Winter is coming, although the inevitable is not yet apparent on a warm High Sierra morning in late September as we launch tee shots to a wide fairway about 50 feet below, between a tall ponderosa pine on the left and a line of conifers flanking the dogleg right. While puffy white clouds float across the Tahoe blue sky, the first hole of Lahontan Golf Club’s 18-hole course begins to unfold. And on the Tom Weiskopf design that wends through an alpine forest near the California town of Truckee, a prevailing quiet seems to slow the passing of time.
A Quiet Sanctuary of High Sierra Golf However, for Lahon-
tan Superintendent Mike Cornette, the clock is ticking loud and fast. With only weeks until the first potential snowfall, his crew has top-dressed the fairways and punched the rough, leaving the greens unmarked until play is sus- pended for the season. And yet, the putting surfaces, tee boxes and fairways must also be punched, so that oxygen can circulate and keep the grasses healthy under the snowpack. “In order to have success in the spring you’ve got to
BY JAY STULLER
do the work in the fall,” explains Lahontan Gen- eral Manager Jeff Cobain. “Mike is meticulous, has an agronomy degree from Ohio State and a lot of experience with mountain courses. He knows how to put one to bed.” Assuming Sierra weather
is cooperating, the main Lahontan golf course and its nine-hole companion are now sleeping under a deep blanket and will remain closed until early May. “We actually didn’t have enough snow last year,” adds Cobain. “As a result there