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Playing Gray's Crossing the evening before also allowed us to squeeze in a bonus round and take advantage of a GolfMoose voucher for Squaw Creek. Technically, I did play one more round after this at the Tahoe City 9-holer, but that one is not on GK yet. As for Squaw Valley, I wouldn't pay rack here, but the GM deal was pretty solid for a round in season. It was busier than we expected and we were too worn out to slow-play behind other groups, so we did have to get creative with our own layout. It wasn't ideal, but we eventually got all 18 holes in as the groups out on the course were kind of scattered and it allowed us to jump in where we could find openings and play a few holes at a time.

Conditions here were disappointing for a "resort" course. It seems clear the golf course here is somewhat of an afterthought and I'm sure it's difficult to maintain given its location on a major ski resort and a short summer season at the resort. The tee boxes were sometimes OK and sometimes just dirt and weeds. The fairways were generally fine. The rough was a mish-mash of a bit of everything. Then there are some deep native areas (swampland) that you'll want to avoid because it's almost guaranteed a lost ball. The holes up on the hillside had a greener look, but were also pretty soft and chewed up from tee to green. Bunkers were okay enough. Greens weren't too bad. A little thin in spots and sometimes a tad bumpy, but mostly rolling decently.

The lackluster conditions mar what could be a pretty good golf course. The layout is very challenging and unique, and though they bill it as a "links" it really isn't because there aren't many ground-play options. There are a lot of forced carries and false fronts lined with thick grass, so you still have to keep the ball up in the air if you want to have a chance at scoring well. It also got pretty windy as the round went on, which added another level of challenge. In terms of quality, Squaw Creek doesn't come close to measuring up to the region's other great resort courses. It just feels a bit run down and in need of a good renovation.

Also, I should mention the parking situation is rough right now as they are doing a lot of construction outside the resort. You can valet up top or just drop your bags off, then it's a long walk from the self-parking to the pro shop. The signage is lacking here, so there really are no signs to direct you to the pro shop. I wandered around awhile before finally finding it and then it took them about 20 minutes to get my bag from up top to the starter area. Again, golf seems to be an afterthought, especially for those not staying at the resort.
After playing Greenwood on Monday evening, we moved up our Old Greenwood tee time to 7:30 on Tuesday. This was the most expensive round of the trip at $175. They do combo deals with Gray's Crossing and NCGA rates, but because we paid only a twilight rate at Gray's, we weren't able to get any discounts on the round here. Ultimately, it was a wash because the two rounds together were right about what we were planning to pay for the original package deal anyway. They put us out as a twosome behind three foursomes. We ended up playing through 2 of them and then caught up to the other on the back nine and they didn't let us play through. We all caught up to maintenance anyway soon after that, so there was really nowhere to go and we just slow-played the final few holes behind them.

The conditions here were great as this course had the deepest green look of all the courses we played on the trip. Some minor issues when you looked really close and got really nitpicky, but otherwise lush and nicely manicured throughout. Thick rough that provided extra challenge. Fairways also a bit on the soft side with all the watering and morning moisture. Greens very nice. Soft and receptive with the moisture, but rolling great at nice speeds that obviously got quicker as they dried out.

I really liked Old Greenwood, too. Though the course has its demanding qualities and the tricky Nicklaus greens, it wasn't quite as tough as I expected it to be. I was expecting another Montreux, but there aren't really any significant elevation changes at Old Greenwood and thus the diagonal/undulated greens aren't quite as brutal. The back nine is tougher than the front, I thought, with a few more somewhat-elevated greens and blind approach shots a la Nicklaus design. Still a fairly difficult course (especially if you play the longer tees), just maybe not as much as a butt-kicker as I expected. Either way, it's a beautiful track with a great setting in Truckee, so I would easily recommend it to just about anyone.
Was originally planning to play here Tuesday morning, but we finished so early at Grizzly that we decided to come over here Monday evening and take advantage of better twilight rate. Still $75 with an NCGA twilight rate, but Tahoe/Truckee golf isn't cheap. We saw a group going off hole 1 as we got over there and hole 10 was wide open, so we decided to start on the back nine. It was a good move because we played the entire back nine without running into anyone. We did play through a few people on the front and had to wait at times, but it worked out to be another quick round to cap off an incredible 72-hole day in the mountains.

The course was in very good condition. Tee boxes and fairways were in really nice shape. Still on the soft side, but definitely better than most of the overwatered courses we played. Rough cut down and not too much of a factor, but great coverage throughout. Bunkers good and greens great—firm and rolling well at medium speeds.

I enjoyed this course on all levels. It's fairly forgiving off the tee and it's not overly tricked out, but there are some fun holes and the greens are quite undulated. Some big bunkers guarding the greens too, so the green complexes are definitely the course's biggest defense. Otherwise, a great resort-level course in a beautiful setting—yet another wonderful Tahoe area course!!!
Of course, you know I was going to finally hit up Grizzly Ranch on this trip. Heard so many great things about it on GK over the past few years, I've been dying to play here. It did not disappoint! The timing worked out well for us because they had a huge ladies' tournament shotgun that started mid-morning and they were just starting to clear the course when we arrived. We were able to get out as the course was emptied (kind of). Somehow, a few other people still scattered out and jumped to different holes ahead of us, so we did have to play through a couple singles on the front and then a back nine group. Still, it couldn't have worked out better to get out after the shotgun cleared. $85 rate a bit expensive, but worth it here and their rack rates are pretty much in the range of what you'll pay at all the other local courses if you don't have some sort of deal. That makes Grizzly a no-brainer if you are in this neck of the woods!

Conditions were great here and it probably played the best of any course on this trip. It wasn't all over-watered like so many other courses we encountered, so it was nice to actually get some roll-out on the fairways. Tee boxes and rough also nicely kept throughout. Bunkers excellent. Greens firm and fast.

The layout is also very enjoyable and the scenery is great. The fairways are fairly wide and forgiving (in other words, not a super narrow-feeling mountain course), though there are some forced carries and plenty of strategic elements to challenge you. Many of the greens are elevated and well-protected, so there is definitely a premium on hitting good approach shots. Friendly staff and a high-end feel. I was wondering if Grizzly would live up to the hype after playing all the other local courses that were generally pretty good to great. It did. I would easily recommend coming out here, though don't overlook some of the others when planning a trip out this way. Such a neat area with plenty of good golf to pair with Grizzly, which will be at the top of your list!
This was round 2 on Monday and it's been a long time coming. I've been wanting to play "The Dragon" for so many years, even though I knew it isn't now what it once was in terms of challenge and conditions. Still, with the great GolfMoose deal, it was finally time to get to Nakoma on this trip. We had a 10:20 tee time, but arrived closer to 9:30. There was a shotgun on the front nine at that time, but the pro shop lady was super cool about squeezing us in right away and starting us on the back. We played through a couple groups along the way and ultimately caught up with the shotgun groups for much of the back nine. Nonetheless, it was another good pace at under 3 hours.

The conditions were definitely a little scruffy around the edges as this is no longer a pristine resort course. You might say The Dragon is a bit "scaly" these days. Overall, it was still fine with decent tee boxes, fairways that were usually more good than bad, and decent rough. Just some patchiness, thin spots, lumpiness and inconsistencies throughout to make it less nice than you'd like it to be given the setting. Also, they water a lot here so there were a number of super mushy spots (especially on the back nine). The greens were playing well, firm and rolling a medium speeds. Bunkers also kind of inconsistent. Some better than others.

As much as I enjoyed the roller coaster of a layout here, I do wish I had played it back in they day before they removed a lot of bunkers and "softened" it up. It is still a very demanding layout with lots of hills and undulations in play. Target layout, though can also play extremely long if you play the big boy tees. Greens are on the small side and they are very undulated/tough to read, so they still provide plenty of challenge. Really fun and dramatic course with some incredible scenery. Even being softened up, it may still be too tricked out for some to enjoy. Either way, I'd love to see this place redo the turf and get back to a more high-end presentation. It could be something special again.
This was our first round on Monday morning. They don't open until 7:00 (same pretty much at any course around here) and didn't seem to want us out there first, so they put a twosome of walkers out ahead of us. The walkers let us play through after a few holes. We did have to deal with maintenance quite a bit, but they were nice and it wasn't too bad. We played most of the back nine without the greens being cut or rolled, so they were wetter and slower. We used a GolfMoose voucher and it was a great deal compared to normal morning rack rates here.

Conditions were good overall. Again it was very wet from tee to green with soft fairways and not much roll-out on drives. The rough was a bit spotty in places, but never presented too much of a challenge unless you strayed way off the fairways. The tee boxes and fairways were lush and in generally good condition with just some minor weak spots here and there. The greens were soft, but well-maintained and rolling pretty good (even with the rooster tails on the wet ones).

I liked the front nine here more than the back. It seemed to have more character and more interesting terrain overall. The back nine is a more traditional parkland kind of layout with back-and-forth routing and nothing too distinctive outside a couple solid par-3s. Overall, this is a good course, but doesn't quite bring the dramatic mountain golf qualities that I enjoyed at many of the other courses we played on this trip.
Played here Sunday evening at the end of a long day of great golf. We had GroupGolfer vouchers that were purchased some time ago (I believe for $45). We could have saved some when we actually ended up playing (with a cheaper late twilight rate), but it was still a fine deal on a great course. We had to jump around a bit to get around groups and make sure we finished in time to turn our cart in by 8:00, but ultimately got through all 18 in less than 2 hours.

The course was in good overall shape. Very green and lush throughout, and also very soft as experienced at most courses on this trip. Other than limited roll-out, the conditions from tee to green were good. The greens were also pretty nice, rolling well at medium speeds. Solid bunkers, too.

This is a nice course that might get overlooked with some bigger name tracks nearby. However, it is worth checking out and it seems they offer some of the better deals than the other more expensive 18-holers around these parts. It is a fun layout with plenty of hills, trees, water hazards and other dramatic features. There is one stretch on the front nine that plays a little too close to the houses for my comfort level, but otherwise it has a nice scenic setting with the front nine being out in a more open valley/marsh area and the back being more tight through the forest. Definitely good enough to recommend if you like mountain courses.
Not to be confused with Lake Almanor CC, Lake Almanor West is (as the name implies) located on the opposite shore of the lake. It's a little drive from Bailey Creek/LACC, so we headed over there. At first, it seemed we might not get out as they were about to start a small couples shotgun at 4:00. However, we still got out ahead of those groups. We had to skip hole 1 and come back later, but we were happy to get out and get around behind some other players already out on the course. It was surprisingly busy here, but we still finished at a reasonable pace. Price was a painful $45 to ride 9 holes!

Lake Almanor West was in similarly nice shape as its cousin short course across the lake. I'd say it was a tick less "green" and lush than Lake Almanor CC, but perhaps playing a little better as it wasn't quite as soft. There was actually some roll-out on these fairways. Overall, the course was in good shape all around. Bunkers were fine and the greens were good, as well—probably a little nicer here than LACC.

Anyway, this is another fun and enjoyable 9-hole layout that plays to a regulation par and has separate front/back nine tees. A couple holes here actually switch up between par-4s and par-5s from back to front and some tees are quite different like on the 1st hole by the clubhouse. This course has a pretty narrow feel with walls of trees on both sides of the fairways. Very pretty setting and just challenging enough. Again, a bit expensive for a 9-holer and also considered semi-private with limited public tee times, but not a bad stop if you happen to be on this side of the lake.
After Bailey Creek, we headed over to LACC (unfortunately not THAT LACC) right down the street. It wasn't too busy out in the early afternoon, so we got out right away. Didn't run into anyone until the 7th hole and then had to slow play in from there, so the last 3 holes took twice as long for us to finish as the first 6! Still another quick round. Another short course that is pretty overpriced as it was $40 for 9 holes with a cart.

Conditions here were actually quite nice. Again, it was a bit too soft throughout, so not much roll-out on anything. Otherwise, very lush, green and nicely kept from tee to green. Bunkers good and greens were solid, rolling well at medium speeds. There are some strong natural slopes in play here with everything pulling toward the lake.

This is a good 9-hole course that is regulation length and also has slightly different tees for front and back nine place. It is semi-private in a gated community, so public tee times not always available. Solid layout through some neat old pine trees and homes, with some brief lake views and Mt. Lassen in the distance. A bit expensive for a 9-holer, but definitely a fine little course.
This was the marquee round for Sunday. After seeing Larry's reviews throughout the years, I've been dying to play here. It did not disappoint. I don't remember the exact rate (weekend rack), but it is definitely a bit pricey like a lot of courses in this north-of-Tahoe region. We had an 8:50 tee time and were paired with another twosome. It was busy out there, but we still enjoyed a nice overall pace of just over 4 hours.

The course conditions were great, other than it being very soft and wet (a recurring theme for this trip as every course up here waters soooooo much and there's also plenty of overnight moisture). Also, the greens are having some issues with invasive grasses coming in and making things a bit bumpy at times. From tee to green, the place is lush and beautiful throughout. Fairways soft as mentioned, with no roll-out. Rough thick and sometimes brutal. Bunkers terrific. The greens were as well-maintained as they could be, but there were certainly some bad patches here and there after a long winter and the poa invading.

The layout is fun and the setting is beautiful with that awesome mountain feel. Just a great course that doesn't get the attention it deserves because it's in such an obscure location. Highly recommended if you are ever around this area!
Played here Sunday morning with ppark81. They don't officially open until 7:00, but they let us walk the front nine before anyone got there (around 5:30 or so) and then get a cart for the back nine when the pro shop was open. Super nice staff here that helped us get a quick early round in on a long day of golf. $40 rate.

Course was in OK shape, though definitely a bit scruffy. The back nine was in nicer condition than the front with greener fairways. Front nine conditions were a bit all over the place from tee to green, but playable enough. Back nine more consistent with the rough still being hit or miss. Bunkers wet, but adequate sand. Greens overall pretty good. Super soft and slow because they were wet and not mowed yet, and some bad spots, but mostly OK.

Of the 18-hole courses on this trip, this one falls at the bottom of the pack but it's an affordable muni without any other courses in Susanville. Bailey Creek is close, though, and of course that will be your top choice around here. The back nine is newer than the front and is better overall in my opinion. More character in the design, a little nicer scenery and better conditions as I mentioned. Front nine is a pretty basic layout and feels more run down. Friendly local course, but nothing to go out of your way for.
After a couple stinkers, Whitehawk Ranch was a breath of fresh air as the main round on Friday. ppark81 and I teed off around 3:00. We ultimately caught up to another single stuck behind a slower group and joined up with him. We played through that group eventually (a sixsome!), but still caught other groups later and the back nine was slower. Still, the total pace was around 3.5 hours. $99 rate as we decided to go earlier than wait until 4:00 for the weekend twilight rate ($69).

Course conditions were very good overall. Tee boxes and fairways were green and lush. On the soft side as they don't skimp on the watering around this area! Rough generally good and not too difficult to play from. Greens were excellent. Firm and rolling smooth at medium-fast speeds. Bunkers also great with soft, well-maintained sand.

Overall, I really enjoyed this course. Beautiful setting and fun design with some tight woodsy holes and some more open meadow/water hazard type holes. Fairly forgiving from tee to green if you avoid the trees and deep rough, and then the greens are very large and undulated. I'd easily recommend this course.
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