Lake Tahoe’s size leads locals and visitors alike to refer to areas around the lake as North Shore and South Shore. While Edgewood is certainly the class golf experience of the South Shore (and maybe the entire Sierra area), The Championship Course at Incline Village is the class of the North Shore and one great golf experience as well.
Read the Yelp reviews and you consistently hear words like stunning, beautiful, spectacular, and gorgeous lake views.
Incline Village is a stellar resort in Tahoe that will dazzle those that choose the High Sierra as a golf destination. Add to that the Championship Course, and you’ll quickly see why those looking for the perfect High Sierra golf package head to Incline Village, where scenery and golf rule.
The Championship Course at Incline Village will challenge golfers of all levels, and leave even scratch golfers breathless with a slope rating that tops 146. Originally designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr. in 1964, the course received a facelift in 2003, courtesy of architect Kyle Phillips. The nearly $5 million renovation reinvigorated the course, which demands accuracy, as well as giving players risk-reward opportunities over trees and bunkers. Amenities include a 23,000 ft. clubhouse with a banquet facility, an award-winning golf shop, the delicious restaurant called The Grille, lessons by PGA professionals, driving range, and more.
After a short 364 yard uphill par 4 to get things started, the 2nd hole is a reachable 488-yard par 5 that has bunkers well placed both for the drive and protecting the green. The two- level green can make for some challenging putts for birdie.
The 397-yard, 3rd is the number one handicap because of the difficult uphill drive as well as the split level, well protected green that features a left to right slope down the hill. In fact all putts tend to pay attention to where the lake is for breaks.
The par 5, No. 5 is reachable in two for the long hitters. Out of bounds on the left and four large bunkers leading up to an elevated green make the hole a challenge, but birdie is a real reward if you can navigate the fairway.
The 6th, a 175-yard, par 3, plays across a creek to a very steep two tiered green. If the pin is down low, birdies are common but a pin towards the back right are guarded by a large bunker and par is a good score.
The dogleg par 4 7th is the signature vista on the scorecard. From the tee you have a wonderful view of Lake Tahoe and the High Sierra range behind South Shore. Get too lost in the beauty and you lose concentration on a tee shot that demands a straight and long swing with OB on the left and a creek running the length of the fairway on the right. The second shot plays across the creek up to a green that runs front to back with a big left hand break towards the water. The 8th is again a fun par 3 across the creek, and the dogleg left par 4 9th hole plays to a downhill green with again a stunning view of the lake.
The 10th tee has such a beautiful view that my daughter selected this tee to be married on as it overlooks Lake Tahoe. The back nine again starts out with a short par 4 leading into a 475 yard par 5 11th hole. The 11th gives a risk-reward choice to try for the green or lay up for a short chip shot. The green is guarded by a creek in the front, bunker front left, and bunkers behind and right so if you choose for the long attempt to hit the green in two, it is difficult to place and to hold it from the bunkers.
A challenging dogleg right across a creek awaits on the 12th hole. The green again runs front to back very quickly so if the pin is back, play for lots of roll. The 600-yard, par 5 13th is the number two handicap hole on the course. The gradual right hand turn with lots of bunkers for the tee shot and the approach add to the challenge of the length of this fun hole.
The par 3 14th plays across a lake and again is one of the prettiest holes in the sierras. Two long straight holes follow and lead up to a downhill par 3 17th that plays to a green bunkered well on both sides with a creek behind it.
The finishing par 4, 18th plays uphill as a dogleg left to a large green that allows a multiple of different pin placements.
An Incline Bonus!
Looking to spend more time on Lake Tahoe and less on the golf course, but still want a wonderful golf experience? Incline Village also has a top-rated Executive golf course called the Mountain Course. With four, par 4 holes and 14 par 3’s, this challenging course plays across creeks, around lakes, and allows a fast challenging round with the beauty you would expect in the Sierras.
With 5 holes playing across a creek, and several challenging par 4’s, you can get around this course in 3 hours or less and have a fun golf experience at a very reasonable rate.