REDMOND — Once we agreed on reviewing Willows Run in Redmond, the next choice was which one of its two courses?
For us, it was an easy decision. Because we aren’t very good, we picked Coyote Creek, which is shorter and easier than Eagle’s Talon (maximum yardage of 6,344 yards compared to 6,843).
Scott: There are several very solid par-4s and the par-5 18th over water is an excellent finishing hole … At 5,796 yards from the white tees, good scores can be had if you are hitting the ball straight. … The greens were in excellent condition, and not unreasonable regarding difficulty and speed. …The clubhouse has a restaurant that serves good food, and there is a great patio overlooking the course. The golf carts have high-tech screens showing the exact yardage to the center of the green. … Generous senior discount ($15 off regular price) that Craig and my dad utilized. … Our foursome played in four hours.
Craig: Course was in wonderful condition. Only complaint was clumpy chunks of recently cut rough that should have been raked in back of green on first hole. … Walkable, because course is in Sammamish Valley and flat. …. Many holes are isolated and you feel at times that you are at a remote rural location. Ponds and other wetlands give some holes the swampy feel of a Deep South golf course where you would be looking for alligators. … Rapid growth of trees to separate holes has added character to the course. … Convenient snack shack/restroom facility in middle of both courses. … Friends who have played in men’s league say it is well-organized. . . Willows Run has been praised by environmental organization Salmon Safe and hosted Special Olympics golf in 2018.
Scott: Video screen in my father’s cart would not work. On one fairway, there was a small mound of dirt, apparently the handiwork of a mole. The par-3 holes are nothing special.
Craig: The out-of-state call center placed us on the wrong course (Eagle’s Talon instead of Coyote Creek) despite careful requests that “we want to play the shorter course.” Staff at Willows got us on the course we wanted to play. A Willows Run regular recommends booking through the website. Two days after we played, I wanted to go hit a bucket of balls and called to find out what time the range closed. None of the phone options gave me the pro shop. Course doesn’t have good reputation for drainage in winter.
Craig: Willows Run opened as an 18-hole course in 1994, then later that decade designer Ted Locke of British Columbia took seven holes from the original course and built 11 new holes to form Eagle’s Talon and used nine holes and built nine new ones to create Coyote Creek. The golf complex has a driving range, a 9-hole par-3 course that is good enough that you can lose balls on it and a family-friendly 18-hole putting course. In March, Sasada Sports International, headquartered in Spokane, purchased Willows Run for a reported $11.3 million from Access Golf. Access Golf, at the time a company owned by Paul Allen’s sister, Jody, and her then-husband, Brian Patton, had purchased the Willows Run property in 1993.
Shot of the day: Sadly, there was none.
Quotes of the day: Scott – “I’ve gone three rounds without losing a club.”
Craig to Scott after a lame tee shot: “That would be a good drive at Interbay (a Seattle par-3 course).”
Accomplishment of the day: Craig went 12 holes before hitting a shot so bad he yelled “YOU DONKEY!” at himself.
Scott: Not spectacular, but well worth the price and the 45-minute drive from Des Moines. Want to play Eagle’s Talon now. 3 stars.
Craig: Solid, interesting, enjoyable course. 3 stars.