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Coyote Springs is a remote, beautiful course, but how does it thrive?

I found myself in the midst of a conundrum recently. . For those of you who love golf and business decisions, please put on your thinking caps, turn off any distractions and pay attention. Your help is needed; I ask you to participate.

I played recently at Coyote Springs Golf Club, this week, the Jack Nicklaus-designed course that sits 53 miles north of Las Vegas. About an hour to get there, in the middle of the desert; it had better be worth the effort, you say.

It is.

Coyote Springs has been recognized as one of the top courses in America since its debut in 2008. It has been awarded titles such as Best New Public Course by Links Magazine (2008), America’s Best New Courses (2008) by Golf Digest, Best Courses You Can Play by both Golfweek (2010) and Golf Magazine (2011) and America’s Top Golf Courses (2008) by Zagat.

The layout is typical of Nicklaus: a design with wide-open, undulating fairways, numerous bear claw-shaped bunkers strategically placed for your tee shots, several water features with forced carries and roller coaster greens with stimp readings of 12+ (in my opinion). Add in the most difficult pin placements by the local terrorists, and Coyote Springs will severely test even the best golfers.

The numbers reflect this; from the tips, Coyote plays 7,471 yards at par 72. More telling are the course ratings and slope. Ratings from the tips are 75.8, and the slope is 141.

The track lays out over more acres than the normal course, and each hole is pretty much secluded from the others. Many times, you will think Coyote is your own private course. Add in the wide open vistas, and you might have heavenly feelings.

The course is in A+ condition with the fairways as well-groomed as the greens. There really isn’t a rough but worse: vast desert waste areas where lost balls and strokes add up quickly.

I played the round with a 3 handicapper and another accomplished duffer. The 3 said it’s the best course in the Las Vegas area. The D indicated a lot of frustration but always with wide eyes and a wide smile on his face. Almost every hole is a postcard event, but check out holes Nos. 9, 10 and 18 for the most challenges and terrific vistas.

The critics have complained that Coyote Springs lacks first-class amenities. The facility consists of a pro shop and players lounge that are temporary manufactured buildings. There is no clubhouse or bar on the property, and the restrooms on the course are trailers, albeit nice ones. The pro shop area is adequately stocked and nicely landscaped and maintained and the staff is and courteous.

There is a selection of pre-packed sandwiches available, a nice but narrow list of beverages, and water is available every four to five holes during the summer months. An attentive beverage attendant helps greatly.

The course is surrounded by, well, absolutely nothing. It sits in the middle of a failed housing development that is bogged down in legal issues. Some think the isolation is a plus factor; others worry about the future.

Make no mistake about this: I thoroughly enjoyed my day of golf at Coyote. I’ll go back. It’s not hard to enjoy the best. But my business mind never shuts down.

Imagine having a Ruth’s Chris Steak House in the middle of the desert, an hour away. Ruth’s Chris is at the top the steakhouse list. What challenges would that location present to the steakhouse? How do you market to increase traffic or maintain business at the location? What would I do to market Coyote Springs, to increase awareness and elevate revenue? Prices and rates are affordable already. Reimburse for gas expense? Free golf balls? Free appetizers?

Think about it; let me know your thoughts. A free round of golf with me is the reward. Good luck.

I thank you!

John Asay is a longtime golfer and local freelance writer. Contact him at jasay@reviewjournal.com.

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