Grand Sierra Resort — golf inside and out
Imagine a round of golf free of blustery wind, glaring sun, or any of the other elements us Northern Nevadans are used to. Now imagine no leisurely players in front of you and no pushy “pros” behind you making you antsy and nervous. Impossible? Not at The Bunker at Grand Sierra Resort, on the ground floor across from Fun Quest.
You don't even have to worry about breaking any windows when that “rare” case of the shanks kicks in. OK, you'll miss out on that exhilarating five-mph golf-cart ride, but the resort's virtual indoor courses are the golfer's cure for the wintertime blues.
On a recent trip to Grand Sierra, my colleague, Charlie Johnston, and I enjoyed a few holes on the (virtual, I remind you) Pebble Beach course. Been there, done that in real life, have ya? Well then choose among 35 other famous courses, including Kapalua (Hawaii), Harbour Town (South Carolina), and Pinehurst II (North Carolina). The best thing is you don't have to listen to some annoying caddie – or question your conscience – when deciding your next shot. The computer provides yardage to the pin and suggests which direction to hit the ball. The huge screen has sensors that detect the speed of the ball, which, much like real golf, determines whether you're in the rough, in the sand, or sitting pretty on the fairway.
A $10 bill gets you a half-hour of playing time, and $20 assures you'll be able to finish your round. There's a putting green, as well as classic non-golf games like ping-pong, billiards, and shuffleboard.
When and if you're ready to venture into the great outdoors, Sierra Bay aqua range is a short walk away outside the resort. One of the only aqua ranges in Nevada, it caters to long drivers and sharpshooters – those good enough to hit a hole-in-one on one of four island greens are rewarded with a prize.
On this weekday morning the range is near empty, proving that if you pick the right time, you can practice in peace and quite at Grand Sierra. Kerplunk!