One of five courses owned and operated by the City of Spokane Parks & Recreation, the Creek at Qualchan Golf Course is a Bill Robinson design that debuted in 1993. Its tree-lined fairways are laid out on hilly terrain, where a small stream and a handful of ponds come into play.
Located just off U.S. Route 195 on the southern outskirts of Spokane, the layout incorporates the meandering waters of Hangman Creek, which comes into play at several of the holes.
The executioner's aquatic challenge begins right from the off at the 359-yard 1st, where the opening tee shot plummets 100 feet down from the edge of an escarpment, over the creek to a fairway that doglegs slightly left to the green, with bunkers either side of the landing zone.
Other notable holes include the 450-yard 12th, rated stroke index 1, where the tree-lined, narrow fairway plays to an angled green that’s tilted from front to back, and the 503-yard 16th , which veers sharply left past a rather large pond towards the green.
The Creek at Qualchan starts out with a bang. A short downhill left leaning short par four. When I say downhill the tee shot plummets 100 feet off a cliff and over a creek. One waits and waits as it seems as if your drive may not ever come down. You are keeping your fingers crossed that it avoids the four fairway bunkers in the landing zone. If it does, you will have a flip wedge and hopefully a short birdie putt. The 2nd is a demanding par four. Uphill with trees left and waste area right, ideal tee shot is on top of the hill. I did not have an ideal tee shot and had a blind approach. From there I hit it into a ravine left of the green. The first par five is a good one. Leans left with a large fairway bunker on the inside corner. This bunker is probably about 40 yards long. Ideal drive would be over it, but it is a poke and I was found wanting. Even if you clear it, not sure that it is worth going for it as the green sits behind a water hazard on the left side that starts about 200 yards out. There is also a large greenside bunker front right and one in the back. There is a smaller water hazard right. The fairway is less than 30 yards wide inside of 200. I would suggest playing it as a conservative three shotter. The 4th is a long par three with a ginormous green, that I still missed. The 5th is the longest par five. Favor the left off the tee and on your second shot. If you are weak right you will be blocked out. Conversely, too far left, about 130 yards out and you will be in a fairway bunker. The short 6th is a good birdie oppty if you find the fairway. Water sneaks in on the left at about 120 yards and there is a fairway bunker right about 100. Consider laying up off the tee. The 7th is the shortest par three, water carry to a green surrounded by four bunkers. The 8th is a long tight par four. Ideal drive is left of the right fairway bunker. There are water hazards left and right off the tee, but they should not come into play. The 9th is a good birdie hole. You tee off back across the creek and the hole leans right, favor the left side. You should have an attack wedge in your hand for the approach.
The back starts with a big dogleg right with fairway bunkers in play on both sides of the elbow, as well as trees. Ideal tee shot is just left of center. The 11th is a long par three with water left and three bunkers behind the green. The 12th is the longest par four and is deservedly the number one handicap hole. It is straightaway and narrow and the contour tilts right. The long approach is slightly uphill. Pars are earned here. The 13th is a polarizing hole. You either love it or hate. A short downhill dogleg left. If you are going to go for it, you will need to hit it high. I went for it and did not hit it great, we did hear some rattling around in the trees. I figured I was dead, but the ball did roll down the hill and onto the fairway about 50 yards out. If you are not going for it, hit less club than you think. It is downhill with three fairway bunkers on the outside elbow. Anything over 150 yards will be flirting with disaster. Nothing worse than playing smart and getting cornponed. The 14th is a mid-length par three. The 15th is another good birdie oppty. Short par four, decent drive should give you an attack iron. The 16th is my favorite par five. Dogleg left and reachable. However, the approach will be over a water hazard that has an island with a tree on it. Worse case bailout right. The 17th is a short par four that leans right. Favor left of center and you will have a short iron into the green. The 18th is a good finishing hole. Not long but back across the hill and uphill. Unless you hit a boomer of a drive play this as a three shotter. Ideal tee shot should be right of the fairway bunkers. If you hit it 250 you will still have 250 uphill to the green. The fairway runs out at about 170 and starts back up about 120. A lot of your decision making process is going to be tied to your lie. Interesting closing hole.
This is a fun course, that I would pay to play again.