Primm…but not so proper

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Golf Swings Over America

Road sign showing the last directions to the course

State of California Welcome sign

Yesterday I left our condo in Las Vegas and headed out I-15 toward the California border, en route to play at the Primm Valley Golf course, a 36 hole, Tom Fazio designed complex.  I was really excited about playing here. One, it would add California to my “played” list and two, from the reviews I had read, this would be a great course to play. I got Brady at BK’s Golf Services to hook me up with a tee time and he was able to get me a bit of a discount off the posted $83 green fee.  And I was very appreciative of that fact. And you know what, had I not overheard a conversation at the pro shop desk and been none the wiser, I probably would have perfectly content with the fee I paid.  Road sign showing the last directions to the course

Unfortunately, I just happened to be wandering around the pro shop looking at Logo gear when I heard a fellow golfer asking the pro if they were still discounting Casino workers and Las Vegas residents.  Yes, $30 for Casino staff…$35 for residents was  his response.  Are you freaking kidding me?  Less than half price from what I was paying?  And my two playing partners paid the full $83 green fee, and they are California residents (from Fresno). I totally get the discount.  In fact, it is probably the only way the course, which is in the middle of absolutely nowhere, stays alive.  But to “rip off” tourists and regular green fee players by that much…shame on you Primm Valley…shame on you!

Primm Valley 1st hole
1st hole on the Desert Course, Primm Valley Golf Course

That being said, I had another very enjoyable day on the course and it was just the way I wanted to spend my birthday.  My playing partners, both very good golfers, were extremely friendly and more significantly for me, extremely patient while I chased down some of my errant shots.  Let’s sum it up this way.  One of the gents I was playing with had 4 birdies and an eagle over the first 7 holes!

We played the “Desert” course.  A very nice layout but nowhere near worth the green fees we paid.  Not in my opinion anyway, simply comparing it to the Painted Desert course I had played in Vegas on Monday.  That course was in much better shape, at almost half the price.  Yet, playing Primm Valley was still a great experience.

The course borders a 3,000 acre solar farm and on certain holes, the reflection off the mirrored towers adds a somewhat “biblical” feel to the experience, with individual rays of sunshine spreading out in all directions. As you can see from the couple of pictures I’ve included, the course was pretty dry.  Now the advantage to that of course is the fact your ball rolls forever down the fairway.  I’m not sure if the course would be more lush at another time of the year.  I might be willing to try it out again, should I ever come at some other time other than February just to find out. But I will say that greens were in very decent shape.  Firm and fast,  but consistent throughout the full 18 and well groomed and maintained.  Once I figured out the speed on the first couple of holes, I was good for the rest of the day and didn’t three putt once.  I left a number of putts just shy of the cup, which would have helped my score a bit, but overall I was not disappointed with the way I played. Only two really “bad” shots.

We played the blue tees, at 6540 yards, par 72, rated at 71.1 and a slope of 128.  A good challenge for my abilities.

In terms of location, it was a quick 40 minute drive from our condo and just a short drive from the off-ramp.  In other words, very convenient to fit into my quest.  So if you’re in Vegas, it might be worth a shot.  Just see if you can borrow a local’s ID to get a better rate!

7th green at Primm Valley, Desert Course
7th green at Primm Valley, Desert Course, with I-15 in the background.
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