North Shore Golf Course

4101 North Shore Blvd. NE
Tacoma, WA 98422
(253) 927-1375

Course Review Date: 10/14/2012
Course Reviewer: Ian Favre

After a week of resort golf on Oahu why not come home and immediately head out to Northshore during our first major storm warning of the fall/winter season.  Rain has finally returned to the Northwest after a record breaking vacation of it’s own and for the most part, Seattle winter golf is in full effect.  Crazy as it might seem, with the reduced greens fees and wide open tee time availability, I think we play and review courses twice as much in the winter as we do in the summer.  The recent record breaking dry spell is going to make a big difference in how these courses play as we transition into wet weather golf as well.  The majority of courses punches their greens somewhere in the late September time frame and instead of getting continual rain dumping on them, these greens have been treated to healthy dose of sunshine and regular watering.  As Northshore showed us, a mere 3 weeks after large punches were drawn, the greens showed only small signs that they were punched at all.

One of my favorite golf holes anywhere, the par 4, dogleg right, 12th hole at Northshore in NE Tacoma. How much of that water do you want to try and clear to get closer to the green? An ultimate risk vs reward golf hole.  Easy to put it in the condos straight ahead, easy to cut it into the drink.  Good luck!

Before we tee’d off it sounded like the Northshore crew was pretty happy with the condition the golf course was in and after completing 18 we can concur.  She’s got a couple of patches of roughness to her in a couple areas, but nothing that caused alarm or made me think that the old home track was in dire shape.  The greens were ok, maybe a little touchy in a few spots, almost like a mild rash, but for a place that punched only 3 weeks ago they rolled really well and have recovered in unusually quick time.  Regardless of non-sense developers trying to shut her down and turn her into a condo complex, Northshore remains a solid and wallet friendly choice for South Puget Sound golfers.

Holes worth mentioning:
1.  Par 5, 3rd – Dogleg left that you can cut the corner with a nice draw, but tree-lined on the right side and a man-made creek on the left to keep you honest….and often times humble.  Water to the right side of a large green that gobbles up anything left out to the right.  You can make birdies here all day…you can make doubles just as easily.

2. Par 4, 4th – Ugh, I hate this thing.  Number 1 handicap hole, uphill approach shot that bends to the left.  Fence lined ob left the whole way up and water then trees all the way up to the right.  Par is stealing one on this hole.  I never made par 🙂

3. Par 4, 11th – Short, driveable par 4 that cuts to the right, protected by trees.  A big hitter might be able to make it.  Condo’s on the left have taken a beating over the years from tee box missiles that don’t cut as a golfer had planned.  I’m guilty on that for sure, and after the deck rattler JR shot up there, he’s guilty as well. rating: 22/25
Customer Service: 5
Condition of Greens: 3
“Perceived” maintenance level of course: 4
Value: 5
Amenities: 5

Rating Notes:
Lifers work here and there’s a reason.  Great place to spend a day playing, practicing and eating.  Always has been.
– Greens were good, but not great.  Playable for sure for mid-October
– Course seems to always be in the same above average shape for a muni that gets a wide variety of skill levels out there.
– $31 for Sunday prime time rate booked on Golfnow.  Always one of the best ‘bang for your buck’ golf coursse in Western Washington.
– Shut the front door, they have brand new Srixon range balls at Northshore?!  Well played team.  An awesome practice facility that gets over the final hump by replacing the dimpleless bricks they have had for years.  Two putting greens, big range with covered and uncovered stalls, grass hitting areas, separate chipping area and solid food and beverage prices.  I’d give them a 10 if 5 wasn’t the max in the scoring system.


Course Review Date: 04/29/2012
Course Reviewer: Ian Favre

Always a treat to go back to the home town.  Ok, when its Federal Way that’s a total lie, however, it’s always a treat to go back to the golf course you grew up playing.  Northshore Golf Course, at the tip of northeast Tacoma has somehow managed to survive going under about billion times it would seem and is still pumping out rounds like crazy.  Housing developers have had other ideas over the years and every time it seems like it is the last hurrah for Northshore, there they are prepping for another packed summer of Federal Way golfers.  The closing of any course makes our skin curl a touch, but when its your “home” course?  This aggression will not stand!  Ok, I digress.

While Northshore is not a “championship” caliber track it sure had some great things going for it.  First, Northshore has a fantastic practice facility with two different grass tee’n areas plus a large covered section with mats for the winter months.  The putting green is a very good size and able to accommodate a large group of players, there’s a smaller putting green right before the first tee and a chipping/pitching area to the side of the range.  Honestly, its one of the better practice facilities in the area.  Secondly, it was only $30 for a Sunday prime time green fee!  Seriously!  When I was looking for tee times I saw that Harbour Pointe wanted $67 for Sunday and I threw up in my mouth.  $30 is an absolute steal.  I go back every weekend if I didn’t need some variety for this website thing 😉  Third on the list of why to play here, if the price didn’t lock you up….they have an awesome staff.  It’s been the same faces for what seems like twenty years out there and everyone is very friendly and accommodating.  Lastly, the course itself was in great shape.  No areas of g.u.r. and the greens were in solid condition. rating: 22/25
Customer Service: 5
Condition of Greens: 4
“Perceived” maintenance level of course: 4
Value: 5
Amenities: 4

Rating Notes:
A staff that has been there for years, genuinely cares for the facility and is always friendly.
– Greens were healthy, rolled smooth and didn’t have many ball marks at all for a muni.
– Course looked like it was in great shape.
– $30 for Sunday prime time is an absolute steal.  Their website says $40, so I was stoked for a $30 green fee.  Might be the best deal in Western Washington right now.
– One of the better practice facilities around, but man do they need knew range balls.  Those puppies barely have dimples anymore.  You feel like Phil Neikro on the range hitting knuckle balls out there.

Course Update – 02/06/2011– contributor – Shane Meador

“The course is in the best winter shape I have played it in years ! $40 with a cart very reasonable rate ! Only one green (14) had the patented North Shore Goose turds , we played it as a 2 putt green . A few holes were pretty damp around green but greens were rolling pretty true with decent speed considering the time od year . New ownership seems to be doing what needs to be.done to return the course to its glory days !”

Course Review Date – 7/24/2010

The 2010 JC Invitational turned out to be one heck of a golf tournament!  A record number of players (108), a raffle that feature items such as a round at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club, an autographed LeBron James jersey, autographed Pearl Jam memorabilla, and a beautiful 80 plus degree day to raise some money for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation.  North Shore itself was in excellent shape regardless of the bias we night have.  The greens all played really well and really just need people to take a bit more care with their approach shot marks to be exceptional.  They won’t kill you with speed but at $40 on the nose for a prime time tee time you can’t complain.  As noted in our previous review, North Shore has a really nice practice facility with a putting green that can host a lot of people at once and a very large driving range that features grass tees and a covered mat section.  Our compliments on the booze service during the day as well.  The course was jam packed with drinkers and we got 3 visits from the cart girl who poured one aggressive blood mary.  Our summary is as follows: Good course conditions? Check!  Two thousand dollars raised for charity? Check!  An aggressive hangover?  Check!  Thank you North Shore for hosting our tournament and we can’t wait for 2011!

Course Review Date – 6/20/2010

We’ll do our best to put bias aside on this review as this is the course where some of the golfchops staffers learned to play the game and have many fond childhood memories of this course. We were really looking forward to this round because it was our practice round for next month’s JC Invitational at North Shore (see events page). Sure enough mother nature was kind enough to treat us to Seattle summer rain from the 1st tee box until the moment we walked off 18. Despite the rain, the course was still very busy since it was father’s day.

We have to give the course its credit. Despite the 5 hour downpour we never had a plugged ball. The ball wasn’t rolling out or anything, but no plugger disappearing acts was a welcome surprise. Northshore played her usual self, which means if you keep the ball away from o.b. and the water hazards you can scramble your way to a really good score regardless of spraying it around a touch. Oh yes, a note for those that might only play golf once or twice a year. Imitating the World Cup Vuvuzela horn on the first tee while another group is trying to tee off will get you yelled at. (insert sigh) Skinny jeans and a trumpet imitation on the first tee…impressive display sir. Overall, North Shore played really well and appeared to be in really good shape. All of the greens rolled well even in the downpour, the pace of play as pretty good, and the cart girl visited us often with 25oz. cans of Foster’s (its Australian for beer). rating: 18/25
Customer Service: 3
Condition of Greens: 3.5
“Perceived” maintenance level of course: 3
Value: 4.5
Amenities: 4

Rating Notes:
 Nothing special to note but they have always taken care of us here. Even when we were menacing teenagers many years ago.
– Greens were healthy and rolled at a good speed despite the rain.
– Course was in good shape. Nothing out of the ordinary to note.
– $40 for Sunday prime time is very good, also $3 for a small bucket on a grass range? Jackpot! Newcastle wanted $8 for a small bucket off mats last weekend.
– Good putting green, excellent driving range with grass tees and pretty inexpensive range balls. Just need a better chipping/bunker area and it would be perfect.

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