It has been nearly 20 years since I played Edgewood in South Lake Tahoe. I was so impressed at that time I swore to make an annual sojourn to the area to try and conquer the course. Somehow I got sidetracked. This past weekend, however, I finally took advantage of a weekend at a Lake Tahoe “cabin” that I had purchased via an auction at one of the many charity events I get invited to play each year. Big shout out to Jeff, who offered the most amazing housing, located in the wonderful Martis Camp development. (If you ever get an invite to play the Martis Camp Golf Course make sure to accept.) I found myself a mere hour away from Edgewood so I decided to squeeze in a round, just several days before the Celebrity golf tournament. Edgewood mysteriously does not appear on the Golf Magazine top 100. Golf Digest rates the course 92 (down from 65) on their most recent list.
The facility occupies a terrific location in one of the most amazing places on the planet. Although only the signature 17th hole brings Lake Tahoe into play, there are some great views and the course is inundated with water. Lakes and creeks come into play on all but a couple of the par 3’s. As such accuracy is at a premium. In addition to the great vistas you are also playing at altitude, so you feel like Bubba Watson (or at least Lexi Thompson). My three woods were sailing distances I cannot reach with my driver at sea level. The downside is making adjustments on the approach shots. Generally, this differential was between one and two clubs. During my three rounds over the weekend (I also played the excellent Coyote Moon course) I was constantly long…especially as the greens were not holding at any of the courses.
Edgewood is somewhat reminiscent of Coeur d’Alene, with attractive lake views and forest lined fairways. I found Edgewood to be the more challenging venue, but Coeur d’Alene had a few more great holes. Both courses get a lot of play, and many of the participants are less committed golfers who are directionally and/or distance challenged. Despite this, we were able to complete our round in 4.5 hours. This is largely due to the ability to find most wayward shots easily, or knowing they are lost to a watery grave. No doubt there are deer, and possibly bear in the area, however, the neighborhood is built out with several large casinos and the numerous resort activities lead to crowds, thus discouraging wildlife from the immediate locale. Rodents and avian life abound.
Absolutely Must Play? Access to the area can be problematic…about an hour outside of Reno, about three hours from the Bay area, however, Lake Tahoe is an incredible setting and well worth a visit with the family or a golfing group. The gambling option will fill the evening hours after a golf round, so the type A personality will not be bored. Families will enjoy the myriad recreational activities, including many options on the lake. There are better pure golf venues, but this one is worth going out of the way to play.
My Rating: 8+, for the great setting, terrific finishing holes, elevation benefit and challenging design.
Weekly Observation: Not sure whether Furyk is snake bitten on final rounds, but something has got to give. Props to Tim Clark on a great finish in Canada.
By Paul Laubach
Paul Laubach is completely unqualified to provide expertise with respect to golf course rankings and design, however, he is a highly opinionated golf addict who believes everyone should be entitled to his thoughts. He is in the process of completing the story of his journey to play America’s top 100 Public courses. Please visit this website regularly for more (im)practical information.