Plumas Pines Golf Course

A well-known caveat of real estate is: Location, location, location. Back in my hometown of Milwaukee, there are dozens of courses within a half-hour drive. In Tahoe, I found that there are many courses within that 30-minute trip, but there are also some popular courses within an hour or so away. Plumas Pines Golf Course is one of those.

“A course with short yardages
and high slopes always indicates
a tough track.”





Tee shot on Hole 7. | John Dee

18 holes | Par 72
Yardage | 5246 to 6421
Slope | 126 to 137
Ratings | 69.0 to 71.1

After an hour-plus drive winding along country roads, you reach Plumas Pines. The course opened in 1980 and was designed by Homer Flint. Like many courses, it is part of a planned development. The first sight of the course and golf range from in front of the octagonal clubhouse is breathtaking and worthy of a picture.

A look at the scorecard shows four sets of tees, but the total yardages are not long. However, the slope ratings are rather high. A course with short yardages and high slopes always indicates a tough track.

The first four holes are said to be the toughest. I might not go that far, as none are in-your-face difficult, but are fair. Overall, the course is playable. Plumas Pines is a mountain course with elevation changes, but not repetitive in any way. Each hole has its own character, so it never becomes dull. Yes, there are lots of trees and adjoining houses, so accuracy is required from the tee.

Each green is well trapped and water can also be found with an errant approach shot. The par 3 holes may look easy from the tee, but beware. They are cleverly designed and a mishit or wayward shot may find the water or careen into trouble. The overall condition of the course was amazing. I don’t remember a course being lusher throughout.

It was hard to decide on a signature hole because so many are interesting. But, I decided on par 4 Hole 6. It measures from 315 to 254 yards as a slight dogleg. Very narrow off the tee, so plan on whatever club will get you to 100 yards. From there, it is all carry over water to a shallow green. A long hitter may try for the green, but I can’t imagine why because it is a reasonably easy four-shot hole if you play smart. Par is seldom a bad thing.

I had heard that Plumas Pines seemed like the little brother of some of its neighboring courses. Not true at all. It is straightforward and a lot of fun to play for all levels of players. I can’t make a decent comparison to any other course, but I am positive I will not hesitate to make a return trip.


For more information or to book a tee time, call (530) 836-1420 or visit


John Dee

John Dee grew up in Elm Grove, Wis., playing many sports with a strength in baseball. A desire to beat his best buddy in high school led him to take up golf. “The next time I played with my buddy, I beat him and that was the end of my baseball career,” John recalls. In the mid-80s he moved into golf as a profession, received his PGA membership and began to teach golf.
“My wife and I (and our cats) moved to Lake Tahoe in 2005 to further our careers and eventually found other paths to follow. She started her own business and I spent seven years in Parks and Recreation, but returned to golf in 2015 as Assistant Golf Professional at the Resort at Squaw Creek. Some things about the business has changed a lot, but the game is still hard and people still want to have a good time.”