The middle brother
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This course would be the more open brother of the NW course which gives ample opportunities to uncork some big drives (unlike the NW course). The property is a mix of grass, mature oak trees and lots of scotch broom, so you can expect to be punished if you don't hit the fairways. There is also lots of OB on the property edge where you find fences and roads, so consult the map beforehand. Moderate elevation gain/loss comes into play on about a third of the holes.
I thought this course favored the long arm much more that the NW course, however, the factors listed previously are what keep this course honest and challenging. If you get caught in the scotch broom, it can be very difficult to make a full shot from this position since it grows so high. I really liked the inclusion of OB stakes on holes 14 and 15 which means that if you go in the scotch broom you are OB! This course seems to play longer that the NW, with more par 4 & 5 type holes.
Cons: For the love of #$%^, please put numbers on the baskets! This was the most annoying part of the course, is that you could see multiple baskets from the tees, and often did not know which one to go for! Obviously, this frustration applies to newer guests, like myself, who do not get down to this course often. All it would take is a sharpie pen, man!
Other Thoughts: We considered the option of making all the scotch broom OB if you want to be sadistic and bring the challenge to another level (by drawing an imaginary line between the scotch brooms on the edge of each fairway).
Overall this course rates in the middle with a 3.5
The NW course rates a 4
Ray's 9 rates a 3
You should certainly make a day of it and play them all, starting with Ray's 9 as a wonderful warmup!
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Ft. Steilacoom Park's Southeast 18
3 Helpful / 0 Not
The Southeast course at Ft. Steilacoom is a wonderfully challenging and creative eighteen hole course located on the same property as Ray's 9 and the Northwest 18. Unlike the other two courses, the SE course is more exposed to the harsh elements the Pacific Northwest has to offer due to the openness of the course. Like the other courses on site at FS, this course pushes all skill levels by requiring line shaping and placement. Although the fairways are more open here, there are plenty of areas to get into trouble due to man-made OB's, foliage, and hillsides. Some of the more wide open holes tend to be the longest on the course and use the tall grass along the mowed fairways as OB in order to add to the difficulty and maximize space on the property. Par for the course is 54, with holes ranging anywhere from 182-590ft, but averaging closer to 300+ft due to five holes playing over 500ft! There is much more room to air it out here, allowing bigger arms to capitalize due to the sheer distance.
Like the other two courses, this course can to be difficult to navigate for first timers. There are several areas that have cement tee pads due to the old layouts but if you just be on the lookout for the new tee signs which provide pin locations and distance from the tee to each basket. Hopefully over time they will continue to remove some of the older tee pads now that they have three "official" layouts here at Ft. Steilacoom.
This course, in my opinion, rates as the second hardest course to play in terms of difficulty and course navigation (Ray's 9 being the easiest and the Northwest 18 being the hardest). All memorable and well worth anybody's time as an all day event or a single round. They are all unique and unlike the other and continue to get better with age. Since the time of its installation in 1986, the local club has gone above and beyond to keep these courses not only stay in the ground but also flourish. As of 2014, Ft. Steilacoom has been added as an NT on the PDGA tour which says a lot! My hats off to all those who were able to make this happen as all your hard work has not gone unnoticed.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
I only wish I could play here every day
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Insert *any good thing anyone has ever said about ANY course* here. The course really is 'that good'.
It is the tougher of two 18 hole courses and a third easier 9 hole course all accessible from the same parking lot. It offers everything from short technical holes to long arm-busters to ups and downs and varying wind conditions as well since it partially sits along a ridge on this massive complex.
Beautifully groomed, great use of historic features of the Fort Steilacoom property (I understand the tee for hole 1 is an old helipad).
Cons: Navigation can be tough, and even tougher right now because the holes are moved and rearranged a bit for last weekend's pro-am event.
Other Thoughts: Go to play, and spend the day - there are 45 holes at this complex and these are the challenging 18 - start with Ray's 9, play through the Northwest course, then finish with this 18 - bring a lunch, make a day of it - heck, if you are obsessive like I am, start again and try to do 90 in a day (I didn't do this, btw - I only had 5 hours to play so I actually only finished about 40 - but man, it would be a great day sun-up to sun-down without ever getting in the car).
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
poor signs-no map---still not that bad/hard!
Pros: Wide open mostly. The real long holes have no obstacles to speak of. In fact if I didn't know better I thought I was playing a course in the midwest. Big arm long throwers this course is for you!
Cons: Hole number 3 is hard to find after you finish hole 2. Plus the basket for 3 is not easy to identify. A basket number sign on top of the baskets would really help. Once you are past 3 in gets easier. Some confusion on baskets for 8 and 10. Which one do I go for? We did the wrong one for 8 but it was okay...10 we waited for a couple of players behind us and asked...that helped. No bathrooms anywhere. Trash is your responsiblilty. Course has way too many MANDO's...I suppose this helps make the course more of a challenge. I ddin't think it was necessary because it's a fairly easy playing course.
Other Thoughts: When you walk up onto hole 1 very large pad and you look out and see 4 or 5 baskets---you are not going that way. The (hole) sign at the pad is pretty good...your basket is parallel to the entrance road and across the road going up to the faculty at Steilacoom. Throw across the road and you are on the way. (watch out for the Mando :( LAST thought: If you have played the Northwest course here at Ft. Steilacoom this course is so different..."night and day" different. In fact you would think how can they be on the same property. Come spend a day, play both courses and see for yourself. Oh... Northwest course is harder to navigate, in fact, way harder!
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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