Lake Tahoe Golf Course

Back of the 9th tee. | John Dee


I moved to Lake Tahoe in 2005, but I had never ventured to the South Shore to play golf since there are so many fine courses closer to home. I was not aware that there are a few fine tracks on the other end of town, one being Lake Tahoe Golf Course.

18 holes | par 71
Yardage | 5649-6683
Slope | 115-124
Ratings | 67.1-71.3

This William Bell design opened in the mid-1960s and has created a strong following through the years. American Golf Corp., that at one time was the largest golf management company in the world, currently holds the management contract. Judging from how busy the course and range were on a Monday, it must be doing a good job.

The course lives in the Lake Valley State Recreation Area and is mostly flat, but views of the surrounding mountains are amazing. The Upper Truckee River snakes throughout the course and comes into play on seven holes. Sand traps guard all but one green and fairway sand comes into play on most of the par 4s. Greens are large and putts don’t break much on the front nine but seem to have more slope and break on the back. Fairways are wide, but venture a little sideways and you will find surprisingly thick rough.

A player will get fantastic views, a great variety of holes and a good test of golf.

This is not a stereotypical public golf course where you hit it anywhere, find it and hit it again. Lake Tahoe Golf Course is not long, but you must hit good golf shots if you want to have a good score. Feel yourself fortunate if you get paired up with someone who knows the course, because water or a fairway sand trap will surprise you off the tee on many holes.

The strongest hole on Lake Tahoe Golf Course is hole 9, a par 5 of 444 to 559 yards. It is intimidating from the tee: you hit over a large lake, which then hugs the right side of the fairway. A creek runs across the fairway at around 250 to 275 yards, so if the wind is at your back it is very much in play. The second shot must avoid water to the right and sand traps left. There is lots of trouble to be had, so par is a good score.

Lake Tahoe Golf Course is the kind of place that locals love and a visitor can have a nice round without feeling beat up when he or she is done. A player will get fantastic views, a great variety of holes and a good test of golf.

To book your next round or for more information, visit or call (530) 577-0788, ext. 2.

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.”