With a host of private and public golf courses designed by notable names such as A. Vernon Macan and Masters Champion Fred Couples, Bellevue has no shortage of scenic and challenging tee shots.
The Reporter visited some of Bellevue’s most popular courses and spoke with local golf pros to find out which tee shots are the toughest, have the most picturesque views and provide the biggest challenge for players.
1 at Newcastle, Coal Creek (621, 589, 545, 465, Par 5)
Of all the features that have made The Golf Club at Newcastle one of the region’s top destinations, patrons know it is the panoramic views of Lake Washington, Seattle and the Olympic Mountains that provide the ultimate separation and none match the first hole at Coal Creek.
“It’s exactly what you think of when you think of Newcastle and playing golf here,” Director of Golf Mark Rashell said. “There is no place where you get to start a round of golf like you do on Coal Creek.”
Firing a tee shot down the right side of the drastically sloping fairway is the safer play, with a water hazard to the left of the ideal landing area.
3 at Glendale (423, 410, 358, 315, Par 4)
For a challenge that requires the ultimate in controlled power off the tee, check out the 410-foot (from the blue tees), Par 4 third and Glendale Country Club, which Assistant Golf Professional Patrick Ackerman cited as his favorite tee shot on the course.
“You have to hit it long, down the right side to have any shot at the green,” he said. Anything left or left-center and you have trees in your way.”
Setting up for an approach at the tucked-away green will be easier from the right, but an out-of-bounds means even playing to that side is no easy task off the tee.
Along with the demanding shot down the dogleg left hole, Ackerman said the elevated green provides a picturesque view down course.
“It’s visually appealing from the tee, you are up way high teeing down,” he said. “It’s a demanding tee shot.”
2 at Bellevue Golf Course (488, 474, 441, Par 5)
The second hole at Bellevue Golf Course isn’t the longest or most narrow, but certainly offers a unique set of pitfalls.
Those who choose to lay-up to reach the green in three have more of a cushion, but longer hitters trying to get there in two strokes risk compromising their approach shot by failing to clear a hump in the fairway.
“Right at about 200 yards from the green, if you don’t get left of that it is a very tough approach,” course pro David Anderson said. “You only have about five yards of fairway.”
11 at Newcastle, China Creek (187, 169, 139, 104, Par 3)
A green tucked behind a pond and flanked by bunkers and a false front mean only an ideally controlled tee shot will leave much of a hope to make par, especially from the black and blue tees.
9 at Tam O’Shanter (449, 426, Par 4)
Tam O’Shanter is far from the longest course in Bellevue, but its location off the beaten path makes it an ideal place for a relaxing round.
The ninth hole is a favorite of regulars and provides a steep drop from the tee box down to the undulating fairway. The steep drop among the rolling hills makes for a hole that exemplifies the quiet class of a hidden Bellevue gem.