Divine 9 Courses in Carson City/Carson Valley are Aptly Named

Empire Ranch Golf CourseGolfers from California and Nevada are about to agree with this recent quote from well-known announcer, Ben Wright. The golf icon commented not only on the grandeur of the scenery, reminding him of “his home in Scotland,” but also on the “golfing rewards” to be found on all nine courses: Carson Valley, Dayton Valley, Eagle Valley East and West, Empire Ranch, Genoa Lakes Golf Club – The Lakes & The Resort, Silver Oak and Sunridge.

Located within 35 miles of easy-to-reach Carson City, the Divine 9 seem to be transforming Nevada’s capital into the capital of year-round golf destinations. And no wonder. The area’s unique natural terrain, temperate climate and favorable elevation (at 4,600 feet, golfers can expect 10 percent more distance from their drives) have attracted some of golf’s leading course designers, including Arnold Palmer, Johnny Miller, John Harbottle and Peter Jacobsen. 

The courses offer a total of 171 holes of championship play spread across more than 70,000 yards. With surprisingly affordable green fees, the variety of layouts and course personalities would tempt any player.

Carson Valley Golf Course’s 18-holes wind through century-old cottonwoods and along the banks of the Carson River. A long-time favorite with families, novices and those in search of a quick round or a few birdies, the course provides a relaxing, yet challenging jaunt over 6,023 level yards. The state’s Golf Course Owners Association named it “Nevada Golf Course of the Year” for its focus on family, junior and women’s programs.

Carson Valley Golf Course

At Dayton Valley Golf Club, Arnold Palmer masterfully blended the natural beauty of the high desert terrain with the challenges of sculpted, rolling links-style fairways, dotted with sand traps and water hazards. Four tee markers accommodate all abilities, with yardage from 5,161 to over 7,200. The plush fairways and large, undulating greens have brought Stage One PGA Tour Qualifying to the area since 1995.

Eagle Valley East invites golfers to tee it high and let it fly. This fun course is popular due to its open, forgiving nature. A local’s favorite, Eagle Valley East provides challenges with its 6,658 yards, numerous water hazards and large greens. The gently sloping terrain borders rolling, sagebrush-covered hills. 

Eagle Valley WestEagle Valley West is a testing, links-style course that demands accuracy with its emphasis on target golf. Voted “Best Place to Play Golf in Carson City” by Nevada Appeal and Reno Gazette-Journal readers, it features numerous forced carries, which make club selection critical to reach undulating greens. Water also plays a role on 12 holes. Various elevation changes allow for big tee shots but trouble often lurks on both sides.

Empire Ranch Golf Course includes three nine-hole layouts, each with water and wetlands. Fairly open and rarely unforgiving, this course opened in 1997. The first hole on the Comstock Course features a par four dogleg left through ancient cottonwood trees, with a huge green adjacent to an old ranch house. Five sets of tees cater to every level of golfer.

Set against the scenic eastern slope of the Sierra, The Lakes Course at Genoa Lakes is a links style, designed by John Harbottle and PGA Tour pro Peter Jacobsen. Opened in 1993, it was rated fourth Best New Public Course in North America by Golf Digest in 1994. A shot-maker’s delight, it’s bordered by the Carson River and numerous natural lakes, with water on 14 holes. This course has hosted the U.S. Open Qualifying and Nevada State Amateur, among other tournaments.

Framed by 10,000-foot peaks and stunning views of the Carson Valley, Genoa Lakes Resort Course is a championship Johnny Miller/John Harbottle design. It features a variety of elevation changes and numerous water hazards for a memorable challenge. Carved into the Sierra range, the lush green fairways are visually tight, juxtaposed with bordering natural grasses and sagebrush.

Nestled in northwest Carson City, Silver Oak Golf Course showcases impressive views of the downtown area. Spread over 160 acres, the course offers five sets of tees. Its wide-open appearance can be deceiving as it winds through natural terrain, demanding accurate play over changing elevations. Hole no. 18 is a reachable par five that can make or break a round, depending on the second shot carrying the fronting pond.

Genoa Lakes Resort Course

Sunridge Golf Course puts a premium on accuracy with tight fairways, challenging sidehill and downhill lies, serious elevation changes and large greens (many of them mounded). Numerous strategically placed ponds dot the landscape, most offering high reward for high risk. No. 4 is a 150-yard par three that must carry water the entire length, making club selection crucial and the view daunting. One pond is not enough for the par five fifth hole. The drive, lay-up and pitch to the green are bordered to the right by blue.

This golf menu definitely calls for a multi-day stay. The Divine 9 consortium also includes 10 lodging property members, centrally located to the courses: Best Western Carson Station, Carson Nugget, Carson Valley Inn, Courtyard by Marriott, Gold Dust West, Hampton Inn & Suites, Hardman House, Holiday Inn Express Carson City and Minden, and The Plaza Hotel. All offer attractive rates for individuals and groups. Golfers can create their own stay and play packages, as well as book tee times, online at www.divinenine.com or by calling (877) 697-GOLF.  


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