SHUKSAN GOLF COURSE
|My Score/Best Score
|Located Northeast of Bellingham and situated in a
bowl like setting with the highest point on the course
being the clubhouse/1st/10th tees, Shuksan is a fun
interesting layout with enough variety and challenge for
all golfers. The holes generally sit down in a valley.
There are many elevated tees, 1, 3,7, 10, 12, 13, 16, and
18 immediately come to mind. Some such as 1, 10, and 12
are extremely elevated making for some fantastic views of
the mountains, surrounding countryside, and the rest of
the course. While a few of the greens are elevated, the
course plays more downhill than uphill. This somewhat
negates the 6774 blue tee yardage. If you hit a good tee
ball, 250 or longer, I recommend the blue tees. Speaking
from a summer play perspective, fairway roll is moderate.
You won't get the hard packed mega roll, but the ball
will release some. This will of course depend somewhat on
the time of year you play.
|The greens are some of the best I have seen in the
Pacific Northwest, at least on a public course. When I
played they weren't lightning fast, but not slow either.
The best part was they rolled extremely true. Where you
putted the ball is where it went. If you could read and
stroke the putt it generally went in the hole. Don't
expect flat greens however, there are more than a few
undulations and breaks to be concerned with.
|The biggest form of hazards come from the
wetlands, ponds, ditches, and Ten Mile Creek that run
throughout the layout. In fact, only one hole, number 11
is there no water. There are a good number of bunkers,
both fairway and greenside. In my round I never managed
to find a bunker at all, but did visit the drink on 3
occasions on hole 3 (while playing through the group
ahead!), 5 near the green, and 10 off the tee due to bad
local knowledge not realizing it came into play as much
on the right.
|The fairways are of decent width and in good
condition. Since they appear well watered, don't expect
mega roll, but you won't be digging your ball out of it's
own pitch mark either.
|Lost Ball Factor
|Due to the many water hazards, lost balls are a
definite possibility. I mean I managed to dump 3 in the
drink. If you avoid the water, you should usually be able
to find your ball as there is not a lot of other in
course woods or trees where you are likely to lose a
ball. Don't however plan on playing the whole day with
one ball unless you extremely accurate or get
|Once in the valley, the elevations are not severe,
sometimes almost flat. On the perimeters however, expect
much up and down. Most of it comes in the form of
elevated tees down to flattish fairways.
course is usually easy to walk except, and this is a big
except, there are some long and/or uphill walks to some
of the elevated tee boxes or next holes. You have pretty
good walks from 5 to 5, the long trek from 9 back up to
the clubhouse at 10, The most grueling hike from 10 to 11
is a very uphill steep winding path of a similar grade to
a hiking trail yet paved for carts. You then have the big
walk back up to the clubhouse after the 18th. I walked
the course, but then again I will walk about anything
they let me.
|My favorite part of this course was the excellent
greens, and the scenic views. You really can make the
putts if you hit em right, and some of the views from the
tees are spectacular.
|Not anything to keep me from coming back but, the
long uphill walk to 11 is definitely not a positive. I
also would have liked to see a little more yardage
variety in the par 3's. The shortest being 161 and the
longest 178, with three at 172, 175, 178. I always like
to see a good short sub 150 yard par 3 in the mix, and a
longer one at 200+ yards adds variety. Also the driving
range was using mats in the middle of summer. The
downhill range while interesting also allows balls to be
sprayed right onto the number 1 fairway. Also due to the
downhill/elevated nature, you may feel like a gorilla on
the range with those 180 yard 8 irons, but it isn't
|When I played they had a special deal where you
could play for $20 on Tuesday. Unfortunately, or maybe
not, I was there on Monday. I will say on Monday the
course was not crowded and I got right out.
recommend this course and it is definitely on my replay
list once I play some of the other courses I have yet to
visit. Apparently I am not alone, as Golf Digest in
1996-97 awarded Shuksan 4 stars in it's places to play
||The 5th hole, a 374 yard par 4 causes
more problems than it may appear off the tee. A pond
definitely comes into play on the right, and trees left
will block approach shots drifting that direction. If you
place a good drive, the 2nd shot is downhill to a cute
little green guarded on the left by a bunker and a
wetland. Favor the right side on the approach.
||The 6th hole, a 178 yard par 3 is not
particularly difficult except trees come in close before
the green on the left side. Shots pulled left will hit
these trees and drop well short of the green. The best
approach is to start the ball out to the right and draw
it back in if the pin is cut left. Definitely favor the
right side on a miss.
||The 8th hole, a 412 yard par 4, is
one of the more difficult par 4's on the front side.
Mostly level you will find water down the right size the
entire length of the hole. There are rough areas to the
left making that not an option. After a decent drive one
must thread a shot onto the green guarded close by the
pond on the right. Shots drifting right tend to kick
||The 9th hole, a 405 yard par 4, is no
bargain after 8. From the blues you have a forced carry
over a pond/Ten Mile Creek. From here you hit to a green
guarded by bunkers and another pond down the left. In
this picture the green is off to the left side. The
practice range can be seen coming down the hill more
towards the middle of the picture.
||The 11th, a 172 yard par 3 is one of
the more scenic holes. Here you are offered a fine view
of the Cascade Mountains after that arduous climb up to
the tee box. . Not a difficult hole in particular as the
green is quite wide, however be prepared for a long putt
if you are not near the pin.
||The 12th hole is a 389 yard dogleg
left par 4 from an elevated tee. You can attempt to cut
off some yardage by driving over the fairway bunker in
the bend. The green is guarded by a lone bunker on the
left side. If you miss, miss right.
||The 13th hole is a 570 yard dogleg
right par 5. You can see the clump of trees on the right
which is about the last place you want to be. If you
really crush one you may get to the top of a rise where
you can see the green which is all carry over a
stream/pond. There isn't much margin for error for those
going for the green in two.
||The 14th hole is another par 3 at 175
yards but it plays longer as it is uphill and required
you to carry the ball to the top. Two bunkers guard the
right side and one sits to the left.
||The 15th hole is shorter par 4 at
only 326 yards from the tips. If you look close you can
see the edge of the green on the right on the tree line.
Unless you can carry the ball that far, a lay-up shot is
best as the green is extremely elevated. There is also a
creek wandering down the left to catch any long straight
miss or pull. Best to take a long iron or lofted fairway
wood an lay up.
||The 16th hole is a 409 yard par 4
that plays from an elevated tee over a hackers pond. Tee
shots hit left kick to the right. In fact you want to
favor the left side. If you hit it big you will end with
a view of the green for your 2nd shot. Balls that hit
into the bank left near the cart path will tend to stay
there leaving a blind shot. Green is a decent size
||The 17th, a 369 yard par 4 shouldn't
cause too many problems. The landing area is pretty
generous. The only real hazard is a creek running in
front of the green before it goes uphill. Big hitters may
have to be concerned with this creek, and others may from
the more forward tees.
||The 18th home hole, a 526 yard par 5
which can be reached. Long hitters beware that a water
ditch crosses the fairway in the area one might hit the
tee shot. Once that is negotiated, shoot to a green
guarded by 3 bunkers left, right and rear. There is also
another bunker before the green on the left side to catch
those stray left shots that don't quite have enough gusto
to get there.
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This Page last updated 02/01/99