The Golf Club at Genoa Lakes: An Ideal Nevada Golf Destination

By Jeremy Evans, Contributor

The Golf Club at Genoa Lakes, which is only 18 miles down the hill from Lake Tahoe in Genoa, NV. is the real gem of Sierra Nevada Golf. In 1994, Golf Digest ranked Genoa Lakes as the fourth best new public course in North America. And since then, not much has changed.

Built in July of 1993, this links style course was designed by Peter Jacobsen. Genoa's head pro Tim Davis argues that the true definition of a links course requires an ocean. But with numerous natural lakes and the Carson River, which trickles more than flows in the summer, is close enough. The Carson Range, which towers over to the West, sets up a picturesque backdrop while providing beautiful scenery on nearly every hole.

Although it is a public course, Genoa Lakes provides a country club setting for visiting golfers. Upon entering the course, a fancy gate must be passed that is occasionally occupied with a guard. Soon after passing through the gate, big and beautiful homes start appearing. Then the immaculate clubhouse comes into view, which looks more like the a million dollar mansion than golf center.

Inside the clubhouse, the restaurant and bar area both have welcoming lures to them. The clubhouse is a great place to relax, both before and after a round of golf. "That's the service that we want for our players," Davis said. "90 percent of our players are from out-of-town."

Oh yeah, the course. It's notoriously tricky and tough. A great round after 12 holes can turn into an awful round by the tee box on No. 14. It's not a course for golfers who aren't efficient in course management.

Having said that, if you golf Genoa for the first time, keep in mind that a course management book is kept in every cart. And with four different tees to choose from, the course can play as easy or difficult as you want. From the Gold tees, the course measures over 7,200 yards with a slope of 134. From the white tees, it measures just 6,057 yards. "It really is a great place to play for everybody," Davis said.

The back nine plays tougher than the front. But that has more to do with the elements than the course. The incessant afternoon winds that blow down from the mountains make an already tough course, nearly unplayable if the winds pick up. But this problem can be resolved. Just set a tee time early in the morning, ideally before 8 a.m., but no later than 9 a.m., so you'll be finished by 1 p.m.

After tipping guest services for wiping off your clubs, sit down for a drink inside the clubhouse. Somehow, sipping a drink while watching dozens of golfers and their hats fly off their heads on No. 18 stirs a masochistic, yet pleasurable feeling.

There are a few things to consider before golfing at Genoa Lakes. First, when reading the greens, keep in mind that an alluvial fan comes into play. So balls will always tend to break towards the valley floor.

Second, from the tee boxes, it seems that you're driving blind towards the fairway. But that isn't the case. The fairways open up a lot, so don't be deceived when it looks as if there isn't anywhere to hit the ball. Just use the course management guide in your cart and you'll be fine.

But the guide won't help much on Genoa's more challenging holes. And there are a bunch. The scorecard lists No. 7, which is a 445-yard par 4, as the most difficult hole on the course. But it really depends on what kind of player you are, which will determine the hardest holes.

For example on No. 12, which is a short par 3, problems are caused for golfers who aren't accurate with short irons. Measuring only 132-yards from the blue tees, the tee shot must carry over water nearly all the way to the green. But with two bunkers to negotiate on the front and back side of the green, accuracy is essential.

However, there is an open grassy area on the back side of the green that can't be seen from the tee box. If you are hesitant to attack the pin, aim for this area. It will still give you a good chance at par. And for those who want to be aggressive and go for the pin, don't be surprised if you're marking down a five or six on your scorecard.

If long irons aren't the strongest part of the your game, then No. 13 will probably be your toughest hole. From the gold tees, it stretches 652 yards and according to course guide, is the longest hole in the state of Nevada. It'll take three long and straight shots to make par from any set of tees.

That is the crux with golfing Genoa Lakes. Sure, there are four different tee boxes to play from. But the course still plays difficult. And since it's priced at $95 a round during the peak season (June 18-October 8), it might be a good idea to make sure that your game is sharp before playing Genoa Lakes. After October 18th, Davis said the course loses its vacation golfers and then offer discounted rates to attract the local golfers.

If you're from out of town, Davis recommends a couple of hotel and casinos that offer reasonably prices golf deals. In the Carson City area, The Pinon Plaza Resort, whose number is (775) 885-9500 and the Carson Valley Inn, whose number is (775) 782-9711 both offer great package deals.

"These places take care of our guests the best," said Davis, who mentioned Caesars and Harrah's in South Lake Tahoe as other hotel and casinos that offer discounted golf rates for Genoa Lakes. But any big resort hotel around Tahoe should be able to get you slightly discounted golf rates at Genoa Lakes, Davis said. "Just ask the concierge," Davis said.

With superb golf during the day and entertaining night life at Lake Tahoe, Genoa Lakes is the ideal golf destination.

The Golf Club at Genoa Lakes
1 Genoa Lakes Drive
Genoa, NV 89411
Phone:(775) 782-4653
Fax: (775) 782-5899

Jeremy Evans, Contributor

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