With the weather gradually warming up for the stellar Northwest summer, I knew for a fact I needed some excuses to get outside. I was struggling with ideas, but my friend suggested we meet up (safely, six feet away from each other) and play disc golf. I hadn’t played since my freshman year of college, nearly ten years ago. I jumped at the chance and met him at one of many courses in our area.
Since that fateful day, I have played almost every available course in Seattle’s surrounding area, and then some. I’ve compiled my short list of almost all of the places you can play in these neck of the woods, and hopefully they will help guide you towards a decent afternoon full of fun.
To begin, I am NOT very good at disc golf. Advanced terms such as “hyzer” and “Anhyzer” are completely lost on me, and the numbers listed on the discs giving them their flight specifications may as well be ancient hieroglyphs. Taking that into consideration, I’ll be ranking these courses on their accessibility to entry-level players, as well as overall enjoyment of playing them.
As far as courses go in Seattle, I would (along with many others) rank this as the best course in the area. Located near the White Center neighborhood of Seattle, this is just a short drive south of the city proper. Don’t get “best” confused with “easiest.” It is just as difficult as any other course. However, if you end up throwing completely off the fairway, you won’t be at risk of accidentally hitting a parked car or hopping a fence to retrieve your disc. At no point in the over-18-hole course does this park not feel like it truly dedicated itself to disc golf. Each hole is clearly marked and doesn’t reuse tee boxes toward different targets and claim itself a “ new hole.” The only real downside was that the first hole is over a small pond, which isn’t easily clearable if you are newer to the game or don’t have the arm strength.
This course is nestled in Mountlake Terrace, just ten miles north of Seattle. Of all of the courses, this one feels the most like a hike. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but without careful precision, the likelihood of losing a disc feels fairly high. The course has a dedicated 18 holes, each with their own tee box and goal. The first few holes and almost the entirety of the last nine pit you in what feels like the middle of the woods. A lot of uphill/downhill hiking is required to reach most holes, and some of the fairways are straight shots that will easily put you in some roughage without a careful throw. The true spectacle of this course is the eighteenth hole, which situates you high in a tee box for a beautiful (if not difficult) toss over treetops.
Located just off of Interstate 5 in the Northgate neighborhood, this course was fairly intimidating to play. Of all of the courses, this one does the best job at outlining its holes at the tee box, showing you exactly how many feet it is to the hole and around what obstacles you have to shoot. What gets a little dicey is that this park claims to have 18 holes, but it reuses all 9 original holes from different tee boxes to accomplish this task. Some of these holes are exactly the same except for a different tee box that is maybe 20-30 feet farther away from the initial, which doesn’t change the hole much at all. The proximity of everything is incredibly close, which can make this area feel extremely technical. A wary drive can leave you stuck in a thicket of bushes or scrambling up a lush hill to try to retrieve your disc. Long story short; this course seems like it would be incredibly appealing to seasoned players, but incredibly difficult for newcomers. This idea is further emphasized by the amount of people playing on a Monday afternoon, and the skill I had seen from the courses seemed to be the highest at this one.