Opening shortly after the death of Robert Trent Jones, Southern Highlands is said to be one of only a handful of courses that he designed in collaboration with his oldest son. How much influence the original RTJ had over this layout is unclear, but what is clear is the influence of Shadow Creek on high-end golf in Las Vegas. Here we again see mature plantings to screen holes from the outside world along with dyed lakes, cascading ponds, waterfalls, lush playing surfaces and pure white sand bunkers. Like Shadow Creek, the shaping and mounding does give a sense of escapism, until the higher back nine holes that overlook the adjoining residential development.
Aside from the fun split fairway 18th hole, the most notable aspect of design is probably the large splashed up bunker complexes, which are often set into slopes behind the greens or to the side of the playing areas. Rarely are all traps in play, with many seemingly built to make a visual statement. That statement will please those who enjoy lush golf and heroic design, but might leave the rest slightly unfulfilled.
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