The Nevada desert is a place of great fascination, in which nature shows its wildest and most inhospitable side. Not exactly the right place in which to play golf, it would seem. Against all odds and against all logic, however, there is someone who has succeeded in the feat. More: that he managed to recreate a grass golf course in the middle of the desert.
The name of the course is Shadow Creek and it is one of the greatest feats ever accomplished in the world of golf.
Green meadows in the middle of the Nevada desert
The Nevada desert is home to the city of excess par excellence, namely Las Vegas. Shadow Creek is located not far from here, waiting for the many golf addicts who visit Toy Town each year. What’s a golf course doing in the middle of the desert, though?
Let’s jump back to the late 1980s, when Steve Wynn decided to build a private golf course. Not far from the court will be his home, so he can come down to give the ball a couple of shots whenever he feels like it. To fulfill this desire of his, he decides to do something simple and undemanding. Something like a golf course designed by Tom Fazio, one of the best designers in the world.
Tom Fazio aligns with Steve Wynn’s desire for simplicity, designing something in the style ofAugusta National or Pine Valley, with huge expanses of grass surrounded by lush forests. In the middle of the Nevada desert. We don’t know if anyone pointed this out to the two, but it doesn’t matter: the project continues.
How was this possible?
One does not have to be a world-renowned architect to notice the critical issues in the design:
Grass and trees need water;
In the desert, water is scarce.
Once this negligible problem is solved, everything else is almost downhill. Wynn then has the course of some of the rivers in the area shifted so that they cross the land chosen to raise this huge oasis in the desert. This operation alone costs millions of dollars. And it’s not over yet.
Fazio’s design calls for the golf course to be practically carved into the desert rock, so as to change its conformation. After that, the designer arranges for tons of fertile topsoil to be transported, in which to sow acres of grass. In the immediately surrounding areas, he has thousands of non-native trees such as pines and willows transplanted.
Grass and woods in the middle of the desert are too little. Steve Wynn desires a field that truly resembles a fairy tale town, that is an ode to life, to the fruitfulness of the earth. Streams, waterfalls, small lakes inwhich fish and swans swim then arise. Nature flourishes in the middle of the desert.
It is no wonder that Shadow Creek is still
one of the most expensive golf courses ever built
Not just bizarreness
Are we sure that Shadow Creek’s only merit is not precisely its strangeness? Is there anything else to say about it beyond the story of its birth?
Being the first golf course to rise in the desert, as well as the most spectacular, is certainly Shadow Creek’s great strength. In addition to this, however, those who have played there speak of an outstanding field in terms of play as well. Greens, fairways and bunkers are all kept in excellent condition, a symptom of constant maintenance. Some complain about the greens being a little too slow, but nothing else.
Such a distinctive golf course deserves equal treatment for its guests. Here, then, Shadow Creek is also noted for its impeccable service, made up of limousines picking you up from the hotel and delicacies enjoyed during the break at the 9th hole.
In short, an exceptional experience at a golf course that should not have even existed.
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