Celebrating its centennial in 2017, Washoe Golf Course is the oldest course in Reno and perhaps the entire state of Nevada. In addition to reveling in "the Shoe's" achievement for longevity, area golfers are also celebrating the many renovations and improvements to the overall condition of the course. The grand old dame of Nevada golf that is owned by Washoe County is getting a much-needed facelift thanks to a new agreement with dual golf course operations and maintenance management contractors.
There was intended irony in the grand old dame moniker as the course was founded as a member-only club and designed by a woman golf expert named Mrs. Gourtley Dunn Webb. The course turned public shortly after the Depression. It gained further renown by hosting its first professional tournament in 1946 and includes among its champions the legendary Ben Hogan. The Barracuda Championship, Reno's current PGA tournament, pays homage to this history by holding a 36-hole qualifying tournament dubbed The Reno Open at The Shoe each year, with the winner earning a spot in the PGA tournament.
The course layout is old-style, in keeping with its history, and plays to a modest length of 6,695 yards from the back tees. There are four other sets of tees to make play manageable for all ages and levels of players. The front nine is relatively flat with small mounded greens and is somewhat unique with only one very short par 3 hole. The back nine has more elevation changes and slightly larger greens and concludes with a very interesting short par 5.
Facilities include a full-service pro shop, the Shoe Bar & Grill, a full-length driving range with 18 hitting mats, and chipping and putting areas. There is a full PGA staff available for various lesson packages. Green fees are very reasonable and include walking rates. The course is open year-round, weather permitting. Locals can enjoy membership and annual pass options, plus very active Men's and Women's Clubs.