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I Got Blown in Vegas: Tales from a Windy Golf Trip | Luxor 11/15-11/16

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by M_ILIS, Nov 18, 2015.

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  1. M_ILIS

    M_ILIS High-Roller

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    My Trip Report

    Prelude: A great friend and I have made November the time for a quick, overnight golf trip each of the last two years, so we had to keep the tradition alive this year with our third annual trip. Year One featured golf at Primm Valley (Lakes) and Arroyo at Red Rock (trip report here), while Year Two included golf at Coyote Springs, Los Prados and Bear’s Best along with my second lifetime Royal Flush (trip report here). We stayed at Circus Circus both previous trips, using myVEGAS comp stays.

    For this year, we chose a week later than the previous two years and with no more Circus Circus rooms available from myVEGAS, opted for a free stay at Luxor instead. We’re moving up in the world! We also delayed it from a Saturday night stay to a Sunday night stay, again so we could use the myVEGAS room comp (for those unaware, they no longer offer weekend nights). Within the last week prior to our trip, we were each able to snag an MGM dinner buffet reward as well as a $10 Luxor FreePlay reward. We solidified our golf itinerary about a week ahead of time and were all set!

    Weather-wise, we got a little unfortunate as the 10-day forecast showed sunny skies every day except for the two days we had scheduled, which called for partly cloudy skies and increasingly windy conditions late Sunday into Monday. It wasn’t ideal, but there wasn’t anything we could do about it.

    So let’s go!
     
  2. M_ILIS

    M_ILIS High-Roller

    Joined:
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    Orange County, CA
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    Note: Click on any photo to access a full-size version on my Flickr page.

    Day One: Sunday, November 15, 2015
    Our first tee time was at 12:00 at DragonRidge Country Club in Henderson. Driving from Southern California, we wanted to ensure we arrived in plenty of time, so I picked my friend up at his place in Irvine at 6:30 and the drive went super smoothly. After my September trip to the M Resort (trip report here), I had received a mailer with $40 of freeplay from the M Resort, but it expired on November 1 and I haven’t received any new mailers since. With the smooth drive, we arrived at St. Rose Parkway exit around 9:45 and I took the opportunity to duck in and see if there was any freeplay on my card for November. No luck, though. Darn.

    We considered eating breakfast at the Vig Deli, but it didn’t open for another 10 minutes and I figured we may as well eat in a real restaurant, considering we had plenty of time before our golf. My friend did some Yelping on his phone and we decided on a place called Egg Works in the community of Anthem. We arrived a few minutes past 10:00 and the place was packed, but they said they could seat us within 10-15 minutes. In reality it was more like 20-25, but no big deal. Service was quick and the food was quite good. I had corned beef hash and eggs and a fantastic banana nut muffin, while my friend had some sort of Mexican omelette/scramble he loved. The menu was eclectic and many dishes seemed to feature their own flavorful and smoky hot sauce, which I bought a bottle of:

    [​IMG]IMG_20151115_105641 by Mark, on Flickr

    [​IMG]IMG_20151115_104056 by Mark, on Flickr

    [​IMG]IMG_20151117_232024 by Mark, on Flickr

    DragonRidge was only about 10 minutes away, and we arrived just past 11:00. As we drove in, we saw fairways as green as the top banner on VMB, a sign of great things to come. We checked in and the pro shop staff said we could probably tee off a little early, so we hit some putts and then headed to the first tee.

    I had heard some good things about this course but it far surpassed even those expectations. I absolutely loved it. It was in near immaculate condition and there’s not a boring hole in the entire layout. I’m a big fan of any course with lots of elevation changes, and DragonRidge has them on nearly every hole. Up, down, around the bend – the course constantly keeps things interesting. On top of all that, there are spectacular views of the Strip from many holes. The wind was whipping most of the afternoon, making the course play harder than normal.

    I’ll embed some photos of the course, but if you want to view all 53 photos I posted to my Flickr golf collection, click here: https:[email protected]/albums/72157661261473246

    [​IMG]IMG_5121 by Mark, on Flickr

    [​IMG]IMG_5128_2 by Mark, on Flickr

    [​IMG]IMG_5155 by Mark, on Flickr

    [​IMG]IMG_5190 by Mark, on Flickr

    [​IMG]IMG_5252 by Mark, on Flickr

    [​IMG]IMG_5267 by Mark, on Flickr

    [​IMG]IMG_5271 by Mark, on Flickr

    [​IMG]IMG_5346 by Mark, on Flickr

    We finished by around 3:20 and headed to Luxor to check in, but not before finding the World’s Slowest Gas Pump at the Smith’s Food Center near Green Valley Ranch. I’d learned a day or two before our trip that Sunday afternoon was going to be a clusterfuck on the Strip due to the Rock ’n’ Roll Marathon. Knowing this allowed me to prepare for it, and we followed the directions from the marathon’s website to get to Luxor, taking the back route off Frank Sinatra Drive. Traffic was bumper-to-bumper and moving at a crawl, but we eventually navigated our way to the Luxor valet. No lines and in we went.

    Check in went smoothly and we got a two queen room on the 24th floor of the pyramid.

    [​IMG]IMG_5362 by Mark, on Flickr

    [​IMG]IMG_5363 by Mark, on Flickr

    [​IMG]IMG_5364 by Mark, on Flickr

    Old and run down compared to most Vegas rooms? Yes! Completely fine for a one-night guys golf trip? Yes again. The only part of the room that I seriously took issue with was the shower head. How it could make that much noise while dribbling out so little water is beyond me. I’d be surprised to find a shower head this terrible in a Motel 6, but for it to be in an MGM Resorts property is inexcusable.

    One nice thing about Luxor is that they have a very nicely themed logo shop that made souvenir shopping for my wife and daughter very easy. My wife loves all things Egyptian, so I found her a necklace with an Egyptian cat pendant and grabbed a sticker book and an anthropologist mummy toy project for my daughter.

    My friend and I took showers and then headed out for the night, working our way over to MGM Grand to use our dinner buffet rewards from myVEGAS. First we tried to redeem our $10 FreePlay rewards at Luxor, but the line at the Mlife desk didn’t move for about 10 minutes, so we bailed and decided we’d try again later.

    We walked through Luxor to Excalibur and exited the ramp to NYNY. It had rained a little bit and the night air was very clear and crisp. As we took the overpass from NYNY to MGM, we got to see the marathoners trekking up the Strip. I’m not a runner but it looked fun to get to run up the Strip with it closed to car traffic.

    [​IMG]IMG_20151115_181954 by Mark, on Flickr

    In a reversal of fortune from Luxor, the Mlife desk at MGM was the simplest and quickest myVEGAS redemption I’ve ever encountered. I swear I was at the desk a total of about 30 seconds before the guy said I was all set and sent me on my way.

    As I’ve mentioned in other reports, I’m not the biggest buffet fan, but considering it was free and I have little use for my loyalty points, why not take advantage? (Alas, if my friend wasn’t such a picky eater, I’d have much preferred to use the $75 off $150 Tender reward.) The MGM buffet did little to sway my opinion. It was fine, but nothing great. I started with a Caesar salad, a couple of pieces of sushi rolls and the standout of the first plate was a roasted red pepper marinated in pesto. Yum.

    Next I hit the carving station for a couple thin slices of prime rib. They had both tri-tip and prime rib this night, although the prime rib wasn’t written on the glass like the other meats. Maybe I got lucky to catch it, because it was pretty good. The creamed horseradish was sinus-cleansing hot.

    I followed that with some crab legs (meh), shrimp cocktail (not bad) and manicotti (meh). I finished off the main course portion of my meal with one more thin slice of prime rib, but this one was far more fatty and gross than the other two. With nothing truly exciting me, I chose a couple of desserts – key lime tart and fudge brownie – and actually left a buffet without feeling overly stuffed.

    Now it was gambling time. My friend had a hankering for the Trop, so we crossed over the bridge and went inside. I talked him into doing the $200 on Us promotion, but he didn’t fare well and then didn’t do too well with his 50% loss rebate freeplay. (Do all word processing programs auto-correct freeplay to foreplay? Or is my computer a horndog?)

    I searched for a while and finally found a nickel VP section toward the back of the casino – Alright! Triple play STP machine open – Alright again! Put some money in and the sound effects are working well and not too loud – Perfect!

    I decided to play just one line and things didn’t start well. I hit a full house with 3X multiplier at one point, but was down more than $60 at 30 cents a hand before I hit my first quad of the trip:

    [​IMG]IMG_20151115_203820 by Mark, on Flickr

    Then I hit a flush with 5X multiplier for 125:

    [​IMG]IMG_20151115_205259 by Mark, on Flickr

    At one point I noticed a guy sitting next to me had a slot attendant come visit him, and when I looked at the screen of his Ultimate X machine, he’d been dealt quad 3s with the kicker, playing five play quarters. With multipliers, the jackpot came to over $1300! He hadn’t made a peep when it happened, but I congratulated him when I saw it. And then, while talking to him and mindlessly playing my machine, I held two to a Royal and converted!

    [​IMG]IMG_20151115_205745 by Mark, on Flickr

    Oh my! On my previous two Royals, the audio on the machines sucked, so I never experienced the joyful Royal music treatment. I’m still not sure this machine played the song I’ve seen referenced in other trip reports, but it made some noise and gradually racked up my 4000 credit win.

    [YOUTUBE]HRL-zV3ElEg[/YOUTUBE]

    So I went from being down almost $60 to up $140. Sweet! With my low-roller ways, I was virtually locked in for a winning trip. This was my third Royal and already seems like the fuzziest. The other two felt like I was actively “trying” for them, and with only holding two cards here, it came as a big surprise when the screen read “Royal Flush” on the draw. How’d that happen?

    Feeling (Royal) flush, I upped to triple play and immediately blew back about $50 of it. Here’s the best hand I got while playing triple play:

    [​IMG]IMG_20151115_211250 by Mark, on Flickr

    Drink service was good at the Tropicana and I enjoyed two Coronas followed by a gin and tonic. My friend had won a considerable amount at the UTH table (~$500) and we were ready to leave the Trop. We went over to Excalibur where I played some $5 Let It Ride. I got dealt pairs on two or three hands right out of the gate and found myself up $40 or so in just a couple minutes. I really wasn’t feeling up to playing a long session, so I decided to make it a hit and run and left the table up $30.

    Then I put $20 in an electronic roulette machine. I hit my number (11), but unfortunately it came on a spin that I had only one lone 50 cent bet on it. After about 15 minutes I cashed out down just $4.

    We then went back to Luxor. First order of business was getting our $10 FP rewards applied to our Mlife cards. I took mine to a nickel DDB machine but then noticed it required 20 credits for max payout! Fuck that. I played quarter DDB instead and turned $10 in FP into $5 in cash. Waa-waah.

    I roamed around and eventually found a normal five coin, 8:5 nickel DDB machine. I put $20 in and it wasn’t long before I hit quad 3s with the kicker for $40.

    [​IMG]IMG_20151115_230433 by Mark, on Flickr

    The machine was hot for a while and it seemed like my credits never dipped below $50, until they did. And then they continued to fall. $40. $30. $20. But then it got hot again, and I hit 7s:

    [​IMG]IMG_20151115_234732 by Mark, on Flickr

    Then 8s:

    [​IMG]IMG_20151115_235928 by Mark, on Flickr

    Then I got dealt 3 to a Royal, and came THIS CLOSE to my second of the night:

    [​IMG]IMG_20151116_000124 by Mark, on Flickr
    The Ultimate Dreaded “One Jack Off” Royal, as coined by breanna61.

    The cocktail waitress was coming around about every 5-10 minutes and I had a couple more gin and tonics followed by two Bailey’s rocks nightcaps. Eventually I hit another premium quad with kicker and cashed out for a $50 profit on the session:

    [​IMG]IMG_20151116_001840 by Mark, on Flickr

    [​IMG]IMG_20151116_002002 by Mark, on Flickr

    On last year’s trip, I pushed it too hard and got less than two hours sleep before playing 36 holes and driving four hours home, so I didn’t want to make that same mistake again this year. Needing to be up and about at 5:30, I knew I should go to bed soon. But a nickel triple play Jacks or Better STP machine caught my eye and I decided to play just $10 to see if I could make anything happen. The answer was no and yes, in that order.

    I ran the credits down so low I couldn’t afford to multi-line it any longer, so I switched to single line, and of course that’s when I get my first-ever dealt 4OAK (Oh, except one on a penny multi-play machine):

    [​IMG]IMG_20151116_002925 by Mark, on Flickr

    Yay! And ugh! I eventually lost that $10 and another $10 in a Cleo II machine, which I played because my wife likes them. A little before 1:00 am, I took the elevator (They’re no longer called inclinators?) up to 24 and hit the hay. I didn’t keep as exacting records as I normally do, but to the best of my knowledge I was up around $140 for the day.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2015
  3. M_ILIS

    M_ILIS High-Roller

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    Day Two: Monday, November 16, 2015
    I slept fine in the Luxor bed and got ready in time to fetch the car from the valet at 5:30, despite another unsatisfying shower. At the valet, I had to laugh when my 2009 Kia Optima was already parked up front under the porte cochere – I guess at Luxor that’s all it takes to nab one of those “show car” positions! (In reality, I suspect their lots were full from those marathoners on Sunday and they ended up parking my car right there.)

    Even at 5:30 am, the wind was howling, portending our fate on the golf courses today.

    Our morning round was slated for 6:40 at back-from-the-dead Reflection Bay, a Jack Nicklaus Signature Course at Lake Las Vegas. Once a victim of the recession, the course closed in 2009 and reopened just over a year ago.

    I’d never been out to Lake Las Vegas before. It’s about a half hour drive from the Strip and the wind was screaming there, too. We checked in for our 6:40 tee time and tried to withstand the bitter cold as we prepared for the round. We got paired with a fellow Buckeyes fan from Cincinnati who was a nice guy, and we started right on time.

    The course is a really fun and beautiful layout but the cloudy skies and extreme winds spoiled the experience somewhat. I still enjoyed it of course, but the ugly weather resulted in terrible photography conditions, so I was bummed about that. Here are a few photos. Again, if you want to see the whole photo album of 31 photos, click here: https:[email protected]/albums/72157660572238617.

    [​IMG]IMG_5383 by Mark, on Flickr

    [​IMG]IMG_5406 by Mark, on Flickr

    [​IMG]IMG_5414 by Mark, on Flickr

    [​IMG]IMG_5460 by Mark, on Flickr

    [​IMG]IMG_5474 by Mark, on Flickr

    [​IMG]IMG_5497 by Mark, on Flickr

    One personal highlight was finishing birdie-birdie on 17 & 18. I drained a long putt on 17 and stiffed my second shot on the par-5 18th to about 12 feet but hit a terrible eagle attempt that ran past about four feet, but made the comebacker.

    Just as we were finishing our round, the sun started shining brightly and the course looked a million times nicer than it did when we were out there. I hope to return one day to get some better pictures.

    On this day, our next destination was Chimera Golf Club, formerly known as Tuscany and located in the Tuscany neighborhood. Geographically it’s very close to Reflection Bay and we arrived in about 10 minutes. We had played quickly at Reflection Bay, so we were super early for our 12:00 tee time. We parked ourselves at the bar and I ordered a patty melt and a Bloody Mary while my friend had a turkey panini. Lunch was tasty.

    We teed off around 11:45 and it seemed there were very few people on the course, understandably considering the winds that were even more extreme than those at Reflection Bay. On the par-5 second hole at Chimera, I hit a solid 3-wood that ballooned straight up into the air and only covered about 100 yards. Right around that point both my friend and I realized we just had to accept it and have fun with it, which is what we did. Shots would fly normally for about the first half of their trajectory, but then as velocity slowed, the wind would violently whisk the ball in all directions. It was insane.

    It was also helpful on some holes. I reached the par-5 sixth in two shots and drained about a 30 footer for my 14th lifetime eagle. (That was the fourth good look at eagle I’d had in the last two days, but the first I converted.)

    Comparatively, Chimera was a big step down from DragonRidge and Reflection Bay, but we knew that going in. It was a fine, fun course, but nothing I’d advise going out of your way to play. Here are a few pictures:

    [​IMG]IMG_5520 by Mark, on Flickr

    [​IMG]IMG_5533 by Mark, on Flickr

    [​IMG]IMG_5544 by Mark, on Flickr

    Full album of 13 pictures here: https:[email protected]/albums/72157660572659878

    Sadly, that was about it for our trip. We finished Chimera in the early afternoon and decided to head toward home rather than risk losing any of our winnings. The drive home was very smooth and it was cool to see some snow on the ground between State Line and Baker:

    [​IMG]IMG_5552 by Mark, on Flickr

    We stopped for dinner at the same place we ate last year, Los Domingos in Barstow and had a good Mexican meal. I arrived home around 8:00 and crashed into bed by around 10:30. Thanks for reading!
     
  4. jlee1224

    jlee1224 Tourist

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    Nice pics! I got all kinds of excited with your VP great hands....but....nickels! Still, good hands. Getting a royal drawing 3! That's some serious rungood.
     
  5. sunny123

    sunny123 Tourist

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    Sounds like a great time, both on the course and off.
     
  6. RM777

    RM777 Low-Roller

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    Thanks for the TR! I really enjoyed the pics of the golf courses.
     
  7. UncleBen

    UncleBen Low-Roller

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    As a non-golfer I still find it strange that I love looking at the golf course photos!
     
  8. SDSteve

    SDSteve Low-Roller

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    Nice report. I don't golf anymore, but it looked like a fun trip.
     
  9. hail2skins

    hail2skins Low-Roller

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    Thanks for the report! I am horrible at golf but go with a friend who likes to play, and we drove up to Coyote Springs a week ago and really enjoyed it. In my mind that course, along with Primm Valley Lakes and Desert Pines (which is just outside downtown) are going to be good candidates for repeat trips. Wolf Creek is otherworldly, but we've played that three times now and it'd be nice to keep the drive to a course under an hour from Vegas.

    I like courses with plenty of water features. Any others you'd recommend?
     
  10. Suekel

    Suekel VIP Whale

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    I'm the same way, enjoy the course photos even though I don't play.

    Thanks for the TR, glad you left a winner!
     
    Vegas Just Because...
  11. Dutch34

    Dutch34 Low-Roller

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    Video poker and golf porn. That's an A+ in my book!
     
  12. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

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    The golf pics are great! Really love the strip in the distance!

    Nah, people are referring to the "handpay music". Which I've heard thanks to malfunctions and other reasons...:bang: You should have heard it from your neighbor, unless his audio sucked.

    And I would take more royals over dealt quads! In single line play, dealt quads are about 10 times more likely than a Royal.

    And roughly where were those 8/5 DDB nickels at Luxor if you remember?
     
  13. Royal Flusher

    Royal Flusher Savvy Gambler

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    Nice report, those courses look great. I should take up drinking at a golf course clubhouse.
     
  14. M_ILIS

    M_ILIS High-Roller

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    Thanks for the clarification on the handpay music. I sort of figured that wasn't it. The 8:5 machine at Luxor was just off the walkway to Excalibur, on the right hand side if leaving Luxor and heading toward Excal.
     
  15. jphelan

    jphelan Tourist

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    Great Trip report --- you had lots of fun in a short time. I wish I lived as close to Vegas as you do - I would love to do golf trips like this!
     
  16. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    Two great courses, indeed, Mark, and a bizarre one in Tuscany/Chimera. The latter really is a function of the hazard of development first, golf second. (We saw that at the Falls in several spots, as well, before it was shuttered.)

    Glad you got out and about for some fun, thanks for sharing it with us.
     
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