Lake Ta­hoe: Bring­ing Out Your In­ner Celebrity

Bring­ing Out Your In­ner Celebrity

Golf Vacations - - News - by David R. Hol­land

There he was in all his ra­di­ant glory. Tony Romo, cat-eat­ing glue grin and all, was strolling down the 18th fair­way at Edge­wood Ta­hoe, within min­utes of win­ning the 29th Amer­i­can Cen­tury Cham­pi­onship and hoist­ing a tro­phy he had lusted af­ter for years.

STATELINE, Nev. – There he was in all his ra­di­ant glory. Tony Romo, cat-eat­ing glue grin and all, was strolling down the 18th fair­way at Edge­wood Ta­hoe, within min­utes of win­ning the 29th Amer­i­can Cen­tury Cham­pi­onship and hoist­ing a tro­phy he had lusted af­ter for years. All week he had told ev­ery­one who would lis­ten he was dy­ing to win this cham­pi­onship and that he thought his game was ready. He had fin­ished sec­ond three times from 2009 to 2011. Romo, re­tired Dal­las Cow­boys QB and now 38, was feel­ing com­fort­able on one of the most beau­ti­ful lay­outs in the USA. He said he would rely on fun­da­men­tals and he be­lieved he was men­tally tough enough to win. Just the week be­fore the NFL an­a­lyst for CBS Sports won the Racine Tri-Course Am­a­teur Cham­pi­onship by nine strokes. “Ob­vi­ously I’ve prac­ticed for sev­eral months for this. My putting was solid and I made some big putts. Some­times that’s the dif­fer­ence,” Romo said. Edge­wood Ta­hoe is one of those few cour­ses where you can watch celebri­ties tee it up be­fore TV cam­eras ev­ery sum­mer and imag­ine you too are on the shores of Lake Ta­hoe. I know the dozen times played here I’ve had a blast and ad­dressed many shots that I’ve seen guys like Romo line up and ex­e­cute. This is a fun, must-play golf ex­pe­ri­ence. Don’t miss it. And by the way, Edge­wood Ta­hoe is cel­e­brat­ing its 50th with golf/ lodg­ing pack­ages and a va­ri­ety of cel­e­bra­tions. The new Lodge at Edge­wood, 154 rooms on the lake and ninth hole, will be bring­ing them in for the next 50 years. Lake Ta­hoe has been home to count­less celebri­ties and ac­tu­ally hosted the 1968 U.S. Men’s Olympic Track Team – one of the USA’s most iconic Olympic track teams that prepped for the alti­tude of the Mex­ico City Games at South Lake Ta­hoe. Bob Bea­mon, Tommy Smith, John Car­ols, Lee Evans, Dick Fos­bury, Bill Twomey, Bob Sea­gren, Jim Hines, Wil­lie Daven­port, Al Oerter were all here. Not to men­tion Squaw Val­ley hosted the 1960 Win­ter Olympics.


The mix­ture of to­pog­ra­phy and va­ri­ety of golf is sig­nif­i­cant here. Within min­utes one can play High Sierra 70-de­gree golf among the Pon­derosa pines and gran­ite boul­ders at Coy­ote Moon, Old Green­wood, and Gray’s Cross­ing in Truc­kee or de­scend into the foothills and be chal­lenged by ruggedly beau­ti­ful ar­royo-forced car­ries and sage­brush rough in 90-de­gree weather at Som­er­sett Coun­try Club in Reno and Genoa Lakes in Car­son City. Pick from noted golf ar­chi­tects of the mod­ern era – Robert Trent Jones Sr., Robert Trent Jones Jr., George Fazio, Tom Fazio, Robin Nel­son, Arnold Palmer, John Har­bot­tle, Pe­ter Ja­cob­sen, Johnny Miller, Fuzzy Zoeller, Hale Ir­win, Dick Bai­ley and Robert Muir-Graves.

Ta­hoe Don­ner Golf Course, Truc­kee, CA:

Loved this old-style and nar­row course with tall pines, creek cross­ings and el­e­va­tion changes with beau­ti­ful views. Ta­hoe Don­ner is the high­est-el­e­va­tion golf course in Ta­hoe and at 7,002 yards is chal­leng­ing. Greens are quick and huge.

Lake Ta­hoe Golf Course, South Lake Ta­hoe, CA

This is one of the more af­ford­able golf cour­ses in the area -- lo­cated in a nat­u­ral moun­tain meadow just min­utes from the south­ern shore­line of Lake Ta­hoe and the golf course is lo­cated in Lake Val­ley State Recre­ational Area. This Wil­liam Bell de­sign has photo ops through­out, in­clud­ing the Truc­kee River, nat­u­ral habi­tats and a moun­tain back­drop. This is a great lay­out for the en­tire fam­ily.

In­cline Vil­lage Golf Cour­ses, In­cline Vil­lage, NV

In­cline Vil­lage has two golf cour­ses on the north shore of Lake Ta­hoe. The Moun­tain Course, de­signed by Robert Trent Jones Jr., is fun for the en­tire fam­ily. The Cham­pi­onship Course was orig­i­nally de­signed by Robert Trent Jones Sr., but Kyle Phillips did the $4.5 mil­lion 2003 facelift. My first round of golf here was mem­o­rable – Joe DiMag­gio was stand­ing on the first tee box.

Old Green­wood, Truc­kee, CA

Old Green­wood, orig­i­nally a pri­vate club, could be the most playable Jack Nick­laus Sig­na­ture Golf de­sign I’ve ever played. The golf course is the cen­ter­piece of a pre­mier four-sea­son re­sort com­mu­nity in North Lake Ta­hoe. Si­t­u­ated near the his­toric town of Truc­kee on 600 acres of tow­er­ing pines and blue-sage cov­ered hills, the pub­lic can play it and also select lots for cus­tom-built homes and frac­tional res­i­dences. It’s also home to the Golf Academy at Old Green­wood.

Griz­zly Ranch in Por­tola, CA

Griz­zly Ranch was orig­i­nally a pri­vate course, but now this Bob Cupp gem is open to the pub­lic. Cupp was given a thou­sand acres to route this No. 1-ranked course in the Sierra Ne­vada by Golf Di­gest (2014). Golfers love the end­less com­bi­na­tion of shots and it is bor­dered on two sides by pro­tected fed­eral land. It’s part of a low-den­sity pri­vate gated com­mu­nity.

The Dragon at Nakoma Re­sort, Clio, CA

This Robin Nel­son de­sign has been soft­ened some­what af­ter its orig­i­nal own­ers called on Nel­son to build the most dif­fi­cult course imag­ined. The Wild & Scenic Feather River can be seen in a canyon left of the fourth fair­way, but views are at ev­ery turn. Frank Lloyd Wright’s Nakoma teepee de­sign makes a must-visit club­house with in­cred­i­ble restau­rant. And the 42-room Lodge at Nakoma is all new and comfy.

Genoa Lakes Golf Club, Genoa, NV

There are two cour­ses at Genoa Lakes – the Lakes and the Ranch – and both of them are fun and dif­fer­ent. John Har­bot­tle III and Pe­ter Ja­cob­sen de­signed The Lakes Course, with the Car­son River com­ing into play on 14 holes. The Ranch, formerly Sierra Ne­vada Golf Ranch, was de­signed by Johnny Miller and Har­bot­tle. Over 300 feet of el­e­va­tion changes, more than 100 bunkers, un­pre­dictable moun­tain ter­rain, af­ter­noon breezes and a wa­ter­fall chal­lenge play­ers.

PRI­VATE COUR­SES Gray’s Cross­ing, Truc­kee, CA

Jim Hardy and Ja­cob­sen de­signed this moun­tain mead­ows beauty in the shadow of Mt. Rose. This semi-pri­vate gem was opened in 2007 and Old Green­wood is its sis­ter course. Con­di­tion­ing is top notch with a lengthy 7,466 yards but the par-4 sixth is a short, fun, 304 yards you can drive from an el­e­vated tee.

Som­er­sett Golf & Coun­try Club, Reno, NV

El­e­va­tion changes, forced ar­royo car­ries and panoramic views of Reno and sur­round­ing alpine vis­tas can be seen from this pri­vate desert-like course de­signed in 2004 by Tom Kite, Roy Bech­tol and Randy Rus­sell. It rolls out at 7,252 yards at par 72 with five sets of tees, seven lakes, 62 white sand bunkers and 400-foot wide land­ing ar­eas from the tees. Schaf­fer’s Mill Golf & Lake Club, Truc­kee, CA Even though Schaf­fer’s Mill (formerly Tim­il­ick) is pri­vate there are some Mon­day tee times open for the pub­lic. This fun and scenic Johnny Miller and John Har­bot­tle III de­sign has two dis­tinct nines. The back nine dis­plays moun­tain holes with el­e­va­tion changes of 400 feet and the open­ing nine takes you through a beau­ti­ful meadow.

Clear Creek Ta­hoe, Clear Creek, NV

Af­ter con­sult­ing with the usual sus­pects, Ben Cren­shaw and Bill Coore were se­lected to build their first alpine set­ting golf course on a 1,600 acres par­cel of land. It’s in the east­ern shad­ows of the Car­son Range with rugged white-sand bunkers, el­e­va­tion changes and slopes that will con­found you. The first time I hit the mid­dle of a green with an ap­proach and watched it trun­dle off the green I knew – beau­ti­ful and deadly. Clear Creek is lo­cated in the cen­ter of the fic­tional “Pon­derosa” of Bo­nanza fame, and has been uti­lized for over 150 years by var­i­ous cat­tle op­er­a­tions.


JT Basque Restau­rant; Wild Bill’s BBQ, In­cline Vil­lage Moun­tain Course, In­cline Vil­lage, NV; Edge­wood Restau­rant; The Lodge Restau­rant & Pub at Ta­hoe Don­ner Golf Course; and Nakoma Re­sort Wig­wam Room Restau­rant.


The Lodge at Nakoma, Clio, CA; Hamp­ton Inn & Suites, Truc­kee, CA; Twi­light Ridge in Dol­lar Point, Ta­hoe Lux­ury Prop­er­ties Va­ca­tion Rental, Ta­hoe City, CA; Pep­per­mill Re­sort Spa Casino, Reno, NV; Hol­i­day Inn Ex­press & Suites, Min­den, NV; Har­rah’s Lake Ta­hoe, Stateline, NV.

In­cline Vil­lage Cham­pi­onship Course No. 12

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