Classic Golf Club

Published on Tuesday, September 25th, 2012 in Course of the Week

Photo by Patrick Hagerty - A golfer shoots for the 18th green at the Classic Golf Club in Spanaway, Wash. (06/20/07)

Spanaway | (253) 847-4440


Bangers beware: the Classic Golf Club, a venerable gem of a golf challenge hidden among the mature Spanaway neighborhoods, is not so much a test of brawn, but brain. It’s all about course management and making smart decisions, which on many holes might mean eschewing the driver in favor of the 3-wood.

The Bill Overdorf layout opened in 1991, and while thousands flocked to its fairways, it was the then-nine-year-old son of owner Mike Moore who would become its most famous product. A fun, shotmaker’s course with narrow fairways and two-tiered greens, it demands precision on every shot — skills Ryan Moore has put to good use on the PGA Tour.

The Classic is only 6,008 yards from the whites (6,902 from the championship tees) but don’t assume it’s a snap. Qualifiers for the U.S. Public Links and U.S. Senior Open were held here because it forces the golfer to use all the clubs and both sides of the brain.

On several holes, the trees encroach so much that sacrificing distance for safety is paramount. That is never more apparent than the short (310-yard) par-4, No. 10. Trees tightly border the hole for virtually its entire length. Stray, and you pay.

The par-4, 368-yard No. 5 hole can also be a minefield of trouble. Bunkers and trees on both sides force you to steer the ball straight. If you can find a level lie, consider yourself fortunate.

While some of the tree hazards are unforgiving, such as the dense forest along No. 13 and O.B. along No. 14 (one of our favorite risk/reward par-5s), most of the trees that straddle the fairways are just pesky. Ownership has allowed the trees to grow while clearing out of brush underneath so your ball is generally playable. But once you enter the tree clusters, it’s difficult to pass through all the limbs toward the green.

And with the announcement of the all-new RMG Club this spring — a joint venture of The Classic, McCormick Woods and Oakbrook Country Club — golfing at the Classic has never been more affordable. Already a good deal at $39 weekdays and $49 weekends (summer rates), membership in the RMG Club lets a South Sound golfer play as much golf as they want at the Classic for as little as $49 a month — play there just 1-2 times a month, and you’re already putting money in the bank.


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