Forrest Richardson has completed plans to redesign the municipal Lake Tahoe golf course, having been selected for the work by California State Parks earlier this year.
Nine holes of the municipal layout, which is part of the Lake Valley State Recreation Area, were designed by William F Bell and built in 1961, with the course expanded to 18 holes in 1985.
Richardson’s team made extensive studies and site visits, and produced four routing plans that were considered by the state for further study.
The final proposal preserves an 18-hole routing, located on the existing property, and includes a 300-yard practice range and short game area. The 6,700-yard par 71 design includes five par threes, including the back-to-back fifteenth and sixteenth.
“We let the river decide how the holes should be routed,” said Richardson. “The design took root from the way the river needs to twist and turn in order to provide the best possible erosion control outcome – the results were two great short holes, each that interact with the river and are sure to become favourites.”
The environmental angle has been a key focus of Richardson’s redesign with the Upper Truckee River, which borders the course, long being a problem. The impact of past land uses had caused erosion issues – silt, eroded from the river, would empty into Lake Tahoe. Scientists are now finalising separate plans to restore the river and restore the flood zone. Richardson’s redesign plan creates room for this larger river footprint that will feature more meandering of the river as it makes its way to Lake Tahoe.
Richardson is being assisted by National Golf Foundation Consulting – the analyst arm of the NGF – for the project, with the group providing a golf market assessment.
“It’s an honour to be given this assignment,” said Richardson. “Growing up in California I have fond memories of visiting Lake Tahoe and playing golf with my family.”