For Immediate Release January 26, 2015
Western Golf Alliance releases modified biennial rankings of western golf resorts
The "Western Stars" changes up to honor the top casino/golf resorts in the western United States
LAS VEGAS. The Western Golf Alliance today released the 2015-16 "Western Stars" rankings, a biennial list of the top golf resort destinations in the western United States. While a "countdown" of the rankings has been "tweeted" on the club's twitter feed @westerngolf for the several days, the full list was distributed to the media during the Board of Directors' annual winter meeting occurring at the MGM Grand Resort and Casino.
"As an organization, one of the primary missions of the Western Golf Alliance is to promote that which is best about the great sport of golf," said Brian Gray, WGA president. "Our biennial rankings of the best golf resort destinations is one of the ways we give back to golfers and the golf community."
For the current rankings, the Western Golf Alliance changed its selection criteria. In the past, the Western Stars identified the top 18 multi-course golf resorts, however this year the rankings refined the criteria to select the top 12 golf/casino resort destinations. As a result, the overall rankings are radically different from past years.
As expected, there are several Las Vegas area options, including the Wynn Resort, Caesars Palace, Primm Valley, and the comprehensive MGM/Mirage collection of resorts and golf partners. That said, a significant number of the honorees are casino properties owned by tribal nations who have embraced the trend of building or acquiring golf courses in order to turn their resorts into outstanding "buddy trip" destinations.
In this classification are several locations: Lesser known locations like Sycuan Golf Resort and Casino, new destinations like Casino del Sol and Sewailo Golf Club, and resorts with truly world-class golf like Harrah's Ak-Chin, which now operates Southern Dunes Golf Club. However, the top-of-the-line destinations in this category are clearly #3 rated Little Creek Resort/Salish Cliffs Golf Course near Olympia Washington, and the surprise #1 winner We-Ko-Pa Resort near Phoenix. Both of these locations have combined true world-class golf with casino resorts that offer all the qualities any group of golfers (or their spouses) could want - from great gaming, to awesome shows, to quality restaurants, to wonderful spas and other off-course amenities.
"For these rankings, we focused on identifying those golf destinations that any group would love to go for a long golf weekend," explained Mark Taylor, Western Stars task force chairman. "There is a dynamic between playing at the best courses, staying in the best places, and gambling in a quality environment. We are confident our rankings indicate those locations where you don't need to compromise on any side of that equation."
"The Western Stars is an important part of our mission to serve golfers and the golf community throughout the western United States," concluded Gray. "We are proud of the fact that everyday golfers will use these rankings to inform and plan their buddy trips and golf weekends, and that the information will lead to selecting a destination that will give them the biggest bang for their buck."
#1 = We-Ko-Pa Resort / We-Ko-Pa Golf Club
#2 = MGM Resorts / Walters Golf, Shadow Creek
#3 = Little Creek Casino Resort / Salish Cliffs Golf Course
#4 = Wynn Las Vegas Resort / Wynn Golf Course
#5 = Caesars Palace Las Vegas / Cascata, Rio Secco
#6 = Harrah's Ak-Chin / Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Club
#7 = Talking Stick Resort / Talking Stick Golf Club
#8 = Primm Valley Casino Resorts / Primm Valley Golf Club
#9 = Barona Resort and Casino / Barona Creek Golf Course
#10 = Casino Del Sol / Sewailo Golf Club
#11 = Pechanga Resort / Journey at Pechanga Golf Course
#12 = Sycuan Casino / Sycuan Golf Resort
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About the Western Golf Alliance: The Western Golf Alliance is the premier golf organization in the United States. The WGA exists to further the greatness of this grand sport of golf through the improvement of golf play by its members, the promotion of golf rules, etiquette, and tradition, and the ability to gather together from time to time for golf events and tournaments. The regional organization spans five western states, and is organized into nine geographic regions. Further information is available at http://www.westerngolf.org/.