Tahoe Paradise Golf Course

Hole 2 tee. | John Dee

Two years ago, I had the chance to review Tahoe Paradise Golf Course located in South Lake Tahoe. I knew nothing about it and or anybody who had played it. Looking at the scorecard online I knew that it was an executive-length course similar to the one that I grew up on in Wisconsin. That really got my interest. I wondered how they would compare. Actually, other than both being busy, not too much.

18 holes | par 66
Yardage | 3,572 to 4,034
Slope | 99 to 111
Rating | 59.3 to 62.5

One idea behind executive golf courses was to provide a place for an “executive” to play a quick round after work. There are no par 5s, but you will find a handful of short par 4s and the rest par 3s. That is the combination here. It plays to 4,034 yards from the white tees and a par of 66. Some greens are large, some are small, but most have much more slope than you would guess. Get above the hole and you will find a very fast putt. Uphill putts may be surprisingly slow. The fairways on most of the par 4s are very narrow, asking for an iron or at most a hybrid off of the tee. You could easily leave the driver at home, but I brought a new one to try on the two longer par 4s.

Make no mistake, Tahoe Paradise is harder than it looks on the scorecard. It is fun to play and a perfect place to bring friends who don’t want to get beat up by a championship golf course.

The No. 1 handicap hole is 18, a slightly downhill dogleg right par 4 of 372 yards. From the tee, you hit through a narrow chute, which opens up quickly past the rows of trees. Several large trees are strategically placed in the driver landing zone, so if you stray too far right or left, your short-iron second shot may be blocked.

Executive-length courses never really caught on as much as they should have probably due to the feeling by some that they are not real golf. I am sure some players look at the yardage of Tahoe Paradise and eliminate it from consideration. Make no mistake, Tahoe Paradise is harder than it looks on the scorecard. You may not make any big numbers but putting together a string of bogeys is easy. It is fun to play and what a perfect place to bring friends who play golf occasionally and don’t want to get beat up by a championship golf course.

It doesn’t get much better than having a cold beverage, a hot dog and hanging out on the deck with your buddies after your round. | tahoeparadisegc.com

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John Dee
John Dee grew up in Elm Grove, Wis., playing many sports with a strength in baseball. A desire to beat his best buddy in high school led him to take up golf. In the mid-80s he moved into golf as a profession, received his PGA membership and began to teach golf. “My wife and I (and our cats) moved to Lake Tahoe in 2005 to further our careers and eventually found other paths to follow. She started her own business and I spent seven years in Parks and Recreation, but returned to golf in 2015 as Assistant Golf Professional at the Resort at Squaw Creek. Some things about the business has changed a lot, but the game is still hard and people still want to have a good time.”