Best Golf Courses In Seattle
Seattle is known for a lot of things – rain, traffic, coffee, tech companies Microsoft and Amazon, and the Space Needle – but golf is less so. With beautiful scenery thanks to mountains and the Puget sound, the best golf courses in Seattle are underrated and underappreciated. Part of that narrative changed with the 2015 U.S. Open held at Chambers Bay in nearby Tacoma. The faux links course by Robert Trent Jones Jr., a public course owned by Pierce County on the shores of the Puget Sound, put the region on the map. Only a few golf destinations in America feature a U.S. Open host open to the public that can anchor a golf trip. Chambers Bay has its flaws – its fescue greens are being converted to Poa annua grass after a decade of inconsistent conditions – but it’s a beautiful property where the walking-only policy and caddies add up to a unique experience.
Although the sun doesn’t always shine, the climate is mild enough that golfers can play at the best golf courses in Seattle all year round, if the cold and rain lets up in winter.
Close to Chambers Bay is The Home Course in DuPont, jointly owned by the Pacific Northwest Golf Association and the Washington State Golf Association. Sod-wall bunkering gives the RTJ Jr. design a linksy look. Golfers who don’t want to stray too far from downtown’s tourist traps – Pike Place Market, the Space Needle and Seattle Mariners/Seahawks games – can find 36 holes closer to downtown at the affordable Willows Run Golf Complex in Redmond or the scenic but pricier Golf Club at Newcastle in Newcastle. Washington National Golf Club, home of the University of Washington Huskies golf teams in Auburn, and the Druids Glen Golf Club, located in Covington in the shadow of Mt. Rainier, provide strong tests of golf.
A short ferry ride from Seattle reveals the Kitsap Peninsula, where The Olympic course at Gold Mountain in Bremerton (image above) and the Trophy Lake Golf & Casting Club in Port Orchard reside in stunning natural settings. Trophy Lake, the Golf Club at Newcastle and Washington National are all Oki Golf properties and rank as contenders as best golf courses in Seattle.
Two premier golf resorts beckon beyond the city limits if you want to explore the best golf courses in Seattle a bit further. Across the Cascade mountains from Seattle about 90 miles away is Suncadia Resort in Cle Elum, one of the driest sites in the state. Both the Arnold-Palmer-designed Prospector Course and the newer Rope Rider Course by Peter Jacobsen/Jim Hardy are strong (Tom Doak’s Tumble Creek is private). Suncadia is surrounded by the Wenatchee Washington National Forest, offering hiking, biking, white-water rafting and more. Salish Cliffs Golf Club and the Little Creek Casino Resort in Shelton offer similar luxury on a smaller scale. Nice restaurants, spas and comfortable accommodations are staples at both resorts.
With so many choices, there might not be a better place to play summer golf in America than the Pacific Northwest … as long as the sun is shining.