Today began at 6:30, then an hour drive and teed off around 8:15. Finished 5 rounds by about 3:15.
Lake Stevens, WA- Lake Stevens DGC:One of weirdest courses I've ever seen, due to the baskets. Egg shaped and white, with crossing arches supporting a web-like framework of chains. (See pictures). Each basket is different, the bottom lip is too high, and you can have a different putt depending on where you land around the basket. It is not good for putting, you have to throw high-angled spike putts in, and softly. There's usually no room for a flat, normal putt. It messes with your head and teaches useless skills. My normal putt has 0% chance of sticking in any basket, just makes no sense and is rather unfair of a design. The course itself is very short and tight, no open or long holes. Plays through very old and tall pine forest, with some ferns and thick rough and bogs. Well marked, but hard to find the next tee sometimes. Feels like a tropical jungle if not in the 50's like it was. Several holes interfere with each other. Throwing slippery shots, often sidearm 's' through miniscule gaps helps a lot. Dual tees . No parking available at the course right now..due to construction. I couldn't tell where to park anywhere near the course, and since it was early sunday morning I just took my chances and parked by the fence and had no problem.
Snohomish, WA- Ferguson:Recreational level course, even for little kids. Several holes under 100', longest is 250'. One holes teaches an overhand shot, several small hook shots. One very tight tunnel hole. Nice land, would make 2 'real' course holes. Tall pines, and a few gigantic unearthed boulders. Easy to follow, cement tee blocks with number and arrow. Clean, quick, easy.
Mountlake Terrace, WA- Terrace:Very technical and hilly, in thick pine rainforest jungle. A few long, tough holes. Most are just tight and twisty. Several hillside baskets add difficulty. One HUGE downhill shot, 600' long (maybe) and dropping 90' (maybe), with woods on both sides. The only thing that is worth writing in length about though is how IMPOSSIBLE it is to navigate. It's like someone went out of their way to make it as hard as possible within the park's limits. I couldn't have done a better job hiding it myself. Get a map, a local, gps, phone, flares, emergency blanket (in case you're still looking for hole #11 come winter), food, water, hunting dogs and a sherpa. Also if you're left-handed, you're gonne hit your hand on bushes on the follow through on a few holes, sorry. SERIOUSLY though, do NOT attempt to play here without a guide or a map. You will NOT be able to figure it out, not an exaggeration but an honest warning to save you time if you read this. I was lucky to find one in a ziplock bag by the 1st tee (which is down and across the road from the parking lot..). If it didn't say that in the guide, I'd have given up even trying to play this course. Here's how it works..
The directions are true, the emotions exaggerated. Imagine not having a map like I did..
#1- Down the road to the bottom of the hill, then across the street and tucked out of view from the parking lot. (You can park along road by the tee however). Throws blindly around a corner, no sign.
#2- I threw a 'good' looking drive, walked up and found no basket there, figured it was stolen, and walked to the next tee. The basket is actually sharp left from the tee, way uphill in the woods.
#3- I almost didn't find this hole because it's hidden in the woods above you and shoots over #2 and #4's fairways. Nice hole, just hard to tell it's even there. Also, this one's basket is tucked juuuust out of view as well.
#4- Throws to a basket marked "#3' which is why I thought it was #3 until I found that hidden hole.
#5- Across the street to parking lot side, back towards car, tee hidden just around corner of woods. Can't tell which direction to throw off this tee, one basket in each direction.
#7- Never found a tee, no clue. I searched for one, map in hand, couldn't find it.
#8- No idea if I played #8 properly or not.
#9- By default also don't know if I played #9 properly or not.
#10- Walk a few hundred feet down path into woods (NO SIGN pointing you to go that way for the next hole), then uphill to the left.
#11- HALF A MILE or so through a thick jungle down a small path, no signs at all saying to go that way, and it splits. You stumble out onto it grateful to have found it and be alive. It shoots UPhill.
#12- From the tee, hard to tell if it shoots down or uphill. It's uphill and to the right, blind.
#13- Walk uphill and to the right, over what looks like it might be a teepad to the right hand corner of the woods where it looks like there might be a basket. It's actually the tee and that was not a hole you just missed. Phew. Throw blindly across road into woods.
#14- Walk 500' along fence to tee hidden from view along edge of woods. Throw back toward #14's pin (no wait #13, but it says #14 as does #14's basket). Basket not visible from tee, barely from walk to the tee.
#15- You might not find it even with directions and a map. Walk left across gravel lot from #14, to a wooden beam in ground by a gravel path. That's actually a tee. Basket literally tucked behind a large tree so you can't see it until you walk all the way up if you don't know that's where it is.
#16- Walk back and to the right of #15's tee, it backtracks.
#17- Fairly straight forward, tough and cool hole.
#18- The tee is the ashphalt path, tiny marker in woods covered in vines hard to spot. Basket out of sight down tunnel in along path.
Print and take with you. And good luck!!!!
Redmond, WA- Juel Community:Ran into and joined a large group of locals after the first 2 holes. Very wide open and medium length, a few good long drives. Most holes have no tree to be hit. Water hazard left on #9. Well mowed grassy field with a few trees, then a few holes with a basket tucked in near woods, or lined by woods. Gets windy due to being open. Fresh gravel pads, well marked all have signs. Busy place.
Seattle, WA- North Park (Mineral Springs):Interesting..this course is in a 4 acre park, with often dual baskets and tees! How it fits is hard to imagine without having been there. The first tee has 3 others lines up next to it. Uses same fairways many times to make an 18 hole course layout. Tight alleys through woods, ferns, bushes. Some nice rocks, manicured areas. Park surrounded by giant nets suspended from metal poles, some are in fairways. They really get in your way and are as much an obstacle as the trees. Have to see it to believe this place. Was once well marked..signs vandalized. Navigable though, at least the front 9. Well packed course, many college kids.