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.
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:
Nine-hole, par 34 course
Length of 2,491 yards from the farther tees
Course rating 62.1 from the farther tees (adjusted for a par score of 68)
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.
At Operation Paintball, Mother Nature provides the cover: massive tree roots bulge from the ground at the edge of a field, sheltering players from the gobs of paint whizzing past their ears. Beyond the natural bunkers, the six outdoor fields boast manmade obstacles—including barrels, old cars, and inflatables—behind which teammates strafe, dodge, and teleport their way to the safety of two-story towers. Play rotates among the fields throughout the day, presenting players with various scenarios such as Capture the Flag and Elimination.
Despite its wintery moniker, Kent Valley Ice Centre doesn’t just thrive in the colder months. The public ice skating site and home of the Kent Valley Hockey Association also teems with warm-weather activities, housing miniature golf and batting cages on its sprawling facilities. In addition, the family-friendly sports emporium invites guests to a full-service cafe and bar and a pro shop where visitors can purchase hockey equipment, ice skating gear, and off-duty Olympic judges.
Colored paint pellets slice the air and splatter on the rough bark of large oaks and every once in a while on the back of an enemy. During paintball play, shouts and laughter reverberate through the forest canopy as the thudding of footsteps cuts through thick underbrush. Players on the 12 outdoor fields at Operation Paintball engage rival teams during bouts of capture the flag and last-man-standing shootouts, hoping to earn victory for their mates and impress Mom one more time. The Mother Earth field's tall trees stand between natural bunkers, the Speedball concept field boasts a circle of broken wooden picket fences surrounding a central bunker, and wooded slopes take over the Yellow, Blue, and Candy fields. Staffers prepare guests to safely skirmish by providing masks, secure goggles, and padded vests, each of which has helped to contribute to the facility's perfect safety record.