Willows Run – Eagle’s Talon

10402 Willows Road Northeast
Redmond, WA
(425) 883-1200

Course Review Date: 8/17/2014
Course Reviewer: Ian

Writing about golf just hasn’t been top of mind lately, but there’s nothing like an overpriced greens fee to jump start that mojo.  As someone who puts in a good amount of rounds at Willows on an annual basis, I feel pretty confident that I’m not the only person that would like to share some feedback.

  • It’s dead nuts summer, so why do I have to pull my ball out of the lake that has formed in a green side bunker?  I know you need to water the course, but plug lies and drops out of bunkers on a 75 degree day is just stupid.
  • $70 to walk with a 50 ball range bucket is $20 over priced…..at least.
  • Buy new range mats.  Willows has the only range where the mats will make your irons muddy…in the summer.
  • Mow the tee boxes.  No wants to tee it up out of a medium cut.
  • Slowest greens we’ve seen this summer.  Looked healthy, but wow are they slow.

Oh, one more thing.  Technology.  Online tee time scheduling.  Is there another public golf course in the entire state that doesn’t have some kind of online tee time reservation system?  It’s 10pm, I want to make a tee time.  I can make one anywhere in the state, except for Willows.

Course Review Date: 3/22/2013
Course Reviewer: Ian Favre

Lots of work going on at the Eagle’s Talon course at Willows Run in Redmond.  Pretty straight forward review on this one so here’s what we saw from our round.  You can see from the pictures below that they are doing a lot of work on various drainage areas of the golf course.  There’s quite a few sections of turf cut out, mostly around drains and presumably to help improve the swamp like conditions that Willows experiences in the winter.  Honestly, I kind of wonder how much they can do…the way Willow’s sits in that valley it just seems inevitable that she’s going to be a swampy beast in the winter months.  None of the areas below really effect play, unless you hit into the them I guess.  But with all the ground under repair areas and work crews on the golf course there’s no missing the improvements being done.

Willows-Run-March-3     Willows-Run-March-4     Wllows-Run-March-5     Willows-Run-March-6

The other major note from our round is that the greens are really struggling right now.  We’ve heard they are really good at the other 18, Coyote Creek, but the Eagle’s Talon greens apparently got the plague in the past couple months and there’s some spots where putting is pretty impacted.  On the bright side, Willow’s is a cash cow and they should have plenty of resources at their disposal to make sure the greens are all dialed in for summer golf.

So, some construction, some spotty greens and a random inch and a half of snow (that melted quickly) is going to lead to a merky and interesting round to say the least.  How much water is this golf course holding?  Check out the snapshots below.  Those are not water hazards, those are bunkers.

Willows-Run-March-1       Willows-Bunker       Willows-Bunker-3

Golfchops.com rating: 14/25
Customer Service: 4
Condition of Greens: 1
“Perceived” maintenance level of course: 4
Value: 3
Amenities: 2

Rating Notes:
– Very good and friendly service from the front desk staff at Willows.  Amazing how far a smile and a welcome goes.
– Greens are hurting.  On the mend but certainly hurting right now.
– Obviously a lot of work being done on the course right now that should pay big dividends when next winter rolls around.
– Not the cheapest course, especially in the summer but winter rates are always pretty good.
– Always a good practice facility but the snack shack was closed and there was no cart service.

*Thanks JS.

Course Review Date: 7/13/2012
Course Reviewer: Ian Favre

Snuck in a post work 18 at Eagle’s Talon today and had a good time dodging the explosive thunder and random lightening in the background.  While I think $48 is a bit steep for a weekday walker, being able to roll up as a single with no tee time and get on in about 10 minutes is solid.  The course was in pretty solid shape, especially considering the amount of play this place receives….greens rolled well, place was tidy, tee boxes looked good, etc.  Eagles’ is the better of the two courses but not overly tough and does a good job of catering to a wide variety of skill levels.  You still need to make shots out there, but a consistent player should score well here.  Unless your consistency is to hit it like crap off the tee box every hole like some dude I know…ugh.  Gives its proximity, if it wasn’t so darn expensive I would play here a lot more often, but at $56 walking on the weekend? Can’t stomach that much.

Course Review Date – 3/4/2012
Course Reviewer:  Sean Charlton

*****PUNCH ALERT*****

According to club house employees, both the Coyote Creek and Eagle’s Talon courses are getting aerated this week!!  Coyote Creek on Monday 3/5 and Eagle’s Talon on Tuesday 3/6…

After hearing the news, I figured the greens would be in sub standard shape.  The last time I played at Willows, I was on the Coyote course, and the greens weren’t all that great.  To my surprise, the greens on Eagle’s Talon looked amazing for this time of year.  With the exception of 18, and spots on a few other greens, there was very little damage on these lush greens.  Also, not as soft as I would have expected for early March so approach shots didn’t come to a complete and sudden stop upon landing, which was nice.  Still, a little bumpy at times but with the upcoming aeration, these greens should come back very nicely in time for spring.

Eagle’s Talon is the outer course of the two at Willows Run.  Most people consider Eagle the ‘dryer’ of the two courses because it looks to feed all its excess run off into Coyote.  After playing this Sunday, I would agree.  Only a few mushy locations throughout the golf course, mostly off to the side of the fairways.  The course seemed to be very dense, I would assume because it feeds all its water into the other course and into the water hazards.  No standing water anywhere (other than in a few bunkers)

Fairways, and greens as mentioned before, were both in great shape.  I was pleasantly surprised to get some roll on both tee shots as well as approach shots.  It made the 6200 yard white tees play like 6200 yards, which was a nice change from normal winter Washington golf.  The sand traps, on the other hand, were a nightmare.  Luckily, I only went into one during the round but the one I landed in was filled with water.  The others I was playing with ended up in a few bunkers and they had a very hard time getting out; extremely heavy, wet, coarse, hard, and just plain nasty.  You might as well take it out by hand and give yourself a stroke rather than chunking one 3 feet and scuffing up your wedge.

All in all, it was a good day at Willows and I’m looking forward to playing here again this spring/summer.

Golfchops.com rating: 15/25
Customer Service: 3
Condition of Greens: 3
“Perceived” maintenance level of course: 3
Value: 2
Amenities: 3

Rating Notes:

– Nothing stellar about the course staff today other than the very attentive starter.  He kept things moving quickly off the tees on both courses.

– Greens were in great shape for this time of year and for how busy this course usually is.  I’m assuming that they’ll look even better in about 6 weeks after aeration.

– The course looked great and was fairly dry.  The only issue I saw was the water filled sand traps that were very dense and less like sand and more like ground-up clay and rock.

– 60 bucks for 18 and a cart wasn’t a steal by any means for a course still playing winter rules.  They’ve also DOUBLED the price of PBR in the snack shack – $2

– Snack shack access as you finish 1 and 10 but no on course service on this visit.  Restaurant and bar on site but a little over priced and usually packed during a busy weekend day.


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