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The Legacy Golf Club: A dynamic challenge in Las Vegas

LAS VEGAS -- You're heading to Las Vegas and looking for a golf course with enough bite to test your game. Well, look no further than The Legacy Golf Club.

The Legacy Golf Club, an Arthur Hills design, stretches out to an impressive 7,233 yards. But it's not the yardage that makes this course -- one that has hosted its share of U.S. Open qualifiers -- a dynamite challenge. Rather, it is the hilly fairways that pop up seemingly everywhere. These hills, mainly located in landing areas off the tee, can be troublesome as they will give players many sidehill, uphill and downhill lies for shots into greens if drives aren't perfectly placed. Want more? Add in just enough water hazards to whet (or wet) your appetite and perfectly placed bunkers around the greens, and you've got plenty to think about before you pull the trigger.

Finally, there are the greens. Large, large greens in most instances, and very undulating. Bring your best putting stroke because you're going to need it.

And don't forget, you're in Las Vegas so chances are you'll be doing a little gambling. At The Legacy Golf Club, you'll have your chance to gamble with a couple of risk/reward holes that can make or break a round.

The 13th hole, a par 4 that reaches just 324 yards from the tips, will force players to make a choice: Play it safe and lay up for a wedge shot into the green or grab the driver and give it a go. Are you feeling lucky? You'll need to be if you hit driver as there is a wash area left along with a huge bunker guarding the front of the green. Your best bet is play it smart, lay up with a hybrid and give yourself a putt at birdie. The odds, like many other games in Vegas, don't favor those trying to drive the green.

This challenging hole is part of a three-hole stretch called The Devil's Triangle. The Devil's Triangle may not look that intimidating on the scorecard, but Tom Vold, Director of Golf at The Legacy, has a warning golfers should heed: "How you play these three holes can be a real barometer of how you played," he said. "Be careful here. If you fall asleep, it will bite you."

The final risk/reward gamble is the par-5 17th hole. Playing just 515 yards from the tips, this one is definitely reachable in two. Those players taking a rip at getting home in two need to realize there are dangers lurking everywhere around the green. First, the fairway narrows down to about 20 yards wide near the green, so rolling up a shot is dangerous. Then, there's the huge pond to the left that swallows its share of errant shots daily. Add in bunkers short right of the green and another one to the right, as well as a couple of those intimidating mounds, and you've got one tough golf hole.

There's also one more memorable sight players will take away from a trip to The Legacy Golf Club. It's the tee box on the par-3 10th hole. Not only is this the signature design at The Legacy, but it's also recognized as one of the best in Las Vegas. The tees are shaped like the four suits in a deck of cards: heart, diamond, club and spade -- a fitting design to a golf course that will let players take a gamble on their game.

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