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.
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.