26. Shadow Creek
Tom Fazio, with Steve Wynn (1990)/Tom Fazio (R. 2008)
Forty-seven million dollars to build a golf course? Tom Fazio said that budget was necessary at Shadow Creek to perform what he now calls "total site manipulation," creating an environment where none existed, by carving rolling hills and canyons from the flat desert floor north of Las Vegas and pumping in plenty of water. Original owner Steve Wynn spent that much money because that's what casino hotel owners do, create fantasies like Vermont in Vegas. Alas, this once-in-a-lifetime dream design has been too successful, triggering many equally expensive, but inferior, imitations.
100 Greatest History: Ranked since 1993. Highest ranking: No. 8, 1993-94. Previous ranking: No. 32
“There are few golf settings in the world like this one. As well as the exclusivity and celebrities that are almost always on property. What a great experience that I would recommend to anybody who plays this game.”
“Sort of typical of Vegas and the 1990s with lots of waterfalls and over-the-top features. But once you're inside you feel like you're somewhere like in the middle of Georgia, and completely forget that you are 15 minutes from the Las Vegas Strip. There were thousands of trees, plants, etc. imported in to create this wonderful property."
"A great ride through Man's Creation. They sculpted a great track from a table top tract of land. It's all too perfect. There is no feeling of real nature, just pristine growth and hazards."
“The locker room features great old-school lockers with names like Michael Jordan, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Dustin Johnson, Wayne Gretzky, on and on and on. Dustin Johnson currently has the course record -- which you can look and read about while going to the restroom. They posted a copy of his card and a few of his comments during the round directly above each urinal.”
“An excellent layout by Tom Fazio that challenges you to find the right angles to play each hole well. Very well placed fairway bunkers that make the doglegs really work well. My one comment on design variety is up to the greens, there's repetition with too many forced carry approach shots. A 25-handicap would really struggle here.”