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Silverstone Golf Club: A shotmaker's paradise in Las Vegas

LAS VEGAS -- Standing on the first tee at Silverstone Golf Club -- and that's the first hole on each of the three nines of this 27-hole layout -- course designer Bob Cupp gives players a great birdie chance to start the round.

Whether it's the Desert nine (a short, dogleg right, 535-yard par 5), the Mountain nine (an intricate, 343-yard par 4) or the Valley nine (a wide-open, 631-yard par 5), you'll have the chance to put a birdie on the card early on this wonderfully designed layout tucked into northwest Las Vegas.

And that's a good thing, because Cupp definitely has some tough holes up his sleeve as players tackle the next eight holes on any of the nines.

"The course has a generous landing area, but you've still got to hit good shots to score well," Silverstone Head Professional Reese McCall said.

While Cupp has made the opening hole on each nine a chance to score early, he's also closed each nine in fine fashion with three holes that will test players' shot-making skills to the max.

These three holes will also impress with their beauty as water, sand, desert and grass blend together impressively to put the finishing touch on each nine.

"They are definitely three very challenging golf holes with water coming into play on all three holes off the tee," McCall said. "But if you're playing the right set of tees, you'll have a good chance to finish strong. With the generous landing areas in the fairways, it's the approach shots, with the water, that will really test players on these finishing holes."

On the Desert, the finishing hole is a 404-yard par 4 with a pond guarding the left side of the green The Mountain is a monstrous, 616-yard par 5 with water lapping up to the fairway along the entire left side of the hole. The Valley is another water-laden hole, a 404-yard par 4 with a pond guarding the right side of the green.

In between every opening and closing hole are seven holes that will challenge players (depending on pin placements) to take dead aim at the flag or play it cautious and wait to attack later.

Silverstone Golf Club will give players plenty of options and that's always the sign of a top golf layout. Some of those options will be evident from the tee box: How much do I dare cut off that dogleg? Do I want to try and carry that bunker (or waste area) or play it safe and aim for the middle of the fairway?

Whatever your choices, you'll find Cupp's design is playable for everyone, with four sets of tees giving players the option of layouts ranging from 2,575 yards (the Valley's forward tees) to 3,560 yards (the Desert's championship tees).

Add them all together -- with the three distinct layouts -- and you've got a golf course that will test players with a variety of 18-hole options and an even wider variety of shot-making choices.

And one more unique characteristic of Silverstone Golf Club is the "Decider Hole," a 28th hole located next to the clubhouse to decide those bets rather than having carryovers. It's a par 3 with water fronting the green. Like the rest of the golf course, it's well worth playing even if you don't have money on the line.

"Silverstone Golf Club provides a great opportunity for golfers of any ability," McCall said. "It's a fair test, and it will definitely make you want to come back and play it again."

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