The 15th hole at Lakeridge Golf Course is THE most beautiful hole in all of Reno. The 15th hole is the perfect par 3. It contains a gorgeous view, a huge elevation change, a large, but difficult green, and hazards galore. All of these features make the 15th hole at Lakeridge one of the best holes in all of Reno. In this blog, I will look at the challenges of creating this masterpiece, as well as the challenges of playing the hole.
The 15th hole must have been an incredible challenge to design, as well as construct. The first of the challenges; putting an island on the lake. The 14th hole at Lakeridge leads to a large hill. As you drive/walk to the top of this hill, an awesome view of a beautiful lake, as well as a great view of downtown Reno come into view. While the developers of Lakeridge could easily have left this lake alone, they decided to make it a staple of their golf course. The small island is maybe 120 feet wide by 75 feet deep, connected to the rest of the course by a small bridge. The small size of the island must have made construction a little easier, while also providing golfers with a mush more challenging par 3.
The second little goal the course developers needed to achieve; the cart path down from the tee boxes. As mentioned above, hole 15 features a huge drop in elevation from tee to green. While this makes for a great hole in golf, the process of getting from the tee box to the green in down a huge hill. The cart path features about 6 or 7 switchbacks, as well as about 10 huge road bumps to ensure golfers can’t speed down the hill (not for a lack of trying, in my experience). Creating this island, as well as connecting the island to the tee box, makes this hole run smoothly.
As for playing the 15th hole, I had a bad last experience, as noted in my previous blog. The wind was gusting from right to left, an issue for right handed golfers who hit a draw, as I do. As my group approached the tee box, the first thing we did was all fish bad golf balls out of our bags, tee them up, and hit drivers out into the lake (just for fun). After this I came up with my goals for the hole.
“1. Don’t go in the water.”
The island is pretty small compared to the rest of the lake, so this goal isn’t as easy as it sounds. I pulled out an 8 iron, guessing that the elevation change, plus the little wind would push my ball much farther than normal. I hit the ball pretty well, but the wind started pushing it to the left end of the island. I couldn’t see if the ball landed on the island or not (it didn’t) but I still felt good about the swing. Once we made the drive down the windy road, I saw my ball was not in play and must have rolled into the water (much to my displeasure). Goal 1: Fail. This led to goal 2;
“2. Get up and down from the drop zone”
I dropped my ball on the drop zone, about 30 yards short of the green, and prepared to chip. I knew if I could just get up and down (meaning hit one chip and one putt), I could still salvage a bogey. I hit a very low chip with a lot of spin, which landed about 15 feet short of the hole, and stopped almost instantly. My remaining putt was fairly simple, as there was no slope and the putt looked like it would go dead straight, but I rushed my putting motion, and hit the ball a foot left of the hole. This led to a tap in double bogey (as well as some under-the-breathe bad language). Goal 2: Fail.
All-in-all, even though I did not play hole 15 as well as I would have liked, I can still appreciate the beautiful hole. Lakeridge Golf Course really did a great job with their course design, including achieving the little goals that add up to a great course. To learn more about the little goals and victories click the “Follow” button to the right to subscribe to my blog or follow me on twitter at@zacharypwalsh.