Though the Pacific Northwest is more widely know for recreation opportunities in its forests, mountains, coasts and rivers, the golf enthusiast will certainly find a welcoming home here as well. The Thurston County area is no different with a wide variety of courses both public and private that cater to every skill level.
The following are capsule descriptions of many local courses. Price information is volatile and nearly every course has a complicated pricing structure, so information here is meant as a guide. Players are advised to call ahead both to reserve tee times and to verify the greens fees.
Alderbrook Golf & Yacht Club
This resort course near Union winds through a hillside community. “Aesthetically, there are great visuals. You see the mountains on some holes; you play in the middles of old growth trees and there’s lots of deer and wildlife,” AG&YC head pro Justin Gravatt said.
- Location: 300 E Country Club Drive 98592
- Phone: 866-898-2560
- Price 9/18 holes: Mon-Thu $30/40; Fri-Sun $30/55
- Length: 5,395 red; 6,047 white, 6,280 blue
- Features: Restaurant, bar, pro shop, tennis courts
- Memorable hole: No. 18, a par-5 dogleg left which offers views of the Olympic Mountains as the player approaches the green.
- Watch out: “The course is pretty narrow – the most difficult thing is keeping it in play,” Gravatt said.
- Link: http://www.alderbrookgolf.com/
Bayshore Golf Course
Just outside of Shelton off of Highway 3, Bayshore Golf Course’s 9-hole layout offers players a chance for a quick turn in a picturesque spot. “It’s a very playable, walkable course,” assistant pro Terry O’Hara said. “It’s very scenic, right on the water – it’s a pretty place.” With two sets of tee boxes for each hole, a leisurely nine can easily turn into a full round of golf.
- Location: 3800 E Highway 3, Shelton 98584
- Phone: 360-426-1271
- Price: $24 for 18 holes.
- Length: 2,846 red; 3,058 blue.
- Features: A café, open most days for lunch through the afternoon, bar, putting green and pro shop.
- Memorable hole: “We’ve got an interesting par-3,” O’Hara said. “It’s only 112 or 150 yards but it’s pretty narrow and crosses a creek.”
- Watch out for: “Big trees get in the way…” O’Hara said. And he’s right. They often do.
- Link: http://www.sheltonbayshoregolf.com/
Capitol City Golf Club
Capitol City has been a staple for Olympia-area golfers for years and is known for its ability to absorb the region’s legendary rainfall and still remain playable.
- Phone: 360-491-5111
- Location: 5225 Yelm Highway SE 98513
- Price 9/18 holes:
- Length: 5,593 gold; 6,269 white; 6,578 black
- Features: Full service restaurant, driving range.
- Memorable hole: The water hazard on the par-3 11th hole has claimed its share of golf balls.
- Watch out for: Multiple bunkers protect most of the holes on the course.
- Link: www.golfcapitolcity.com/
Delphi Golf Course
This par-32 executive course just off Delphi Road is ideal for sharpening the short game. Narrow fairways on the longer holes place a premium on accuracy out of the tee box.
- Location: 6340 Neylon Drive SW 98512
- n phone:
- Price 9/18 holes: Mon-Fri $13/19; Sat-Sun $15/21
- Length: Par 32, 1,950 white; 1,790 red
- Features: Snack bar, small pro shop, rentals.
- Memorable hole: Elevated tee box on No. 9 makes the target seem easy to hit. It’s not.
- Watch out for: Narrow fairways make the longer holes a challenge.
- Link: www.delphigolfcourse.com/
Eagle’s Pride Golf Course
Perhaps the most important thing civilians should remember about Joint Base Lewis-McChord’s Eagle’s Pride Golf Course is that it is open to them – all 27 holes. Over the years, people have often made the mistake of assuming that players had to be guests of military members. But this isn’t true and because the course is not technically on the post, there is no need to check in at the visitor’s center.
The play if offers is typical of many courses in the area – lush fairways flanked by big trees. Out of more than 100 military golf courses nationwide, Eagle’s Pride has been ranked in the top 10 for the past 15 years, according to director of Golf Mike McDonald. “I like to think it’s a traditional golf course,” Mike McDonald, director of golf said. “It’s not a links course and it requires some shot-making.”
Tee times are accepted for the “Red” and “Blue” groupings of nine holes and they constitute the main course. The “Green” nine used mainly for walk-ons, according to McDonald. The Red and Blue are open year-round with the Green closing over winter.
- Phone: 253-967-6522 or 253-964-2786
- Location: I-5 Exit 116
- Price: $32 to walk 18 holes; add $15 to ride.
- Length: 5,914 red; 6,440 white; 7,005 blue.
- Features: Grass range, restaurant and bar.
- Memorable hole: No. 6 is a par-5 with a little bit of everything. It runs uphill and downhill over a large pond with a fountain and a long, oblong green to shoot at.
- Watch out for: “If you stray, you pay.” McDonald said. “You’ve got to hit it pretty straight on a lot of the holes.”
- Link: http://www.jblmmwr.com/golf_eagles_pride.html
The Home Course
After opening in 2007 The Home Course as part of an environmental mitigation project, The Home Course continues to grow and improve. With challenging greens, intriguing features and five different sets of tees, The Home Course has room to test nearly all skill levels.
- Location: 2300 Hoffman Hill Blvd. DuPont, WA 98327
- Phone: (866) 964-0520 or (253) 964-0520
- Price: Mon-Thu $52; Fri-Sun, holiday $62
- Length: 5,470 gold; 6,093 white; 6,629 blue; 7,037 black; 7,424 dynamite.
- Features: Driving range, putting area, pro shop.
- Memorable hole: Each hole is named as course designers have tried to cultivate 18 somewhat unique identities. No. 3 on the “DuPont Nine”, “Sound View”, comes precisely as named with an inspiring saltwater view. No. 7, also on the “DuPont” side, “Rainier” features a water hazard that cannot be seen from the tee box, but is in range for longer hitters.
- Watch out for: The course can play as long as any player is willing to tackle. Greens undulate and leaving the fairway will often put golfers into unplayable, undeveloped areas.
- Link: http://www.thehomecourse.com/
Newaukum Valley Golf Course
With 27 holes including a par-33 executive nine on the west side, Newaukum Valley offers plenty of options. The park-like environment makes the course feel more remote than it actually is.
- Location: 153 Newaukum Golf Drive, Chehalis, 98532
- Phone: 360-748-0461
- Price 9/18 holes: Mon-Fri $10/15; Sat-Sun-Holiday $15/20
- Length: South nine 2,672 red; 2,981 white; 3,231 blue. East nine 2,440 red; 2,853 white; 2,990 blue. West nine (executive, par 33) 2,190 red; 2,492 white; 2,682 blue.
- Features: Restaurant/snack bar, golf shop, open-air driving range, executive nine.
- Memorable hole: The double dogleg on the South Nine’s par-5 6th hole stands out among the layout’s 27 holes. The river running along No. 4 insists that the right-handed player keep his slice under control.
- Watch out for: Water. It’s in play on nearly every hole of this low-lying course.
- Link: http://golfnewaukum.com/
Oaksridge Golf Course
A forgiving, parallel-style layout characterizes this flat, easy-to-walk course in Elma.
- Location: 1052 Monte-Elma Rd, Elma
- Phone: 360-482-3511
- Price 9/18 holes: $14/18 seven days a week.
- Length: 5,104 red; 5,680 white; 5,740 blue
- Features: Covered outdoor range, pro shop, snack bar.
- Memorable hole: A huge oak tree on the left side marks the first hole.
- Watch out for: Trees.
Olympia Country and Golf Club
In the midst of a membership drive that is in place for the remainder of 2011, Olympia Country and Golf Club is offering the general public a unique chance to get an intimate look at the Cooper Point area course. The course is taking tee times from the public on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays in the afternoons after 1 p.m.
“The idea is to get more exposure to the course,” club business manager Lisa Harbour said. “Membership’s been a bit lower and we wanted to get more people out there to see and experience the course.”
And the plan has been working, despite the challenging weather conditions offered by early spring play and the membership is happy to see the influx of new faces, according to Harbour. “People like to see golfers out there,” she said. “We have a lot of people that live right on the course and they don’t like to see an empty golf course.”
- Location: 3636 Country Club Drive NW, Olympia
- Phone: 360-866-7121
- Price: The limited membership-drive offers a standard rate of $45 to walk 18 holes.
- Length: 5,109 yellow; 5,842 tan; 6,110 black
- Features: Range, putting green, warm-up facilities, restaurant, bar, pro shop.
- Memorable hole: A clear day affords views of Mount Rainier on several of the layout’s holes. There is a good-sized drop-off on the 18th hole allowing Puget Sound to come into view and the green on No. 8 is possibly the course’s most picturesque spot and is used on the club’s scorecard.
- Watch out for: The course is tight, and on a few holes, quite hilly, according to Harbour.
- Link: www.olygolfclub.com
Riverside Golf Club
Known locally as a “shot-maker’s course” Riverside’s shorter layout puts a premium on accuracy.
- Phone: 360-748-8182, 800-242-9486
- Location: 1451 NW Airport Rd, Chehalis, 98532
- Price: Mon -Thu $27, Fri $28, Sat-Sun-holiday $35
- Length: 5,456 red; 5,771 white; 6,155 blue
- Features: Practice facility, restaurant.
- Watch out for: Try to stay dry. Fourteen of the 18 holes have significant water hazards.
- Link: http://www.playriversidegolf.com/
Tahoma Valley Golf Course
A trip to Yelm reveals Tahoma Valley. “It’s a short golf course but it’s challenging,” assistant pro Don Backman said. “The strength is probably the par 3s – there’s some interesting and challenging par 3s, as tough as any around. There’s a couple of really fun par 5s too.”
- Phone: 800-352-2645
- Location: 15425 Mosman Ave. SW, Yelm 98597
- Price 9/18 holes: Mon-Fri $13/18; Sat-Sun $18/25.
- Length: 5,353 red; 5,730 white; 5,930 blue
- Features: Chipping and pitching area, putting green, full service restaurant/bar with middle-eastern theme as well as classics, pro shop.
- Memorable hole: The par-3 fourteenth hole runs uphill over water with a narrow opening to the green. “It’s probably the toughest green to hit,” Backman said.
- Watch out for: “There’s lots of trees. It’s not long, but you do have to keep it straight,” Backman said.
The Golf Club at Hawks Prairie
The Golf Club at Hawks Prairie is actually two distinct courses which offer significantly different experiences to players. “They’re totally different from one another,” head pro Kevin Myers said.
“The Woodlands” is what he called a “classic, tree-lined Pacific Northwest golf course, while “The Links” is more wide open and well-bunkered and features more devious water hazards.
- Location: 8383 Vicwood Lane NE 98516
- Phone: 455-8383
- Price: Peak rates are $49 for 18 holes on both courses
- Features: Two practice facilities with grass tees, full-service restaurant, bar, pro shop.
- Link: www.hawksprairiegolf.com/
- Length: 5,300 red; 6,300 white; 6,900 black
- Memorable hole: “No 14 is very scenic. There’s a nice view of the sound and as you approach the green, it’s well-bunkered with a huge pond to the left,” Myers said.
- Watch out for: Wind. The open layout exposes players to the teeth of the breeze.
- Length: red 5,400 red; 6,200 white; 7,200 black.
- Memorable hole: “It’s probably No.13, a shorter par-5 that’s got several ponds that cascade down the right,” Myers said. “The waterfalls are very picturesque and it’s a risk-reward type of hole.”
- Watch out for: If it’s in the Pacific Northwest, there’s got to be trees and water, and the Woodlands is aptly named.
Tumwater Valley Municipal Golf Course
Owned and operated by the City of Tumwater, this mostly flat, popular course winds around the Deschutes River near the old Olympia Brewery.
- Location: 4611 Tumwater Valley Dr SE 98501
- Price: $26.99 plus tax.
- Length: 5,428 red; 6,028 white; 6,442 blue; 7,038 black
- Features: Outdoor driving range, putting/chipping areas, full-service restaurant, pro shop.
- Memorable hole: Blind, uphill tee shot on the par-5 14th hole presents intimidating, enjoyable challenge.
- Watch out for: Always hungry for errant shots, the Deschutes River is in prominent play on five holes.
- Link: www.tumwatervalleygc.com/