Date Played: February 4th 2013

In the South end of the Yakima Valley is the bustling metropolis of Toppenish.  On your way out-of-town towards Goldendale and the Columbia River, you’ll pass a nondescript Country Club at the base of Cascades.  I decided to stop by for a round; a round I did my best to have no expectations for.

The club is open to the public, but is mostly populated by locals and members (with some awesome custom golf carts).  As for the course…it’s in rough shape, to put it nicely.  The thing opened in 1926, so it’s got a very back and forth “classic” feel to it.  It’s only got two sets of tees and I can’t really recall but two holes that had a dogleg that required a though besides driver, 9 iron.  Most of the time, courses like this are simple and don’t offer much of a challenge, but this course does have a saving grace — if you can call it that — in that you cannot find a level lie anywhere on the property.

The fairways are a little shaggy, but in pretty decent shape, but I’ll be damned if they aren’t the bumpiest I’ve ever seen.  Driving my cart around the course, I could feel my fat jiggle like I was on a no-tell motel massage bed.  The highlight holes were scarce, but the  Par 3 8th which is a tough 175 yarder with an undulating green (a recurring theme here), and the short par 4 9th did stand out.  This hole is really bizarre.  At 295 yards, it seems like an almost reachable Par 4, but there is a steep dogleg right about 270 yards out.  I sprayed my drive right in to the woods, which oddly enough gave me a clear shot into the green.  I lipped it out from 55 yards and took an unlikely birdie.  It’s quirks like this that burn courses into my short memory.

Mature trees abound to eat up shots and the greens can be diabolical at times with false breaks and heinous reads.  I paid $20 for 18 holes during prime time, which is well worth the price of admission.  I also met the most friendly group of golfers I’ve had the pleasure of playing with.  As a single, I was easily and happily allowed to play through 3 groups and on 18 I was invited to tee off with a foursome of old timers who really got the spirit of the game.  The clubhouse has a snack bar and a mildly stocked pro-shop.  It also houses an irons only driving range that is less than stellar.

It was a great time on a sub par course, and for $20 this place is a no brainer.  Don’t let the score fool you (I’ve gotta knock some points off for the course itself), I’ll take this over Apple Tree and it’s snooty clientele any day.  Final Score: 40/60

Design – 6/10
Test of Golf – 7/10 (the lumpy fairways will force many a sprayed shot)
Condition – 5/10
Amenities – 5/10
Value – 8/10
Experience – 9/10