity to play golf, I couldn’t find it in me to pay $500 for a round. That is the same or more than Pebble, and while it looks nice, Wynn is not Pebble. I didn’t know enough about Vegas golf, so I am sure I didn’t play the best courses. However, I really enjoyed playing TPC Vegas and then renting a car and driving to Wolf Creek. Those are significantly more affordable.

    • Mathew Wangrycht
      | Reply

      Thanks for the comment Steven and I agree with you completely. I never could bring myself to pay that price when there is so many great courses in the Vegas valley and the surrounding areas. Let me know next time you’re in Vegas and I’ll give you a few other suggestions on courses you shouldn’t miss while here.

  7. Jason
    | Reply

    It’s hard to spend $500 on a course with little to no history or significance to its design. I’ve been there many times and many times have contemplated playing it, but have never been interested enough to drop the cash for it.

    Alternatively, at some point I know I’ll spend the money and finally play Shadow Creek, but with Wynn I never saw the point…and I’ve been known to spend a lot of money on the right course.

    • Mathew Wangrycht
      | Reply

      I feel the same way Jason. Shadow on the other hand, in my opinion, is completely worth it. Even though I stunk up the course it was an amazing day I’ll never forget.

  8. MadisonGolfbum
    | Reply

    such a waste. The old DI was a fine course- ripped up and rebuilt at exactly the wrong time when golf was not growing.

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