In part two of this series reviewing golf courses around the region, Seattle Times golf writer Scott Hanson and golf writer emeritus Craig Smith "go executive" at Lynnwood Golf Course, and come away from the experience pleasantly surprised.
A big push in golf these days is to “play nine,” and it’s a great idea.
How many people have time for a five-hour round, which with travel time, warmup and a stop at the 19th hole for a beverage afterward can easily turn into eight hours?
Maybe there should also be a push to “go executive,” playing executive courses that are usually a combination of par-3s and par-4s; their significantly smaller yardage leads to quicker rounds as well.
So, facing a bit of a time crunch, we decided to play Lynnwood Golf Course, and here is what we found:
Hanson: I had played Lynnwood only once before, two years ago, and my biggest memory was getting lost trying to find it. Once you do find it, figuring out where to park is also a challenge, but once you accomplish that, you are greeted with a course in nice condition, and with enough challenging holes mixed in with the short par 3s to make it fun and interesting.
Smith: What a loss if this course had closed years ago, which was under consideration by the city of Lynnwood. This is a well-designed, executive-length, par-65 course that opened in 1991 and can be enjoyed by everyone from hacker to mid-handicap player.
Hanson: The game needs more courses like this, where someone who is still learning the game can play with someone who is a decent player and both have fun. It’s not too difficult for the beginner, but there are enough tight fairways and water hazards to keep even players in the 10-20 handicap range from getting too comfortable.
The course seemed in nicer condition than the last time I played, and even though we had to wait on most shots, our foursome finished in about 3½ hours.
Smith: Designer John Steidel packed a lot of golf on 75 acres. The course is walkable and can be played in under four hours unless the groups ahead of you are painfully slow. I used every club in my bag. Signage on tees tells you the distance to ponds. Greens were in good shape. Eight of the holes are at least 300 yards from blue tees.
Hanson: If you are looking to play a championship course, with four par 5s, this is not the place for you. And while there are several good holes, there is not one great enough that I would tell a friend about.
Smith: The small clubhouse and much of the course are on the campus of Edmonds Community College and a smart dog could have done a better job of signage directing you to the course. The sand in some bunkers was much too firm.The course used to have a driving range but lacks one now. No restaurant but at least you can buy a post-round beer.
Shot of the day
Smith: We were playing blue tees and Scott’s tee shot on the par 3 16th hole hit the right-side white tee marker and shattered it. (Hanson: Seriously, Craig, you are going to bring that up? I will get even with you.)
Brett Miller of our foursome to his mother, Jacquie May Miller, as their match came down to her 5-foot putt on the 18th green: “I love you, but I hope you miss it.” She did.
Value and playability
Hanson: It was about $81 for Craig and me to play, and that included a cart (two old guys nursing injuries). It is not a screaming good deal, but it’s definitely fair, and I left with a much better impression than I did the first time I played. It’s a course I am looking forward to playing with my 10-year-old daughter, as she is ready to graduate from par-3 courses.
Smith: This is a fine executive-length course that suits and serves a wide spectrum of golfers. Some of the holes would be good fits on almost any course, public or private.
Rating (scale of one to four)
Hanson: I will “go executive” more often, and this is a good place to do it.
Smith: Grade is based on how it stacks up as an executive-length course. Answer: Quite good. Long live the Lynnwoods of the world! The game of golf needs more of them.
20200 68th Ave West, Lynnwood, WA 98036; 425-672-4653
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.