The history of Wolf Run Golf Club is nearly as interesting as the 18-hole layout that meanders around an expanse of native sage and rock-dotted terrain in southwest Reno. The land was once a working ranch, and 185 acres of the property were gifted to the University of Nevada-Reno by the John Shaw Field Foundation. The university considered several options for the use of the land but to the delight of Reno golfers settled on creating a golf course that would serve as home base for the Wolf Pack golf teams and faculty, student and alumni.
PGA professional Lou Eiguren, a highly respected veteran club pro who previously held the top job at San Francisco's famous Olympic Club and Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course, was the driving force behind the project to create Wolf Run. Eiguren, now director of golf for Genoa Lakes' two courses, brought his former superintendent at the Olympic Club, John Fleming, to Reno to head the course design team. Although Wolf Run is Fleming's only course design credit, he had a solid background as the son of Jack Fleming, a renowned designer of numerous California courses who learned his craft under the legendary Alister MacKenzie.
Fleming's objective was to incorporate many traditional design ideals into the course using the natural features the rugged, canyon terrain offered with Thomas Creek meandering through the middle. The result is a course with a natural rolling flow and elevation changes with views of Mt. Rose, downtown Reno and the surrounding valley. The predominant feature is firm, fast greens with plenty of undulation and subtle nuances. The course is not exceptionally long and has generous fairways so every golfer can have an enjoyable yet challenging round by playing the tees best suited to their game.
The finishing holes on both nines offer a fitting conclusion situated at the back and front of the clubhouse that once served as the main ranch house. Number 9 is a strategic par 4 to a large green that sits on a bunker-protected shelf. With a well-placed tee shot and accurate short iron it affords a good birdie opportunity. The 18th is a moderate par 5 with a downhill tee shot to a large fairway that then crosses a normally dry creek bed and works back uphill to a large, undulating green that also sits on shelf cut into the hillside. Long hitters can reach the green in two, and again a birdie could be a fantastic finish to your round.
It is no coincidence that when Wolf Run opened in 1998 Tom Duncan, principal of current course owner Duncan Golf Management, was the Nevada men's golf coach and university's liaison to course management. Since taking ownership, DGM has made improvements and renovations to put the finishing touches on this reasonably priced public facility that still serves as home course for the Wolf Pack men's and women's golf teams. As a DGM-owned course, locals have membership options, including one that includes playing privileges at Dayton Valley and Lakeridge golf courses. DGM also coordinates group and tournament packages that can include lodging and other options.
Facilities include a newly remodeled driving range, a 100-yard short game area to practice chips and sand shots, a practice putting green, a new chipping green with patio seating and a well-stocked pro shop offering Callaway rental clubs. The Grill at Wolf Run serves a nice variety of breakfast and lunch fare with a full-service bar and patio seating. There is a large outdoor tent with full services to accommodate group and tournament play.