Edgewood Tahoe: Celebrity TV Golf, Lake Scenery, Won't Fade From Your Memory

By David R. Holland, Contributor

STATELINE, NV -- It's a fade. No need to consult a yardage book, no need to check a GPS, no need to look at a hole diagram on the tee box. (You won't get any of these at Edgewood Tahoe, anyway.)

When you play Edgewood Tahoe you are certain. If the hole's gonna bend, it will be to the right, just find the barber pole at 150 yards out and sight it down.

What's even more certain about this George and Tom Fazio gem built in 1968 is that the memory of your round won't fade away for a long time. It's ranked No. 98 on the 2000 Golf Magazine Top 100 You Can Play List.

"We have a home-and-home deal with the Olympic Club in San Francisco, which is one of the best in the country," said Randy Fox, Edgewood's head pro, "and coming here is something their members look forward to every year. This has been called one of the prettiest courses in the world and when you are situated on the banks of one of the most spectacular lakes in the world, Lake Tahoe, you have a winner."

Edgewood hosted the 1980 Public Links Championship, the 1985 U.S. Senior Open Championship and is the current site for the Isuzu Celebrity Golf Championship.

Most likely your exposure to this golf course is from NBC's telecast of the celebrity event where you might have seen such past champions as Tennessee Titans placekicker Al Del Greco, Mario Lemieux, Dan Quinn, Rick Rhoden, Billy Joe Tolliver and John Brodie. Other frequent competitors are Michael Jordan, John Elway and Dick Anderson. (The celebrity golf web site, at http://celebritygolf.quokka.com/index.html, has lots of info and pictures of Edgewood Tahoe.)

The tournament even brought about the name Lake Laimbeer, when former NBA star Bill Laimbeer, dumped about four straight shots into the pond that guards the No. 18, par-5 green.

The impressive property where Edgewood Tahoe is situated was purchased in 1896 by the Park family. It was called Friday's Station, serving as a stage line for Wells Fargo Express and the Pony Express, and it included some adjacent ranch land. It later became the Edgewood Resort, which offered camping, hunting and fishing. Today, Friday's Station still stands and can be seen directly across Highway 50 from the No. 5 green.

It was Brooks Park who had the vision to create a world class golf course on his family's ranch land. Mr. Park extended his family's 100-year commitment for the land by hiring architect George Fazio to design the golf course.

At that time in the late 1960s, George's nephew, Tom Fazio, had just graduated college and apprenticed with his uncle for the first time at Edgewood. Tom, of course, has gone on to build his own excellent reputation in the profession. And he's been back to Edgewood from time to time to redefine the layout. He recreated the flow and size of the original wetlands and incorporated a plan for the native grass areas. Tom also rebuilt the No. 1 and 10 tees, 10th and 18th greens, and the No. 11 tee box areas.

Adding to the spectacular setting along the shore of Lake Tahoe, Edgewood Tahoe has pristine High Sierra air at 6,200 feet above sea level. That high ceiling also gives you about 10 percent more carry, which you will need playing it from the tips, where it measures 7,379 yards and par 72. There's also water danger on eight holes and lots of tall Jeffrey pines -- a couple are situated right in the middle of the fairway.

The finishing holes will stand out in your memory like the first time you broke 80.

On the tee at No. 16 you will immediately spot the huge pine in the center of the fairway -- look beyond that and Lake Tahoe is in sight. This par 5, 547 yards might be one of the most beautiful anywhere. If you successfully dodge the big target in your way, the next shot has to land short of trap city about 125 yards in front of the green. Big hitters just go for the green in two.

When you arrive at the par-3, 207-yard No. 17, it might be hard to focus. The crystalline lake is on your right along with the snow-capped jagged peak of Mount Tallac. This can be a tricky two-putt when the pin is in front and the green is firm from the breeze off the lake.

No. 18 is a great finishing hole for competitions. It's a short par 5 at 572 and you have two choices -- trees line the left side, but this side gives you the best angle to reach in two -- and if you go too far right the rough and trees will block you out. There is a pond in the front left of this green (Lake Laimbeer) and very little room for error to the right. If your third shot is less than 100 yards it can be a big test to clear the water and stop the ball before it bounds into a rear bunker.

"No. 18 is a good finishing hole," said Fox. "A player can make three or a player can make seven."

After your round be sure and have a drink or meal in one of the most beautiful clubhouses in golf. The building is awesome and the view is postcard perfect.

Awards & Honors: The club hosted the Senior U.S. Open in 1985, and is currently the site of a celebrity tournament each year. Golf Digest rated this as the second "Best in State" course for the years 1995 through 1998. In addition, Golf Magazine selected this course 69th under the 1998 category of "Top 100 Courses You Can Play in the U.S. The 2000 list places it at No. 98. Golf Digest lists it as a 1997 Top Upscale Course and gives it 4½ Stars. GolfWeek named it in 1997 to its Top 100 Courses List. Ron Fream, Peter Thomson and Michael Wolveridge redesigned the course in 1980.

Edgewood's Competitions: In 1980 the USGA hosted a competition in Nevada for the first time. It was the 55th Amateur Public Links Championship and Jodie Mudd, a junior at Georgia Southern College, won the championship.

The USGA returned to Edgewood Tahoe in 1985 for the U.S. Senior Open Championship. Texan Miller Barber was the only golfer able to break par for the tournament at 3-under-par, beating Robert De Vicenzo by four strokes. Barber birdied three of the first four holes on the final day to win this second consecutive Senior Open.

Where to Dine

The buffet is king in South Lake Tahoe. Try Harrah's Friday night Seafood Buffet.


Edgewood Tahoe is just across Highway 50 from the South Lake Tahoe Casinos and a minute from the California stateline. From Highway 50 going north, head over to Stateline, Nevada, when you come to Lake Parkway turn left, drive a short distance to the course, look for the entrance on the right side of the street.

Where to Stay

Inn By The Lake
3300 Lake Tahoe Boulevard
South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150

Special guest services include complimentary Continental breakfast, a year 'round heated swimming pool with a bi-level spa and redwood sauna, and free transportation to casinos and ski resorts. The Inn is located directly across from Lake Tahoe's sandy beaches. Jet skis, paddleboats, windsurfing, swimming, other water sports and miles of hiking and biking trails await your exploration; your sports equipment can be secure in our lockers. A self-service laundry is also available for your convenience. No charge for 800 or local calls. Room delivery available 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. from the Tudor Pub/Dory's Oar Restaurant.

Lake Tahoe History

Around the time the pioneers discovered Lake's Crossing, explorers Kit Carson and John C. Fremont made another great discovery -- Lake Tahoe. At 22 miles long, 12 miles wide, and an average of 1,000 feet deep, Tahoe is one of the deepest fresh water lakes in the world. If you want to take a run around the lake it will be about 72 miles worth of exercise. Not surprisingly, its name comes from the Washo Indian word meaning "big water." Carson and Fremont became the first white men to view the natural wonder in 1844. The water in the lake is 99 percent pure.

David R. HollandDavid R. Holland, Contributor

David R. Holland is an award-winning former sportswriter for The Dallas Morning News, football magazine publisher, and author of The Colorado Golf Bible. Before launching a career as a travel/golf writer, he achieved the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the Air Force reserve, serving during the Vietnam and Desert Storm eras. Follow Dave on Twitter @David_R_Holland.

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