2019 Tahoe Sierra Golf Guide

Old Brockway | Courtesy NLTRA


North Lake Tahoe & Olympic Valley

Tahoe City Golf Course | Courtesy TCPUD

North Lake Tahoe is a mecca of mountain golf and golf history, from the 20th Century 9-hole celebrity hangouts of Tahoe City and Old Brockway to the championship craftsmanship of Incline Village, Nev. Head over to Olympic Valley, host of the 1960 Olympic Games and try your luck on the Links at Squaw Creek.

Incline Village Championship Course
In the 1960s, Robert Trent Jones and his son of the same name descended on the Tahoe region and set out to etch their names into the history books. In 1964, Trent Jones Sr. laid out his grand design for the Incline Village Championship Golf Course, carving into the mountainside a course that would stand the test of time and set it apart in humble fashion among all others in the Tahoe Basin. A bright green maze reminiscent of an alpine rainforest features picturesque views of Lake Tahoe, raging creeks and plenty of healthy-sized pine trees throughout. | yourtahoeplace.com

Incline Village Mountain Course
Incline Village Mountain Golf Course is Nevada’s highest elevation course. It was built in 1968, designed by the legendary golf architect Robert Trent Jones Jr., who has put his stamp on courses such as Chambers Bay in Washington, which hosted the 2015 U.S. Open. It’s an 18-hole executive layout, but despite its moderate yardage and true to the nature of Jones’ golf philosophy, this is not a course that is easily conquered; pars here are won in a chess-like game of risk and reward. Ask about their Nine & Wine and Sunday Family Fun days. | yourtahoeplace.com

The Links at Squaw Creek
The Links at Squaw Creek is a daunting par 71 mountain track set in the heart of Olympic Valley. Designated as a Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary, it rests amongst a habitat of protected wetlands and resident wildlife. The terrain is host to deep roughs, mature pine trees and off-camber fairways. Systematic climbs, steep descents, blind shoulders and puzzle-like greens are all surprisingly manageable with a slow approach and contemplative club selection. | squawcreek.com

Old Brockway Golf Course
Old Brockway Golf Course is a nine-hole gem tucked into the forest, just a stone’s throw from Lake Tahoe’s shores in Kings Beach. Designed by John Duncan Dunn, it opened for play in 1924 and was a favorite place to play for many celebrities in the 1930s and 1940s. The course still maintains its old-fashioned feel: narrow fairway corridors, small greens and wild times. | oldbrockway.com

Tahoe City Golf Course
Now more than 100 years old, the Tahoe City Golf Course has never ceased to provide great golf at a reasonable price. The nine-hole, par-33 course is located in downtown Tahoe City. Despite its compact stature, it provides fun and challenging play for both experts and novices. In the middle of the 20th Century, the course was a popular hangout for Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack. It is one of the only courses in the area where dogs play for free. | golftahoecity.com

Truckee & Northstar

Courtesy Old Greenwood

Truckee boasts a variety of golf courses from the tight and walkable local holes of Ponderosa, to the much longer PGA-caliber Old Greenwood Golf Course; a Jack Nicklaus Signature design or its sister resort, equally as challenging, The Golf Club at Gray’s Crossing.

Coyote Moon Golf Course
A high-elevation roller coaster ride and true test of one’s skill reading the natural topography of the land, shot placement and ball-flight control. Located minutes from downtown Truckee, the course is carved into 250 acres of climbs and drops, bends and tunnels, with breathtaking views in a heavily wooded alpine zone, featuring towering pines and eccentric granite outcroppings. The layout sports countless elevation changes, both vertically and horizontally, with well-guarded greens and strategically placed hazards throughout. | coyotemoongolf.com

The Golf Club at Gray’s Crossing
Gray’s Crossing opened in 2007 and was once a private golf facility; though now open to the public, it still has a private feel and look to it. Expect lofty ancient pine trees, native landscapes, wide fairways and relatively easy-to-find greens. The National Audubon Society recognized Gray’s Crossing as an Audubon International Gold Signature Sanctuary. Gray’s hosts Music in the Mountains on Tuesday evenings in the summer. | golfintahoe.com

Northstar Golf Course
A tale of two nines. The Northstar Golf Course offers two completely unique golf experiences. The front nine, weaving its way around Martis Valley, is fairly flat, exposed, traditional and straightforward. The back nine immediately immerses players into mountainous terrain and winds its way through shaded hallways between the tall trees. The course was designed by Robert Muir Graves and is an approachable endeavor for golfers of all ages and skill levels. | northstarcalifornia.com

Old Greenwood Golf Course
Meticulously maintained, with all the feel of a professional club. Old Greenwood Golf Course is a pure golf haven handcrafted by the legendary Jack Nicklaus in 2004. The course has been given a Top 10 ranking for Best New Public Access Golf Course by Golf Digest and was ranked the 4th Finest New Upscale Public Course in America by Golf Magazine. The practice facility here is second to none in the Reno-Tahoe area and offers customized learning opportunities, as well as a fully immersive golf academy. It’s a must play. | golfintahoe.com

Ponderosa Golf Course
Originally brought to fruition by the townspeople and designed by Bob Baldock, Ponderosa Golf Course is Truckee’s oldest golf course, opening for play in 1961. It’s a fairly short nine-hole course and, with the exception of one severely uphill par 3, is quite flat. However, no hole is a streamline conquest; the fairways are tight and, though hitting driver is always tempting, it can easily lead to driving right through the short grass into a monster pine or onto the adjacent fairways. Overall, it’s a great and affordable place to sharpen your game. | ponderosagolfcoursetruckee.com

Schaffer’s Mill Golf & Lake Club
Set amongst the lush Sierra foothills, Schaffer’s Mill is a semi-private golf facility co-designed by John Harbottle and two-time major winner Johnny Miller. The front nine is sunny and open in an expansive meadow under the peaks of Northstar and is generally flat, while the back nine is of a hillier nature with a healthy dose of ups and downs tee to green. It is a relatively long but manageable course. | schaffersmill.com

Tahoe Donner Golf Course
Tahoe Donner Golf Course is a mountain golfer’s paradise, high above Truckee. It offers lightning-quick greens that run fun and true and nearly every hole features significant changes in elevation. Come pinball your drives down the fairways of holes with names such as Bickler’s Bluff, Hilltopper and Double Trouble. Enjoy the panoramic views and fresh mountain air amongst the natural streams and columns of pine trees. | tahoedonner.com

South Lake Tahoe

Courtesy Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course

South Lake Tahoe hosts a variety of golf options tailored to one’s budget, skill level and time frame. There are the quick, mellow and affordable links at Bijou Municipal Golf Course and Tahoe Paradise Golf Course, the alpine challenges of Lake Tahoe Golf Course and Edgewood Tahoe, a pristine lakeside championship field.

Bijou Municipal Golf Course
Bijou Municipal Golf Course is a nine-hole executive course featuring five par 4s and four par 3s. It opened in 1920 and was designed by Virgil Gilcrease. It is a short, gettable course, with a super casual atmosphere, great for working on distance control and dialing in your clubs. There are no water hazards on the course, however, the well-placed bunkers are plenty enough to keep you honest with your shot placement throughout your round. | cityofslt.us

Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course
South Lake Tahoe’s most prominent golf club is none other than Edgewood Tahoe. It is the only course in the Tahoe Basin that shares its fairways with the shores of Lake Tahoe, giving it a one-of-a-kind feel and aesthetic. Edgewood opened in 1968 and was designed by George Fazio. Golf Digest regularly rates it among the top 100 in the nation. It is available for group golfing and tournaments and offers lodging, spa and several dining options. | edgewoodtahoe.com

Lake Tahoe Golf Course
Lake Tahoe Golf Course meanders about the floodplains of the Lake Valley State Recreation Area, just a few miles from the lake’s southeastern shore. On-in-one par 4s, sharp doglegs, forced carries or layups, territorial trees and bottomless bunkers make for technical gameplay in an absolutely beautiful setting. Ask about the new Players Club, offering free range balls, green fees and clinics for members. | laketahoegc.com

Tahoe Paradise Golf Course
Tahoe Paradise Golf Course is an 18-hole, executive-style, mountain course 4 miles from South Lake Tahoe. Designed by Fred R. Blanchard, it features a challenging variety of par 3s and 4s ranging from 95 to 372 yards. Family-style vibes, stunning views of Mount Tallac and green fees that won’t break the bank, are all sure to keep you coming back again and again. | tahoeparadisegc.com

The Lost Sierra

Courtesy Nakoma Golf Resort

State Route 89 north of Truckee takes you to wide-open, old-river valleys jam packed with world-class golf destinations of all shapes and sizes. Walk amongst herds of deer at Graeagle Meadows Golf Course, head over to Clio and check out Whitehawk Ranch Golf Club that often is rated as one of the best courses in California. There’s the narrow and fast Plumas Pines on the Feather River, Feather River Park Resort with views of the Mohawk Valley, the panoramic views of The Dragon at Nakoma Golf Resort or the solitude of Grizzly Ranch Golf Club.

The Dragon at Nakoma Golf Resort
Nakoma’s course is outright beautiful and no matter how you might play, you’re sure to leave here satisfied. It’s just an hour from Tahoe, designed by Robin Nelson, famous for his work on The Dunes at Mauna Lani. Golf World once designated this course as one of America’s Top 75. Come out and take on holes such as Dragon Lagoon, Dragon’s Tail and Teeth of the Dragon. | nakomaresort.com

Feather River Park Resort
Just outside Blairsden and Graeagle, Feather River Park Resort golf course opened in 1985 and was designed by Bert Stamps. It sits in a prime spot amongst the Mohawk Valley offering up stunning views and a nine-hole, par-35 golf experience for golfers of all skill levels. | featherriverparkresort.com

Graeagle Meadows Golf Course
Opened in 1968, designed by Ellis Van Groder, Graeagle Meadows Golf Course sits among the vast Mohawk Valley. The course digs itself farther and farther away from civilization, as your round goes on and plays host to an abundance of wildlife. The native landscape can be deep and chaotic and missing fairways can result in adventurous outings. Finesse of the short game is of importance here. | playgraeagle.com

Grizzly Ranch Golf Club
One of the newer courses in the area, Grizzly Ranch Golf Club was designed by Bob Cupp and opened in 2005. From the moment you step off the first tee, you will notice that this is a long course, playing at more than 7,400 yards from the back tees. It’s mainly flat and open, tempting you to make the big shots, though cautionary play can at many times be beneficial because ideal landing zones are often filled with one hazard or another and generally require some creative thinking. The Lake House’s overlooking the 18th green has a revamped menu for 2019. | grizzlyranchgolfclub.com

Plumas Pines Golf Course
The course opened in 1980 and was sculpted by Homer Flint. It follows the Feather River around a sharply groomed, vibrant green oasis. Water can be found on almost every hole and fittingly so. There’s no shortage of forced carries and must-hit fades and draws. It’s a fairly short course, but is filled with tight corners, huge pine trees and quick-putting surfaces. Plumas Pines offers both a three-day golf school and a five-day golf academy. | plumaspinesgolf.com

Whitehawk Ranch Golf Course
Whitehawk Ranch Golf Club is a championship-caliber course in the serene Mohawk Valley in Clio. Designed by Dick Bailey, the course opened in 1996. It has since racked up several honors and is consistently ranked amongst the Top 10 to 20 courses on many editorials’ Best Public Golf Courses of California lists. It also received the Golf Writers Association Environmental award. With Sierra peaks in nearly every direction and several streams moseying through the playing field and into lush ponds and even waterfalls, there’s not a spot on the course lacking a beautiful view. The atmosphere is laid back and casual, though the course itself is serious and spectacular.| golfwhitehawk.com

Reno & Sparks

Courtesy Washoe Golf Course

The high desert affords area golfers the chance to play a different style of golf with a longer season, warmer weather and less heavily wooded zones. Many courses in the Reno and Sparks area are open year-round.


The Club at Arrowcreek
The Club at Arrowcreek in South Reno is home to two championship golf courses: The Legend Course, designed by Arnold Palmer, a name that speaks for itself in the world of golf, and The Challenge Course, co-designed by 1979 Masters champion Fuzzy Zoeller and John Harbottle III. Both courses opened for play in 1999. | theclubatarrowcreek.com

Lakeridge Golf Course
This is a Robert Trent Jones Sr. course in the middle of the city. It opened in 1969 and the place still seems to take you back in time to that era. Climbing up the mountainside, Lakeridge Golf Course features wonderful views of the cityscape below. It’s not by any means a long course, with drivable par 4s and reachable in two par 5s, but the greens can be treacherous if not given your complete attention. You could find yourself above the hole or on the wrong tier of the putting surface, which can make for a tricky two putt. Hole 15 par 3 is a perfect example of what a signature hole should look like. The tee pad is perched 140 feet above an island green on the lake below and offers an iconic view of the city of Reno. | duncangolfreno.com/lakeridge

Sierra Sage Golf Course
Sierra Sage Golf Course is just north of Reno and features pleasantly walkable 18 holes and a comprehensive practice facility with an ample grass tee range. The fairways are wide and open, as there are not many trees in the field of play. The greens are thoroughly maintained, fast and true. The course offers GolfBoards, giving golfers a healthy and fun alternative to walking or taking a cart. | sierrasagegolf.org

Toiyabe Golf Club
Tucked away at the base of the Carson Range, the Toiyabe Golf Club in Washoe Valley was a cattle ranch in the 1800s, known as the Lightning W Ranch. While maintaining the tranquility and beauty of nature’s landscape, Robert Muir Graves designed a course that he states, “offers an extraordinary golfing opportunity rarely available today.” Come challenge the howling Washoe winds and see for yourself. | toiyabegolfclub.com

Washoe Golf Course
This historical golf club was founded in 1917; it’s the oldest 18-hole golf facility in the state of Nevada. Washoe Golf Course is a staple of the Reno community, an old-fashioned, genuine-natured golf experience right in the heart of the city. The fairways are generally wide, flat, forgiving, feeding the greens, though lined with age-old cottonwood trees and seemingly invisible-from-the-tee water hazards. Overall, the greens are small and feature at least one steep drop-off into an abyss. A trip to Washoe Golf Course is not complete without a decompression session on the deck of The Shoe bar and grill overlooking the 18th green. | washoegolf.org

Wolf Run Golf Club
The home course of the University of Nevada’s men’s and women’s golf teams, Wolf Run Golf Club was designed by John Fleming and opened for play in 1998. It’s a great example of desert mountain golf. The course rolls about the foothills in continuous undulating fashion with fairways edged with hard-packed sand, decorated generously with rocks and sagebrush. It features many drastic changes in elevations, an abundance of sand traps, forced carries and project-like oblong greens that really make for a fun day of putting. One of the best deals in Reno for a course on this level. | duncangolfreno.com/wolf-run


The Links at Kiley Ranch
The Links at Kiley Ranch is a nine-hole, executive-style, par-3 course open year-round and available for play at an affordable rate. It’s a great course to calibrate clubs and sharpen your short game. The greens are fairly straightforward and allow golfers to focus on speed more so than guessing their lines. There is also a large top-notch putting green onsite. If kicking a ball is more your style, be sure to inquire about FootGolf on the course. | kileylinks.com

Redhawk Golf and Resort | The Hills Course
The course, once operating as ranch land, was designed by three-time U.S. Open champion Hale Irwin. The course is well known because of his signature creation where he laid out a vision of deep Augusta-style, crushed-marble bunkers, tiny green, cleverly placed water hazards and large rolling fairways. This course is shorter and plays a little bit easier than its sister the Lakes Course. Ask about their top-notch golf clinics. | redhawkgolfandresort.com

Redhawk Golf and Resort | The Lakes Course
Robert Trent Jones Jr. is known for producing punishing layouts, incorporating minimalism and subtlety and highlighting risk and reward, victory and defeat. The Lakes Course at Redhawk is a prime example of his determination to truly test a golfer’s abilities, while also providing an enjoyable round in a rich and serene setting. The course plays 7,400 yards and feels every bit of it. As the name suggests, there is plenty of water to deal with out here. | redhawkgolfandresort.com

Wildcreek Golf Course | Championship Course
Not for the faint of heart, this par-72 thriller demands respect. Blind tee and approach shots, lots of water hazards and some trickery around the greens, leave you reaching deep into your bag for every ounce of help you can get. Overall a great place to play, sure to keep you wanting more. Course knowledge is a huge asset out here. | wildcreekgolf.net/golf

Wildcreek Golf Course | Executive Course
This is a perfect place to work on your short game; it also sports a full driving range and putting and chipping areas. There are nine exciting par 3s featuring heaps of traps and water. The Executive Course is a great alternative to the larger Championship Course or for those strapped for time or on a budget. | wildcreekgolf.net/golf

Carson Valley

Courtesy Genoa Lakes Golf Club

Just a short drive from the shores of Lake Tahoe, the Carson Valley offers a wide variety of golf underneath the snow-capped peaks of the Carson Range, amidst the peace of the desert and beside the aimless Carson River.

Carson Valley Golf Course
Following the East Fork of the Carson River beneath the shade of the wide arms of ancient cottonwood trees, the Carson Valley Golf Course in Gardnerville has served as a great escape for a day of swinging around the clubs since 1965. Playing just more than 6,000 yards from the back tees, hitting driver isn’t always necessary from the tee box. Plenty of water hazards and magnetic bunkers always make for interesting shots at this enjoyable golf course. The course offers several different Couples’ Golf Packages including lessons and rounds of golf. | carsonvalleygolf.com

Dayton Valley Golf Club
A short drive from Carson City brings you to the challenging Dayton Valley Golf Club, designed by none other than Arnold Palmer. One of the premier courses in Northern Nevada, it has been hosting PGA qualifier events for more than 20 years. This desert oasis has 40 acres of water features, wobbly fairways and large greens with some of the quickest grass in the area. | duncangolfreno.com/dayton-valley

Eagle Valley Golf Course
Opened in 1987, designed by Jack Snyder, nestled in the Carson City foothills, Eagle Valley Golf Course offers two different 18-hole outings. The East Course is a mellow playing field, that is generally open and straight forward, it’s a great course to walk, and to practice big swings. The Eagle Valley West Course is a place more suited for those looking for a challenge. Its desert-links design will continue to test you, hole after hole. | eaglevalleygolf.com

Empire Ranch Golf Courses
A tale of three nines — wait a second. Yes, that’s right, 27 holes of golf. The Sierra-River, Comstock-River and Sierra Comstock courses all offer unique challenges of their own surrounded on all sides by gorgeous views of the Carson Valley. Also, onsite is a spacious chipping area and two putting greens. Empire offers a Men’s Club, Women’s Club and membership programs for discounted play. | empireranchgolf.com

Genoa Lakes Golf Club | Lakes Course
The Lakes Course, established in 1993, was co-designed by Peter Jacobsen and John Harbottle III. The clubhouse is large and opulent. Having hosted more than a dozen U.S. Open Qualifiers, it is year after year voted as one of the best golf courses on the West Coast. Resting on the floor of the Carson Valley, the field follows the banks and canals of the Carson River. True to its name, several lakes scattered around the wetland-lined fairways bring water hazards of various nature into play on 14 holes. Ask about their 11 is Heaven deal, offering up 11 holes of golf, a burger and a beer. | genoalakes.com

Genoa Lakes Golf Club | Ranch Course
The Ranch Course is a different feel of place — entirely. The saloon-like clubhouse sports a polished wood bar and barbecue joint. Opened in 1998, co-designed by John Harbottle III and two-time major winner Johnny Miller, the playing area is carved into the high desert in a links-like fashion. The front nine dances around the low land before stair stepping a steep mountain bluff, severely exposed to the potential of a howling afternoon wind. Ranch cards are available, offering 10 rounds of golf for one low price. | genoalakes.com

Silver Oak Golf Course
Set into the side of a mountain, this course has some dramatic changes in elevation tee to green of both the uphill and downhill varieties. Fast greens, with hidden breaks, severe exposure to the elements and plenty of water, make 18 holes at this place full of surprises. Silver Oak also offers Footgolf for those more inclined to kick a ball around the course than hit one. | silveroakgolf.com

Sunridge Golf Club
This is a truly unique golf experience beneath a backdrop of the towering peaks of the Carson Range with huge lakes, forced carries and layups, exquisite course maintenance and fairways that blend into the putting surfaces. This place can be your best friend or your worst nightmare — and either way is bound to bring you back for more time and again. Check out their archery course onsite and the new hatchet-throwing area opening in summer 2019. | playsunridge.com