Bijou Municipal Golf Course

Hole 1. | Kayla Anderson

Tucked a few hundred feet behind A Cup of Cherries in South Lake Tahoe is Bijou Municipal Golf Course, a quiet course that beckons novice golfers, families and wildlife including dragonflies, sandpipers, mallards, butterflies and bumblebees. This basic and friendly nine-hole course is the least intimidating course I’ve ever played in Tahoe — taking into consideration its flat terrain, average 200-yard holes and lack of challenging ponds, sand traps or other golf-ball eaters.

Par 32 | 9 Holes
Yardage | 1,721 to 1,989
Rating | Not rated
Slope | Not rated

Even if you know how to golf and just want to brush up your game on your lunch break, playing at Bijou (which means “little jewel”) will make you feel like a rock star. It is quite possible to play birdie golf (or, in my case, bogey golf) and walk the course in an hour.

Check off BUCKET LIST #32 on our Ultimate Tahoe Summer Bucket List

Celebrating its 99th anniversary this summer, Bijou was first owned by Virgil Gilcrease and then changed hands once or twice before being sold to the City of South Lake Tahoe in 1983 with the condition that it remain available as a golf course. Almost a century after it opened, the course maintains its original configuration and is open to everyone at a great price.

Facing south, I teed off of the whites on Hole 1, par 4. It’s a straightforward fairway, but the rough on the left-hand side is a long patch of tall grass. In searching for my Nike ball, I found a lost one buried under 1 inch of clover. Hole 4 is a short 143 yards, but don’t worm burn it because a fast, low drive may have the potential to smack one of the two small boulders in the middle of the fairway and derail your shot.

Hole 5 signals the turn, wrapping around and heading back toward the clubhouse. On Hole 6, I caught up with an older couple from Santa Cruz; they vacation regularly in South Lake Tahoe in the summers and like to play Bijou. That hole did have a golf-ball eater consisting of a big brush ravine that we all lost balls in; so, we meandered over to the red tees on the other side of the ravine to tee off again and try to save face.

There’s also tall grass on the right of Hole 9 that has a tendency to steal golf balls, but if you aim yourself up correctly, it’s quite possible to get a hole-in-one. Everyone who works and plays at Bijou is friendly and casual, making it a great place to go and relax, putt around, observe some nature and break up a day. | (530) 542-6097, cityofslt.us