EDITOR’S NOTE: This article was originally published in the Summer 2015 edition of Tahoe Magazine. It was first published on this website in August 2018 and is presented in its original form.
After nearly a half-century nestled on the shores of Lake Tahoe, Edgewood Tahoe is entering a new era.
The picturesque South Shore golf course is renovating three holes to make way for a new lodge — renovations that will bring the lake more into view.
“It’s an exciting time — it’s the next step for this place,” said Bryan Davis, Edgewood’s Director of Marketing.
Edgewood is renovating its seventh, eighth and ninth holes as the first step toward building a new lodge. When completed in 2017, the lodge will feature 154 rooms and 10 cabins, meeting facilities, a spa, an outdoor pool and the course’s third restaurant.
“It’s always been a goal of the company and the family to put a lodge here, and the timing is right for us to do that,” Davis said. “It’s a good time for the town for us to do that, and we’re ready to go — our customers have been asking for it and now we’re ready to do it.”
In the meantime, the golf course itself is getting a facelift just before the turn. The first wave featured the eighth and ninth holes — and includes the addition of a fourth lakeside hole.
“It’s what people come here for,” Davis said. “When you get out into the meadow area, you can still look back and see the lake from those spots — but there’s nothing like when you get to 16, 17 and 18.
“Now we’re bringing in nine.”
Now pushed against the shore, the par-4 ninth hole plays 400 yards from the back tees and 381 at tournament distance. About 50 yards shorter and with a less-pronounced dogleg right, the hole finishes on a green located a short distance from the lake.
“It’s still a slight dogleg right, but has a lakeside finish and it really opens up to the lake from the tee box compared to before,” Davis said. “That’s why golfers come here — there’s nothing like getting out of your golf cart and looking out at that lake.”
The old ninth hole was rated the third most challenging at Edgewood. The new hole design takes away some of that difficulty, but adds a new obstacle.
“We’re not making the course that much easier because we’re bringing some of the prevailing winds off the lake into that hole — it’s more challenging than you think,” Davis said. “On that second shot into the green, there’s wind you don’t feel — but it’s out there.”
MORE CELEBRITY SIGHTINGS
In addition to offering golfers another chance to play alongside Lake Tahoe, the new ninth hole adds another lakeside viewing area during the American Century Championship Celebrity Golf Tournament held at the course each July. The 17th and 18th holes along the shore are the tournament’s most popular spectator sites, and the renovated ninth hole offers a similar option on the front nine.
“It will be another nice area over there,” Davis said. “We’ve already talked to tournament directors and sponsors, and everybody is on board with what’s been going on — we’ve made the adjustments.”
The eighth hole received a slight makeover, and plays similarly to its previous edition. The biggest differences include a shift in the fairway to take a tree out of play and an upgrade to the quality and location of the green.
“That hole is still a great driving hole, and it will be a nice second shot into the green still protected by a bunker and some good mounding on the back side — there will still be some area to run the ball up,” Davis sais. “It should be a new, nice hole.”
The new eighth green offers more possibility for pin placements and makes the hole more challenging. Davis said it was line for an upgrade even before the lodge project was launched.
“It’s a little larger and it’s going to be a better green,” Davis said. “The eighth green was going to be due for a little bit of an overhaul — it had built up some pretty severe slopes over the years.”
Renovations of the eighth and nine holes were completed in time for the course’s opening in May — the redesign of the seventh hole is slated for completion in spring 2016. It will add a different aspect to the course while being adjusted to make way for the club’s new entrance and parking facility.
“The seventh hole is going to be good when it’s done,” Davis said. “All of our par 3s when you play from the whites or the blues are more or less the same yardage — we’re going to add a little bit shorter par 3 with a few more challenges as far as bunkers and shotmaking ability.”
The redesign of the last three front-nine holes will shorten Edgewood, which will play around 7,400 yards after completion. During the planning and construction phases, the club consulted a team led by Tom Fazio — nephew of original course designer George Fazio — to ensure the new holes stayed consistent with the initial design.
“They were instrumental in the redesign of all the holes to keep the consistency of the course and what’s been done in the past,” Davis said. “It’s all consistent and fits with what’s out there — we’re not doing in a vacuum.”
Once the seventh hole is finished, it will set the stage for Edgewood’s new lodge. In discussion for years, the lodge is slated for completion in 2017.
“It’s been a long time coming, but the family has owned the land for more than 100 years and they’ve got time to make sure it’s done right,” Davis said.