15500 Six Penny Lane
Newcastle, WA 98059
Course Review Date – 6/13/2010
Courtesy of our Oki Platinum Card purchases we we’re able to afford a round at the expensive Golf Club at Newcastle, Coal Creek course. The team was really anticipating this round as this is a highly touted golf course that you hear spoke of very often. We got a lot of mixed reviews in our pre-round recon work. Some liked the course and the atmosphere, others scoffed at the price and said the course itself was overrated. Newcastle was designed to provide a private country club environment while still being a public course. Time for Newcastle to try and pass the golfchops test.
Sometimes the cars in the parking lot will give you an indication of the course you are about to play and the service you can expect. Lexus, BMW, Mercedes, Aston Martin…”holy smokes, check out that Aston Martin!” You can just smell the money rolling around this place when you park your car.The golf course staff is waiting for you at bag drop, grabs your bag and sets you up with a cart before you even check in. Check-in was kind of ho hum, no welcome, instructions, directions or anything like that. Pay for the round and on to the driving range you go, which is where our only real disappointment of the day occurs. At $160 a round you can throw in the range balls (i.e. like Chamber’s Bay does), but $8 for a small bucket after a $160 wallet blaster? Wow. It was like going to a new proctologist and discovering he has bratwurst fingers. We also thought it was a bit odd that the carts didn’t have GPS. Redmond Ridge (a cheaper Oki course) had nice GPS systems in all the carts.
As for the Coal Creek course itself, it certainly doesn’t take long to discover this place has the best views in the state. Simply amazing. There are multiple times when you get a view of downtown Seattle, Lake Washington, and downtown Bellevue at the same time. At times the views seemed to sooth the pain of stroking one into the belly button high fescue. Holy smokes this fescue is crazy! Stray out of the fairway or the first cut and you find this hot mess of fescue that ranged from knee high to mid-stomach.The regular cut of rough was no peach either and required you to really think about clubbing up each time you found it. The course did have a few areas they were working on, water/drainage issues, but for the most part it was in excellent shape. The greens were very nice. Some of the best we have played so far this year easily.
Some of our favorite holes included the following: #11 is a 522 yard par 5 (from the blues), dog leg right, with a blind tee shot due to the elevation drop. Great golf hole. Also #17 is a great risk/reward, 475 yard par 5. You can pump you drive down the pipe and have a 4 iron in, but there is a creek guarding the front of the green and waist high fescue surrounding it. It was a blast to go for and yes, it went in the damn fescue! Overall Coal Creek has a lot of character, played fair, and played tough as nails. If it wasn’t so damn expensive we would be back a lot sooner for sure.
Customer Service: 4
Condition of Greens: 4.5
“Perceived” maintenance level of course: 5
– As a first-timer at Newcastle some instructions from the pro shop would have helped. We were lost!
– Greens were excellent, even if we couldn’t make a putt all day 😉
– Course was in very good shape, the fescue, while menacing was awesome.
– Tough to rate a “good value” at $160 a round. That $8 small bucket really fried our eggs.
– Very nice putting greens around the course, hitting off mats instead of grass tees at a place like this was a disappointment, cart girls came around often. The range did have a cool rectangular chipping section with pins right in front of all the stalls that ran the length of the range. Never seen that before.