Public course's 19th hole is heavenly

Gazing at a spectacular landscape while relaxing on a comfortable terrace is an activity I engage in whenever possible. So I was thrilled to have the chance to do so at the Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course in Stateline, Nev. The views of the snow-capped Sierra Nevada Mountains rising out of the deep blue waters of Lake Tahoe, edged by the green turf of the golf course, would have made even Ansel Adams sprint to purchase colored film to capture the scene.

After pulling into a gated entrance with a long driveway heading toward a beautiful Alpine-looking clubhouse, you'd think you were at an exclusive golf club. But Edgewood is open to the public, as are the two restaurants on location. Edgewood Restaurant is for fine dining, open for dinner only, while Brooks' Bar & Deck is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. We enjoyed lunch there, with half-pound burgers, salmon and chips and ahi tuna tacos. It's easy to see why Golf Digest voted Brooks' one of the best 19th holes in America.

This vacation was a family affair. Since I'm perfectly content to just enjoy the 19th hole, skipping the whole previous 18 altogether, my son and husband headed out for their afternoon tee time, while my daughter and I explored nearby Heavenly Village. When we met up a few hours later, my son said it was the most beautiful course he'd ever played, while my husband declared it the nicest public course this side of St. Andrews.

He said, “The course has lush fairways, and beautiful greens nestled amidst tall pines, meticulously manicured grass and sand traps. Golf carts have the latest in GPS technology, alerting you to how far you are from the greens and disabling your engine if you happen to forget which holes are cart-path only. And then, to finish your round on a windy day, with waves whipping up Lake Tahoe so they break near the green of 17 and the fairway of 18, you'd think you were on an ocean course at Pebble Beach or Sea Island. There were just enough creeks and ponds along the way to absorb that new sleeve of golf balls we bought in the pro shop, but water doesn't dominate the play. However, distant, beautiful views of mountains and snowcaps and lakefront inspire excellent play.”

That's pretty motivational, but as for me, I'll stick with relaxation on the terrace.