Best Golf Courses in Seattle

Updated February 2024 to update booking information.

I love Seattle.  It’s a city rich with culture, commerce, industry, food, music, and golf, of course.  I’ve spent quite a bit of time and so has one of our writers that lives in the Pacific Northwest.  In fact, he’s played quite a bit of golf in Seattle.

So, it was with his help, and that of our ever loyal readers, that I’ve compiled a list of the best public golf courses in Seattle anyone can play.

Strap on your rain gear, and pop that umbrella, we’re next on the tee.

1

Chambers Bay

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Next to Bandon Dunes, there isn’t a finer links track in North America than Chambers Bay.  Having played host to the U.S. Open, the U.S. Amateur, and plenty of prestigious collegiate events, Chambers Bay is a big test. 

There’s no easing into your round here.  The first hole is a demanding par four that plays straight into the stiff winds that come off the ocean. 

Expect to play a number of shots here you wouldn’t normally play anywhere else.  Indeed, golf is played along the ground here and the natural topography can be of both help and hindrance.

When you play Chambers Bay, come for the experience.  If you happen to play well, that’s an added bonus. 

 

2

Gold Mountain Golf Club

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The two courses at Gold Mountain epitomize championship golf in the Pacific Northwest.  The Olympic Course is the crown jewel.

Set in the lush forests west of downtown, the Olympic Course demands everything from your game from the first tee to the 18th green.

Even though the fairways are generous, they are sloped and give you some difficult lies. 

Elevation changes abound and club selection can be tricky. 

The 18th hole is one you won’t forget.  A downhill, drivable par four, this hole is the ultimate risk and reward opportunity.  If you’re feeling brave, you can try and carry the lake that fronts the green.  This one swing can be the difference between an eagle look and double bogey.  Talk about a way to finish!

I love the Olympic Course at Golf Mountain and try to play it every time I’m in town.  You should too.

 

3

White Horse Golf Club

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One of Seattle’s finest public facilities, White Horse Golf Club sits on the beautiful Kitsap Peninsula. 

During a round at White Horse, you’ll feel at one with nature.  Expect frequent sightings of deer and bald eagles.

You’ll want to keep the ball in play here.  Even though the old growth fir and pine trees are beautiful, playing from amongst them is next to impossible. 

Five sets of tees make White Horse a challenging but fun round of golf whether you’re a two handicap or a 22. 

The greens are notably well-protected, so you’ll have to be precise on your approach shots. 

Because the course is a bit difficult to get to, there’s a free shuttle available from the Kingston Ferry Dock.   

4

Auburn Golf Course

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Auburn Golf Course turned 50 years old in 2020.  During that time, it’s remained a highly touted staple of the Seattle golf scene.  There’s no sign of that changing in the future either.

Situated along the Green River, the layout isn’t long, but it’s narrow.  Accuracy trumps length throughout. 

The course is owned and operated by the city of Auburn.  As a result, all revenue generated goes back into the course.  It’s little wonder this course is always in such great shape.

For one of the best values in the Seattle area, and a round that won’t disappoint, choose Auburn Golf Course.

5

Twin Rivers Golf Course

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One of the best kept secrets in the Pacific Northwest is Twin Rivers Golf Course.

Even though this course isn’t long, it presents a challenge for even the best of players.  Narrow fairways and fast greens require precision throughout the bag. 

If you get a chance to play this course in the fall, you won’t forget it.  The changing colors of deciduous trees interspersed with evergreens against a clear blue sky is really something.

A true shot maker’s test that’s rich in history, don’t forget about Twin Rivers Golf Course.

6

Riverbend Golf Complex

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Riverbend Golf Complex is a serious golfer’s dream.  Along with one of the best practice facilities in the state, the golf course is a must play.

Owned by the city of Kent, the course opened in 1989.  Since then, it has proven a favorite for both locals and visitors alike.

Even though Riverbend is one of the busiest courses in the Seattle area, pace of play has never been an issue when I’ve played. 

If you like to walk, Riverbend is for you.  The layout is fairly flat and the greens and tees are close together.

Plenty of character and always in good shape, I highly recommend a round at Riverbend.

 

7
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Bordering the Duwamish River, the 18 holes at Foster Golf Links are elegant and fun to play.  There might not be a more natural setting for golf in the Seattle area. 

The par threes are especially memorable as the tee shots play across the river.  Don’t come up short.

If you’re looking to beat driver and grit your teeth on every hole, Foster Golf Links might not be your best choice.  However, if you’re up for an enjoyable round of golf that affords you the chance to shoot a good score, you’ve come to the right place. 

Friendly people, an enjoyable course, and a beautiful setting.  Sounds like a trifecta to me.

8

Eagles Talon at Willows Run

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There are no less than four courses at Willows Run Golf Complex.  My personal favorite is Eagles Talon. 

Considered one of the most underrated courses in the area, Eagles Talon is a stern test from tee to green.  Ample forced carries and prominent water hazards come into play on the majority of holes. 

Thankfully, the course isn’t too long for most players.  Multiple tee options help that cause.  My recommendation is to play one set up from where you normally would.

I’ve never had a bad experience at Eagles Talon and I doubt you will either.

9

Nile Shrine Golf Course

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Nile Shrine opened for play in 1968.  From day one, the course has been a favorite that continues to attract a loyal following.

Nile Shrine isn’t long, and it only plays to a par of 67.  With that being said, it makes you think.  Course management and shot placement are paramount if you’re going to score well. 

Water hazards and penal bunkers come into play and can add shots to your score quickly if you aren’t careful.

What I love most about Nile Shrine other than the course, is the people.  Head professional, Joe Korn is a consummate gentleman who always greets his players with a firm shake of the hand and welcoming smile.

When you play Nile Shrine, you’ll feel like you’re part of a family that’s been there for generations.

A most wonderful round.

10

Whispering Firs Golf Course

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Whispering Firs Golf Course is on an Air Force Base base just south of Seattle.  However, this track is known as one of best, yet fairest tests in the area.

Having hosted prestigious events like U.S. Open qualifiers, you know this course is everything it’s talked up to be.

Even though the total yardage doesn’t appear long, this course’s par fours and long, narrow, and demanding.  Expect to drive it straight and have a number of mid to long irons into the greens. 

If you’re looking for a fun, yet fair test at a reasonable price, you’ll find it at Whispering Firs.

Conclusion

If you haven’t ever been to Seattle, you’ve got to go.  Even if you don’t play golf, there’s so much to see and do, you won’t ever be bored. 

For golfers though, there’s plenty of fun to be had.  Yes, it rains a lot at certain times of the year.  No one is going to argue that.  When the sun is shining however, great golf abounds.  Whether you want to test your mettle on the seaside links of Chambers Bay, or experience golf in the forested hills of Gold Mountain, there’s a course to whet everyone’s appetite. 

As always, I want to express my sincerest thanks to our readers that so reliably continue to make these course guides possible.  I surely haven’t covered everything when it comes to golf in Seattle.  So, if you have additional input, leave us a note in the comments below.

  

Paul Liberatore
Paul Liberatore

As the Founder of Golfers Authority Paul Liberatore Esq. has spent the last 7+ years writing about the best golf equipment or instruction from the top golf instructors in the world. He has been a contributing writer for Sports Illustrated Golf and GolfWRX. After graduating with honors from Purdue University, he realized that he had a passion for the golf business and the law. When he's not practicing law, or creating golf content on YouTube, he can be found on his syndicated Behind the Golf Brand podcast both on Apple and Spotify talking with the most prolific leaders in the golf industry. 

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