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Grizzly Ranch

4375 Grizzly Road
Portola, CA 96122

Par: 72
Phone: 530-832-4200

Men's Summary:
Tees Yards Rating Slope
Black 7411 74.9 140
Green 6782 72.2 133
Copper 6401 70.3 128
White 6024 69.0 120

Women's Summary:
Tees Yards Rating Slope
White 6024 74.5 145
Red 5374 71.8 130

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Grizzly Ranch

The bridge to all the action...

The snack bar (and the 18th green in the foreground...)

Tee shot on #1, a par 4, dogleg left

Wide open par five #3

Forced carry on the approach to #4

Par four #5

The par five seventh hole

Long par 3 #6

Par five #7 (from an unorthodox angle)

Tee shot on #8

Intimidating tee shot on #9

Approach to #9

Approach to #10

Approach to #11

Challenging par 5 #13

Approach to #13

Long par 3 #14

Short par 4 #15

Tee shot on #16, a short par 3

The home hole at Grizzly Ranch

Click on one of the thumbnails above to see an enlargement.
The Bogey Golfer Course Guides

Grizzly Ranch - Overview

Grizzly Ranch is a fairly new residential style resort/country club, which opened in 2005. Located in Portola, CA, it's a bit off the beaten path, but is reachable from both Lake Tahoe, and Reno (being about an hour from both).

The course is set in the woods, but has plenty of room to keep it in play. There are several holes with forced carries, but they pretty well match up with the tees. Play the right tees and you shouldn't have any trouble.

The course is set up to host million dollar plus second homes. It's not built out yet, by any stretch of the imagination, but the course has a very *plush* feel to it -- immaculate greens, well-groomed bunkers, excellent turf in the fairways.

It's bit of a drive, but well worth it once you're there.

Grizzly Ranch Country Club Detail

This writeup is from the green tees, which is plenty of yardage for a bogey golfer. Copper might have been even better.

The first hole is a healthy 398 yard test. It doglegs left, and there is a powerful temptation to try and crowd the left hand corner. That trap is there to discourage such thinking. I tried to do it anyway, and the trap caught me, despite what I thought was a pretty good hit. Oh well...

The second hole is a medium length par 3, no muss, no fuss. Hit a solid shot to the middle of the green and you'll be in good shape.

#3 is a wide-open par five, stretching out to nearly 600 yards. Despite the gulp you find yourself taking on the tee shot, this is a lot of fun. You want a solid tee shot, so don't try to kill it (which always make me top it). Of special importance is the second shot. There is a barranca where you need to lay up, so you want to get as close as you can to all the junk, without quite going in, of course...

Hard on the heels of the white-knuckle third hole is a 450 yard par 4. If you can manage a big drive in the fairway, you can get home in two. Otherwise, it's a ho-hum couple of wedges, so don't sweat it. (This is the second hardest hole on the front nine, after #3.)

#5 is a longish par four, playing 411 yards. It doglegs right, but don't get greedy about the corner. Aim at those traps over the middle of the fairway. The approach is pretty straightforward, with only a little bunker on the right side of the green protecting it. Having said that, you might be trying to hit a long iron into it...

The sixth hole is a long par 3, playing 205 yards. It's a little bit uphill, which adds a bit of heft to it. I found to my chagrin that trying to compensate for the extra heft made me hit it crooked and I wound up in the weeds to the left. Swing within yourself, and hit it straight. If you're a bit short, chip on and try to one-putt. Bogey is not a bad score here.

#7 is a short par 5. It's kind of funnel-shaped, with banks both left and right. Unfortunately, you can't count on the banks to save you from a bad shot, because they're covered in junk (if you hit it up there, it will likely stay up there). So recognize that it's a short hole, and you don't need to hit driver, you just need to keep it in play. The green is large, and will accommodate a long iron approach if necessary.

The eighth is a par four. It's slightly uphill, and plays a bit longer than the scorecard's 389 yards. There are sand traps all up the left side. But you don't want to miss it right either, because of all the junk there. Straight is better than long, but long is good too!

The ninth hole is also a par four, with a little bit of a mental challenge off the tee. You can see a pond on the left, which makes you want to lay up off the tee to stay short of the trouble. However, and here's the mental challenge, the pond is not quite reachable from the tee, so driver is the right play. However, yet more of the mental challenge, the hole is a wee bit narrow, so any hesitancy on your tee shot might cause you to stray offline, which in turn can block out your approach shot. So, hit a long straight shot down the middle! Easy, huh?

The back nine starts off with a seemingly short (375 yards) par four. I say "seemingly" because of the dogleg left. If you get a little bit too far left of the center, you'll wind up blocked out from the green on your approach shot. Stay right of center, take the hit on the extra yardage, and you're much better off. On your approach shot, do NOT miss left. There's a deep grass bunker there with a nearly vertical face. If the pin is on the left hand side, take an extra club and hit it to the middle.

The eleventh is a very short (267 yards) par 4. This is handicapped as the easiest hole on the course, and there's simply no excuse to come off this any worse than a par. There are traps on the left in front of the green. Hit a 200 yard straight shot, preferably right of the traps, hit a wedge onto the green, make a two putt, and move on.

#12 is a different kettle of fish. Even from the Greens, this stretches out to 621 yards, and you need to stack up three quality shots in a row to reach it in regulation. On the off chance that you're actually in position to reach the green on your third shot, be mindful there's a false front on the left side -- take an extra club and aim a bit right...

#13 is another long hole, a par four playing 430 yards. The approach is slightly uphill to a green fronted by a bunker, so be sure to take an extra club to fly the bunker.

The fourteenth is a longish par 3. It can be downright daunting if there's any kind of a headwind. The green is huge, so even if you take too much club, it's possible you'll still be on the putting surface with a good hit.

#15 is another short par 4. There isn't any trouble here, and the hole begs you to go for it. So go for it. Hit your driver, and see how close you can get to the green. Chip on, make a putt or two, pat yourself on the back.

The sixteenth is a short par 3 over a little bit of junk, so you want to hit the high soft shot and not the low bump and run. This hole is good for a par, or even a birdie.

#17 is a long par 4, playing 425 yards from the greens. In addition to being kind of long, it's also kind of narrow. Faced with this situation, it's usually best to go for the straight shot. I, of course, made the worst possible play, namely to hit a shorter club, but crooked. So do what I say, not what I do. Hit it straight!!

The last hole is a 527 yard par five. The tee shot hits a crowned spot in the fairway, which will exaggerate any spin (left or right) on the tee shot, so either a) hit it straight (always good advice), or b) give yourself plenty of room on draws and fades so that you come down short of the center line. From there, the hole requires a straight second shot (be mindful of the pond on the left), and an approach to an elevated green (traps to the right). After an easy two-putt par, it's off to the snack hut to settle your bets!

This is a very nice course, with four sets of tees to choose from. So you can self-sort as to how much golf you want to bite off. In addition to the extra distance, the longer tees bring some forced carries into play, so make sure you pick something realistic.

Background photo: Approach shot to #5 at the Raven at Three Peaks, Silverthorne, CO

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