Well Traveled Golfer
On this page:
- Golf in the Biggest Little City in the World – Reno-Tahoe
- Gearhart Golf Links – The First 125 Years
- One of the World’s Top Golf Destinations – Northwest Montana Golf Association
- The Mesquite Amateur Celebrates 15th Anniversary
Golf in the Biggest Little City in the World – Reno-Tahoe
Reno-Tahoe is home to an impressive lineup of special events and concerts, a sprawling shopping and dining scene and more than 50 golf courses, begging you to come out and play. Experience the region’s diverse elevation, climate and courses in an all-seasons destination where you can ski in the morning and golf in the afternoon.
The course selection boasts unique sceneries stretching from the barren, sage-scattered deserts of the North Valleys to the high grass and wildflower-strewn meadows of Genoa, and from the dark blues of Lake Tahoe to the endless Pine tree forests of Plumas County. Even spectators will relish the scenery during the PGA TOUR Barracuda Championship at Reno’s Montrêux Golf and Country Club. Golfers will enjoy longer drives in Reno-Tahoe, where elevations range from 4,500 ft. to 6,300 ft. above sea level. This boost will be appreciated, as golfers play through course layouts designed by architects such as Arthur Jack Snyder, Arnold Palmer, Robert Trent Jones and Jack Nicklaus.
Just 10 minutes from downtown Reno, Lakeridge Golf Course is ideal for the seasoned golfer. Designed by the famed architect Robert Trent Jones Sr., this course has a world famous par-3 which tees atop a 150-foot, rocky ridge overlooking an island green in Lake Stanley. The 19th Hole restaurant displays an elegant but casual atmosphere for breakfast and lunch menus. A scenic 40-minute drive away from Reno-Tahoe International Airport is the Incline Championship Golf Course at North Lake Tahoe. This inspiring course has been ranked in the “Top 50 U.S. Golf Courses.”
That’s just a taste of what Reno-Tahoe offers on the course, but for a different kind of course, the options are similarly vast. The destination is now home to nearly two-dozen craft breweries, many of which are in the booming MidTown district. In addition to unique, curated menus, Reno-Tahoe brewers take great pride in creating a wide variety of tastes, offering sessional and high-volume beverages. You’ll be happy to know that the fairly young proliferation of high-quality, professional brewing is not only being recognized by locals. In the 2016 Best of Craft Beer Awards, IMBIB Custom Brews won three medals, including a gold medal for its Berliner Weisse. Brasserie Saint James won two medals, taking gold for its 1904 brew. Brasserie Saint James was also named “Mid-size Brewpub of the Year” at the 2014 Great American Beer Festival. The Depot, Nevada’s first brewery/distillery, has also been awarded for its brews as well as its spirits.
In addition to great, nightly entertainment, Reno-Tahoe is also home to a number of professional sports teams. The former Triple-A Champion Reno Aces play at the recently renovated Greater Nevada Field in downtown Reno, where the United Soccer League’s Reno 1868 FC held its inaugural season in 2017. The Reno Bighorns are the Sacramento Kings’ D-League affiliate, and play at the Reno Events Center, also in downtown Reno.
With endless opportunities for group and seasonal rates, Reno Tahoe is one of the premier golf destinations in the U.S. For more information, go to www.VisitRenoTahoe.com.
Gearhart Golf Links – The First 125 Years
Golf has been played in Gearhart, Ore. since 1892, when Robert Livingstone took a lawn mower out to his pasture to level the ground, put a few tin cans in the soil for holes and planted some flags in them. A golf course grew from that humble beginning, and now Gearhart Golf Links will be celebrating 125 years in 2017. The club will be commemorating this exceptional birthday with events planned throughout the year, but will kick off its summer season with a special gala.
Built on slightly more than 100 acres and playing at just over 6,500 yards, the current routing of Gearhart was influenced greatly in the 1920s by the early American golf champion, Chandler Egan, who moved to Oregon from Chicago right before World War I. In addition to winning two U.S. Amateurs and a team gold medal at the 1904 Olympics, Egan established himself as a leading West Coast golf course designer.
Egan’s portfolio included the original course designs for Portland’s first municipal course, Eastmoreland, along with Oswego Lake, Eugene and Tualatin country clubs. Collaborating with Alister MacKenzie and Robert Hunter (who was also Egan’s teammate on the winning U.S. Olympic golf team), Egan renovated Pebble Beach Golf Links in advance of the 1929 U.S. Amateur Championship.
In time for its anniversary, Gearhart has just completed a several-years long project to restore the course to its original links style. Trees were removed and several of the holes were lengthened and modified to bring the course up to 6,500 yards. Gearhart is meticulously maintained by Forrest Goodling’s staff of professional groundskeepers, and the entire operation is managed by Jason Bangild, PGA professional.
Mark these key 2017 dates on your calendar to join the club’s celebration:
Friday, June 23rd – “Gearhart Hickory Classic” – The NW Hickory Society plays every year at Gearhart, and this year the Society has extended an invitation to Gearhart regulars to join in the fun. Hickory clubs will be available and their use is included in your entry fee. Following golf, there will be a formal Anniversary Presentation in the Livingstone Room – golfers and non-golfers are invited. We will be celebrating the links and the town of Gearhart.
- 12:00 noon – Gearhart Hickory Classic Golf Tournament (You will be paired with a member of the NW Hickory Society)
- 4:30pm – Scoring in the Pot Bunker Pub, dinner on your own.
- 6:00pm – Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres in the Livingstone Room
- 7:00pm – Presentation on the history of Gearhart Golf Links
- Paul Linnman – Master of Ceremonies
- Tim Boyle – Welcome
- Kerry Tymchuck (Oregon Historical Society) – The early days of Gearhart
- Paul Levy (PGA of America) – Video presentation on the birth of the PGA of America
- Tim Hills (McMenamins Historian) – The Sand Trap, then and now
- David Jacobsen (R&A) – Life as a golfing kid in Gearhart
- Matt Brown (Gearhart Mayor) – Recognition of City officials
- 9:00pm – Music and Dancing!
Sunday, July 16th – “Whiskey Road to the Final Four” – The signature team event of three 9-Hole Matches. Grab a partner and vie for a spot on the perpetual trophy!
Wednesday, July 19th – Birthday Pricing – Gearhart was founded in 1892, so for one day only, green fees will only be $18.92!
Friday, July 21st – “McMenamins Scramble: Forrest’s Revenge” – Gearhart is lucky to have one of the best Superintendents in golf, and on this day he is going to punish you. You will celebrate the beloved golf course by playing it at its toughest!
Thursday, July 27th – $125 Skins Game – Bring your “A” game!
Friday, July 28th – Croquet on the Lawn – 5th Annual!
Monday, July 31st – Employee Appreciation Day – All current and past employees of Gearhart Golf Links, McMenamins Sand Trap, and the Gearhart Hotel play for free. Recognition in the Pot Bunker Bar to follow.
Friday, August 4th – Flag Day – All players play until they’ve hit the ball 125 times. Whoever gets the farthest wins the pot (i.e. better players may play 30 or more holes).
Friday, August 11th – James Beard Dinner
For more information on Gearhart Golf Links, please contact:
Jason Bangild, General Manager and PGA Director of Golf
One of the World’s Top Golf Destinations – Northwest Montana Golf Association
Golf Courses in Montana, especially Northwest Montana, are some of the most beautiful golf courses in the country making this one of the top 50 golf destinations in the world.
Excellent courses in close proximity, vibrant dining and nightlife options, and the spectacular scenery of Glacier National Park are some of the reasons why Golf Digest called Northwest Montana one of the world’s top golf destinations.
Course styles range from mountain courses with tree-lined fairways and winding rivers to traditional Scottish links-style layouts to courses set along the shores of impressive lakes. “We have nine very excellent courses within a short driving distance of each other,” says Steve Dunfee, president of the Northwest Montana Golf Association.
Getting to Northwest Montana is relatively easy from Seattle or Portland. Alaska Airlines flies daily into Glacier Park International Airport (FCA) and fares for the short flight are surprisingly affordable. Amtrak also departs daily from both Seattle and Portland and delivers passengers at the historic Whitefish Train Depot, in the heart of the golf course action. Do-it-yourselfers won’t find the half-day drive from Seattle or Portland, or the four-hour drive from Spokane, to be difficult. The epic scenery along the way makes the trip all the better.
While golf is definitely reason enough for a visit, Northwest Montana is also home to a dining scene that will surprise even the most finicky sophisticate. The nightlife and bars are considered by some to be legendary. Many visitors think of the lively ski town of Whitefish when they think of the region. However, downtown Kalispell has also cultivated its own impressive stock of dining and nightlife options. Visitors should not miss the great little shops and places to eat in the area’s other small towns including Polson, Eureka and Libby.
Most golfers organize their trips around their tee times, but some will also plan a diversion to neighboring Glacier National Park. Flyfishing, ziplining, hiking and boating are a few ways that non-golfers will have a great time. “It’s affordable, it’s fun, it’s entertaining and there are so many places to go,” says Dunfee.
The Mesquite Amateur Celebrates 15th Anniversary
Attracting golfers from around the country, the Mesquite Amateur is the second largest amateur golf tournament in the nation. Presented by Mesquite Gaming, the competition celebrates its 15th anniversary this year and is anticipating over 600 players.
The event consists of a 54-hole, net, stroke-play tournament with five different age divisions. Participants compete against a field of players with a similar handicap. The tournament takes place over three days and features an award-winning seven-course lineup with challenging styles of desert, arroyo, vista and canyon play.
The captivating lineup includes the CasaBlanca Golf Club, featuring an 18-hole, 7,011-yard championship course designed by Cal Olson; Falcon Ridge Golf Club, which boasts a 6,550-yard par 71 desert layout with several elevated tee shots from high plateaus; the Palms Golf Club; the Canyons Course at Oasis Golf Club, an 18-hole, par 71 course; Coyote Springs, a Jack Nicklaus Signature Course with a challenging par 72, 7,471-yard layout; the Arnold Palmer-designed Palmer Course at Oasis Golf Club; and the Gary Panks-designed Conestoga Golf Club.
Winners are chosen by first comparing a three-day cumulative score. From there, the top four participants from each flight compete in the 18-hole championship round at the CasaBlanca Golf Club. Nick Page of Montgomery, Texas took home the first place trophy in 2016.
Each year the Mesquite Amateur also awards one Virgin Valley High School senior with a scholarship in memory of Bruce King, a late golfer who participated in the first 10 years of the tournament. Jackelyn Rivera, the 2016 award recipient, received a $3,000 check toward her university of choice with an additional $2,000 distributed during her college career.
The entry fee for the tournament is $525 before March 31, 2017 and includes a Tee Gift with $100 credit to TaylorMade Mobile Pro Shop, three rounds of golf at various courses, admission to all special events and nightly dinners, special tournament participation, and the chance to play in the final championship round.
The competition includes nightly dinner parties and raffle prizes. Each night is different, ranging from cuisine prepared by local area chefs to a full dinner buffet with cocktails. Special events throughout the week include Cigars Under the Stars, the Mesquite Amateur Wine Luncheon, and the championship dinner where the final awards and trophies are presented.
The Mesquite Amateur will take place May 29-June 2, 2017 and sponsors include TaylorMade, The Mesquite Resort Association, Callaway Golf, Southern Wine & Spirits of Nevada and the City of Mesquite.
To register and for more information, visit www.mesquiteamateur.com.
Mesquite Gaming includes Virgin River Hotel/Casino/Bingo and CasaBlanca Resort-Casino-Golf-Spa. A premier golf destination, Mesquite Gaming owns and operates The Palms Golf Club and CasaBlanca Golf Club. Combined, the two properties feature 1,186 guest rooms, 76,000 square-feet of casino space, with 1,600 slot machines and 36 gaming tables, 70,000 square-feet of meeting and convention space including an outdoor entertainment venue.