Reno in the fall; one of my favorite settings for golf. The trees have turned yellow and orange, leaves swirling ‘round in the wind, collecting into piles, with the feeling of the oncoming winter in the air.
Par 72 | 18 holes
Yardage | 5,859 to 6,695
Slope | 119 to 134
Rating | 70 to 77.4
Washoe Golf Course, a club I’m more familiar with than any other in the region, never ceases to surprise me. I’ve shot some decent rounds out here, but always leave looking for redemption. It’s a well thought out layout, and about as old as they come in the area, the oldest in Nevada in fact, opening for play in 1917. It was designed by female golf pioneer May “Queenie” Dunn-Webb, who also designed the Tahoe City Golf Course.
It’s seen two world wars, fires, floods, the fade of a wild west, and has vigilantly observed the eclectic, gritty, biggest little city in the world evolve around it into the place it is today.
Two distinctly different 9s, equally scorable, equally treacherous. The front is a little more exposed and has a city golf vibe to it, teeing off on 10 takes you into a more desolate environment, isolated from the rest of the course, sporting some unique geography and timeless challenges.
The fairways are generally wide, and edged with mature cottonwood trees and native landscapes. Shallowish sand traps and hidden water features are scattered throughout. The greens are deceiving, though not overly quick. They roll true, but depending on pin placement can be tricky to read, leaving you with some extremely technical putts; course knowledge really comes into play around the short grass. Keep the ball in play, and scoring well here isn’t too difficult.
The 7th hole… we meet again. A 547 yard from the back tees, dog leg right. Cut the corner, and you’ve got a shot at the green in two, come up short and you’re in the swamp. However, too deep of a straight shot off the tee cuts through the fairway and you’re out of bounds. Go big with a fade if you’re shooting for an eagle, or just play it safe and stick with a straightish long iron from the tee box.
Hole 13 is just 321 yards from the back tees, but about as narrow of a fairway as they come. It’s tempting to try to roll one all the way to the green, but even the slightest of bends to the left or right, and you can easily put yourself out of play; hit an iron off the tee. The approach to this green is just as sensitive, left, right or long and it’s game over, short is fine, or aim for the front of the two level green and put uphill for birdie.
Ah Washoe, time after time it continues to be one of my favorite spots to work on my golf game; it’s walkable, affordable and the staff is accommodating. There’s a full driving range onsite, a chipping practice area, large putting green fitting to the nature of the undulating greens on the course. Stop into The Shoe Bar and Grill after your round for some good bites, cold drinks and large patio perched above the 18th green. | (775) 828-6633, washoegolf.org