Praised by CityVoters as the best course in western Washington, Avalon Golf Links lays out three nines that offer eye-pleasing glimpses of the Skagit Valley below. Though each nine conceals its own unique set of obstacles, every 1 of the 27 holes place golfers amid a picturesque sweep of Northwestern flora, challenging them to bend shots around towering evergreens and send drives screaming against the backdrop of the Olympic and Cascade ranges. The North Nine bookends the toughest stretch on the course in holes four through seven, a rigorous test requiring approaches as steady as the hand of a neurosurgeon playing Operation. Though short in comparison, the West Nine is notable for its tight fairways and frequent East-to-West orientation, yielding panoramic views of the Cascade Mountains. The South Nine punishes poor approaches with challenging greens, where balls frequently run away from their owners when struck too firmly or distracted by a particularly attractive goose egg.
After testing mind and body over 18 holes, Avalon's Sweet Bite Cafe stands at the ready to refuel tuckered-out golfers with breakfast served starting at 7:30 a.m. on weekends and sandwiches served starting at 11 a.m.
Course at a Glance:
Cleaved through rows of muscular pine trees and mature arbors, Gleneagle Golf Course's 18-hole course stretches across 5,851 yards of meandering fairways and treacherous hazards. Though the relatively short course does not demand gargantuan drives to contend for par, it counters with an ensemble of strategically placed bunkers, ball-hungry water hazards, and shape-shifting greens to affect a moderately challenging course. Patrons can prepare for the picturesque par 70 with a stint at the driving range, where an irons-only restriction keeps unruly drivers at bay and fosters the type of short-yardage precision that will prove advantageous on the course. After looping the emerald links, players can recess to the Gleneagle Family Restaurant Bar & Grill, where three large flat-screen TVs fill the room with sports-world happenings.
Course at a Glance:
Nestled in the bucolic scenery of coastal Washington, Whidbey Golf and Country Club’s par 72 course stretches across 6,467 yards of water-kissed terrain. The round begins with a challenge, as the first tee gives way to the longest and most difficult hole, a 516-yard par 5 where drives must touch down on a narrow landing strip flanked by bunkers or circle in the atmosphere until they get signal clearance. Multiple ponds come into play throughout the round, upping the ante on certain shots with high-risk, high-reward scenarios. Before embarking on their pin-hunting expedition, duffers can trace power draws into the sky or take aim at invading weather balloons at the driving range.
Those hoping to more thoroughly scout their verdant foe can pore over the website’s hole-by-hole description. A one-hour drive or ferry trip north of Seattle, the course is playable year-round, with closures only for Christmas, New Year’s, and Chi Chi Rodriguez Day.
Course at a Glance:
From The Glen Bar & Grill's outdoor patio at Fraserglen Golf Course, diners feasting on a menu of hearty clubhouse fare can steal glimpses of weeping willows leaning over cattail-lined lakes and manicured greens petering off into rugged farmlands and the mountains beyond. These idyllic greens not only lure wandering eyes with breath-taking views, but also unfurl scenic pastures where visitors can walk off recently devoured burgers, sandwiches, and wraps or make snow angels in sand traps when overcome by food euphoria.
With two distinct layouts that bob and weave through groves of douglas fir, cedar, and hemlock trees, both Eighteen Pastures Golf Course and Tall Timber Golf Course invite clubbers for a day of challenging golf. The more difficult of the two layouts, Eighteen Pastures flummoxes stick-flickers with more than 6,800 yards of topsy-turvy terrain, where precipitous hillsides and bending fairways lined with arbors conceal upcoming hazards, which include 10 ponds and a multitude of sand traps. The course's front and back nines converge at the unique clubhouse, a bright red barn with a tall silo on one end said to contain the souls of every golf ball lost on the course.
An easier and shorter alternative to its grassy brethren, Tall Timber sprawls across 5,921 yards of kempt fairways cleaved through second-growth West Coast forests. The rippling waters of streams and ponds run throughout the course, attracting waterfowl and thirsty golf carts as clubbers hack through the 160-acre landscape.
At Heather Hills Farm and Golf Course, soaring shots pepper the fairways of nine distinct holes. Clusters of towering trees lend themselves as the course's natural framework, and water hazards and sand traps lie in wait at various points prepared to entice misguided balls. Players tee off behind three different tee boxes as the course unveils its smaller-scale design, including a 185-yard sixth hole, which represents the course's longest shot and tastiest green fringe. The facility's sprawling greens serve as a backdrop to Heather Hills Farm, where agricultural sustainability and philanthropic efforts join forces to help improve surrounding communities. Course at a Glance
Named 1 of the Top 100 Golf Practice Centers And Learning Facilities In America by Golf Range Magazine in 2011, Eaglequest Coyote Creek Golf Course pairs its renowned practice facility with a par 65 course to foster improvement in players of all abilities. The 18-hole, 4,165-yard course facilitates fast rounds of golf with 7 par 3 and 11 par 4 holes, and 4 holes more than 300 yards in length, prompting players to use every club in their bags. Lines of trees stud the edges of nearly every fairway, a creek winds through the course’s gently undulating terrain to alter shots, and a tennis player with a racquet plays defense on the final hole.
Before golfers head to the first tee, they can loosen up their swings by launching high-calibre practice balls at Eaglequest's synthetic driving range. To further groom their games, clubbers can schedule lessons with one of the course's CPGA instructors, who remedy slice-prone swings, shaky short-game shots, and 9-irons stricken with the common cold.