With winter in the High Sierra rapidly approaching – a big snow dump is expected into next week – we are still seeing multitudes of people getting out to play while they still can.
Wolf Run – the home course for the University of Nevada Men’s and Women’s golf teams – is located further into south Reno with less trees and more of a desert feel surrounded in sage brush which makes finding an errant shot quite difficult.
The course is beautifully designed paired with magnificent homes running alongside most of the holes. With difficulty, course design, and scenery all being factored in, Wolf Run is my favorite course in Reno.
Wolf Run plays 7,100 yards from black tees (130 slope/72.6 rating) and 6,550 yards from the blue tees (126/69.9)
Following are the highlight holes as played from the blue tee markers!
No. 4 (377-yards, par 4): This is the No. 2 handicap hole on the course and for good reason. This hole really makes you question the length of your driver. A drive of 260 yards from the tee leads you to a 40-yard hazard that’ll take a carry of 300 to carry the hazard. The approach is greeted with an elevated green with almost two levels to it makes for either a horrifying downhill or a menacing uphill putt.
No. 8 (513-yards, par 5): The hole is the No. 10 handicap on this course but is not one to be taken lightly. With a narrow fairway bordered with thick-rough, the margin of error is small. The widest point of the tee from hazard to hazard is only 60 yards. Hazards being backyards on the left and sage brush on the right. The second shot does not offer any relief either with the same style of shot and troubles on either side. The approach to the green is slightly downhill with a narrow front. I usually eat up par 5’s but this one makes you work.
No. 12 (422-yards, par 4): The toughest rated handicap hole on the course does not mess around.
A big dogleg left that if you push your drive right makes for a very difficult to get home in two.
The theme for difficult holes on Duncan Golf Management courses will run a creek right in front of the greens, followed by thick-rough. With very little margin of error on your approach your options are simple – layup in front of the creek or carry it all the way to the green. If not, you’re either in the hazard or hacking it out of the deep grass.
Other trouble includes two wide sand traps. One of the most intimidating approaches on the course is even scarier after a bad tee shot.
No. 14 (190-yards, par 3): Downhill par 3 that punishes any shots falling short. Another creek fronts the green and has a wide and steep bunker immediately after the water.
Short right and left have tall and thick bushes. The best way to play this hole is club up and use the hill on the backside of the green to bring it back to the hole.
No. 15 (518-yards, par 5): This behemoth of a hole starts off with an intimidating carry over a wide little valley and a huge tree that keeps you from cutting the corner to a fairway that bends slightly left.
The design of the No. 3 handicap hole makes it almost impossible to get home in two. A perfect tee shot leaves a staggering 270 yards to get home, and once again following the DGM theme, there is a creek along the front.
The variance on this whole is that while most have a deeper-greens, this hole features a wide and short layout with a bunker in the back to punish a deep shot.
No. 18 (505 yards, par 5): In proper ACES fashion the 18th hole will make or break your round. It is possible the closing hole can destroy everything good you had going in your round!
Starting from the slightly elevated tee box into a 200-yard carry to reach the narrowing beginning of the fairway, this opening shot is not for the faint hearted. Coupled with a fair amount of trouble the entire way down on the left, your second shot needs to carry yet another ravine to find the second section of the fairway, setting up your approach to the green.
The elevated green is protected by six different bunkers, as well as garbage gobbling up anything long right. With a narrow front yet wide back of the green clubbing up and putting it deep is the best option but be wary of going too long.
Overall, for playing this course in the first week of December it was in remarkable shape. The greens were consistently fast and true. The fairways were very well maintained, and the tee boxes were as if playing in the middle of summer.
Now interestingly enough each green had two holes cut on opposite sides, the reason being for when the temperatures drop the greens will freeze and a new hole cannot be cut.
Unlike in Lake Tahoe or Truckee, Reno golf does not stop in the winter. There is no course preparation for the snow, no greens will get covered and no pro shops will close their doors for extended periods of time. If the snow hits, the course will close but as soon as it’s cleared the doors are back open for business.
With any course that falls under Duncan Golf Management you can always expect the most important features on a course to be well maintained, the staff to be very welcoming, and to be in for a great round of golf.
By Josh Miller