If you’re a fan of tricky water features, gorgeous vistas and beautifully maintained courses then you need to add Graeagle Meadows Golf Course to your list. Located about an hour north of Tahoe and Reno, Graeagle is well worth the drive.
18 holes | Par 72
Yardage | 5,589 to 6,725
Slope | 123 to 125
Ratings | 69.3 to 71.3
Built by Harvey West Jr. in 1968 and maintained by the West family ever since, this charming course nestled in the hills by Graeagle maintains a rustic charm that is belied by its modern approach and styling. One of my favorite small touches for this course are the names for each hole: Squatter’s Cabin, Lost Wagon and Tree Trimmer. Not only do the names add a certain elegance to your round, each name tells a small part of the history of the course and surrounding area. It’s well worth it to make sure you pick up the accompanying course booklet from the pro shop before your round.
Dense trees, narrowing fairways and tight greens are the hallmark of the finishing stretch.
Even if history isn’t your thing, it’s hard not to appreciate the gentle, rolling fairways and roundabout water features of the front nine of Graeagle Meadows. Don’t let yourself get lulled into a false sense of security though or you’ll be in for a rude awakening as you make the turn and head for the back nine. Dense trees, narrowing fairways and tight greens are the hallmark of the finishing stretch that was added two years after the opening of the original course. Apparently, old Harvey decided things just weren’t quite challenging enough.
One thing you won’t find at Graeagle is a cluttered course. Other than the first hole, there are virtually no houses or developments lining the course. Thanks to this design, it’s really easy to lose oneself in the beauty of the course and the surrounding countryside. I don’t know about you, but I fully appreciate when I can play a round and feel as if I’m truly cut off from the outside world for a few hours.
If you want to shave a few strokes off your game, you couldn’t ask for better instruction than what is offered at Graeagle Meadows. Between the two of them, the head pro, Bob Klein Jr., and the assistant pro, Tom Lusby, have a combined 54 years at Graeagle, not to mention numerous professional accomplishments in the golf world. It’s safe to say that they know a thing or two about Graeagle and the game.
The town of Graeagle is also worth visiting. Thanks to the dedication of the West family, it truly feels as if you’ve stepped back in time and entered a piece of California’s history.