Back from the dead: Lavish Wynn Golf Club boasts more than just an expensive tee time

October 13, 2019
A view of the par-3 18th hole at Wynn Golf Club.

What happens in Vegas doesn’t have to stay in Vegas. If you play a round at the newly remade Wynn Golf Club, which opened to the public this past weekend, feel free to tell your friends back home that you just indulged in one of the country’s most expensive tee times, at $550 a pop. While you’re busy boasting, here are seven other fun facts you might share.

1. It’s a strip tease

With its rebirth, the Wynn rejoins Shadow Creek ($600) and Cascata ($399) in the battle for the city’s high-roller golf market. And it does so with convenience as a calling card. As the lone resort course on the Strip, it’s the only spot in town where you can roll out of your penthouse suite, ride the elevator to the ground floor and stroll directly to the first tee.

2. It was going to be a water palace

Nearly two years ago, when then-CEO Steve Wynn closed the course, blueprints were in place to transform the site into Wynn Paradise Park, a lavish aquatic playland. But Wynn wound up resigning amid sexual misconduct allegations (he no longer has any involvement with the property), and the new brass determined that a pristine golf course made more sense than what amounted to a giant swimming pool.

A view of the 5th hole at Wynn Golf Club in Las Vegas.
Brian Oar

3. It’s a Fazio, redux

Often, when a golf course gets reworked, a new architect is called upon. In this case, though, the ownership turned to the original designer, Tom Fazio, who carried out the job with his son, Logan.

4. It has a Rat Pack past

The Strip is not St. Andrews. No one would call it hallowed ground for golf. And yet there’s history here. Long before this property became the Wynn, it was home to the Desert Inn, a resort and casino with a course of the same name. The PGA Tour, Senior Tour and LPGA Tour all competed regularly on its fairways. So did Frankie, Dino and the boys.

The 12th hole at Wynn Golf Club (with the Strip in the background).
Brian Oar

5. The caddies are sticks

The Wynn’s loopers aren’t just pack mules who can work a laser. The caddie corps includes 13 PGA of America members, as well as a young woman who was once the No. 1 player on the UNLV women’s golf team and the top-ranked amateur in her native Britain. In short, you can count on savvy insights, to say nothing of some very Vegas-sounding counsel, such as: “Take this one off the Barry Manilow sign.”

6. It’s a mix of old and new

Though the rebuilt course has new greens and fairways and eight entirely new holes, it covers mostly the same footprint as its predecessor, and it preserves elements from its past, including more than 120 mature trees that date to the days of the Desert Inn. A dramatic waterfall still flows behind the 18th green, just as it did on the original Wynn course, though the hole, once a par 4, now plays as a par 3.

7. Aces are wild

The odds are slim (roughly 12,500 to 1) but the payoff is fat. Make a hole-in-one on the par-3 18th at the Wynn, and you’ll walk off with a cash prize of $10,000 to $20,000, depending on the tee you play.