The Links at Kiley Ranch

Skip McConnell teeing off of Hole 2.

Tucked into a quiet residential neighborhood on the northern end of Sparks, Nev., is The Links at Kiley Ranch, a fun, accessible 9-hole golf course that can be played in an hour and a half or so. There is also a separate footgolf setup with bigger holes.

Par 27 | 9 holes
Yardage | 1,391
Slope | N/A
Rating | 69.8/71

It all starts at the end of a cul-de-sac where a two-story blue house serves as a golf course check-in, bar and hangout. Designed by professional golfer Patty Sheehan, The Links at Kiley Ranch was built in 2006 and is open all year long, weather permitting. Since the course is fairly flat and about 1.5 miles long, many people opt to walk the course. It’s a great way to get outside, exercise and squeeze in a quick round between meetings or on a leisurely day off.

After checking in with bartender/superintendent/golf instructor Brian Bosma, I met groundskeeper Skip McConnell, who showed me around the course in a golf cart; although, I felt a little lazy riding in one since most golfers were walking.

McConnell grabbed his golf clubs from his house on Hole 1 and joined me for my round. The first hole I played from the blues (153 yards) and had a fairly straight, easy shot to the green; my ball sailed over a slightly contoured fairway and past a family of quail. I had back-to-back birdies on Holes 3 and 4, the greens rolled like water. However, I broke my lucky streak on Hole 5 when I came up short on my drive. Fortunately, McConnell was able to follow through and knock his ball into the hole in two effortless shots.

We both played decently on the next few holes, hitting cleanly down the fairways and putting in two shots or so. Before I know it, McConnell and I are back at the blue clubhouse. I indulged in an oven-baked pizza at the bar, watched the Golf Channel with a neighborhood local and bragged about my back-to-back birdies. | (775) 354-2100,