The Red Hawk Golf and Resort is located just outside of Reno in Sparks, and provides 36-holes of championship golf, as well as a chance to escape the often hectic pace of Reno.

It is also one of the golf resorts that are open almost year-round. This year alone I have played the Lake course in February during a break in the winter storms, and once so far in the early spring.

Thoughts? Great golf, great course, both times.

Playing in the winter often involves golf courses that have gone to sleep for four months. At Red Hawk, it was stunning to see the quality of the course during my venture in February.

Even with the dormant grass, the course still played very well. By the spring the greens were rolling true, fairways were well-maintained, and the featured holes were gorgeous as expected.

Following are some of the highlighted holes during my play on the 7,140-yard, Lakes’ course.

The opener is a 400-yard, par 4, lined with bunkers down the right side from 200 out through 270, the average landing zone for most players.

Clear those and the final bunkers are a horse-shoe bunker off the front right, with two smaller bunkers in the back right.

The third hole – 4222-yard, par 4 – can be simple, yet challenging. There is a dog-leg right, wrapping around a lake that comes into play starting at 200 yards off the tee, through the green.

Depending on your distance off the tee, your second shot could bring a significant amount of water into play along the right side for the approach.

The 220-yard par 3, No. 3 shows the golfer that they don’t call it the Lakes course for no reason!

It is an intimidating visual off the tee, but there is a safe route for those with a fear of water. The straight carry over the water is 210 yards, but there is fairway to the left for those that prefer the safer, but longer route to the green.

The 7th is a short, 402-yard, par 4, but has big trouble for the bombers. A drive of 300 off the tee, not that tough in the altitude, leads the golfer straight into the water.

The hole features a significant turn to the right, with a corner that can be cut, but it calls for carry of 290 to avoid trouble.

The thrill of the hole is the mental processing it takes before deciding which route to take off the tee. Truly a “fortune favors the bold,” type of hole.

The signature hole of the course is the 17th, a 241-yard, par 3. Heading into the final two holes, you face the No. 4 handicap hole. The golfer is faced with a carry of 200 yards from the tee that is framed with vast amounts of water and marshland.

It’s the type of hole that can validate a good round or add to the woes of a less-than-happy round.

If the 17th is enough to deal with coming in, the 18th is the No. 2 handicap hole. The 407-yard, par 4 will certainly put your game to the test before heading for the 19th hole.

The conditions in the spring show the course will be optimal during the popular summer months. Expect immaculate conditions during the summer.

Red Hawk is a must play for any visitors to the area during the summer, and a go-to course for the year round Reno residents.

For more information visit www.redhawkgolfandresort.com.

By Joshua Miller