Incline Village, Reno, NV
Forty years of steady play and heavy snows will test even the strongest backbone, but the Championship course at Incline Village on the north shore of Lake Tahoe has survived the onslaught in style. This classic 1964 Robert Trent Jones Sr. layout is fresh from a $4.8 million renovation that keeps the architect's original alpine design intact while nudging it forward with nearly two hundred extra yards and enough innovative bunkering to snag modern-day titanium blasts.
Architect Kyle Phillips refashioned the ominous greens, replacing the fickle Poa annua with bent grass to endure Tahoe's nasty winter climate and provide a truer roll. He also laser-leveled the tee boxes and infused the course with a mix of Kentucky bluegrass and rye. Winding through a cascade of Jeffrey pines and Douglas firs beneath Mount Rose, Incline fulfills Jones's standard by delivering "fair pitfalls to defend its easy conquest."
Large, flashed-faced bunkers yawn in plain view, while boulder-lined creeks rush along thirteen of the holes, cutting across tight fairways and guarding many of the greens. On the 219-yard fifth, which Jones compared to Augusta National's famed sixteenth, a mirrorlike pond protects the left two-thirds of the approach, and a campground of aspen, cedar and darting blue jays lies waiting to steal every slice.
Yardage: 7,106. Par: 72. Greens Fees: $100$155. Tee Times: 866-925-4653, golfincline.com.