Our aim is to give our readers a fun, light-hearted overview of the course from the vantage point of an ‘average’ golfer. Our ‘average’ golfer is Steve Mikkelson. Steve is the Race and Sportsbook Manager at the Atlantis Casino-Resort.
Carson Valley Golf Course is located south of Carson City in Gardnerville. I had not played this course before, and was looking forward to the challenge of playing this new course. I was expecting an older more mature course with lots of trees, narrow fairways, and plenty of trouble. My goal for the day was to keep the ball in the fairways and hopefully hit enough good shots to enjoy the day. For the average golfer to enjoy their round, the suggested tees are the blue tees.
The second hole is a 327 yard par 4, and is the number one handicap hole on the course. On this hole you will want to use a long iron off of the tee box, and keep your tee shot towards the right center side of the fairway, leaving a nice approach shot to the green. The fairway is narrow with a small river that crosses it in front of the green, making your approach shot more difficult as you have to get to the green through the air. The green is large with little slope, making pin placement important for your approach shot.
Hole 6 is a 499 yard par 5, dogleg right. The fairway is fairly open, but guarded by a tree line that is protecting a river running along the right side of the fairway. You may want to use a 3 wood or long iron as a drive too long may run through the fairway. The second shot is a risk/reward shot as the river crosses through the fairway just in front of the green. The safe shot is to lay up your second shot to 50-100 yards out and set up a nice third shot into the green. The green is large, but has a slope off the back side. This makes the second shot interesting, as too short and you are possibly in the river, but too long and you are down the slope off the back side of the green.
Hole 9 is a 549 yard par 5. The fairway is fairly narrow, and you want to keep your tee shot towards the left side of the fairway, which has a decent sized landing area. You can think about using your driver on this hole, if you can keep your tee shot online. The second shot is a risk/reward as a shot for the green will have to carry over the river that runs through the fairway in front of the green. To have a shot at the green in two, you will want to keep your tee shot to the left side of the fairway, giving more room over the river, as a shot over from the right side has more river to carry. Keep in mind, a shot over the river but short of the green will be in the rough, as the fairway disappears after the river to the green. The safe second shot is to lay up to about 150 yards out, leaving a nice approach shot into the green.
Hole 14 is a 325 yard par 4. The hole has a tree lined fairway, with trees everywhere, even in the middle of the fairway. Club selection off the tee is the key to success on this hole. You do not want to be too far left or too far right as additional fairway trees will come into play. Play your tee shot to the left side of the fairway. This will give you a decent approach shot to the green. A shot to the right side of the fairway will still allow a decent approach shot to the green, but you will be playing out of the rough on the second shot. The green is one of the smaller greens on the course and is protected by a bunker on the front, left side. You do not want to be long on this hole, as there are “out of bounds” stakes just past the green.
Hole 15 is the number 2 handicap hole. It is a 492 yard par 5. The fairway is fairly open with a tree line, sagebrush, and river down the right. You want to hit your tee shot towards the left/middle side of the fairway, but be careful not to hit into the tree that is in the left side of the fairway. For big hitters, you might be able to go for the green, but it will be a difficult second shot. The safe shot is a lay up shot to the middle/right side of the fairway, setting up a more open shot into the green, especially if the pin placement is on the left side of the green.
Playing from the blue tees made for a fun day of golf. The playing tips we received prior to playing was to keep your driver in the bag, as the Carson River runs through 11 of the holes. With this, I decided to play it smart and hopefully not let my ego get the driver out of the bag on too many holes.
The course was very nice, challenging, and a lot of fun to play. The course required accurate shots, and I now understand why you will not want to pull out your driver except on about 4 holes. The fairways were fairly narrow with plenty of trees and trouble spots. The key is to keep your tee shots in play. The pin placements were not difficult allowing me to hit approach shots at the pin with very little resistance from obstacles around the green. The greens were in great shape, the ball rolled well, and they were very readable. They played on the slower side and were fairly flat.
This course is not the typical course you will see around Northern Nevada. It starts off with a par 3, and ends with back to back par 3’s, which I have never experienced on a course before. Carson Valley Golf Course is an older course with lots of trees. The course is a great change of pace from the typical courses in the area, even offering tee boxes for junior golfers. During the hot summer months, this course, with its many trees and meandering river allows for a much cooler round of golf, making this course a great place to play. Carson Valley Golf Course is a nice value course with plenty of challenging and interesting holes that will challenge all levels of golfers. What I liked most about the course was the change of pace from the normal course. Golfers of all ability will find the course enjoyable, yet challenging.
Next Week's featured course is Rosewood Golf Course located in Reno. If you would like us to feature a course, please send your recommendation to: smikkelson@