Montrêux Golf Course features the only Jack Nicklaus Signature Course in northern Nevada – a stunning, Par 72 course featuring a number of drops in elevation as it meanders approximately 7,500 years through towering pines and flowing streams. As one of just 45 PGA TOUR events worldwide, Nicklaus himself considers Montrêux one of his top five courses.
You’ll see anything from a long iron to a driver off this tee. The green is an awesome two-tiered design that’s sandwiched by bunkers and a lake on the right, definitely a challenging hole to putt
Great par 5 up the hill, and it’s one of the best risk-reward holes on the course. In fact, the year I won the Reno Tahoe Open, I had a couple eagles on it, so I was fortunate there. I take a driver to the big pine tree in the middle of the fairway. I feel like the closer you get to the left bunker, the shorter the second shot is. It has a great multi-teired green where you can have some great pin placements. It’s a good idea to keep the ball below the hole, because there are some pretty good slopes from back to front, and right to left as well.
The third hole at Montrêux measures 186 yards. It plays about 10 yards uphill and has a smallish green that makes it difficult to get the ball close. A deep bunker guards the entire right side and back of the putting surface.
The left side of the green presents a great birdie opportunity but if the hole is located on the right, take a par and run.
I always chose a club that kept the ball underneath the hole because over the green was no good at all. I always play the front edge yardage for both the left and right sides to avoid going past the hole. I hit anywhere from a 9 iron for the left pin, to a 6 iron for the right if it was into the wind.
Either way, birdie was a bonus, and par was perfectly fine.
A short par 4 that can be played a couple of different ways off the tee. If I can carry the fairway bunker (about 260) I always hit driver. This leaves me around 50-60 yard lob wedge. I can attack the front flags easily and play to the right of the most dangerous pin position in the back left.
If the hole is into the wind and I can’t carry the fairway bunker I lay up with a hybrid to the left of it, leaving about 100 to the green. This is also my option if the greens get firm, leaving me a full wedge to spin/stop my 2nd shot.
It’s a par 4 that doesn’t play nearly the yardage being downhill and at elevation. Hitting the fairway is a MUST on this hole. Players will usually take a 3 wood to hybrid shaping it right to left and avoiding a huge tree down the left side of the fairway. This will leave a short iron to mid-iron to a green well bunkered short right and a tier back left. Walking off this hole with a par is never a bad thing but birdie can be had with two precise shots.
Hole number 6 is a 477-yard par-4. You’ll see most players here, taking an absolute “crack” with their driver. They will let loose off the tee, and there’s no fairway bunkers. The fairway is generous. It slopes from right to left. You can take it up the right-hand side with a draw and get the ball in a speed slot and this thing will run an extra forty to fifty yards.
On the second shot, the green also slopes right to left, so if you can find a way to hit it off the right side of the slop, it’ll come to the middle of the green. The toughest pin is towards the back right-hand portion of the green. But overall, you’re going to be looking at a player that will be happy with making a 4 here. But after a good drive, he could possibly have a scoring club in his hands and could look to make a birdie and move up the leaderboard.
Short but tricky hole. The wind can be very difficult here. It can swirl really badly. Really difficult to pull a club and timing is everything. No wind and it’s just a nice short iron. Short is obviously no good and left as well.
This is a very challenging Par 5. You’ve got to watch for the lake to the left of the fairway. Wind plays a factor in whether guys can go for the green in 2 or not.
Is a relatively short par 4. If you avoid the bunkers off the tee, birdies can be had. The back right pin placement requires great accuracy with your approach. This was where I claimed the inaugural Barracuda Championship win in 1999.
I like to usually hit driver. Unless it’s down wind. Then 3-wood. I just don’t want to get too close to the green. Greens are usually firm and I need to get enough spin on the ball to get it close on a tight pin. It’s a pretty straight forward hole looking to make a birdie.
If you play it looking to make three it’s an easy hole. If you try and make 2 that’s when you can make 4 or 5. There is trouble near the corners and the wind and elevation make distance control difficult. Play for the middle and take your chances with a thirty foot putt.
Number 12 is a pivotal hole on Sunday at the Barracuda Championship. It’s a par 4 roughly 480 slightly uphill with a slight dogleg right. The player has to drive the golf ball left center or left side of the fairway. Anything off to the right is not good because there are very tall trees that will make your second shot very difficult. If the player hits a good drive this is definitely a birdie hole with a short iron in. I have seen people make doubles from the right side of fairway in a flash. The putting surface is large with a tier in the middle that separates the left side and right. The most difficult flag location is front right. Green is usually very fast going back down the hill! Another hole on Montrêux that can make a break a great day.
Although not long by modern standards, especially at altitude, the hole can frustrate the golfer who tries to force a birdie or an eagle. It’s a hole we all look at as an opportunity to make birdie or eagle, but two great shots and good work around the green is the only answer.
You can get close to the green if you choose to be aggressive on 14. The green is challenging, but it’s a definite birdie opportunity.
Slight dog leg left up the hill on this par 4. There’s a bunker that frames the fairway on the left-hand side. I typically try to hit a 3-wood off the tee to put me in good shape. The green has about three sections to it. The heart of the green will leave you with a good chance at a birdie.
16’s a great par-3, obviously! With the elevation change it’s one were you gotta get the number right. That green is kind of two tiers, the front tier comes at you and the back tier runs away from you. The back pin isn’t too bad to be long, and the front pins you want to be below. The front-right part of that green drops way down, so that front pin can be dicey. But, it’s one that 3 is never going to hurt you. You just want to get it in the right spot on the green, either below the hole or just passed it on the back pin.
I hit 8 irons usually on the back pins and a 9 iron to the front pins, it doesn’t change that much. The back pins you’re just trying to get it over the hump and let it trickle down and if it rolls over, it’s not too bad, then you’re just chipping up hill. The front pins with the 9 you’re trying to kid it on the front-left part of that green, because that right-side slips down.
17 is the coolest tee shot we hit all year. You have an elevated tee coupled with playing at elevation and hitting the fairway is a must. I’ll usually go with an iron off the tee leaving me an 8 iron or less into a green that is well protected. This hole is part of a great stretch coming in where guys can really score a lot of points but there’s also some trouble that can lead to a double bogey really quick.
A downhill par 5 that I try to attack if I feel good. I take driver off the tee, trying to keep the ball away from the over hanging tree on the right. Usually that will leave me a 3wood or hybrid to the green. If I can get it into the green side bunkers or just in front of the green for 2 shots then I am happy. From there I can get at any of the pin positions.
If it’s into the wind I try and lay up for my 2nd shot, taking the water to the right out of play.