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:
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.
Fort Steilacoom Golf Course covers a flat parcel of terrain with a nine-hole, par 34 layout that measures a modest 2,491 yards when played from the farther of two tee options. Open fairways sparsely lined with evergreens put beginners at ease while inviting more experienced golfers to shoot for low scores, as solid drives can set up potential eagle opportunities on two short par 4s and the 440-yard, par 5 fifth hole. The relatively level setting makes the course easy to walk, though Fort Steilacoom offers golf carts for those who haven’t taught their caddy the art of the piggyback ride. Fort Steilacoom complements its course with a practice area, a snack bar, and a full-service pro shop where golfers can rent clubs.
Course at a Glance: