SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. - Calling all golfers who are coupon cutters, bargain hunters and photography buffs.
Your place to play is the Lake Tahoe Golf Course, which is run by American Golf for the California State Parks. The 6,683-yard, par-71 municipal course can be a little rough around the edges, condition-wise, but when it comes to the routing and scenery of the surrounding Sierra Nevada mountains, it compares favorably with the best golf offerings around Lake Tahoe. The classic William Bell design in a mountain meadow is known for its breathtaking views of Mt. Tallac, Twin Peaks and the top of Heavenly.
Unfortunately, the brutal winter has left heavy damage to at least three fairways, but players simply take a free drop in a better lie and move on. It is walkable and plenty forgiving. By no means is it a pushover.
The upper Truckee River comes into play on seven holes, with lakes and streams in play on six others. The back nine starts with a great backdrop of a rocky outcropping and only gets better from there. The second best risk-reward hole in South Lake Tahoe (behind the par-5 18th hole at Edgewood Tahoe) is the 279-yard par-4 15th hole. Players carve their tee shots around or over a tree to cut the corner of the dogleg for a shot at the green. It's a great hole to symbolize the fun of one of northern California's best bargain rounds.
Staff rating of the Lake Tahoe Golf Course: Review by Jason Scott Deegan