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.
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: * 18-hole, par 71 course * Length of 7,083 yards from the farthest tees * Course rating of 73.5 from the farthest tees * Slope rating of 124 from the farthest tees * Four tee options * See the scorecard
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:
You and your golf pal will receive a wealth of feedback from Tacoma Firs' PGA- and LPGA-certified instructors over the course of each of your hour-long lessons. They tailor instruction to individual needs, so novices can learn the fundamentals of the game, and expert ball-swatters will season their swing, perfect golf posture, and hone alignment. The staff's careful instruction, observation, and friendly demeanor make it easy to make balls to soar more gracefully than an ultralight made of dreams.
A 27-hole facility overseen by the Metro Parks Department of Tacoma, Meadow Park Golf Course offers club-toters both an 18-hole Championship Course and a 9-hole Williams course. Big hitters can be rewarded handsomely on the Championship Course, where a preponderance of straightaway holes places a premium on distance. Several of these, particularly holes No. 2, 12, and 15, are drivable if golfers make a good swing or quickly down a can of spinach before playing.
The Williams Nine, meanwhile, is ideally suited to beginning golfers. Its collection of three par 4s and six par 3s?none longer than 277 yards from the back tees?won't intimidate players who are just getting the hang of the swing or scared stiff about breaking golf etiquette. The course's ease helps them build confidence in preparation for a jump to the full-length loop.
With the peaks of Mount Rainier as their backdrop, and the babbling streams of the Puyallup River as their soundtrack, golfers can advance across the 18-hole championship course at High Cedars Golf Club with zero sense of urgency. Along the way, the property's 220 acres showcases a path of lush fairways, greens, and tees. Of course, time is often of the essence, so players hoping to squeeze in a quick round can try their luck on the club's 9-hole executive course. Extended visits still might be a necessity, though, since High Cedars also features a full-service restaurant and bar, as well as a 30-station driving range. PGA golf instructor Tad Davis is also available for lessons, encouraging players to improve their game without having to install a laser scope on their driver.
Championship Course at a Glance * 18-hole, par 72 course * Total of 6,647 yards from the tips * Four tees per hole * Course rating of 70.9 * Course slope of 117 * Scorecard