Date Played: April 3rd 2013
When a course is the home of the areas largest governing body, is hosting the last Womens Pub Links and acts as the assisting course for the US Amateur, its easy to develop lofty expectations when you go to tee it up. Often when you have those expectations, it’s also easy to be let down. Luckily, in this case, the hype and accolades are all deserved and I’m about to heap some more on it.
The Home Course, which sits near the Sound in Dupont, WA, is a new course (opened in 2007) that also houses the offices of the WSGA and PNGA. It gets pigeon holed as a “links” style course, but it’s so much more. The front 9 is pretty straight forward target golf; good use of doglegging, hazards and excellent routing to show off both the sound and Mt. Rainer views. My favorite hole on the front was the Par 4 9th, dubbed “Old Fort”. It’s a short 375 yards, that turns slightly to the left. At about 230 yards (from the white tees) there is a hill in the wide fairway, that if you clear will feed your ball into a very pitchable range for a great birdie chance. If you can’t, you are left with a tough approach to a right to left sloping green that is tiered and fast.
The back 9 offers a more compact but open layout, giving it its “links” reputation. Driving becomes easier on the back, but ball striking and course management becomes more important. The star of the back 9 is the long par 4 15th. “Buried Bunkers”, as it’s known offers two routes into the green, with the smart play over the higher right side which if not careful, can easily funnel down to the lower and tougher left side. If you are hitting from the left, it’s uphill and there is a large bunker between you and the pin. If you get up the right side in the fairway, a birdie is feasible. If you wind up left, pray for par and prepare for a double.
The portables serving as the clubhouse more than 5 years after opening is kind of a drawback, but it looks as if some of the permanent buildings are taking shape and the final layout should be ready soon. The greens were fairly recently punched, but it was more than a week prior and they had come back to better than 90%, which is remarkable for April in the Northwest. Fairways were tight and the rough was just right. Every touch, right down to the dynamite shaped tee markers (the course was built on an old munitions factory) shows just how well cared for this place is. Pride in craftsmanship is evident and it really makes for a great time. The $50 association rate on weekends down to the $32 super twilights are a fantastic value, and help make getting that GHIN membership a little more worth while. One of the best in the Seattle area, the Home Course is a must play. Final Score: 52/60
Design – 8/10
Test of Golf – 9/10
Condition – 9/10
Amenities – 7/10 (It’s been almost 6 years, get rid of the portables, guys)
Value – 9/10
Experience – 10/10