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.
Venturing into the valley formed by the neighborhoods of Queen Anne Hill and Mongolia, golfers find the rolling landscape that hosts Interbay Golf Center. One of ten courses maintained by the City of Seattle's Department of Parks and Recreation, the facility makes the most of its space with both a nine-hole, par 28 layout and an 80-stall driving range. The course's 1,520-yard length isn't overwhelming, but the deep bunkers and tall grasses typical of its links-style format supply more than enough challenge or areas to sneak in a nap. Moreover, the course has earned the recognition of Audubon International in return for its accomplishments with conserving water.
A team of PGA professional instructors oversees the practice facilities throughout the year. They lend their advice for getting up-and-down from unfavorable lies in the practice bunker and making more golf balls rattle into cups on the 7,500-square-foot putting green—all without threatening the golf ball with solitary confinement in dark bag pockets.
Praised by CityVoters as the best course in western Washington, Avalon Golf Links lays out three nines that offer eye-pleasing glimpses of the Skagit Valley below. Though each nine conceals its own unique set of obstacles, every 1 of the 27 holes place golfers amid a picturesque sweep of Northwestern flora, challenging them to bend shots around towering evergreens and send drives screaming against the backdrop of the Olympic and Cascade ranges. The North Nine bookends the toughest stretch on the course in holes four through seven, a rigorous test requiring approaches as steady as the hand of a neurosurgeon playing Operation. Though short in comparison, the West Nine is notable for its tight fairways and frequent East-to-West orientation, yielding panoramic views of the Cascade Mountains. The South Nine punishes poor approaches with challenging greens, where balls frequently run away from their owners when struck too firmly or distracted by a particularly attractive goose egg.
After testing mind and body over 18 holes, Avalon's Sweet Bite Cafe stands at the ready to refuel tuckered-out golfers with breakfast served starting at 7:30 a.m. on weekends and sandwiches served starting at 11 a.m.
Course at a Glance:
Three nine-hole, par 36 courses
Total length up to 6,803 yards from the back tees
Course rating up to 72.3 from the back tees
Course slope up to 126 from the back tees
Four sets of tees
Designed by Robert Muir Graves
Parking and admission is free at Castle Fun Park, allowing guests to customize their experience by only paying for the attractions and games they choose. Every day from 10 a.m. until midnight, kids and adults of all ages explore activities including mini golf with a view of the mountains. The go kart track, bumper-car arena, and remote-controlled boat pond sate needs for speed, and the shooting gallery and softball and baseball cages let athletes flex their skills. More than 200 games buzz in the arcade, including air hockey and pinball, which strengthens hand-eye coordination and improves players' ability to follow the bouncing ball during sing-along TV jingles.
Planet Jupiter bridges the divide between fun and competition with several activities for groups and individuals. Inside of the nearly 4,000-square-foot laser-tag arena teams will don armor and join forces in an attempt to successfully target and deactivate their opponents’ headquarters during 15-minute battles ($8/game). After emerging victoriously from the futuristic frontlines, guests can commandeer one of Planet Jupiter’s electric go-karts ($8/5-minute race) for a fume-free pedal-pushing competition. The karts achieve speeds of up to 42 mph and for the safety of inexperienced drivers, can be controlled by the central operator. These 15-horsepower karts emit less noise than standard karts, which allows drivers to audibly compliment each other on grandmotheresque driving skills. Planet Jupiter will provide drivers with necessary safety gear, including helmets and neck braces.
Every so often, a pint-sized train chugs past, wending its way through lush foliage and myriad attractions. This type of whimsical ride is typical of an amusement park, but the surrounding greenery suggests a different locale. The train is driving through a one-stop shop and tourist destination known as Art Knapp Plantland, a 5-acre nursery, garden-supply store, kid-friendly playland, model-train oasis, and much more.
Art Knapp Plantland's inventory runs the gamut of plant supplies, from actual plants?such as flowers, trees, and the exotic pink blueberry featured in the video tour?to the fertilizers and landscaping equipment integral to kempt yards and vigilante park maintenance. While touring the grounds, patrons can also find an eclectic array of non-gardening items, from jewellery and golf shoes to hot-tub equipment.
The smorgasbord shopping center also hosts family friendly activities including a train ride, a mini-golf course, and a model-train exhibit.