Incline Village Championship Golf Course

Putting uphill on Hole 9.

The opportunity to play the Incline Village Championship Golf Course is like receiving a gigantic, environmentally friendly, wrapped present. On a sunny Tuesday afternoon, my golfing partner, Jason Forcier, and I hit a small bucket of balls on the driving range before teeing off on the first hole across the street from The Chateau.

Par 72 | 18 Holes
Yardage | 6,004 to 7,106
Slope | 120 to 144
Rating | 66.7 to 73.6

The fairways were long and green and the state-of-the-art golf cart with an electronic scorecard told us our distance from the pins and where the other golf carts were on the course —the soft leather seats were comfortable, too.

We played from the green tees, which were perfect for us. They were a step up from the red tees that the juniors probably use. However, the Championship Course also has black and white tees for players who really like to drive the ball.

Hole 2 is tricky because the pin is on the back of the green with bunkers surrounding it, so it demands accuracy and height. Precision is also key on Hole 6. Round the corner to Hole 7 is a beautiful view of the lake, above three bunkers that spell out USA. At the bunkers, the fairway takes a sharp right-hand turn and then a babbling creek crosses before the pin.

Hole 8 is a short par 3 with layers of tee boxes. I use a 7-iron on those par 3s, but I’ve played with guys who like to crush the ball and use their pitching wedge out of the tee box. The front nine ends with an uphill slant to the pin, positioned directly in front of Big Blue.

The Snack Bar on the turn offers chicken salad cups, sandwiches and locally made granola bars with a thickness to them that is perfect in getting you through the next nine. Food and beverages are decently priced and anything you order is delicious. I recommend the chicken salad sandwich.

Hole 11 is 394 yards from the green tees — it took me forever to get to the green and then I overshot it. “A little too much hot sauce on that taco,” my golfing partner said.

On Hole 13, I had two good shots and five bad, plunking the ball into two bunkers. At least the sand is fine grain Fiji-like quality, which made me feel as if I’m on an exotic beach every time I get caught in one.

Hole 14 presents a gorgeous scene, but you have to watch out for that pond on the left-hand side. The drop area on the other side looked well utilized.

Holes 15 to 16 were a bit challenging because we were hitting directly into the sun, but then it dropped behind the mountains by the time we got to Hole 18. It’s nice ending in front of The Chateau and the pro shop.

This golf course is still as beautiful as I remembered it; we played the last four holes with a guy from South Lake Tahoe who said that it’s pretty comparable to Edgewood Tahoe for its beauty and well-kept greens. It’s been a few years since I’ve played the Champ and I love the upgrades that they’ve made in the last few years. I will definitely be back sooner rather than later to play my home course. | (775) 832-1146, yourtahoeplace.com