First, let me say that as a rule I don’t like links-style courses. The wide-open fairways tend to convince me that I can’t get into much trouble so why not swing really, really hard. Has that swing thought ever worked for anyone? Ever?
Second, let me continue that I might make an exception to my “no links” rule when it comes to playing the Homestead Golf & Country Club in Lynden. Golfing here is a wonderful experience… well except in the opinion of my new golf-buddy-for-the-day Eric, who muttered on more than one occasion “I really hate this course—put that in your review!” followed by a huge grin.
As is typical of most golf outings, the course had little to do with the shots that landed in the many beautiful ponds that dot the fairways; ponds that seemed to move under the ball like Ken Griffey under a can of corn back in the day. At least that’s the way it seemed to Eric. But honestly, he got what he deserved. You see, he got a special online deal and only paid $25 for the round (I paid $40). So by the time he donated all those balls to the ducks, we were about even… cost wise at least. He was a way better golfer than me—not to mention a heck of a nice guy down from Vancouver for the day.
The course played very well; although I found my putts coming up pretty short for the first few holes; the greens were slower than they looked. I’m not sure if that’s a consistent thing or just a Monday sort of love, but I would recommend hitting the practice green before your round just to get the feel.
For the most part, I like the front-nine better than the back; it just seems like a more interesting layout around the wetlands and gently rolling topography. However, the back nine does feature the signature Island green on #18 which is always fun, albeit a little nerve wracking so I’ll break it down for you to practically “guarantee” a par.
It is a 470-yard Par 5 from the whites where I play and really requires two lay-ups. Off the tee, unless you’re a long hitter (230-carry or more) you should play a 185-190 yard shot down the right side of the pond. Then, in order to get a clear and comfortable look at the island, you should hit another 180 or so to get within a hundred yards; a distance from which you should be able to hit the fairly large green with ease (sounds good on paper, right?) Long hitters can go straight at the green across the pond from the tee box to get a risk-reward opportunity of going for the green in two… or feeling like a fool for waiting for the group ahead to clear the green so they could launch one into the moat. Either way, it’s a hoot.
For a pre-round breakfast, or at round’s end, they’ve got a good restaurant and lounge; and they didn’t make fun of me as I was adding up my score so they’re thumbs up in my book.
I would heartily advise you to consider a golf outing at Homestead Golf & Country Club. It is walkable and a most pleasant stroll, occasionally interrupted by a splash from a neighboring fairway… oh, and when you hear the splash, be sure to wave at Eric for me.
Go. Play. Golf.