Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A Terrific Municipal Golf Course--Indian Canyon

I wasn't anticipating a good day at the golf course since the high temperature for the day was supposed to be 90 degrees and I tend to suffer from heat exhaustion if not careful. Thankfully, the skies were overcast which made for a much cooler day and so we were able to really enjoy playing at the Indian Canyon Golf Course in Spokane.

Recommended to us by two different golfers, we decided to give it a try and we're glad we did. Indian Canyon is hilly but water hazard-free and the sand bunkers aren't too evil nor too many. Denny played from the blue tees at 6255 yards with a rating/slope of 69.8/124 while I played the reds at 5336 yards with a rating/slope of 70.2/125. I have to say I was amazed at the number of hardy golfers walking this course because it is not but hills, slopes and inclines the entire eighteen holes and there were times I found myself huffing and puffing as I walked up to a green to putt out.

The par 3 fourth hole.
The ninth hole. And no, my camera wasn't tilted, that's the actual slope of the fairway.The tenth hole.Of course, there were a few visual distractions, like deer and the fact that the golf course seems to be in the flight path of the Spokane airport, but that just added interest. The city of Spokane maintains four municipal golf courses, plus there are many others in the area. When we played with Mike, a Spokane native two weeks ago he was kind enough to list some of his favorites with comments so I've listed them below in case some day you'd be in the area and want to enjoy some great golf.

Indian Canyon * (* means favored by Mike) Hills. $28 Municipal course.
MeadowWood * Water. $28
Liberty Lake * Water. $28
Hangman * Hard. Water. $28
Circling Raven *** Best in area. $80 (leaves us out!)
Qualchan Hard. Water. $25 Municipal course.
Downriver Shady. Small greens. $25 Municipal course.
Esmeralda Easy. Open. $25 Municipal course.
Fairways Links style. Fast $25 See my post.
Coeur D'Alene Resort (Idaho) Resort style. $150 (yeah, let's play a couple of rounds!)
Wandermere Resort style. $25

There you have it--enjoy!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Playing at The Fairways-West Terrace Golf Course

Seeing that there was a golf course within about 2 miles of our campground and adding to the mix that is was in our discount Golf Card book, Denny and I decided to give The Fairways Golf Course in Cheney, Washington a try.

A links-style course, the fairways are slightly rolling but mostly open. There are a few ponds and some bunkers but for the most part the course is pretty open and fairly easy IF you stay in the fairways. But isn't that the way of most golf courses? Denny played the blue tees at 6546 yards with a rating/slope of 71.3/120. I played the red tees at 5168 yards with a rating slope of 69.5/123.

Our cost with the golf card (2 free rounds with the rental of an electric cart) was $26.00 and our only complaint would have been that there were no water coolers on the course, nor did they have a snack cart driving around with beverages and it was a very hot day. We did have a small insulated water bottle with us fortunately, otherwise I might have been in trouble since I get heat exhaustion easily. Someone we played golf with in Blanchard, Idaho had told us that a lot of courses in Washington no longer provide water coolers on the course due to health risks, so it's something to keep in mind if you are going to play golf in this state.

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Thursday, July 15, 2010

A Birthday Outing at the Stoneridge Resort Golf Course

That's the first hole of the Stoneridge Golf Course in Blanchard, Idaho located 13 miles from our campground in Newport, Washington. A sign near the white tees warns of a landing area 220 yards down, but doesn't tell what's down there. The score card has no map of the holes of the course as most score cards do, so we shoot and cross our fingers. Turns out, there's a pond on the far side of the green so if you shoot too far you may end up there. That's how the course went all day--no idea whether the fairways turned gently or sharply into a dogleg past the trees so you crossed your fingers and tried to hit the ball where you thought it would be safe.

At the first tee we were teamed up with Mike and Karen who live in Spokane, Washington. Right off the bat, native Alaskan Karen told us it was her birthday. Bright and bubbly, she was a joy to play golf with because as a beginner she was relaxed about her game as I always am so we had fun. Mike wasn't one of those competitive types of golfers, so he and Denny could try to outhit each other, but it wasn't cut-throat.

The golf course was challenging without being killer, although we all could have used a few less sand traps because one or the other of us was always in one. Rolling hillsides, uphill fairways, fast greens and scenery to die for; it doesn't get any better than this.

We did note a bit of discrimination however; a motorcoach only rv park within the resort where you owned/leased the lots. No fifth wheels, class Cs or travel trailers allowed. Sigh. They did it right when creating this space right on the golf course.

At the end of the round Mike and Karen had to leave since they had planned the entire day around her birthday, but as we were playing Mike had been writing down all his favorite golf courses in the Spokane area since Denny and I are going to be near there next week. So we have a heads up on the best places to play--bonus!

Since we were playing on the "Senior Special" day (Monday, Wednesday and Fridays) we played 18 holes of golf with a riding cart and then had a free lunch at the clubhouse grill all for $40 each. After our round was finished, Denny and I each had the bleu cheese/bacon burgers with the thinnest shoestring french fries I had ever seen along with some good, strong iced tea. Our day was complete.

This is a place to return to someday.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

An Afternoon at Arrowhead Meadows Golf Course

Graced with a break in the storm clouds on Tuesday, Denny and I decided to try the small golf course located on Hwy.89 in White Sulphur Springs, just a hop, skip and jump from our campground. First, however, we had to locate one of the town's two ATM machines, but a lot of places here don't take credit or debit cards, the golf course included. The price for two of us to play 18 holes with a riding cart was $54 total.

Arrowhead Meadows is what I call a farm golf course--it looks like it was created from a farmer's field; flat, wide open, little water, few sand traps, few trees. Which makes it a perfect course for practicing your golf games without having to worry about obstructions and out of bounds. It's a short course, playing at 5894 yards from the men's tees (there's only one) and 5304 yards from the women's tees. The slope/rating for the men's is 67.3/107 and 68.7/114 for the ladies. For the only golf course around for miles, it's in decent shape and at nine holes you can play a really quick round. We finished 18 holes in two hours and we were taking extra shots just to hone our games a bit, simply because there was no one in front of us and no one behind us. Nice. I have to say, we did stop at the turn to beg mosquito spray from the lady at the counter--they were ferocious and I was covered in welts. Between the spray and the fact that the storm started coming in with some good breezes made the second nine much more pleasant to play.
And the scenery isn't bad either.