The Wheels Up Experience

The Fire Pit Collective plays golf in California and Nevada while enjoying the luxuries of private air travel. Covering two states and two golf courses on a whirlwind road trip is par for the course with Wheels Up.

By Patrick Koenig

April 24, 2022

The Fire Pit Collective is working on a surplus of cool projects, and we get really excited when the Wheels Up folks come calling. A private jet to play Wilshire Country Club and TPC Summerlin in one day? We managed to play it cool and agreed to indulge ourselves. Here is our story in pictures as the Fire Pit experienced a day living the Wheels Up lifestyle.

Play commenced at Wilshire Country Club in Los Angeles as soon as the sun began to burn off the early morning fog. We would keep things simple: two-man teams doing battle in a scramble, a format that is fun, simple and keeps play brisk.

Team Hollywood: Laz Versalles and Matt Ginella

Team Dazzle & Splash: Colt Knedler and LaJethro Jenkins

With a full day of 36 and a plane to Las Vegas awaiting, the two teams settled into a rhythm as we explored Wilshire’s magnificent contours. Designed by Norman Macbeth in 1919, Wilshire has been enjoyed by many of Los Angeles’ finest for more than 100 years. Our crew happily added our names to that distinguished list.

The 16th hole as viewed from just above Beverly Boulevard.
The 15th green showed off its contours.
The 2nd green glistened in the early morning light.
The iconic Hollywood sign is on full display on Wilshire’s 9th hole.

Team Hollywood arrived on the 18th tee 1 down. It was a must-win situation if Ginella and Versalles wanted to step into the jet even money. Fortunately for Team Hollywood, Versalles is built for these moments. After his ball came to rest just off the green, Laz buried a bomb for birdie. We were headed to the airport all square.

LaJethro showed no signs of being rattled by Laz’s birdie as he boarded the King Air.

When you fly with Wheels Up, you don’t have to arrive at the the airport two hours early. You just park the car and walk to the plane. The only delays you are likely to experience are those caused by excessive selfie documentation. As an ode to irony, we enjoyed In N Out burgers before we boarded. Moments later we were in the air, enjoying a beverage and heading to Las Vegas.

Mandatory squad shot.
King of cool on the King Air.
Ginella approved the plane for flight.

After an Uber to TPC Summerlin that took roughly the same amount of time as our flight, we were ready for Round 2. Consistently ranked as one of the premier clubs in the Las Vegas area, TPC Summerlin is home to the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, a fall stop on the PGA Tour.

LaJethro from the sand was a lock all day.
Colt’s putter warmed up on the Las Vegas turf.

As the match headed down the stretch, Jenkins made a series of sand saves that not only thrilled the audience, but also provided team Dazzle & Splash with a 1-up lead. The vistas of Summerlin made for inspired play.

As the sun began to fall over TPC Summerlin, so did the putts for Knedler. A 1-up victory earned Jenkins and Knedler the right to hoist the coveted Carnoustie Cup. It was time to jump onto our Wheels Up plane and head back to L.A.

As we watched the lights of Las Vegas fade into the distance, we realized one truth: It wasn’t merely time saved with Wheels Up, it was time well spent.

2 thoughts on “The Wheels Up Experience”

  1. Is this just an advertisement for WheelsUp? Given Alan’s penchant for waving his journalist flag I would hope future product placement ads like these would be marked with a disclaimer accordingly. If you’re going to be a brand jockey, at least be transparent about it.

  2. Private plane travel is one of the most environmentally unfriendly activities one can do. Probably not a great look to promote something like this, especially when the travel is for a frivolous outing.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Sign up for our newsletter!

Never miss a story, new podcast, special event or merch drop.

Sign up today and receive a discount code for 10% your next purchase from the Pit Shop!

Scroll to Top