To some casual observers of the northern Nevada golf scene, Toiyabe Golf Club may appear to be a new golf course in the Carson City area. Actually, it is the third iteration of a Washoe Valley gem designed by Robert Muir Graves that opened in 1994 as the private Golf Club at Lightning W Ranch. It transitioned into Thunder Canyon Golf Club in 1999 when it was purchased by founding Lightning W members Roger and Gayle Block. The club thrived to the point that it was named Nevada Golf Course of the Year in 2011 by the National Golf Course Owners Association. In the summer of 2016, some years after the passing of her husband, Gayle decided to move on and sold the Club to long-standing friend and northern Nevada golf industry veteran, Stan Jaksick. Jaksick cut his teeth in the golf business at Lakeridge Golf Course in Reno before moving on to develop the private Montreux Golf and Country Club with his late father Sam. The team was instrumental in bringing the PGA Tour to northern Nevada in 1999 with the Reno-Tahoe Open at Montreux that is now played annually as the Barracuda Championship. Along with the new ownership came a name change based upon the club's location in the foothills of the Toiyabe National Forest as well as becoming a semi-private club open for public play.
The Graves course design opened to glowing reviews and has stood the test of time and change well with fast, undulating greens remaining a prominent feature along with a panoramic Sierra Nevada backdrop. The somewhat unusual front nine combination of three par 3s, three par 4s and three par 5s opens with a wide-open but strong par 5. The layout then crosses under Franktown Road for a six-hole links-style stretch bordered by Interstate 580. Back on the clubhouse side of the road, a monstrous uphill par 5 that's more than 600 yards from the back tees brings the front side to an equally strong conclusion. The back nine also presents a good test of all phases of the game with a more alpine feel and culminates with a strong finishing par 4. The slightly downhill dogleg right 18th requires a well-placed tee shot to a narrow fairway and an accurate mid-to-long iron second into an undulating green that slopes from front to back with very few easy pin placements.
With its pedigree as a private club, the clubhouse at Toiyabe adds a full complement of amenities to the golf experience. The upper level houses the bar, main dining room and banquet room with an outdoor balcony that offers panoramic views of Slide Mountain, Mt. Rose, the Sierra foothills and Washoe Valley. The lower level is home to an ample pro shop and member locker rooms. With an experienced food and beverage staff and scenic setting, the club is a popular choice for weddings and banquets.
Considering the total package of beautiful scenery, course design, consistently good course conditions and ample amenities, Toiyabe Golf Club offers a first-rate golf experience and value. Green fees in the April 15 through October 15 golf season range from $35 to $85 depending upon day of the week and tee time window with prime time being from opening until 12 noon. Off season from October 16 through April 14 the daily rate is $45.