Sunridge Golf Course

No. 18 tee. | Courtesy John Dee

I am amazed how easily we fall into a rut and want to play the same type of golf courses. When I had to choose a Carson City golf course to write about, I wanted to play someplace very different. I heard from fellow golfers that Sunridge Golf Course was quirky and had huge elevation changes. That sounded interesting to me. Plus, a course with a playoff hole? Definitely.

Par 72 | 18 holes
Yardage | 4,814 to 6,914
Slope | 119 to 134
Rating | 65.3 to 73.1

The course opened in 1998 and was designed by Bill Wellman, who was a civil engineer and heavy-equipment contractor by trade. He was not trained as a golf-course architect and because of that, the course has a different look. Some of the holes seem like they were sculpted from the land. Several PGA professionals came in to give him some playability advice, but it is Wellman’s design.

The vistas from just about every tee are amazing, but the 14th hole takes your breath away.

The course has 26 acres of lakes and they do come into play. The fairways have more undulations than any course that I have ever played. There are no flat lies. Fortunately, the greens are much tamer. They are typically two tiered and faster than they look. Many sand traps are undergoing renovations and can be played as ground under repair.

The course itself is well marked with large barber poles at 150 and 100 yards that also act as targets. The yardage/advice book is a help to the first-time player, especially with the large elevation changes.

The vistas from just about every tee are amazing, but the 14th hole, a downhill par 4 of 368 to 425 yards, takes your breath away. There is a 200-foot drop from the tee to a split fairway and you can play it to the right much more than you think. A tee shot of only a little more than 240 yards from the blue tees will give you a level lie and a 165-yard second shot. A 200-foot drop means you would drop down five to six clubs. So, if you hit your driver 240 yards, you would hit at around a 4 to 5 iron. Not too bad.

A goal at Sunridge Golf Course is to have affordable golf, so amenities are few. It is way beyond basic golf, but depending on help from Mother Nature, conditions may not be pristine. That’s OK. I can’t make a reasonable comparison to any course that I have ever played. The layout is that unique. Remember, a course does not need to be designed by a golf-course architect to be good. Right now, I can’t help but wonder how I will play some of the holes differently the next time I tee it up at Sunridge.

For more information or to book a tee time, visit or call (775) 267-4448.

To read about other local golf courses, visit the Golf link at


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.”