158. Aldarra Golf Club
Tom Fazio (2001)
Although he owned his own turboprop for over a decade, it wasn’t until the late 1990s that Tom Fazio agreed to work in the Pacific Northwest. Previously, it seemed just to far to travel for someone with six children at home. But former Seattle Supersonics basketball star Jack Sitma convinced Fazio to help his group build a golf-only, non-residential 18 on land east of Seattle. Perhaps it helped that the land had been previously owned by aviation pioneer Bill Boeing, land he had called the Aldarra Farm. Fazio’s design, called The Member’s Club at Aldarra until recent years, quickly became known for its last four holes, dubbed “The Gauntlet.” They consist of a long, stout par 3 (with an old stone farm silo near the green), a par 4 along wetlands, a reachable par 4 with stacked sod bunkers before the green, and a long closing par 4 with two forced carries over ravines.
Second 100 Greatest history: Ranked on America's Second 100 Greatest, 2013 to current. Highest ranking: No. 137, 2013-2014. Previous ranking: 153rd.
Panelist comments, Aldarra Golf Club:
"Aldarra starts out with a bang. The first hole is the strongest hole on the course in my opinion and might be my favorite opener anywhere—a fantastic risk/reward dogleg left par 4, with a pond on the left coming into play on the tee and approach shots and a difficult tiered green. Aldarra reflects a collection of holes that vary in length, elevation and direction which make it both interesting and give the player options when thinking about how to play the hole."
"A true Pacific Northwest gem. Aldarra is the only Fazio-design track in the region, and it's worth playing. The routing meanders across what was once the Boeing Family farm, presenting spectacular views of the Cascade mountain range."
"Aldarra is one of only two courses in Western Washington with Bentgrass greens, which is a nice change of pace from the poa I usually play on in this area. I'm sure it's not easy, or inexpensive, to keep the poa out of the greens."
"The setting is beautiful and the course flows nicely from tee to green and uses the changes of elevation and natural hazards effectively to frame holes and enhance the shot values throughout the course."