Meadowmeer Golf & Country Club’s nine-hole course takes golfers on a pin-hunting odyssey through fairways and greens nestled in the shadows of dense tree lines. The scaled-down layout boasts dual sets of tees, creating front- and back-nine experiences unique enough to convince near-sighted sand wedges that they are playing a full-length course. The course shares its grounds with a practice area for chipping, pitching, and driving, as well as a nine-hole practice green, which helps players get a feel for the speed of greens without having to bribe an earthworm.
Renowned golf architect and Pacific Northwest Golf Association Hall-of-Famer Arthur Vernon Macan conceived Glen Acres’ nine-hole course to challenge golfers of all skill levels and reward their exertions with picturesque views of downtown Seattle. Lush, emerald fairways and impeccably manicured greens coalesce to form one of the most difficult courses in the Puget Sound area—one notorious for its sleek surfaces and caddies who play defensive with tennis rackets. Pairs or quartets must don their argyle thinking caps as they navigate the course’s many hazards, lining up shots and launching them across expanses speckled with lakes and thick curtains of trees. A powered golf cart speeds up the action, though players may stop periodically to spy on Seattle University’s golf squad and glean secrets from the collegiate masters.
At Swing Doctors, PGA-certified instructors use state-of-the-art video-analysis software to improve each golfer’s swing mechanics and overall skill set. A camera captures swings and divides them into freeze frames to pinpoint weaknesses in posture, technique, and color coordination of clothing.
Swing Doctors is also home to more than 100 virtual golf courses. Links including Firestone and Pinehurst unfurl on 10'x13' screens, simulating surfaces such as fairway, green, and sand bunker.
One of just 23 TaylorMade Performance Labs in the world, the location at Willows Run Golf Club uses modern swing technology to gather data about golfers’ games, resulting in club recommendations that are uniquely suited to each player. A certified TaylorMade Club-Fitting Professional guides athletes through the entire experience. While the client swings inside a golf simulator, the pro helms the Motion Analysis Technology by TaylorMade, an apparatus comprised of six high-speed cameras. These cameras turn the golfer into a three-dimensional digital rendering, similar to the process used by video-game developers. Whether a customer opts for fitting with all 14 clubs in his or her bag or a single category—such as irons, woods, putters, or wedges—the technology captures their mechanics down to a tenth of a degree, revealing optimal club parameters ranging from loft angle to shaft flex.
At Redwood Golf Center, club-swinging cadets send range balls flying from personal mats housed within their cozy, covered stalls. After first selecting a bucket size – large buckets contain 85 balls while small buckets have 34 – golfers then set to practicing their 2-iron stingers, wedge game accuracy, and triple pump-fake drives off the tee. Frequent visitors can also take advantage of the per-bucket discounts found within the center’s punch cards, which are redeemable for 9, 25, or 50 buckets over the course of a year.
Riverbend Golf Complex is a multifaceted training facility that fosters golf-game improvement from tee to green. Golfers hunt birdies and pars across the complex's 18-hole, 6,701-yard course or hone their approach technique with a round at the par-3 course, ideal for those seeking their first hole-in-one or still potty-training their pitching wedge. A 32-stall covered, lighted, and heated driving range helps golfers add new weapons to their on-course arsenal as they take aim at eight target greens spread out in the distance, and a five-member instructional staff of PGA and LPGA pros and apprentices offers a variety of lesson types to keep swings on track. For a more casual session, guests can putt through the tree-lined greens of Riverbend's 18-hole miniature-golf course. The complex also boasts a discount golf store where guests can replace golf clubs they broke while trying to pole-vault across a creek, with equipment from Adams, Bridgestone, Callaway, and other top brands.
The nine-hole course at Highlands Golf tests the mettle of mid- to short-range irons with nine par 3s and a bounty of scenarios that demand short-game finesse. Whereas most courses place value on long drives and superhuman muscles like Arnold Palmer's, Highlands Golf makes players rely on dexterity with shorter irons and putting prowess. Tee shots range from just 100 yards to 200 yards on the par 3s, with eight bunkers and three water hazards ready to confound overconfident swings. Rounds typically take less than 75 minutes to complete, providing an unintimidating layout for new players to practice, space for veterans to show off their short-game theatrics, and enough soft landing spots for speed golfers to test the aerodynamics of argyle tracksuits.
Course at a Glance: