Silver Oak Golf Course

Behind the 18th green. | John Dee

Silver Oak Golf Course in Carson City was the first course I played in Nevada when I moved here in 2005. I had never seen anything like it before in the Midwest, but I loved the layout. I later found that it is part of the Silver Oak development, begun in 1992, consisting of about 1,200 homes and a course that opened in 1999.

Par 71 | 18 holes
Yardage | 4598 to 6392
Slope | 117 to 130
Rating | 66.0 to 70.6

The large practice range greets you with old Cadillacs that act as range targets. It’s a lot like the Cadillac Ranch art sculpture in Texas. The whole property has a 1950s theme and there are even vintage cars in the pro shop.

Each nine has its own personality and for the front nine, it is big elevation changes that make it play longer than the yardage on the scorecard. The back nine winds in and out of the Silver Oak development and is flatter, but more water comes into play. One nine is not better or harder, only different.

Fairways were wide, but if you missed one you have to contend with thick rough and large moguls, which leave you with all kinds of uneven lies.

Greens vary in size from small and flat to large and undulating. Many are elevated, further adding to the yardage. Fairways were wide, but if you missed one you have to contend with thick rough and large moguls, which leave you with all kinds of uneven lies. There are numerous fairway traps to put pressure on the tee shot, but landing areas are still ample. Also, the distance between a green and the next tee can be substantial or a big climb, so walking may be difficult for some.

The signature hole 13 is a beast, measuring 307 to 429 yards. It plays as a par 4 or 5, depending on the wind — which is usually into you. You will need your best tee shot of the day and you still have a long iron or hybrid over water to a shallow and elevated green. Go over and out of bounds loom. It is definitely one of those holes in which bogey is a good score and par is great.

Silver Oak Golf Course is really a unique layout. I imagine that the architects had their hands full with the piece of land they had to work with. Still, they put together a fun place to play.

Choose your tees carefully and remember that it plays longer than the yardage on the scorecard. I’ve always felt that a high slope and short yardage indicates a tough test of golf. Don’t be afraid to move up a set of tee markers if you are struggling.

For more information or to book a tee time, call (775) 841-7000 or visit


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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.”