Top Five: Reno/Lake Tahoe Area

A lake in front and traps behind the finish hole at Tahoe's Edgewood.


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.

PHONE: 775-588-3566 (web site:

OPENED: 1968 (Architect: George Fazio)

GREEN FEES: (Opens in May) ranges from Monday-Friday, $140; weekend $240.

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.

With the beach all along the right side, the par-3 17th at Tahoe's Edgewood

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.


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.

PHONE: 530-550-7010 (web site:

OPENED: 2004 (Architect: Jack Nicklaus)

GREEN FEES: (Opens in May) Ranges from $100 to $185

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.


LOCATION: Genoa, Nv.

DIRECTIONS FROM RENO: Take Hwy 395 south toward Carson City. Look for Jacks Valley Rd. (206) on the right and take that 5 ½ miles. Courses are on the left.

PHONE: 866-795-2709 (web site:

OPENED: 1998 (Architects: Johnny Miller/John Harbottle III)

GREEN FEES: Depending on the season, ranges from $55 to $110

LAYOUT: (Lakes) Par 72, 7,358 yards (four tee positions); (Resort) Par 72, 7,290 (four tee positions)

LOWDOWN: There are two courses here, the Lakes course and the Resort course, two miles apart. The more challenging course is the Lakes course as it lives up to its name, plenty of water.

The courses are in a valley below a magnificent bluff that leads up to Lake Tahoe. Beware of the winds that occasionally come through. They can knock you off the tee but also can pump up your drives more than 300 yards.

SIGNATURE HOLE: No. 6, par-3, 217 yards. Your tee shot is over water and it looks shorter than what it is. You might want to club up here because it’s all carry and if you’re short of the green you are either in the water or a broad bunker along the entire length of the green.


LOCATION: Sparks, Nv.

DIRECTIONS FROM DOWNTOWN RENO: Located just 10 minutes east of downtown Reno in nearby Sparks. Take I-80 east to Vista Blvd. Take a right at N D’Andrea Blvd. Course is on the left.

PHONE: 775-331-6363 (web site:

OPENED: 2000 (Architect: Keith R. Foster)

GREEN FEES: Range $49 to $69

LAYOUT: Par 71, 6,849 yards (four tee positions)

LOWDOWN: The course is above the city on a bluff with the brown hills above the green fairway. It’s in the foothills of a high desert canyons and quite scenic.

There are homes bordering the layout – and some unfinished tracts – but they don’t come into play even for errant shots. It’s a quick, convenient and affordable course.

SIGNATURE HOLE: No. 16, par-5, 553 yards. Your tee shot will need to be over a wide body of water but if you take it left you shouldn’t have any trouble. Your approach needs to be straight or slightly left to stay away from a nasty waste area to the right of the green. Both the tee and green are elevated.



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.

PHONE: 866-462-4295 (web site:

OPENED: 1997 (Architect: Robert Trent Jones, Jr.)

GREEN FEES: Monday-Friday, $49-$55 (depending the season); Saturday-Sunday, $75-$85

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