By TJ Lester ·
Tahoe Donner Golf Course
18 holes | Par 72
Yards | 4,997-7,002
Course rating | 68.9-74.1
Tahoe Donner Golf Course was the first 18-hole championship layout in Truckee. The front nine was designed by Roy Williams and further refined by renowned architect Billy Bell Jr., who completed the back nine in 1976. The course received a renovation by Cary Bickler in 2006 and was nominated by Golf Digest Magazine for Best Remolded Golf Course in America. Tahoe Donner has a unique history with past Masters Champion Craig Stadler as its first Director of Golf and it once hosted an exhibition between Jack Nicklaus, Tom Watson and Stadler.
The course offers many elevation changes, granite rock formations, narrow fairways lined with soaring pines and views of the Truckee Valley. Inside the clubhouse, you will find a fully stocked pro shop with equipment from leading manufacturers and The Lodge Restaurant and Pub. There is a driving range located one-quarter mile from the clubhouse, so be sure to stop there before your round, if you would like to warm up. There also is a short game area with a chipping and putting green near the first tee.
Members at Tahoe Donner Golf Course claim the first hole to be the most difficult starting hole in the High Sierra. This is a long par 4 playing straight up hill. It measures 452 yards from the black tees. This narrow, furrow slopes from right to left, so shots down the right side will feed to the center of the fairway. The ideal tee shot ends up on the left half of the fairway, which will leave the best angle into the green. A long iron or hybrid is likely the club of choice for the second shot.
The most interesting hole on the course is hole 6. It is a short, par 4 measuring 353 yards from the back tees. There is a large pine tree about 180 yards off the tee in the center of the fairway. This tree forces the player to hit a hybrid or fairway wood to the left side of the tree, or longer hitters will play his or her ball right of the tree and attempt to drive the green.
Hole 18 is the signature hole and offers the most dramatic tee shot on the course. It is a 417-yard downhill par 4. Tee shots should be played short of the creek that runs through the fairway. A 200- to 225-yard drive off the tee will run down to the bottom of the hill leaving a short iron into the largest green on the course. Take note of the flag location since there can be a two club difference between a front and back pin location.
For membership info, tee times, and green fees, call (530) 587-9443 or visit tahoedonner.com.