First of all, for those golfers who have never traveled to the Olympic Peninsula, I encourage you to research the pronunciation of the town of Sequim. You would not want to embarrass yourself in front of the local residents. Located along the Dungeness River at the base of the Olympic Mountains, the city is referred to as the “Lavender Capital of North America”.
Since the Sequim Lavender Festival was not for a couple of weeks, I decided to play a round of golf at SkyRidge Golf Course. This is the only links style golf course on the Olympic Peninsula and a less expensive alternative to Chambers Bay Golf Course. Enough already about lavender, let’s talk golf!
Hole #1 is a par 4 of only 283 yards from the green tees. All you need to execute at this opening hole is to navigate your tee shot around a telephone pole; avoid water fronting the green; and land on a narrow green with high native grass behind the putting surface.
As Meatloaf once sang, “two out of three ain’t bad”. If you are playing 18 holes, this same location will play as a par 3 at Hole #10. Three other holes on the “back 9” will also change par, so the course will take on a completely different feel as you play eighteen.
Follow the big red signs to Hole #2. They have done a nice job directing the golfers to the correct teeing area and as a first time player here, it was fairly easy to find the correct tee box for each hole. After a birdie and par at the first two holes, I ended that streak at Hole #3. A word of warning if you are driving a cart – Slow Down! The fairways are bumpy and as I motored down the third I went airborne and wrenched my back. I proceeded to bogey the next six holes! This may not have been the cause of my bogey run but…
Hole #4 is straight and wide-open but there is water lurking to the front right of the green. Hole #6 is a dogleg left par 5 with a distance of 478 yards. I regarded this as the most fun hole on the course, even though I had no idea where I was going. After asking another golfer, I still had no clue. Eventually I stumbled upon the flag(s) and the water that fronted the green. The correct flag is the one on the right.
The number one handicap is the dogleg right seventh. Every hole on the “front 9” has a dogleg except for #4 and the two par 3’s. This is the first hole in which I had to hit from the sand. Even though it looked hard and crusty, it was actually quite nice. Hole #9 is a slight dogleg right and can be sneaky hard. You can’t see them from the tee box, but there are bunkers hidden around the landing area (or at least my landing area) and the green.
Birdie: The course didn’t look difficult but at the end of my 9-hole journey, I was five over par. Not to make excuses, but you know – my wrenched back. The greens were patchy but rolled just fine for my yippy putting stroke. They have done one of the better jobs with the layout to make SkyRidge Golf Course play more like an 18-hole course than any of the 9-hole courses I have played. The front 9 and back 9 will play very different. The staff was friendly and of course at the clubhouse they had Mac & Jack’s on tap which helped soothe my aching back as I watched the final round of the 2015 US Open at Chambers Bay.
Not playing eighteen and looking for something to do in the afternoon? You are only a short drive from Port Angeles and a ferry ride over to Victoria, BC, Canada. Explore Victoria aboard the on/off bus and then make your way out to Butchart Gardens. Staying another day? Hike, bike and visit Hurricane Ridge in Olympic National Park. Of course there is always the Lavender Festival in Sequim. Thank you to all who have read this far. As a reward – Sequim is pronounce as one syllable, with the e elided: “skwim”.
7015 Old Olympic Highway, Sequim, WA 98382; 360-683-3673; www.skyridgegolfcourse.com