Ponderosa Golf Course

By Thomas Lester ·



9 holes  |  Par 35
Yardage  |  2,556 from red tees.  |  3,022 from blue tees
Rating  |  67.6 from the blue tees.  |  69.6 from the red tees
Slope  |  121 from the blue tees.  |  120 from the red tees
Ponderosa Golf Course is Truckee’s oldest golf course. It was developed by the Truckee townspeople and designed by Bob Baldock in 1961.

Reynold C. Johnson purchased the property from the utility district in 1968 and it remained family owned and operated for 40 years. In 2008, Ponderosa was nearly leveled when it was zoned for a 1,000-unit residential development project. Fortunately, the property was purchased by the Truckee Tahoe Airport under its open space program and Pondi was saved. Today, the Truckee Tahoe Airport leases the land to the Truckee Donner Recreation and Park District, which manages and operates the course

Ponderosa is a 9-hole course that plays just more than 3,000 yards. It is a blend of six par 4s, two par 3s and one par 5. Be prepared to use every club in your bag since you will encounter long and short shots. There is a putting green, chipping area and a driving net to practice in before teeing off.

Hole No. 1 is a 389-yard, par 4 with out of bounds on both sides of the rough. Accuracy over distance is the best way to approach the hole. This hole is narrow and requires the straightest of drives. A short to mid iron will likely be the club of choice into a small green that is protect by a bunker on the left side. The green slopes from back to front.

The 5th hole at Ponderosa is the first hole without out of bounds. It is a 354-yard, dog leg left par 4. The tee rests back among a tight grove of lanky pines. The hole doesn’t open up until about 75 yards off the tee, so a straight tee shot is a must. A 3 wood with a slight draw is the best play leaving a short iron into a firm green. Be sure to play a few yards short of the green, as the ball tends to roll out.

Every Tuesday is men’s club day. Each week players of all levels play together under different formats. It costs $75 to join, which covers NCGA membership fees. Ladies are invited to play on Thursdays with special rates and women-specific pairings in the afternoon. For tee times and more information, call (530) 587-3501 or visit ponderosagolfcoursetruckee.com.