Out here on the RGV Tour, you need to get used to rubbing shoulders with big time stars. One of the places that I like to hang out with legends of the game is at Silverleaf in Scottsdale. It is important to remember that when Steve Elkington is playing in the group behind yours, you don’t want to make a scene. Yelling “YOOO ELKDOG!” from the next fairway over is entirely inappropriate. Also, keep in mind that when dining next to Steve, it is frowned upon to ask for an autograph on your bare chest at the dinner table. Having him sign your scorecard because you just shot 85 won’t get you anywhere either.
After keeping things cool at Silverleaf, it was time to slide on over to Dinosaur Mountain. I had never heard of the course before Mark Hurley invited me to play, but I will golf anything having to do with Dinosaurs. It turns out that Dinosaur Mountain is a pretty good little course even though we saw no Stegosauruses or Triceratops.
Next up was an engagement at Wild Fire with Jeff Gibson. Jeff has a weekly skins game with a rowdy bunch of guys and we had Woody and Eric join the golf party in our group. With a dozen players firing at flags all day, eagles needed to be made. After missing a short eagle putt on #9, I had the taste of eagle blood on my tongue. I would quench my eagle thirst on #11 and cover my greens fee for the day. Afterwards, Jeff and his wife took me out for some pizza at Greyhawk and invited the RGV Tour post up in front of their house for the evening. The RGV Tour runs into some of the most generous and inviting golfers in the country!
My friend, Chelsea Pezzola, is a Scottsdale resident and she had made her initial appearance on The RGV Tour back in the month of March. Highlights included the very first speed golf round on the RGV Tour podcast and a ‘Club RGV’ dance party. Now, the tour allows for very few two-time tour players, but based on the strength of her initial showing, I was willing to make an exception for Miss Chelsea P. This time the return appearance would be made at one of the Arizona’s best golf courses, Estancia.
Next up on The RGV Tour we had our very first Sports Illustrated Swimsuit model. When I had originally created the tour, most people believed that we would have lines of SI swimsuit models waiting outside the door in every city. However, Paige Spiranac was the first swimsuit model to actually step foot into the RGV. In the photo below, you will notice that swimsuit models do not actually golf in their swimsuits all of the time. You will have to head on over here for that type of stuff.
The podcast with Paige was a fun one to do and I would highly recommend giving it a listen. The conversation we had reminded me of the last time Paige and I played golf back in 2015. The highlight of that event was a model off held in the 18th fairway of Pebble Beach. Naturally, I went back to tally the votes over the past 3 years. What I found was that I had lost the model off 1,023 votes to 11. Ridiculous.
Since my modeling chops have improved drastically over the past 3 years, a rematch was in order. This time the story would be much different. The official vote took place on my Instagram Story and I would win 55% of the votes with a final tally of 741 to 609. Paige also held a vote on her own Instagram Story, but since the 1.3 million votes she received there only served as a tie breaker, they will not be counted. Better luck next time, Paige.
Next up on the tour, we had Randall Smalley from Golf As Religion joining Chelsea Pezzola and I at Mesa Country Club. The club is a traditional gem, Randall is a gem of a golf partner and Chelsea P is gem of a golf babe. We easily had a gem of a time. All precious stones aside, MCC is a serious fun place to play.
After one final spirited round at TPC Scottsdale’s Champions course, it was time to head on out of town for some Las Vegas action. For those that make the weary drive from Phoenix to Sin City, there is one only damn stop that needs to be made… The damn Hoover Dam stop.
Once I arrived in Las Vegas, I headed straight on over to Las Vegas Country Club. LVCC has a great classic feel to it. Back in 1967, Dean Martin and his friends played the club on a daily basis. Las Vegas Country Club’s first head professional, Arthur Nightingale, said he should have called them, "the Awesome Sixsome.” From entertainment legends to mobsters, the course has some serious history. In 1983, the club hosted The Panasonic Las Vegas International and the first ever $1 million purse in PGA history. In 2018 it hosted the RGV Tour.
It won’t take you long to realize why they call it Reflection Bay when arriving at the next golf course on the schedule. Reflection Bay is a fun Nickluas design that has some great golf holes right along the water.
My golf game was on that morning and I stood in the fairway of 18 with a chance to break 70. However, I did have to hole out my wedge from 120. As my golf shot bounced right in front of the hole only five feet away, there was a moment where I though I might actually pull of the feat. Moments later, it was clear that I would still need a tap in for my 70… Just 1 shot shy of greatness and equaling my tour best round of 69..
Even though Wolf Creek isn’t technically in the Las Vegas area, I am including it here because it should be included on any golf trip to the Vegas area. The course is only about an hour or so drive from the strip and nobody has ever complained about indulging in the Wolf Creek experience. Just get in your rental car and go.
The course is not going to hold a candle to the Winged Foot’s of the world but it will rival the experience at your local Six Flags amusement park. From the very first hole, you are in for a golf roller coaster fun ride. Just make sure to register your expectations accordingly.
Another one of my favorite’s in the Las Vegas area is Coyote Springs. The course is a about an hour from Las Vegas and is out there all by itself. A large scale development is in the works for the property, but right now it’s nothing but golf. A perfect time to see it before the houses ruin the golf vibes.
With just one day left in Las Vegas, it was time to finish things up right with a day of 36 at Paiute Golf Club. The only problem… they have 54 golf holes at Paiute and we were gonna have to leave one out. We decided to play the Sun and the Snow courses and leave the Wolf course feeling jealous. All courses are designed by the legendary Pete Dye and are some of the best when it comes to public golf in the Las Vegas area.