Inside Comments: Steve Turcotte

Excursion to Anacortes and Whidbey Island

There are some destinations for travel and golf that are somewhat of a secret. Count the Anacortes area among that group.  Anacortes is somewhat unknown when it comes to the golf.  It is known for fishing, crabbing and of course, oil refineries.

But there is some golf to be found in the area.

Swinomish GC

From the Swinomish Golf Links to Holmes Harbor to the Deception Pass Golf Center, public golf can be found in the area. And there are a couple of private golf courses too, with Useless Bay Country Club and Whidbey Golf Club.


I have been fortunate to head to the Anacortes area a handful of times in the last few years and every time it always seems like there is something new to either see or do. This time around I decided to partake in the family crabbing in Puget Sound, some bike riding around the city of Anacortes, and taking in the Shipwreck Days Festival, which closes off the main street through down with a variety of booths.

But this time I decided to head south down to Whidbey Island. As you cross the bridge from the mainland onto the 52-mile long island, you see Deception Pass, with a fantastic view of the water, a long way down as you stand on the bridge. I’ve had friends who have taken their boats through the pass, one said never again, after surviving the currents. It can be tricky with a slow moving sailboat.

A little further down the road was a pleasant surprise, the Deception Pass Golf Center. I didn’t expect much, but there it was, as you turned into the parking lot. A mini putt course, a disc golf course, a driving range and 9-hole executive length course.

The drive continued further down the island to the town of Freeland and Holmes Harbor Golf Course. I had not been there in years and after playing 18 holes, I told myself I need to get back. Just the view heading up the first fairway made the trip worth while. An uphill par-4 with a captivating view of Puget Sound in the background.

Holmes Harbor GC

There are two private courses on Whidbey Island, Useless Bay and Whidbey Golf Club, both worth the trip if you can get an invite.

Swinomish Golf Links, in Anacortes, is tied to the Swinomish Lodge and Casino and is another public course that you’ll want to play.

Most people know Anacortes for the place where you can catch the ferries to the San Juan Islands, of course, that would be another terrific travel trip.

Anacortes has several marinas that are crowded with boats whose owners like to park their boats here because cruising the San Juan Islands is more accessible and cheaper than mooring in the Seattle/Everett area.

Steve Turcotte can be reached at