Golf courses in SW Washington

Updated: April 2, 2022

Southwest Washington is an area that stretches from the state capitol in Olympia to just east of Vancouver to the Washington Coast. Sightseeing, fishing, hiking, camping . . . are all a part of the area’s vast landscape. Golf options range from 9 and 18-hole public golf courses, to some of the best country clubs you will find in the Pacific Northwest. 

Take a look at what the area has to offer:

Skamania Lodge

Skamania Lodge, along the Columbia River on the Washington side, is still in the golf business but it’s a business that looks completely different.

The old 18-hole Skamania Lodge course has been removed and in its place will be a variety of new golf adventures for folks who are staying at the lodge and traveling golfers.

The resort to opened a new 9-hole executive length golf course (The Gorge), a new 18-hole putting course (The Little Eagle 18) and two disk golf courses.

The resort said that play was down and they were looking for ways to keep golf a viable option for resort guests and visitors. They came up with plans that has a little of something for everyone with the 9-hole course, putting course and disk courses.

Check out their Tree Houses. Two were opened in 2016 and 2017 and two more are in the works, to go along with its main lodge. They are equipped kitchenette with microwave and mini-refrigerator.

Eagle’s Pride-Whispering Firs

Eagle’s Pride Golf Course at Fort Lewis has 27 holes that sit on 431 acres of secluded property. The course is surrounded by woodland, without houses bordering the fairways, it will allow for a peaceful experience on the course. Complementing the course, golfers have a year-round practice facility that features 10 covered hitting areas with light and heat.

The range has grass landing area which offers real ball performance feedback. It is open to the public and was voted among the top 10 military courses in the U.S.

The course has a sister course call Whispering Firs which is on McChord Air Force Base. The course is 18 holes and 6,646 yards from the back tee with a rating of 71.8 and slope of 122. Play is allowed for active and retired military and their family. Guests are also allowed, but keep in mind, the base is a closed facility and you must go through the guard gate to enter.

The Home Course     

The Home Course has made headlines, not only for being one of the top courses in the Pacific Northwest but for also playing host to the qualifying rounds at the United States Amateur in 2010. The course held two qualifying rounds before the golfers headed to Chambers Bay for the match play part of the tournament. In 2014, the course hosted the final USGA Women’s Public Links.

The Home Course is a treat with superb conditions, some great views of the Puget Sound along the way and some challenging holes. If you want a real golf challenge, step back to the back tees called the Dynamite Tees and see what golf is like from 7,300-yards plus as you make your way around the 18 holes.

Lewis River Golf Course

Lewis River Golf Course in Woodland, Wash. has endured a lot in its 50+ years of existence. 

In 1980 the summer season was lost when Mt. St. Helens blew and the course was in the red zone (a 25-mile zone around the mountain that prohibited all recreational activities), a 200-year flood in 1996 wiped out a large portion of the back nine, a fire destroyed the clubhouse in 2000.

The Stading family had owned the facility since the course first opened in 1967. Their stewardship ended on October 1, 2021 when they sold the property to  Dryad Glen, a corporation whose home office is in Portland.

Local rumors have circulated that the course might be closing, nothing could be further from the truth as the new owners have wasted no time investing in the facility. They are upgrading the clubhouse, improving the greens and have added new carts, with more improvements in the works. The restaurant has a new chef and menu with plans to open this month.

The course has been a favorite for weddings, banquets and events with its riverside patio and second floor great room with panoramic views of the golf course and the Lewis River.

Oaksridge Golf Course

Oaksridge Golf Course sits just off Highway 12 in Elma and is visible from the freeway.  The 18-hole track measures 5,643 yards and is a local favorite after opening in 1934. The course is relatively level so it makes a perfect walking course. Just be advised, the prevailing winds can lengthen it considerably. There are new owners as the Chehalis Indian Tribe bought the course from Rich Walker.

Salish Cliffs Golf Club

Salish Cliffs opened for play in 2011 as part of the Squaxin Island Indian Tribe’s Little Creek Casino and was an award winner instantly. The Gene Bates-designed layout features rolling terrain, plenty of water and sand and they were named one of the top new courses to open for play in 2011 by Golfweek being ranked eighth. The course also is ranked fourth in the state of Washington by Golfweek on the Best You Can Play list. Salish Cliffs is also the first golf course to be awarded a “salmon safe” designation.

A practice range with multiple targets only adds to the fun before or after a round of golf that can make your day and round complete at Salish Cliffs.

Salish Cliffs offers and upscale full hookup RV parking area next to the casino. There are 44 spaces with full hookups. There are also stay & play options for hotel guests.

Tumwater Valley Golf Course

Tumwater Valley Golf Course has several unique features that keep golfers coming back – like the second and 17th holes, both par-3 holes. The second and 17th are unique in that they both have two greens. One green plays much shorter than the other, giving both the low and high handicap players different choices from the tee box.

There are also two different sets of tees to choose from. Tumwater’s length is another challenge. The course stretches to nearly 7,200 yards from the tips, and when the wind blows, it plays longer. A new management team has been put in place, led by Russ Olsen and operations manager Dave Nickerson. Play is up after the changes and conditions are much improved leading the way to an increase in rounds at the course.

Golf Club at Hawk’s Prairie

The Golf Club at Hawk’s Prairie offers two distinctly different courses – the Woodlands Course and the Links course.  As you might expect, the Woodlands presents tree-lined fairways and the Links, while more open, has its share of tree-lined fairways too. And if you want play a doubleheader, they have special deals.

As part of the Oki Golf umbrella, there are many ways to save and play the Hawks Prairie courses. A variety of membership plans and options can be found on their website:

The Oki Golf Players Card has been the mainstay of Oki Golf. The cards are good for any of the six public courses owned by Oki Golf. 

Camas Meadows Golf Club

Located just minutes from Portland, Oregon’s PDX airport, Camas Meadows is placed adjacent to Lacamas Lake in Camas, Washington.      

While the natural habitat initially captures your attention the constant investment in the course has been the goal for several years.   The course ranges in yardage from over 6,631 yards to 5,187yards. 

 Through the Washington Youth Golf Academy at Camas Meadows, the course reaches over 14,000 youths across three school districts at no cost to the schools.  In addition, the course has been recognized by the PNW PGA for it’s adult development programs.

Tri Mountain Golf Course

The course that gets the most exposure from being near Interstate-5 is Tri Mountain in Ridgefield, just north of Vancouver. You can see virtually the entire course as well as Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Adams and Mt. Hood – hence the name, Tri Mountain. The course turned 20 years old in 2014.

And don’t forget to hit balls into the watery driving range where you actually don’t get penalized for hitting balls into a lake.

The course is a links-style layout where you can see everything that is in front of you. The Bill Robinson-designed course offers plenty of sand and water to keep you focused. The course prides itself in being in pristine condition year round. The banquet room can handle up to 200 people for tournaments and special occasions.

Quinault Beach Resort and Casino

The Quinault Beach Resort and Casino is the kind of place to spoil yourself if you make that trip to Ocean Shores to spend some time at the beach. The Quinault Indian Tribe owns the resort and it has come up with a place that has a little of something for everyone.

The rooms come in a variety of shapes from queen to king to parlor to grande. And many have views of the Pacific Ocean. There are many choices when it comes to dining at the Quinault Beach Resort from Emily’s Oceanfront Restaurant to the buffets to the Fireside Coffee House to the Ocean Lounge, complete with live music. There is a spa that offers a variety of treatments and the place also is home for weddings and meetings.

If you are traveling with an RV, the Quinault Beach Resort has your spot next to the Pacific Ocean and there is also a fitness center and indoor pool. And don’t forget about the gaming with slots and table games to choose from.

Riverside Golf Course

Riverside Golf Course in Chehalis has long been a popular stop for travelers on Interstate-5. Improvements have made the course even better, including faster greens, improved conditioning, new RV parking and a new restaurant called the Riverside Bistro with a rooftop bar. If it’s been a while since you played here, the nines were reversed a while back, allowing the 18th hole to finish at the clubhouse.

The course has been voted as the top-ranked course in South Sound by readers of the local Chehalis newspaper. New ownership took over the course in 2009 and they made to the course and clubhouse, including new sand in the bunkers and an expanded pond from the first to the ninth holes at the golf course.

Lake Cushman Golf Course

Lake Cushman Golf Course sits on the edge of the Olympic National Park, high above the Hood Canal community of Hoodsport. In a park-like setting, this well maintained 9-hole course is a must play when traveling along Highway 101. Walk or ride, your choice, complete with driving range, practice green and pro-shop.

A popular choice for local tournaments and an easy drive from Shelton, Belfair & Olympia. It’s a great place to get away from the city and traffic congestion.

Ocean Shores Golf Course

Ocean Shores for years has been a must-stop for tourists traveling to the coast. Some of the best lodging and accommodations on Washington’s Coast can be found in this resort town.

There is unique shopping and recreational attractions – like go-karts, mopeds, horseback riding and the opportunity to drive your car on the beach. The golf course is user friendly and remains one of the strong attractions for the peninsula town. The front and back nine are quite different: One is a links-style layout while the other plays through trees.

Airport Golf Center

When Jeff Olive bought the Airport Golf in Tumwater in 1999, he set about improving all facets of the facility to fixing the driving range nets and adding new mats and balls, even upgrading the pro shop including landscaping the entrance.

The 9-hole golf course is gone, but the driving range offer Toptracer technology. Golf is still at the center of the business but it also includes state-of-the-art batting cages.

Other amenities include onsite club repair, and a Tap Room with local flavors of beer along with various selections of bar food.

Highland Golf Course

Highland Golf Course in Cosmopolis is the oldest golf course in Grays Harbor County.

What started out as a nine-hole golf course in 1931 became 18 holes with the addition of the new front nine, built in the early 1990s.

The 18-hole course features 6,112 yards of golf from the longest tees for a par of 70 with some tall trees and other challenges throughout the 18 holes of play.

Three Rivers, Mint Valley

In the Kelso area, there are a great pair to try with both Three Rivers and Mint Valley. Both are 18 holes and good public tracks just a short drive off Interstate-5. Three Rivers was built on a base of material deposited in the Cowlitz River by the 1980 eruption of Mt. St. Helens and removed by dredging. This porous combination of ash, dust, sand and silt drains well in wet weather.

Mint Valley has a covered range and a 6-hole par 3 pitch and putt course for anyone from beginners to families to try. Mint Valley also has a teaching studio in which instructors work with golfers from beginners to lower handicap golfers. It is also one of the homes of the Valley Golf Academy.

Tahoma Valley Golf Course

Tahoma Valley Golf Club (formerly Nisqually Golf Club) in Yelm has long been known for being a dry course. There are spectacular views of Mount Rainier for every hole. The rural setting allows golfers to enjoy their round peacefully. The nines were reversed a few years ago.

Capitol City Golf Club

In Washington’s wet climate golf courses are often remembered for being wet or dry.  Built on a past gravel pit in 1962, Capitol City Golf Club has excellent drainage and has enjoyed the reputation of being one of the driest courses in western Washington. But it’s more than just a dry course, it has tree-lined fairways and is well bunkered with well-maintained greens. It plays to 6,578 yards from the back tees with an index of 71.6 and slope of 128.

Their popular Fire Creek Grill & Ale House was established in 2003 and recently held a grand opening after a complete remodel.

Elk Ridge Golf Course

You won’t find a more beautiful and rewarding golf experience in the Southwest Washington area.  Elk Ridge Golf Course at Carson Hot Springs boasts scenic views from almost every hole along with large, undulating greens and narrow fairways with tall grasses in true links fashion. 

 A challenging course that demands accuracy, it features a first class practice facility that is included with your greens fees.  Only a 45-minute drive from the Portland/Vancouver Metro area. 

Indian Summer Golf & CC

Indian Summer Golf and Country Club is perhaps the best-known club in Olympia and is one of the four country clubs in Southwest Washington. Designed by Peter Thompson, the course continually makes the list of the top golf courses.

One of the favorite layouts among the Oki Golf properties for its challenging design and year round playability.  

The club opened as private but recently has gone to taking public tee times. Private memberships are still available and offer special access to The Golf Club at Hawks Prairie, Trophy Lake, and Washington National for two rounds of golf per month with no green fees.

It has six sets of tees to accommodate all level of players. The practice facility includes a range, putting green, and practice sand bunkers.

Other clubs to check out

• Olympia Country and Golf Club is located along Budd Inlet with sweeping views of south Puget Sound.  It plays just over 6,000 yards and features a tight and hilly layout. Plenty of interesting shots and some terrific views are to be found at Olympia.

The club was founded in 1917 and was originally located in Lacey. It relocated to its current site in 1925 and was expanded to 18 holes in 1958.

• Grays Harbor Country Club in Aberdeen is a nine-hole layout and is one of the oldest clubs in the Northwest having opened for play in 1912. Though a private club, they do offer public play on Friday and Saturday after 12pm on each day. The course was redesigned by Walter Fovargue in 1922 and plays to 5,758 yards using separate tees for an18-hole round. A lot of doglegs and small greens make this course a challenge to play. The rich history of the course is displayed on the clubhouse walls.

 Longview Country Club isn’t long, playing to 6,215 yards and par 70, it opened three new holes 1996. The club was founded in 1923 and opened nine holes for play in 1927. A second nine was added in 1958, completing the 18-hole course. The course plays to a rating of 71.0 with a slope of 129 from the back tees. There are four sets of tees. Tree-lined fairways with well-maintained throughout the year.

The club has played host to numerous club, regional and Wash. State championships.