Insider Info: Great tips for planning the perfect golf trip to Las Vegas, Nevada

Angel Park
Dick Durrance
Angel Park features two Arnold Palmer-designed 18s, a short course and a putting course.

Insider Info
* Given the price of cab fares -- and multiple cabs -- and the hassle of rental cars in this traffic-choked city, OB Sports Golf Management's shuttles and vans that take groups from Strip hotels right to its area courses (Angel Park, The Legacy and Stallion Mountain) are worth looking into. If your group has four or more golfers paying the resort green fee, than the transportation is complimentary.

* Speaking of Angel Park Golf Club (angelpark.com), it is the most versatile facility in town, with two mostly affordable, reasonably challenging Arnold Palmer-designed 18s, along with the Cloud Nine Short Course and a nine-hole, all-grass putting course, both of which are lighted for night play.

* There may not be clocks in casinos, but when you play out here can save you enough money for a few hands of blackjack. Take Bear's Best, where tee times from March 10-May 24 between 6 a.m. and 8 a.m. are $80 less than those during the following four hours. Or TPC Las Vegas, where a weekday or weekend tee time in March, April and May from 2 p.m. on is $90 less than one between 8 a.m. and 11:50 a.m.

* If you are a sports junkie, plan your trip out here around a major sporting event like the Super Bowl, any Sunday during the NFL season, or NCAA March Madness. Then get to a casino sports book (especially those at the Mirage, Bellagio and SouthPoint) early to secure a prime seat in front of wall of televisions showing all the action.

Then watch grown men (and more than a few women) cry, curse and scream with joy when their bets pay off. Or when they don't.

From the Expert
"Most people would say that the best time to golf Las Vegas is March through May because of the great spring weather, but with that also comes the highest rates of the year.

"October is actually one of the most ideal months for golf as the weather is perfect, the rates are reasonable, and the courses are probably in their best playing conditions as they are just coming off overseeding.

"The only thing to be cautious of during this time is many courses have a cart path-only policy for several weeks after the overseeding process." -- Adam Lieberman, The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas Concierge Supervisor

Top 100 Teacher Tip
Wind is a constant presence on Las Vegas area courses, but especially during the spring. Here are a few quick tips to keep your score from ballooning.

1) Slow down your swing (except for drives being hit downwind). More speed equals a higher flight and more spin, which allows the wind to gain control of the ball.

2) When hitting into the wind, take a lot more club and swing easy. Sweep the ball more, with your hands a little more ahead of the ball. Both of these also keep the ball flight lower.

3) If reasonable, keep your approach on the downwind side of the green. Hitting a putt into the wind is much easier. If there is trouble on the downwind side, ignore this idea.

While challenging, if you don't fight the wind, you can get a respectable score. -- Mike Davis, PGA Master Professional and GOLF Magazine Top 100 Teacher, is based at the Walters Golf Academy (waltersgolf.com)

Top 100 Teachers: Need a lesson from one of the country's best teachers while in Las Vegas? Then contact these Golf Magazine Top 100 Teachers:

Mike Davis at the Walters Golf Academy (702-450-8159, golfmd@cox.net) or Butch Harmon Jr. at the Butch Harmon School of Golf in Henderson (888-867-3226, info@butchharmon.com).

GolfTEC: If you have downloaded the My Pro To Go app (myprotogo.com) and want an in-person swing consultation, or just need a tune-up before starting your first round here, head to GolfTEC's Las Vegas locations at Dragon Ridge Country Club (702-834-6370) or in Henderson (1570 Horizon Ridge Parkway, 702-834-6370).

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