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Golfing in Las Vegas

Although casinos, gambling and spectacular stage shows dominate entertainment in Las Vegas, it is easy to understand why golf, with its reputation as the sport of the rich and famous, is very much in evidence throughout the city. This benefits all golfers, however modest, who vacation here and golf courses exist for every skill level and budget.

There are currently 26 operating courses and almost that many more planned to open in the next 2 to 3 years. The courses escalate from municipal level, with greens fees in the $10 to $20 range, up to resort courses charging $165 per round, (room included of course). What follows are a sampling of the great golfing experiences available in Las Vegas awaiting the professional and amateur alike.

The Sheraton Desert Inn boasts the only 18 hole course actually on the strip. It has undergone a recent renovation with the addition of 18 new greens and an 11,000-square-foot putting green. A 7,066 yard, par 72 course covering 130 acres, its long fairways are dotted with lakes and waterfalls. Some say it is one of Americaís most exacting courses. Rates are $100 per person Monday-Thursday and $125 Friday-Sunday. The rates include green fees, golf carts and practice balls. Guests staying at the Sheraton Desert Inn receive preference for tee times. Sheraton Desert Inn (702) 733-4444 or (800) 634-6906 / Fax (702) 733-4676

Another recent up-grade occurred when the Las Vegas Hilton acquired the Sahara Country Club and renamed it the Los Vegas Hilton Country Club. Now a par-71, 6,815 yard course, it hosted the Las Vegas Invitational last October. A $1 million renovation of the course, including the facilities, is being undertaken by the California based American Golf Corporation in partnership with the hotel. The Las Vegas Hilton offers one-and two-day golf packages of $165 and $240 respectively and the price includes a one- or two-night room stay. Las Vegas Hilton: (702) 732-5111 or (800) 732-7117 / Fax (702) 732-5249

Angel Park is a favorite course with the casino crowd and stays open all night with an illuminated driving range, putting green and a par 3 course known as Cloud Nine. The 18 hole course is $110 for a round which drops to $75 four hours before dark. The fee for Cloud Nine is $20 and tee times may be reserved in advance with a credit card. Angel Park: (702) 254-4653

Of the numerous municipal courses available, the Las Vegas Golf Club gets more play than any other course in the city. Itís great for recreational golfers, with open fairways and few enough obstacles to keep play moving swiftly. The course is par 72, 6,631 yards. Fees range from $20.75 for non-residents down to $6.75 for seniors who are also residents and 18 or 9 holes may be played. Golf carts rent for $17.00, with clubs priced at $16. Tee times are in great demand so keep that in mind when planning your round. Las Vegas Golf Club: (702) 646-3003

For those living in Los Angeles a new course is being developed at Stateline on the California Nevada border. Primadonna Resorts will build a $22.5 million, 460 acre course in this town just 35 miles southwest of the LV and it will be open by the fall of 1996.

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