Tom Fazio is a golf architect mastermind and has designed some of the world’s best and most memorable layouts. When a prospective course owner hires Fazio, the end result will be what is expected: a Fazio course complete with flare, finesse, flash and fantastic holes. At Primm Valley Golf Club, about 30 minutes from the Las Vegas Strip and technically a few hundred yards into California, there are two Fazio layouts greening up the surrounding desert and entertaining golfers. — By Brian Hurlburt.
Fellow respected golf scribe Ken Van Vechten once described Primm Valley Lakes and Desert course experience for an APosition.com article thusly:
“It took me years to get a couple members of my Vegas golfing troupe inside that sometimes scruffy berm that sits just south of the state line. One guy is more open-minded, trusting even, so he knew from an earlier visit that I wasn’t full of it when I kept on spouting: ‘Those are about the two best courses side by side in Southern California.'”
Van Vechten is one of thousands who have wandered to the trees, lakes and desert of Primm Valley, only to walk away smitten by the golf experience they found. Years back when I spoke to Fazio about how he twirled his design magic at Primm, he said a couple things that stood out including, “the Desert course is a golf course in the desert and not a desert course.”
He also made sure that I looked ahead and behind while playing Primm because the views and vistas at Primm were just as good in what lay ahead as to what was just experienced (he is right).
Van Vechten captured a portion of Fazio’s Primm Valley design in his own unique prose:
“Tom Fazio crafts golf holes, happy little worlds unto themselves, with bold sweeps, shortcuts, narrow chutes that open, openings that constrict, plenty of angles, and two ways to get there, which then become a course; does anyone do doglegs better?” Van Vechten wrote.
The Lakes is a lush golf experience with hundreds of mature pines and holes that seem more typical of the Fazio style. Golf beauty and intrigue abound highlighted by a drive-able par 4, 10th hole and the dastardly par 3, 12th hole that doesn’t seem drive-able, given the hole’s length, water everywhere and bunkers guarding what’s left around the green.
While the Desert course is more barren with cacti guarding the fairways and greens and a more stark look and feel, the holes on the Desert offer plenty of fairway for errant drives and it is agreed that Fazio’s statement of golf in the desert and not desert golf” is appropos with limited forced carries and the “desert golf” target holes that fill golfer’s palms with sweat before, during and post round.
As Van Vechten worked to convince his friends, so should you be convinced to give Primm a chance if you haven’t prior. Let us know how you enjoyed your round–or rounds.