The golfer had knocked his ball into the grass beyond the course off Monday afternoon, officials said. When he tried to play back to the fairway, his club struck something that created a spark.
"He was totally honest about it," said Reno Battalion Chief Curtis Johnson.
About 50 firefighters tackled the blaze as it spread through tinder-dry grass, and engine trucks were brought in to protect nearby homes.
No structures were lost and no one was injured, officials said.