Where’s the best place to play golf on the West Coast? We’ll give you hundreds of choices.
Golferswest.com continues its annual assessment of the Top Five courses to play within 12 West Coast states and British Columbia. Today, the 25-part series focuses on: Nevada/Reno-Lake Tahoe.
NO. 1 COURSE: EDGEWOOD TAHOE
LOCATION: Stateline, Nv.
DIRECTIONS FROM RENO:Take Hwy 395 south toward Carson City. Look for Jacks Valley Rd. (206) on the right. Go to Kingsbury Grade Rd. (207) on the right. It’s a steep grade that goes toward Lake Tahoe. Take a left at Lincoln Hwy. Course is on the right.
OPENED: 1968 (Architect: George Fazio)
GREEN FEES: Rates vary, check web site: edgewoodtahoe.com
LAYOUT: Par 72, 7,445 yards (four tee positions)
LOWDOWN: The course is immaculate and a thrill to play, with signature holes throughout the circuit. On the shores and the gorgeous blue Lake Tahoe, it’s one of the most scenic courses you can play. Golf Magazine rates it as one of the best courses you can play in America.
It’s long for the big hitters but it’s a course even average golfers can relish. It has hosted many significant tournaments, such as the U.S. Public Links, U.S. Senior Open Championship in 1985 and for the past 20 years the American Century Celebrity Golf Championship that features top golfers from other sports and the entertainment field.
SIGNATURE HOLE: No. 17, par-3, 207 yards. This gives you the best feel of the area as the Lake Tahoe beach runs all along the right side of the hole. In fact, just a little right and you’re hitting out of the sand. There is also a large bunker across the entire front of the green, two in back and an overhanging tree on left. You need to be precise with your accuracy as well as distance.
NO. 2 COURSE: OLD GREENWOOD
LOCATION: Truckee, Ca.
DIRECTIONS FROM RENO: Take I-80 west to just east of Truckee. Exit at 190, Overland Trail. Turn left under highway. Veer right at the Y to enter the Old Greenwood Community.
OPENED: 2004 (Architect: Jack Nicklaus)
GREEN FEES: Rates vary, check the web site: oldgreenwoodgolf.com
LAYOUT: Par 72, 7,518 yards (four tee positions)
LOWDOWN: A classic mountain resort course amid the sagebrush and ponderosa pines. You get a feeling of remoteness and in touch with nature as there are no structures on the course and plenty chirping birds.
Old Greenwood has been rated among the 10 Best New Public-Access Courses in the country by Golf Magazine and rated No. 4 four among America’s Finest New Upscale Public Courses by Golf Digest.
SIGNATURE HOLE: No. 6, par-5, 578 yards. You’ll need to thread your tee shot through a narrow passage of fairway with water on the left and trees on the right. Then it really narrows as the left-side water hazard runs all the way to the hole with a series of bunkers on the right. The green is twisted along the left dogleg at the top of the lake.
NO. 3 COURSE: COYOTE MOON
DIRECTIONS FROM RENO: From I-80, take Donner Pass Rd. exit. Turn right. Take a left on Northwoods Rd. (first stoplight). The course is a half mile on the right.
OPENED: 2000 (Architects: Brad Bell)
GREEN FEES: Rates vary, check the web site: coyotemoongolf.com
LAYOUT: (Lakes) Par 72, 7,358 yards (four tee positions); (Resort) Par 72, 7,290 (four tee positions)
LOWDOWN: Mountain golf at its finest – and steepest. This course is literally cut through the pines, with no structures around once you leave the clubhouse. It’s solitude, wildlife and great golf.
The course sits on 250 acres of secluded rolling hills amidst towering pines and these enormous granite outcroppings that surround some of the greens.
It’s close to a pretty cool city in Truckee, Ca., and is easily accessed from both Sacramento and Reno.
One drawback is there is not enough room for a driving range so be ready in the parking lot. Closes in the winter.
SIGNATURE HOLE: No. 13, par-3, 187 yards. This is a mouth-opening view to the green below, a 200-foot drop in elevation. It’s at carry to the green, as the hill down is virtually unplayable and there’s a creek and a wide waste area just in front of the green. It’s one of the great holes in the West.
NO. 4 COURSE: SILVER OAK
LOCATION: Carson City, Nv.
DIRECTIONS FROM DOWNTOWN RENO: Take I-395 south and exit Carson City on HWY 529. Take a right on Silver Oak Dr. then a left on Country Club drive. Course is on the right.
OPENED: 2000 (Architect: Keith R. Foster)
GREEN FEES: Rates vary, check the web site: silveroakgolf.com
LAYOUT: Par 71, 6,392 yards (three tee positions)
LOWDOWN: This course is really two in one. The front nine is almost completely into the rocky hills. There are elevation changes throughout. There are a number of blind shots, over ridges to greens. No structures on the front nine but plenty of rocky edges and vast areas to lose a golf ball.
The back nine is a total contrast. By the third hole, it weaves its way through a development and doesn’t come out until No. 18. It’s flat with a few water hazards. You can’t believe it’s the same course you played earlier.
SIGNATURE HOLE: No. 3, par-5, 516 yards. All your shots will be uphill. It’s a wide landing area for your drive but shrinks as you approach the green. Your second, or third, approach shot is blind over a lip to a smallish green. Local knowledge is important here because you’ll want to know how much green you have to work with and what’s behind the green. Ask your playing partners. It’s one of the best in a series of fun holes on the front nine.
NO. 5 COURSE: RED HAWK/LAKES COURSE
LOCATION: Reno, Nv.
DIRECTIONS FROM DOWNTOWN RENO: Take US-395 North to I-80E via Exit 68A toward Sparks / Elko. Take the Greg St./Vista Blvd. exit, Exit 21. Turn left onto Vista Blvd and continue to follow for approximately eight miles. Turn left onto North Wingfield Parkway.
OPENED: 1997 (Architect: Robert Trent Jones, Jr.)
GREEN FEES: Rates vary, check the web site: resortatredhawk.com
LAYOUT: Par 72, 7,140 yards (four tee positions)
LOWDOWN: Voted the best course in Reno seven times since it opened in 1997, this is a relatively flat course with 100 bunkers and lots of water hazards.
The layout sits on a Audubon Certified protected natural wetlands with lakes, springs and graceful cottonwood trees. The adjacent Hills course is a private Hale Irwin-designed layout.
SIGNATURE HOLE: No. 17, par-3, 241 yards. Obviously, you have to be a long hitter to reach this from the back tees and even the closer tees (221, 198) don’t give you much of a break. The carry is almost completely over water. There is a bailout area to the left but it doesn’t seem to get you much closer to the hole. Very difficult.
- Bob Sherwin
TOMORROW: New Mexico