When I started Golf by Bryan, I felt compelled to offer my opinion, as unwanted and useless as it might be to most people, about golf in the Pacific Northwest.  If I can open somebody up to a course they’ve never heard of, or steer somebody clear of a course that is likely to disappoint, I fell like it’s worth it.  So, with that, I present to you, my new feature; The Five Spot.  Every week or two, I’ll put together a list of 5 things, good and bad, that bug me and delight me.  So without further ado, here’s the first installment of The Five Spot.

This week: 5 Best and 5 Worst Washington Golf Values.

The Best:

  1. Gold Mountain Golf Complex – The Olympic Course at Golf Mountain hosted the 2006 US Amateur Public Links Championship.  This one of the 5 biggest amateur golf events in America, and likely the world.  You can play this course as much as you’d like for a paltry $65 on the weekend or $45 weekdays.
  2. Chambers Bay Golf Course – It’s very, very seldom you will hear me call a $165 green fee a good value.  But Chambers Bay is gearing up to host the 2015 US Open, on the heels of hosting the 2010 US Amateur.  Washington Residents can play this course on Sundays-Thursdays for $150  ($165 Fri & Sat) and Pierce County residents can get on for $99 during the same stretch ($115 Fri & Sat).  You can play in your backyard for relative peanuts compared to its golf equals.
  3. Gleneagle Golf Course – This course is in a planned community in Arlington.  It’s a tight course with a ton of challenge and it’s extremely fun to play.  The new management and grounds crew has whipped this one time relic in to shape and you can reap the benefits for $43 with a cart during prime time on the weekends.
  4. Indian Canyon Golf Course – This classic Spokane run has hosted two US Amateur Public Links Championships (1941 and 1984) and offers the classic Chandler Egan design built right into a canyon wall with sweeping vistas of the Spokane Valley.  If this course were in Seattle, or were private, the $29 weekend green fee would easily be tripled.  The cart fee is $14, which pushes this slightly down the list as walking can prove to be a little taxing.  Bonus: It looks like Spokane is offering a $1650 annual membership that allows unlimited play at all four Spokane Courses!
  5. Blue Boy West – Blue Boy West is a 9 hole delight that is tucked away in Monroe.  It’s one of the first courses I ever played, and I love it as much now as I did then.  It’s got all the character you could ever want (like a giant stump in the middle of a green), it’s taken care of well and they don’t take themselves to seriously.  If you don’t think too highly of yourself and don’t look down on golfing in denim, $21 for 18 holes is about as good as it gets in the area.

The Worst:

  1. The Golf Club at Newcastle – Everything about this place screams pretense.  The name, the clubhouse, the clientele, the course.  At Newcastle, you pay for views, but you can get them for free by just driving up the hill to the clubhouse.  So go have breakfast there, and head down the road to Maplewood.  It offers nearly the golf without the hoity toity $165(!) price tag.
  2. Suncadia Resort – I hate to say it, because it’s a tremendous place, but Suncadia does clock in on my list.  The courses are excellent, the facilities are great, but the $110 Saturday price tag is just too much.  When you factor in gas (25mpg at $4.00 a gallon) it’s $140 and 8 hours to get a round in.  If you’re local, ignore this post and get there for the $60 weekday fees.
  3. Apple Tree Golf Course – This Yakima course is nice, but nothing to write home about.  It’s not the most memorable, nor does it really ever having you say wow.  But those are some of the things I expect when I pay $70 ($85 with a cart) for a round of golf.
  4. Coeur d’Alene Resort – I know it’s not in Washington, but I’m counting it on this list because it’s ridiculous.  It’s hard to over price a great golf course, but the folks at CDA have manged to do just that.  The course is the most well maintained course I’ve ever seen.  It’s pretty tough and it’s a great play.  Just not for $220 a person.  You can have $135 and play a better course if you head down to Circling Raven.
  5. Washington National Golf Club – Another Oki course clocks in at number 5.  Washington National is a decent course where you pay for conditions rather than imagination or toughness.  It’s $99 weekend green fees are outrageous and it’s case for the worst column is bolstered by the fact that the twilight rate only drops to $75 on the weekend.  Ugh.