EXCELLENT LAYOUTS, manicured fairways, awe-inspiring views, and moderate prices help Washington’s top courses (golfwashington.com) rank among the best in the nation. Here are some of the state’s finest offerings.
Ranked the 46th best course in the nation by Golf, the dastardly links-style Chambers Bay runs along the Puget Sound and a nearby hillside. The Scottish-style layout will test the best of players. For those interested in trying a links course good enough for the pros, the course—host of the 2015 U.S. Open—is not to be missed.
At the Semiahmoo Resort, near the Canadian border, golfers can’t go wrong with either of two highly ranked courses, but our pick is the Loomis Trail Golf Course, where water comes into play extensively on the picturesque layout, thanks to a series of canals and lakes that snake through the holes, though the course is best known for its fine fairways and excellent greens.
On a canyon wall just west of Spokane is Indian Canyon Golf Course, with excellent golf and wonderful views of the city and the surrounding valley. Opened in 1935, this course has been chosen by Golf Digest as one of the top 25 public courses in the nation. It offers a vertical drop of 240 feet and fairways lined with pines.
Built on the hilly wheat fields near the small university town of Pullman, and known for its elevation changes and quick greens, Palouse Ridge Golf Club is tough but fair, and offers a good test of one’s game.
The links-style Wine Valley Golf Club outside Walla Walla is ranked as the 99th best modern course in the nation. The views are great, the course is challenging, and there are more than 100 world-class wineries within about a 15-mile radius.
Golfers visiting the Suncadia Resort, located near Roslyn in the eastern slopes of the Cascade Mountains, usually choose to play the excellent public course, Prospector. If possible, get a tee time at the private Tumble Creek Club. This course offers beautiful views of the mountains, rolling fairways, and a quality layout challenging for all skill levels.
The stellar public layout at the Golf Club at Newcastle features two excellent 18-hole courses. A slight edge in quality goes to the difficult Coal Creek over sister course China Creek. Don’t miss Coal Creek’s famous first hole, with its breathtaking view of Seattle, Puget Sound, and the Olympics. —JEFF BOND