The Five Best Public Golf Courses in Seattle
By Chelsea Sedlar
Chambers Bay.(David Cannon/Getty Images)
The Seattle area’s natural assets are on full display at many, if not all of the area’s golf courses. No matter where yo go, 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 one 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.
Located in University Place, Chambers Bay is a Robert Trent Jones II design, 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 in 2015.
With tawny fescue, towering sand dunes, massive fairways, and breathtaking views of the Puget Sound and snow-capped Olympic Mountains, it's no surprise this is tops on our list.
The Golf Club at Newcastle
Located just 15 miles east of downtown, the location itself makes The Golf Club at Newcastle one of the best public golf courses in Seattle. This course features 36 holes of championship golf, 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, which features a challenging layout with undulating green complexes and elevation changes, making proper club selection paramount.
The Home Course
Located just nine miles south of Chambers Bay in Dupont, The Home Course is around an hour from Seattle. Its 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. The Home Course is a spike-free facility meaning all players must wear spike-less golf shoes, tennis shoes or other similar shoes without a heel.
Washington National Golf Club
This public golf course in Auburn is one of the Pacific Northwest’s true gems and is located southeast about 37 minutes from downtown Seattle. Washington National is also the proud home to the University of Washington’s men’s and women’s golf teams, and is designed by award-winning architect John Fought.
The course has wide fairways that lure golfers into a sense of security but a wealth of strategically placed hazards challenge even the best shotmakers. 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.
West Seattle Golf Course
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.