Though I by no means encounter rude staff at any of the courses I play, the friendly attitude and warm reception from the staff at Nakoma Golf Course was quite extraordinary. Maybe it was the fresh mountain air or maybe it’s something in the water, but everyone seemed extremely friendly and happy to be working there. It definitely started out my round on a positive note.
The 10th hole or Dragon Lagoon | Casey Glaubman
18 holes | par 72
Yardage | 4,833 to 6,908
Slope | 123 to 139
Ratings | 65.8 to 72.0
As I stepped out onto that first tee box, the positive feelings just kept coming. Since Nakoma means, The Dragon, about half the holes are given dragon-themed names along the lines of Dragon’s Lookout, Dragon’s Tail and Teeth of the Dragon. Just because of the names, it felt, and I mean this in the most complimentary way possible, as if I were playing on an enormous, beautifully designed miniature golf course. And, hey, who doesn’t like some levity in the morning?
“If there’s one hole that stood out among the rest in the great design,
it would have to be the … the aptly named Dragon Lagoon.”
The other half of the holes are named after things you’ll need to do well here with names like Hope, Faith and Perseverance. There’s something almost comical about struggling with a hole named Charity. For the record, that’s the beautiful par 4, hole 6 that features a massive dogleg. Trying to avoid laying it up on that hole is definitely not for the faint of heart; you’ll find yourself shooting over a thickly forested area, aiming for a narrow, tight fairway. It’s a difficult shot but, boy, is it fun to give it a go.
If there’s one hole that stood out among the rest in the great design, it would have to be the hole immediately after the turn, the par 4, hole 10: the aptly named Dragon Lagoon. Not only does this hole play amazingly, with a challenging curve, bunker setup and water feature, it’s also right in front of the clubhouse so everyone can watch your struggles.
From there, the rest of the course did not disappoint. Given that it’s a bit more remote, I probably shouldn’t have been surprised by the feeling of isolation from this course. But it felt like every hole was just winding further and further away from things, which is the perfect feeling when you’re trying to get lost in the course.
After a tough day of battling The Dragon, check out the FLoW Bar & Lounge for food and drinks or relax at The Spa for an unforgettable excursion. Lessons are available through the pro shop, and if you’re like me, you’ll probably feel as if you need some.
It’s easily worth the 1-hour drive from Tahoe.