The Dragon Golf Course at Nakoma

The Dragon Golf Course at Nakoma is a challenging course, and it’s easy to be mesmerized by the miles of vistas, canyons, surrounding mountains and solitude. It’s easy to see why Golf Advisor named The Dragon “Top 25 Friendliest Staff” and LINKS Magazine called it “The Best in Golf.”

18 holes | par 72
Yardage | 5,376 to 6,332
Slope | 123 to 139
Ratings | 65.8 to 72.0

Located about an hour and a half outside of Truckee past Sierraville on State Route 89, the Lodge at Nakoma is a place where everything slows down. There’s a state-of-the-art recreation center, swimming pool and endless miles of trails and sprawling greens.

On The Dragon, each hole has a five-tiered set of tee boxes ranging in varying distances and terrain. Teeing off of Hole 1, miles of vistas and mountains are in my peripheral vision and it was a bit hard to gauge the depth in hitting downhill, but I felt as if I fared well and felt good keeping it in the fairway. Going down to my ball, I passed chipmunks, woodpeckers and ground squirrels all looking at me as if they had never seen a person before.

Hole 4

It’s about a 3-minute cart drive to get to the next hole on this 8-mile course and I learned a good lesson on Hole 2 – read the course notes on the scorecard to be able to plan your next move. The notes are clear, concise and tell you exactly what you need to do.

I had a great second shot down the middle of the fairway to turn the corner and see that I landed in a bushy ravine, which is probably why this hole is called Deception. The course notes specifically state: “Take a look at the ravine before deciding your second shot.” Unfortunately, that little mistake cost me a golf ball.

Hole 4 runs alongside the Feather River on the edge of a canyon, so it’s important to carefully plan your drive and approach shots. On Hole 7, I met Nakoma employee Amanda Baker and she teed off with me. We quickly became friends when our balls landed in the same place. Fortunately for us this par 5 is a straight shot, although you want to be sure to avoid Serpents Pond as you approach the green.

Hole 12 has a two-tiered putting green, so if you want to plant the ball toward the back to minimize the risk of it rolling back down the hill in a conniving way. Hole 18 is a tricky one to end on with six-fingered bunkers blocking the putting green.

Now, the question remains: What does The Dragon do with all of those lost golf balls? | (877) 462-5662,