The Lakes Course at Red Hawk Golf and Resort

Looking back toward No. 2 tee | John Dee

Red Hawk Golf and Resort is part of a large complex located in the Spanish Springs Valley of Sparks, Nev. There is a private club, fitness center, villas on the golf course and restaurants — just about everything you need for a weekend getaway. Plus, there are two golf courses, one called The Lakes designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr. and one called The Hills designed by Hale Irwin. I played the Lakes Course.

Par 72 | 18 holes
Yardage | 5089 to 7140
Slope | 114 to 134
Rating | 67.0 to 73.6

The Lakes Course opened in 1997 and has created quite a following for itself. Fairways are wide and rolling, but beware of the large and deep traps located to catch an errant drive. Keep in mind that they can also help the player because they are distinct targets at which to aim.

Fairways are wide and rolling, but beware of the large and deep traps located to catch an errant drive.

The greens are large and, per typical Trent Jones Jr., two tiered. Get on the same tier as the flag and your putt won’t break much. Get on the wrong tier and you will have your work cut out for you. The greens themselves are also well protected by large sand traps.

There is a lot of water, hence the name, but it seemed to me that I really had to hit a bad shot to find it.

An excellent GPS is provided and was helpful to the first-time player. Take note that it shows distance to the middle of the green, not the flag. The flags are red, white and black for front, middle and back, so you will still need to do some math.

The Lakes Course had many solid holes, but the one that stood out was hole 17, a par 3 of 155 to 241 yards, all carry. Here, the water does come into play. The green is long and shallow and from the tee you see rows and rows of reeds in the water, which makes the shot seem even longer. There is a bailout left, but even that will require a strong tee shot to find. I would imagine that there are few pars are posted in a day and lots of double bogeys and others.

The Lakes Course at Red Hawk is pretty much all you could ask for in a resort course. Not too hard for the novice from the white tees. At the same time, back up a set of tees or two and you have a fine test for the better player. As I have said many times, golf is first and foremost supposed to be fun and I am confident that you will have an enjoyable time playing The Lakes Course.

For more information or to book a tee time, call (775) 626-6000 or visit


John Dee
John Dee grew up in Elm Grove, Wis., playing many sports with a strength in baseball. A desire to beat his best buddy in high school led him to take up golf. In the mid-80s he moved into golf as a profession, received his PGA membership and began to teach golf. “My wife and I (and our cats) moved to Lake Tahoe in 2005 to further our careers and eventually found other paths to follow. She started her own business and I spent seven years in Parks and Recreation, but returned to golf in 2015 as Assistant Golf Professional at the Resort at Squaw Creek. Some things about the business has changed a lot, but the game is still hard and people still want to have a good time.”