was desiccation and dead spots in a few areas. But the fact is that we’re something of an anomaly, since outside of golf courses, good grass simply doesn’t grow natu- rally at this altitude.” Tucked into a corner
of the Martis Valley near Lookout Mountain and surrounded by the Pacific Crest and Carson ranges, the emerald fairways are one of the attributes that make golf at Lahontan—and the dozen other courses in the High Sierra—so sublime. The better layouts are as stunning in their own way as the oceanfront courses of Oregon and California. Lahontan features grand elevation changes, routes through meadows, over creeks and past ponds; and it traverses scrublands full of wildflowers, willow, white alder and sedges. The pines, firs and surround-
ing sagebrush are habitat for coyotes, deer, bear and ubiquitous little squirrels scampering up the trees. In this sanctuary of
nature, the Lahontan club and community is gracious living at its finest, with qual- ity facilities void of ostenta- tious excess, and a casual and relaxed vibe from staff and residents. A private and member-owned operation, it has maintained a low-key profile since the develop- ment opened in 1996, with the course following two years later. Lahontan’s 227 dark shingled and beamed wood homes of classic Sierra design (with six more now under construction) blend well into their surroundings, unobtrusively set back from the fairways. And while the golf course is one of the least publicized in the High Sierra, the Weiskopf mas- terpiece clearly ranks among
the region’s very best. With six sets of tees, the par-72 course can play up to 7,335 yards, a beast for novices and scratch golfers alike, given a 146 slope and a course rating of 75. At the other end the forward tees play to 5,158 yards, with a 124 slope and 68.7 course rating. But even the 6,500-yard blue tees hold challenges for the average player, without architectural deception.
“It’s an extremely fair
and playable course,” says Lahontan member and NCGA President Dan Hansford. “The greens are fast, consistently about 11.5 on the Stimpmeter, and the putts roll true,” adds Hansford. “It’s simply a great golf course.” Weiskopf has roughly 60 courses under his belt, and considers Lahontan one of the best sites he’s encoun- tered. Working around three