An introduction to Reno

In this blog post we’re going to look into what are the best golf courses in Reno. Often considered the little sister of Las Vegas, there is a lot in common between the two cities. 

Both are located in the state of Nevada. Grand boulevards take center stage with vast quantities of glamor and color. And of course there are a number of casinos to lose yourself in. 

But aside from the obvious comparison with Vegas, Reno does have plenty of other attractions. It is also less than an hour’s drive from the northern shores of the spectacular Lake Tahoe.

Reno City

The ‘Biggest Little City in the World’ has some great places to visit. These include the National Automobile Museum which has a vast collection of cars from the 19th and 20th centuries. 

The Nevada Museum of Art and the Fleischmann Planetarium & Science Center are both incredibly popular and great places to spend a few hours. 

Want to visit a casino? Well if you’re visiting Reno as a family, going to Circus Circus Casino would be the place to start. Yes, there are ample gambling opportunities. But there are also plenty of kid friendly activities.

Peppermill Resort Casino and Silver Legacy Resort are two other great options.

See also: What are the best golf courses in Las Vegas?

But around Reno are some great golf courses, which we’ll explore now.

The best private golf courses in Reno, Nevada

1. Montreux Golf & Country Club

Montreux Golf & Country Club, Reno, Nevada, Permission Given - resized

A 20 minute drive south of Reno, is the wonderful Montreux Golf & Country Club. It is a private gated community, between Reno and Lake Tahoe, at the foot of the Sierra Mountains.

Within the community are a number of facilities including tennis, pools, a fitness center and outstanding dining facilities. 

But the center-piece of the club is the 18-hole championship golf course designed by the Golden Bear, Jack Nicklaus. It is one of his signature layouts and was considered as being one of the Golden Bear’s Top 5 Favorite Courses.

The course is splendid, winding through towering pines and it climbs and drops the various elevations across the site. And there is the constant backdrop of the snow-capped Sierras.

This is a genuinely stunning location, and you can understand why it is one of the best golf courses in Reno. 

From the back tees, the course measures 7,500 yards. Amongst other highlights, this length was possibly one of the reasons it was chosen as the host venue to the PGA Tour Reno-Tahoe Open, which it hosted from 1999 to 2019.

The signature hole is the 17th, a par-4 which features a 138-foot drop from the tee box to the fairway. Hold your nerve here!

Although the course is private, there are set times of the year when the course is open to the public and I couldn’t recommend it more.

2. The Club at Arrowcreek

The Club at Arrowcreek, Reno, Nevada, Permission Given - resized

Nestled in the hills of southwest Reno, is the superb Club at Arrowcreek. 

Yet another private membership which has access to some of the finest luxury amenities on offer. These include various pools with a pool bar, private cabanas and a first-class fitness center. The club also prides itself on the quality of its member dining.

There are two championship courses onsite, the Legend Course and the Challenge Course.

The Legend was coincidentally designed by a legend of the game, the great Arnold Palmer. Opening for play in 1999, the course enjoys spectacular terrain up high in the desert landscape. As such there are stunning views out across the valley into Reno.

Where the Legends course weaves through dry creeks and across ravines, the Challenge Course features forced carries and tall fescue grasses that line the fairways. 

The Challenge Course was designed by Fuzzy Zoeller and John Harbottle, and is positioned at the base of the Sierra Mountains. Like the Legends course, it also has some wonderful city views. 

Both courses here at Arrowcreek are top class. Unfortunately member-only, it is well worth making the most of any invite to play here!

3. Somersett Golf & Country Club

Somersett Golf & Country Club, Reno, Nevada Permission Given - resized

Somersett Golf & Country Club has set itself the small ambition of being the premier club of choice in the greater northwest Nevada area. 

Well fair to say on the current trajectory, things are looking up. 

Like many of these master planned communities and private clubs, members enjoy top class facilities and countless other benefits. 

But where they can really stand out above others, is in the quality of the golf, be it one or multiple courses. 

At Somersett, they’ve arguably sacrificed the big-name architect with a lofty reputation. Instead, they’ve gone with an architectural firm known as being a trendsetter in golf and being on the cutting edge of course design. 

This is the design duo of Roy Bechtol and Randy Russell. For this project they worked with Tom Kite, the World of Golf Hall of Famer and someone who himself has delved into the world of golf course architecture.

The layout they created is divine. A championship course stretching to 7,252 yards with wide expansive fairways. Seven lakes of various sizes which more often than not are positioned close to greens. 

Add to that 400 bunkers dotted throughout and vast elevation changes which keep players on their feet. This is a superb course with views to match. 

4. Hidden Valley Country Club

Hidden Valley Country Club, Reno, Nevada, Permission Given - resized

Hidden Valley is a smart private club to the east of the city and has been in place since the mid 20th century. This is a secluded and hidden community buffered from the city by the Veterans Parkway and S McCarran Boulevard. 

As part of building a first-class gated community, the club called upon the architect Billy Bell Jr, to construct a fine golf course. This opened in 1956 and was the first private golf course in Nevada. 

As is the case with many older courses, time comes for a well-needed renovation. So in 2001 the club commissioned Mike Stark and Dick Bailey to inject some life back into the layout. 

So good was the work the duo rolled out, it was chosen to host the Patty Sheehan & Friends Invitational. 

Patty Sheehan, the World Golf and LPGA Hall of Famer, in partnership with the Legends Tour, the official senior tour of the LPGA, hosted the event in 2011. The field consisted of over 40 LPGA legends enjoying the two-day stroke-play event.

The mature course boasts wonderful mountain and city views. It also has a reputation of being tough. Long and narrow fairways lead to small and lightning fast greens.

The best public golf courses in Reno, Nevada

5. Red Hawk Golf & Resort (Lakes & Hills)

Red Hawk Golf and Resort, Reno, Nevada, Facebook -resized

Red Hawk Golf & Resort is a Troon operated facility to the north east of the city. Therefore expect quality service and course conditioning.

There are two outstanding championship golf courses here. The first and arguably the better of the two is the Lakes Course, designed by Robert Trent Jones II. Measuring 7,140 yards, the course flows through the dramatic desert landscape. 

The routing takes you through lakes, meandering springs and past mature cottonwood trees. This is a delightful playing experience and one of the finest in Reno. 

Partnering the Lakes course is the Hills Course, designed by three-time US-Open winner Hale Irwin. The layout takes you into the foothills of the surrounding mountains and subsequently, offers magnificent views of the entire Spanish Springs Valley. 

This is definitely a challenge. As the name suggests, there are plenty of elevation changes. Add this to the undulating fairways, small greens and myriad of bunkers, be prepared for a test of pure golf. 

Another one of the reasons Red Hawk is so popular is you can stay onsite. There is a range of luxurious villas dotted around the serene setting of the Lakes Course. This is a peaceful alternative to staying in lively and buzzing central Reno.

6. LakeRidge Golf Course

LakeRidge is a course that is consistently voted the ‘Best of Reno’ year after year. Although it doesn’t quite make the top of this list, it is certainly one of the best public golf courses in Reno. 

As far as locations go, it couldn’t be more convenient to reach from the main Reno strip. You’re literally 5 minutes from the Atlantis Casino Resort Spa and 10 minutes from the Reno-Tahoe International Airport. 

The layout at LakeRidge Golf Course was designed by the world-renowned architect, Robert Trent Jones Sr. As one of the original golf courses in Reno, it opened for play in 1969. 

There is one thing you can be sure of when visiting LakeRidge, and that is top class conditioning. The greens are fast and true and the fairways are pristine. This is a facility that takes maintenance seriously, one of the reasons no doubt it is so highly regarded.

The signature hole is the 15th, a sensational par-3 set high above Lake Stanley. From here you take aim towards an island green, accessible by a small wooden bridge. This hole has been known to wreck a decent scorecard.

This is a semi-private club, so the public are more than welcome.

7. Toiyabe Golf Club

Toiyabe Golf Club, Reno, Nevada, Permission Given

Washoe Valley in Nevada is a wondrous place. A landscape that is wild and beautiful. So much so, the Toiyabe National Forest is the largest U.S. National Forest outside of Alaska. 

Add to all of this the impressive backdrop of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, you can understand why this part of the world is so popular. 

So it makes sense a golf course in this place would be pretty aesthetically pleasing. Well welcome to Toiyabe Golf Club. 

This 18-hole championship course was designed by Robert Muir Graves, an architect who designed around 75 golf courses nationwide. 

Toiyabe is part alpine golf, part links in style. Fairways are relatively open although long grass lurks for any tee shots that are too wayward. Water comes into play on many holes, although fortunately the course stays well away from the nearby Washoe Lake. 

The club is semi-private and just under a half hour’s drive south from Reno.

8. Wolf Run Golf Club

Some 15 minutes due south of Reno, close to the private and luxury Club at Arrowcreek, is Wolf Run Golf Club. The club is run by Duncan Golf Management, and prides itself on welcoming visitors. 

This is an exposed spot, atop a plateau where the wind can play havoc during the round. As such the fairways are generally quite open. But missing the fairways can spell real trouble.

No wonder Wolf Run Golf Club is known as a ball-striker’s course. This is also arguably why the men and women’s golf teams from the University of Nevada Reno call this course home.

There are elevated tees, water hazards and plenty of bunkers to keep things interesting. 

It is also worth highlighting the practice facilities which are really quite decent. A large newly remodeled driving range, practice putting green, a 100-yard short game area and a new chipping area. Without doubt some of the best in the area.

And to top everything off, really good value. An off-season twilight rate is between the $35-45 range. 

9. Sierra Sage Golf Course

Sierra Sage Golf Course, Reno, Nevada, Website

Up in the North Valleys overlooked by the Peavine Peak, is Sierra Sage Golf Course. This part of Reno feels well separated from downtown, but it is only an 18 minute drive from the city.

The course opened in 1960 and since then has slowly but surely built a reputation as being one of the most affordable golf courses in Northern Nevada. 

This classic desert style layout also benefits from fantastic views. The natural topography creates a series of subtle elevation changes which on occasion can lead to some challenging lies. 

Despite the up and down nature of the routing, it is walker friendly. It also has a really good reputation for being open year-round, weather permitting. 

There are a handful of water hazards and multi-tiered greens which keep things interesting. But generally, this is a course which caters for slightly higher handicaps and won’t beat you up. A nice relaxing round of golf at a decent price.

10. Washoe County Golf Course

Washoe Golf Course, Reno, Nevada, PErmission Given

And last on our list of golf courses in Reno is Washoe County Golf Course. Like LakeRidge Golf Course, Washoe is a mere stone’s throw from Reno’s main boulevard.

Affectionately known as the ‘Shoe’, the course history goes way back. It was founded in the same year the U.S. entered World War I, by Mrs Gourtley Dunn Webb. 

It was originally a member-only club but opened to the public shortly after the Great Depression. 

The course was highly rated, and hosted its first professional tournament in 1946. Since then, there have been many great names who have won here including none-other than Ben Hogan. 

Today it maintains its reputation as one of the most playable tracks in the Truckee Meadows and continues to host various tournaments and other local events. 

Clearly its location helps maintain its popularity. But with decent practice facilities and known for being in great condition, the club more than holds its own.

What is the best golf course in Reno, Nevada?

The best golf course in Reno is Montreux Golf & Country Club, located to the south of the city. This is a Jack Nicklaus Signature design, which for 20 years at the beginning of the 21st century, was the host venue to the PGA Tour’s Reno-Tahoe Open.

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