The Seattle area’s natural assets are on full display at many, if not all of the area’s golf courses. No matter where you live in the city, there are good options in all directions for golfers looking to play at great courses. Below is a list of the best public golf courses in Seattle. To be considered for the list, courses need to be at most 1 hour from the city center since that is our barometer on how far someone would drive on a normal day to play a round of golf.
1) Chambers Bay - University Place, WA - 50 Minutes From City Center - Chambers Bay is a Robert Trent Jones design, located about an hour south of downtown Seattle. This traditional links style golf course is owned by Pierce County and is most notably known for being the first course in the Northwest to welcome the U.S. Open Championship. With tawny fescue, towering sand dunes, massive fairways, and breathtaking views of the Puget Sound and snow-capped Olympic Mountains, it is no surprise that Golf Digest just recently named Chambers Bay Golf Course #21 on the list of America’s 100 Greatest Public Courses. With prestige comes price, for rates and more information click here.
2) The Golf Club at Newcastle - Newcastle, WA - 22 Minutes From City Center - Located just 15 miles east of downtown, The Golf Club at Newcastle features 36 holes of championship golf. The courses are framed by stunning views of Lake Washington, Mt. Rainier, the Olympic and Cascade Mountains, and the Seattle skyline. Golfers who play the China Creek course should anticipate undulations on several fairways and well-placed bunkers throughout. Few courses offer views as stunning as those found on the Coal Creek course, shown below. The Coal Creek course features a challenging layout with undulating green complexes and elevation changes, making proper club selection paramount. The Golf Club at Newcastle is on the pricier side but their conditions, views, layout and friendly staff align with what you pay. For rates and more information click here.
3) The Home Course - Dupont, WA - 58 Minutes From City Center - The Home Course is located just nine miles south of Chambers Bay and is owned and operated by the Pacific Northwest Golf Association (PNGA) and Washington Golf. This public golf course in Seattle features a walkable layout and gorgeous views of Puget Sound, the Olympic Mountains, and Mount Rainier. Although The Home Course shares some of the same views as Chambers Bay, it does not share the same price point. 18 holes will cost you $54 on a weekday and $66 on weekends, less if you are a member of PNGA or WA Golf allied associations. The Home Course is a spike-free facility meaning all players must wear spikeless golf shoes, tennis shoes or other similar shoes without a heel. For more information click here.
4) Washington National Golf Club - Auburn, WA - 37 Minutes From City Center - This public golf course near Seattle is one of the Pacific Northwest’s true gems and is located southeast of downtown. Washington National is also the proud home to the University of Washington’s Men’s and Women’s varsity golf teams. Designed by award-winning architect John Fought, wide fairways lure golfers into a sense of security but a wealth of strategically placed hazards challenge even the best shot makers. With tee options ranging from 5,100 to 7,300 yards, Washington National will motivate and reward golfers of all playing abilities. The only drawback? Singles can not make tee times; if you are a single, you must show up to the course on the day you want to play and see what is available on the tee sheet. A round on the weekend will cost you $98 but if you are a cardholder it will only cost you $80. For more information click here.
5) West Seattle Golf Course - Seattle, WA - 22 Minutes From City Center - Located just a few miles south of downtown, many golfers think this is the best municipal course in Seattle. The front nine meanders alongside Longfellow Creek with relatively flat terrain. The contrasting back nine plays much more difficult despite being almost 300 yards shorter. Golfers will experience countless uneven lies as the back nine is very hilly and it is the most affected part of the course when the afternoon winds pick up. A round at this course comes at a good price, particularly if you get one of the off-time specials. For more information click here.
I hope this helps you find a great public golf course to play in the Seattle area. Have some courses that you love that should be included on this list? Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your suggestions.