Jason Scott Deegan

Senior Staff Writer

Jason Scott Deegan has reviewed more than 700 courses and golf destinations for some of the industry's biggest publications. He is a regular contributor with Athlon Sports and PGA Magazine. His work has been honored by the Golf Writer's Association of America and the Michigan Press Association. His favorite golf destinations are Ireland and New Zealand, along with Michigan and California, where he lives with his wife and two children. Jason rarely touched a golf club until his college days at Eastern Michigan University, but now his passion for the game knows no out of bounds. He got his start writing with the TravelGolf Network in 1999. Follow him on Twitter at @WorldGolfer.

  • 5.0 stars from 5

    Sand Valley Golf Resort - Mammoth Dunes Course

    "A modern marvel"

    Mammoth Dunes shoots up my list of maybe among the top 25 courses I've ever played (out of more than 1,000). It's such a creative, thoughtful interpretation of what a modern golf course should look and play like. It will give (I made three birdies) and it will take too (I made a whopping 8 3-putts). Everything is supersized, from the fairways to the greens to the waste bunkers. There are endless scoring opportunities if you play the proper angles, especially on the two drivable par 4s. I drove the downhill 14th with a 5-wood for a simple birdie. It was interesting that our caddie told everyone to layup on the short 6th. After making birdie, I saw why. The guy behind us drove his ball onto the left side of the kidney-shaped green, while we were putting to the pin on the right side. That ball had no chance to be putted close to the hole, so his risk-reward tee shot wasn't in the 'A' position. Good fun. more »

    3.0 stars from 5

    Lake Tahoe Golf Course

    "Winter blues: 4 temporary greens"

    I hate giving this course three stars, because the layout is so cool and this place represents everything good about muni golf. It's a scenic, fun round that's affordable in an area where no other courses are. But, with four temporary greens coming out of a hard winter, I just can't give it the love in the ratings it might deserve later in the year. When I first played the course several years ago, it had lost three fairways to a tough winter, so this issue is not new. The holes that interact with the Truckee River are special. It's apparent that William Bell routed the holes to reveal and showcase the surrounding mountain peaks. It's a great walk, and good condition or bad, it's a place I'll recommend to anyone. more »

    4.0 stars from 5

    Genoa Lakes Golf Club & Resort - Lakes Course

    "Water world at Genoa Lakes"

    Genoa Lakes lives up to its name. There's lots of water lurking - not that it's unfair, just that you need to be prepared to lose three balls a round. Count that as a good day. The surrounding views of the mountains are nice, especially when snow decorates the peaks. The facilities are excellent with a large pro shop inside a large clubhouse, and a supper club building across the parking lot. If you can't afford golf in Tahoe/Truckee, the Carson Valley twosome of Genoa Lakes and Genoa Ranch is certainly worth the drive. more »

    4.0 stars from 5

    Old Greenwood Golf Course

    "Family time on Old Greenwood"

    This was a first for the Deegan family - heading out to play nine holes together. Old Greenwood is a tough place to break in a bunch of beginners, but we caught a nice window with no one else behind us that afternoon. My teenagers hit a few tee shots and a few chips and putts, while mom stayed in the cart. I played most of the course, which is a beast. There are a few too many bunkers for my tastes, but the entire property is gorgeous, winding through forest and million-dollar homes. A pond makes the par-5 7th and par-3 8th treacherous. Next time, I'll take my beginners to the "golf academy", a proper place to learn the game with chipping areas and lots of space to hit shots. It's as good of a range/practice facility as any out west. more »

    5.0 stars from 5

    Erin Hills

    "A pleasant walk at Erin Hills"

    Erin Hills is known as a fearsome walk and test of golf, despite how low the pros went during the 2017 U.S. Open. The fairways are the widest in major championship golf, yet I still hit at least two tee shots into the dreaded fescue rough. I found my ball every time, but hacking out was difficult. The front nine plays as the tougher loop. The back nine sports a little more character and some interesting holes. The short par-4 15th hole always seems to play a role in any tournament Erin Hills hosts. Be sure to stay for food and drinks. The longer you stay at Erin Hills, the better. more »

    4.0 stars from 5

    Grand Geneva Resort - Brute - The Brute Course

    "Tee it forward on The Brute"

    I played The Brute years ago and got, well, brutalized! About 7-8 years wiser, I moved up a box to the golds and had a fantastic and fun day. A lot of the par 5s played very short (too short), so I'm thinking the course staff should consider a combo tee to balance things out. Some holes are downright terrifying from the white (championship) tees, notably the ninth and 18th, both squeezed by water. More water hazards lurk elsewhere. I found the stream rolling through the first fairway. My playing partner rinsed one on the 9th, which has water on either side of the fairway off the tee. If you can play The Brute without losing the ball, and break 90, you've had quite the day. more »

    5.0 stars from 5

    Sand Valley Golf Resort - Sand Valley Course

    "Renewed appreciation for Sand Valley"

    I didn't fall in love with Sand Valley the first time in 2017. A couple tee shots bothered me - over or around the trees on the par-5 12th and the blind tee shot on the par-3 17th. Solving them a second time helped me appreciate the routing a little more. This is my favorite kind of golf. The ball rolls for days and the greens are easy to hit and hard to putt. It's engaging golf but not penal - kind of the hard par/easy bogey mantra that RTJ Sr. employed. more »

    4.0 stars from 5

    Grand Geneva Resort - Highlands

    "A lovable mutt of a golf course"

    The Highlands is like the lovable mutt you adopt at the Humane Society. It's not a pure bred, but it's still adored by all. It's a hybrid course with a little bit of Pete Dye, Jack Nicklaus and Bobby Weed all sprinkled into the rolling hills north of Chicago. Some golfers like it better than its more famous sister course, The Brute. Because there is no signature look or trait, it's got a little bit of everything - bunkers, elevated tees, elevated greens, a short 4 (10th), etc. You'll never be bored. more »

    5.0 stars from 5

    Clear Creek

    "Clear Creek continues to mature into a real community"

    The C&C course has always been special. It's the community surrounding it that continues to evolve and impress. When I first visited about five years ago, only the course was in place. Two years ago, I stayed in the new cabins/cottages adjacent to the small clubhouse that serves as a home base for members. This year, the community can showcase its best amenity yet - the Summit Camp - a family entertainment complex with a pool, hot tub, fire pits, water slide, ping pong, corn hole, restaurant, sports courts and more. The more I play Clear Creek, the more I realize it's just unbeatable. The greens are as wild as any C&C I've played. Couple that with the altitude and elevation changes, it's a chore to shoot your handicap. Regardless, moments like the third tee shot - where the ball hangs in the air for eternity - will leave your heart full and head engaged, no matter your score. more »

    4.0 stars from 5

    Sand Valley Golf Resort - The Short Course

    "A buddies hangout"

    I don't think the Sandbox is as compelling as The Preserve at Bandon Dunes or as endearing as the Cradle at Pinehurst, but it certainly delivers the fun, if done right. I walked it solo when I should have begged my way into the six-some a couple holes behind me. They were having a great time and the alcohol was flowing. There's a bartender and a canoe filled with beer serving groups on the first tee. Most of the course is wedge/half-wedge shots to treacherous, sloping greens. Some pins get tucked behind evil bunkering. Beyond the 145-yard second hole, it's not until holes 14-16 that golfers hit more 8 or 9 irons. Those holes play from 120 yards to 149 yards. The final green, the 17th, is guarded by perhaps the scariest bunker on property, a deep and dark pit. Avoid it at all cost. Unless you want to drop a ball in there and give it a go. more »