Date Played: June 21, 2012

At the South end of Puget Sound lies a fantastic trio of courses all within a Bubba Watson drive of each other. Gold Mountain, McCormick Woods and Trophy Lake line up, like a golf version of Orion. Gold Mountain’s Olympic Course gets tons of pub, and rightfully so. It might be the best golf value in the state. But if you have time, and happen to be a masochist, you might want to trek over to Trophy Lake.

Trophy Lake is owned by the “love em’ or hate em'” Oki Golf Company. I fall on the love em’ end of the spectrum, because Oki knows how to provide an experience. At every Oki course I play at, the service is great, the course is in excellent shape and I always come away happy. Generally this means paying a premium, but in the case of Trophy Lake, the rates are very reasonable at $65 riding on a weekday during prime time. It drops to $49 after 3pm and the rates are even better if you get the members card.

Living just minutes from Harbor Pointe, I decided to get the $100 “Original” card this year. This entitles you to two free rounds at the lower end Oki Courses (although Trophy Lake, Echo Falls, Hawks Prairie are no chopped liver), or one free anytime round at their premier properties. It also gets you the member rates at all courses, which takes about 10-15 rounds a year to break even if you never use your freebies. I sound like a shill, but I really think it’s a great value for the avid Seattle (North end or East side more so) golfer.

On to the golf. Trophy Lake is your traditional Northwest Course. It boasts a 136 slope and is over 7200 yards from the tips. It’s heavily tree lined, with generous fairways and big greens. There are quite a few lake type water hazards (including one which you can fly fish in for a nominal fee), and it’s very well bunkered. The front nine is a generally straight test, with a “meh” design. The only gem on the out is the par 5 7th. It has a giant fairway bunker that splits the fairway for all but the longest hitters. The left side is narrow, but allows you to reach the well protected green in two. I have to mention the bunkers. The bunkers here are all soft, white sand and most could hide an NBA center at their deepest point. It’s really sick and wrong, but in the best way possible.

In contrast from the front, the back nine provides more doglegs and more strategy. The par 5 11th hole is a mammoth 558 yards from the blue tees (511 from the whites) with a dogleg right into a big, but undulating green. The other standout hole is the famous 18th. The other back nine par 5, this more manageable 532 yard (465 from the whites) 3 shot par 5 is a beast. It features two huge fairway bunkers right that will eagerly chew up errant tee shots. A creek with a wonderful waterfall and another huge, deep bunker, guards the flat but accepting green.

The fairways were in great shape, the greens were fast and true and the clubhouse is spectacular with it’s Jackson Hole fishing lodge styling. The pace was slow, so the value will take a small hit. But my round was free on a fantastic day, so I won’t hold it against them. Final Score 48/60.

Design – 7/10
Test of Golf – 8/10
Condition – 9/10
Amenities – 9/10
Value – 7/10
Experience – 8/10