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Second Annual Great Golf Getaway Weekend: 11/8-11/9

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by M_ILIS, Nov 11, 2014.

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  1. M_ILIS

    M_ILIS High-Roller

    Joined:
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    My Trip Report

    Prelude: In early November 2013 I strayed over to Vegas for a couple rounds of golf with a good friend. That trip report can be found here. With the anniversary of that trip approaching, I received an email from TeeOff.com a couple weeks ago offering 30% off any “deal” time on their website (they’re an online golf tee time booking site). When I saw a couple really tempting options in Las Vegas, I mentioned to my friend we should reprise the trip from last year. My friend calls himself the Golf Nomad and has his own golf blog, so he’s always up for adding to his ever-growing list of courses he’s played. We looked into rooms through MyVegas, and Circus Circus was the best option because the Saturday night stay was a “Bonus” weekend night, meaning it would only cost 34,000 loyalty points. Things were beginning to take shape.

    From there, it was time to get clearance from my wife. That night, I went with a casual, impromptu “Can I go to Vegas next weekend?” query and she said sure, so my friend and I quickly booked two “deal” tee times with the promo code and booked the Circus Circus room. My friend’s mission in life is to play as many different golf courses as possible, so he wanted to squeeze one more round into this quick overnight trip. When we found a Groupon for two players for $55 at a lesser-known Vegas golf course, I decided I’d join him too.

    The whole trip was only about 40 hours (38 of which I was awake) so it was a whirlwind, but a great time filled with 54 holes of golf, low-roller gambling* and some good food! Read on to find out what happened.

    *Add imaginary zeroes as needed to make my gambling more compelling and/or relatable.
     
  2. M_ILIS

    M_ILIS High-Roller

    Joined:
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    Day One: Saturday, November 8

    Our first tee time of the trip was at 11:40 Saturday morning at Coyote Springs, which is 57 miles farther than Las Vegas from our Southern California homes. So I arrived at my friend’s house at 6:00 am and off we went. The drive was smooth and we made it to Vegas nonstop by about 9:30. We were ready for some breakfast, so I was racking my brain to think of a good spot that would be easy to get in, eat, and get back on the road. Although I’ve never been there, I suggested Jerry’s Nugget just north of downtown and my friend was fine with that.

    Everything I’ve heard about this place led me to believe it was quite a dump but with a few appealing features, like good food in the coffee shop and decent VP. I was pleasantly surprised to find it’s a cool place and not nearly as run down as I pictured in my mind. I actually liked it a lot. We found Jerry’s Famous Coffee Shop and were seated immediately. I ordered a Bloody Mary and French Toast. The Bloody Mary hit the spot and the French Toast was decent, but my friend gave me his sausage from his egg combo and it was amazing. The menu said a Bloody Mary was $6.95 but it was only $3 on the bill, so that was another bonus. Service was a little slow and suddenly we felt in a rush to get out of there and get back on the road.

    [​IMG]IMG_20141110_105818 by itslikeimsayin, on Flickr

    [​IMG]IMG_20141110_105915 by itslikeimsayin, on Flickr

    Before we left, though, I stopped in the sports book to place a $10 college football parlay on Arizona State and Ohio State in their games versus Notre Dame and Michigan State, respectively. This was purely a bet with my heart, as I’m a fan of both Ohio State and ASU and both happened to be playing games that would potentially define their seasons. Ohio State was getting four points while ASU was laying 2.5.

    [​IMG]IMG_20141110_110335 by itslikeimsayin, on Flickr

    Not long after getting back on the 15 North, we hit terrible traffic. Turned out there was an Air Show out toward Nellis AFB and the crowds were parking at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. We sat in bumper-to-bumper traffic for about 25 minutes before finally getting past the jam-up and returning to full speed.

    Coyote Springs is a Jack Nicklaus Signature Course absolutely in the middle of nowhere. It was supposed to be the first piece of a huge golf community, but nothing else ever progressed. So it’s a world class golf course surrounded by nothing. Full price this time of year is $159, but with the “deal” time and the 30% off promo code, we only paid $55 each.

    We finally arrived at the course and the initial vibe was perfectly captured by two lazy cats sleeping outside the pro shop door.

    [​IMG]IMG_20141110_110738 by itslikeimsayin, on Flickr

    It seemed like there wasn’t much activity at the course. We got checked right in, got our cart and drove way out to the first tee. No one was on the tee and the starter told us we could go when ready. At this point we had visions of a nice three-hour round and being back in Vegas by sundown. Oh boy were we wrong.

    For one thing, this course is a beast. For another thing, we caught up to groups by the third hole and it was packed out there. We ended up being on the course for more than five hours and barely finished, due to the early sunset this time of year. The good news is that this is a gorgeous course, the weather was perfect and we had a great time. Course conditions were excellent. For $55, this was a steal!

    [​IMG]IMG_20141110_111112 by itslikeimsayin, on Flickr

    [​IMG]IMG_20141108_120047 by itslikeimsayin, on Flickr

    [​IMG]IMG_20141110_111451 by itslikeimsayin, on Flickr

    [​IMG]IMG_20141108_133555 by itslikeimsayin, on Flickr

    [​IMG]IMG_20141108_150741 by itslikeimsayin, on Flickr

    [​IMG]IMG_20141108_151241 by itslikeimsayin, on Flickr

    [​IMG]IMG_20141108_154047 by itslikeimsayin, on Flickr

    [​IMG]IMG_20141108_160410 by itslikeimsayin, on Flickr

    Better yet, my friend’s phone got enough signal (my T-Mobile service had no reception at Coyote Springs whatsoever) to learn that ASU was killing Notre Dame, giving me the first leg of my parlay. We drove back to the 15 through dark desert roads and then got a great view of the city from a bit of elevation coming back into Vegas.

    We arrived at Circus Circus around 6:00 and checked in with relative ease. The desk clerk had a bit of a hard time finding a room with two beds but eventually pulled some strings and gave us a little larger than normal room in the Casino Tower. It was on the second floor with virtually no view at all, but it served its purpose just fine. We turned on the Ohio State-MSU game and it was a barnburner in the first half.

    By 7:00 we had both cleaned up and were ready to start our night. First stop was back to the Peppermill for dinner, just like last year. We walked over and got a booth right away. Peppermill burger (medium rare with cheddar cheese, thousand island on the side) and bleu cheese salad was great – as always. I was absolutely stuffed by the time I finished my meal.

    [​IMG]IMG_20141110_115412 by itslikeimsayin, on Flickr

    [​IMG]IMG_20141108_193928 by itslikeimsayin, on Flickr

    Ohio State was looking good during dinner, so afterward we went back to Circus Circus where I watched the last of the 4th quarter in the room. They closed out the victory and I had begun my gambling on a good note, with a $27 win. This meant a return to Jerry’s Nugget was necessary, which we were fine with anyway. When there for breakfast we noticed they had a wide variety of video poker and cheap table games that appealed to me.

    [​IMG]IMG_20141110_115244 by itslikeimsayin, on Flickr

    We arrived back at JNugs around 9:00 and I cashed my ticket for $37. I played some nickel DDB and lost $10 before going to find my friend at the tables. The Ultimate Texas Hold’Em table was still only $2 minimum, even on Saturday night! I had never played UTH but it’s my friend’s favorite table game, so the $2 minimum was perfect for me to learn the game without risking too large of a stake. I bought in for $40 and followed his advice for the first little while. I didn’t get any bonus hands, but I did well enough that I never lost my entire buy-in. Then I finally got a straight and a few minutes later, there was a flush on the table, so everyone won that hand. After a little over an hour at a fun table, my friend was ready to leave. I colored up for $50, the $10 win recouping the $10 VP loss from earlier. Still up $27 on the trip as we leave to go check out SLS.

    We self-parked at SLS and went in at the rear entry porte cochere, so I forgot to see the Saam statue out front. I got a player’s club card from a really friendly desk clerk and was immediately impressed by this place. It felt new and hip, but also very comfortable. It was really lively in there, too. I wanted to come here just to see the new place, but I also was under the impression that they had good nickel VP. VPFree2.com says SLS has 10:6 DDB nickels, but the machines I found in that area were 7:5 DDB. I don’t know if they’ve been downgraded or what, but at that point I wasn’t really interested in continuing to search. After all, it was closing in on midnight and we had a 6:30 am tee time, so making the most of our time came first and foremost.

    My “The Code” player’s club card got me $6 in free play, which lasted probably 15 minutes or so before I put in $10 and started hitting some quads.

    [​IMG]IMG_20141108_233555 by itslikeimsayin, on Flickr

    [​IMG]IMG_20141108_234525 by itslikeimsayin, on Flickr

    [​IMG]IMG_20141109_000757 by itslikeimsayin, on Flickr

    Three things I quickly loved about SLS: 1. The chairs at the video poker machines were obviously new and extremely comfortable. 2. The music (and entire vibe) in the casino was great. 3. Drink service was awesome. I had a new Stella Artois every time I was about to finish the previous one.

    Eventually I ran those credits in that DDB machine down to nothing and decided to play something else. My friend had hit the tables and won somewhere around $400, so he was content and ready to head back to Circus Circus. I told him to take my car and I’d just walk when I was done. At this point my plan was to hopefully be in bed by 1:30 to get about four hours sleep before playing 36 holes on Sunday. What is it they say about making plans in Vegas, though?

    Anyway, I’m not sure if he was just being a good friend or what, but my friend stuck around with me instead of heading back to CC. I put $20 in a nickel DDB Triple Play Super Times Pay machine. It wasn’t long before I hit quad 8s:

    [​IMG]IMG_20141109_004613 by itslikeimsayin, on Flickr

    Then 5s:

    [​IMG]IMG_20141109_004738 by itslikeimsayin, on Flickr

    Then 5s again:

    [​IMG]IMG_20141109_004947 by itslikeimsayin, on Flickr

    I went on a little cold spell, and then got dealt three to royal: A, 10, J of clubs. The first draw card on the bottom line was the Queen of clubs, but the second card wasn’t the King, so I reacted as one would be expected to react when coming “this close” to filling it in. But THEN! While I was reacting to the loss on the first line, I wasn’t watching what happened on the second line. And when I looked back, there it was – Royal Flush. My friend was watching me play at this point and actually noticed just a half second or so before I did. We both yelled and high-fived as the credits racked up. (Then of course my friend had to say, “Just think if you’d gotten it on both hands.”)

    [​IMG]IMG_20141109_005729 by itslikeimsayin, on Flickr

    This was my second Royal, both on nickels. This one was way, way, way more fun than my first. Sure, it was great getting one while playing alone at Circus Circus last January, but having a friend around and in the great SLS environment made it a whole lot sweeter. At this point I was feeling great and the last thing I wanted to do was go to bed.

    I continued playing the same machine and hit quad Jacks a couple minutes later.

    [​IMG]IMG_20141109_010207 by itslikeimsayin, on Flickr

    Then the machine ran cold and I ended up cashing out for $210. I went to look for my friend and he was back at a Three Card Poker table so I decided to play some Let It Ride. I was surprised to find SLS had it for a $5 minimum, which is the maximum I like to play it at. I bought in for $100 and played for probably 45 minutes or so. The dealers were really good and one especially was good and friendly. Another “plus” for SLS. I couldn’t get anything going but wasn’t losing, either. My friend was done playing and came to watch, and I knew he wanted to get back to the room. I played a few more hands and when I had $105 in front of me, I tipped the dealer $5 and took my original $100 to the cashier.

    It was a little past 2:00 am when we got back to Circus Circus and I still didn’t feel like calling it a night, despite the looming tee time. The electronic roulette wheel near the Casino Tower elevators caught my eye so I headed there while my friend went to bed. I put in $20 and started getting small hits here and there while playing my customary 11 plus a variety of whatever strikes me at the moment, including the occasional 17/20 preferred by natedog666, BeeeJay and seemingly every VMBer. Here’s a blurry picture for those guys:

    [​IMG]IMG_20141110_143003 by itslikeimsayin, on Flickr

    A cold streak had taken my credits down to around $10 when I loaded up (for Lil’ Low-Roller Me, anyway) on 11 and bam, it hit!

    [​IMG]IMG_20141110_143149 by itslikeimsayin, on Flickr

    Immediately following that $58.50 win, I got another for $17 and another for $9. Soon I had $93 in credits in the machine. I lost the next spin for $3, putting me at a nice even $70 profit from this session. A Royal Flush followed by a 350% return on investment on roulette? This night was going perfectly!

    [​IMG]IMG_20141110_144246 by itslikeimsayin, on Flickr

    I took $10 over to the 6:5 DDB nickel machine where I hit my first Royal, but lost it pretty quickly. Then I found an oversized Cleopatra machine and played $10 in that for a while in honor of my wife (she loves the Cleopatra machines). Lost that. Then I put $20 in a quarter DDB machine and lost that pretty quickly, too.

    It was time for bed. I made my way up to the room, planning to quietly enter to not wake my friend. I reached in my pocket for my room key, and it wasn’t there. Other pocket? Nope. Back pockets? Wallet? Nope. Nope. Fuck! I must have lost it downstairs … or at SLS … or Jerry’s Nugget, or who knows where. Figured I’d knock softly on the door, so if my friend was not sleeping soundly, he’ll hear it, but if he was sleeping soundly, it wouldn’t wake him and I’ll go down to the desk and try to get a new key. It worked and he let me in the door as I apologized for the inconvenience.

    I think it was 3:06 when I set my alarm for 5:00 am. I think it was 3:07 when my head hit the pillow and I fell asleep, hard.
     
  3. M_ILIS

    M_ILIS High-Roller

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    Day Two: Sunday, November 9

    God damn I love twilight in Las Vegas, even if it is a grainy photo from a phone camera.

    [​IMG]IMG_20141110_144621 by itslikeimsayin, on Flickr

    It was the kind of morning that makes you feel good even after only 114 minutes of sleep as we headed to the car around 5:45 am. The sky only got prettier as we drove to the course. I wished I could stop and take a million pictures of the Strip with the stunning sky behind it, but those images will have to remain in my memory rather than on a computer screen.

    Today’s first golf course was Los Prados, which was about a 20 minute drive from Circus Circus. It’s a very short, somewhat narrow, par-70 course routed through a (presumably senior) community. This is the one where we had a Groupon deal – $55 for 2 players, including a drink in the bar afterward. We checked in around 6:15 and the starter said we could go whenever we were ready.

    [​IMG]IMG_20141109_062901 by itslikeimsayin, on Flickr

    [​IMG]IMG_20141109_085730 by itslikeimsayin, on Flickr

    As we expected, this was more of an “add it to the list of courses we’ve played” experience than anything else. It was a fun little course but nothing I would go out of my way to play again. It was in nice condition, though, and that price we paid is hard to beat, especially in Vegas this time of year.

    We finished around 9:45 and although we had the option to return to Circus Circus to get caught up on sleep with a quick nap, we decided instead to go check out Red Rock Casino on our way to the second course of the day, Bear’s Best in the Summerlin area.

    Red Rock was very nice and once inside, very reminiscent of its cross-town cousin, Green Valley Ranch. The location feels very suburban, however, and at times I almost felt like I was in a mall rather than a casino hotel and resort. This was likely to be our last chance for gambling on the trip, so my friend and I went our separate ways with a plan to meet in the food court for lunch in a little while. I chose to play Triple Play STP nickels again, and although I was up for a little while, eventually lost $20. The only minor highlight from this session was when I was dealt four diamonds and converted the flush on all three hands.

    [​IMG]IMG_20141109_102417 by itslikeimsayin, on Flickr

    We then grabbed some food court lunch – Italian sandwich from Capriotti’s for me, tacos from Rubio’s for my friend – before making our way down to Bear’s Best. With a 12:20 tee time, we had hoped to possibly get out early to ensure we finish before dark. But the course was very busy and seemingly fully committed. To their credit, they handled it remarkably well and made sure every group started right on time.

    For those unfamiliar, Bear’s Best is a tribute course comprised of some of Jack Nicklaus’ favorite holes from courses he’s designed in the Southwest U.S. and Mexico. For instance, there are two holes that are re-creations of holes found at Old Works Golf Club in Montana, complete with the distinctive black sand bunkers. Others are replicas of holes found at PGA West in La Quinta, Desert Mountain in Scottsdale or a handful of Cabo San Lucas courses. I suspected this might give Bear’s Best a somewhat disjointed feel, but that wasn’t the case. I felt the holes strung themselves together quite nicely and worked well as an 18-hole layout of its own.

    [​IMG]IMG_20141109_121759 by itslikeimsayin, on Flickr

    I loved the panoramic view of the Strip from this hole:
    [​IMG]IMG_20141110_174842 by itslikeimsayin, on Flickr

    Notice the black sand on this hole:
    [​IMG]IMG_20141109_151355 by itslikeimsayin, on Flickr

    [​IMG]IMG_20141109_152511 by itslikeimsayin, on Flickr

    [​IMG]IMG_20141109_153621 by itslikeimsayin, on Flickr

    [​IMG]IMG_20141109_155738 by itslikeimsayin, on Flickr

    Fortunately, pace of play freshened on the back nine and we were able to finish just as it was getting too dark to play. I doubt any groups behind us finished 18. Overall we played with two great guys from New Mexico and had an awesome time.

    After the round, the only thing to look forward to was dinner, which we used to break up the long, traffic-ridden drive home. We also stopped in Baker at Alien Fresh Jerky, which offers a fun selection of insanely overpriced goods, and then for dinner at a Mexican place in Barstow called Los Domingos. It was delicious. Having left Vegas at 5:30, I pulled into my driveway around 11:15 and crashed into bed in preparation for another work week starting at 7:00 am Monday.
     
  4. Snidely

    Snidely VIP Whale

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    Great report. The golf course pictures are beautiful. You took them with a smartphone camera?
     
  5. M_ILIS

    M_ILIS High-Roller

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    Thanks! Yeah, it's a Google Nexus 4 that does alright if there's plenty of sunlight. That sunrise Strip picture shows how grainy the pictures can get otherwise, though.
     
  6. Wedgefromhere

    Wedgefromhere Tourist

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    I enjoyed the report. Thanks for sharing.
     
  7. BeeeJay

    BeeeJay President of The Red Lobster Hostess Satisfaction

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    Los Prados!!! We used to play this course every trip. I remember one tee was a mat and had a chain link fence blocking you from taking a short cut. That could just be a dream memory in my alcohol-dazed mind though.

    Great trip report!!
     
  8. MUFC

    MUFC Low-Roller

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    Enjoyed reading your TR, and great pictures of the golf courses they look amazing! Whats the significance of the black sand? Is it just a unique feature of the course (in Montana), or is there another reason for it?
     
  9. theghost

    theghost Low-Roller

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    Awesome report, great pictures....... Thank you for sharing your experience, it looks like you had a great time!
     
  10. M_ILIS

    M_ILIS High-Roller

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    I looked it up and it's an ode to the history of the site. Old Works was built where a copper smelting facility operated from 1884 to 1902. From nicklaus.com: "But, the most visually unique feature of the course is the use of the remaining black slag - inert, harmless material left by the copper smelting process - in the bunkers."

    My friend has played Old Works and was pretty impressed by how faithful the re-creation was at Bear's Best. Although the black slag at Bear's Best has been significantly bleached by the sun over the years and no longer has as jarring of an appearance as the jet black "sand" in Montana.
     
  11. JeaniGo1

    JeaniGo1 Tourist

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    Great report and great pictures.
     
  12. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

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    Awesome pics of the course!! Great Royal! And good to know they have 9/5 DDB on their nickel STP at least since you can one line those. Good thing you didn't though! ;)

    As for the 40/10/6 DDB machines at SLS, it's possible they yanked them. There were only four, and I never had an issue getting on them in Sept. so I wouldn't doubt if the casino was wasting electricity on those suckers with the 99.9%+ paytables for quarters or less. If you entered the porte cochere, you would go to the far left of the gaming floor, and walk to the bank furthest away from the porte cochere on the left side. That's were they were in September. Glad to hear the drink service was still solid on a weekend too!
     
  13. Sam in Ut

    Sam in Ut High-Roller

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    Great report! Loved the pics of Coyote Springs cuz I forgot some of the holes. We thought the course was way too much for us "old guys", but I thought the undulating greens were the round killers for me. Thx for sharing...
     
  14. M_ILIS

    M_ILIS High-Roller

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    Thanks for the nice comments, everyone.

    I did a little "by the numbers" analysis of the trip. Between promo codes on golf rates, Groupon, MyVegas and some gambling winnings, this had to be one of my most affordable trips ever!

    3 Rounds of Golf:
    Coyote Springs $55, normally $159
    Los Prados $27.50, normally $42
    Bear’s Best $54, rack rate said $249 but we heard others in the pro shop being charged $135
    TOTAL $136.50

    Hotel:
    MyVegas comp, split the $14.50 resort fee
    TOTAL $7.25

    Food:
    $10 Jerry’s Nugget
    $21 Peppermill
    $8 Capriotti’s
    $21 Los Domingos
    $6 CW tips at SLS
    TOTAL $66

    Souvenirs for the kids/snacks at Alien Fresh Super Ripoff Warehouse:
    $37

    Total expenses:
    $246.75

    Gambling wins/losses:
    Up $217 for the trip

    Total out-of-pocket cost of trip: $29.75

    Golf scores:
    Coyote Springs: 94
    Los Prados: 81
    Bear’s Best: 82

    (82 at Bear’s Best lowered my index to 9.9, first time below 10 in over a decade.)
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2014
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