Yesterday was just about as perfect a day for golf as it gets up here in the PNW. Just stunning, as the past few weeks have been, and very conflicting for this kid also raised in Tennessee who’s considering moving down to SoCal for ‘better’ weather.
Never having spent much time in the Sound region, outside of Seattle proper, the drive into University Place was staggering in its beauty. I was not prepared for the snowcapped Olympic Mountains to be hovering in the distance over the water, for the blue of that water to be a perfect blue in the sunlight, and for the little town to appear so laid back and chill. Wanted to relocate instantly, and it’s not hard to see why folks love it up there.
Plenty has been said about the scale, the walk, and the terrain. I’ll just re-confirm all that. It seemed like a massive amphitheater built specifically for golf, which I suppose it kind of is. It is stunning.
The conditions were *almost* perfect. The fairways were very firm, rolling, and in fantastic shape. The greens were too, with one exception. The 6th green had several patches that were little better than bare sand, almost gravel. That was the only blemish on the course I saw. Greens rolled very true for putts, but not as fast as you’d guess. But if you landed your approach (or green side chip, even) in the wrong spot, they quickly ushered your ball away from the cup into waiting bunkers or collection areas. Overall, the turf was a 9.5/10. I haven’t played a lot of super-firm links golf (mainly Bandon in winter), and it was awesome.
The only knock I have on the day was pace of play. We turned in 3 hours, and we were all over the group in front of us. I think they were stacked up too, and a guy at the turn who had just finished was grousing about his 5 hour round. We were lucky to finish, but played 18 essentially in the dark, and the group behind us had the sprinklers pop on if they tried to get home. We never saw a marshall.
Overall, my main takeaway was Gratitude. I am floored I got to play that course on that day. I am gobsmacked that it is a municipal. I almost cannot believe the rate I paid. I am confounded that is closer and cheaper than Bandon or Pronghorn. I am numbed with glee that I sent my 5i pin-high on the 9th hole from the high tees and rolled in the five footer for par.
If you can, go play it. Just be prepared for a long march and an amazing day.