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design, with building slated to start this summer. “The velocity of sales is a conflu- ence with the success of the technol- ogy sector in the San Francisco Bay Area and in particular Silicon Valley,” explains Hull, a former golf stand- out at USC who spent nine years on the then-Nationwide Tour, played in several PGA Tour events and has been with Martis Camp from its begin- nings. Of the 663 lots on the property, 465 have been sold, including 117 last year and 36 more through February of 2013. “We’re starting to see the finish line,” he adds, “and a time when we’ll transition the ownership of the club to the members. With tennis courts, a fishing pond,


cross-country ski trails, downhill skiing at Northstar and an award-winning golf course, Martis camp has an all- season appeal that’s enhanced by its policy of allowing multiple generations of member families to use the facility. The average age of property buyers is 46, a pivotal age to host children and parents. “People also come up here from Silicon Valley to unplug,” says Hull, “and they bring friends who look around and want to be part of the com- munity. It’s almost like a contagion.” The personalities of the residents are


reflected in jaw-dropping architecture, both with 7,000-square-foot mansions and 1,700-square-foot “cabins,” many of which incorporate wood, glass and shapes that are defining a 21st century re-interpretation of the Lake Tahoe


home style. “The minds who are chang- ing the way the world works in technol- ogy,” Hull observes, “are expressing their creativity in these homes.”


For the Love of the Game Golf at the 2013 Junior Amateur


will also have a decidedly 21st century look, with play that might even be more skilled, age notwithstanding, than at the 1985 U.S. Senior Open and the 1980 U.S. Public Links Championship, both of which were held at Edgewood Tahoe. “Juniors today aren’t just golfers, but athletes who might have focused on a different sport in the past,” says Hull. “They are totally devoted to what’s become a mainstream sport, and prac- tice long hours every day just for the love of the game.” For much of the time since its


inception in 1948, the Junior Amateur was not a great predictor of future success. Apart from Tiger Woods, who won it three consecutive years, the only other winners with notable pro careers were Johnny Miller, David Duval and Hunter Mahan. But Martis Camp Head Golf Professional Gus Jones agrees that the sport is in a new era, where age has little meaning. After all, a 14-year-old, Jim Liu, won the tournament in 2010. “I have little doubt that many of these kids will be stars in college, and some of them will be stars on the PGA Tour,” says Jones, who attended the last two Junior Amateurs in person and saw golfers who were not all skinny


kids. “Some of these fellows are six feet tall and weigh 180 pounds. And they swing with a clubhead speed of a Tour professional.” Because of that speed and Sierra


altitude, the length of the 7,700-yard course “won’t be an issue” for the juniors, says Jones. But while Tom Fazio designed a member friendly course with receptive greens and kind contours that keep some errant shots in play, Super- intendent Bowers has ways to toughen the track. For example, the hard and fast turf that the USGA favors may enhance driving distance, but on canted mountain fairways can feed a blast into the forest. Taller mowing heights that usually keep approach shots from skidding past greens are now cut short and tight. Most challenging will be hole locations that Martis Camp members almost never see, on sections that were incorporated into the greens by Fazio more than six years ago, expressly for future tournament use. Jones is looking forward to the


play—and also to the spectator and volunteer experience. “Our goal is to accommodate everyone who attends with parking and transportation to the course,” he adds. “And it will be differ- ent from many tournaments because we won’t have ropes. Spectators can walk right alongside the players. It’s a great way to build a connection, so that when one of these youngsters makes it on the Tour, you can say ‘I saw this young man play in person when he was just 16.’”


JAY STULLER is a California-based author, journalist and communications consultant. His features have appeared in Smithsonian, Playboy, Audubon, Outside, Travel & Leisure and, among many other publications, Reader’s Digest.


24 / NCGA.ORG / SPRING 2013


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