Date Played: August 31st

Sumner Meadows is a course I’d heard a lot about over the past few years, but hadn’t ever bothered to make the trip to see.  It seemed like everything I heard was a mixed bag with nobody having a strong opinion either way, and as much as it feels like a cop out, that’s exactly how it struck me as well.

Sumner Meadows is built in to a basin right below the Lakeland Hills neighborhood in Sumner.  Lakeland Hills is a nicer end community with lots of young professionals and well-to-do families and is the main clientele base for the course.  The guys I played with were rather snooty and full of themselves, though based on the few I met at the range, I suspect that was not completely typical.  This is generally a good thing, but it seems to have backfired in this case as the course suffered from player neglect.  Pitch marks, divots and those lovely rectangular craters where you slam a club (we’ve all had that moment, right?) might be the most memorable feature.  With that said, you could tell that the grounds crew was really trying, the course was pretty green for a dry summer and the spots that hadn’t been bulldozed by players was in good shape.

The layout is plain, forgettable, and pretty simple; I shot a 37 on the out, and I’m a 14 handicap.   There are a couple of nice holes, such as the par 3 15th, which is a 160-190 yard par 3 with a two tiered green and hazard up the left side.  You need to hit a draw and land level with the often tucked pin to get birdie here.  The 17th hole is a drive-able par 4 that is under 300 from the white tees.  The smart play is a 5 iron up the middle, but my ego called my brain a pansy and made me take driver.  I ended up in the fairway bunkers that guard the entire right side…I know, I was shocked too.

This course has me absolutely perplexed, I can’t tell if I like it or hate it.  I love the greens fees you can find online ($20 with a cart) but showing up and paying $52 is flat out not worth it.  The layout is flat and boring, but I found myself enjoying my golf that day.  The complex features a driving range, a chipping green, a putting green and a pro shop.  However, the pro-shop/clubhouse is a temporary building with a limited selection and I only saw the beverage cart once over a 5:10 minute round.  The bottom line is that if you can find a rate for less than $30, you can’t go wrong, but expect slow play and a dinged up course.  Final Score: 38/60.

Design – 6/10
Test of Golf – 6/10
Condition – 5/10
Amenities – 7/10
Value – 8/10
Experience – 7/10