Toiyabe Golf Club

The Hole 10 second shot. | John Dee

Toiyabe Golf Club was one of the first courses that I played when I moved to Nevada back in 2005. At that time, it was members only and known as Thunder Canyon. Around three and a half years ago, the name changed and it moved to semi-private status. I remembered great conditions, fast and true greens and a lot of water. I was also warned that the wind comes up in the afternoon.

Par 72 | 18 holes
Yardage| 4,811 to 7,166
Slope | 120 to 138
Rating | 67.7 to 74.3

The course is between Carson City and Reno on Lighting W Ranch Road. It was designed by Robert Muir Graves, who also designed Northstar’s golf course, and has a similar feel with a links front nine and an alpine back nine, though nowhere near as dramatic. Fairways are fairly wide and rolling, so some practice on uneven lies beforehand would help.

The greens are large, undulating and fast. They are not hard to read but take care to stay below the hole or you will have a long day.

The greens are large, undulating and fast. They are not hard to read but take care to stay below the hole or you will have a long day. The course has some 50 sand traps that seem to come into play more off of the tee than around the greens. Most are large and deep. Water is a part of 14 holes and is easy to find. A majority of the tees on the back nine are elevated, which gives you great views of both Mount Rose and Slide Mountain. There are also overall six sets of tees, (seven with combo tees) to accommodate golfers of all levels.

The No. 1 handicap hole is 3, a tough par 4 of 342 to 498 yards. You see huge sand traps from the tee and a solid tee shot must be struck to carry over them. The long second shot needs to carry a dry creek that runs across the front and left side of the long and narrow green. You would have a tricky shot if you got down into that area. Par is an excellent score and I would imagine many days go by without a birdie.

Everyone enjoys playing a well-designed course with nothing tricked up and Toiyabe is a perfect example of it. Everything fits together with no surprises: in a word, solid. Play the proper tees for your ability and you will have a very enjoyable round. Or, if you want to challenge yourself, back up a set of tees and see how you fare. | golfnow.com