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In June 2011, Golf Digest Travel Editor Matt Ginella


described Schaffer’s Mill Golf & Lake Club in Truckee this way: “The bright-white sand bunkers and the lush tree-lined fairways can give a golfer with blurry vision the impression he’s playing Augusta National.”


T


he Augusta National comparison doesn’t get thrown around lightly in the pages of one of golf ’s most


respected publications, so we had to give it a look ourselves last summer. Our evaluation: Digest was right; Schaffer’s Mill is spectacular—from golf course to real estate and every- thing in between. In the past decade or so, the


Truckee/Tahoe area has welcomed a murderer’s row of golf architects, including Tom Fazio, Bill Coore/ Ben Crenshaw, Tom Weiskopf, Jack Nicklaus, Peter Jacobsen and others, and local legend Johnny Miller’s homage to mountain golf at Schaffer’s Mill stands above them all. The course weaves through the pines as if painted with an artist’s brush. The masterstrokes of Miller and de- sign partner John Harbottle, whose steady hands recently renovated L.A. Country Club’s historic North Course and the revered Big Canyon Club in Newport Beach, created Schaffer’s Mill with two distinct nine-hole experiences. The first “Meadow” nine, ambles


through fir, spruce and pine trees at the base of a ridge. The second


“Mountain” nine has elevation changes of up to 400 feet, with mag- nificent views of the Martis Valley, Lookout Mountain, Northstar and the Carson Range. The vistas are incredible, with snow-capped peaks ringing the horizon as if something once described in a John Muir novel or photographed by Ansel Adams. While the golf course has been


universally loved since its opening in 2007 (Golfweek named it one of its 10 best new courses), the facil- ity was not blessed with the benefit of timing. The tumult of the real estate market took its toll on the project until, ultimately, last year when a new ownership group was able to come in and rescue this great golf gem. Since the New Martis Partners acquisition, things seem to be moving in the right direction very quickly. According to Director of Golf Clint Bassett, 2011 was a record year for the course in terms of members added and rounds played. It is expected that as additional ame- nities debut—like the permanent clubhouse for which plans were just published—the Mill (the nickname that’s been quickly adopted by the members) will continue to flourish. Speaking of the new clubhouse,


construction crews will break ground this May on an impressive five-acre campus village. When complete, the facilities will combine contemporary design influences with High Sierra beauty and the relaxed ambiance of Tahoe life to create a singular experi- ence unlike any other in the region. Multiple restaurants, a resort-style pool, spa, fitness center, outdoor recreation and much more make the Mill an attractive option to both empty nesters and young families. We found the member experi-


ence at Schaffer’s Mill Golf & Lake SPRING 2012 / NCGA.ORG / 23


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