Towering fir trees, water hazards of varying sizes, and white sand traps shape the landscape at Riverside Golf Course's 18-hole, par 71 course. Though it measures in at 6,155 yards from the farthest tees, the course plays longer because of multiple doglegs guarded by thickets of tall trees and water hazards that come into play on 14 holes, including the Chehalis River, ponds lined with tall grasses, and rain-filled divots left by the titans who first walked the course.
The course’s two most difficult holes are showcased on 527- and 545-yard par 5s, where long hitters have an advantage than on the rest of the relatively short but less forgiving fairways. Though most water hazards come into play in the event of an errant shot, there are ponds on the fairways of three holes that golf balls must fly over or tunnel underneath to make it to the green.
Riverside Golf complements its golf course and driving range with the culinary creations of Chef James Wheeler, who prepares the menu at the club’s bistro. Guests can choose to enjoy the bistro fare—such as hazelnut-crusted wild sockeye or Angus beef prime rib—from the white-cloth-draped tables of the dining room or watch the sunset as they stir their drinks with lucky putters as they bask in the outdoor seating of the Rooftop Bar.
Course at a Glance:
Behind a backdrop of blue skies and the distant ranges of Mount Rainier, players sharpen their swings at Airport Golf & Batting Center. The mountain serves as the ultimate target for slinging long drives inside the heated, lit, and covered driving range. A nine-hole executive course with new blocks and greens stands ready to host players ready to move beyond banking chip shots over the neighbor's pool. Scratching the sports itch doesn't stop with just golf, as the center also houses a bank of indoor batting cages, each outfitted with pitching machines that sling baseballs up to 60 miles per hour.
An Xbox 360 console, a 40-inch high-definition television, and a surround-sound headset: all of this is yours alone at PLAYlive's individual gaming stations. But that doesn't mean each round of gaming has to be a solitary affair. The gaming center hosts parties and weekly tournaments, too, pitting players against each other in live contests with titles such as Call of Duty and NBA2K. For members, the lounge even hosts monthly mixers where gamers can participate in mini tournaments or debate which Mario brother made their mother prouder. Beyond its comfy lounge, PLAYlive can enrich your gaming experience with its shop that specializes in repairing Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Nintendo Wii consoles.
For Bill Swann the challenge of reeling in a monstrous king salmon or wily steelhead is too good to resist, which explains why he’s spent the past 30 years fishing the waterways of the Pacific Northwest. Certified by the US Coast Guard, he now leads Swanny’s Guided Fishing, where he shares his insight and techniques with others during fishing trips to destinations including the Cowlitz, Lewis, and Columbia Rivers. Whether he’s dealing with seasoned anglers or first-time fishermen, Bill provides all of the fishing gear for every expedition, and doesn’t hesitate to snap photos of clients’ notable catches.
The Golf Club at Hawks Prairie houses a pair of challenging 18-hole golf courses with scenic views and one 2,500-square-foot clubhouse. Equipped with five sets of tees, The Links gives club-swingers of all skill levels a formidable challenge atop a Scottish-style course surrounded by beautiful views of Puget Sound and Mount Rainier. Golfers can face The Woodlands' sprawling fairways surrounded by dense forestry and tranquil wetlands, and valiantly nudge balls into holes atop multitiered greens. Visitors in possession of the Hawks Prairie Club Pass can take advantage of discounted greens fees to explore all of the club's 36 holes, as well as a special Hawks Prairie ID card to show police when pulled over for driving a golf cart under the influence of putting-induced euphoria. On weekdays, a round of golf costs up to $39 per person, but Hawks Prairie Club Pass toters can golf for $17; on weekends, a round costs up to $51 per person, but Club Pass holders can golf for $30. Hawks Prairie Club Pass holders also receive invitations to tournaments, exclusive access to instructional events, team competitions, and social outings such as competitive synchronized zen-garden-raking in one of many sand bunkers.
Cool breezes spiral off the waters of Oakland Bay, gently ruffling the fairway grasses of Bayshore Golf Course, positioned on the bay’s western shore. The nine-hole, 3,002-yard course slaloms through thickets of towering pines and rolls over gently undulating terrain that golfers can traverse by foot, golf cart, or a 3-wood that doubles as a pogo stick. Those in need of tees, divot tools, or golf balls can stop by Bayshore Golf Course’s pro shop, which sells golf apparel and accessories that sport the club’s logo.
Course at a Glance:
Tucked in the breezy shadows of towering douglas firs, golfers hunt birdies and pars across Lake Spanaway's 7,083-yard course. Fairways tunnel through communities of trees that convince errant golf balls that they are pinecones. Three of the course's holes earned honorable mention in the Seattle Times' Puget Sound Area's Dream 18 Holes, including the par 4 12th, where tee shots must trace the fairway as it curves left through a narrow tree line and toward a green shielded by an oasis of vast bunkers.
A covered, lighted driving range sits beside the course, where golfers smooth out swings undisturbed by waning daylight, rain, or hail caused by skydivers eating sunflower seeds. The course's staff of golf pros also helps manage on-course techniques with a variety of instructional options, including complimentary 10-minute lessons.
Course at a Glance: