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2.8
190 Reviews (190)
5 Stars
41
4 Stars
70
3 Stars
36
2 Stars
23
1 Stars
20
Conditions
2.2
Value
2.7
Layout
3.8
Friendliness
4.4
Pace
3.9
Amenities
3.0
34.3%
Recommend this course
119 out of 190 reviews
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Average Rating
Avg Rating
0
5 Stars
0
4 Stars
0
3 Stars
0
2 Stars
0
1 Stars
0
Conditions
0
Value
0
Layout
0
Friendliness
0
Pace
0
Amenities
0
0%
Recommend this course
Read Reviews
Average Rating
Avg Rating
2.5
38 Reviews (38)
5 Stars
2
4 Stars
2
3 Stars
16
2 Stars
10
1 Stars
8
Conditions
1.7
Value
2.1
Layout
3.7
Pace
3.9
Amenities
2.9
StaffFriendliness
4.3
15.8%
Recommend this course
6 out of 38 reviews
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About

Holes 18
Type Resort
Style Links
Par 72
Length 6781 yards
Slope 139
Rating 72.4

Northstar California Golf Course has a unique layout that was seamlessly integrated with the rugged, wooded terrain of Tahoe. The front nine plays through a scenic, rolling valley while the back nine plays through the towering pines of the forest. The first nine holes have a classic links layout and the back nine demands precision with its tree-lined fairways and small greens. Native vegetation and scenic water hazards are scattered throughout the golf course. Strategically placed sand bunkers add another challenging element. The signature hole at Northstar California Golf Course is the par-3 15th, which requires a shot over a creek to a small green.

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Northstar California Golf Course
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Course Details

Year Built 1974
Fairways Blue Grass
Greens Blue Grass
Golf Season May - October
Architect Robert Muir Graves (1974)

Rentals/Services

Carts Yes - $25
Clubs Yes

Practice/Instruction

Driving Range Yes
Golf School Academy Yes
Teaching Pro Yes
Pitching/Chipping Area Yes
Putting Green Yes

Policies

Credit Cards Accepted VISA, MasterCard, Amex, Discover Welcomed
Metal Spikes Allowed No

Food & Beverage

Food & Beverage

Lodging

Lodging Available

Available Activities

Swimming, Billiards

Reviews

2.8
190 Reviews (190)

What Golfers Are Saying

The 19th Hole is Great For:
Drinks 12
Patio Dining 9
19th Hole Scenic Views 6
Course Challenges Include:
Narrow Fairways 19
Forced Carries 18
Elevation Changes 16
This course/club is great for:
Wildlife/ Scenic Views 14
Advanced Golfers 11
Locals 8
This Course's Location is:
At a Resort 18
Worth the Drive 15
Near Local Attractions 11

Numbers based on reviews tagged with attribute.

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Overall Rating
Recommended
Handicap
Age
Type of Golfer
Gender
Played On
Reviews 1
2.0
Verified Purchaser
Previously Played
Conditions Poor
Value Average
Layout Good
Friendliness Good
Pace Fair
Amenities Average
Played On
Reviews 3
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Verified Purchaser
First Time Playing
Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Reviews 5
Handicap 5-9
Skill Advanced
Plays Once a week
3.0
Verified Purchaser
Previously Played
Perfect weather
Used cart

Course conditions not good

The Truckee region is difficult for golf courses because of the winters harsh weather so when courses struggle, its usually all of them in the area. Heavy frost for example.

All in al the tee boxes were horrific, some greens were still not good and there was plenty of weed growth throughout the course playing areas. Since the back 9 has a lot of trees, its expected to take longer to mature as there is a lot of shade.

The front nine layout is similar to a muni course in the flat lands. Less shade but still not looking good.

The back nine is corky and short because there isn't enough room for a full length golf course. Some hoes on the back nine are tight with trees and doglegs causing your to iron to this spot then turn and iron to that spot. You'll be using irons on almost every tee on the back 9.

It's like playing two very very different 9 hole courses. I've played here for years because we live in the area and my spouse likes the short length. For the golf in this area, Northstar is the lowest rates in my opinion.

Conditions Poor
Value Fair
Layout Poor
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Good
Amenities Good
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Played On
Reviews 1
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
3.0
Verified Purchaser
Previously Played

Greens in bad shape

All the greens are in bad shape. Some tee boxes need to be flattened and new sod needed. Fairways are wet and soggy.

North Star has let this course go.

Conditions Fair
Value Average
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Good
Pace Excellent
Amenities Fair
Played On
Reviews 1
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
1.0
Previously Played

General Course condition & amenities

Although the staff is very nice & friendly, The course, fairways, greens, general maintenance & appearance is very bad. It’s shabby, not cared for, weeds on the tees - fairways & greens.
It is in dire need major reconditioning and remodeling if it is to keep up with the competition of the other courses in the lake Tahoe area. I would not recommend this course above any other in Tahoe Truckee and surrounding areas.
It is not worth 1/2 the price I’m charged to play on this tired dilapidated course. .
Play someone go by there soon and take pictures to prove this review

Conditions Poor
Value Poor
Layout Poor
Friendliness Good
Pace Average
Amenities Poor
Played On
Reviews 1
Skill Advanced
Plays Once a week
1.0
Verified Purchaser
First Time Playing

More like a muni course

Given the caliber of the other amenities at Northstar, I expected this to be a “resort” course. In my mind, a resort course is a) playable for first-timers, and b) very well-maintained.

To the contrary, the greens at Northstar were extremely shaggy, soggy, and bumpy, and even had weeds in some places. Basically equivalent to a low-budget municipal course. I understand that they had a tough winter due to frost this year, but at this point it’s August, so I might have thought those issues would have been resolved by now. In any case, hopefully this will be rectified in future years. Other areas of the course were OK on the maintenance front but as any golfer knows, the greens are the most critical part of a course.

From a playability perspective, this course (particularly the back 9) is extremely difficult to play for the first time, with numerous blind shots and confusing layouts. The signage and scorecard notes do compensate for this to a degree, but are not sufficient IMHO. As a result, our group hit many shots that seemed great only to find that they were not only suboptimal, but actually lost in a ravine or long grass.

On the plus side, the natural setting and scenery are beautiful, and the people at the course were very nice.

Bottom line, this course is caught in between two extremes. It could be a great championship layout that could merit pricey greens fees if it were to be redesigned to add more risk-reward trade-offs and the course condition kicked up several notches. Or it could be a solid muni-type option for repeat players if they made it less expensive. To be a resort course would require a redesign that might not be possible given the topography, with much wider landing areas, more place to miss before getting into lost ball territory (eg, remove trees and clear out the brush on the forest floor in certain places), and fewer blind shots. As it stands now though, I’m not sure when I’ll be back.

Conditions Poor
Value Poor
Layout Poor
Friendliness Good
Pace Excellent
Amenities Average
Played On
Reviews 23
Handicap 10-14
Skill Advanced
Plays Once a week
3.0
Verified Purchaser
Previously Played
Hot weather
Used cart

rough winter

greens are in horrible shape due to a rough winter; staff is doing the best they can. They let a fivesome out that backed up the entire course

Conditions Poor
Value Fair
Layout Average
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Poor
Amenities Fair
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Played On
Reviews 4
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
3.0
Verified Purchaser
Previously Played

Not a good time to play Northstar!

My wife and I have played Northstar many times and have always enjoyed ourselves even though the back nine is more challenging than fun. Unfortunately this year Mother Nature has not been kind to Northstar. The combination of bad smoke from forest fires in the area and terrible greens resulting from a difficult winter made for a less than enjoyable experience. There was good news at least in that we practically had the course to ourselves and the green fees were reduced because of its poor condition. The staff was terrific.
We will give the course another try when we return to Tahoe next year and hopefully will find things back to normal.

Conditions Fair
Value Good
Layout Good
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Good
Played On
Reviews 1
Skill Advanced
Plays Once a month
I Recommend This Course
4.0
Verified Purchaser
Previously Played
Conditions Average
Value Good
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Good
Played On
Reviews 44
Handicap 15-19
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
3.0
Verified Purchaser
Previously Played

Still coming out of winter

This course is a great layout. However it took a beating during the winter and is still recovering.
And because of that, it is a little pricey right now.

Conditions Fair
Value Fair
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Good
Amenities Fair
Played On
Reviews 44
Handicap 15-19
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
3.0
Verified Purchaser
Previously Played
Perfect weather
Walked

Still Recovering

The course is a wonderful layout. However, due to freezing temperatures during the winter, the greens are not in good shape. That did not deter the fun we had playing it.

Conditions Average
Value Average
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Good
Difficulty Extremely Challenging
Played On
Reviews 1
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
2.0
Verified Purchaser
Previously Played

Course in bad shape

I have played Northstar many times and love the course. However it is in terrible shape. The greens especially are unplayable with weeds on some and sand on others making it impossible to enjoy.
They claim that it was a severe winter that damaged them - this is July!!!!!! What have they been doing since the end of winter, which by the way has not impacted other golf courses in the area anything like this.
I believe the reason things are so bad is poor maintenance not severe winter weather. I shall not book another tee time here without examining the greens first. Shame to let such a good course get into this condition

Conditions Poor
Value Poor
Layout Good
Friendliness Good
Pace Average
Amenities Fair
Played On
Reviews 1
Skill Advanced
Plays Once a week
3.0
Verified Purchaser
Previously Played

Horrible Pace of play - ruined the experience

We were told the the group of 5 people in front of us was a 3 some and that two were just riding along. They had 3 carts, There were 4 sets of clubs and All 5 played - Marshall drove by numerous times. And did t so anything about it. It was an “oh well” type of attitude about the place of play. 2 groups ahead of us had more than a hole and a half wide open in front of them but nothing was done. 5 hour 10 minute round - waited on every single shot on every single hole. . 3 groups waiting while the group in front of us teed off on par 3 hole way down hill (#13 I think it was). Marshall was there telling us how far the yardage was - bot sure what the purpose of having marshals serves if they don’t mange pace of play.

Conditions Good
Value Fair
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Average
Pace Poor
Amenities Fair
Played On
Reviews 3
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
2.0
Verified Purchaser
First Time Playing
Windy weather
Used cart

Needs some work

The course was in poor shape. Weeds everywhere with dandelions growing in the putting greens. No water in the ball-washers. They must not have a superintendent. Northstar should put some money and time into it's golf course. Definitely too much money for the way it presents today.

Conditions Poor
Value Poor
Layout Average
Friendliness Average
Pace Average
Amenities Average
Difficulty Moderate
Played On
Reviews 6
Handicap 10-14
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
2.0
Verified Purchaser
Previously Played

Very disappointed due to the poor greens conditions
Had we been forewarned then it’s acceptable cause it would be our choice . Did talk with staff after our round and they were understanding and thought an alert was posted and that green fees reflected the fact that greens were not up to par. I can’t agree that fees were in sync to conditions. As I said , staff was understanding

Conditions Fair
Value Fair
Layout Average
Friendliness Good
Pace Excellent
Played On
Reviews 1
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
3.0
Verified Purchaser
Previously Played

Greens were horrible.

One of the employees shared that most / all the green in Tahoe had been badly damaged last Winter. I’ve subsequently seen Poderosa & Grays crossing however & their greens are both fine.

I love NStar, but they really should have warned patrons of how bad the greens were. Thanknyou

Conditions Poor
Value Fair
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Good
Played On
Reviews 11
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
1.0
Verified Purchaser
Previously Played

Very poor condition

I called the course to check on playing condition’s. I was told that due to severe ice damage in the Truckee area from winter weather a couple of greens were recom ended for 2 putt only. After playing the course IMO over half of the greens were not playable! . The tee boxes were full of weeds and the fairways were played with preferred lies. We played three other courses in the area last week, this was by far in the worse condition! I do not recommend this course!

Conditions Poor
Value Poor
Layout Average
Friendliness Average
Pace Average
Amenities Fair
Played On
Reviews 2
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
4.0
Verified Purchaser
Previously Played

Greens in bad shape this summer.

The course is normally great, I love this place. I normally don’t even mind paying 90 bucks to play here except this summer the greens are in terrible shape. They should cut the price on half and also put temporary greens in the fairways while they work on the greens - the grass there is in much better shape.

Conditions Fair
Value Fair
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Played On
Reviews 6
Skill Advanced
Plays Once a week
1.0
Verified Purchaser
Previously Played
Conditions Poor
Value Poor
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Played On
Reviews 1
Skill Advanced
Plays Once a week
2.0
Verified Purchaser
Previously Played

Wait until later in season to play

Not a bad course, but the greens were awful. They need a few more weeks of healing after a rough winter. It didn't seem like they were doing much to improve anything. The price is too high for the conditions.

Conditions Fair
Value Poor
Layout Average
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Good
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