Madrona Links: User-friendly fun

Updated: January 3, 2014

Madrona Links Golf Course opened in 1977 and is a Ken Tyson design. Ken wanted to build a user-friendly course and that is exactly what Madrona Links is today – everyone can play this course but it’s not a totally flat layout and there are many obstacles like tree-lined fairways, greenside bunkers and strategically placed ponds that make you keep your focus.

It is one of those courses that many people have overlooked or discounted because of the relatively short yardage (5,608 yards), but what golfers need to know is that its short length is not a reflection of the character of the course. There is a good mixture of level holes and holes with elevation changes. Number 13 hole is a good example of elevation change and challenge. It is a 383-yard par-4 hole where the tee shot plays down hill to a fairway that slopes toward the lefts side and the ob stakes. Landing in the fairway is critical as the second shot is to a difficult undulating green.

The Links part of the name fools a lot of people as the course isn’t really a links-style at all, but more of a northwest parkland-style course with fairways that are lined and often separated by tall trees. Some holes are flat and some are hilly but it’s not a difficult walk for those who favor walking when they play a round of golf.

The course has a restaurant and lounge that is in the process of being remodeled and is expected to re-open in mid February. It will have a new proprietor in Bob Kelly. You may know Kelly’s son Troy Kelly who plays on the PGA Tour.

There are plans to hold a Gig Harbor Amateur this year for the first time. The dates have not been established but it is expected to take place in August or September.

Madrona Links is an 18-hole, par-71 course with a slope of 116. It has a reputation for having great greens. The course recently hired Jeff Jackson as its new superintendent. Jackson was previously at Canterwood Golf Club in Gig Harbor. Amenities at the course include a practice range, practice green, restaurant and lounge and a well-stocked pro shop. Their website is: Pro shop phone is 253.851.5193.