Hey, Oakland Raiders! Hands Off Bali Hai Golf Club, Las Vegas

Filling acres once thought threatned by the egress of the Oakland Raiders in Las Vegas, Bali Hai Golf Club is a fun, accessible option just off The Strip.

John Scott Lewinskiby John Scott Lewinski

There is no reason why a billion dollar NFL franchise should threaten a perfectly good golf course. So, it’s right and proper news that the migration of the Oakland Raiders to Las Vegas won’t cost that city one of its most accessible and hotel-friendly golf courses, Bali Hai Golf Club.

If the Raiders do go ahead with their proposed plan to abandon Oakland for Vegas, all signs indicate they’ll stick their black and silver pirate flag on the south end of the Strip. That would put a proposed new stadium somewhere just beyond the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino – the last major resort on Vegas Strip heading south. That’s where Bali Hai Golf Club lives, so some reports had the course threatened by potential stadium designs.

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That would be a shame for the traveling golfer as the Bali Hai Golf Club offers friendly, resort-style play in easy reach of a vast majority of Las Vegas’ major resort properties. Bali Hai sits within easy walking distance of Mandalay Bay and a quick cab ride from everywhere from The Venetian to MGM.

The Wynn’s soon-to-be-closed golf facility likes to call itself the only course on The Strip, and they get away with that because Mandalay Bay unofficially ends The Strip on the south end. Bali Hai is just as easy and convenient as The Wynn’s golf course, offers cheaper play — and it looks like the former will actually still exist in a year.

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Laid out amidst rolling hills and surrounded by a moat of white sand, the course is designed for friendly resort play. There are no blind tee shots, few doglegs and bowled fairways designed to direct many shots hit into the second cut back into play. There’s ample sand and occasional water, but both are avoidable with some touch.

While the course layout might smile on the average player, the greens are where Bali Hai kicks up the challenge. There are frequent spots where the player must get the pace right or face drifting off a tier back into the rough. It’s all part of the fun.

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In Bali Hai’s neighborhood, the good news is the most recent reports have the would-be Las Vegas Raiders playing in a strip of industrial park hidden to the northwest of Mandalay Bay amidst old warehouses and disused strip mall spaces. Bali Hai would survive in such a case, and that’s good news to any player looking for a happy round of golf a lob wedge from The Strip.