by James McAfee
The 18th green addition of the deluxe 154-room Edgewood Tahoe Lodge in June 2017 turned the venerable Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course into a world class “must-see” destination for golfers wishing to enjoy the same VIP service and exquisite conditions you’d expect at the top private clubs in America as well as for other travelers looking for luxury accommodations to pamper them.
Located on the southern tip of Lake Tahoe—called the jewel of the High Sierras—the 18-hole public facility, designed by George Fazio 50 years ago and touched up by his nephew Tom, offers a challenging, but fair test through meadows and pine forests. There are trees not only bordering the holes, but even a few in the fairways that must be avoided with tee shots and approaches. Water comes into play on 14 holes.
Just as important, especially on the closing holes, are the panoramic views of the blue waters of what is the second-deepest lake in America along with the snow-capped Sierras in the distance.
Playing at more than 6,200 feet of elevation, golfers experience cooler temperatures (70-85) than back home during the summer and can expect to see the ball carry farther (10 to 15 percent) at the higher altitude. Who doesn’t need this help most of the time, especially off the tee?
In its storied history, the course has played host to numerous major events, including the 1980 U.S. Public Links with Jodie Mudd as the champion and the 1985 U.S. Senior Open won by Miller Barber with the only score under par. In addition, it has hosted the American Century Championship, featuring stars from the NFL, MLB and NBA with a few coaches plus big-name entertainers, since 1990.
Building the lodge did result in George’s nephew returning to make changes to the 9th hole, which used to be an inland hole with a sharp dogleg to the right. The tee was moved behind the former left green on No. 8 (there used to be two greens on that hole that were alternated). Golfers now get a glimpse of the lake from the tee. While 30 yards shorter, the winds off the lake now must be considered more when making club selections.
“It’s a dramatic improvement,” said Director of Golf Randy Fox. “It now provides a nice balance with finishing holes on the lake for both nines.”
Longtime PR representative Phil Weidinger added, “It’s now much more fun, scenic and memorable.”
While most of this hole is in Nevada like the rest of the course, a right-handed golfer stands the chance of hooking his drive off the tee into California. The state line angles from left of the tee (as you play the hole) to include a portion of the left side of the fairway as you approach the green, maybe 80 yards short where a marker on the beach denotes the border.
Don’t forget that after your round to stop by the Brooks’ Bar & Deck, selected by the editors of Golf Digest Magazine as one of the “Best Golf Pubs” in the world, and have an amazing view from the patio of the golf course, the lake and the Sierras. There’s a sprawling deck, a vaulted wide-beam ceiling and long-paned windows. Brooks’ also offers a breakfast buffet and wide array of choices for lunch and dinner.
If you have the necessary “Benjamins” and want to be spoiled with a great lodging experience, I highly recommend that you consider also staying at the Lodge at Edgewood Tahoe, only a short walk away from the clubhouse. Standard room rates start at $350 and range to $800 depending upon the season. Of course, various packages and specials are offered throughout the year,
Designers captured the spirit of storied lodges of the Great American West when it opened in June 2017, being named “Most Beautiful Hotel in Nevada” by Architectural Digest.
The Great Room features 38-foot-tall floor-to-ceiling windows offering views of the lake and the mountains. The grand staircase was fabricated from local wood logs and the carved limestone wall was created by a Bay Area stone carver. The wood paneling of the great hall ceilings and the other walls is walnut. The patterns and colors of the deer head art were designed to represent he Native American history of the area.
I was blown away by all the amenities during my one-night stay. The room had an in-room fireplace, a terrace with a seating area where I enjoyed my $20 hamburger ordered from room service, a mini refrigerator, a desk where I could check my internet and a soaking tub, a great place to relax after a round of golf.
The Coffee Bar is open at 6 a.m. for the early risers and there’s two great places to dine–the Bistro from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays and an hour longer on Fridays and Saturdays and the Edgewood Restaurant, opening at 5 p.m. and offering creative dishes from Chef Charles Wilson along with a diverse wine list.
There are fire pits outside the lodge on the way to the swimming pool, which offers water temperatures in the 80s all year, and a 40-person hot tub. Poolside cabanas are also available for rent by the half day or full day.
Nestled in a private yet expansive area in a peaceful inviting atmosphere on the second floor is the spa that can offer guests serenity, relaxation and rejuvenation.
A state-of-the-art fitness center, open 24/7, is located on the third floor, offering the latest equipment, including an adaptive motion trainer, elliptical stationary bikes, glide functional trainers and weight and strength training machines.
This mountain paradise that blends natural beauty with exquisite comfort is only an hour’s drive from Reno.