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As we made the final turn taking us to the golf course at The Resort at Squaw Creek, on Lake Tahoe’s North Shore, one member of my golfing foursome started to get nervous.
“I’m not sure I see the actual course down there,” she said.
Indeed, unlike so many golf courses that jump out at you in how unnatural they are in their surroundings, The Resort at Squaw Creek course blends into its stunning High Sierras landscape as if someone just happened to come along and mow a couple patches of grass in a serene mountain valley.
After playing our round, we all agreed that the golf course’s natural layout is both the most interesting thing about the course, and the part that will drive many golfers nuts.
The so-called “links-style” course is definitely challenging — perfect for golfers who are blessed with the ability to hit long, straight drives — and our group spent a fair amount of time digging through the formidable rough searching for our balls. However, I can also say, it is one of the most unique and memorable courses any of us have played.
Surrounded by six Sierra peaks, the Resort at Squaw Creek sits at the base of Squaw Valley USA, off Highway 89 on the road that connects Tahoe City with Interstate 80 at Truckee, Calif. While its location makes it a long haul for those staying on the South Shore of Lake Tahoe, it’s ideal for North Shore visitors and, in particular, those traveling to/from Reno, Nev., or Sacramento, Calif.
The course was designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr. with the goal of preserving the unique beauty, natural wetlands and wildlife habitat of Squaw Valley. In fact, the golf resort is so committed to promoting a high-quality, environmentally conscious golf course that Audubon International has recognized the course as a Certified Cooperative Sanctuary for several years — meaning the resort “uses the most ecologically sound maintenance practices to ensure a safe haven for both people and wildlife.” The resort does not use any pesticides and only a minimal amount of organic-based fertilizer.
The resort staff was extremely friendly and helpful, and there is even an on-course expert who will stop by and offer advice on particular shots. The facilities are top-notch as well, and the resort seemed especially ideal for corporate and incentive groups. Also, with greens fees under $100 (including cart), the course is a value compared to other top area resorts.
The Lake Tahoe area is undoubtedly blessed with a number of top courses, but for travelers looking for something truly unique and beautiful — and who don’t mind packing a few extra balls — the Resort at Squaw Creek will provide golf memories for years to come.
The Resort at Squaw Creekwww.squawcreek.com
Family Golf Special
After 5:30 p.m. or 6 p.m., depending on the season, families can play a quick and easy game of golf on Resort at Squaw Creek’s front nine holes from the family tees (located approximately 150 yards from the green).
$45 per adult; free for children under 17 when accompanied by an adult.
Greens fees include golf cart.
June 18-Sept. 26:
$95 Public $75 Afternoon fee (12 p.m.-3 p.m.) $60 Twilight fee (After 3 p.m.) $40 Junior fee (17 and under) $23 Junior twilight fee (Junior fees are for the entire season)
$95 Public $75 Afternoon fee (12 p.m.-3 p.m.)$50 Twilight fee (after 3:30 p.m.)