Golfing in Mammoth Lakes: Sierra Star & Snowcreek

With immaculate forest-lined fairways, big views of granite peaks, clear mountain streams, open meadows, wildflowers and even an occasional herd of deer or a wandering black bear on the green, there’s no more inspiring place to play this ancient Scottish game than on one of Mammoth Lakes’ two public courses. Plus experts claim that you’ll see a 5-10% increase in your driving distance at more than a mile above sea level.

Mammoth’s Sierra Star Golf Course, at a full mile and a half (8,000 feet) above sea level is the highest-elevation 18-hole championship golf course in California. Designed by Cal Olsen and built in 1999, Sierra Star is a challenging par 70. Club and cart rentals, lessons, season passes and midweek specials are available. Call or book tee times online.

Set in the scenic sagebrush meadow at the base of the Sherwins Range with unobstructed views of Mammoth Mountain and the distant White Mountains, the challenging 9-hole, par-35 Snowcreek Golf Course is more exposed and rugged-feeling than Sierra Star, making it feel reminiscent of classic highland courses in Scotland. There’s a clubhouse with a small café and pro shop. Cart rentals and lessons are available. All players must have collared shirts, appropriate golf attire, non-metal spikes and their own clubs. Call or book tee times online. Prefer to hack balls as far as you can toward the mountains? Try Snowcreek’s ultra-scenic driving range with its newly installed water feature on the south side of Old Mammoth Road.

In winter and early spring, try a morning of skiing on Mammoth Mountain followed by an afternoon of golf down at the Bishop Country Club, open to the public year-round.