As the High Sierra gets further into fall, golf slows down; cold mornings and early sunsets eventually give way completely to Old Man Winter. Thankfully, Reno, Nev., is situated in the high desert where mountain golf can be played almost all year-round.
18 holes | Par 71
Yardage | 5,597 to 6,555
Slope | 115 to 126
Ratings | 65.6 to 71
Sierra Sage Golf Course is an off-the-beaten-path facility with both a classic playing field and vintage design. It’s a scorable track — nothing overly long or complicated, though there are plenty of irresistible risk/reward opportunities.
Multiple tiers on and around the putting surfaces create steep putts that can break several times; strong wedge play and putting is invaluable out here.
In 1960, the U.S. Air Force built a nine-hole golf course for military personal stationed at Stead Air Force Base, north of Reno. It was originally named the Stead Golf Course. In 1966, Washoe County purchased the course and completed the construction of the back nine by 1970, renaming the course Sierra Sage.
It’s a par 71, playing just more than 6,500 yards from the back tees with several different tee options to choose from. It’s a perfect destination to bring the whole family.
The fairways are accessible and roomy, though they’re surrounded by a twisted native high-desert landscape, which usually makes for a trick-shot punch-out back into play should you become entangled in its grasp. The greens are smallish, quick, sometimes hard to stick, but the greenside traps are receptive, and the surrounding rough is forgiving. Multiple tiers on and around the putting surfaces create steep putts that can break several times; strong wedge play and putting is invaluable out here.
Our round was filled with unique golf shots from start to finish — flop-outs from funky-shaped bunkers in all the wrong places, consistent changes in elevation, from tee to green and several stubborn water hazards all seemed to stand out and catch you the second you let your guard down.
If you prefer to ride a board instead of a cart, Sierra Sage is one of the only courses in the area to have Golf Boards available for rent. Golf Boards are board/cart hybrid vehicles combining snowboarding and golf.
Onsite the practice facility is top notch and extensive, with an all-grass driving range, two large putting greens and two short-hole chipping areas — great for calibrating wedges.
The Pub at Sierra Sage is a cozy environment that serves a variety of food and drink options.
Sierra Sage offers group and private lessons, Mens’ and Ladies’ Clubs and a healthy schedule of tournaments and events.
Next time you’re in Reno looking for a both fun and challenging laid-back, family-friendly course with affordable rates, good food and exceptional golf, look to Sierra Sage Golf Course. | (775) 972-1564, sierrasagegolf.org