LAS VEGAS -- This oasis of excess in the Nevada desert boasts some of the best -- and wildest -- caddie experiences. From gorgeous young babes to highly trained PGA Professionals, Las Vegas caddies will take any round of golf to the next level.
The forecaddies of the Wynn add another level of service to a club and resort renowned for it. In 2005, Tom Fazio transformed the old Desert Inn site into a green fantasyland that serves as an escape from the noise and neon lights of the Las Vegas Strip. The final approach shot to the 18th green with a waterfall in back, followed by a post-round beer or meal at the Country Club steakhouse, is about as good as it gets.
Some of the club's forecaddies are PGA Professionals. They're good players who rarely steer their clients wrong. The Wynn's immaculate greens tend to run slick, so listen intently to directions.
Short skirts, beautiful smiles and some playful sass make these female caddies so popular. Beauty and sex appeal are part of the fabric of life in Las Vegas, even for a game as traditional as golf.
The Parmates act as pretty personal assistants. They replicate the five-star service of the staff at any major Vegas hotel by doing the little things -- repairing divots, fixing ball marks, cleaning balls and clubs and helping with yardage. Mostly, they add energy and fun to any foursome.
Dave Fowlie, a golfer from Calgary, Canada, enjoyed his Parmate experience in 2011.
"When I came back this year, Jennifer [the caddie] remembered my name. She's great," Fowlie said.
The terrific T-Mates have called Rio Secco Golf Club home since 2006. They cost $200 per caddie, a worthwhile investment on this excellent Rees Jones course located in Henderson.
My T-Mate, Kristin Lindstrom, was a ball of energy during a round in November. Once she parked her cart, she ran from point to point to find balls and read yardages. When I made a good shot or putt, she was quick with a hug or a peck on the cheek. She was a ray of light in an otherwise cruel and unfair game.
She said T-Mates go through training to better understand golf. They're allowed to flirt and be friendly to a point.
"You have to have thick skin and be smart," she said, adding that most T-Mates are actresses, models and dancers. "There's a fine line with going too far. It's tough, especially with a bachelor party."
A Tour-caliber forecaddie accompanies each foursome at this plush course Jones has called the "Eighth Wonder of the World."
A 418-foot waterfall winds through the layout, the range and the lavish Tuscan clubhouse, located in Boulder City roughly 22 miles from the Strip. When players arrive, the caddie/tour guide, sometimes a PGA Professional, escorts them to a locker with their name on it and caters to their every whim.
The course swoops majestically through the rock canyons and desert, riding 800 feet of elevation change. The caddies are indispensable when it comes to reading the greens. They will see the breaks first-timers can't. The caddie fee is an additional $25 plus tip.
Caddies are just the cherry on top of an exclusive experience playing Shadow Creek, the host of the Michael Jordan Celebrity Invitational.
The only way to gain access is to stay at an MGM International Resort. Players are pampered the minute they make the $500 tee time.
A limo from their resort whisks them away to this once ultra-private playground hidden in the desert. Fazio's first go-round with Steve Wynn in 1990 created something visually stunning from nothing.
January 7, 2013