Located two hours north of Reno is a great vacation destination known as Lake Almanor. Here you can find great local restaurants, skiing/fishing boating, along with some great golf. Last week I had the opportunity to play Bailey Creek Golf Course for the fourth time and I plan on returning again and again. After golfing so many desert courses in Reno, it is always a pleasure to get away and play a mountain course that has so much to offer. Bailey Creek opened in the year 2000 and is a 7040 yard Par 72. The course offers some views of the lake and near by mountains, in addition to offering a multitude of fun and challenging holes. Although my scores at this course normally do not reflect my ability to play the game, I have to say it is an exceptional golfing experience each time I play it. My most recent experience (with golf partner Kyle) involved showing up just before 4pm on a Friday with no tee time booked. To our surprise, we were greeted with a cart at our car door side and a relatively open course to play on. Since this course is primarily used by weekend vacationers, I would recommend playing at any time midweek, or plan on playing a twilight weekend rate to avoid a large backup. Bailey Creek offers a wide variety of twilight and midweek rates that are able to attract cheap golfers (like us) to play such an exceptional course. After paying our $40.00 Super Twilight Rate we were ready to tee off by 4:10pm. Besides a mix up and some tension at the tee box with golfers who were "at the turn" (because they originally tee'd off at hole #10), the course was relatively open and a quick rate of play.
Although I can talk forever about the great things about Bailey Creek, there are a few things to watch out for as a golfer this year. One challenging aspect about this course is the large amount of dogleg left holes, which is unusual for many courses I have played. If you are a right handed golfer with a killer slice, plan on spending a lot of time in the woods searching for your golf balls. Secondly, the course's Par 5s seem relatively short and easily attainable in 2 shots from the "blue" tee-box, which can probably be corrected by playing "the tips". Finally, the main concern specifically this year was the condition of the greens. While every rough, fairway, and bunker seemed to be in exceptional shape, the greens were pretty beat up, which is probably the result of a harsh dry winter. I have played Bailey Creek in previous years and realize this is not standard for their greens. The photos below were the case for about 30%-40% of the greens in play, which sometimes had a major affect on the trajectory of the putt.
In the end, Bailey Creek is still an amazing course. Although some of the 18 greens had significant wear on them, the rest of the course was in great condition. I would recommend for anyone to take a day or weekend trip to Lake Almanor and play Bailey Creek, especially with the great twilight and midweek rates, not to mention the nice restaurant and bar to hang out at after the round.