Golfers who like to combine a little gambling this summer or even in the fall might want to consider going to the other Nevada city, Reno. The self-proclaimed “Biggest Little City in the World” may not be as glitzy or have as many rooms available, but temperatures don’t climb into the 100s and there’s enough high stakes action and big name entertainers at the casinos—Eldorado, Peppermill and Grand Sierra to mention a few—for those wanting it.
Furthermore, the golf courses are definitely as impressive as most of the ones inVegas and less pricey—green fees in the $50 to $100 range for the most part. In Vegas, some big spenders fork over up to $500 and green fees at other courses usually top $100.
The bang for your bucks is especially true of the courses that are part of Golf the High Sierra, a marketing cooperative that works together to promote the entire High Sierra, including the beautiful Lake Tahoe area. If you plan on going, it will pay dividends to check out www.golfthehighsierra.com.
The D’Andrea Golf Club is a Keith Foster design that meanders through the undulating foothills and high desert canyons in nearby Sparks, less than 10 minutes from downtown Reno. On the back nine, golfers get dramatic views of the Reno skyline and the spectacular Sierra Nevada Mountains. It’s a fun course where you can make some birdies, especially if you opt for the gold or silver tees at 6,501 or 6,272 yards. From the tips, it measures only 6,849, but does offer challenging approach shots from a lot of uneven lies in the lush green fairways.
The Legend Course at ArrowCreek Country Club is open to the public. The Arnold Palmer design traverses through natural ravines and White’s Creek. It’s easy to see where you should hit it— the lush green fairways—and where you should not hit it—the desert or the rock outcroppings. The Challenge course here, designed by Fuzzy Zoeller and John Harbottle, is for members only, offering a mix of links and desert golf.
LakeRidge Golf Course, designed by the old master, Robert Trent Jones Sr., has beenvoted the “Best in Reno” year after year. It can be challenging from the tips at 6,715 yards, but fun from the green tees at 6,141 yards. The 15th hole is the one most talked about. The tee shot on the par 3 that can be stretched to 239 yards sits on a hill 140 feet above the island green. Even if you pick one of the shorter tees, go up and see the views of the city from the back tee.
The Resort at Red Hawk, located in the foothills in nearby Sparks, offers 36 holes. The Lakes Course, designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr., is open to the public. Adding to the challenges here are all the water and more than 100 bunkers. Limited public play is also allowed on The Hills, a Hale Irwin design known for dramatic elevation changes and smaller than normal greens.
If time permits, other options include Wildcreek Golf Course, good enough to host the Champions Tour three times, or Wolf Run Golf Club, home of the University of Nevada golf team, or the private Somersett Country Club, where Tom Kite worked with Texas architects Roy Bechtol and Randy Rusell and which reportedly have the “best greens in Reno.”
If you go to Reno between Aug. 4-7 this year, you can venture out to the Jack Nicklaus-designed Montreaux Golf and Country Club, a private club nestled in the foothills south of Reno, to see how the touring professionals in the Reno-Tahoe Open fare. The spectacular par-4 17th, features a tee shot from more than 100 feet above a fairway protected by a stream down the left side that cuts in front and to the right of the narrow green.