Los Prados Golf Course

Approach shot to the 261-167 yard, par-4, 9th at Los Prados.

If you wonder where Las Vegas locals play, here is one of your answers. Las Prados Golf Course is short. It's inexpensive. The people and staff are pleasant, homey, and courteous. But, Los Prados offers little in the way of a serious golf challenges, course aesthetics, or conditioning.

If you have any length at all, its seven, drivable par-4's will allow you to feel like Tiger Woods. Their distances range from 260 to 315 yards. Of those, the 261-267 yard 9th is sublime. A lake lies to the left, and in front of the green, but it's a big target. In fact, this is such a good hole that the course should re-route its nines, and make this the finisher.

Most of the other holes remain featureless. Par 3's lack character, ranging from 96-188 yards.

Los Prados is a par-68 stretched to become a par-70. Therein lies its problem. Regulars tell us that the 295-301 yard, par 4, 6th, for instance, used to be a shorter par-3, until the staff redesigned it by placing a chain link fence between the teeing ground and the green. Now, instead of a long shot to a green, it forces two wedges.

The 440-450 yard, par-5, 14th used to be a testing, dogleg right, par 4. But then the staff toughened it by placing trees and narrowing the fairway. Even after a good drive, you may feel as if you're swinging in jail.

The good news - that Los Prados is about to undergo renovations which will give it more of a desert look and feel. And, in a town where golf has become downright pricey, it provides a fun, inexpensive alternative, assuming you are not too picky. We made friends with a resident, and paid $30 on a Saturday.

Can't beat that.

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golf, wayne freedman
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