By George C. Thomas, Golf Writer
BIG BEAR LAKE, CA — One of the most beautiful 9-hole golf courses in the nation is right here in Southern California. The Bear Mountain Golf Course at the base of the ski slope of the same name is a delightful par 35 course that is as challenging as you can want or desire on vacation. The course is right next to the resort, and you could park and go to both places no problem at all. It is what would be considered an inland parkland golf course, with the holes going out in a counterclockwise loop and coming back to finish up at the clubhouse. The par 35 layout means it is a full-length golf course with a length of 2,783 yards from the black tees. There is a particularly fun driving hole where you can launch your tee shot and enjoy the viewing pleasure of witnessing it hurl through the air with Big Bear Lake as the backdrop. There is also a par 3 golf hole over water that is quite picturesque.
An additional added bonus is the 7,000 meter elevation of the golf course, which will cause your golf ball to travel farther due to the atmospheric conditions. Since I hit the ball so far at sea level, I really had to watch myself and take at least three clubs less. It is a real mind bender, but super fun and great to play up in the mountains ripping your sand wedge 150 yards one handed out of a bunker while standing on one foot and whistling Yankee doodle. I loved playing Bear Mountain Golf Course, and you can always go around again from a different set of tees for a different but similar experience. It is also ideal for families on vacation and those father and son duos that want to get 9 holes in before the family wakes up to tackle the day. When in Big Bear, I always try to make “Time For Nine” and play this delightful and fun golf course in the mountains. (For more information or to book a tee time, please visit https://www.bigbearmountainresort.com/summer/golf/golf-course/info)