If you’re into golf and are vacationing around Lake Tahoe, there’s still something for you. Among all Lake Tahoe golf courses, we picked the best ones, some right by the lake, others up in the mountains. Read on to find the best golf courses in Lake Tahoe.
What comes to mind when you think of Tahoe City and Lake Tahoe? Most people probably think of adventure, fun, fishing, watersports, and hiking! Those who are not the sporty type, thought about breweries, arts, and culture, or live music.
On the other hand, chances are you’re into golf. There are a number of good golf courses in Tahoe that are well worth a round if you happen to be in the area. We’ve found the 10 best Lake Tahoe golf courses for those holiday-makers who also want to swing their clubs for a couple of hours while taking a break from the beach.
Sometimes, when you need a break from the hustle and bustle and splash of the water, the beautiful green fairways and tranquil nature of the course are just what’s required.
The Best Golf Courses in Lake Tahoe
1- Edgewater Tahoe Golf Course
Edgewater Tahoe Golf Club may be the most well-known among all golf courses in Lake Tahoe. Not only is it much loved by golfers, but it’s won its place on the Top 100 golf courses in Nevada.
Situated in South Lake Tahoe, the golf course features astonishing views of mountain vistas over the lake. You don’t see the view from everywhere on the course, but you’ll remember it long after you leave.
Holes 8 and 9 straddle the state line, so if you’ve ever wanted to be in two places at once, this is one beautiful place you can do that.
It’s a suitable course for golfers of moderate to advanced skill levels. From the back tees, the course is extremely long, but from the front, it’s completely doable for those who are intermediate golfers.
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The course itself is exciting. Every hole yields something different and challenging, so it’s essential to keep your wits about you when you play here.
Multiple risk/reward opportunities await, making it a tantalizing challenge for experienced players but with enough safe options for those who aren’t yet that confident.
The signature hole is the par-3 17th. It runs along the shore of the lake, with a tee shot over a waste beach area to a bunker-protected green. Despite being an iconic hole, the green is straightforward and you can expect a par at the least.
Be careful of the 6th, a 472-yard par-4. An uphill approach shot, tricky dogleg, and sloped green make it more difficult than it appears. Let’s not forget the water hazards!
After playing at one of the best golf courses in South Lake Tahoe, stick around for the food at the on-site Brooks’ Bar & Deck. They offer a wide variety of dishes, but if you want a real treat, try the lobster roll or stout-battered salmon and chips.
2- Tahoe Donner Golf Course
Tahoe Donner is a 6,917-yard, par-72 semi-private golf course in Truckee. This mountain golf course is located right in the midst of pine trees and babbling brooks, giving it a lovely intimate feeling that’s perfect for getting away.
This course is an Audubon-certified course, which means it’s been recognized as an institution that both protects the surrounding environment and preserves and maintains the natural heritage of the game.
The course generally features narrow fairways throughout, which are lined with impressive old pine trees. This means you need to be accurate right off the tee or risk losing your ball in the forest!
Undulating fairways and lightning-fast, rolling greens mean that you can’t afford to lose your focus at any point from tee to pin.
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Bunkers are scattered strategically throughout the course, but there’s only one water hazard, on the very last hole. The biggest challenge is dealing with drastic elevation challenges that the natural mountainous terrain delivers, although it does come with some spectacular views.
The final hole is the signature. Dramatic changes in elevation and absolutely beautiful views lead you to a deep green complex shielded by sand traps.
Once you’ve recovered from the 18th, have a quick bite at the Tee Nine Grill. Alternatively, head down to Squeeze In about 10 minutes down the road, and try their stuffed French toast or build your own burger!
3- Tahoe Paradise Golf Course
With a reputation as one of the most affordable golf courses in Lake Tahoe, it’s as beautiful as some of the more pricey ones. Located in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, it is a paradise of sorts hidden in the forest.
Narrow fairways bring the heat from the first tee. It’s not the longest course, but it’s challenging nonetheless. There are no par-5s, but plenty of tricky par-4s and some challenging par-3s.
One of the things that makes it so is the classic mountain course elevation changes, which keep you guessing and make accuracy important.
If you need a spot for replenishing your energy after your game, grab a famous Pastrami Reuben sandwich or Bleu Cheese n’ Bacon burger at Meyers Downtown Cafe, less than a mile from the course.
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4- The Golf Club at Gray’s Crossing
Also located in Truckee, The Golf Club at Gray’s Crossing is a championship mountain resort golf course that’s always in great condition. This course is also certified as an Audubon International Gold Signature Sanctuary, with stunning scenery and views.
Like many of the other mountain courses in the area, it’s scattered with majestic trees, grassy areas, and natural water hazards. However, the fairways are spacious and forgiving, making this an excellent choice of course for less experienced golfers.
Don’t be deceived, though. The greens are speedy and well-maintained, and noticeable elevation changes make it interesting and testing.
The best post-golf meals are to be found at the on-site PJ’s restaurant. With sizable portions and a chilled atmosphere, you can relax and fill up on good food. Try the gluten-free sweet potato waffle fries!
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5- Clear Creek Tahoe
Ranked second in the state of Nevada, Clear Creek Tahoe is a beautiful alpine course that offers an exhilarating round of golf.
Contoured around the existing landscape, the course feels fresh and natural. It has a definite element of challenge, thanks to an imaginative yet minimalist design.
Thoughtful bunkering, interesting routing, and a wide range of different hole styles make you feel like the course is always a step ahead of you.
As if that wasn’t enough, you’ll have to navigate multiple elevated tees and numerous doglegs. The fairways, however, are generous and the greens are spacious, which makes it somewhat more of a fair (but still strategic) playing experience.
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6- Old Greenwood Golf Course
Another Truckee course, Old Greenwood finds its way into the top 100 courses in California. It’s surprisingly challenging, perhaps more technical than fun, but it’s a public golf course well worth playing if you happen to be in the area.
Wide, pristine fairways lined with trees welcome you to the course. Don’t let them fool you, for the greens are subtly contoured and quite fast. A good mix of holes keeps the play interesting.
The 15th hole will challenge most golfers. It’s a short par-3 but features a carry-over water for a bit of a tricky challenge.
The nearby Pianeta Ristorante is ideal for rounding off your day of golf. For the ravenous, we highly recommend the Agnello lamb chops with goat’s cheese ravioli and veggies, finished off by a sweet treat – their delectable Bittersweet Chocolate Pistachio Pave drizzled with raspberry sauce and served with coconut gelato.
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7- Old Brockway Golf Course
Located in Tahoe Vista, Old Brockway is a family-owned course that offers 9 interesting holes. It’s hosted a long list of famous guests, including President Eisenhower and Dean Martin! It’s also a certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary—the first 9-hole course in the country to be awarded this distinction.
Don’t underestimate this course. Tight fairways ask for concentration from the tee-off. On the other end, small and speedy turtleback greens threaten your accuracy. Take your time and play with strategy, because these holes reward precision.
When you’re done, head to Spindleshanks for a celebratory cocktail and a hearty meal. Or simply grab a sweet treat as you head home—we recommend dark chocolate and cherry gelato.
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8- Incline Village Championship Golf Course
Nestled a way away from the lake but still boasting stunning water and mountain views, Incline Village Championship Golf Course is worth some of your time.
While the layout of this course is rather traditional without any particularly spectacular holes, even pro golfers will find some challenge in the 140-ish slope rating.
Despite nice views of the lake, there’s hardly any water on this course. But doglegs are plentiful, the fairways are compact, and the greens are surprisingly quick.
If you have the time, you can also play the Mountain Course. If you’ve had enough golf for the day, head to The Grille at the Chateau for a serious post-golf lunch or dinner.
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9- Coyote Moon Golf Course
More than 6,000 above sea level, Coyote Moon is a true mountain golf course in Lake Tahoe. A fun play for golfers of all skill levels, it’s worth the round.
Water hazards only come into play on 4 of the holes, with 3 of them being at the tee. The par-3 13th and the par-4 14th are both exciting holes that play over Trout Creek, which splits the fairways in half.
The nearby River Ranch Lodge & Restaurant’s Butcher Steak Frites or Famous Ranch Nachos are an excellent choice for a meal after your round.
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10- Tahoe City Golf Course
This 9-hole municipal golf course is an affordable choice in terms of both green fees and time. If you’ve only got a few hours and you find yourself in Tahoe City, this is the place to be.
Roomy fairways allow for a bit of inaccuracy, making this an excellent choice for those who are new to the game, still learning, or just feel like a round that doesn’t require much strategy.
It’s surprisingly undulating, but not frustratingly so. Minimal but thoughtful bunkering keeps it a little interesting. If you want to wile away a few hours while having fun, this is the course to be on!
Pop into the on-site Cafe Zenon for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or dessert after your round… Or before!
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The Best Golf Courses in Lake Tahoe: Conclusion
Lake Tahoe is one of the most beautiful places to be in California and Nevada. Between the shores and the mountains, there’s not only an array of stunning views but there’s also so much to do in the surrounding areas that you’ll never be bored.
There’s no place for getting away from the real world quite like the Lake Tahoe golf courses. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a newbie to the game, the repetitive motion of hitting golf balls on the course, the bit of strategic thinking you need to employ, and the lovely surroundings are a welcome break from reality.
If you’re in the area, the good news is that there are a bunch of great golf courses in Lake Tahoe nearby, including Tahoe City. We may only have one in the city itself, but it’s not a long way out to get to some of the best in the state!
Swing away and enjoy!
About the Author: Jordan Fuller is a retired golfer who gets out on the course whenever he can. When he’s not mentoring young golfers, he’s researching and writing helpful blog posts for his website, Golf Influence.
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