Nevada’s oldest settlement, Genoa, was founded in 1851 by Mormon explorers and operated as a trading post for early pioneers of the West. Just a mile or so north of town, the Genoa Lakes Golf Club is home to two separate championship golf facilities. They sit about 2 miles apart from each other in a picturesque valley below the eastern slope of Tahoe’s tallest mountain peak and that of several of her friends.

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The Ranch Course | Alex Green

Lakes Course
18 holes | par 72
Yardage | 5,057 to 7,359
Slope | 103 to 133
Rating | 62.8 to 74.0

Ranch Course
18 holes | par 72
Yardage | 5,289 to 7,331
Slope | 118 to 134
Rating | 64.4 to 74.4

The Lakes Course, established in 1993, was co-designed by Peter Jacobsen and John Harbottle III. The clubhouse is large and opulent. Greeting you on walking in the door is a glass enclosure spanning an entire wall decorated with trophies and moments in golf history. Having hosted more than a dozen U.S. Open Qualifiers, it is year after year voted as one of the best golf courses on the West Coast.

“Having hosted more than a dozen U.S. Open Qualifiers, it is year after year voted as one of the best golf courses on the West Coast.”

Resting on the floor of the Carson Valley, the field follows the banks and canals of the Carson River. True to its name, several lakes scattered around the wetland-lined fairways bring water hazards of various nature into play on 14 holes. Straight flight shots off the tee are a must in most cases to ensure the opportunity of a safe approach to the pin. Ornamented with lush green natural grass, 100-year-old cottonwood trees and an abundance of water, the course is home to many species of birds, herds of deer and even a flourishing population of turtles.

The Ranch Course is a different feel of a place — entirely. The saloon-like clubhouse, sports a polished wood bar and barbecue joint. The beef brisket is out of this world and surely will take a few strokes off your round. Opened in 1998, co-designed by John Harbottle III and two-time major winner Johnny Miller, the playing area is carved into the high desert in a links-like fashion. The front nine dances around the low land before stair-stepping a steep mountain bluff, severely exposed to the potential of a howling afternoon wind. Forensically groomed fairways give way to a thick and healthy second cut, and then on to a rocky terrain of sagebrush and mountain wildflowers. With more than 300 hundred feet of elevation change, 100 or more bunkers and multi-tiered, sometimes funnel-shaped greens, this place consistently sets the tone for adventure, one hole after the next. The putting surfaces themselves are downright quick. Leave yourself below the hole or you may be stuck with the reality of a near impossible shot. Remember, every putt from anywhere on the green will eventually fall toward the valley — every time.

For more information, call (775) 782-4653 or visit genoalakes.com

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Alex Green
Alex Green grew up in Santa Cruz before attending the University of Nevada Reno, and eventually settling in Truckee. When not writing or traveling the globe, he can be found golfing, snowboarding, making music and wandering around the Sierra.