Nile Shrine Golf Course

6601 244th St SW
Mountlake Terrace, WA 98043
(425) 776-5154

Review Date – 03/24/2013
Course Reviewer: Ian

Ah the Nile.  Home of fez hats and waiting for traffic so you can hit your tee shot.  I won’t even attempt to say I’ve ever been a fan of the Nile, however over the last year and a half or so there have been quite a few changes at the golf course that have made the customer experience a heck of a lot better than it was in the past.  First and foremost is the tremendous improvement in service from everyone who works there.  In years past, the Nile featured the rudest crew of proshop workers I have encountered in the state.  Today, that old crew has been wiped out and the current staff is very friendly and welcoming bunch.  It kinda reminded me of going to Salish Cliffs down in Shelton where they actually make you feel like it was important to them that you came out to play their golf course.  That’s pretty darn impressive for a backyard muni.  Big compliments to the new head pro out there who really seems to have turned this place around.

The golf course itself seemed to be pretty much unchanged.  I know they did a little bit of work in the past year to improve drainage and also the quality of the greens, but it’s going to take time.  The one major noticeable difference is the removal of quite a few trees, particularly on the left side of the 16th hole.  It makes the approach shot into the 16th green a lot more playable if you happen to pull one left off the tee.  Lots of additional trimming and cutting going on as we could hear the chainsaw at work for about half our round.  The Nile is never going to be a world beater, but it’s good to see they are putting money into the golf course and trying to improve their product.  With some sunshine and proper maintenance this spring, they should have a totally playable and enjoyable little neighborhood track during the summer months.

The current status:  Swampy, but to be expected.  Nile and its defunct step sister Ballinger (never going to miss a chance to take a shot at Ballinger) sit right on Lake Ballinger and are just always swampy.  Lots of plugged lies and mud over the shoe tops on a few holes.  Greens were in rough shape…very bumpy and definitely need some time to come around.  Pretty choppy out there right now, but for the first time ever in all the rounds I have played at The Nile, I get the feeling the golf course is turning the corner.  What corner that is, we’ll have to wait and see.

Summary:  On the mend, but still hurting right now.  But, for the first time ever I actually look forward to going back and seeing how it plays this summer. rating: 13.5/25
Customer Service:
Condition of Greens: 1.5
“Perceived” maintenance level of course: 2.5
Value: 3
Amenities: 1.5

Rating Notes:
 Customer service was excellent.  Best experience we have had at The Nile without debate.
– Greens are rough right now and putting isn’t a whole lot of fun.  Expecting that to turn around soon though.
– Obvious work being done to improve playing conditions which is a great change in my mind.  2 years ago I was pretty certain they had no stinking clue how to dial this place in.
– $26 for Saturday in spring isn’t too shabby
– No driving range and a putting green in terrible shape (sorry, that thing is bad right now), great bar service, but no on course service.

Review Date – 08/27/2011
Course Reviewer: Ian

Yes nearly a year since our last outing to the Nile Shrine Golf Course in Mountlake Terrace, I somehow managed to talk myself into making a return visit for the purpose of updating our review and getting a round in with some new sticks in.  Maybe I thought the good lord himself had swiped his hand across this place and remoulded it into something that would meet the halfway point of our quaility scale.  Eh…not so much.  I’m kind of torn when writing about the Nile or any other place that has similar quality concerns.  Realistically there is an opportunity to have some kind of business relationship with every single golf course we write about, however, the whole premise of this site to give the reader our 100% honest feedback.  So reader, here you go.

Last time I checked it was late August and it has been in the upper 70’s for two weeks straight.  With that in mind, please Nile Golf Course explain to me why a hammered drive down the middle is rewarded with a plugged lie?  Is it because when we drove up, you had maintenance workers applying water with firehoses to the fairways.  Firehoses.  I understand the need to keep a course watered but are you not over doing it a touch if tee shots are plugging 4 hours after you watered?!  Brown is not a bad thing for a golf course friends.

So big deal, they over watered and there were some plugged lies out there.  The greens were soft, but rolled pretty well for the most part.  And while not overly creative in its design, there are a few holes on the back that are quite a bit of fun to play.  Specifically the 185 yard, severely downhill par 3.  However, you really pushed it over the top when we hit the 18th green Nile.  At Nile they have a little park for events I guess, basically right in the middle of the golf course.  So, on Sunday, while packed with golfers (and our group chipping and putting to the 18th green) you decide to test out that epic stereo system by blasting Sugar Ray while we’re trying to play golf.  Best summarized by my buddy Jens, “What’s wrong E, can’t putting with Sugar Ray blaring in your back swing?”  No sir, I’m afraid I cannot.  However…every morning there’s a halo hanging from my girlfriends 4 post bed.

See you next year Nile…ugh rating: 8.5/25
Customer Service:
Condition of Greens: 2.5
“Perceived” maintenance level of course: 2
Value: 1
Amenities: 1

Rating Notes:
 Customer service was ok, however you always feel like you are an inconveinence to them when you check in.
– Greens were smooth, but very very soft.  Most likely from their ridiculous over-watering.  I simple pitch to the green with make a significant dent.
– I’ve never said this about a golf course, but I honestly question if they know what they are doing maintenance wise.  I’m no expert on turf care, proper watering, etc.  but I know enough to say that something is just off.
– $33 walking on a Sunday morning.  The city muni’s are $37 and much better tracks.
– No range, small putting green, no warm up mats or anything.  Did see a beverage cart out there when we were leaving.

Review Date – 09/12/2010 (Pictures Listed Below)

We made a somewhat reluctant return visit to the Nile Shrine Golf Course this morning.  The Nile is a very short track that has no Par 5’s and features mostly very short par 4’s.  Expect to see 310 and 330 yard par 4’s accompanied by 125 to 135 yard Par 3’s.  In all honesty you can play the whole course without driver and be just fine, however the meathead in most of us sees par 4 and immediately pulls the driver out.  The only significant challenge that Nile throws at you is narrowness.  We’ve made mention of the peachy staff in the proshop before, but they weren’t that bad today.  Not overly friendly or anything, but not anywhere near what we have experienced in the past.  $33 for Sunday morning isn’t terrible, but then again, you’re not about to walk Pebble Beach either.

Nile is very straight forward and a very easy walk, only one hill to treck up and that is from 9 to 10.  The course played very very soft, which was odd since there hadn’t really been any significant rain the past couple of days.  Shots into the green left huge divots!  Clipped a nice little 35 yard pitch on number 5 or 6 and it left a moster divot in the green.  Easily the “spongiest” greens we have seen this summer/fall.  There are various areas that are under repair or atleast in need of repair (see photos below).  We are generally pretty harsh on the Nile but they do a have a couple good things going for them.  They are very big on pace of play and nearly every single hole has a sign posted about “13 minutes max” or “keep up with the group in front of you.”  It was a bit much really, but atleast they keep it on everyone’s mind.  It’s also really easy to get a tee time.  We were able to book an 8am Sunday foursome on Saturday evening.  The Nile does have one really fun hole on the back.  It’s a 183 yard Par 3 with a massive elevation drop that leaves you with nothing more than a guess on the tee box.  My foursome hit clubs ranging from 5 iron to a 9 iron.  It’s a smooth 7 if you’re wondering. rating: 9.5/25
Customer Service:
Condition of Greens: 1.5
“Perceived” maintenance level of course: 2
Value: 2
Amenities: 1

Rating Notes:
 Customer service was better than last time and bartender who served a super stiff Bailey’s and coffee was friendly.
– Greens were bumpy and very soft.  Putts did not roll true.  #1 has a big dead square in it (see pic below)
– Tee boxes had that “end of the season” hammered look to them.
– $33 walking on a Sunday morning.  Ballinger Lake, right next door was $23, greens are a bit better, and there’s a legit par 5.
– No range, ok putting green, no beverage cart.  There really are no amenities.

Review Date – 07/05/2010 contributor update via email (Josh Eubanks – Handicap 7)

Monday morning round for $33 with a cart was a pretty good price. The Nile is a very short course so the price matches the amount of golf you get. Greens were in really good shape, not fast because of the rain but very healthy and rolled true. The infamous unfriendly proshop guy was working and we seemed to disturb his am smoke break, however he did get us on the course at a cheaper price than the coupon we brought in. They also changed the order of a couple of the holes on the back so the course flows much better. Thre first hole looks like it has been redone and the green was in very good shape. 408 yard, Par 4 8th is probably their best and number 1 handicap hole. Challenges left and right off the box and it just fits the eye well. contributor rating:

Customer Service: 2
Condition of Greens: 3
“Perceived” maintenance level of course: 4
Value: 3.5
Amenities: 1

Rating Notes:
 Not very friendly but got us on for cheaper.
– Greens were healthy and smooth.
– Course was spotless. We were the first time on the tee sheet
– $33 with cart, not bad at all.
– No range, putting green in sad shape

Review Date – April 2010

Average short track at best. Have played it multiple times given it’s proximity to my office. However I refuse to go back. Proshop staff is quite possibly the unfriendliest group of people I have come across at a golf course. Saw Jesse James from King 5 News there…I don’t think he liked them either. rating: 08/25
Customer Service: 0
Condition of Greens: 2
“Perceived” maintenance level of course: 3
Value: 2
Amenities: 1

Rating Notes:
 Unfriendliest group of proshop staffers in the Puget Sound, so far.
– Greens are not very healthy right now, bumpy and dead in places.
– Average maintenance, nothing stands out.
– You feel terrible as soon as you have paid your greens fees and walked out of the club house.
– No range, small putting green, blah.

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