Grandeur in the Great Outdoors
Grizzly Ranch may be slightly off the beaten track but golfers know how to find a great new course – especially when it’s in a setting like the western Sierra’s Feather River country, and has the name Bob Cupp attached to it. Just an hour northwest of Truckee and Reno and an easy drive from the Bay Area, Grizzly Ranch is a showcase of living large and living well, removed from the distracting spotlight of big name resorts.
This year marks the first full season at Grizzly Ranch, and the sportswriters, club members and club pros who have played the course came away excited and impressed. They had an appreciation for the area’s natural beauty and quiet appeal, and especially the style of play – everything from keeping the ball straight off the tee to a go-for-broke sensibility.
Designer Bob Cupp was terrifically impressed with the possibilities of high Sierra golf when he first assessed the rolling 1,040-acres at the request of Andy Norris, one of the founders of Grizzly Ranch. A hands-on architect, Cupp signed on early, awed by the spectacular mountain setting and the opportunity to create a unique course — fair, fun and playable.
Cupp is known for his designs at Pumpkin Ridge and Crosswater in Oregon. He created Grizzly’s par-72 course keeping in mind the challenges and beauty of the undulating mountain terrain and the scenic peaks of the surrounding million acres of national and state forests. It is golf in an enchanted land, with added attractions: hiking, biking, boating, fishing, horseback riding or relaxing until the stars come out.
The challenge for the club management, Cupp said, is to keep members on the right tee. “The ball goes a long way in this altitude, even though it’s only 5,000 feet. Grizzly Ranch takes mountain golf to a new level of technology, but a forward-tee player’s ball doesn’t have to stay in the air too long. There are only two places where you actually have to get the ball airborne.”
Grizzly Ranch Director of Golf Matt Magnotta added, “Bob Cupp masters the aesthetics of the golf course. He knows how to design for the best strategic elements of the land and doesn’t move a lot of dirt to achieve a seamless fit between the design and the natural surroundings.”
The Grizzly Ranch topography is classic Sierra, with long, gentle and rolling slopes, stately ponderosa pines, incredibly beautiful native wetlands and spectacular long views of distant, often snow-capped mountains. This gave Cupp a chance to construct a variety of elevation gains and losses, where creeks and ponds play a role on 11 holes. “It’s a pure mountain design, always seeming to aim at some distant majestic peak. Part of the fun and the challenge designing the course at Grizzly Ranch was using contour as a strategy and encouraging the right shot selection,” Cupp said.
Grizzly Ranch has a spectacular clubhouse and golf shop location, sitting on a knoll facing Beckwourth Peak. Views encompass the core areas of the golf course. The clubhouse, called the Lodge, sits just thirty feet above the final green, opening a view of the entire final hole, with a spectacular mountain waterfall under a quaint covered wooden bridge.
Grizzly Ranch is a private club and community. Club membership is included in the purchase of any new homesite. A limited number of club memberships are available to serve the needs of local residents from Plumas and Sierra counties as well as Reno and Lake Tahoe areas. The Grizzly Ranch Club membership of $40,000, when compared to other private recreational golf communities which cost upwards of $150,000, turns out to be a terrific value.
While golf is a key component to the club, members have the perfect opportunity to indulge in an array of other pastimes while contemplating how to attack each hole next time. There is the Hiking Club, Biking Club, Fly-fishing Club with organized excursions into the expanse of the Lakes Basin, Lake Davis and the surrounding forests.
Community members can fish along the Big Grizzly Creek, practice casting in the stocked fishing pond or join the family for a trek on the community trail system that connects to miles of national forest trails. For many, Grizzly Ranch is base camp for winter sports too. Cross-country skiing, snow shoeing and sledding areas are also on site. Squaw Valley, Northstar and other Tahoe ski resorts are merely an hour away.
Grizzly Ranch is a prime example of a nature-rich recreational community luring people away from crowded urban towns, congested highways and shopping malls that leave families enrichment-challenged.
For the foreseeable future, club membership is also a key to VIP privileges at The Resort at Squaw Creek, adjacent to Squaw Valley. Members can enjoy preferred pricing on everything from rounds of golf to overnight accommodations and spa treatments. Members can also take advantage of convenient ski- in/ ski- out access to Squaw Valley.
Grizzly Ranch is the creation of one of the most respected names in real estate, Lowe Enterprises, Inc. The firm’s extensive portfolio includes 18 golf courses nationwide at some of the world’s most successful communities, such as Wild Dunes near Charleston, South Carolina, the Reserve at Indian Wells, California and Sunriver/Crosswater in central Oregon.
When asked if he had a favorite hole at Grizzly Ranch, Cupp said “I try not to have a favorite. They’re like children, you know. But I will say there are some unbelievable short holes and long holes. They come right at you. I don’t know how that happened. I would like to say I planned it but I didn’t. There are scenic views everywhere you look. It’s one of the most beautiful sites I’ve ever worked on.”
This information was provided by Grizzly Ranch. For information on golf club membership or homesite purchase in Portola, call toll-free 866-901-1010 or log on to www.grizzlyranch.com.