Swing into golf season
It’s the time of year when Truckee-Tahoe locals and visitors trade groomers and black diamonds for tee boxes and fairways.
Despite heavy snowfall this past winter, golf season is already underway in Kings Beach at Old Brockway Golf Course, which opened for the season on Friday, April 26.
“Our greens came out the best they’ve ever come out,” said Owner & Operator Lane Lewis. “With the heavy snow, a lot of courses experience ice damage. We didn’t have any ice damage.”
The nine-hole course is more than 3,400 yards, and is the area’s last family owned course.
“Our greens, we’re almost 100 years old,” said Lewis. “So, we have great root structure and everything. This winter was an extremely wet winter. We’ve got one hole out there that’s a little wet, but other than that the course is playing fantastic.”
If ice is left on greens for more than 60 days, according to Lewis, the roots of the grass become damaged. In order to avoid damage to any of the course’s greens, the crew at Old Brockway spent time during winter blowing snow from the greens, before spreading compost on them to melt any ice.
“All golf courses up here face it and every golf course is in its own micro climate,” Lewis said. “I may get rain here but up at Tahoe Donner they may get rain and then snow. It’s just a matter of watching and paying attention.”
Part of keeping Old Brockway’s greens ice free involved working several hours just to get a riding snow blower to one of the back greens on the course.
“At the time, I was just hoping this would be worth it,” said Lewis. “And it surely was.”
Green fees at Old Brockway are $35 for nine holes or $60 for 18 holes until May 23. Twilight green fees are $30.
In Truckee, Ponderosa Golf Course is scheduled to open, depending on conditions, holes 4 through 9 on Saturday, May 4.
Developed in 1961, Ponderosa Golf Course features nine holes at a length of 3,022 yards from the longest tees for a par of 35. New this year will be the introduction of a ladies night on Thursdays at a cost of $25, which will include lessons. The course will also become involved in the PGA Junior League for a season starting at the end of June and going into August.
Ponderosa Golf Course, according to Truckee-Donner Recreation and Park District Sports Coordinator Angelo Tenorio, will also introduce a pair of glow ball golf tournaments. One event will benefit the Truckee High School golf team, said Tenorio, and the other will be earmarked for the course. Green fees at the course are $35 for nine holes and $55 for 18 holes. The twilight rate at the course, which begins at 2:30 p.m., is $25.
Tahoe Mountain Club’s two courses are scheduled to open later in May. The Jack Nicklaus signature golf course, Old Greenwood, is slated for a May 17 opening, according to Director of Golf Travis Alley, while Gray’s Crossing should be playable on May 24.
“The courses are looking great,” said Alley. “Obviously it was a pretty huge winter, but we should be in pretty good shape for opening (day).”
Old Greenwood is situated on 600 acres of forest and meadowland. The course is 7,518 yards at its longest, and features a pair of par fives that are 600 yards and longer. Gray’s Crossing is 7,466 yards from the tips. Both venues are par-72 courses.
Public rates at each course to start the season begin a $150, and drop to $100 after 2 p.m. After 4 p.m. the green fee at each course falls to $75. For those looking to play both courses within a week’s time, there will be a combined golf rate of $250. Junior golfers can play either course for free with a playing adult after 5 p.m. During the upcoming season, players at Gray’s Crossing can get on the course Monday through Wednesday for $125.
Last year the courses introduced an alternative to golf carts, adding golf boards as an option for players. This year the boards will be replaced with electrically powered golf bikes.
Private course, Schaffer’s Mill Golf & Lake Club plays at more than 7,000 yards for a par of 71, and is scheduled to open for the season on May 17.
Over at Northstar, the resort’s 6,781-yard, par-72 course is scheduled to open Friday, May 24. Green fees at Northstar Golf Course range from $40 for the online twilight rate with a cart up to $85 during peak hours.
Tahoe Donner Golf Course is also targeting May 24 for an opening date. The 18-hole, par-72 course winds its way through pine trees and features four par-3 holes and four par-5 holes.
Public green fees during the early season at Tahoe Donner range from $85 during twilight hours up to $110. Rates increase after June 14.
Nearby in Truckee, Coyote Moon Golf Course is also looking at a May 24 opening date. The par-72 course sits on 250 acres of rolling hills and towering pines, and is 7,177 yards at its longest. Early season rates at Coyote Moon range from $75 to $100 depending on time of day.
Lake Tahoe’s oldest golf course, Tahoe City Golf Course, celebrated its centennial last season, and is projecting an opening date later in May.
The nine-hole, par-33 course features four par-3 holes and is 2,570 yards at its longest. Green fees at Tahoe City Golf Course range from $35 for nine holes without a cart up to $60 for 18 holes without a cart. Golf cart rentals range from $20 to $30 depending on amount of holes played.
Located at the base of Squaw Valley, the Links at Squaw Creek measures 6,931 yards from the tips. The par-71 course is scheduled to open nine of its holes on June 1. Season passes are available at the course for $649. Green fees include a cart and range between $79 and $119 for public players. Resort guests receive a $20 discount.
This year the Links at Squaw Creek will have foot golf every Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday.
In Incline Village, the town’s two courses are expected to open later this month. The Incline Village Championship Golf Course was ranked the 10th best course in Nevada in 2018 by Golf Advisor. The course par-72 course is more than 7,100 yards at its longest and is scheduled to open for the season on May 17. Early season green fees during the week range from $50 up to $120 depending on time of day and include a golf cart.
The par-58, 18-hole mountain course is slated for a late May opening. Early season green fees during the week at the course cost between $30 and $40 depending on time of day.
Justin Scacco is a reporter for the Sierra Sun. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.