South Tahoe golfers build a strong foundation

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — South Tahoe Viking golfers Jonny Womack and Sean Molesworth learned the difference between tournament golf and state tournament golf on Tuesday and Wednesday at Toiyabe Golf Club in Washoe Valley. 

The opening round saw both players struggle, with Womack shooting 101 and Molesworth a 110 before both players made dramatic improvement on the final day.

“Tough first day,” said Head Coach Greg Kuntz. “Both kids sprayed a few tee shots, which led to a few big numbers. That’s very uncommon, as they’re both generally very consistent players. Frustration and emotions set in, which is not a good recipe for playing your best golf.”

Both players rebounded on Wednesday to improve their overall finish. Molesworth had the second-best improvement in the field, dropping 19 shots on Wednesday to shoot a 91. Womack improved by 12 shots, finishing with an 89 on Wednesday, good for the 12th best score on the final day. Womack finished the tournament in 22nd place, with Molesworth finishing in 34th in the 46-man field.

“Couldn’t be prouder of how they came back from their rough day on Tuesday. This was a great learning experience for two sophomores who will earn their way back into this event next year to make a run at the top spots,” Kuntz praised. “They’re both great kids and provide the program with a great foundation moving forward.”

Jonny Womack teeing off on the 15th hole on Wednesday at Toiyabe.

Truckee High won the team championship, finishing 10 shots ahead of Fernley High. Southern

representative, Legacy High, finished in third. The individual champion was Legacy High’s Vincent Kyle Forbes, whose 75-79 two-day total of 154 won by seven shots over Fernley’s Jacob Holmes.

The Vikings had a roster of 26 golfers this season, with only a handful of graduating seniors. Kuntz believes the future is bright for the program.

“There were many positives to come out this season,” Kuntz said. “The weather obviously made things rough for kids in South Shore, making practice time very limited and with lots of  travel off the hill required. There are some very dedicated kids in the program. The work they put in this summer will determine how high the ceiling is for the program, but I’m very optimistic that they’ve got great things ahead of them.”

California State Parks at Lake Tahoe open for season

TAHOE CITY, Calif. — Sierra State Parks Foundation announced on Friday the reopening of the California State Parks in the Lake Tahoe – Donner Lake area. This Memorial Day weekend, Saturday, May 27, marks the opening date until facilities close for the winter on Sept. 31. The following parks’ day use areas are reopened as of Saturday: 

  • Sugar Pine Point State (including Visitor Center),
  • Emerald Bay State Park (including Visitor Center),
  • Kings Beach State Recreation Area,
  • Tahoe State Recreation Area,
  • Donner Memorial State Park (including Visitor Center).

D.L. Bliss State Park and Visitor Center are closed for the season due to ongoing work to upgrade its water system. The Emerald Bay parking lot, adjacent to Highway 89, is open. Campground reopenings are still currently delayed. Visit for the most up-to-date information. 

In addition, historic house tours led by knowledgeable docents are available for Vikingsholm Castle and the Hellman-Ehrman Mansion (Pine Lodge) begin May 27. Vikingsholm Castle is a unique example of Scandinavian architecture in California; Pine Lodge will transport tour takers to the bygone days I.W. Hellman (once Vice President of Wells Fargo) and his family experienced in their summer home.

For more information about tours, visit

Tahoe to see influx of visitors for holiday weekend; Officials advise caution

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — Memorial Day holiday weekend, the unofficial kickoff to summer, is big business for Lake Tahoe. Some South Tahoe lodging properties are nearly sold-out, but officials are reminding outdoor adventure seekers that the warm temperatures and cold run off means extra precautions are necessary.

With the area expected to see a large influx of visitors, traffic congestion, crowded trails and beaches are possible, especially with sunny skies and temperatures in the mid to upper 60s.

Be sure to allow extra time for travel and to pack plenty of water and snacks. It’s also a good idea to wear comfortable shoes and clothing that is appropriate for the weather conditions (thunderstorms are possible this weekend).

Carol Chaplin, president and CEO of Visit Lake Tahoe, told the Tribune, “Our lodging partners are reporting strong occupancy for Saturday and Sunday; A few have indicated they are close to sell out.” 

Chaplin added that with the weekend drawing near the window to book accommodations is coming to a close.  

“Overall, we should have a strong holiday weekend,” Chaplin added.

According to the USDA Forest Service Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit, it also marks the kickoff for many visitors to national forests. With the strong storms and heavy snow over the past few months, some forest areas and sites are closed due to lingering snowpack, flooding or road damage. Crews are using all available resources to get these areas open and safe for the public to enjoy.

Know Before You Go. Check in with local Forest Service offices for closures and alerts. Use forest websites and social media for updates on sites and trails for the 18 national forests in California. It is your responsibility to know the area and any restrictions to areas, roads and trails within the national forests.

Pack essentials. Hikers and campers should always bring essentials including navigation, light sources, first aid supplies, clothes for changing weather, food, water and a smartphone. We recommend hikers send someone not on the hike a detailed plan of where they plan to travel and GPS location when they arrive, in case of an emergency.

Until sites officially open, there is no parking, trash removal or restroom facilities available, so plan accordingly. Bring a trash bag in case trash receptacles are unavailable and never leave trash on the outside of trash receptacles. Trash and debris left behind can be harmful or fatal to wildlife and degrades Lake Tahoe. Where pets are allowed, always clean up after them and dispose of pet waste bags properly. 

Where gates are still closed, be sure to park legally, completely off the roadway, avoid parking on vegetation, and avoid blocking gates.

Lake Tahoe is bear country. Due to snow coverage, natural food sources for bears are scarce, so be extra vigilant and help keep Tahoe bears wild by properly securing food, garbage, and other scented items. Never leave scented items in vehicles and remember to lock doors and windows. Never approach bears or cubs, always keep your distance. Don’t feed bears or other wildlife, it’s illegal. Feeding wildlife encourages them to enter human occupied areas to seek out human food.

May is Water Safety Month

In a statement Thursday, the Forest Service said that snowmelt has left behind bitter cold water which can cause hypothermia within just a matter of a few minutes. 

El Dorado County Public Health Officer Dr. Nancy Williams is advising residents and visitors to take extra precautions.

“No one wants to lose a loved one to drowning,” said Williams. “Fortunately, drowning incidents are preventable, and taking simple actions can absolutely save lives.” 

According to Williams, El Dorado County officials are especially concerned about getting the word out this year on water safety due to higher-than-normal water levels on local rivers and lakes, which can be very dangerous.

Expect Lake Tahoe beaches to be smaller than previous years due to high lake levels. Beaches with vegetation or rocky shoreline may be inaccessible. Arrive early to beat the crowds and use this opportunity to explore new areas.

Water safety reminders:

  • Do not enter cold, fast-running water. It can be dangerous for you and first responders.
  • Never enter the water to rescue a victim. Throw something that floats and call 9-1-1.
  • Do not drive through high waters. Water is often swifter than it appears.
  • Never swim alone, always wear an approved life jacket. 
  • Keep a close eye on children and pets.

South Lake Tahoe Fire Marshall Kim George told the Tribune “[Dangers in the water] really are a concern. The water is really cold and people underestimate how dangerous it can be. I’ve been seeing people paddleboarding on the Upper Truckee and mostly without life jackets.” 

George added it’s not just the temperature people need to be aware of.

“The river has a number of snags that aren’t visible but could really injure people if they were to fall in. Also, people should never use a leash if they are paddle boarding on the river. There was a tragic fatality a few years back because of that.”


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