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.
The origin story of Gig Harbor Golf Club has a certain Rockwellian flavor. In the early 1950s, the Wollochet Community Club?a group that included local community leader Walter Hogan?discussed building their own country club. The idea generated buzz throughout the community, who invested not just money, but sweat equity. After purchasing a 114-acre farm with a brilliant view of Mount Rainier, the club's charter members took to etching the course into the land, using all of the tools they had at their disposal?some even used spoons, screwdrivers, and garden rakes to dig rocks out of the soil and flatten the turf.
Opened in 1961, the 9-hole labor of love still stands, having benefited from a half century of maturation and trading out fedora hats in favor of flags. The course?which measures 5,420 yards from the farthest tees?presents ample opportunities to score, including four short par-fours in which some golfers may be able to drive the green. The course features two distinct sets of forward and back tees (four tees total), so golfers can play it twice over for an 18-hole round that has a different front- and back-nine experience.
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
All 38 acres of Tom's Golf Center are dedicated to one thing: golf game improvement. Golfers of all levels train on practice facilities that include a driving range with all-grass hitting tees as well sheltered mats for practice in rainy weather—when most players are at home giving their clubs a bubble bath. The facility also boasts a three-hole golf course, where players can put their skills in action on two par 4 holes and one par 3.
Depending on the time of year, exploring Kahler Glen Golf & Ski Resort's patch of evergreen forest requires either a set of golf clubs or a pair of cross country skis. On clear summer days, the grass shines green and the snowcapped peaks of the Cascades dominate the horizon as visitors strap on their golf bags and voyage through the scenic mountain course. The 5,893-yard layout leads golfers past towering evergreen trees, en route to a par 70.
In the winter, snow blankets the terrain and fairways instantly transform into cross-country ski trails. Kahler Glen grooms several kilometers of private trails, which connect to the Lake Wenatchee trail system just to the northwest, adding up to more than 30 kilometers of skiable terrain and Yeti walking trails.
Nestled amid the vibrant scenery of Cowichan's wine country, Arbutus Ridge Golf Club's 18-hole, par 71 course weaves through 6,193 yards of fairways and greens kissed by breezes moving inland off the waters of the Saanich Inlet. Named one of Canada's Ten Best Golf Courses for Value by Westjet's Up! magazine in 2009, the course's front nine weaves alongside the seaside community of Cobble Hill before ascending a ridge to a plateau on the back nine, where players can soak in sweeping views of Salt Spring Island and name new constellations in the divots peppered across the course below. Though players encounter many par 4s and reachable par 5s, Arbutus Ridge concludes with three treacherous holes, including the 214-yard, par 3 17th hole, where golfers must overcome swirling winds to land tee shots on an island green. Golfers can prepare for rounds with a stint at the club's driving range or by scouting sand traps' self-defence mechanisms while watching the club's online course videos.
Arbutus Ridge cares about the condition of its course and the nature that surrounds it, and because of its efforts toward sustainable practices, the course has been certified by Audubon International. After rounds, course patrons can retire to the Satellite Bar & Grille, which overlooks the Satellite Channel and serves a seasonal menu of West Coast?influenced French bistro fare, with offerings that include halibut, salmon, and tenderloin steak, which pairs well with a glass of Jean Van de Velde's tears.
Course at a Glance: