A Tom Fazio golf course renovation and the building of a snappy lodge turn Edgewood Tahoe Resort into a premier 21st century golf — and gambling — destination
Two words that are sure to get a vacationer’s attention: Lake Tahoe.
Now, swap the word “Edgewood” for “Lake,” and the wandering golfer’s interest is piqued, as Edgewood Tahoe Resort is an ideal home base for a week-long stay in the West’s most geographically diverse golf destination. Nearly two dozen public-access mountain, desert and parkland courses are within an hour’s drive.
Start with the resort’s own layout, the undisputed star of the region. Sidled up to the California border in Stateline, Nev., Edgewood Tahoe opened in 1968 on a dream lakeside parcel for original course architect George Fazio — land owned by local ranching family since 1898 and fully controlled since 2013 by the Edgewood Companies, which set its sights on building an onsite boutique hotel.
Over the years the course earned raves for its exquisite setting among ponds, wetlands, meadows and forest, and for its proximity to the Stateline casino-hotels just a Bryson DeChambeau drive away. A handsome and more environmentally friendly remodel in by Tom Fazio in 2001, George’s nephew, put several new holes into play and pushed the course to more than 7,500 yards from the tips.
Along the way, Edgewood Tahoe earned major championship credentials with the 1985 U.S. Senior Open, won by Miller Barber — and worldwide name recognition with the made-for-TV American Century Celebrity Championship, which has attracted A-list athletes, actors, singers and comedians every July since 1989.
Edgewood is the only public course in the region that feels Lake Tahoe’s cold, clear waters tickling its shoulders, with four greens right on the shore. The clubhouse, its high-end Edgewood Restaurant and casual craft-beer-rich Brooks Bar & Deck — named one of America’s Best Golf Pubs by Golf Digest in 2016 — share the same views.
Anyone who drives in from California, or flies into Reno (75 minutes away) or Sacramento (about two hours), will find friendly service to match the golf — pandemic or no. The nearby hotels and casinos have taken care of visitors at the highest level for decades, and when the 154-room Lodge debuted in 2017 along the course’s rebuilt, vastly improved ninth hole — half of which actually sits in California — that deep tradition of customer service took an even more refined turn, though the world didn’t immediately take notice.
“It’s only recently that we’ve finally [been seen as] more than a golf course,” said Tahoe native Siobhan Fajayan, director of marketing and sales. “Edgewood has long been a staple in the community, but it took a long time for people to realize there is a lodge, and more dining, and a spa. The turning point was our  Forbes [Travel Guide four-star] rating, which finally put us on the map as a destination resort. And we’ve been very fortunate that even after the recent shutdowns, we were busy.”
Edgewood Tahoe Resort just may be the Pebble Beach of the Sierra — public, yet secluded; upscale, yet West Coast chill; and with equally staggering views of a large body of water. The resort’s lobby is every bit as impressive as that of, say, the Inn at Spanish Bay. While Edgewood’s dining options are far fewer, the casual, open-kitchen Bistro is gaining kudos for its food, outdoor patio with live entertainment a couple nights a week, and drink, including an Old Fashioned that Fajayan said is “pretty amazing.”
And then there’s the year-round pool. “It’s a big hook for us ... it’s heated to 85 to 90 degrees, even in winter,” Fajayan said.
But perhaps the resort’s biggest draw is the private, secluded feel. “People appreciate that we are reservation only, and gated ... it’s private, and you can spread out, enjoy the clean mountain air,” Fajayan said.
Of course, that rarefied air extends to the golf course and to the lake’s many other outdoor pursuits, which include boating, beaching, hiking, camping, mountain biking, water sporting, and horseback riding. Or take a sailplane over the nearby Carson Valley, which is lauded worldwide for its updrafts.
In all, what’s locally known as the South Shore adds up as the place to be as summer shifts to fall, a sweet spot of lower-key, high-country fun between Labor Day and late October, when the snow starts flying, the course beds down and the skis come out.
For golfers, an autumn Edgewood excursion brings visual beauty that the high season can’t even match. Stands of aspen adorn meadows and mountainsides with streaks of gold, green and red, and most years, early high-altitude snowstorms dust the Sierra with white, echoing views that spring visitors enjoy — with a full season’s worth of course conditioning as a bonus.
Fall also means lower rates to play course and experience the Lodge, especially mid-week.
“Mid-September to mid-October is a really good time for our stay-play packages,” Fajayan said. “We are trying to build fall as a time to visit, with the leaves changing, cooler temperatures, usually fewer crowds, and the golf still open. We’ve added some resort programming to October that we usually just have in the summertime. And with not all the schools going back [to full in-person sessions], it allows families to have more flexibility in their travel plans.”
A little flexibility sounds great right about now. So does the chance to make Edgewood your own October — or anytime — surprise.
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