The Home Course – Dupont, WA – Review
If you haven’t been down to play this great new course just south of Tacoma you are missing out on one of the top new courses in the area. The Home Course was opened in June of 2007 and is quickly becoming a favorite of Seattle area golfers. The course is owned and operated by the Washington State Golf Association (WSGA) and the Pacific Northwest Golf Association (PNGA), and offers a challenging and enjoyable layout. The course boasts 5 sets of tee, measuring 7,437 yards from the tips (what they call their “dynamite” tees) and 5,506 from the most forward set of tees. With this many tee boxes make sure to choose the set of tees that are right for you. If you have any concerns about which tees to play from ask the starter, they will be more than happy to throw some advice your way.
We played the course on sunny and crisp autumn day and the course conditions couldn’t have been any better. Despite having received a lot of rainfall in the previous week or so the course was very dry. Being that it is a new course, the drainage that they installed is top of the line. As a side note you can feel all the gravel that resides under the grass when you stick your tee into the ground. The course offers a challenging layout with very large undulating greens. If you haven’t played the course before be sure to pay attention to the pin placements as a misplaced shot onto the green will leave a lot of work with the putter. The greens played pretty quick, especially considering that it is winter golf in the northwest (for those that don’t know, due to all the rainfall in the winter in Washington the golf course greens tend to be pretty soft and slow). My playing partner commented on how challenging the greens must be in the summer.
The practice facilities at the course are fantastic. The course offers a large range with plenty of targets. The only downfall that we saw of the range was that the target flags were not clearly marked for distance. The practice green is very large and undulating and the on course greens are the same way. There is also a full chipping green with its own bunker. At the time we played the course they were still using a trailer for a pro shop, but there are plans in the works to build a nice full service club house.
I was more than pleased when on the first tee the starter informed us that all the wild grass and rock areas surrounding the holes are treated as ground under repair and you get a free drop. I was told that this is due to the large amount of rocks in these areas and they are trying to avoid people banging up their equipment. The course instantly became driver friendly. The course itself plays more like a links style course. You won’t find the usual amount of large trees lining the fairway as you do with most northwest courses. While you may not be punished with penalty shots for off-target drives, you will encounter a lot of blind approach shots. It is important to pick out a good aiming target as there are a lot of tough pin locations on the course.
There were a few holes on the course that stood out in our mind above the rest. The 3rd is relatively short par 4 with a very large and deep bunker along the left of the fairway. If you can avoid the bunker you are left with a short shot into a slightly uphill green. The green is protected by another intimidating bunker on the right, so choose your approach shot wisely. The par 5 fifth is the #1 handicap hole on the course, and while it doesn’t look intimidating off the tee, once you get around the green you will know why. The green is surrounded by bunkers and all the slope of the green funnels into the bunkers. When we played this hole the pin was back center and it was like playing on a putt-putt course, I had two puts come up on the low side of the hole and roll 15-20 feet into the sand. The par 3 fourteenth is also a great hole. There is water on the right which wraps all the way along the back of the green. There is also a bunker on the left, which actually looks friendly when all the water is staring you in the face. The course offers a great variety of holes that will challenge any player.
Overall we really enjoyed the course. We have heard that pace of play can be a problem especially on busy weekends. That surprised me considering how many marshals there were on the course and how easy it was to locate off target tee shots. You will soon be seeing this course on our top 10 list, and it warranted a return trip a couple of weeks later. If you are willing to make an hour drive from Seattle, The Home Course is well worth the travel time.