by Corrine Casanova
Hidden Valley Country Club in Reno (HVCC) is Nevada’s first private golf course and it has been in operation since 1956. Nevada is home to 136 public and private golf courses. In northern Nevada, people often say they live here because it’s possible to ski in the morning and golf in the afternoon. That’s true here at HVCC as they are open year-round weather permitting. They are one of the 25 golf courses in the Reno/Sparks area.
As I spoke with Ward Sutton, PGA Master Professional and PGA Director of Club Operations at HVCC, he told me about some of the hidden benefits of being a member of this private member owned club. As a private equity owned club, they have a board of directors, are member owned, don’t have any debt, aren’t tied into an HOA and own their own water rights.
“The benefits of being member owned is that we are more focused and able to get things done in a timely manner. At HVCC, if you are a member here, you have a say in what is going on,” said Sutton.
Not surprisingly, networking was one of the top reasons people joined. Tom Corley, author of Rich Habits: The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals notes that, “Country clubs and golf clubs are an invaluable tool for developing new business relationships and strengthening existing business relationships.” Corley conducted a survey where he discovered about 19 percent of people that join country clubs indicate that the primary reason they joined related to business.
Sutton couldn’t agree more. “Many of our members use the building and facility to entertain clients and grow their business. There are great networking opportunities in this small community. Typically, if you meet someone here they will know somebody here who can help you out with whatever you are seeking. We have a diverse membership and we can get you in touch with a lot of people and make those impactful connections in both your business and person life.”
Sutton noted that HVCC is sometimes viewed as off the grid, however, the RTC Southeast Connector slated for completion in early 2018 will improve access to the facility. It will provide more access to people living in Damonte Ranch, Sparks and Southwest Reno.
Sutton encourages anyone new to the area or anyone interested in seeing what HVCC has to offer and to stop by for a tour, check out the food and get out on the golf course to see if membership might be a good fit. The golf course is a regulation 18 hole playing field with a par 72. This year-round golf course overlooks the city of Reno and has panoramic views of the surrounding mountains. The family friendly environment includes not only golf, but a fitness center, pool, tennis courts and meeting spaces for events. Members can reserve conference rooms and community rooms to host parties, weddings, celebrations of life and business meetings. According to Sutton, “HVCC can be an extension of any member’s business as members can hold lunches, retreats and other types of events to entertain their clients and grow their business.”
Sutton has been with HVCC for 13 years. He has the unique qualification of being a PGA Certified Master Professional. There are only 350 people who have this classification throughout the country. He explained the rigor involved in attaining that certification including writing a master’s thesis and then having to defend that thesis much like someone who was pursuing a Ph.D. He is on the board of the First Tee of Northern Nevada, President of the Sierra Nevada chapter of the PGA and at large director of the Northern California Professional Gol Association.
There are currently three membership categories available including a propriety, social and junior executive membership. About 400 members comprise this community. To learn more about membership opportunities, contact Ward Sutton at 775-857-4742.