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:
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.