Golf the High Sierras on three budgets

By Brandon TuckerJuly 13, 2010, 10:10 pm
Whitehawk Ranch in Graeagle
                                                                 Whitehawk Ranch in Graeagle

Host of both the PGA Tour Reno-Tahoe Open and American Century Celebrity Classic, you don't need Michael Jordan cash to tee it up around Lake Tahoe.

The distance between Reno and Lake Tahoe is short enough that the two can share an airport, but that's about all they share. The two regions are virtual 180-degree shifts in climate and activity. Lake Tahoe boasts four seasons of dry, mountain weather with a spectacular golf season July through September.
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Reno, on the other hand, has a Casino-heavy, desert west vibe and offers affordable golf year-around, and the summer months stay far more pleasant than desert courses in Las Vegas or Scottsdale.

Depending on your budget, you can enjoy some wonderful summer golf on either side of the High Sierras, whether it's summer mountain year round in the high desert and valley.

Lake Tahoe on a high-roller budget

On a high-roller budget, start at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course, in the shadows of the casino hotels on the South Shore, and boasting the area's only holes along Lake Tahoe. After golf, enjoy a beer or dinner on the outdoor deck and watch the sunset – it doesn't get much better on a clear summer day in the mountains.

High-roller golf on the North Shore is plentiful, too, where new developments are anchored by some seriously good courses around Truckee, Calif. Old Greenwood and the Golf Club Gray's Crossing are sister courses that both offer member-for-the-day, high-roller golf experiences on beautifully conditioned courses that are a joy to play.

Also, The Timilick Club is a new private club offering daily 'promotional' play on their new Johnny Miller/John Harbottle course. While Timilick, Old Greenwood and Gray's Crossing are more traditionally-styled mountain courses, Coyote Moon is jaw-dropping, up-and-down golf full of elevated tees and greens – and no residential development attached to it.

For accommodations, visit the brand new Ritz-Carlton Highlands at Northstar, a 170-room luxury lodge and spa for all seasons that offers golf package deals to Old Greenwood and Gray's Crossing.

Golf in the High Sierras on a mid-range budget

For 'mid-range' we're factoring morning green fees under about $130, while high-end courses are over $160. That prices you out of a morning tee time around Lake Tahoe and Truckee's best courses, though you can play 18 in the afternoon at Coyote Moon for $95 and Old Greenwood for $100.

Or, head over the Kingsbury Grade from South Tahoe to the Lakes course at Genoa Lakes, set on the eastern slopes of the mountains and was designed by John Harbottle, a popular name (with very good reason) around these parts, along with player designer Peter Jacobsen, who also had a hand in Gray's Crossing.

If you're willing to make the drive up to Plumas County (about an hour's drive from the north shore), play Whitehawk Ranch, deserving of inclusion among discussion of the area's best, that features both heavily-forested and open meadow holes with panoramic mountain views.

At $125 peak (or $95 after 2 p.m.), it would easily be more expensive with a Tahoe zip code.

The Resort at Squaw Creek boasts a championship Robert Trent Jones Jr. design that plays just a shade under $100 and 7,000 yards, playing on valley ground beneath the ski slopes with a smattering of wetlands.

Mid-priced golf in Reno can be found at LakeRidge, home to the signature island green with a 150-foot elevation change, as well as semi-private, 36-hole ArrowCreek Country Club.

For accommodations, check out Truckee's Cedar House Sport Hotel, a modern, European-inspired lodge with stylish accommodations – and free breakfast – within a mile of Truckee's town center. Or, check out South Lake Tahoe for the larger, casino hotel vibe at a property like Harrah's or Harvey's.

Budget golf in the High Sierra in Carson Valley

Golf on a tight budget golf will price you out of most mountain golf courses worth visiting, but there is hope. Many Reno-Tahoe courses participate in GolfNow.com, where you can find a good last-minute deal at an area course if you're not too picky about the course or time you play.

Northstar-at-Tahoe Resort offers a more classic golf course at the foot of the mountain, with a yardage up to 6,800 yards (rates are $50-70), but offers resort amenities like GPS. You can tee it up at the par 58 Incline Village Mountain Course, the second fiddle to the Championship Course, for about $45-75. For a quick and casual golf fix, check out Tahoe City's historic 9-hole course opened in 1917 within a pitching wedge of the lake ($40).

The desert and valley side of the mountains to the east is where you'll find better value.

Dayton Valley Golf Club recently assumed new ownership and is currently offering a $40 rate seven days a week. The course is a regular PGA Tour Qualifying host, and has been every year since opening in 1995.

The same ownership operates Wolf Run in Reno, which has rates from $45-65.

If you can't stomach the Lakes Course at Genoa Lakes' green fee, play the less expensive Resort Course, featuring 300 feet of elevation change and cheaper $50-85 rates.

D'Andrea Golf Club in Sparks is an always dramatic course rolling up and down desert foothills and features severe fast greens accentuated by the slopes they hang on. Morning rates peak at $69 while twilight dips under $50.

RedHawk Golf Club features one private and one public course, and the pubic Lakes course is a Robert Trent Jones Jr. design with some let 'er rip fairways but tough approach shots thanks to plenty of water ($40-70).

For accommodations, check out a casino hotel in downtown Reno. There are scores of options all offering their own deals. In Lake Tahoe, small little inns and hotels surround the lake in just about every village and rates can be found under $100.
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Minjee Lee co-leads Walmart NW Arkansas Championship

By Associated PressJune 24, 2018, 12:25 am

ROGERS, Ark. - Minjee Lee wasn't all that concerned when she missed her first cut of the year this month at the ShopRite LPGA Classic.

The ninth-ranked Australian has certainly looked at ease and back in form at Pinnacle Country Club in her first event since then.

Lee and Japan's Nasa Hataoka each shot 6-under 65 on Saturday to share the second-round lead in the NW Arkansas Championship 13-under 129. Lee is chasing her fifth victory since turning pro three years ago. It's also an opportunity to put any lingering frustration over that missed cut two weeks ago behind her for good.

''I didn't particularly hit it bad, even though I missed the cut at ShopRite, I just didn't really hole any putts,'' Lee said. ''I'd been hitting it pretty solid going into that tournament and even into this tournament, too. Just to see a couple putts roll in has been nice.''

The 22-year-old Lee needed only 24 putts during her opening 64 on Friday, helping her to match the low round of her career. Despite needing 28 putts Saturday, she still briefly took the outright lead after reaching as low as 14 under after a birdie on the par-5 seventh.


Full-field scores from the Walmart Arkansas Championship


Lee missed the green on the par-4 ninth soon thereafter to lead to her only bogey of the day and a tie with the 19-year-old Hataoka, who is in pursuit of her first career win.

Hataoka birdied six of eight holes midway through her bogey-free round on Saturday. It was yet another stellar performance from the Japanese teenager, who has finished in the top 10 in four of her last five tournaments and will be a part of Sunday's final pairing.

''I try to make birdies and try to be under par, that's really the key for me to get a top ten,'' Hataoka said. ''Golf is just trying to be in the top 10 every single week, so that's the key.''

Third-ranked Lexi Thompson matched the low round of the day with a 64 to get to 11 under. She hit 17 of 18 fairways and shot a 5-under 30 on her opening nine, The American is in search of her first win since September in the Indy Women in Tech Championship.

Ariya Jutanugarn and Celine Boutier were 10 under.

First-round leader Gaby Lopez followed her opening 63 with a 75 to drop to 4 under. Fellow former Arkansas star Stacy Lewis also was 4 under after a 72.

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Henley will try to put heat on Casey in final round

By Will GrayJune 23, 2018, 11:55 pm

CROMWELL, Conn. – While it will be a tall task for anyone to catch Paul Casey at the Travelers Championship, the man who will start the round most within reach of the Englishman is Russell Henley.

Henley was in the penultimate group at TPC River Highlands on Saturday, but he’ll now anchor things during the final round as he looks to overcome a four-shot deficit behind Casey. After a 3-under 67, Henley sits at 12 under through 54 holes and one shot clear of the three players tied for third.

Henley closed his third round with a run of five straight pars, then became the beneficiary of a pair of late bogeys from Brian Harman that left Henley alone in second place.


Full-field scores from the Travelers Championship

Travelers Championship: Articles, photos and videos


“Could have made a couple more putts, but to end with two up-and-downs like that was nice,” Henley said. “I felt a little bit weird over the shots coming in, put me in some bad spots. But it was nice to have the short game to back me up.”

Henley has won three times on Tour, most recently at the 2017 Houston Open, and he cracked the top 25 at both the Masters and U.S. Open. But with Casey riding a wave of confidence and coming off an 8-under 62 that marked the best round of the week, he knows he’ll have his work cut out for him in order to nab trophy No. 4.

“I think I can shoot a low number on this course. You’ve got to make the putts,” Henley said. “I’m definitely hitting it well enough, and if I can get a couple putts to fall, that would be good. But I can’t control what he’s doing. I can just try to keep playing solid.”

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Back from back injury, Casey eyeing another win

By Will GrayJune 23, 2018, 11:36 pm

CROMWELL, Conn. – Given his four-shot cushion at the Travelers Championship and his recent victory at the Valspar Championship, it’s easy to forget that Paul Casey hit the disabled list in between.

Casey had to withdraw from The Players Championship because of a bad back, becoming the only player in the top 50 in the world rankings to miss the PGA Tour’s flagship event. He flew back to England to get treatment, and Casey admitted that his T-20 finish at last month’s BMW PGA Championship came while he was still on the mend.

“I wasn’t 100 percent fit with the back injury, which was L-4, L-5, S-1 (vertebrae) all out of place,” Casey said. “Big inflammation, nerve pain down the leg and up the back. I didn’t know what was going on.”


Full-field scores from the Travelers Championship

Travelers Championship: Articles, photos and videos


Thanks in large part to a combination of MRIs, back adjustments and anti-inflammatories, Casey finally turned the corner. His T-16 finish at last week’s U.S. Open was the first event for which he felt fully healthy since before the Players, and he’s on the cusp of a second title since March after successfully battling through the injury.

“We thought we were fixing it, but we weren’t. We were kind of hitting the effects rather than the cause,” Casey said. “Eventually we figured out the cause, which was structural.”

Casey started the third round at TPC River Highlands two shots off the lead, but he’s now four clear of Russell Henley after firing an 8-under 62 that marked the low round of the week.

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Bubba thinks he'll need a Sunday 60 to scare Casey

By Will GrayJune 23, 2018, 11:15 pm

CROMWELL, Conn. – Perhaps moreso than at most PGA Tour venues, a low score is never really out of reach at TPC River Highlands. Positioned as a welcome change of pace after the U.S. Open, the Travelers Championship offers a lush layout that often pushes the balance much closer to reward than risk.

This is where Jim Furyk shot a 58 on the par-70 layout two years ago – and he didn’t even win that week. So even though Paul Casey enters the final round with a commanding four-shot lead, there’s still plenty of hope for the chase pack that something special could be in store.

Count Bubba Watson among the group who still believe the title is up for grabs – even if it might require a Herculean effort, even by his standards.


Full-field scores from the Travelers Championship

Travelers Championship: Articles, photos and videos


Watson has won the Travelers twice, including in a 2015 playoff over Casey. But starting the final round in a large tie for sixth at 10 under, six shots behind Casey, he estimates that he’ll need to flirt with golf’s magic number to give the Englishman something to worry about.

“My 7 under yesterday, I need to do better than that. I’m going to have to get to like 10 [under],” Watson said. “The only beauty is, getting out in front, you have a chance to put a number up and maybe scare them. But to scare them, you’re going to have to shoot 10 under at worst, where I’m at anyway.”

Watson started the third round three shots off the lead, and he made an early move with birdies on Nos. 1 and 2 en route to an outward 32. The southpaw couldn’t sustain that momentum, as bogeys on Nos. 16 and 17 turned a potential 65 into a relatively disappointing 67.

“Bad decision on the par-3, and then a very tough tee shot for me on 17, and it just creeped into the bunker,” Watson said. “Just, that’s golf. You have mistakes every once in a while.”