Need an excuse for a golf getaway? Here are 10 reasons why the Divine 9 courses make the perfect golf destination:
10) Signature holes 9 and 16 at Dayton Golf Club: Daunting and not for the weak, the par 4 hole 9 and the par 3 hole 16 can make or break a golfer’s scorecard. Hole 9 is the toughest on the course where water stretches down the left side. To get to the green, with the illustrious clubhouse in the background, you have to hit over water. Hole 16 is a scenic par three shot over water with a wide but not-so-deep green. This hole has sunk many golf balls over the years and swelled many egos for those fortunate enough to land their ball on the green.
9) Signature Hole 18 at the Genoa Lakes Course: Surrounded by a stunning Sierra Nevada backdrop and set against a traditional golf club house, this 441 yard par 4 is a dog leg left and a shot over water to the green. Those who par this hole at the end of their round can almost hear a cheering gallery providing for a great crescendo to one of the finest courses in Northern Nevada.
8) The Resort Course at Genoa: This course is seasonal and well worth the after-winter wait. Built for power and distance, the Resort Course cuts into the rugged Sierra Nevada foothills, just two miles from the Lakes Course. Johnny Miller and John Harbottle III were the driving force behind this course, which offers wide open spaces and spectacular high desert views. More than 300 feet of elevation changes, more than 100 bunkers, unpredictable mountain terrain, afternoon breezes and a waterfall challenge players to a crash course in championship golf.
7) Year-round golf at Carson Valley Golf Club: While most Divine 9 courses are open year round, Carson Valley has the distinction of being one of the oldest courses in the region to do so. With 300-plus days a year of sunshine, taking in the back nine in winter lends itself to a stunning setting of a flowing Carson River, snow-capped mountains and naked cottonwood trees. The scene is so vivid you sometimes forget that it is 40 degrees outside.
6) Slaying the greens at Sunridge Golf Club: This Carson City course is where the short game skills come in handy. When you’re not faced with water on half of the holes which call for absolute precision, the greens are sloped in such a way that you wonder how Phil Michelson would handle the multiple breaks.
5) Silver Oak Golf Club‘s signature 15th hole: Situated alongside the Sierra Nevada which affords scenic views, the terrain varies in undulation. Some parts are mostly level and others offer some slight hills. Hole 15, a 200-yard, par 3, features a panoramic view of Carson City and a narrow entrance to the green.
4) Eagle Valley Golf Course (East): The East Course 18 is located at the base of the Sierra and the golf course offers vistas and views that complement the high desert setting. The layout is wide open, making it perfect for some of us who spray our shots now and then. There are some long holes, some bunkers but it is a forgiving course.
3) Eagle Valley Golf Course (West): This scenic course winds through the Carson City foothills in a unique area where sage brush laps the greens. The links-style layout features an interesting variety of holes that provide a formidable test for even the most advanced players. Several water hazards are strategically placed. The dramatic elevation changes in the rolling landscape also require forced carries, offering a true risk-and-reward experience.
2) The call of the wild at Empire Ranch Golf Course: This Carson City course is situated along the Carson River and sheltered between the bluffs on 250 acres of land where cattle once grazed. “The Ranch” as locals refer to it, offers players plush tee boxes and smooth, fast greens. Lush fairways wandering through environmentally protected wetlands will challenge the low-handicapper, but at the same time, play fairly for the higher handicapper. Five sets of tee boxes allow any players to enjoy their day at Empire Ranch.
1) The Divine 9 translates to a No. 1 golf destination: Numbers don’t lie. You’ll find 9 courses less than 40 minutes apart: That equals 70,000+ yards for all levels of play across 171 holes of traditional and Scottish-style layouts (Palmer, Miller, Jacobsen, Harbottle), plus 11 partnering hotels, more than 20 restaurants (casual to 4-star), 24-hour casinos and many more after-golf options.