Jason Scott Deegan

Senior Staff Writer

Jason Scott Deegan has reviewed more than 700 courses and golf destinations for some of the industry's biggest publications. He is a regular contributor with Athlon Sports and PGA Magazine. His work has been honored by the Golf Writer's Association of America and the Michigan Press Association. His favorite golf destinations are Ireland and New Zealand, along with Michigan and California, where he lives with his wife and two children. Jason rarely touched a golf club until his college days at Eastern Michigan University, but now his passion for the game knows no out of bounds. He got his start writing with the TravelGolf Network in 1999. Follow him on Twitter at @WorldGolfer.

  • 5.0 stars from 5

    Grizzly Ranch Golf Club

    "One of California's best"

    Grizzly Ranch is one of California's great courses. Here's the ironic twist: Its gorgeous setting of pines and wild terrain looks more like Colorado or Montana than the palm-tree-lined fairways you see on the more famous courses of the state. Grizzly Ranch might be isolated an hour north of Truckee in the High Sierra mountains, but it's worth finding. If you can survive the first six holes, you'll have a good time hunting down a solid score at the Grizzly. Three of the par 5s are downright mean, though. The third might be the hardest three-shotter I've ever played because of a daunting carry on the approach. Meanwhile, the 18th might be one of the prettiest, ending at an elevated green next to a water feature and covered bridge. more »

    4.0 stars from 5

    Incline Village - Mountain Golf Course

    "Country Club of the Future?"

    I could get used to this kind of golf. Our group played a nine-hole scramble. It was fun, fast and stress free. If I hit a crappy shot, we just played my partner's ball. If I hit a great shot, then I earned the good feeling because this executive course with four par 4s is no pushover. It's got all the elements of a championship course - hazards, bunkers, elevated greens, etc. - without the length. Since it is quite challenging, I'm not sure it's a great course to teach a beginner on, but if that beginner starts feeling comfortable here, he/she can play anywhere. The beautiful setting reminds you why golf is such a joy in the first place. more »

    4.0 stars from 5

    Coyote Moon Golf Course

    "A howlin' good time at Coyote Moon"

    If I could give it 4.85 stars I would. It's oh so close to being a five-star facility. All it lacks is a bit of playability for us mid to high handicaps. The land isn't flat, so neither is your lie. That makes hitting so many elevated and popup greens so difficult. The white tees we played did offer up a couple short par 5s (478 and 458 yards) as compensation. The drop-shot par-3 13th hole ranks among the best par 3s in California. A true jaw dropper. It's hard not to love the entire experience, no matter your score. We were bummed some coyote pups seen by the staff weren't hanging around their den behind the 12th green. Seeing them would have made a special day magical. more »

    4.0 stars from 5

    Tahoe Donner Golf Course

    "A pleasant surprise"

    Tahoe Donner sports the highest elevation (6,200 feet and counting) in the Lake Tahoe region. That might help your ball go a bit farther. Just make sure you hit it straight. Tahoe Donner's narrow fairways feel like crammed high school hallways in between classes. Instead of a mass of humanity blocking your way, the stately pines and evergreens are what slow any forward progress. It's a guarantee you'll either lose a ball in the woods or get knocked down by a limb at some point. My only minor complaint would be some serious tee imbalance. Nobody wants to play a mountain course from the too short 5,947-yard green tees and the 6,562-yard silver tees are simply too long with par 4s of 430, 426, 452 and 439 yards. New tee boxes on these holes would be greatly beneficial to pace of play and help golfers go home happy with better scores. Don't take my mini-rant wrong. This is a great place to play, and for the money, one of the best values in Tahoe. more »

    4.0 stars from 5

    Bayland Golf Links

    "Sneaky tough but fun reborn muni"

    Like everybody else, I cringed when Palo Alto Mayor Liz Kniss warned golfers about the toughness of Baylands Golf Links at the course's media grand opening. It's tough, but not in the 'I don't want to play this ever again' way. I'd call it sneaky tough, despite a player-friendly 5 par 5/5 par 3 routing. You shouldn't lose balls from the 6,110-yard blue tees, but you probably will, especially on the short par 4s like No. 5 and 7. The long par-5 third, the best hole strategically, will eat balls at will until players learn how to survive the wetland on that hole. Baylands showcases a mix of intriguing features - reachable par 5s to start and end the round, gaping sodwall bunkers in front of the greens at No. 12 (a par 3) and No. 13 (a par 5), alternate greens on the par-4 14th hole and semi-blind approaches to mounded greens at no. 16 (a par 4) and no. 17 (a par 3). Several greens might be overdone with undulations (no. 6 and no. 18 come to mind). However, not even a couple of three jacks can undermine the fine job done by architect Forrest Richardson in reviving this featureless muni. It's a gift generations of golfers can enjoy. more »

    4.0 stars from 5


    "Good luck slaying the Dragon"

    The Dragon is a beast in every sense. Its par 4s are long and difficult. Higher handicaps probably have a better shot at winning the lottery than hitting some of the greens, many of which are elevated, heavily undulating and surrounded by bunkers. But the Dragon is still worth playing. The scenery is stunning; the staff super friendly; and boy that clubhouse is worth the trip alone. Our dinner was the best of the week after touring several golf hot spots around Reno/Lake Tahoe. Our three foursomes played a scramble. Every team shot 61 from the '3" tees, and we had a great time. This is the perfect way to enjoy the Dragon. Either play a scramble or move up a set of tees. There's fun to be had on this difficult course. You just need to manage and lower your expectations to enjoy the day. more »