On a warm, early-summer afternoon, the Incline Village Mountain Course has vibrant blankets of cropped lime-colored grass shaded under tall Jeffrey pines. I arrived at the same time as a twosome from El Paso, Texas; they let me join their round. My new golfing buddies, Charlie Smith and John Elliott, were staying in Kings Beach and found a good deal on the Mountain Course on GolfNow.
Par 58 | 18 holes
Yardage | 2,674 to 3,527
Slope | 98 to 107
Rating | 55.2 to 60.6
I hadn’t played the Mountain Course in a couple of years and noticed that the front and back nine had been switched, making the first hole one of the longest on the course and one of the only four par 4s. We all started our round playing pretty good on that first hole, getting decent distance with our balls, landing in the fairway and sinking some impressive putts. From there, we drove our carts across Golfers Pass Road to get into the more mountainous terrain where accuracy and precision are more important. Many holes, such as 2, 4 and 12 offer a bird’s-eye view to the pin, which means many people use one- to two-club lengths shorter than they normally would to get more pop over distance.
Throughout our game, I noticed that John was consistently getting close to the pin at 150-yard distances. He had an incredible approach shot on Hole 5 and subsequently bogeyed the hole. Whereas Charlie could crush the ball on those par 4s; he made a 300-yard drive practically to the green on Hole 13.
I hadn’t played this course in a few years and it was fun to see it fresh through the eyes of my new Texan friends. They were blown away by the high-elevation mountainous scenery so vastly different from their home.
New Mountain Course head golf pro Ashley Wood also met us out on Hole 9 and gave us a couple of pointers on how to navigate the course. She grew up in Incline Village and moved away after high school to work at courses such as the Presidio Golf Course in San Francisco before moving back. She had a spectacular drive off the white tee box on Hole 10 and offered a quick tip about how the club face affects the direction of the ball; that snippet of advice had an immediate effect on John’s swing.
The course sponsors fun events such as Thursday’s Nine and Wine and Sunday Family Fun Days. With high-elevation greens surrounded by the Sierra Nevada, the Incline Village Mountain Course is a great option to get out and enjoy nature, especially on those days when you have a couple of hours to play and want to attempt a hole-in-one where there are plentiful opportunities for that to happen. | yourtahoeplace.com