Fall golf in Northwest Washington

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Updated: September 1, 2021

There are plenty of courses west of the Cascades to play fall golf. With changing of the colors, the chance for some early snow in the mountains and the availability of tee times. Here are some popular courses you might want to consider for your fall golf outing:

• North Bellingham Golf Course: A Scottish style links golf course with 12 ponds, making 14 of the holes play with a water hazard and 58 white-sand bunkers. Like a Scottish links course, the openness leaves one exposed to the elements and at the mercy of the wind at times.

The greens are firm and fast, making a balky putter something to leave at home. The well-manicured greens roll true and put a premium on good putting. North Bellingham has plenty of holes that will grab your attention early and keep it the rest of the round.

• Loomis Trail/Silver Reef: Loomis Trail was ranked as the No. 1 public course in Washington by Golf Digest (2005) and was the only Washington state course ranked in the nation’s Top 100. Loomis Trail combines the magic of scenic beauty and dry conditions suitable for year-round play.

The course recently was purchased by the Lummi Nation Indian Tribe and they have made sure the course has stayed true to its opening with great conditions and a layout which is one of the most challenging in the Northwest.

Loomis Trail also is partnered with the Silver Reef Casino Resort and has packages catered to the golfing crowd. A Stay and Play Package, Birdie Package and Eagle Package all offers golf, hotel stay and more. 

• Swinomish Golf Links: The Swinomish Tribe got into the golf business by purchasing Similk Beach Golf Course and turning it into their own Swinomish Golf Links. The course is part of the Swinomish Casino and Lodge, a place with water views, RV parking, restaurants, gambling and more.  The golf course is also a good test and the tribe has put money back into the course to give a new look and some solid conditioning.

• The Nile Shrine Golf Course:  Has been providing golfers of all ages and ability a challenging place to knock the ball around without driving a long way for 46 years (opened in July 1968). The entire golf course is part of the Shriners Fraternal Lodge.

Not a long course at just over 5,000 yards, but it has a lot of character and it doesn’t have to be long to be a challenging test of golf. The popular course is just 15 minutes north of Seattle off I-5 near the Edmonds/Kingston Ferry exit in Mount Lake Terrace. The course sits adjacent to Ballinger Lake with a few holes right near the edge where you can get a nice view of the lake.

•  LakeLand Village in Allyn offers 27-holes of golf with three distinctly different nines in Generation I, Generation II and Generation III. The popular residential community dates back to 1972 with each nine added as new housing sections opened up. Each course has elevation changes, tall tree-lined fairways and well manicured greens. And there is plenty real estate action around the course as well from homes to town homes.

• Shuksan Golf Club:  At the Shuksan Golf Club in Bellingham, the theme is nature. There are wetlands throughout the golf course and the first bit of water trouble comes into play on the very first hole. 

Elevated tees and greens are prominent throughout the layout as the course varies over 100 feet in elevation. Ten Mile Creek meanders throughout the layout and cuts across many of the fairways to keep golfers on guard.