Standing in the sun-kissed lobby of the spanking-new Lodge at Edgewood Tahoe, which opened June 14 after two years of construction and many more seasons of planning, I suddenly realized that this was the very spot from which I’d hit more than a few approach shots from the old ninth hole. To me it was the weakest of Edgewood’s pine-lined par 4s, flat and uninspiring, with next to no views of the colossal alpine lake just to its west.
Of course, when you’re talking about Edgewood, “weakest” is relative, because as a whole it’s one of the most spectacular layouts in America. I first laid eyes and club on its George Fazio-authored flanks back in 1985, at the media day for the U.S. Senior Open (won by Miller Barber), and have done my best to play it at least once every year since, marveling at the fact that you can feel so secluded and connected at the same time, with the high-rise hotels of South Lake Tahoe hovering over the course’s southern stretch and nothing but a brand of manicured calm on many more spots — like the cozy third, thirteenth and 15th greens, for instance. Edgewood’s final three holes, which skirt Tahoe itself and make for such a dramatic denouement to the American Century Celebrity Championship every July, get most of the kudos, and rightly so, but as with so many classic American tracks, fresh joys are revealed with each round.
I get the feeling the new 156-room Lodge will surprise its guests in the same way over the coming decades. Designed to blend in with the surrounding mountain-meets-water landscape yet already casting a subdued glow of laid-back luxury, it’s one of the Tahoe region’s most anticipated new hotels in many years, with finishing details that put it on par with the iconic golf course that surrounds it.
A quick media tour revealed its considerable charms, from a soaring “great room” accented with a tall hand-carved stone wall, to its four room and suite models ranging from 500 to 1,500 square feet, indoor and outdoor lounges, Bistro Restaurant, infinity pool and full-service spa. A small boutique and “adventure center” reside just off the lobby, outfitted with just about every outdoor pursuit in mind, and kids 5 to 12 are welcome to join the high-altitude fun at Camp Edgewood, with games, activities (and perhaps golf lessons?) on the menu.
Plans to build The Lodge at Edgewood have long been tossed around among the Park family —who developed this slice of ranch land back in the 1960s — and its partners. Now that it’s become a reality, no doubt a new wave of Edgewood pilgrims will make their way to the only public resort and golf course directly on Lake Tahoe, with some of the nation’s top ski slopes a short drive away for winter visitors, including Heavenly Resort just a couple blocks down Highway 50.
So what about the ninth hole? The new version, which opened in 2016, is still a dogleg-right par 4, a touch shorter and even closer to the cold, clear waters of the lake, with stunning views at every step. Edgewood is better than ever, a fully formed high-end destination with five decades of golf history behind it — and a future that just won’t wait.
Reservations and tee times: www.edgewoodtahoe.com
More on Edgewood Tahoe and other golf options in the Reno-Tahoe area