Saturday, July 22, 2017

Newcastle Golf Club – Newcastle, WA – Review

November 5, 2009 by Chris  
Filed under Washington Courses

Are you looking for a golf experience that brings you stunning views and first class service?  If you are, then you can’t pass n up a round at Newcastle Golf Club.  Perched up high the course offers you views of Mt. Rainier, Lake Washington, downtown Seattle, and downtown Bellevue.  Designed by Bob Cupp with help from Seattle native Fred Couples, Newcastle offers two distinctly different courses, China Creek and Coal Creek.  Owned and operated by Oki Golf, Newcastle is the premier public course under their ownership.  The course is located on a 350-acre complex which offer top of the line practice facilities.  The 44,000 square foot clubhouse is as nice as you are going to see and offers a top of the line pro shop.  If you visit the course during the summer months you will greeted with a Scottish bagpiper at sundown. 

If you are visiting the course for the first time, pay attention to the dress code.  Denim is not allowed on the course or at the practice facilities, so don’t forget to wear your khaki pants/shorts or have your rain pants handy.  While these two courses are outstanding they aren’t for those golfers with a small checkbook.  The pristine service and layout comes at a price and for some it is above what they are willing to pay for a round. If you are looking for a more affordable way to play these courses be sure to check out the Oki Golf Players card where you can receive discounted golf at all the Oki courses.  If you want to take in the views without the price of a round of golf, stop by the Calcutta Grill for lunch or dinner.  The patio offers the same outstanding views that you get on the course.  Newcastle is also one of the top wedding and special event destination in the Seattle area as well, so if the wedding bells are ringing be sure to check them out. 

Here are the course details:

Coal Creek

Hole 1Hole 17Hole 18

The signature course at Newcastle, Coal Creek offers unparalleled views from almost every hole on the course.  Coal Creek is the longer of the two courses and stretches over 7,000 yards from the back tees.  The course also offers a variety of elevation changes that will challenge the golfer to select the correct line and club off the tee box.  The course is lined with native grasses that will grab off line tee-shots and make it very challenging to even find your ball. 

A few of the highlight holes on the course include the opening hole par 5.  This monster offers some of the best views on the course and stretches 621 yards from the back tees with a creek running in front of the green.  Holes  9 and 18 are both uphill par 4’s that offer a great view of the massive Newcastle clubhouse.  These holes also share a green that is undulating and quick (as a side note I did run a putt past the hole and off the green on #18).  The seventh hole has a massively elevated green guarded by a creek and a nice waterfall along the right side of the green.  The par 5 seventeenth is a risk-reward par 5 that can be reached in two, but with a large creek guarding the front of the green and no room for error on the approach, you better be pretty accurate with a wood or long iron.

The course can play quite difficult, so be sure to choose the right tee box for your game.  Also make sure to grab one of the yardage books at the start of your round.  They are free and they can be a life saver when it comes to selecting what club to hit or where to lay up at.  I really enjoy Coal Creek and think that it has a lot of challenges to offer golfers.  Many think that it is a little over priced, but if you can get in on the Oki card or are visiting the area, you can’t pass up what this course has to offer.

China Creek

Hole 12Hole 13

I really enjoyed the layout of China Creek, perhaps it was because I was able to play as the first person off by myself in 2 ½ hours, but even without the speedy round this is a great course.  I know that some of the members would disagree with me, but as far as layout goes I actually like China Creek a little more than Coal Creek.  China Creek is a very woman friendly course, having been ranked as a “Top 50 Course in the U.S.” by Golf for Women magazine.  It is significantly shorter than Coal Creek stretching 6632 from the tips. 

While there are basically no homes on Coal Creek, China Creek has homes lining most holes on the front nine.  The course also offers a variety of blind approach and tee shots, so be sure to grab a yardage book so you know where to aim.  Trees also line most of the holes on China Creek, giving you more a vintage Northwest golf feel.

An opening par 5 gives golfers a straightforward fairly wide open hole to get your feet wet.  Hole 2 is a beautiful par 3 with an elevated tee box and trees guarding the right side.  Hole 3 offer a short par 4 with a blind tee shot, make sure you select your line correctly as you can run out of room in a hurry on this left to right sloping fairway.  The par 5 eighth hole is a long hole with a ridge running across the center of the fairway.  A long tee shot will put you just over the ridge and give you a good look at this green. 

The par 5 tenth offers you the best views on the course and also give you your best scoring change on any par 5 on the course. The fourteenth hole is a nice uphill par 4 with trees surrounding the green.  Due to the uphill nature of this hole, club selection is key. The fifteenth is a nice little par 3 that holds a special place in my memory due to the deer that visited me while I was putting.  An uphill tee shot over a large ravine will take you back.

With a nice and challenging layout, China Creek is a great option for your weekend escape.

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