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The Resort at Squaw Creek

Olympic Valley, California
Par: 72
Phone: (530)583-6300

Men's Summary:
Tees Yards Rating Slope
Gold 6931 72.4 135
Blue 6453 70.0 131
White 6010 78.2 122

Women's Summary:
Tees Yards Rating Slope
Red 5097 69.1 127
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Squaw Creek

The Resort at Squaw Creek (hotel and clubhouse)

Foggy approach to #1

Tee shot on #2

The par 3 third

Tee shot on #4

Tee shot on #5

The valley (and pond) as seen from the sixth tee box

Seventh hole

Intimidating tee shot on #8

Approach to #9

Tee shot on #10

Approach to #11

Par five #12

Long par four #13

View across the valley

#15 tee box

Par three #16

#17, with a dogleg left

The home hole

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

The Resort at Squaw Creek - Overview

Squaw Creek is a resort course, located at the base of the Squaw Valley ski area. It was designed by Robert Trent Jones, Jr. Because of its location, it has an agreement with the state/federal government not to use chemicals in the maintenance of the course. One unfortunate side effect of this policy is that the grass suffers a lot after long winters – there are lots of fairways with huge bare spots in the middle. It’s always disappointing to have a bare dirt lie after a really good drive… The greens tended to be in better shape than the fairways, but they also tended to roll a bit slow.

The scenery is stunning – the course is laid out across a swampy alpine meadow surrounded on all sides by soaring peaks. I always made it a point to stop and admire the scenery before lining up a putt or setting up for a drive. Even if you blow the shot, you’re guaranteed to feel good about the view.

The carts don't have GPS, so if you have your own, bring it!

The Resort at Squaw Valley Course Detail

This was written from the blue tees, which play to about 6500 yards. There is certainly more trouble to be had, especially given the woods on both sides of all fairways. Given the altitude, the length is not completely unreasonable.

Hole #1 kind of sets the tempo for what's to follow – a fairly narrow-looking hole with woods on both sides. This hole is also a bit long (430 yards) and uphill. Whew! Better use the driver... You'll find that you actually can use driver on most of these holes. Despite the woods lining the fairway, there's actually quite a bit of room. All that being said, you can probably expect to be hitting a long iron on your approach shot. Swing smooth, and keep it in play. Bogey is a good score here.

The second hole is a short par 5, playing only 487 yards. There's a lone pine tree perched conspicuously on the right side of the fairway as you approach the green. Don't let it get inside your head. Keep your swings smooth and the ball in play. This hole can be had.

The third hole is another long par 4, playing 426 yards. It's not uphill, but it does have a creek running across the fairway. The creek shouldn't be in play -- just make a smooth swing on your drive and you'll be fine. If you're a bit too far out to reach on your second shot, then be a few yards short, but hit it straight. The bunkers are on the side...

Hole #4 is a 185 yard par 3. It has a two-tiered green, and is heavily bunkered on the right side. The green is also smushed up against the woods on the left, so that's not a great place to bail out. If you're not confident in your 185 yard shot, hit it short and chip on. There are lots of ways to make par...

The fifth hole is a 364 yard par four, but it's going to play a bit longer, since it's uphill. It also has a creek across the fairway, but it's an easy carry from the tee box. There are lots of bunkers up around the green, so your approach has to be accurate. Same advice as before, you can be short and chip on if need be.

Hole #6 is only 340 yards, with the first part being uphill, and the next part being downhill. There's also a squirrelly tree perched in the right center of the fairway, to pose the question of the day: Is it better to lay up (ensuring that you don't hit it and carom into the woods) but still have to deal with it on your second shot? Or try to blow past it on your drive so that it's behind you? If you have a reliable 200 yard straight shot, aim up the left side, otherwise, tee it high and let if fly!

The seventh hole is a pretty little par 3. Take dead aim, since it's not very long. If you miss, there's plenty of trouble, but on the other hand, there's no need to miss, is there?

#8 is a long par 4, at 452 yards. It has a pronounced dogleg to the right, and a creek across the fairway on your second shot. If you don't get a good tee shot, you'll need to decide whether to lay up or go over the creek.

Hole #9 is long uphill par 5. Keep the ball in play, and you'll be fine.

Hole #10 is 389 yards, with a gentle bend to the right. You can potentially reach the creek across the fairway, and you might want to consider a long layup (like a hybrid or a fairway wood). This is a difficult hole, and a bogey is a good score here.

Hole #11 is a brutal uphill narrow par 5. I decided to hit a hybrid since I didn't want to go in the woods, but then I didn't hit is very well, and this turned into a very long hole indeed...

#12 is a 143 yard par 3. Take dead aim, and plenty of club (lots of trouble short).

#13 is a short par 4, playing only 303 yards. It also has a pretty good dogleg to the left, forcing you to hit an iron off the tee. Don't get greedy, and this hole can be had.

Hole #14 is another interesting hole because of the creek. It's just far enough out that you have to think about it. Swing smooth and keep it in play (too often you get nervous about a forced carry, and swing too hard...).

Hole #15 is aptly named "Double Trouble". There are two creeks to cross in front of the tee box. It's a par 5, but not an especially long one at 494 yards. The trick to this hole is keeping it in play for all three shots. A fairway wood, a long iron and a wedge are one way to do it. My playing partner hit his drive in the ditch, chipped out next to the sand trap on the right, hit a mid iron across the last ditch, and then holed out his approach shot for a birdie. Unconventional? Maybe...

The sixteenth hole is a long narrow uphill par 4, which stretches out to 439 yards (yes, it's rated as the hardest hole on the back nine). There's a large sand trap in the middle of the fairway directly in front of the tee, and a pair of sand traps guarding the dogleg on the right. There is no reason in the world to be anywhere near either of these hazards. They're solely there for punitive punishment should you lose focus bad enough to find yourself in them. Ignore them, and focus on hitting a 200 yard straight shot to the left side of the fairway. Then hit another 200 yard straight shot in the middle. Then go after the green with whatever is left. Bogey is a good score here. Double isn't all that bad.

The seventeenth hole is a long downhill par 3, playing 202 yards. The green is huge, which is good, because if you miss the green, there is some trouble to be had left, right and long. Short right is the only place to bail out.

The last hole is scarier than heck, I'm not gonna lie. Walk forward from the tee box until you can see what you're dealing with. If it looks too scary to hit a driver at, that's because you shouldn't hit a driver. On the other hand, you want a good solid 220 yards, because this is a 400 yard hole, and you don't want to be hitting a long iron over the junk. So get as close to the junk as you can, and hit a mid iron over it, and voila! Success! But you need to keep a level head...

This course is a real treat. There's lots of trouble to be had, but some of the time it's just a pleasant walk in the woods. And if you can negotiate the last hole, you can take a deep-seated sense of satifaction with you to the clubhouse.

Background photo: Waterfall and pond at Oasis Palmer, Mesquite, NV

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