You’ll come across the Coyote Moon Golf Course just outside the small town of Truckee, in Nevada County, within the beautiful Lake Tahoe region. Designed by former professional golfer Brad Bell, the 18-hole layout occupies a largely undisturbed 250-acre property, where fairways have been literally hewn from the surrounding pine forest.
Mountain golf experiences don’t come much better than this, with holes routed across a rugged landscape that brings significant elevation changes, giant granite outcrops, and the wandering waters of Trout Creek into play. There are no roads or housing or other outside influences to interfere here – it’s just golf and nature, intertwined.
Feature holes include the shortest of the par three holes at the 173-yard 8th (its two-tiered green angled into the hillside with anything left falling away) and the short par four 14th, which requires a tee shot to a narrow fairway ledge then an approach shot left and down to a shallow green that sits on the other side of a creek.
The single most memorable feature about Coyote Moon is how natural the holes slot into the routing. The golf experience is accentuated by also having a diverse set of holes and a number of them mandate a good bit of skill in shaping shots to the varied targets.
So much of the golf in the Sierras separating California from Nevada is private and the public options can be fun to play but hardly merit more than a quick play and move on elsewhere.
In the two times I've played the course turf conditions were very good. The only think needing attention is the growing reach of the tree canopies. A mindful pruning would be most beneficial.
Fergal rightly mentions the "fun" dimension and there's plenty to go around at the course. The penultimate hole is my favorite -- standing on the elevated tee and seeing what's required is what shotmaking is about. Anytime you have a course with engaging shots -- you are quickly smitten and want to do it all over again.
If one is planning a visit to the immediate Lake Tahoe area -- be sure to head to Coyote Moon especially if one has either limited or no access to the superior private clubs in the area.
M. James Ward
Around Lake Tahoe, the golf courses on the north side of the lake are unquestionably superior. Any keen golfer looking for a really challenging, undulating and scenic course must put Coyote Moon on their itinerary. Conditioning is wonderful, the holes are memorable and it’s a fun adventure that’s much better value for money than other courses around the Lake. I enjoyed the tempting par 5s, the frequent doglegs, the dramatic downhill par 3s and the enticing drivable closing hole! There’s lots of variety for all levels – Coyote Moon is certainly worth a visit.