Date Played: September 20th
I’ve already done a review on this blog of Trophy Lake, which is one of three tremendous properties in South Kitsap County (McCormick Woods being the third) that I plan on writing up. Gold Mountain, of these, is by far the most highly regarded and praised course. The complex (which also houses the lesser known and slightly shabbier sibling, Cascade) is a shining example of Pacific Northwest golf. Everything here is top-notch, and it’s already garnered the number one spot on my list of 5 best golf values.
When you pull up to the giant Pro Shop, you catch a taste on most days of the type of course you’re getting. Lots of trees, lots of elevation and lots of undulation. The front nine is a fantastic set of golf holes. Especially the brutal uphill par 4 4th hole. It’s a 308 yard par 4 that requires a 200 yard tee shot with an approach that plays about 2 clubs longer because of the enormous hill that the green sits on. It’s a thoughtful and challenging setup, but it leaves you wanting more from a course that is almost universally considered a top 3 public course in the state. On the back nine, you get you definitely get your “more”.
The 10th hole is nice; excellent, even. But the Par 3 12th is where things get awesome. You approach the tee box, fresh off a tough par 5 and before you sits a large green, 200+ yards away, and it’s guarded by bunkers and a large tree that sit in the huge gully that you need to carry. If you manage to nail a tremendous tee shot, you’re left with an incredibly tough putt on a green that slopes hard towards the gully. The other star for me was the driveable, par 4 18th. It’s only 270 yards from the blue tees, but it’s got a large pond right, and a bunker covered mound blocking access to everything but the left edge of the green. If you can slam the ball, you’re doing yourself a disservice by using the fairway. I rolled my drive up the left edge of the green to have an eagle putt, and it was one of those clarifying moments that assures another 10 years of golf misery to chase that dragon.
The bar is stocked and the restaurant is pretty good, the pro shop is also well-appointed. The practice facilities are nice, but not top-notch nice. The greens roll very fast and true and the whole course is cared for very, very well. Playing here again has firmed up the #1 spot on my value list. I paid $40 to play during peak hours on a weekday, but you can still play all day for $50 during weekends in October ($65 during the Summer, but my point still stands). Final Score: 55/60.
Design – 9/10
Test of Golf – 9/10
Condition – 9/10
Amenities – 9/10
Value – 10/10
Experience – 9/10