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Played on Friday, 5/12, with a 6:30ish tee time, with John_T, his dad Larry, and bro-in-law Jay. Thanks to not setting the alarm, I rolled up to the starter right at our time and he let a 2some out in front.

Conditions were pretty good to great. Tee boxes were in level areas with some divot damage on the par 3s. Fairways were mostly lush, with a few fairways having a brown spot or 2. Rough was about 2 inches, shorter in some areas, longer around the greens. Greens were smooth and ran medium-fast. They were not as firm as normal. I wasn't in a bunker, but they looked as they normally do.

Customer service was typical. No one was out to pick up the bag. Golf shop guys are great, nice and talkative. Drink cart started around 8, and was around 2-3 times. Only weird thing was the marshal pulled up while we were on #6 to tell us we were 10 minutes behind (not accounting for the late start) even though the closest group was a 2some a full hole behind us. I will admit our 4some was not keeping up with the 2some ahead of us, playing the tips and shooting in the 70s (total sarcasm). The next 2 times by he did not say anything.

Another fine day at AP. I find the Mountain to be a good challenge, especially the last 3 of each 9. We paid $41 with the OB card.
Played in the GK event on 5/7. I'm going to break it down a little different, viewing the course as someone who breaks 100 about half the time:

Practice area: Nice grass driving range. Had to wait a few minutes for a spot but most days are not going to have 44 people trying to warm up at the same time. Decent chipping area. Thought the practice green was a little small, and faster than greens on the course.

Conditions: Overall excellent. Never a bad tee box. Nice fairways. Rough about 2 inches in most areas. Greens were firm and rolled nice. I did not see many ball marks all day. Only complaint I had were the bunkers, however, they did have strong gusts the night before and that's bad for loose sand. My example is the large 100 yard long bunker on the left side of #5, which ends about 7 feet below the elevated green. Just no sand to get under the ball. I hit the liner (a few times). Just found a variety of sand conditions in the many bunkers I was in.

Customer service: Pretty good, bag drop was busy when I pulled up. Parked then walked up and stood with my bag for 5 minutes before someone grabbed it. I was offered a ride over to the practice area. Drink cart was around about 4 times. Grill service was ok, but it was a big group. I wasn't a fan of how they consolidated about 35 orders on the ticket though.

Overall: I loved the course. I played the 6200 yard combo tees and it was probably a bad idea. Should of stuck to the 6000 yard whites. This is the 3rd Nicklaus course I've played and probably the toughest off the tee but the most flat greens I've seen him use. However, those bunkers are ridiculously hard. I would definitely go back and would be an awesome pairing with the Stadium course.
Played on Saturday, 4/29, with GK'ers Noeldaof, John_T, and John's dad, Larry. Noel and Larry played the golds (6602 yards, 71.2/131) while John and I stuck to the Ruby tees (5864 yards, 68.4/125) We had a 6:40 tee time and we ended up being the 1st group out around 6:45. I didn't think we slow played, but we finished just over 4:30, with the group behind pushing us a little. I have no idea why the pace was such, we would pull away, they would catch up, didn't spend much time look for lost balls.

Atmosphere: Royal Links opened as a high end course, with the tourist in mind, ran by Walters Golf (Bali Hai, formerly of Desert Pines). The holes are "inspired" by the British Open, including a few no longer in the rota. In November, the course was bought by Scottsdale Golf, who is now targeting locals, with residents pricing and player cards. When you arrive, you have to ring the bell to get the gate open, possibly due to the neighborhood (I grew up around here, I know it can be tough). You pull up to the castle, drop the bag, and either park or valet it. I found the outside staff kinda "eh," but it could of been due to the early morning. Pro shop staff was good, checked us in and directed us back out and to the range. They have a cool looking Irish pub, but wasn't able to enjoy it because of family plans. Drink cart came by twice while we were on the back 9, and she was awesome. Thanked us for coming out on the first pass and again as we were on the 18th tee.

Course: Full grass driving range included with the green fee. Big, rolling practice green with huge elevation changes. I found the practice green faster than the course and threw me off on pace for part of the front 9. Tee boxes were lush and pretty level. Even the par 3s had minimum amounts of divots. Fairways were good, and kept to the theme. Not carpet like, but not thin and dried out. Rough was crazy and loved it. From 1 inch to the desert version of gorse. Bunkers were good. Thick heavy sand, but most of the time you're hitting out sideways. Greens were ok. Firm with almost no ball marks. Medium speed. The most of greens on the back 9 were having maintenance done on their collars, with large sod pieces being laid down.

Overall: Royal Links fits in Vegas. Of course we can have a Scotland/England inspired course in the middle of the desert, we have an Eiffel Tower, Statue of Liberty, and a pyramid. There are lots of trees along the perimeter, but the interior is pretty barren. There are lots of mounds throughout. And I don't think I ever played a course with as many blind shots as this one (probably why we played a little slow, trying to figure where to hit it). We paid $75 residents rate, which I thought was a bit high for the course. I would definitely recommend it to someone visiting if they can find a rate they like. I don't know if I would play again, maybe as an once in a great while, or if I get a very nice rate.
Played Friday, 3/31, with John_T and his dad, thanks to a free 4some from gary00 via tonybarrett. Thank you gentlemen, and thank you Johnny and Aliante/Troon for providing it during a GK event.

With winds hitting close to 70 mph in the area last night, I was expecting a mess on the course. I saw a couple of maintenance vehicles hauling off lots of big limbs as I pulled in, but there was no sign of any damage to the course. Great job by the staff. Due to the weather the last few days, tee boxes were a bit shaggy, mostly level, and some divot damage. Fairways were in great shape and best part of the course. Lush, no thin or brown areas. Rough was rough, bermuda just coming back. Coverage near the desert areas have really thinned out or died. Bunkers were bad, just hard packed, thin, with pebbles in them. Greens were pretty good. As a reminder, they lost almost all of them last summer and were a bit shaggy in November when I played. Firm today, medium speed, with some bumpiness.

Staff was great. No drink cart today, but you go past the bar/grill on the way to the 10th tee, with great prices. Weather kept everyone away, played in 3:45, letting a 2some through early. I do love this course, happy to see it coming back but it still has some work to do. Not a destination, but worth it for under $50.
Played Thursday, 3/23, with a 9:25a tee time. I won a free 2some in twitter contest Arroyo/Siena sponsored with UNLV Basketball which was good Monday-Thursday. Arroyo is the public side of the Red Rock Country Club, with it's private Mountain course in the same area. Each course has it's own clubhouse and practice area. When you pull into the parking lot, carts are set up at the bag drop and it's a very short walk to the pro shop to check in and a pretty large restaurant attached. There's a very small putting green outside of the pro shop which was the same speed as the course. If you want to hit the driving range, the Arroyo range is on the far side of the private range and you need to drive up the side of it to get there. When you do, you find 6-8 stations in a worn out area next to another private area. Yes, you can tell the difference but it's fine for warming up. We were paired up with a local couple and we finished in about 3:45, excellent pace.

I last played here almost 3 years ago and I remembered I really enjoyed the course. Shocker. Enjoyed it today. While it does route through housing, they are "mostly" out of play. Outside of 8/9, no 2 holes repeat, nice variety of par 3s (including a 200+ yard into the wind).

Conditions were Ok, not bad, not great. Most tee boxes were good, but #7 (the signature par 3) was completely dirt at the blue tees. Fairways were firm with little amount of thin areas. Rough was about 2-3 inches. Greens were weird. Ran at a medium speed, they appeared to have a few different grasses in them. There was a few bumpy putts today. My only complaint are the bunkers. Just like 3 years ago, the liners are exposed in the bunkers, all on the front 9. The sand was ok, but had little pebbles. If you had a putt anywhere near a green side bunker, you had lots of pebbles around you.

Overall, I really really want to like this course. Customer service is great. Drink cart was around 4-5 times. It's just the little things like some of the tee boxes and those bunker liners that bother me. Would I play here again? Yes, if I was paying about $40.
Played on Friday, 3/17, with a 9:10 tee time. If you love college basketball and have never been to Vegas for March Madness,you are missing out. When I worked in the sports books, this weekend was bigger than Super Bowl. The whole town is packed, including the golf courses. AP was packed, but I was able to make a tee time online Sunday night.

Checked in at the starter and paired up with a father/son duo from New Jersey before being sent to the 1st tee, which had 2 groups waiting. Finally teed off around 9:20ish and finished in almost exactly 4 1/2 hours, which was expected. When we paid in the pro shop at 8:20, the group ahead of us had a 8:25 tee time. We waited on almost every hole, but everyone was moving along. I knew it would not be a less than 4 hour round and planned for it. Beautiful Vegas day with temps in the 80s, a slight breeze, and the drink cart around at least 5 times.

Conditions similar to 2 weeks ago. Great fairways, they're starting to grow out the rough, and decent desert sand (both bunkers were kind of heavy). The only change was a slight top dressing of sand on the greens. Only noticeable when you marked your ball and the greens still rolled pretty smooth with a medium fast speed.

I will not complain about paying $43 with the OB card, but I don't know what the "rack" rate was today.
Friday, 3/3, with a 11:26 tee time for the $30 replay rate. Second part of a 36 hole day. Enjoyed a great breakfast in the restaurant between rounds, topped off with an excellent spicy bloody mary. We watched the 1st tee of Palm while we ate and saw nothing but carts continuously stacked up. Checked in, sent to the tee and joined by a local couple with only the wife playing, and finished in just under 4 and 1/2 hours, waiting on the 3 ahead of us most of the day, but nothing horrendous.

Conditions mirrored the Mountain course. Decent tee boxes with minimum divot damage. Fairways were nice and lush. Bunkers were OK, typical of the desert, with some pebbles. Rough was about 1-2 inches and not penal at all. Greens were smooth and fast, probably as fast as I've seen them. Any faster and it would be difficult to putt downhill without it running completely off.

Drink cart was around 3-4 times and the halfway house snack bar was open. Marshall was out and kept it moving on a busy Friday afternoon.
Played on Friday, 3/3, 1st part of a 36 hole day at Angel Park using my free birthday round as a OB Sports card holder. Up and down with service today, bags were picked up as we got out of the car, quick check in, and then off to the cart area. Guy only strapped one bag on, which was weird, luckily I saw it before we took off. Checked in with the starter hoping to get out a bit early and he put us out 1st ahead of a 3some who had the 1st time but hadn't checked in yet. He also handled them when they pulled up to see us teeing off. We pulled away from them quickly, waited for a single who stalked us up 10 and joined up with him and finished in just over 3 hours.

Conditions were pretty good across the board. We found a few shaggy tee boxes but we may have been ahead of maintenance. Fairways were in good shape with no brown areas. Rough was still at a minimum, but a little bit longer than last time. Bunkers were good, fluffy, but seemed to have little pebbles in them. Greens were terrific and terrifying. Firm and fast, anything above the hole had a chance of rolling off.

All together, I can't complain about free, but it's worth the $42 rate for that time.
Played on Friday, 2/3 with a 8:30 tee time for $49. Made the reservation last week through their phone app and found times on Mountain pretty scarce. Super Bowl weekend in Vegas usually means packed courses on Friday and Saturday. Parking lot was packed but no signs of golfers anywhere else. Starter put us out a group early, joined by a local single, and we played in 3 1/2 hours. Great pace by a 4some in front of us and the 2 behind us barely waited.

Even though today was close to 70*, the course was showing signs of the past 2 weeks of freezing temps. Fairways were cut pretty short and there was areas of brown/thin areas on almost every hole. Still very playable though. Rough was almost non-existent, just long enough to define fairway from rough. Bunkers were in good condition, semi-fluffy sand in the 1 I was in. Greens were in great shape. They appeared "splotchy" but rolled true at an almost fast pace.

Another beautiful day at the home course. Wished I would of wore shorts. Course was in pretty condition considering the weather the last couple weeks.
Played on Friday, 1/13 with John_T for $33 with the OB Card. I made a 9:30 tee time but it had been raining since the day before and we found the parking lot empty. Minimum staffing for the day, with no starter and no snack bar. We checked in and was told to head out when we wanted. Grabbed some refreshments from the restaurant and headed to the 1st tee about 30 minutes early. With a constant light rain for the front 9, we had the course to ourselves and finished well under 4 hours, including a few long breaks when the rain picked up.

We found the course in great shape. No cart restrictions and the course drained well with no standing water in the fairways nor on the greens. Tee boxes were a bit chewed up. Fairways had no bare or brown areas and lush grass. The rough has been cut to almost nothing, just enough to define the fairways, which caused some bad runoffs off the sides and back of a few greens. On #16, I hit the edge of the green, bounced left, and rolled down a hill and under a fence, where most times the ball is held up. Greens were awesome. Faster than they appear, almost completely dry even with the rain.

The course drained incredibly and the only sketchy area was the drive from the elevated par 3 tee on #13 down to the green, crossing through an arroyo that had a stream running through it. Spoke with the marshal after 14 and they closed that section of the course since the stream was rising.

Overall, another fine day at Angel Park. I don't get many chances to play in the rain and actually looked forward to it.
Played on Thursday, 12/29, with John_T, his dad, and a buddy. We had a 9:22 tee time and found a 20 minute frost delay when we checked in, but was told they were almost all caught up. After some warming up at the matted range, we headed over to the starter, who sent us off #10 at 9:25, so no real delay.

I haven't been on Mountain since early October and found the course is holding up fine to the winter weather. Last week's rain may have helped too.
Some tee boxes, particularly the par 3s, were a little beat up, but all mostly level and no real problem finding a spot to tee it up.

Fairways had great coverage, except for the 3 with water, the geese/coots have taken a toll on those, causing some thin/brown areas. Back 9 fairways get more sun and had more roll to them.

Rough was just enough to cause a little bit of problems, about 2 inches. We were able to avoid all but 2 bunkers, green side on the #4 Par 3 was very fluffy, and the 50 yard long bunker on #7 (which should really be a waste area), was thin and firm.

Greens were nice. Not real firm, rolled smooth and at a medium-fast speed. They were probably just a bit slower than they are in the summer.

Overall, a great time, minus a run-in I had with a guy in the behind group behind us. We finished in 4:20, with very little waiting. Marshall was out and defused the run-in. We paid $34 with the OB Card membership.

On a side note, we played all 12 holes of the Par 3 Cloud 9 course afterwards and had an awesome time. If you ever make it to AP, hit the short course with a group. It was a blast. Some really chewed up tee boxes, and a handful of greens were beat up from taking wedges all day, but still lots of fun. Longest hole today was about 165 yards, with most running 95-125.
Played on Monday, 11/14, with Itslikeimsayin, using a free 4some he won at a GK event (Thanks Mark, Johnny, and Troon!). Started off weird, as the starter put us with a 2some 1 group ahead of our tee time and sent us to the 1st tee, only to find a single waiting to join up. Single left, we teed, then the single and starter came back to bump us back and put the single with the 2some, as a 3 ahead of a 2. Just weird.

What a huge difference in conditions from when I played in July. After that time, I have avoided playing here. The course has improved immensely. The rough is now dormant Bermuda, but fairways took to the new grass well. There are still lots of rocks in the fairway bunkers, but the green side bunkers have improved. There now filled with heavy brown sand, much better than the hard packed, crispy stuff they had in July. The greens are where there was the most improvement. They were a bit long, but considering they were pretty much dead in July, it was worth the slow speed.

Aliante will never be a destination course, but worth it for the budget minded or local player. There are houses (like many Vegas courses), but they are back a little (but still hittable).
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