The Carson Valley Golf Course enjoys a great reputation as an excellent facility for families as well as regular golfers.

Owners Tom and Manya Brooks have been recognized several times with industry awards for their commitment to growing the game and reaching out to families. Each hole has tees for men, women and the family. The back nine includes 18 holes of footgolf. Golf carts are available, but it’s generally walkable, particularly the back nine where greens and tees are relatively close. On the front side, there’s a couple of hikes, notably from the 3rd green across a bridge over the Carson River to the 4th tee.

Fall colors enhance course

Situated on the Carson River in Gardnerville, Nevada, the18-hole track takes full advantage of irrigation ditches, the river and channels of the river. Built in two phases starting in the mid-1960s, the routing takes golfers through neighborhoods and then out in holes along the banks of the Carson River. Golfers cross Riverview Drive three times during the round, while going under it in a tunnel on the front nine.

The course opens and closes with par 3s. No. 1 is just 117 yards from the tips over the irrigation ditch to a large green. The same irrigation ditch comes into play on the 327-yard par-4 second hole. It fronts the green and then runs in front of the third tee box. As is true on most holes, the fairways have ample landing areas.

Bridge over Carson River

After No. 3, you drive across a neighborhood street and cross the river to a series of holes that feature natural water hazards and huge cottonwood trees. The sixth hole is bounded by the river on the right with another irrigation ditch guarding the green. No. 9 also requires crossing the irrigation ditch before returning to the clubhouse and No. 10 along Riverview Drive.

It’s footgolf and golf on the back nine, which features several raised greens, many guarded by sand traps. Houses border most holes on this side after just three on the front side. Most of the fairways offer wide landing areas, although there are some that pinch such as No. 14. It is a short par 4 at 325 yards, but has large, old cottonwood teams bracketing the narrow fairway. Miss the fairway and, like on several other holes, the rough was lush and about 3 inches deep so it’s no picnic to advance the ball effectively from the deeper stuff.

It plays 6,020 yards from the blues at par 71 and a 68.0 rating. It’s a fun track with a variety of terrain and enough challenges to keep it interesting day after day.

Snow-capped Sierra Nevada

It’s $35 to walk on the weekends (Friday-Sunday) and $49 to ride. The course plans to stay open until Nov. 6 thanks to 4,750 elevation of the community. With the backdrop of the Sierra Nevada, there are some sensational views.

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By Tim Hunt