Ballinger Lake Golf Course


23000 Lakeview Dr
Mountlake Terrace, WA 98043
(425) 697-4653

Press Release from Mountlake Terrace on the closing of Ballinger:

MOUNTLAKE TERRACE — The City of Mountlake Terrace was recently notified via letter from Hardy Golf LLC that effective Monday, November 5, 2012 Hardy Golf LLC would no longer operate Ballinger Lake Golf.

On Monday morning, November 5, the City posted a notice at the golf course that Ballinger Lake Golf Course and clubhouse is closed. The notice also informs the public that Hardy Golf LLC is no longer operating the golf course and provides the following contact information for Hardy Golf LLC customers and vendors: “Hardy Golf LLC customers and vendors should contact Hardy Golf LLC, PO Box 55, Mountlake Terrace, WA 98043-0055, (425) 697-4653 or ballingerlakegolf@yahoo.com.

Since Hardy Golf LLC signed a lease agreement to operate the golf course through December 31, 2015, the City is currently reviewing what legal issues and options it may want to undertake given it appears that Hardy Golf LLC is in default of the lease agreement. There is no provision in the lease agreement that allows Hardy Golf LLC to unilaterally terminate the lease agreement.

Once the legal issues have been addressed, options for operating the golf course would be developed in the coming months.
For more information about the Ballinger Lake Golf Course, please call Recreation and Parks Director Don Sarcletti at (425) 640-3104.

Review Update Date: 06/24/2012
Author: Ian

Got a call today from some of the “crew” that happened to play Ballinger over the weekend.  Report was pretty rough.  Worst condition they have ever seen the place in.  Rough isn’t being maintained, fairways are dead and spotty and the greens are terrible.  They went as far as saying that Wayne Public Golf course was in better shape by miles.  I was there a month ago and can speak to it’s rough condition.  This is what happens when you either don’t have the revenue or just decide not put money back into the course.  Not sure what is going on with the course maintenance but Ballinger is a total avoid right now.


Review Date: 09/18/2010

Lucked out into a beautiful day to play golf in between nasty September rain storms.  It was men’s club championship day at Ballinger and while we were not participating in the festivities we did get to enjoy some ultra tough pin placements and tee box locations.  Pace of play was solid and we were able to knockout 18 in about 3 1/2 hours.  One thing about Ballinger that always frustrates the hell out of us is how tough some of the rough can play out there.  There is a specific section on the right hand side of hole #6 and the right hand side of hole #9 that is frankly infuriating.  Ever play in rough that just grabs a club face and makes it either stop cold or do something crazy like stay wide open?  That is this rough.  Ok maybe I’m venting about my toe shank on #6.  I feel much better now.  At any rate, do not hit the ball right on either of these holes or else you second shot is a total mystery.

Was matched up with a very nice older gentleman on the back 9 who had one of those golf bags that you envy.  Superfast TM driver, G10 irons, and a gorgeous Ping Pal 2 putter from the early 80’s.  Bob might not have had too much left in the old golf swing, but he was butter with that putter.  My compliments to you sir.  It’s always nice when you get randomly matched up with someone on the course and they not only love the game, but respect it.

As for course specifics, the greens played ok.  Nothing to write home about but they rolled ok and didn’t have any major areas that made us groan.  By the way, fix your ball marks people!  We should point out that the putting green was in excellent shape and rolled extremely well.  Ballinger isn’t a world beater but it continues to play well, offer a good variety of shots and not crush our wallets every time we play.

Review Date: 08/01/2010

Got a nice afternoon 9 in at Ballinger Lake Golf Course after Freddie dropped a snowman on the second hole of the U.S Senior Open (damn it!).  $19 for a Sunday 9…not bad, but a little more than we wanted to kick down.  Yeah, we’re cheap so what 🙂  We got a few pictures of the course as well to share, see below.  Ballinger has grown a lot since we were last there and the danger spots around the water are way more dangerous than they used to be.  The rough was also very tough to get out of and we’re blaming it for the two flubbed chips that cost us a chance at shooting par today.  The thing we like about Ballinger is that it’s a small 9 that makes you use your whole bag and play alot of strategy golf.  Do you try to drive the green on the 280 yard par 4, 3rd hole?  Or do you play safe, take your par and hate yourself for not going for it? Ballinger has its’ positives and negatives to be sure.  Where else can you just walk on at 1:30 in the afternoon on a nice Sunday and tee off without any wait.  This leads us to the negative.  Ballinger just doesn’t generate enough cash for its owners to put a ton of money in to course maintenance.  Our kudos to them for maintaining the course on a limited budget and still keeping it good enough for us to enjoy.  The putting green was in good shape, (see pic below) and all the greens rolled pretty well.  The rough was pretty burly and the growth around the water areas was nice.  The only real stuggle appeared to be the tee boxes.  A couple of them were hurting pretty bad.  We’ll certainly be back…driving the green on a par 4 makes us smile no matter what course we do it at.

Golfchops.com rating: 16/25
Customer Service: 5
Condition of Greens: 3
“Perceived” maintenance level of course: 2
Value: 4
Amenities: 2

Rating Notes:
 Customer service is always excellent here
– Greens were average, a couple of spots that needed work but nothing that ever got in the way of a putt.
– Average maintenance
– $19 for 9, for Sunday primetime.  Not bad.
– Putting green was in good shape, pace of play was excellent, no driving range or practice bunker.

Review Date: April 2010

Fun little 9 hole that suprisingly offers a variety of shots. Great for sneaking away from the office for a quick 9. Owners and staff are extremely friendly which is a big plus for me. In the winter it can be a soupy mess, but that’s Seattle winter golf we guess. I would play this little 9 hole over the Nile course which is right next door any day. We really enjoy the opening hole which requires a well placed layup to get around the corner and to the green on your second shot. Parring the opener at Ballinger always makes us smile. Warning, don’t snap hook your drive on #8 or it could broadside a PT Cruiser. Man that lady was pissed! Course finishes strong with a really good par 5, water on the right and a big tree towars the front right of the green. Ugh, that tree is a menace sometimes! We also enjoy the random cat that lays on the 5th tee box and watches you play.

Golfchops.com rating: 17/25
Customer Service: 5
Condition of Greens: 2
“Perceived” maintenance level of course: 3
Value: 5
Amenities: 2

Rating Notes:
 Great owners and very friendly staff.
– Greens are average, nothing special but definately playable.
– Average maintenance, nothing stands out.
– Cheap and fun!
– No range, but a pretty good putting green. Pace of play is always pretty good.

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5 thoughts on “Ballinger Lake Golf Course

  1. I live right next to Ballinger and play it frequently. I think the last review by your buddies is a bit unfair as the course is on a lake and we had such a wet June. The course doesn’t drain well and when wet it will get furry fast. I don’t see any change in course quality than in years past. Plus they have 4 drivable par 4s and an awesome par 5 with a tough drive that must draw with water left and trees right. I’ll take 18 holes of that for $22

  2. Thanks for your feedback Sean! I had a yearly pass there and played frequently as well. Unfair…eh maybe, honest, yes. That’s the task we took on with this website. Providing honest, unbiased feedback. Ballinger is just not up to par right now. I would say that The Nile, which I am not much of a fan of, sits on the same lake and is in far better condition. Oh, and I agree, I love that par 5 as well. Never said we didn’t like the golf course…heck, I’ve spent thousands there. Just that the conditions are no good right now.

  3. First, I read the reviews on Golfchops frequently and am a huge fan. The amount of effort you all put in is amazing and you have built an awesome resource. I tend to play Ballinger for the views, pace of play and price advantages over the Nile but agree that the course conditions are better up the road. I guess to me Ballinger just seems as rough around the edges as it’s always been. I played there last wednesday 6/30 and it was enjoyable. I will concede that it looks like they’ve give up on the idea of bunkers on the course however. The bunkers are a joke, full of weeds and hardpan dirt.

  4. Thank you for the positive feedback I am reading here. As we’ve posted on our website and in our pro shop, we have been transforming our bunkers for the past year from sand to grass bunkers for a few reasons; drainage, maintenance and pace of play – some are in the “ugly duckling stage”. It takes time for the bunkers to grow in. Hardy Golf receives no compensation or assistance from the City of Mountlake Terrace for Ballinger Lake GC. The economy and weather has put a strain on our business as it has countless other businesses, but this year, it feels like it is turning around. We too, have been fans of Golfchops but feel this latest review was irresponsible. To have a true appreciation for the efforts and work that goes into maintaining a golf course, I think the boys at Golfchops should work on our course for one day so that they may have a better understanding of what hard work is. It’s one thing to review a course, it’s another to pay the bills and maintain it. All courses have seen a drop in rounds played the past few years and while other courses have raised rates to recapture their revenue, we have not. Our goal is to make it affordable and a great value for our customers. We have not let the course go, has it been better in years past…yes. If you feel this is an honest review so be it, it’s only your opinon but to tell people to avoid our business is irresponsible. As for the Nile GC being drier and on the same lake, it sits 50 feet ABOVE the lake – we are at lake level – we are actually, below lake level in some places. We appreciate our customers and know that with increased revenue, improvements will continue. So, don’t avoid Ballinger – support the small business of Hardy Golf. Check out the weekly articles that our Class “A” PGA Golf Professional and Co-Owner of Hardy Golf writes for the Weekly Herald.

  5. Thanks everyone for your feedback on this post. I have had a chance to talk to the majority of our writers about the response to our statements about Ballinger and we are all on the same page here. Our statements (in this case mine) are the exact reason we started this website over two years ago. While we have no intent of joining a grounds crew any time soon, we are consumers of a product or service. The world of social media we now live in allows us to speak our mind when we are elated or disappointed in a product or service. In this case we were disappointed in the product. I personaly would feel even more irresposible if I, or anyone who writes for this website endorsed a product or service that they knew was not up to par. This website, along with many others (ie. Yelp, Google Review, etc.) will continue to be forums for consumers to endorse or gripe about products and services. Best of luck on your course improvement efforts.

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