Since its opening, the Rees Jones-designed Rio Secco Golf Club, which overlooks Las Vegas and features sweet views of the entire valley, has played host to the biggest names in golf. During the week of Oct. 12, 2020, the course lived up to the reputation by being the backdrop for a Troon Golf marketing shoot and charity hole-in-one event. The shot-for-the-ace by some of the top names in golf, including Justin Thomas, Gary Woodland and others, was played from a floating tee–with a true Vegas flare–to the scenic par 3, 16th hole. –By Brian Hurlburt, Las Vegas Golf Insider. Event photos by Photo by Everardo Keeme, Photo Fusion Studio www.photofusionstudio.com.
The complete list of the top players–each on Team Troon— that spent some time at Rio Secco as the PGA Tour played the CJ Cup in Las Vegas and the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open the week prior, was Thomas, Woodland, Matt Kuchar, Matthew Fitzpatrick, Alex Noren and Cheyenne Woods. Besides the swing for a million dollars for charity, they each spent time at the Butch Harmon facility filming swing tips and advice to be used as benefits for Troon golf members–and all golfers–through TV and digital platforms..
“It was a thrill four team at Rio Secco to host some of the world’s best players, especially in an up close ‘behind the ropes’ type of environment,” said Mark Blais, Secco’s marketing director. “Rio Secco has hosted many high profile events over the years, from Tiger Jam to the Wendy’s 3-Tour Challenge, so it’s something we’re familiar with and it is always a treat. Rio Secco is a top notch property with a very talented and experienced staff, so you could say this event served as a reminder that Rio Secco is well suited to handle these types of events. By all accounts, it was a successful event: a fun time was provided to the Team Troon professionals, Troon was pleased with the outcome and perhaps mostly importantly, through Troon Golf’s generosity, a local charity benefitted from the event as well. It’s an amazing feeling knowing Rio Secco played a part in the effort.”
Rio Secco and Cascata, another Rees Jones design located in the Las Vegas area, are Troon Golf-affiliated courses and owned and operated by Vici Golf.
Due to Covid-19 protocols, access was limited to the players but there was some interaction between the golf stars as they entered and left the facility at separate times. It was also interesting to observe some of the game’s biggest names gingerly step into a small boat to be ferried to the floating green and then step up onto the platform, which swayed a bit as each player swung.
During a break as Thomas prepared to take his swing, his father, Mike, a longtime PGA of America pro who along for the event, yelled out to his son, “How you hit it will depend if you get a ride back to shore …”
Thomas laughed and then commented that it might not be half bad to jump in the water because it was pretty hot in the middle of the lake on a floating tee.
The coverage and all details and video from the Las Vegas event is scheduled to be released Nov. 7, 2020, by Troon via the Breaking Par television show and via Troon social platforms, Troon.com and all outlets. A full listing of Troon and Rio Secco social media follows at the bottom of this post. You’ll have to tune in to find out if a hole-in-one was made and who won the closest-to-the-pin contest to donate $10,000 to a local charity.
Team Troon members who later played in the CJ Cup in Las Vegas and their results were:
- T12 Matt Fitzpatrick, -8
- T12 Justin Thomas (2019 Champion), -8
- T38 Patrick Cantlay, -4
- T52 Matt Kuchar, +3
- 72 Gary Woodland, +9
- 76 Alex Noren, +17