Upping The Ante: ArrowCreek’s Big Bet Pays Off In Member Experience
Posted on June 25, 2022
by Robert Kaufman
“LET THE GOOD TIMES ROLL” is one of the slogans seen on billboards bordering the Interstate 80 approach to Reno, and it’s an attitude that has defined the city’s identity since it was established as a gambling mecca for miners and railroad laborers in the 1860s.
And while gamers still make their way to Reno, the “Biggest Little City in the World” has successfully pivoted from being a one-dimensional destination to one taking advantage of its surrounding natural environs that are suitable for four-season outdoor adventure, including a top-tier collection of private and public golf properties.
One of the best private facilities in the area is The Club at ArrowCreek, which recently completed a full reimagination of the entire club, including a doubling of the non-golf amenities and an upgrading of existing amenities. Included in the expansion was the creation of a spacious new events area.
While the club is on solid footing today and positioned for long-term success, recent years have seen their share of challenges, including a time in 2018 when insolvency was imminent. Thankfully, businessman Ray Conrad and wife, Jeanne, both club members since 2014, stepped forward with a $60 million investment.
“My first step was creating a plan to renovate the two courses and gut the entire 42,000-square-foot clubhouse and add an additional 40,000-square-foot extension,” he said. “In order to make the business sustainable, we needed to create space for weddings, conventions, and other functions.”
Located in the center of a gated upscale housing community of 1,100 homes, when Conrad purchased The Club at ArrowCreek, in addition to the two courses, it was, essentially, a clubhouse, a small member dining area, a bar and practice facilities with a driving range, putting green, and short-game area.
In order to make the business sustainable, we needed to create space for weddings, conventions, and other functions.”
Since his takeover, he has implemented a generous scorecard of enhancements, including a performance center with two hitting bays for indoor or outdoor use, two putting green facilities, a re-envisioned short-game area, three dining areas and main bar in clubhouse, fitness center, separate teen and kid’s rooms, outdoor playground, card room, three different pools, indoor pickleball facility, full-scale kitchen expansion, and for added measure, a pastry shop.
UPPER TIER COURSES
Still, aside from the makeovers of the clubhouse and amenities, at the very heart of The Club at ArrowCreek are the 36 holes of golf — The Legend Course, designed by the legend himself, Arnold Palmer (1999); and The Challenge Course, designed by Fuzzy Zoeller with John Harbottle (2000). Though each layout is unique in look and feel, both are representative of high desert golf as they maneuver over hilly terrain blanketed with striking native grasses in the shadow of Mt. Rose. Both take full advantage of their location, weaving around ravines and dry creeks while dishing up pleasing valley views, including downtown Reno.
“There are consistencies in the layouts, including forced carries, blind shots, and good elevation changes that can also play to a member’s advantage,” said General Manager Jim Cleary. “There doesn’t seem to be a course preference among members, but at times we do close The Challenge for a period of months in the off-season given the elevation and weather conditions, while The Legend Course stays open throughout the year.”
With six sets of tees ranging from 7,039 yards to 5,015 yards, the fairways on the par 70 Legend Course weave predominantly below the clubhouse around ravines, dry creeks, and rocks before reaching the fine-tuned speedy greens. The finishing stretch is one for the memory bank. No. 17 is a short 294-yard par 4 that begs players to carry a large bunker in front of the green, while No. 18, a 442-yard par 4, forces golfers to cover a generously sized ravine before having a shot at, perhaps, the fastest green on the course.
Navigating up the mountainside, The Challenge Course tends to live up to its name, though slightly wider fairways and fewer forced carries make it a bit more comfortable for high-handicap players. Similar to it sister course, six sets of tees (7,455 yards to 5,556 yards) are available on the par 72 layout. Dramatic vistas are on display while traversing the routing to its highest elevation at 5,800 feet.
With the club’s transformation nearing completion and having engaged with Troon to bring a level of expertise from both a service and agronomical perspective, The Club at ArrowCreek is well on its way to becomming a five-star property and recognition as being among the top clubs in the country.