LVN is also remembered as a favorite hangout for members of the Rat Pack back in their day. Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Peter Lawford, Joey Bishop and Sammy Davis Jr. gathered around the piano, entertaining guests with songs and stories following a late day match on the storied links. It is the stuff of legends during the early Las Vegas boom days.
LVN was also famous for the role it played in the 1995 movie Casino, starring Robert DeNiro, Sharon Stone and Joe Pesci. The house used in the movie sits to the left of the No. 1 tee box.
But history aside, the golf course stands the test of time all by itself. LVN is a traditional, oasis styled golf course with thousands of trees, which places a premium on accuracy off the tee. The course features fairways that meander in the shadows of proud palm trees and elevated greens that are guarded by deep, yawning bunkers. It is truly a parkland-style layout far different from most of the golf offerings of the desert region.
The course opens and closes with a pair of challenging par 5’s, and features five par 3’s that will test your iron game. The 18th is one of the best finishing holes in Las Vegas. Appropriately named “Casino,” this risk-reward hole doglegs right around two lakes, setting up the choice of playing it safe with your second shot, or going for broke to a three-tiered, well-bunkered green.
Las Vegas National remains one of the region’s most popular courses, but there was a period during which that popularity was tested. As newer courses began popping up around town, Las Vegas National slipped into the background, and course conditions suffered. Then in 2010, ownership made what proved to be a facility-saving decision.
Pro Turf International was called in to take over all golf course maintenance aspects at Las Vegas National.
“When we took over the maintenance the course was in really bad shape,” said Bumpus. “About 50 percent of the golf course was dirt. There were a lot of problems.”
Las Vegas National General Manager Coy Wood agreed.
“When they took over, about the only thing that was green and growing were weeds,” said Wood. “The saying was, ‘don’t spray weeds because that’s all we got.’
“Now, the course is in beautiful shape, and we’ve received a lot of positive reviews. PTI has done a great job turning it around.”
PTI continues to tackle several other projects to enhance the overall experience at Las Vegas National. The end result is this: Las Vegas National has been repositioned to the lofty heights it enjoyed in its glory days.
And on Monday April 12, some of the top golfers in the world will see just why.
ABOUT PRO TURF INTERNATIONAL
PTI is a Las Vegas-based, family owned construction, landscape and golf maintenance company with over 30 years of hands-on experience in the Southwest. They proudly serve the golf, sports and landscape industry to enhance quality and improve conditions in a safe, environmentally friendly manner. For more information call (702) 315-5121, or visit www.ptigolf.com.
ABOUT LAS VEGAS NATIONAL
Las Vegas National Golf Club, located less than 10 minutes from the world famous Las Vegas Strip, is a classic and traditional style 18-hole championship golf course that provides golfers of all skill levels with a unique challenge. The par 71-course features thousands of trees, well positioned sand bunkers and a few water hazards that protect lush fairways and manicured greens.
“The National”, designed in 1961 by architect Bert Stamps, has a rich history to say the least. The course hosted a number of LPGA & PGA events including the Tournament of Champions, Sahara Invitational and the Las Vegas Invitational, and was the site of Tiger Woods’ first professional victory.
During the 1960’s, The National played host to the big names of the Strip. The Rat Pack frequently played golf then spent time in the bar, entertaining around the piano. For more information about Las Vegas National visit www.lasvegasnational.com.