Wynn Las Vegas will debut its newly re-imagined golf course, which will be one of the most expensive places to play in America, on Oct. 11. The $550-a-round luxury experience will include lithium battery-powered golf carts, caddies and even Rolls-Royce cars that can fetch its high-rolling, off-property guests. It will also be the only golf course on the Strip, a feature that Wynn President Marilyn Spiegel says sets the casino resort apart from every other in Vegas.
“The next closest good golf course is 45 minutes away,” Spiegel said. “We know there’s a strong relationship between golf and gambling [in the casino], and a lot of gambling goes on between players on the golf course.”
Golf has been absent from Wynn and the Strip since 2017 when then-Chief Executive Steve Wynn shuttered the course to replace it with Wynn Paradise Park. The plan was to create a sprawling hotel, convention center and entertainment venue whose focal point would be a grand lake with a white sand beach and water skiing. Not long after the bulldozers moved in, Wynn resigned in 2018 amid sexual misconduct allegations, which he denies.
“Not only did we notice we lost 16,000 rounds of golf out there, 70% of which were cash, but we lost probably $10 million to $15 million worth of domestic casino business,” Wynn Resorts Chief Executive Matt Maddox said on an earnings call last year discussing the decision to scrap the lake.
“We weren’t really interested in building a large public swimming pool for the Las Vegas Strip,” Maddox said. “Now … we can put our golf course back in as an amenity.”
Maddox and his team wasted no time recruiting golf course architect Tom Fazio and son Logan to design the Wynn’s new course. The par-70 routing plays slightly shorter than Fazio’s original 2005 design but incorporates hundreds of mature trees, new greens, tees, eight entirely new holes — and a cash prize for anyone who lands a hole-in-one on No. 18.
Much of the impetus to reconstruct the golf course was rooted in Wynn’s customer demographics, Spiegel said.
“When you look at table games, the players are predominantly male, and our golf course skews the same way,” Spiegel said, adding that Wynn’s customers “are typically a group of guys who come to gamble and play golf and didn’t have a lot to do while their partners were in the spa. We brought the golf course back for them.”
Wynn’s management is also mindful that nearly a quarter of all Las Vegas visitors are Southern California residents.
“We want to make it easy for golfers who seek a luxury experience to come here. There are amazing golf courses in L.A., but every golfer wants to play a new course. And playing golf here will be more than just meeting your buddies for a Saturday round at home.”
Earlier this month, Wynn re-instituted free parking for all guests, a move that many hope will begin a trend throughout the city.
Next year, the resort will debut new restaurants from chef Thomas Keller overlooking the 18th green, and a contemporary Mexican concept from chef Enrique Olvera, adding to a fine-dining mix that already includes the well-regarded Costa Di Mare and SW Steakhouse.
“We’d never create a ho-hum golf experience at Wynn,” Spiegel said. “We take huge pride in everything we do, and we’ve done the same thing with the golf course. Imagine coming off the course and having a Thomas Keller steak or hamburger here. This is going to be a flawless experience.”
Info: Green fee costs $550, including forecaddies and cart. Golfers with a room reservation at Wynn Las Vegas or Encore can secure tee times 90 days in advance. Nonresort guests can reserve tee times 30 days in advance. Tee times: (702) 770-4653.