Sunday turned out to be an exhausting 81-hole day starting at around 5:30 in the morning at Diamond Mountain and ending just before dark around 8:45 in the evening at Chalet View Lodge. I’ve already chronicled the three short courses played that day, along with the morning rounds at Diamond Mountain and Bailey Creek.
Originally, the plan was to play five courses that day. However, things went so smoothly we decided to push it on Sunday to help the next day be less stressful (kind of). We had plenty of time, so why not? So, we made our way back down to the heart of Plumas County for this next round…
Plumas Pines Golf Resort • Blairsden, CA • 7/28/19
This was originally going to be the evening round on Monday as we finished up the Plumas County list, saving some of the best for last. We just weren’t sure how quickly any of those rounds would go, so it made sense to knock this one out while we could.
We had purchased vouchers from GroupGolfer for Plumas Pines some time ago, and that ultimately sparked the planning for this trip. I believe it was around $45 without any major restrictions. Unfortunately, we ended up playing at twilight when the rates would have been a little cheaper than that to pay at the course, but it was still a decent deal. This course definitely offers the best value around this area.
Because of that, it forced me to lower my expectations a bit. However, this turned out to be a fantastic course with all the mountain golf qualities I love and good overall conditioning.
The pro shop guy was nice when we checked in around 5:30 and he just said he wanted the cart back by 8:00. There were some scattered players out on the course, and we did have to jump around a little to avoid getting stuck behind slow groups. Somehow we were able to finish in just over two hours and we were turning in our cart way before anyone else still out on the course!
This is another course with two quite different nines. The front nine plays out more in the open through a wetlands area, and it has a number of water hazards in play. The first hole is one of the biggest dogleg left par-5s I’ve ever seen with a crescent moon shape and a big downhill tee shot. After that, there aren’t any major changes in elevation until you reach the steep uphill 9th.
The back nine offers a more traditional wooded mountain forest course with narrower corridors and more hilly terrain through the tall trees and shadows. I liked both sides, but certainly the back nine is much more my style.
The front nine did have one stretch that I didn’t care for, and that’s primarily the 4th and 5th holes that play very tight with homes/condos uncomfortably close to the action (up the right side on the 4th hole and then up both sides on the 5th). The 8th also brings some houses into play along the right side of this sharp dogleg right par-4. The holes themselves are fine designs, but I just don’t like the residences being that close to the fairways on holes that already feel a bit tight in places.
Plumas Pines was in good overall shape. It was very green and lush throughout, and of course it was very soft as experienced at most courses on this trip. Other than limited roll-out, the conditions from tee to green were good. The greens were also pretty nice, rolling well at medium speeds. The bunkers were good, as well.
Especially if you get a deal, Plumas Pines is well worth the stop if you happen to be in this area. You’ll probably have other courses like Grizzly Ranch or The Dragon at Nakoma on top of your wish list, but this is another really good option to consider as part of the trip.
Some pictures from Plumas Pines Golf Resort (7/28/19):
(Click on any picture below to pull up a gallery slideshow.)
Next, we’ll fast forward to the very next morning. After an enjoyable stay at Chalet View Lodge (not counting the “golf course”), it was time for more golf on Tuesday…
Graeagle Meadows Golf Course • Graeagle, CA • 7/29/19
As the trip planning together, some vouchers offered by GolfMoose really helped us save a little money in an area where the golf is not cheap. Graeagle Meadows was one of those, as we were able to book an early morning tee time at a price way better than rack rate.
We were booked at 7:00 and they sent us off second behind a twosome of locals, who were walking. The twosome told us they would let us play through at some point, but I guess it was just a little politics to have them tee off first. Also, I think it was to protect maintenance from any crazy fast rabbits on the course. We did play through them on the 3rd hole and did have to wait on maintenance a few times. However, the workers were very cool and let us play through. That allowed for quick round and an ideal start to another long day of golf.
Having already driven by Graeagle Meadows a couple times on the way to and from other courses, I kind of knew what to expect (at least on the back nine). From the street, it really didn’t look all that exciting. However, this is another one with a couple different personalities.
Much of the back nine is pretty traditional parkland kind of golf with flat terrain and back-and-forth routing. The earlier part of the back nine does provide some fun and better scenery, which matches more of what you get throughout the bulk of the front nine layout.
The front nine offers more of the “meadows” feel as the name would suggest. It has an open feel and plays along and, at times, across the Feather River. There are a couple elevated tees on this side (the 1st, 2nd and 6th), and then the 3rd is a fun par-3 that has you hitting directly over the river to a tricky little green.
I’ll never forget the sage advice from the guys who let us play through them on that hole. One of them says “everything breaks toward the trees.” I thought he was referring to a group of huge trees right next to the green (and directly in my line of sight as I was lining up my chip), but I was wrong and my ball broke in the opposite direction. Then, he clarified and pointed to a random wall of trees in the distance. After that, I noticed there are literally trees in every direction you look because this is a lush valley surrounded by mountains and forests, so it was ultimately the most unhelpful advice I’d ever received!
The conditions were good overall here, as well. Again it was very wet from tee to green with soft fairways and not much roll-out on drives. The rough was a bit spotty in places, but never presented too much of a challenge unless you strayed way off the fairways. The tee boxes and fairways were in generally good condition with just some minor weak spots here and there. Also, after playing through maintenance (our own choice) we played on the wet greens that were yet mown or rolled. They were very soft, but well-maintained and still rolling pretty good (even the wet ones).
There aren’t a ton of courses in this area, but there is a lot of quality and they are all grouped together pretty close to one another. This makes planning a fun Plumas County golf trip very easy. You’ll see in my upcoming posts that I am just getting started, and that Plumas Pines and Graeagle Meadows are actually at the lower end of the list for this region. That just goes to show how neat this place is if you love mountain golf like I do.
Some pictures from Graeagle Meadows Golf Course (7/29/19):