Cleaved through rows of muscular pine trees and mature arbors, Gleneagle Golf Course's 18-hole course stretches across 5,851 yards of meandering fairways and treacherous hazards. Though the relatively short course does not demand gargantuan drives to contend for par, it counters with an ensemble of strategically placed bunkers, ball-hungry water hazards, and shape-shifting greens to affect a moderately challenging course. Patrons can prepare for the picturesque par 70 with a stint at the driving range, where an irons-only restriction keeps unruly drivers at bay and fosters the type of short-yardage precision that will prove advantageous on the course. After looping the emerald links, players can recess to the Gleneagle Family Restaurant Bar & Grill, where three large flat-screen TVs fill the room with sports-world happenings.
Course at a Glance:
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.
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.
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.
Nestled in the bucolic scenery of coastal Washington, Whidbey Golf and Country Club’s par 72 course stretches across 6,467 yards of water-kissed terrain. The round begins with a challenge, as the first tee gives way to the longest and most difficult hole, a 516-yard par 5 where drives must touch down on a narrow landing strip flanked by bunkers or circle in the atmosphere until they get signal clearance. Multiple ponds come into play throughout the round, upping the ante on certain shots with high-risk, high-reward scenarios. Before embarking on their pin-hunting expedition, duffers can trace power draws into the sky or take aim at invading weather balloons at the driving range.
Those hoping to more thoroughly scout their verdant foe can pore over the website’s hole-by-hole description. A one-hour drive or ferry trip north of Seattle, the course is playable year-round, with closures only for Christmas, New Year’s, and Chi Chi Rodriguez Day.
Course at a Glance:
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.