By Thomas Lester
Courtesy Northstar California
18 holes | Par 72
Yardage | 4,420-6,820
Slope | 110-139
Rating | 65.6-73
A tale of two nines. That is the best way to describe Northstar California’s two distinctly different nines. The front 9 wanders through the wonderful Martis Valley and is referred to as the Meadow nine. The back 9, called the mountain 9, climbs mountainous terrain and winds its way through lofty pines. The course was designed by Robert Muir Graves and is an enjoyable lay out for all.
The No. 1 handicap is Hole 7. It is a 590-yard, par 5 that plays directly into the prevailing wind. A solid straight tee shot is required as there is a pond on the left and out of bounds along the right side. The difficulty of this hole is the wind combined with the length. Driver off the tee, and then a fairway wood for the second shot, can still leave a mid to long iron into this green. On the green, there is a ridge that bisects the putting surface, so be sure to take the right club for the approach.
One of the quirkiest holes in the Lake Tahoe region is par-4 No. 12. It plays 299 yards from the black tees. The short yardage may lead some to think that the green can be driven from the tee. This is not true. The hole doglegs to the right and plays slightly uphill. The best play off the tee is to hit a mid-iron short and right of the aspen trees in the middle of the fairway, which leaves a short iron for the second shot.
The finishing hole is a 572-yard par 5 that has a slight dogleg to the right. The tee boxes are set back in a grove of aspen trees making it a difficult drive. There is a creek that runs along the right side of the fairway. The target off the tee is just right of the white yardage sign attached to the tree in the distance. Lay up short of the creek that runs in front of the green. This is a fantastic finishing hole since it provides the opportunity for birdie and double bogey.
Northstar California Golf Course has a driving range that features mats, multiples targets, along with a chipping and putting green. The pro shop offers top-of-the-line equipment and apparel. Upon completing a round, make it a point to eat at the Martis Valley Grill. The staff is exceptionally courteous and the food is delicious while being reasonably priced.
For more information, call (530) 562-3290 or visit northstarcalifornia.com.