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Golf Travel Guide To Carson Valley

An Interview With Jan Vandermade, Executive Director at Visit Carson Valley

By Brian Weis

Looking to plan the perfect golf trip to Visit Carson Valley? Planning a buddies trip or a romantic golf getaway can be a full time job not to mention pressure filled to deliver a memorable experience. Below is an interview with Jan Vandermade, Executive Director at Visit Carson Valley who shares some insider information about golf and traveling to Carson Valley, must play courses, a sample itinerary and where you can go for more planning tools.

Give our readers an overview of your destination and why they should consider it for their next golf trip?
For starters, clean mountain air and a stunning high sierra setting send your tee ball soaring (base level skills required). True diehards manage to find time to golf in the morning and ski in the afternoon during winter months. Yet, it's the other three seasons which truly pay off as to why Carson Valley.

Your next journey is closer than you think. Just 45 minutes south of Reno, NV and only 12 miles east of South Lake Tahoe, Carson Valley offers an abundance of authentic experiences.

Carson Valley is a true outdoor playground, with activities year-round. It's about finding the sweet spot not just in golf, but for your entire vacation. The rugged peaks surrounding Carson Valley embrace a unique outdoor paradise, offering an unprocessed, unparalleled experience. Hikers and bikers enjoy lush green trees, vibrant wildflowers, and abundant wildlife along more than 50 miles of open trails. Known for its wild-horse viewing, Carson Valley is a place where you're sure to find a horse basking in the riches of open space. Outdoorsmen come from all around the world to fish for rainbow, German brown, or Lahontan cutthroat trout, and largemouth bass. The great Minden-Tahoe Airport, a general aviation facility, is one of the top three places in the world for soaring. Glider rides are available year-round. Nearby, Lake Tahoe is home to ski/snowboard resorts and sandy beaches. Need a few more reasons? Visit our website.

What are the must play courses in Visit Carson Valley?
Carson Valley offers 4 championship golf courses, each with it's own unique qualities and character. The four courses are also proud partners in the Divine 9 group where you'll find nine championship golf courses under 40 minutes apart in Carson City and Carson Valley.

Carson Valley Golf Course - Since 1965 Carson Valley Golf Course has been home to affordable, friendly golf. The cool rush of the Carson River and the shade from giant cottonwood trees, give the golf course a unique character. The goal is to make golf fun! Enjoy plenty of shot making opportunities in the layout for serious golfers, yet you'll have a good time while you're there and leave with a smile on your face.

Genoa Lakes Golf Club (Lakes Course) - Luxury and performance are the name of the game on the Lakes Course. Co-designed by PGA Champion Peter Jacobsen and John Harbottle III, this links-style course with rolling fairways meets head-on with the eastern slopes of the breathtaking Sierra Nevada Mountains. Lush wetlands and the winding Carson River bring water into 14 holes of play, making long, straight drives the order of the day. Home to a U.S. Open Qualifier.

Genoa Lakes Golf Club (Ranch Course) - Built for power and distance, the Ranch Course cuts into the rugged Sierra Nevada foothills, just two miles from the Lakes Course. Johnny Miller and John Harbottle III were the driving force behind this course, which offers wide open spaces and spectacular high desert views. Over 300 feet of elevation changes, more than 100 bunkers, unpredictable mountain terrain, afternoon breezes and a waterfall challenge players to a crash course in championship golf.

Sunridge Golf Club - Prepare yourself for an unparalleled golfing experience. The course is a pleasure for golfers of any skill level to play. Sunridge Golf Club will challenge you while providing a relaxing, picturesque backdrop. Test your accuracy with the fairways, water hazards, and sand traps; we have everything you need to challenge you and improve your game.

What is the hidden gem and/or best value course?
Carson Valley Golf Course - easy to walk, plenty of challenges for any player, with competitive rates year 'round.

Can you provide our readers with an ideal itinerary for a long weekend?
Music, Rhythm and Blues -
- Day one "Music" - arrival - catch a live outdoor concert at TJ's Outdoor Corral (while the sun sets) Check listings for concert scheduling.
- Day two "Rhythm" - Play 18 in the morning at Genoa Lakes or Sunridge.
- In the afternoon, tour one of the valley's two museums or take in the historic Dangberg Home Ranch.
- Grab dinner at a local Basque restaurant.
- Day three "Blues" - Play another 18 at the Carson Valley golf course in the morning from the blues.
- Soak at David Walley's Resort Hot Springs & Spa. Take time to reflect and plan for your eminent return.
- Book another night - you're too relaxed to leave now. Congratulations! You've unplugged.

After golf, what are the "must do" things or attractions to see?
A few highlights for every traveler include
- Genoa Bar - the oldest thirst parlor in Nevada.
- Jacob's Family Farm - we challenge you to find a better jar of jam.
- The Pink House - offers a fine selection of artisan products, including cheese, charcuterie, beer, wine, and specialty coffee. Their menu sandwiches, salads, cheese plates, and other light fare. First built in 1865.
- Soaring NV - wanna take in the entire area including Lake Tahoe from the sky? The sound of silence, awesome views, pure joy.
- JT Basque - tasty family style dining that comes with a challenge. Get a bill of any denomination to stick to their ceiling. Try it!
- Topaz Lake - fishing, swimming, and a plethora of water activities.
- There's more gems to be found. Check out the Visit Carson Valley website.

What is the best time to travel?
Fall in Carson Valley is magical. The leaves are changing, moderate temps and lush fairways or greens. This local contributor has had more than one "it doesn't get any better than this" moment out on the valley's golf courses.

Anything else you would like to share about the Visit Carson Valley?
Carson Valley carries with it the moniker - "the land of legends". A biker, a baker, a birder and a foursome walk into a bar. No seriously.

Come capture a truly unique experience . . . here for the finding.

Where can golfers go for more information to research and plan their trip?
Please visit our website at More specifically view our golf directory here.

More Information »

Revised: 06/27/2017 - Article Viewed 23,520 Times

About: Brian Weis

Brian Weis Brian Weis is the Publisher of, a network of golf travel and directory sites including,,,, etc. Professionally, Brian is a member of the Golf Writers Association of America (GWAA), International Network of Golf (ING), Golf Travel Writers of America (GTWA), International Golf Travel Writers Association (IGTWA) and The Society of Hickory Golfers (SoHG). In 2016, Brian won The Shaheen Cup, an award given to a golf travel writer by his peers.

All of his life, Brian has been around the game of golf. As a youngster, Brian competed at all levels in junior and high school golf. Brian had a zero chance for a college golf scholarship, so he worked on the grounds crew at West Bend Country Club to pay for his University of Wisconsin education. In his adult years, his passion for the game collided with his entrepreneurial spirit and in 2004 launched In 2007, the idea for a network of local golf directory sites formed and was born. Today, the network consists of a site in all 50 states supported by national sites like, and It is an understatement to say, Brian is passionate about promoting golf and golf travel on a local, regional, national and international level.

On the golf course, Brian is known as a fierce weekend warrior that fluctuates between a 5-9 handicap. With a soft fade, known as "The Weis Slice", and booming 300+ drives, he can blast it out of bounds with the best of them.

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