It’s a breezy, sunny morning at Old Brockway Golf Course, a course in North Lake Tahoe, which boasts Tahoe’s longest golf season. I check into the pro shop next to Spindleshanks Tahoe Restaurant. Old Brockway owner Lane Lewis sets me up with a pull cart and a token to the driving range and shares a quick history of the development of the course and the celebrities who used to play it.
Par 36 | 9 Holes
Yardage | 3,362
Slope | 125
Rating | 69.8
Built in 1924, the Comstock family, the original developers of Kings Beach, commissioned John Duncan Dunn to build Old Brockway. The course was supposed to be an 18-hole golfing paradise at the lake, but major events such as the Great Depression and World War II forced planners to sell off some land. Unlike modern courses, Old Brockway was designed to complement the contours of its natural landscape, something that’s never changed. Public figures such as John F. Kennedy, Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra loved this course and played it whenever they were in town.
Now, almost a century later, Old Brockway is still family-owned and operated and continues to keep its greens in great shape to welcome golfers in all stages of life. The course even had five generations of a family on the tees at one time, the oldest member being 103 years old.
With the robins milling around and the cheeseburger birds chirping, I start a peaceful round on the course known for its small greens and tight fairways.
Teeing off on Hole 1 can be a bit intimidating because it runs parallel to State Route 267 and slicing the ball can lead to a broken windshield, which does happen. Although many people tend to veer left into the trees on the first shot, I still managed to flirt with the highway off my first two tee box drives. Luckily, I got my ball caught in the rough instead of losing it forever.
The greens meander toward Tahoe Vista before dropping down toward the lake; the fairways are perfectly manicured and a vibrant green thanks to Lewis and his sons keeping it plowed all winter, causing a fast snowmelt and subsequent late-April opening. However, be aware of the hidden bunker on Hole 8; it took me three tries to get out of the deep and narrow sandy pit.
Hole 5 also has a massive cedar tree blocking the view of the pin on the right side of the green, so your best bet is to aim for the middle and try to putt in two.
This is a fun and fast course that’s kept its old-time roots and family-friendly vibe. Plus, if you’re a local and an avid golfer, it’s worth joining the Old Brockway Players Club; for $250 you get 40 percent off green fees all summer long and a slew of other benefits. | oldbrockway.com