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|Like many Reno golf courses, Wolf Run offers up great views of the mountains and the city. (GolfPublisher.com)|
The self-proclaimed Biggest Little City in the World might just be the best little city to spend a long golf weekend, with some 60 courses within a 60-mile radius.
Reno offers all sorts of play by night; here are three first-rate courses to play by day on your big little golf weekend.
LakeRidge Golf Course: LakeRidge gives you 17 great holes that will leave you challenged and enthused and one that'll just blow your mind.
No. 15 is a miraculous 237-yard par 3 that starts with a tee box floating nearly 150 feet above a natural island green set in a pristine lake. The view of the surrounding area is spectacular; the view to the green might give you vertigo.
"I've seen people play here and just have a terrible day scoring-wise," local Dick Peraldo said. "But then they'll play the 15th hole and tell us how much they love the course."
A word of advice: Regardless of what tees you use the rest of the round, play this one from the tips. With the drop-off, the hole actually plays about 195 yards, so it's not that difficult to reach, though the wind will push your ball into the drink on the left if you're not careful.
Wolf Run Golf Club: Mulling what to do with a sizable land donation some 20 years back, the University of Nevada-Reno opted to fill what was then a void in the city and build a premier golf course. Good thinking.
John Fleming's design challenges in not-so-obvious ways. The fairways are wide, but the approach shots can be rough going, and the elevated, sloping greens will make you work to earn a good score at this well-manicured run.
"It's challenging but won't punish golfers too badly," Wolf Run Tournament Director Linda Upton said. "I'd have to say it's a very fair golf course, with the toughest part being the greens."
The Legend at ArrowCreek Country Club: The Legend doesn't get the public play it deserves, possibly because not enough people know they can play it. ArrowCreek's Champions course is fully private, but the Legend is open, though non-members can only play the course six times any 12-month period.
If you want a little of the country-club treatment without springing for membership, ArrowCreek is a don't-miss. From the moment you get out of your car you'll be pampered and treated with a respect that's easy to get used to.
The practice facilities are beautiful - carve out some time for the putting green, which includes an 18-hole layout for some fun putting-game possibilities. After that, though, get ready for a course that won't show you nearly as much deference as the staff.
"It's not the easiest [Reno course], by far," said Assistant Professional Mark Allison. "You can't just come here and relax. You have to hit shots."
That's for sure. The Legend has an impressive a 73.4 rating, with a 136 slope, and numerous forced carries. Green fees can reach $145 during the peak season, but it's well worth the price to try and tame this run.
December 19, 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.
The Golf Advisor Top 50 courses in the U.S., compiled by ratings and reviews from golfers, were announced on Golf Channel's Morning Drive.
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