Looks can be deceiving. On its face, Aliante Golf Club would appear to be a fairly tame layout. But the par-72 course, which reaches just over 7,000 yards, has plenty of bite. Start with more than 50 bunkers, throw in a couple of water hazards and add in a pesky arroyo that comes into play on 14 of the holes and you’ve got a course that will test players’ shot selection and course management skills to the max. But also refreshing is the father up you play on the tees, the less you have to deal with the hazards making Aliante playable for all levels. –by Bill Bowman, Las Vegas Golf Insider staff.
Aliante, which was designed by Gary Panks, is located in northeast Las Vegas on the way to Mesquite. It’s a course that follows Panks’ top priorities when it comes to world-class layouts.
“I want my courses to be enjoyed by players of all levels, from the pros right on down to the beginners,” Panks said in a recent article. “So we build appealing golf holes that will test a golfer’s game–most are shot-making courses–and still allow the bogey golfer to play without having to challenge the hazards.”
While the previously mentioned bunkers, water and arroyo definitely challenge players from the tips, the further forward players tee it up, the less those hazards come into play.
Aliante is one of two Panks designs in the Vegas area along with Conestoga Golf Course in Mesquite.
At Aliante, players will find their share of risk/reward shots and holes along the way, none more notable than the par-5 14th. At 540 yards from the tips, it’s formidable distance-wise. It’s also a thinking-man’s hole. If players are looking to get home in two, avoiding three bunkers off the tee is a must. They appear both left (a solo bunker) and right (a pair of them) severely narrowing the landing area.
If players do find the fairway that sets up the second dilemma: carrying the arroyo which is just in front of the green. Come up short and you’re hitting out of the arroyo with a bunker-like shot to a narrow green. Miss the green left or right and bunkers will catch shots. Standing on the tee, players must decide whether to be aggressive and take out the driver or take some of the risk out of play and make it a three-shot hole.
The par-3s at Aliante are also impressively designed holes and can provide challenges for players, whether it’s in club selection, wind (both speed and direction) or elevation changes.
Between the four of them, they range from 135 yards to 233 yards. But, with mounding around the greens added in as hazards along with a total of 11 huge bunkers and multi-tiered putting surfaces, they all require pin-point accuracy.
Putting down four 3’s on the scorecard is a solid day. Put down a birdie or two and you’re likely taking a few bucks from your buddies.
Aliante Golf is a 2020-21 course partner of Las Vegas Golf Insider.