Battle Creek Golf Course

6006 Meridian Ave, N
Marysville, WA  98271-6505

Course Review Date: 8/11/2012
Course Reviewer: Ian Favre

Ok…every once in a while I look back on something I wrote and say “dude, what the hell were you thinking when you wrote that?”  How in the heck did I say this place is fairly open and a good place for high handicappers.  Frankly, I apologize because this place is as narrow and tight as it freaking gets and honestly, watching four pretty good golfers punch out of trees all day gets pretty old pretty fast.  Playing this golf course in nice weather for the first time I realized that the near freezing conditions of my last round really masked some things that I didn’t notice.  Here’s a summary of some of that stuff:

First, for the love of god, would you start taking a debit card in your restaurant.  It’s 2012.  I called it a nuisance last time, now I am calling it downright stupid that this place has a cash only restaurant.  No one has time to wait for the front desk to run your card, then give you cash to go back to the restaurant.  20 minutes later people are stacked 3 deep on the 10th tee.  Buy a debit machine, plug it into a phone line, call it a day.

Second…we don’t like rocks…at all.  Be very careful out there with your precious irons out there because there are rocks, mostly along the edges of the fairway and in the rough.  I caught one with a wedge on a fairway approach shot…fired a few sparks and nicked my club up.

Lastly, I must have been under the influence when I said this place was “fairly open.”  Looking back, I honestly can’t believe I wrote that.  I’m a little embarrassed.  I don’t know of another golf course in Western Washington that plays this narrow from tee to green.  The slightest of blocks or pulls, specifically on the front 9 and you are punching out of the trees.  For the very accurate golfer, Battle Creek won’t put up to much of a challenge, but start missing left or right and it’s going to be a very long day.

Ok, that was a bit of rant so let’s put out some positives:

– Greens were very healthy and in the morning I think would roll very smooth.  Our afternoon tee time meant lots of foot traffic and foot prints on the green.  It effected a few puts, especially as we got later into the round.

– $37 is a solid rate for good course conditions.  The place was well maintained.  A couple spots of G.U.R. but nothing that ever effected play.

– Pace of play was good.  We knocked an afternoon round out at a busy course in 4 1/2 hours.

– Hard ground leads to some long, bounding drives.  Anything over 270 in Seattle golf is going to make me smile.

Summary – Maybe I am peculiar but I have a certain style of golf course that just suits my eye.  An open teeing ground that allows you to shape shots and also miss a touch without being penalized too bad.  Challenging approach shots that counter balance the open teeing ground.  Lastly, I like to see the hole laid out in front of me.  I like to think my way through the hole.  Battle Creek features a few holes that are blind from the teebox and blind on the approach.  Some might not mind, but not my cup of tea.

Review Date – 11/20/2010

The forecast was for a snow and rain mixture with temps in the 30’s.  Lucky for us we got a crystal clear morning to play golf and check out Battle Creek Golf Course in Marysville, Washington.  Not a lot of golfers out for an 8:16am tee time when its 37 degrees out so we pretty much had our run of the place and we’re able to enjoy some laughs on the links and not worry about the pace we were playing at.  However, we will note that some of the regulars out there were tee’n it off in shorts!  37 degrees and wearing shorts on the first tee.  Amazing!  The first thing to note before you hit the course is a tip on bringing some cash out to Battle Creek.  They have a small cafe and place to buy some beer, but it’s cash only.  After you have paid for your round and go to grab a bite and a beer you have to go back to the front desk, have them run your debit card again and give you cash, then go back to the cafe and pay for your items.  Kind of a random nuisance, so just a heads up.

Once you’re out on the course you’ll find that most of the holes look pretty solid from the tee box.  To a certain extent the course has your standard Seattle Municipal feel to it.  That kind of back and forth trek that doesn’t offer an overwhelming amount of character.  This course is very reminisent of Snohomish Golf Course where they challenge you with a lot of undulation and odd lies in the fairways.  However, Battle Creek does do a good job of throwing a few challenging holes at you that really force you to think about placement and club selection.  Hole 8 is one of these holes where driver will likely put you in the hazard, so you are forced to play a lay-up and then hit a perfect second shot to find the green.  Our 3-some all had different approach shots to the green ranging from hybrid to 7-iron and all 3 of us were playing our next shot from the drop zone.  Battle Creek’s signature hole is pretty aggressive and a lot of fun to play.  It’s a 161 yard par 3 from the white’s that forces you to clear a massive boulder (see pic below) in front of the green to land softly.  A fun little hole until you miss your 3 footer for par.

Battle Creek would be a fairly good place for the high handicap player since there is not a tremendous amount of trouble out there.  Most of the fairways are pretty wide, and the tree-lined fairways are not to difficult to find balls on wayward shots (see pic below).  There are a couple driving holes that have a tunnel like feel to them but nothing too major.  Even on a day where your ball striking isn’t very good you can scramble around and still put up a respectable score and not want to break a 7-iron over your knee.  The greens at Battle Creek were in solid shape for late November golf.  No major damage, fungi, or anything growing on them and they rolled well.  The only thing that would deter a putt, minus a poor stroke were foot prints.  The greens were very reminiscent of West Seattle Golf Courses’ greens at this time of year.

A couple things to keep in mind if you are heading out to play Battle Creek.  If it’s really wet you are going to find a lot of places of murkiness.  Not necessarily a mud pit, but all three of us were pretty mudded out when we were done.  Right now, there is quite a bit of ground under repair and you will see a lot of places that are labeled as such.  Also, bring some extra long tee’s with you.  The grass on the tee boxes is a bit longer than usual so your standard length tee might not cut it for you when hitting the big stick. rating: 16/25
Customer Service: 3
Condition of Greens: 3.5
“Perceived” maintenance level of course: 3.5
Value: 3.5
Amenities: 2.5

Rating Notes: 
– Customer service encounters were limited.
– Greens were nice and smooth of late November golf.
– A lot of ground under repair, but that’s a heck of a lot better than damage that isn’t being worked on.
– $34.50 for prime time rate with small range bucket.  Not bad.
– Driving range is a bit small and narrow.  Putting green is solid. Cash only at the cafe is inconvenient.

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