Kayak Point Golf Course

15711 Marine Drive NE
Stanwood, WA
(360) 652-9676

Course Review Date – 09/01/2013
Course Reviewer – Ian Favre

Sigh…why do I keep doing this to myself.  Honestly, I have no desire to say a place is no bueno and no one likes to hear their operation is a sad mess but whew…what can I say?  A while back, Ballinger threw a fit when we said their course was in such bad condition we wouldn’t recommend anyone go out and play it, but what are going to do?  Lie and say its great so you, the reader thinks we’ve all lost our minds and are not providing honest feedback?  Kayak Point used to be in great condition and used to feature some really nice putting surfaces.  Those days are unfortunately long gone.  I’ll admit they were much better this time than the hot mess pictured below from June, but they still have issues for sure.

I write about it every time, but without debate they have the worst tee boxes of any course you will play.  Name the course, whatever rat track you can think of…these are the worst of the worst.  I hate being harsh about it, but I just paid $50 to play here and teeing ground is so sloped you can barely get a mower on them.  How in the heck are you supposed to get through the ball on 18 when your back foot is 3 inches below your front?  It’s at a fricking 20 degree angle I swear.  I know #2 is a dog leg right, but is it necessary for the ball to be 2 inches below my feet on the tee box to ensure I spray it right?  I think this is the only place that legitimately frustrates me when I start writing.

I surrender.

– Greens are much better than they were last time but still recovering.  They putted a lot better though.
– Fairways do not look so good and are spotty in many areas.
– Mud.  It’s 80 degrees and there’s mud in areas.
– Tee boxes are furry, chili dipped, spotty and sloped at crazy angles. In the words of Ron Burgandy, “bush league.”
– $25, ok I can accept that.  $50?  You’ve lost your mind.

Golfchops.com rating: 12/25
Customer Service: 3
Condition of Greens: 2
“Perceived” maintenance level of course: 2
Value: 2
Amenities: 3


Course Review Date – 06/09/2013
Course Reviewer – Ian Favre
Pictures Below

Whew, ya know, if you look back on previous reviews of Kayak Point golf course you’ll notice that while she seems to take me to the woodshed every time I play her, I certainly had a lot of respect for the condition of the golf course and the excellent greens they always have.  However, it would seem that over the past year and a half or so, things have changed quite a bit a Kayak.  A course that once challenged you with significantly thick tight tree lined fairways and excellent putting surfaces, has given way to a hot mess of overall conditions and…it pains me to say, easily the choppiest greens we have seen all season.  While the early nice weather this spring and summer has really benefited the greens conditions at the majority of Northwest golf courses, Kayak just hasn’t been as blessed and the greens definitely have some kind of funk to them (see picture below).

Also, worth noting, it seems like every time I go to Kayak the condition and sloping of the teeboxes gets worse and worse.  It’s as if part of the teeboxes are sinking into the ground and creating teeing situations where the ball is significantly below your feet.  I can understand undulated fairways as a challenge of golf and just being part of the game, but I see no reason a tee box should sit on a 20 degree slope or a total crown.  It just seems like you are handcuffing the player before they even get to hit the golf ball.  Frankly, it was infuriating for my foursome the whole day.  When you block one right in to the trees and the teebox has a 15 degree slope from left to right, well no shit I hit it right, I’m falling off the side of a cliff up here.

Honestly I don’t have an explanation for how the course has changed so much over a couple years time.  Looking back on reviews from 2010 and 2011 below you can see how we all comment that the greens are very healthy or “solid,” yet yesterdays experience left me wondering if a dog had been chewing on them.  Very disappointing all around. After paying $35 to putt on perfect greens at Gleneagle (with a cart, beer and hotdog in that price), paying $70 at Kayak for greens, a cart and a small bucket was a kick in the shorts.

Golfchops.com rating: 11/25
Customer Service: 3
Condition of Greens: 1
“Perceived” maintenance level of course: 2
Value: 2
Amenities: 3

Rating Notes:
Service was a-ok. Nothing to report here.
– Greens were absolutely terrible.  Just terrible.  What happened Kayak?
– Not looking good at all, large sections of rough are missing grass and just mud shots….
– $70 for golf, cart and balls.  For these conditions, not cool.  $53 walking with a small bucket.
– Still appreciate their great PBR price.  Driving range is almost a sandpit with grass on top, putting green in ok shape though.

Kayak Pointe Grees

Course Review Date – 12/26/2013
Course Reviewer – Ian Favre

A screaming deal from Golfnow led us to slap the ball around in an absolute downpour at Kayak Point Golf Course this Saturday.  More than any other golf course in Western Washington that we play on a regular basis, Kayak Point combines stuff we love with stuff we don’t really love at all.  Usually in impeccable condition year round, Kayak is one of the better bang for your buck golf courses in Western Washington you can play.  The greens are usually in near perfect condition, she plays pretty well in the elements, the price is excellent and the tee to green conditions are always ideal.  On the not so great side, the sloping tee boxes really reek havoc on your tee shots.  It’s pretty tough to walk up and hit a draw when the tee box slopes down 10-15% to the right.  Besides the tee box problem, Kayak is usually a great place to go get 18 in.  The course is meaner than all hell if you are not hitting the ball straight, but for the money, you shouldn’t leave unsatisfied.

First thing to note about this round at Kayak is that they have themselves a gopher problem on the back nine.  Forgot to write down what hole it was on the back nine, but around the half way point of the back 9, there’s one hole that is being crushed by a little brown furry rodent.  He’s having a party in the fairway and it appears as though he has invited friends to partake in his madness.  How many Caddyshack jokes can we apply right now?  The other thing to note, which was very unusual for Kayak is that the greens didn’t look all that healthy.  Obviously we’ll keep in mind that it has been pouring for two weeks straight and we had a week and a half straight of freezing temps, but I’ve never seen Kayak’s greens with heavy yellowing and browning.  I wasn’t expecting much given the horrendous weather we were playing in and I’m sure they will be fine by the time summer golf rolls around, but it’s worth nothing as something we’ve never seen at that course before.

caddyshack    island

Picture 1 – We have a bit of a gopher issue on the back 9 at Kayak Point.  “In the immortal words of Jean Paul Sartre, ‘Au revoir, gopher’.”

Picture 2 – The funky and tough, split fairway 14th hole.  Took skill I didn’t even know I had to land it on this strip of grass….and a chunked 7 iron.

Aside from the stuff noted above I thought the course played pretty darn well for how wet it is.  Oh, almost forgot, the 383 yard par 4, 10th hole has been converted to a par 3 for the winter.  You have to play your tee shot off a range mat that is sitting in a dirt patch half way down the hill.  Something must have happened fairly recently on this hole too because they have added a bunch of signage around safety when traveling down the hill in your cart, and the walking entrance to the fairway is roped off.  Not sure what the deal is, but that was the funnest driving hole on the golf course and now you play it from a patch of dirt.

Golfchops.com rating: 18/25
Customer Service: 3
Condition of Greens: 3
“Perceived” maintenance level of course: 3
Value: 5
Amenities: 4

Rating Notes:
Service was ok on this run….a welcome to Kayak and a heads up on the change to #10 wouldn’t hurt though.  Just saying….
– It was a utter downpour the whole round, but the greens were not them usual self.  I doubt this will last long.  The greens are always nails at Kayak.
– A little soupy but considering we almost needed an Arc out there I thought it played ok.  Definite gopher problem has pop up though.
– $20 on Golfnow for a Saturday.  Me likey.
– Gotta love a course where water is more expensive than beer.  Good practice facility and the food at the grill isn’t bad at all.  Surprisingly delicious hot wings!

Course Review Date – 9/2/2012
Course Reviewer – Ian

Ok Kayak Point.  I enjoy your golf course.  Your greens are always nice, the layout is fun and the price is always right, but you have got to start a course wide initiative to fix the majority of your tee boxes.  Here’s the gig Kayak…it’s tough enough for your everyday average golfer to hit a ball straight and keep it out of the trees, but that task gets even more difficult when the teeing ground is on a 20 degree incline or decline.

The majority of the teeing grounds at Kayak Point (well over half of them) put you in 4 very difficult positions.  First, the fall back.  The teeing ground slopes backwards, keeping your weight on your back foot, causing you to either hit a pop up or not transfer your weight and slice one in the trees.  Number two, the forward sloped tee box.  Ah yes, a personal favorite.  This delofts the golf club, promotes the infamous chili dip and its fair share of thinned iron shots.  Next the slope to your right, ball below your feet.  We’ve all hit this shot from the fairway and we all know it goes to the right, that said it should not be a problem we face in the teeing ground.  Last the slope to the left, ball well above our feet.  As if I need to add anymore pull hooks to my diet.

My ramblings of the terrible teeing grounds aside, I still find Kayak to be an excellent golf course.  It took me a long time to come around on this place because it can be so punitive, but its a really well designed golf course that is always in excellent condition and rolling in at an excellent price.  I will say one this for anyone new heading up to this place…bring a lot of balls and a hefty dose of patience.  If you’re having a tough ball striking day its going to be a very rough go out there.

Course Review Date – 5/30/2011
Course Reviewer – Ian

Trying to make a tee time for Memorial Day weekend on Thursday leaves you with limited options to say the least.  However, it would appears as though the drive up to Stanwood continues to deter many a weekend warrior from venturing up to Kayak Point Golf Course.  No complaints here as we got our pick of tee times to choose from, which with short notice on a holiday weekend featuring no rain, is nothing short of a miracle.  In the past I have been pretty harsh on Kayak Point.  I’m not sure if it’s the drive that seems so deep regardless of where you live, or the fact that it is such an unforgiving place to play.  If you have been struggling lately and really need a confidence booster of a round this is by far and away the last place you want to find yourself.  Unfortunately for me, I ended up at Kayak on a sour streak of ball striking and driving the ball.  Soooooo…not the place to bring a wayward game my friends.

Conditions wise Kayak Point was her usual self providing greens that rolled smooth and fairways that didn’t  play mushy.  There are some areas of ground under repair out there so some occasional lift, clean, and place….4 feet away is going to happen.  With a bit more care and a couple modifications I could really see this place becoming an elite golf course in the Northwest.  This golf course truly is the definition of Pacific Northwest golf with trees so tall and thick searching for an errant drive becomes a mind numbing waste of time.  As my playing partner Dane mentioned to me during the round, this is perfect place to take someone from out of town to give them a true Northwest golf experience.  Being from Minnesota, he brought his father out here who was blown away by the size of everything.  In general its a solid track, at a pretty solid price, and you can always find a tee time at the last minute.

I mentioned previously that with a few modifications this place could be come an elite track in the Northwest.  One of those things, that drives me nuts on the golf course is the sloped tee boxes.  Most of the tee boxes come with some kind of slope to them and the worst ones are set up as launching pads.  There are a couple on the back nine that I just find unacceptable.   You’ll notice it once you get to the second hole, which has a tee box that slopes left to right.  Smoothing out these tee boxes would make for a much better experience in my book.  My gripe of the tee boxes aside, you really can’t go wrong playing up at Kayak.  In a way it reminds my of how White Horse Golf Course is priced.  There is such an inconvenience just to get there that they are left with no choice but to offer a solid rate.  How do you think Harbour Pointe Golf Course can get away with $67 prime time.  Location all the way.

Golfchops.com rating: 17/25
Customer Service: 3
Condition of Greens: 4
“Perceived” maintenance level of course: 3
Value: 4
Amenities: 3

Rating Notes:
 Service ok.  Nothing to report out of the ordinary here.
– Greens were in solid shape, but keep in mind that they are faster on the back 9 for sure.  You will notice immediately.
– A number of areas that are under repair or in need of repair.  Only effect play in a couple of spots.  Nothing major.
– $42 bucks is pretty good, $52 with tax and a large bucket.
– Good practice facilities all around.  Grass driving range is always nice.  Oddly enough a delicious PBR = $2, a CLIF bar = $3, a Vitamin Water = $3.  Really?  Water more expensive than beer….

Course Review Date – 4/23/2011
Course Reviewer: Jason

Kayak Point Golf Course as noted in our past reviews is a bit off the beaten path unless you live in the north Puget Sound. If you enjoy pure old school Northwest golf then you should make the trip to Kayak Point. Situated in 260 acres of rolling forestland Kayak presents a challenge due to dense trees surrounding most holes and a few blind approach shots. They do soften the blow by marking most of the wooded areas with red stakes so you’re not hitting your 3rd off the tee all day. The greens are Poa Annua and the fairways and rough are a Perennial Ryegrass/Poa Annua mix. From the blues tees the course measures in a 6,719 yards (6,109 white) and rates 72.2 with a slope of 128. My favorite stretch of holes is 15 – 17. 15 is a 612 yard (529 white) monster par 5 with a dogleg left. Unless you can hit a 300+ yard draw off the tee this is a 3 shot par 5. 16 is a 177 yard (145 white) par 3 with a large green (I always play this hole well so I like it a lot). The 17th hole is 405 yard (385 white) par 4 with a smallish green protected by bunkers left and right.

As we made our way off I-5 to the course we noticed a large black cloud in the distance and blue skies just beyond that. We crossed our fingers and hoped the blue sky was above the course but our hopes were dashed as we were greeted with hail and rain as we pulled into the parking lot. The rain slowed down as we made our way to the driving range but once we walked over to the first tee it picked back up again.  With the rain passing over we did have casual water in places and we did have some plugged balls.  As we finished the front 9 the clouds finally parted and we had a little sunshine. As a result of the rain stopping the course dried out and the greens got quicker. The course played tight as always and given the time of year and recent weather was in good shape.

Golfchops.com rating: 18/25
Customer Service: 3
Condition of Greens: 4
“Perceived” maintenance level of course: 4
Value: 3
Amenities: 4

Rating Notes:
 Nothing stood out good or bad as far as customer service goes.
– Greens seemed to be very healthy, but were a touch bumpy in places.
– Course appeared to be maintained very well. Did have some casual water in places on the front 9 due to a squall that passed over. The 13th hole had a “pipe blockage” in the middle of the fairway just short of the green which created a large area of casual water (see photo below).
– $42 bucks isn’t bad, but the 11% local tax doesn’t help the cause (ended up spending $52 with tax and a small bucket of range balls).
– Putting green is good with a multiple tiers. The driving range is OK but is feels slightly sloped to the right so the ball is a bit above your feet (for right handers). They still offer the $2 PBR tallboys

Course Review Date – 5/16/2010
Reviewer note from Ian – I play terrible here, so my review is totally biased!

Reviewer note from Ian – I play terrible here, so my review is totally biased! So may things to say about this golf course. Let’s start with the drive to get there. Yuck! Seriously, I think this course is in Canada. As for the golf…this place is tough as nails. It’s in the middle of a freaking forest and I won’t even write the expression my buddy Jason uses to describe how tight this place plays. Wayward tee shots require a flash light and survival gear. The course is very well maintained and the greens are pretty nice. If you are a beginner don’t even bother because this place will drive you mad! Here’s what gets me about Kayak, on many of the par 5’s you cannot play driver because of hard doglegs at 200 yards or so. So I end up hitting 5 iron off the box, hopefully smoke a 3 wood just to get a wedge in? Lame. It plays like they over thought it or something. Watch out for the bunkers here, especially on #9 because they have rocks in them. Overall this is a nice golf course that is well maintained, fairly priced, and has above average greens….and I freaking hate it 😉

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

Rating Notes:
 The starter was puffing a huge cigar and while that didn’t bother me it sure as heck might bug someone else.
– Greens seemed to be very healthy, but were a touch bumpy in places. My foursome had a few putts hop around.
– Course appeared to be maintained very well.
– $47 bucks with tax isnt bad, but the $25 in gas it takes to get to this place doesn’t help the cause.
– Putting green was good minus a dead spot on the back, nice driving range with lots of tagets. Only saw the cart girl once which was disappointing, athough she did have $2 PBR tallboys. Thank you cart girl.

Course Review Date – 5/14/2010

Reviewer: Josh Eubanks, Handicap = 7

Let me tell you Kayak Point is a gem of a course. It can be a little deep if you are traveling from south of Seattle, but personally took me 30 min. door to door from Lynnwood. The free coffee for my 7:12am tee time was a huge plus and started my day off just the way a guy could like, but be sure to bring your own cup if you tee up before 9. The course also runs specials year round, so be sure to check their website before booking a tee time. The M-Th specials are flat out unbelievable. Taking a day off to play 36 or 54 holes will cost you about the same as playing 18 holes at an Oki course and the conditions at Kayak will make you think twice about buying the Oki card. If I had to pick a course on the north end this would be it. The staff are friendly, the driving range has plenty to aim at and practice putting greens are as solid as they get. The course is cut out of a forest and if you see another group you are either playing too slow or need to take an extra practice swing between shots. Don’t be surprised if you run into a family of deer out on the course. As far as how the course plays…Kayak can be a challenge and the course requires you to use just about every club and shot in your bag. Course management skills are needed if you want to score well out here. The condition of the greens are the best I have played outside of the Home Course and the tee boxes/ fairways are in good enough condition. Take a day off from the office and take a trip to Kayak. You will not regret it. Just remember to bring your A game if you want to score.

Golfchops.com Contributor rating: 20/25
Customer Service: 3.5
Condition of Greens: 4.5
“Perceived” maintenance level of course: 4.5
Value: 5
Amenities: 4.5

Rating Notes:
 Free Coffee.
– Greens are solid.
– Course appeared to be in good shape but nothing really stood out to me.
– Course challenges even the experienced with Cuts and Draws required
– Course Specials a huge +

Kayak Point Golf Course Pictures

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