By Kayla Anderson
At the end of the road at 5800 Kiley Links Drive in Sparks sits a blue house and small parking lot/cul-de-sac which acts as the pro shop, bar and beginning and ending point for the 9-hole golf course. This course is easy and quick to play; most people walk it in an hour and a half with a pull cart, but motorized golf carts are also available to rent.
Since opening its doors in 2006, the year-round (weather-permitting) public Kiley Ranch Golf Course has received great reviews from various golf associations. LPGA professional Patty Sheehan designed the course and since it’s pretty flat all the way through, it offers beginners and recreational players the perfect opportunity to get into the sport.
About five years ago, Kiley Ranch Golf Course took on new owners and since then they’ve regularly been introducing new offerings such as footgolf holes to appeal to soccer players and serving thick crust oven-baked pizzas and local Revision and Great Basin beers on tap within its clubhouse. In the last few years it’s become a popular place to hang out and many Kiley Ranch residents will go there to enjoy happy hour in front of the fireplace and flat screen TV’s. Its proximity to the Legends outlets and the Sparks Boulevard connector doesn’t hurt, either.
Since it is also set between the Henry Orr Ditch and North Truckee Drain, it’s become a thriving spot for wildlife, too. In my time playing the course I saw a few cottontail bunnies, egrets, quail, and carp jumping in the ponds.
“George and Georgina (the golf course’s friendly resident hawks) help keep our local rodent population down,” says a former golf course employee.
Playing the course is fun because it’s nice and straight without a lot of hazards. Its longest hole is 192 yards and the greens roll like butter. The course was in great condition when I played in the early fall despite part-time groundskeeper Skip McConnell saying that it’s difficult to get grass to grow due to the tough cement-like caliche that was planted when developers built the Truckee River flood plain.
Kiley Ranch Golf Course is a great place to break up your day between meetings with a half-round of golf or meet some friendly faces at the bar as you enjoy a pizza and a local brew. It’s also one of the only golf courses in the Sparks/Reno area that’s open during the winter. Green fees are $15 adults and $12 for juniors ages 16 and younger and seniors 62-plus with free replay on Mondays (cart not included). Footgolf is $7 a round, $5 ball rental. For more information and updated hours and rates, visit www.kileylinks.com.
The course is hosting a Holiday Sip & Soap event this Sunday from 12-3 p.m. Make your own holiday gifts with an afternoon of soap making and wine provided by Desert Plains Mercantile. Call 775-354-2100 to RSVP.