Depending upon the month you’re playing, the scorecard picture on the Tahoe Paradise Golf Course captures the best of Lake Tahoe.
It shows the green fairways, bordered by pine trees with snow-covered slopes behind. It would have been right on in the spring and early summer of 2019 when the course did not get open until June, at least a month later than normal because of the unusually heavy snowfall including in May.
You can see the fairways for holes 1, 9, 10 and 18 on the eastside of Highway 50 as it runs through Meyers, but there’s much more to the executive length golf course. It’s a nice complement to the other South Shore offerings—the premier Edgewood Resort, the full-length and challenging Lake Tahoe Golf Course and the short, walkable Bijou municipal course.
When we played it on a late August weekday, we had plenty of company on the golf course from senior golfers who appreciate the 4,034 length over 18 holes. Gasoline-powered carts are available, but many people were walking the course.
The first hole runs uphill at 235 yards and takes the golfers up into the woods. The course gets interesting and more challenging at that point.
Many of the holes, particularly the par 3s, require tee shots through narrow chutes between the towering pine trees. Throw in plenty of elevation change—both uphill and downhill plus the 6,200 elevation—so club selection is a challenge, particularly when playing the course for the first time.
We had no expectations other than looking at the scorecard before we teed off. After playing it, we can understand why it’s a popular choice for people looking for a three-hour round that is a challenge every day.
The challenge is both the narrow fairways that characterize many of the holes on hillsides and greens with plenty of slope. If you are above the hole with your approach shot, good luck stopping the ball when you putt. The greens, with a couple of exceptions, also are small so accurate tee shots on the par 3s and approach shots on the par 4s will stand you in good stead.
The designer also built in dog legs on a few holes. One of the more challenging is the 286-yard 14th that plays sharply downhill through a chute to a green at about a 90-degree angle. Hitting through the fairway can be a problem (as it is on No. 7). Putting your drive into the sweet spot will require a precise shot because there is no bailout left or right.
On No. 6, an uphill dogleg left at 249 yards, the green is not visible from the tee, it’s tucked so sharply to the left. In contrast to others, this is a large green.
The par 3s range from 99 to 182 and play either uphill or downhill.
Green fees are $47 to walk and $65 to ride prime time, with significant discounts during twilight or early morning at Tahoe Paradise. If you buy a discount card, fees drop to $22 and $35, very reasonable by Lake Tahoe standards.
by Tim Hunt