I admit it; I was a Reno-phyte, having never been to the magical land of Reno/Tahoe, Nevada. And after four fun and sun-filled days this past June, I could have sworn Robin Leach’s crew from The Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous were filming our golfer writer’s FAM Trip’s every move. Simply stated, the western edge of Nevada is a playground for those who love outdoor activities or just relaxing 12 months a year. Whether its golf and water sports in the summer, skiing in the winter, or gambling the whole year through, Reno/Tahoe has your golf group covered.
Day 1 – Playing a PGA TOUR Stop is Always Exhilarating
As I pulled into Montreux Golf & Country Club my friendly female GPS voice stated, “You have arrived,” to which I responded out loud, “Why yes, I have.”
The Jack Nicklaus design opened in 1997 and has been the home site of the Baracuda Championship since 1999. For a man who has designed over 300 courses worldwide, the following admission is all you need to know about the power of Montreux. “The scenery is dramatic and the woodlands are magnificent. Of all the courses I have designed, Montreux will certainly be one of my top four or five,” regaled Nicklaus.
The downhill 417-yard opening hole is a sensational way to start your round and was the first occurrence of a common theme. At roughly 6,000 feet above sea level the golf ball goes forever! Locals say the 10% rule is a good one to live by, but when a gap wedge from 138 yards sailed over the flag on the first hole, I realized it would take me a few holes or rounds for that matter to get adjusted. Our group played from the second back, or Alpine tees, at 6,954 yards and never felt like the course was too imposing.
Montreux is a private club so our recommendation is to befriend a member stat! You will be blown away by the immaculate course conditions, their attention to detail, and the shot values Montreux provides. For more information on the property visit www.montreuxgolf.com
After our round we were treated to an after party courtesy of Parc Foret at Montreux, who has created an enclave of forested, luxury home sites throughout Montreux. They say “Living well starts here” and we would agree whole-heartedly. To learn more about their housing options, log on to www.parcforet.com
Our group then checked into the sheik Eldorado Resort Casino in nearby Reno. The impressive high rise building is located in downtown and is known for their high-energy gaming and affordable golf stay and play packages. Mark Conn, Director of Sports Marketing is a golfer and uses his knowledge of what golfers desire to create an experience that combines the best of what Eldorado has to offer. “It’s definitely an advantage being a golfer and selling to golfers. When my friends and I travel, we have our priorities. Understanding the group’s priorities for their golf trip helps create success and returning guests for the future,” stated Conn.
Mark also has the advantage of representing two other fantastic casinos in Reno, Silver Legacy and Circus Circus. “Between the three resorts we offer over 4,200 guest rooms and suites to choose from during your stay seamlessly under one roof,” explained Conn. “We also offer 25 award winning restaurants meaning you will never have to eat at the same place twice. When it comes to packaging golf, we have preferred golf course green fees with over 30 golf courses in the Reno/Tahoe region. We also have access to high-end exclusive private clubs and are the only resort/casino in the region that has a dedicated Sports Sales Team with two staff members focused on golf groups,” said Conn. If you are looking to bring your next golf group to Reno, MGM recommends emailing Mark personally at firstname.lastname@example.org or going on any one of their three websites at www.eldoradoreno.com, www.sliverlegacyreno.com, or www.circusreno.com
DAY 2 – Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw Have Done It Again
Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw have made a career out of being minimalists. And while Clear Creek in Tahoe, NV may not receive the national accolades of other Coore/Crenshaw designs, that is only because the course is private and only re-opened a few years ago. But when you see a series of cabins being built along the 18th fairway, hope springs eternal as someday soon guests might be able to tackle this remarkable layout.
Coore and Crenshaw call it a special site, which is the understatement of the century. The 1,600 acre property is set inside the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest and takes a skilled GPS unit to find. Once on site, you will be greeted by magnificent views, brilliant backdrops, and stunning natural contours that are only extenuated by Coore & Crenshaw’s design acumen. Towering ponderosa pines and natural scrub brush areas contrast with green grass and brilliant blue sky to form a canvas for the ages. For more information, visit www.clearcreektahoe.com
What was outstanding about this FAM trip is we played every type of course imaginable, from the high-end private club, to the ideal municipal track. Placed perfectly in the middle are the 36 holes of Genoa Lakes Golf Club & Resort in Genoa, NV. The public property is divided into two distinct 18s – the Lakes Course and the Ranch Course. The Lake Course is tucked in a valley and features only three holes that are not impacted by water. The Ranch Course is highlighted by mountain range views and only a half dozen holes impacted by water. The two courses are less than three miles apart and serve as a great option for those looking to play 36 in one day. To learn more about Genoa Lakes, head to www.genoalakes.com
After our relaxing round, we checked in to Carson Valley Inn Casino in nearby Minden, NV that includes a series of great restaurants, comfortable rooms, and multiple gaming options. One block from our resting place is Nevada’s Next Big Thing, Bently Heritage Distillery. The distillery, which will open later this year, uses only their own grain and botanicals grown right on their ranch in Nevada. The business resides in a 100-year-old Minden flour mill which sits proudly on the National Register of Historic Places. To learn more about this exciting addition, visit www.bentlyheritage.com.
Day 3 – No Wonder Celebrity Golfers Love Mid-July
Since 1990, Edgewood Tahoe Resort has hosted American Century Championship for a week long party of golf, camaraderie, and charity. If you’ve ever tuned in on the weekend to see Justin Timberlake, Steph Curry, or Aaron Rodgers, you know Edgewood Tahoe GC is the true star of the festivities. The George & Tom Fazio design just cracked Golf Digest’s Top 100 Public Course List this year, and is a thrill ride from the opening tee shot to the last putt. While even casual golf fans are familiar with holes 17 and 18 from TV, the 7,529 yard layout weaves through equal parts lowlands and forests and culminates with the final two holes on Lake Tahoe.
The resort has undergone an amazing transformation and our group was able to secure a preview tour. Everything is state-of-the-art including a classy infinity pool that overlooks Lake Tahoe. The 9th hole was also moved last year to take advantage of the lake view. “The world’s prettiest parking lot” as dubbed by long-time visitors is now a pristine lawn ideal for weddings and parties. While there, we strongly recommend renting a kayak or boat and going out on Lake Tahoe for the afternoon. Their recently updated website is as stylish as the facility at www.edgewoodtahoeresort.com
A well struck driver away from Edgewood Tahoe Resort in downtown Lake Tahoe is the Hard Rock Café Hotel Casino Lake Tahoe. The property spans the state line between Nevada and California and features gambling, sports betting, luxurious rooms, and outdoor dining overlooking downtown. To learn more about The Hard Rock Hotel Casino, log on to www.hardrockcasinolaketahoe.com
Day 4 – A State-Run Facility That’s Hard to Beat
Our final day in the Lake Tahoe region took us to Lake Tahoe Golf Course, which is just over the border in South Tahoe, California. The spectacular William Bell designed championship layout will inspire and delight every golfer with its breathtaking scenic views and natural habitat. The Upper Truckee River runs through seven holes and provides a calming influence throughout your round. Holes 14 through 17 are tucked between the trees and belong on a course that charges twice as much for green fees.
As I boarded the plane at the highly-efficient Reno-Tahoe International Airport, I kept going back to four days ago when my GPS unit succinctly told me I had arrived. Arrived I had, and now I am counting the days until I get back.
Use These Experts to Plan Your Reno/Tahoe Adventure