When viewed from the sky, the fairways at Sudden Valley Golf & Country Club resemble lush terraces descending into Lake Whatcom, like some grandiose, modern version of Incan horticulture. From a player's perspective, this visually dynamic setting makes for two very different nines. The front nine roams the flat shores of the lake, easing golfers into the round with wide fairways and large greens. A much different challenge awaits on the course's second act, as the fairways climb up a ridge and cleave through dense evergreens, demanding accuracy and smart approach shots onto smaller greens. Water hazards on 14 of 18 holes make the path to an under-par round even more treacherous, and 47 sandtraps peppered throughout the layout provide a soft landing spot for long-jump competitions in between shots.
Course at a Glance:
18-hole, par 72 course
Length of 6,553 yards from the tips
Course rating of 71.5 from the tips
Slope rating of 130 from the tips
Three tee options
Spread across Eagle Vista RV Park, Whistle Punk Hollow Adventure Golf looks like it hopped right out of a cartoon. With a spectacular backdrop of mountains in the distance, players putt across the multi-level course surrounded by cartoonish characters, vehicles, and lively music. They bend shots around curves, and at one hole, have to guide shots beneath a fake logging truck and the mechanic who periodically changes its fake oil.
Parking and admission is free at Castle Fun Park, allowing guests to customize their experience by only paying for the attractions and games they choose. Every day from 10 a.m. until midnight, kids and adults of all ages explore activities including mini golf with a view of the mountains. The go kart track, bumper-car arena, and remote-controlled boat pond sate needs for speed, and the shooting gallery and softball and baseball cages let athletes flex their skills. More than 200 games buzz in the arcade, including air hockey and pinball, which strengthens hand-eye coordination and improves players' ability to follow the bouncing ball during sing-along TV jingles.
At Giggle Ridge Adventure Golf, visitors wend their way through a course set in a fictional abandoned lumber mill called Giggle Ridge Logging Company. Wooden barrels pepper the terrain, along with logging equipment and tree trunks that one can imagine were felled during overly raucous squirrel house parties. The course—devised in collaboration with Cultus Lake Water Park—sponsors the Love Global Foundation Mini Golf Tournament, a contest whose proceeds benefit missionaries in more than 48 countries. That kind of charitable giving is, all puns aside, par for the course for the people behind the Love Global Foundation. Inspired by those who dedicate their lives to spreading the Gospel abroad, they now dedicate their days to funding missionaries in far-flung locales while simultaneously giving them an outlet to share their stories with family and friends back home.
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:
Three nine-hole, par 36 courses
Total length up to 6,803 yards from the back tees
Course rating up to 72.3 from the back tees
Course slope up to 126 from the back tees
Four sets of tees
Designed by Robert Muir Graves