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Southern Highlands

A BATON PASSED FROM FATHER TO SON

Southern Highlands is one of the few private clubs in the Desert Southwest with a national membership.

Las Vegas, Nevada: Many are surprised to learn portions of the Vegas Valley contain artesian wells that support lush vegetation. When Mexican trader, Antonio Armijo, discovered the oasis among a parched landscape in the 1820s, he named the area Las Vegas, which means “meadows” in Spanish.

The first visitors to arrive in the area were ranchers and railroad hands. The region received a big boost when construction started on the massive Boulder Dam (now named Hoover Dam), drawing thousands of workers. The massive project provided two impetuses for modern day Las Vegas. An influx of visitors was now looking for entertainment after a hard day’s work and the dam provided cheap hydroelectricity to power the flashing signs of “Glitter Gulch.”

Big personalities from Howard Hughes to Steve Wynn continued to define Las Vegas. Today, the city has diversified away from gambling and only 35 percent of visitor revenue is betting related. Entertainment from Cirque du Soleil, Blue Man Group, David Copperfield, and Elton John have worldwide appeal and are the main drivers of tourism. With hospitality providing the lion share of revenue, Nevada is equally known for its low taxes and overall cost of living.

Father/Son Duo

Robert Trent Jones Sr. immigrated from England and was introduced to golf as a caddie at Rochester Country Club in New York. His designs carry cachet and rank among the best in the world. Following in his father’s footsteps, Robert Trent Jones Jr. studied the game under the tutelage of Tommy Armour at Winged Foot Golf Club. His earliest experience working beside his father was the legendary Spyglass Hill in California.  

Southern Highlands, about a fifteen-minute drive from the Las Vegas Strip, features a Jones Sr./Jr. co-design with sweeping elevation changes, waterfalls, deep-faced bunkers, bent grass greens, and an expert caddie program.

“Jones Sr. started our course and his son finished the design,” explained Jason Cheney, general manager at Southern Highlands. “We are one of only four co-designs in the world by the duo. It’s a parkland layout with a big footprint. You could easily fit 36 holes within our 18-hole outline. Accuracy is a must with seven water features and more than five football fields worth of bunkering.

“Our exclusivity has its privileges. Member tee times are never required and our high-touch service standards are of note the moment you pass through the club’s entrance and drive down Robert Trent Jones Lane. The valet will assist with your car and your caddie will be at the ready.”

Membership is a mixture of successful businessmen, actresses, politicians, and entertainers. “Pretense is left at the guard gate,” said Cheney. “With our ideal location [the Raiders practice facility and McCarran International Airport are minutes away] and Nevada’s pro-tax laws, we are in the envious position of approaching our membership cap.

“I like to say, Southern Highlands is where traditions of the grand game of golf live on, and privacy and indulgence are the ultimate rewards.”  

For more information on Southern Highlands, please visit SouthernHighlandsGolfClub.com.

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