Whidbey Island Golf & Country Club
2430 SW Fairway Lane
Oak Harbor, WA 98277
Course Review Date 06/12/2011 – Pictures Below
Course Reviewer: Ian
As a connoisseur of this fine game I do enjoy the rare occasions when I get to tee one up at a private country club. These instances seem to be happening much more often these days. As the economy struggles and country club membership numbers are down, your average public hack such as myself gets to let it fly on once restricted airspace. In this instance we took advantage of an excellent Groupon offer to play Whidbey Island Country Club in Oak Harbor, Washington for $40 a person. For a single one day round of golf this is the mother of all drives. From north of Seattle all the way to Whidbey Island is an hour and 30 minute haul up to Mt. Vernon then across Deception Pass and down in to Oak Harbor. But for a chance to use my full array of Judge Smails and Al Czervick Caddyshack jokes and putt on country club greens I am all in!
You’ll find Whidbey Island Country Club in a small residential neighborhood that you could drive right past without even realizing you just passed a golf course. Facilities wise the property is pretty small but seems to fit in nicely with the neighborhood and the friendly membership it draws. A very friendly membership actually, which to a certain extend is in contrast to the way some other private clubs might view the public on their course. In playing other country clubs I have often felt the weighted eyes of a member watching me, a non-member tee off at their club. At Whidbey, the membership we encountered we’re a very gracious and welcoming bunch. I remember mentioning to my playing partner JR that I can’t remember the last time multiple golfers thanked me for coming out to play their golf course.
On top of a very gracious membership, we managed to spin through 18 holes in 3 hours on the nose. Amazing. That was with two 5-somes on the course allowing us to play through as well. The pace of play out there was so excellent that we bounced back into the club house and asked if we could go another 18. The pro shop happily obliged and sent us back out only charging us the Groupon rate again! $80 for unlimited practice facilities and 36 holes of country club golf? Don’t mind if I do! Just like the first round, we knocked out the second 18 in about 3 hours and that was after we played the last 6 holes with another twosome who we caught up too.
As for the golf course itself I found it to be a challenging but very playable layout that offered some reward for risky but well executed golf shots. There’s a lot of obvious trouble out there, mainly water hazards but also a few well placed fairway bunkers, trees, and long grass that force your hand accuracy wise to play for a par. The fairway is your friend out here because the rough is no joke. In spots it’s very thick and forces you to club up or play to a safe layup distance. At 6476 yards from the blue tees you’re not going to get beat by distance, but choose shots wisely and make sure to try and leave yourself below the hole.
Of the more memorable holes, number 5, a 349 yard par 4 in which the tee shot carries as much water as you think you can clear really stands out. If you can hit a bomb, go for it and have sand wedge in to the green. Miss left, you’re wet, miss right and you’re o.b. or left with a long approach. Then you play into a small, bunker guarded green with a huge tiered slope from right to left. It’s a hole that from the tee box you think par should be cake, then you mark triple as you walk to the next tee.
Golfchops.com rating: 18/25
Customer Service: 4
Condition of Greens: 4
“Perceived” maintenance level of course: 4
– Customer service was pretty good and we appreciated the chance to play another 18 holes at the same Groupn rate.
– Arg, these were some tough greens and very tough to read. They were quick and rolled really well. There are no gimmies out there hence my ealier commment about leaving the ball below the hole. Downhill breakers were an adventure for both of us.
– Course was in excellent shape with no grounds under repair or areas that needed work.
– $40 Groupon offer was a great deal and no complaints on the $40 replay. I would be being very picky asking for a discount on the replay at a private country club.
– Only knock we could find is a mediocre practice facility. Putting green is small and narrow and the range (on mats) looks like it was a water reclamation area. No cart service on the course.
Pictures of Whidbey Island Golf & Country Club