Avalon Golf Club
19345 Kelleher Road
Burlington, WA 98233
Course Review Date: 02.09.2013
Course Reviewer – Ian
Come on summer golf! Where are you my friend!? Winter golf sucks doesn’t it? We’re just now hitting that stretch where I’m about fet up with playing in the muck every weekend. For this weeks mud-laden adventure, we took the long drive up to Burlington to take a beat down from Avalon Golf Links, home of 3 challenging, yet pretty well designed 9 hole tracks. Avalon has a very unique and special place in my heart after soiling myself here many years back and its always a good humbling reminder of how mentally tough the game can be to head back up and relive the horror that was. It’s like watching the worst movie you have ever seen and deciding, what the heck, I’ll watch the sequel.
Aside from previous peril at Avalon, I really do dig the course design and some of the challenges that you face out there. In my mind, this isn’t the best golf course for a beginner or higher handicap player. It’s tight, there’s water and a lot of fairway bunkers to eat up tee shots. I just see a high handicap player getting thumped out here. Take out that part of the equation and you have a fairly tight, but well routed course (speaking to the North 9 and West 9) that provides plenty of thought towards caution from tee to green and some really solid greens to roll putts on.
Starting on the North 9, probably the toughest 9 holes up there, you tackle 3 par 3’s, 3 par4’s and 3 par5’s. Make it through this 9 without finding trouble and you’ve had yourself one heck of an opening 9 holes. Plenty of fairway and green side bunkers to eat shots, water in play on a few holes, fairly tight tree lined fairways and subtle to strong doglegs to force you to pay specific shots. Avalon is a shot shapers golf course where there ability to hit draws and fades on command will lead to lots of scoring opportunities. Tee shot placement and approach angles are very important as coming in at the appropriate angle will make a big difference on the scorecard. It’s not a course to just get up on the tee and whack it out there. Look at the card, find the approach angle you need, id the trouble, then play.
The West 9 is even tighter than the North and while shorter, small greens and tighter fairways can lead to trouble quickly. You can probably play this whole 9 without taking your driver out of the bag since even from the tips only 3 of the 9 holes hit 400 yards or more. Probably a good idea to pull the club you are most comfortable with rather than trying to bang driver dead straight out there. You can easily play 5 iron, 7 iron, putter on a few of the holes (depending on your tee box) and be a-ok. This is definitely a thinking golfers 9, where grip it and rip it can lead you to a frustrating day. That said, of course we banged driver out there every hole, hit it the woods and in all other places of god’s creation. Why wouldn’t we?
It may beat you up from time to time, but Avalon is always a reasonable price, always in solid condition and unless you get 6mpg, always worth the drive. Looking forward to the summer when dry conditions and longer days allow you to take advantage of their play all day special. Seeing a drive bounce forward would be a welcome sight as well 🙂
Golfchops.com rating: 20/25
Customer Service: 3
Condition of Greens: 4
“Perceived” maintenance level of course: 5
– Pretty good crew out here. One thing to note, I booked us online, showed up with the confirmation code and they had no record of my tee time. You might want to cal up there and confirm if you are booking online.
– Very good conditioned greens for the start of Feb. The occasional bump and jump, but for the most part very smooth and healthy. Also, a lot less ball marks than other public courses.
– Played pretty good for being wet. Very clean and well maintained. Couple areas of tree removal being done to allow more sun on a couple greens.
– $43 bucks walking with a small bucket. Not bad at all. In the summer, the play all day special is fantastic.
– Average driving range with maintenance shack that must get blasted all day, couple different putting and chipping area. No winter cart service that we saw.
Course Review Date: 09.05.2011
Course Reviewer – Ian
You ever get really nervous for a round of golf and things just don’t go as you had planned? I’ve always been excited by the first tee jitter for whatever reason. The chance to just absolutely flush one off the first tee when you know people are watching is just plain cool. Obviously, the down side of this exhilaration is the embarrassment that follows if you spray a hosel rocket into the o.b. on the right. Nearly a year ago today I found myself in this situation at Avalon Golf Course in Burlington, Washington. I play my fair share of golf, but I do not play serious tournament golf, which this was….and I was nervous. Wanting to impress my soon-to-be father in law, play well in my first serious tournament, and live up to my average 14 handicap I had a meltdown of epic proportions. That first tee shot I was so nervous about? Yeah it was a dead toe shank that landed on the driving range. Never have I had a more demoralizing moment in my life than seeing the large scoreboard at the end that had me at the bottom with a whopping 113. Gulp.
A year has passed and a lot of golf has come and gone since that epic day. My game went downhill after that round and a 6 month long dogfight with my swing had commenced. As I’m sure any dire hard golfer will tell, there is nothing worse than having no confidence in your swing. Ahhh, this game is such a menace. That being said, I was ready to take the Golfchops team out to the course that ruined half a year of my golf world. The 27 hole Avalon Golf Club in Burlington, Washington. Avalon has a really cool set up where all three 9’s start in the same general area and shoot off into different directions. They also feature a $62 play all day rate with is great!
All three 9’s have a different play and feel to them. We started on the North Course, the longest of the three at 3462 yards from the tips. It’s a bit of an odd ball set up with 3 par 5’s, 3 par 4’s, and 3 par 3’s. This nine can certainly be mean though boasting a par 3 at 227 yards and a par 5 at 594 yards. Regardless of some monster distances on a couple holes the North course is very playable with receptive greens and picturesque approach shots. We were split on which one of the nines was out favorite but the North had me locked up.
The West Course is quite a bit different than the North and to me has much more of a municipal course feels. Not sure how to explain that really I just remember saying to JR, “this 9 has a municipal feel to it.” However, this 9 is a slipperly one where placement of your tee shot becomes the key to your score. The greens shrink on this 9 and the course tightens up around you. Depending on how you are playing, you can get away with never taking the driver out of your bag and playing hybrid or 3 wood off the tee box the entire nine. This is a total scoring nine for a ball striker. Keep the ball in play off the box and you will be attacking flags the entire time.
Things get really dicey when you hit the South Course, especially if you have already completed 18 holes and are starting to feel a bit of fatigue. The South Course is easiest driving 9 of the three, however it boast the most difficult greens without debate. False fronts, undulation, and an increase in speed by my estimation. The speed change may be due to the heat and the time of day, but thrown in an increase in sloping with a little golfers fatigue and putts started rolling all over. The South Course also featured my favorite hole, the par 4 second. A gorgeous golf hole with an amazing backdrop of mountains and clear skies. A total postcard image from the teebox.
All said it was a great day at a really solid golf course at a great price. No complaints here.
Golfchops.com rating: 21/25
Customer Service: 4
Condition of Greens: 4
“Perceived” maintenance level of course: 5
– Very friendly crew from check in, to marshals, to cart staff.
– Excellent greens on all 3 course with the best being the South course. Deceptively fast, smooth, with very little ball marks.
– Heavily watered in the morning as expected but in excellent shape. Didn’t notice any ground under repair or anything.
– $52 for 18, $62 for all day on a holiday. Pretty solid and an excellent all day rate. Go here and play 27 friends!
– Pretty good driving range and putting range, chipping area a bit hidden. $2 Rainier beers from cart, which made multiple stops.
Pictures of Avalon Golf Course