Golf champ Mark O’Meara buys Southern Highlands home

For a man who travels the world to play professional golf and has a summer home in Utah, champion golfer Mark O’Meara said his new primary home in an enclave of Southern Highlands fit his lifestyle perfectly.

O’Meara, 63, a former Masters and British Open champion, will have quick access to take the Interstate 15 to McCarran International Airport to continue his play on the PGA Champions Tour and to drive to Park City, Utah, and his mountain retreat and Tuhaye Golf Club that he designed.

In April, O’Meara and his wife, Meredith, closed on a Christopher Homes new build for $2.52 million. The one-story home measures 5,100 square feet with four bedrooms, 4½ baths, an expansive great room, office and four-car garage — space that O’Meara said is plenty. Rob Wilner with Nartey-Wilner Group of Simply Vegas was the buyer’s agent. Mark Stuhmer, principal of Christopher Homes Realty was the seller’s agent.

“It’s been a dream,” O’Meara said. “It’s 430 miles up I-15 and after spending all winter at our place in Park City, my wife was saying she’s a Texas girl and had to have a little sun. The winters here aren’t quite as warm as La Quinta (California) or Scottsdale (Arizona), but with the golf courses being really good here and with the airport I can get to anywhere in the world. It’s been a super-big positive for us. We have become friends with everybody and, Gary Goett, who built Southern Highlands, has been very gracious to us.”

O’Meara received an honorary membership to Southern Hills Golf Club. O’Meara almost became a Las Vegas resident 33 years ago when he lived in Escondido, California. He was close at the time with resort developer Steve Wynn who was building The Mirage. O’Meara, who had a young family at the time, opted for Orlando instead. where he and Tiger Woods would ultimately live in the same neighborhood.

Woods put the green jacket on O’Meara when he won the Masters in 1998.

Las Vegas re-entered the picture in 2019 when O’Meara’s stepson graduated high school and was off to the University of Georgia. The couple put their Houston home on the market and were considering Scottsdale and other locales.

“Our Realtor put us in touch with Rob, and I asked Meredith one night if she would ever consider living in Las Vegas,” O’Meara said. “She said she had never thought about it, and I suggested she and her mom fly to Las Vegas to take a look around. That’s how it started early last fall.”

Wilner had suggested MacDonald Highlands and Southern Highlands for consideration before the couple opted for the latter. O’Meara was already familiar with Christopher Homes owner, Mark Stuhmer, building homes in Park City at his golf course where he lives.

“There was this spec home on the market by the second tee at Southern Highlands,” O’Meara said. “I was on the road playing and competing in the fall and Meredith said why don’t you fly in, so I did from the East Coast. Rob showed us around, and it was perfect. It was about 85 percent done, and my wife could pick out and change some of the finishes on the inside of the house.”

Their home of six years in Park City measures 7,800 square feet and has been considered their dream home as it sits on 2 acres, overlooking the Jordanelle Reservoir on the back side of the ski area, Deer Valley. The Las Vegas home didn’t need to be as big, even though O’Meara called the kitchen massive “with so much cabinet and storage space that it can’t be filled.” He said he enjoys its openness and easy layout.

“Chris and Mark Stuhmer have been right on everything they have done in building this house,” O’Meara said.

The couple, who have yet to complete furnishing the home, opted for finishes that include contemporary custom cabinetry, gourmet Bosch and Thermador appliances, Kohler plumbing fixtures, wood flooring, quartz countertops, linear fireplaces in the great room and master suite, custom built-in closet systems, stacking glass doors to create a seamless transition between the great room and backyard, which features a pool and spa.

“The backyard was all dirt, and I figured I could do a nice pool and artificial turf green and bunker with a barbecue area,” O’Meara said.

The backyard includes saguaro cactus, Joshua trees, date palms and yucca plants. The front yard has massive pots with plants, he said.

“I am a kind of landscape freak,” O’Meara said. “I like my stuff to look really good. That is what we tried to incorporate in this home.”

O’Meara has an artificial turf green in Park City and had the same in Houston. His sod-faced bunker, a match of Park City, is modeled after the famous 17th Road Hole at St. Andrews in Scotland.

“I don’t putt that much on it, but it looks good,” O’Meara said. “I know that much. And when you open the shades in the bedroom, the putting green and spa are right there.”

That’s not the only view the O’Mearas enjoy, but it’s not the golf course as you would think. Instead, it’s large pine trees planted along the edge of the course designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr. and Jr. that hides the view just off the par-3 second hole.

“I love the privacy aspect of it,” O’Meara said. “I don’t want to look down on somebody else, somebody look down on me, and I don’t need to see the Strip. I have a golf cart in my garage, and if I want to go practice and play in Southern Highlands, I can. It has turned out amazing.”

PGA Tour player Kevin Na plays at Southern Highlands, and with members of the Raiders moving into the community and members of the club, O’Meara said he expects to play with them. He’s already played with Golden Knight players Mark Stone, Brayden McNabb and Max Pacioretty. He’s also friends with executives from Discovery Land, the co-developers of The Summit Club in Summerlin, and also was made an honorary member of that course designed by Tom Fazio.

“Anyway I can help the clubs I will,” O’Meara said. “My most prized possessions — the Claret Jug, Masters trophy and U.S. Am trophy are in Park City, but it will be nice to bring them down here so members can see them and take pictures and get to hold them and get enjoyment.”

The PGA Tour Champions resumes at the end of July in Michigan, and O’Meara plans to resume his play then. He said he’s enjoyed his long break since play was suspended in March, although not the circumstances that caused it. He said it was a rare break for him since he’s seldom had injuries.

O’Meara said he has no plans to retire and had a bump in his step earlier this week when he played with his stepson and shot a 6-under 30 on the back nine at The Summit Club.

“The old guy still has some game left,” O’Meara joked about himself. “It was a dream when I was put in the Hall of Game in 2016. I learned to play when I was 13. That’s starting late, and I’m still going.”

The couple own two Labradors — Crosby, named after his wins at Pebble Beach tournament, once hosted by the late Bing Crosby, and Georgia after the Masters.

Before he moved to Las Vegas, O’Meara admitted he hadn’t spent much time in the city. He’s not much of a drinker, gambler or partier and gets more enjoyment snowmobiling, fly fishing in the middle of nowhere or camping on the side of a river.

Still, there’s plenty to like about Las Vegas.

O’Meara said he enjoys its restaurants and hotels with some of the “best room service in the world.” He’s stayed at the Wynn, Encore, The Venetian and Palazzo.

“It’s funny when you haven’t spent a lot of time in Vegas how it has changed over the years,” O’Meara said. “I remember playing the PGA Tour in the early 2000s in the Las Vegas Invitational in Summerlin. To see how much the area has grown up is amazing.”

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