In part three of this series reviewing golf courses around the region, Seattle Times golf writer Scott Hanson and golf writer emeritus Craig Smith head east to Mount Si Golf Course in Snoqualmie, where great views and relative quiet make you feel like you're a long way from Seattle.
In part three of this series reviewing golf courses around the region, Seattle Times golf writer Scott Hanson and golf writer emeritus Craig Smith head east to Mount Si Golf Course in Snoqualmie, where great views and relative quiet make you feel like you’re a long way from Seattle.
It takes anywhere from about 40 minutes to two days to get to Mount Si Golf Course from Seattle, depending on the traffic. If you’re closer to the 40-minute time, the views when you arrive will make it worth it.
Hanson: I was a bit taken aback by the price ($41 weekday for adults), and for Craig and I it was nearly $120 with a cart and a shared small bucket of range balls. But once I got past that, I found the course very enjoyable, not only because of the remarkable views of Mount Si, but because it was not nearly as hard as I expected. This might make it less than ideal for very low handicappers, but sometimes it’s nice when the course doesn’t beat you up.
Smith: This course could serve as Exhibit A for the current effort in the golf industry to attract bogey golfers like us and “double-bogey” folks who might break 110. Some of the sand bunkers have been replaced by grass bunkers and there are only four sand bunkers remaining on the course. “Red” tees with their “for-women-only” stigma were replaced a few years ago with “yellow” tees to encourage men to play from a distance that fits their game. The greens don’t have much undulation and the par-4s are reachable. The folks who operate the course want you to score well and return.
Hanson: The views, views and the views. Did I mention all the great views of Mount Si, the course’s namesake? And I also liked the peace and serenity. It seemed so quiet. Another hit for me was the restaurant, which has a great deck overlooking the course, and with the same great views. It offers what I would say was average food, but the draft beer list is good and not overpriced, and it included two beers from the local Snoqualmie Brewery, which I applaud.
At a glance: Mount Si Golf Course
Smith: Wonderful setting with Mount Si looming over course. No homes, no power lines, no traffic noise – a great getaway. The course is approximately 23 times more tranquil than the busy hiking path up Mount Si on a weekend day. Good condition. Motorized carts travel on fairways, not paved paths that can be unsightly. Double-ended driving range and you can hit off grass at one end. Nice deck for a post-round beer while you sit there mesmerized by the mountain. Employees in the pro shop and restaurant were pleasant; beer was cold.
Hanson: There is no doubt this is an amazing tract of land, but the holes to me are quite average. If the course layout was transported to a spot well away from Mount Si, it would be average at best. But then again, it’s not anywhere else. The hot dogs we had at the turn were mediocre at best, and I was not a big fan of the nachos we had afterward (I much prefer real melted cheese rather than sauce), although my playing partners had a better opinion of them.
Smith: I wouldn’t take a single-digit handicap golfer here. Too easy. Some interesting holes but none stuck in my mind as truly memorable. Reports from friends of good food weren’t validated but a mid-round hot dog isn’t a true test of a kitchen, and besides, Hanson didn’t receive my telepathic message to put sauerkraut on my dog.
Shot of the day
Unfortunately, none, unless you want to get excited about an 8-foot putt.
Quote of the day
Smith: (When Hanson suggested that he was going to try to hit over trees to a green) “That’s a good idea if your name is Mickelson. Your name is Hanson.”
Value and playability
Hanson: The price was about $5 to $10 more than I would have expected, but it wasn’t exorbitant. I liked how playable the course was, and was happy that it was easier than I expected, but I suspect really good players would not feel challenged.
Smith: This isn’t bargain golf and there are many more challenging courses, but you can’t beat the setting on a nice day.
Rating (on a scale of 1 to 4)
Hanson: I am very happy that I finally played at Mount Si, but the drive from my home in Des Moines, the price and the absence of great holes means it will not be part of the rotation of courses I play. But this is a course you should play at least once. 3 stars.
Smith: Grade from this bogey golfer: 3 stars, with the final half-star awarded for surroundings and tranquility.
9010 Boalch Ave SE., Snoqualmie, WA 98065; 425-391-4926
Scott Hanson has been covering golf for The Seattle Times since 2005; Craig Smith covered golf for decades for the Seattle Times before retiring in 2008.