Water looms on the best stretch of holes at Walter Hall, on the back half from 10-15. But a vanilla front nine holds this municipal course back.
In part seven of this series reviewing golf courses around the region, Seattle Times golf writer Scott Hanson and golf writer emeritus Craig Smith head north to play Walter Hall Golf Course, a favorite in Everett.
For years, I (Scott Hanson) have been asked, “Have you ever played Walter Hall?” I always had to answer no.
Former PGA Tour Champions player Walter Hall would get asked that question when he would come to the Boeing Classic in Snoqualmie. Finally, he came to the course that bore his name (more on this later).
And now, finally, I can answer yes when asked if I have ever played the well-known Everett course.
Hanson: Craig has been raving to me for years about the good stretch of holes from 10 to 15. I asked my cousin-in-law who plays the course often and he likes all of the holes except those. I quickly learned if you want interesting and challenging holes, they are great, but after a 9 on No. 12 and a 7 on No. 13, I also understand my cousin-in-law’s viewpoint. Despite that two-hole meltdown, I found this to be an enjoyable course at a very competitive price.
Smith: Solid, busy municipal course south of downtown Everett with vanilla front nine, except for par-5 second hole, and an interesting back nine.
Hanson: The course is in decent condition, is not too difficult and has enough interesting holes to make me understand why it’s a popular venue. Throw in a dining area with good food and a decent selection of draft beer, and why wouldn’t you want to add Walter Hall to your list of courses played?
Smith: Stretch from No. 10 through No. 15 is challenging and scenic. … Water in play on four holes. … Walkable. … Slanted fairway on par-4 16th had more grass and somehow seemed less slanted than visits in previous years, when shots unfairly would roll downhill into trouble.
Hanson: Use the mapping app on your phone to find the course. Good luck if you are relying on the signage. … Craig detests Canada geese and we counted 14 in the fairway on the 15th hole, causing Craig to say, I hope jokingly, he wished a shotgun was the 15th club in his bag. … I have a particular dislike for hole No. 12, but my only justification is that it derailed a decent round so I’ll try to get over it.
Smith: No. 16 tee is next to a busy street. … No range. but there is a practice area with greens and bunkers and you also can hit balls into a net to warm up. … Could use some more bunkers (only 12 on course) but flip side is that lack of bunkers is one reason course boasts about pace of play of 4 hours and 15 minutes.
Quote of the day
“I liked three of my eight shots on this hole,” playing partner Brett Miller after getting a snowman on the par-5 second hole.
Smith: Nongolfers think golf in a motorized cart isn’t exercise. I usually ride these days because of a bad knee. (I tell people I got injured making a tackle in the Super Bowl, but a 1959 bike wreck and a 1961 Bothell junior-varsity game is a bit closer to the truth). Anyway, I wore a pedometer for this round and it showed I took 4,882 steps, which translates to about 2 1/2 miles and that’s called exercise. Riding partner Scott got about 7,000 steps. I’ll let you figure out who was hitting the ball the straightest.
Hanson: Walter Hall opened in 1972 and is named after the first Everett parks superintendent. … Champions Tour golfer Walter Hall (no relation) was curious and visited the course in 2007 after a tour of the Everett Boeing plant while in the area for the Boeing Classic.
“I bought a bunch of shirts and hats,” Hall said. “It looks like a real nice place.” … Golfers we saw looked like folks who know golf etiquette and common-sense behavior but there was an unusual sign over the sink in the men’s bathroom in the clubhouse that read: “Do not clean shoes in sink.”
Rating (from 1 to 4)
Hanson: 2 1/2. A nice municipal course I am very glad I played once. I had a good time but not sure I would make the trip again from my home in Des Moines unless I was asked.
Smith: 2 1/2 Well worth playing. Would be three stars if front nine matched the back nine in quality.
1226 W Casino Rd, Everett, WA 98204; (425) 353-4653
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.