Lake Spanaway Golf Course

Published on Tuesday, May 22nd, 2018 in Course of the Week

Spanaway | (253) 531-3660

Designed in 1967 by A.V. Macan (whose other notable works include Broadmoor and Inglewood Country Clubs in Seattle, and Fircrest Country Club in Tacoma), Lake Spanaway’s narrow layout and oversized greens have held up to over five decades of play and 50 years of innovation in the golf club industry, leaving it just as challenging for golfers today as it was in the days of Gary Player and Arnold Palmer.

Perhaps that’s because just being long — which until recently was the focus of most golf club innovations over the past 50 years — won’t necessarily help you here. Certainly, at a sand wedge over 7,000 yards from the intimidating black tees, Lake Spanaway can challenge even the biggest hitters, but its narrow fairways and creative use of bunkers require as much brain as brawn.

Macan throws you to the wolves right away, putting two of the course’s three toughest holes back-to-back to open your round. The par-3 third is a welcome respite, but you’re right back in the thick of it before long.

On the back, the 13th is a reachable par-5 for the big hitters … of course, after the pounding you’ve likely taken on holes 10, 11 and 12, you might just want to play it safe and card your birdie or par. Lake Spanaway finally releases its grip on you at 16 (following the long, treacherous, par-4 15th), allowing you to rebuild your confidence over the final three holes so that by the time you’ve plucked your ball from the cup, you’ll feel as if you’ve just conquered the U.S. Open.

In fact, you might be onto something … those noted sadists at the USGA love Lake Spanaway, having brought the Mid-Amateur Qualifier to the course in 2003, while both the WSGA and Pacific NW Amateur Championships have been contested on its 18 holes in recent years, as well.

Fortunately, the 19th hole at Lake Spanaway is the easiest … sidle up to the bar and grab a drink — you’ve earned it.

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