A tour of central Washington golf courses

Updated: June 30, 2011

PDF Map of Central Washington Golf Courses

Looking for a golf outing that will make you feel like you are miles and miles away from anything else? Look no further than Central Washington. With its terrific summer and fall weather and variety of golf courses, Central Washington is a quick drive away and will leave you feeling like you are in another part of the country. With the Cascade Mountains, snaking rivers, pristine air, golden vistas and plenty of delicious apples, you can’t go wrong when heading to Central Washington. And the weather is almost always warm and sunny during the golfing season.

Canyon Lakes: Highly rated course
Rated 4 1/2 Stars by Golf Digest and one of the top 10 best public courses in the Pacific Northwest, Canyon Lakes in Kennewick is not short on accolades. In addition to the lofty rating, Golf Digest gives Canyon Lakes a nod as one of the top 200 value golf courses in the United States. Not bad for starters.

Then, consider things like the 12th hole, which ranks as the largest green in the Pacific Northwest at 12,000 square feet and the ninth hole, which has been selected as one of the Northwest’s Dream 18. With five sets of tees measuring from 5,500 to 7,027 yards, Canyon Lakes will test the mettle of all types of golfers and a course which is one of the 18 best in the Pacific Northwest, as selected by Northwest Travel Magazine.

Canyon Lakes also features a putting course adjacent to the driving range, yet another way for golfers to hone their skills. Canyon Lakes has added a 3,000 square foot Champions Room that is ideal for golf outings, weddings, company parties and special events. And don’t forget about the GPS on all of the golf carts.
See www.canyonlakesgolfcourse.com or call 509.582.3736 for more info.

Bear Mountain: Some great views
Bear Mountain Ranch Golf Course is truly a beautiful sight for golfer’s eyes and will surely leave visitors in awe of its lush grounds. There may not be a more aesthetically pleasing course in the Pacific Northwest.

Set among an incredible natural setting with golf course views that are equally as stunning as the course itself, Bear Mountain Ranch has been a wonderful addition to the Lake Chelan area since the golf course opened in 2005.

At over 7,230 yards from the back tees, Bear Mountain Ranch is a test for the low handicapper, but it also makes sure each and every golfer can find a proper teeing ground with four additional sets of tees. The course uses the natural terrain of carved plateaus and each hole features lake and mountain views. Located three hours from Seattle, Bear Mountain Ranch also features real estate opportunities for those looking to get away from the city.

Highlander: You can see forever
At 800 feet above the Columbia River is a breathtaking piece of property that boasts a golf course designed by John Steidel This one is called Highlander and it lives up to the name. Laced with incredible views of the Columbia River, Highlander plays to over 6,500 from the back tees.

The most talked about hole is the par-3 ninth, a 185-yard bear that requires a tee shot over a canyon – and you’d better be able to land your ball softly. The green slopes dramatically making a two-putt no easy feat. And after you make the turn you can enjoy the gorgeous back nine that has sweeping views of the river.

Highlander made plenty of improvements in the last year, including the re-shaping of all the bunkers on the front nine. In addition, two new lakes and a waterfall were built, and 500 trees were planted on the front nine. The bunkers are all bigger, flatter and all feature white sand.
A newly remodeled clubhouse features a new-look pro shop as well.

Desert Canyon: Great golf and more
Desert Canyon has undergone plenty of changes in the last year from being sold to on-course adjustments. Despite the changes, the course continues to be one of the top layouts in the Pacific Northwest.

This 18-hole public facility delivers an experience unmatched in Central Washington. Spectacular desert terrain creates a course with desert style target golf.
The course has received numerous accolades including being named the #1 resort course in the State of Washington, and being ranked as the second best conditioned course in America by Golf Digest.

The course is also home to the famous #6 canyon hole, which has been ranked as the 7th best par five in America by Golf Digest.
Each hole is memorable and the greens are fast and firm. If you need to work on your putting there is also an 18-hole putting course to practice on.

Columbia Point: Avoid the hazards
Located in Richland, Columbia Point Golf Course is an upscale and daily fee facility built and owned by the City of Richland. Located on the eastern side of the Cascade Mountains and adjacent to the Columbia River, the course measures 6,571 yards from the back tees.

Nothing too complicated greets the average golfer but the course does have water hazards and numerous bunkers that will need to be avoided. The most recognizable features are the mounds, rolling fairways and large undulating greens. Many of the greens are surrounded by mounds, which makes errant approach shots that much more penal. If your short game is MIA, you might want to put in some practice time on the range before you hit the course.

With a fully-stocked golf shop, cafe, covered patio and driving range complete with extra amenities, Columbia Point caters to every golfer from the car to first tee to post-round enjoyment.

Horn Rapids: True desert golf
Horn Rapids Golf Club, located outside of Richland opened in 1994 and plays true to Central Washington desert-style golf. With multi part fairways that wind through sand and sage, Horn Rapids provides a brilliant contrast of color between desert and greens. Set against high desert mountains, the sloping, slick greens provide plenty of character and demand on your short game.

This par 72 layout is as long as it is challenging. The course plays 6,954 yards from the back tees and boasts a 73.6 rating with a slope of 130. There are also options for less experienced players as well as the forward tees represent just over 5,000 yards with a slope of 111.

If you have an RV, Horn Rapids has four full hookup spots and there is Horn Rapids RV Resort, a five-star RV resort, just across the highway with 225 parking pads.

Lake Chelan: Popular place to play
Ever since it was built in 1970, Lake Chelan Golf Course has always been a popular spot for golfers visiting the area. Located on the lake’s north side, Lake Chelan is a solid par-72 golf course that sits on a bluff looking at the 55-mile long lake. The course has three sets of tees to choose from, giving golfers of different skill levels a chance to put a good number on the scorecard.

There are good holes on this course that provide a nice test for visiting golfers. You can now book tee times online by clicking on www.lakechelangolf.com.

Moses Pointe: Sunshine galore
Moses Pointe has been a favorite course for golfers throughout the Pacific Northwest since opening in the summer of 1999.
Stretching out to a robust 7,549 yards from the tips, Moses Pointe has the teeth to give the championship player a true test as it did hosting the 2005 and 2008 Washington State Amateur Championships. Most players will be comfortable with the 6,323 yardage from the white tees, which actually play a little shorter due to the firm fast conditions that desert golf provides.
A 2006-2007 bunker renovation and addition project put some nice final touches on an already terrific golf course, according to director of golf Bill Porter.
There are a lot of reasons why golfers love Moses Pointe: 300-plus days of sunshine, a spectacular golf course that’s challenging and enjoyable for golfers of all abilities.

Suncadia: Now three courses
Located in Roslyn, just about an hour drive east of Seattle, Suncadia Resort is a more recent addition to the ever-expanding Central Washington golf destination landscape.
With three courses open, Prospector the private Tumble Creek and the new Rope Rider, Suncadia offers up a trifecta of golf. Prospector meanders through tall pines, with lakes and creeks dotting the landscape of the 18-hole layout while Tumble Creek offers a private golf experience. Rope Rider gets its names form the men who rode the roped coal cars in the nearby mines.

Designed by the Palmer Design Company, Prospector’s signature hole is the 10th–a par-4 playing from 318 to over 411 yards. Offering dramatic views of the Cascade Mountains and Cle Elum River Valley, the tee ball falls 120 feet to the fairway.

Apple Tree: Taking a bite of this green
Apple Tree in Yakima is a big and beautiful part of the Central Washington golf scene. The course features a signature hole that has been highly regarded as one of the state’s best. Having been featured in almost every golf publication, the 17th hole is only one of many great holes at this 4-Star rated Golf Digest course. Playing to over 6,900 yards from the tips, Apple Tree is a tough golf test with challenging holes that will not only keep you interested and focused, it will make golfers use most of the clubs in their bag. Perhaps the most difficult test comes early on the 461-yard, par-4 fourth that plays through a chute of orchards and over an expansive gully.
As if the tee shot wasn’t enough to bruise your Fuji or Granny Smith, the green is elevated and not particularly deep, making a long second shot just as difficult. The 18th hole provides a classic decision making opportunity. Measuring just over 500 yards from the tips, the tee shot offers a “finger” of fairway for daring players or a larger safe landing area to the right with a pond separating the two. The approach shot, or lay-up for those less inclined, has to negotiate four small ponds and a giant red apple sand trap.

Kahler Glen: Playing in the wilderness
Kahler Glen Golf Resort lives up to its name. If you are a golfer, then the Leavenworth resort (located at Lake Wenatchee) has 18 terrific holes to challenge you. If you are a skier, then there are miles of cross-country trails and nearby Stevens Pass for some downhill action.

Kahler Glen is a place that prides itself on offering something for everyone – in both the winter and summer. And if you happen to be a skier and a golfer, then you are a double winner.
The resort was created in the late 1980s by a couple of logging families, trying to get the best use out of their logging lands in Central Washington. The original nine holes opened for play in 1989 and the second came along in 1995. The course might not be long (measuring 5,893 yards from the tips) but you better hit it straight. Most holes are surrounded by tall trees, giving you the perfect feel for Pacific Northwest golf. Before your round try the unique Aqua driving range, complete with floating greens.

There are some memorable holes to be found at Kahler Glen. The fourth hole, a 461-yard par-5 grabs your attention early in the round. It is a dogleg with water in front and beside the green. The par-3 16th has a freshly added pond, you must now carry tee to green. It gives the hole an entirely new look.

Lodging is never a problem at Kahler Glen with over 20 condos, townhomes and a private home. The condos can sleep up to six people, the others up to 8. Also try the new Kahler Creek Grill & Lounge with a new menu and daily specials.

Sun Willows: A local favorite
Sun Willows Golf Course, in Pasco, is a Robert Muir Graves designed public 18-hole, par-72 course. It opened in 1963 and was redesigned in 1980 by local golf course architect John Steidel. The club features a pro-shop, driving range and restaurant.

A favorite of Tri-City golfers, it is a traditional and challenging Northwest style course with mature trees that line rolling fairways and large undulating greens. You can play the course from 6,715 yards at the tips or as short as 5,695 yards from the forward tees. There are 32 bunkers and five lakes that will keep you focused.

Buckskin: Nine holes of fun
Buckskin Golf Club in Pasco is a nine-holer, designed and operated by Jeff Marcum. In fact, Marcum is so hands-on you will find him doing just about anything at the course including mowing greens and working behind the counter. Marcum has worked hard to keep the course in good shape. It’s a good place to go if you are looking for that quick, challenging round.

West Richland: A new clubhouse
Things are getting newer at West Richland, as it opened up a new clubhouse last year. The course is a daily fee 18-hole regulation par-71 links-style course that is playable and fair – and especially popular with beginners because of the relatively tame layout. The price is always right at West Richland, too.