Golf

Golf Course Review 3 (Lakeridge Golf Course)

Lakeridge Golf Course is one of the staple golf courses of Reno, NV. While it is one of the top recommended courses for tourists to play, it is also a Reno local favorite. The course is a 6141-yard Par 71 located just off of the south McCarren loop. While many of Reno's newer courses boast a desert landscape, Lakeridge was established in 1969 and has several old growth trees across all 18 holes. Lakeridge has several great features to offer, and after my round this past week I would like to offer my pros and cons of this great Reno course.

Pros:

1.) Locals Rate: I am not sure if this is a new feature to Lakeridge, but this year I noticed they started to offer a mid-week, $55.00 locals rate. I believe this is well worth the cost for guys like me who have played it multiple times, and especially for those who have never played it. Although this rate is not low enough to make it an every week go-to course, it is reasonable enough for tight budget Reno locals like myself to try and make it out once a month.

2.) Golf Carts: These carts are absolutely the top of the line in Reno. The carts include a very detailed GPS software with an additional GPS distance locator on the back, which no other course in town offers. The carts also offer a self braking mechanism that doesn't require the operator to set a parking brake. I know it is kind of strange to speak so highly of golf carts, but they are extremely helpful on this course and are included in the course fee.

3.) Scenery: The old growth that surrounds this course is unlike any other course in Reno. It allows trees, lakes, and streams to come into play for a majority of the holes. Their signature hole 15, a Par 3,  provides some of the greatest views of the city. While the scenery from this tee box is spectacular, the hole itself is not very friendly and is almost impossible to hit, especially if there is any wind present. Depending on the wind conditions, it seems standard to take 4 clubs to the tee box and just guess which one might get you to the green.

4.) Greens: While many courses I have played this year are suffering from dry winter conditions, which have affected their greens, the Lakeridge greens were in great shape. The difficulty level of the greens is on the easier side, which allowed me to make up some strokes from water balls on previous holes.

Cons:

1.) Rate of Play: Due to the popularity of this course, the rate of play is rather slow. I have yet to play this course in under 4.5 hours, even during the mid-week twilight time. Given the sophisticated GPS trackers on board, I would hope to see a Marshal on the course in the future to help the speed of play.

2.) Difficulty: I have yet to play the "tips" on this course, and if I was a better player I probably would. I find myself playing the traditional "Lakeridge" tees, which normally involve a t-shot and then a gap wedge or less to get on the green of most holes. Many of the par 4s on this course seem rather short for anyone that can drive 280+. Although this helps my game and I should not be complaining, I find myself attempting to drive the green on holes 1, 3, 5, 14, 16, and 17. This might not seem like a complaint because it is a major advantage to have a long drive, but the length of the course is definitely shorter than some others in Reno.

Overall, I love Lakeridge Golf Course and strongly recommend any local to take advantage of the "locals deal" they offer, which I don't normally recommend for many of the other courses in Reno.

Golf Course Review 2 (Bailey Creek)

Located two hours north of Reno is a great vacation destination known as Lake Almanor. Here you can find great local restaurants, skiing/fishing boating, along with some great golf. Last week I had the opportunity to play Bailey Creek Golf Course for the fourth time and I plan on returning again and again. After golfing so many desert courses in Reno, it is always a pleasure to get away and play a mountain course that has so much to offer. Bailey Creek opened in the year 2000 and  is a 7040 yard Par 72. The course offers some views of the lake and near by mountains, in addition to offering a multitude of fun and challenging holes. Although my scores at this course normally do not reflect my ability to play the game, I have to say it is an exceptional golfing experience each time I play it. My most recent experience (with golf partner Kyle) involved showing up just before 4pm on a Friday with no tee time booked. To our surprise, we were greeted with a cart at our car door side and a relatively open course to play on. Since this course is primarily used by weekend vacationers, I would recommend playing at any time midweek, or plan on playing a twilight weekend rate to avoid a large backup. Bailey Creek offers a wide variety of twilight and midweek rates that are able to attract cheap golfers (like us) to play such an exceptional course. After paying our $40.00 Super Twilight Rate we were ready to tee off by 4:10pm. Besides a mix up and some tension at the tee box with golfers who were "at the turn" (because they originally tee'd off at hole #10), the course was relatively open and a quick rate of play.

Although I can talk forever about the great things about Bailey Creek, there are a few things to watch out for as a golfer this year. One challenging aspect about this course is the large amount of dogleg left holes, which is unusual for many courses I have played. If you are a right handed golfer with a killer slice, plan on spending a lot of time in the woods searching for your golf balls. Secondly, the course's Par 5s seem relatively short and easily attainable in 2 shots from the "blue" tee-box, which can probably be corrected by playing "the tips". Finally, the main concern specifically this year was the condition of the greens. While every rough, fairway, and bunker seemed to be in exceptional shape, the greens were pretty beat up, which is probably the result of a harsh dry winter. I have played Bailey Creek in previous years and realize this is not standard for their greens. The photos below were the case for about 30%-40% of the greens in play, which sometimes had a major affect on the trajectory of the putt.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the end, Bailey Creek is still an amazing course. Although some of the 18 greens had significant wear on them, the rest of the course was in great condition. I would recommend for anyone to take a day or weekend trip to Lake Almanor and play Bailey Creek, especially with the great twilight and midweek rates, not to mention the nice restaurant and bar to hang out at after the round.