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|The Reno skyline looms in the distance at ArrowCreek Country Club. (William K. Wolfrum/WorldGolf.com)|
RENO, Nev. - Stand in the middle of Reno and you're within a 60-mile drive of roughly 60 golf courses. But it's likely you won't any as challenging as the Legend course at ArrowCreek Country Club.
"It's not the easiest, by far," Assistant Professional Mark Allison said. "You can't just come here and relax. You have to hit shots."
The only thing easy about ArrowCreek Country Club is the easy-to-take service. The private Challenge course at ArrowCreek, designed by Fuzzy Zoeller and John Harbottle, stretches an astounding 7,455 yards. The Legend, newly made public, is 500 yards shorter, but with a 73.4 rating, a 136 slope rating and forced carries coming at you fast and furious, it'll have you on your toes all day.
Accuracy off the tee is a must on this Arnold Palmer design. The Legend can be tamed, to a point, if you can keep the ball on the narrow fairways; good tee shots will lead to fair approach shots on most holes. But then you'll have to deal with the huge, undulating greens.
No. 15, a monumental 240-yard par 3, is a microcosm of the golf course's toughest features. You can go for the approach area on the left, which will funnel the ball toward the green; you'll be safe, but you'll also be 100-plus feet from the hole and staring at a likely three-putt.
After laying up on 15 you'll be drooling at the 17th tee, facing a 294-yard par 4, but it's fool's gold: To reach the green you'll have to fully carry your drive over out-of-bounds desert. Better to go with an easy iron and a short pitch to the green.
ArrowCreek Country Club's Legend course will have you thinking throughout. But don't forget to look up every so often - the views of Reno and the surrounding mountains are not to be missed.
There are a lot of Reno-area courses you can get through fairly unscathed (Wolf Run comes to mind). At ArrowCreek Country Club, mistakes get punished.
Golf balls will be lost, putts will be horribly missed, fairway bunkers will be found. It's inevitable, unless you're some PGA stud.
But if you aren't the type to shy away from a challenge, the Legend is for you. You get an Arnold Palmer design, meticulous conditioning, outstanding and friendly service and a country-club atmosphere.
You'll pay a steep price to play these steep hills. And non-members are limited to six rounds in a given 12-month period, although that won't matter much to High Sierra vacationers.
If you're serious about the game, relish high-class treatment and have the money to spend, book a round on ArrowCreek Country Club's Legend course. Just bring some extra balls with you.
December 12, 2006
William K. Wolfrum keeps one eye on the PGA Tour and another watching golf vacation hotspots and letting travelers in on the best place to vacation. You can follow him on Twitter @Wolfrum.
Any opinions expressed above are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the views of the management.
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