Best Public Golf Courses in Reno, Nevada

Updated February 2024 to update booking information.

The Biggest Little City in the World.  Whether Reno, Nevada lives up to that claim depends on who you talk to, but it’s one of my favorite cities in the western part of the country. 

I know what you’re thinking, casinos, golf, etc. Right up my alley.  You’re not totally wrong, as I do make it a point to stay at the Peppermill every time I’m in town and the black jack tables normally treat me well. 

But I also love Reno because there’s so much more going on.  Lake Tahoe is just a short jaunt away in the High Sierra.  The Truckee River is a blue ribbon trout fishery.  The world-famous Bruno’s Café is 100 miles west in the tiny town of Gerlach and well worth the trip just FYI.  And of course, there’s some great golf to be played.

One of our writers, who lives in Central Oregon is also a fan of Reno for many of the same reasons.  For him, it’s only a seven-hour drive away. 

Reno came up in one of our recent conversations and we both agreed we needed to do a course guide.  So, with the help of our readers, we’ve come up with a list of consensus favorites below.

1

Lakeridge Golf Course

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Lakeridge is located in the heart of Reno.  A semi-private facility, this course’s members take a tremendous amount of pride in their facility.  So does the public. 

Lakeridge is one of the best-conditioned tracks you’ll find anywhere in Nevada.  The greens are fast and true.  Fairways are like playing off carpet. 

Especially noteworthy is the 15th hole.  A par three, the tee box sits high above Lake Stanley and affords a breathtaking 360-degree view of the Carson Valley.  Below sits an island green that looks inviting but can be a challenge to hit.  I can attest that I’ve made everything from two to seven on this hole.  It can literally make or break your round. 

I make it a point to play Lakeridge whenever I’m in town and you should too.

2

Wolf Run Golf Club

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If you’re looking for a golfing experience that combines challenging fairways, breathtaking views, and top-notch amenities, Wolf Run Golf Club is the place to be. This renowned golf course isn’t only a favorite among locals but has also been recognized as one of the best public courses in Reno, Nevada. Home to the University of Nevada Reno Men’s and Women’s golf teams, Wolf Run offers an exceptional golfing experience.

Situated on a sagebrush-laden plateau, the course provides incredible panoramic views that will take your breath away as you navigate the wide-open layout with its challenging fairways and afternoon winds. The large greens, known for getting crusty and quick in the summer, present an additional layer of challenge for golfers aiming to master their game.

In addition to the stunning natural surroundings, Wolf Run Golf Club boasts excellent amenities, including practice facilities, a pro shop, and a grill where you can relax and refuel after a satisfying day on the course. With its combination of stunning views, challenging play, and top-notch amenities, it’s no wonder that Wolf Run Golf Club is consistently ranked among the best golf courses and places to play in Reno.

3

Red Hawk Golf and Resort – Lakes Course

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Nestled in the picturesque bedroom community of Sparks, the Red Hawk Golf and Resort – Lakes Course offers golf enthusiasts stunning mountain views and a championship-level experience. Designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr., this remarkable course spans over 7,100 yards and showcases a beautiful landscape featuring cottonwood trees, wetlands, and native grasses. The Lakes Course provides a balanced mix of challenging and risk-reward holes, making it a highly recommended choice for golf enthusiasts seeking an enjoyable yet demanding experience.

Golfers visiting the Red Hawk Golf and Resort can expect a picturesque and well-maintained facility, complemented by scenic views that enhance the overall golfing experience. The course’s design, combined with the surrounding natural beauty, offers a unique and rewarding round of golf. For those seeking a challenging yet immensely satisfying golfing experience, the Lakes Course at Red Hawk Golf and Resort is a must-visit destination.

With its championship-level layout and stunning surroundings, the Lakes Course at Red Hawk Golf and Resort stands out as an exceptional choice for golfers looking to immerse themselves in the beauty of the Sparks community while enjoying a top-tier golfing experience.

4

Red Hawk Golf and Resort – Hills Course

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The sister course to the picturesque Lakes Course, the Red Hawk Golf and Resort – Hills Course offers golf enthusiasts a challenging and rewarding experience with its small greens and dramatic elevation changes. Designed by renowned architect Robert Trent Jones, this course is known for its deep, penal bunkers that add to the challenge, providing a fair test of skill with rewarding good shots.

If you’re a ball striker seeking a stern yet enjoyable test, this course comes highly recommended. The balanced mix of challenging and risk-reward holes makes it an exciting and dynamic golfing destination.

Located in the scenic bedroom community of Sparks, golfers can enjoy privacy and stunning mountain views while playing. The Red Hawk Golf and Resort – Hills Course promises an unforgettable golfing experience, where every swing is met with both challenge and beauty.

Whether you’re a seasoned golfer or just starting out, this course will push your skills to the limit while offering breathtaking scenery.

5

Toiyabe Golf Club

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Tucked away in the enchanting Toiyabe National Forest, Toiyabe Golf Club offers golfers a unique blend of alpine and links golf experiences. Designed by renowned architect Robert Muir Graves, the course provides ample room from the tee, but precision is required on approach shots.

The semi-private facility extends a warm welcome to the public, offering an accessible and inviting golfing atmosphere. Golfers at Toiyabe Golf Club can enjoy incredible views and a challenging layout, making it a must-visit for those seeking a memorable and rewarding golfing experience.

The scenic location and excellent amenities make it an ideal destination for golf enthusiasts looking for a unique and enjoyable round of golf.

  • Toiyabe Golf Club is designed to provide a challenging and scenic golfing experience blending alpine and links features.
  • The course is open to the public, creating a welcoming and inclusive atmosphere for golfers of all skill levels.
  • Located in the Toiyabe National Forest, the club offers a serene and private setting, allowing golfers to enjoy their game in a peaceful environment.
6

Gray’s Crossing Golf Club

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Nestled amidst the picturesque town of Truckee, Grays Crossing Golf Club offers an unparalleled mountain golf experience just a short drive away from Reno. Designed by Peter Jacobsen, this course boasts a stunning mountain golf feel, with mature Ponderosa Pine trees and meandering water features lining the fairways. At a high elevation, Grays Crossing provides multiple tee boxes catering to all skill levels, ensuring an enjoyable experience for a wide range of golfers. The club’s amenities and beautiful layout make it worth the price of admission, offering a memorable and enjoyable golfing experience.

Grays Crossing Golf Club is a must-visit for golf enthusiasts seeking a well-designed mountain course with stunning natural surroundings. This course has garnered recognition, including a spot on Golf Digest’s list of America’s 100 Greatest Public Courses. With such accolades, it’s no wonder that Grays Crossing Golf Club has become a popular choice for golfers in the Reno area. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced golfer, the course’s Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer design elements present a challenging yet rewarding round of golf in a breathtaking setting.

7

Old Greenwood Golf Club

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The sister course to Gray’s Crossing is Old Greenwood.  It’s said that when Jack Nicklaus first stepped foot on this property to think about the design, he didn’t want to leave.

This facility is set on more than 600 acres of pristine pine forest.  Not to mention the views of the surrounding Sierra Mountains are to die for. 

Like most Nicklaus courses, Old Greenwood is a test.  Large features, plenty of hazards, and undulating greens keep you on your toes.

I’ve been fortunate to play her a couple of times and while the price is on the steep side, it’s more than worth it.

8

Coyote Moon Golf Course

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A Mountain Masterpiece.  That’s what this facility advertises and I’ve yet to come across anyone who disagrees. 

Rolling hillsides, towering pines, and granite outcroppings can be found throughout the 18 holes that comprise this track.  The natural beauty of this place is something that even our best writers at Golfer’s Authority can’t put into words. 

Despite the presence of thousands of old-growth trees, Coyote Moon is generous off the tee.  Go ahead and hit driver.  The challenge comes on the second shot where greens are well protected by water and ghostly white sand bunkers. 

I’ve only played here once, and it was early in the morning.  But it was a round I still remember vividly.  My guess is you will too.

9

Ponderosa Golf Course

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If you’ve made it this far in our guide, it’s probably become pretty clear that there’s a lot of high-end public golf to be found in and around Reno. 

While I’ve played most of these top-tier spots, you guys know I’m always on the lookout for a great value and fun experience.  Ponderosa Golf Course is exactly that in the town of Truckee. 

True to its name, this golf course was created in concert with a mature Ponderosa forest. 

Owned and operated by the city’s Parks and Recreation District, there are no homes or commercial buildings surrounding the course.  This was the intent and it’s going to remain that way for the foreseeable future. 

Even though the layout is straight forward, you’ll have a most wonderful time at Ponderosa.  I always do.

10

Dayton Valley Golf Club

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Hands down, one of the best values in the Carson Valley is Dayton Valley Golf Club.  Not to mention it was designed by my hero, Arnold Palmer.  There was no way I was going to leave this track off the list.

Having received Golf Digest’s “Best Places to Play” nomination, this track is both challenging and fun.

Water comes into play on most holes and makes up an astounding 40 acres of the property.  Might be wise to bring an extra sleeve of balls.

While the fairways are generous, substantial mounding can make for some tough lies on shots that don’t find the fairway.  Plenty of bunkers thrown in on top make this a true test. 

One of the valley’s best kept secrets, make it a point to spend a day at Dayton Valley.

Conclusion

Even though everyone knows about Reno, it still feels like it’s one of the best kept secrets in the West when it comes to vacation and recreation.  That seems especially true when it comes to the golf.

While we’ve done our best to compile a list of the ten best public courses anyone can play, there are plenty more that are worthy of a spot.  I encourage you to go find out for yourself.  You won’t be disappointed.

Paul Liberatore
Paul Liberatore

As the Founder of Golfers Authority Paul Liberatore Esq. has spent the last 7+ years writing about the best golf equipment or instruction from the top golf instructors in the world. He has been a contributing writer for Sports Illustrated Golf and GolfWRX. After graduating with honors from Purdue University, he realized that he had a passion for the golf business and the law. When he's not practicing law, or creating golf content on YouTube, he can be found on his syndicated Behind the Golf Brand podcast both on Apple and Spotify talking with the most prolific leaders in the golf industry. 

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