If you haven’t heard of Nakoma Golf Resort in Graeagle, California, you are not alone. However, you are missing out on an amazing place to golf, stay, and do pretty much anyoutdoorsy activity your heart desires. Graeagle is nestled in the outskirts of the Sierra Nevada, between Truckee and Chico- sort of. This golf resort contains not only one of the most challenging golf courses in America, but it also has a beautifully designed clubhouse, restaurant, and new lodge.
For the beginner golfer, it may not be the easiest (aka most fun) golf courses to play. It’s mountainous terrain, sharp slopes, blind tee shots, and fast greens will truly test your golf skills. It’s no wonder they call their course “The Dragon,” with their old slogan as “Bring your toughest heroes.” It will definitely test your physical and emotional toughness, but most of all, your mental toughness. It is not a course to walk- and to be honest I’m not even sure they allow walking. If they do, I do not recommend it.
Have a scared you yet? In all fairness, before I played the course, many people told me that it was the most difficult golf course ever built. Considering that was the goal when the owners set out to build it, I thought it really would be the hardest course I’ve played. Due to the warnings, I played from the forward tees because it was my last day of golf on my Reno Tahoe tour and I was just about pooped. I didn’t need to test my game and challenge myself any further- playing another 18 holes was a challenge enough! I pleasantly surprised myself with shooting 75- I typically range from 76-86 right about now. Although next time I will play from tees further back, I definitely recommend first timers playing it forward, or at least playing up on a few holes. Social golf isn’t fun when you have to grind, am I right?
Now, let’s talk about the beauty of this course. It is tree lined the entire way and provides for some great mountainous views. I absolutely love the mountains and woods, so if you like mountains over beach, this is a great destination for you. The last hole probably has the best view looking back down the fairway. Also, the 15th hole is pretty cool, and has a very narrow chute from the tips. My group had an awesome time playing this golf course and I would gladly go back.
Another reason I’d love to go back is the gorgeous restaurant and lodge! The clubhouse and restaurant is a Frank Lloyd Wright design, which to be honest, I had no idea who he was until this trip. I’m so excited I went because he just might be one of my favorite architects now! The design of the restaurant is absolutely to die for, down to the exterior of the building. The golf course even has 10 awesome “tikis” you can stay in which are basically round studio, 1, or 2 bedroom vacation condos you can stay in while visiting.
The brand new lodge opened about a year ago and is very modern and trendy, just like the new Edgewood Lodge in South Lake Tahoe. When I walked into my room, I felt like a queen with the big king sized bed and huge spacious room. So much room for activities!! The sink was actually located outside of the bathroom, which I thought was different but cool.
The best part about this place is that the staff was so warm, welcoming, and inviting. I loved their love for the place, and their energy was contagious. From the marketing staff, to the golf staff, to the restaurant and hotel staff...everyone was attentive and friendly.
I would definitely recommend staying at Nakoma, not only for the Dragon Golf Course, but also the many other awesome courses and other outdoor activities in the area. Not to mention the luxurious spa on site (which I will definitely have to do next time)!
Thank you so much to The Nakoma Staff for having me out. Also a huge thank you to Weidinger Public Relations for inviting and hosting me during the 2017 Reno Tahoe Golf Media Tour. It was a week I will never forget!