Nestled in the Sierra Nevada foothills, Apple Mountain Golf Resort is a hidden gem in the Northern California landscape. Apples are bountiful and appear in every color imaginable, providing a complimentary mid-round treat that never disappoints in flavor or crispness. The clear sky shines bright blue with speckled clouds, and the sun slips through the pine trees that offer protection from the wind. It’s about 65 degrees, and the course couldn’t look better.
The course is hilly, but not in comparison to some of the others I would liken it to aesthetically (Mayacama & Darkhorse come to mind). I do however, recommend taking a cart unless you’re ready for a workout. The fairways were well kept, and although the greens were recovering from a rainy period the week before we played, they proved challenging. Thick rough and the aforementioned pine trees lined almost every hole, adding beauty as well as contour.
As far as difficulty, the main challenge that this course offers is the need to strategically place shots and choose your clubs wisely. Elevation changes and blind shots are commonplace, and most of the greens have multiple tiers with pin placements that can only be described as cruel. What it offers in difficulty, it matches with scenery and rewards you for well placed shots.
The prices are very reasonable for the experience- especially once you factor in the perfectly manicured practice facility that greets you upon arrival. 18 holes in the morning will cost you $45 Monday through Thursday, and a round at the same time on Friday runs at $55.
Carts are $15 Monday through Thursday, and you’ll be glad you grabbed one… Carrying a bag out here is a great way to experience cardiac arrest.
The 15th hole was easily my favorite. We played during the week before The Masters, and this short par three features a tee box lined with blooming flowers. A stone stairway leads you to the green, and expands into a rock wall that circles the back side of the green.
On your left, the snow peaked Sierra Mountains are clearly visible, and from the tee box (if you get the right angle) you can sneak a photo with the pine trees aligning behind you perfectly.
Overall, I gave AMGR 4 stars. The staff was helpful and polite, the practice facility and course were in great condition, and the prices are very reasonable. The scenery is unbeatable, and the layout of the course is challenging but rewarding. If you ever find yourself in the area, this one is a must.