Owned and operated by the City of Bremerton in Kitsap County, the 36-hole golf facility at Gold Mountain Golf Club has been in operation since 1971, when the Ken Tyson-designed Cascade course first opened its doors to the golfing public.
Twenty-five years later, John Harbottle III’s Olympic layout debuted and although this tree-lined track is a little hillier than its older sibling it’s still an eminently walkable course which has been well received by golfers of all abilities since it opened for play.
With tees, fairways and greens carpeted in annual bluegrass, the course gained national recognition early in the new millennium by hosting both the U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship in 2006 and the U.S. Junior Amateur Championship in 2011.
Feature holes include the short par four 4th and the long par five 9th, where water to the right of both greens threatens approach shots. On the back nine, the 188-yard 16th plays across a small lake to the green and the short par four 18th offers a genuine birdie chance at the end of the round.
The Olympic course at Gold Mountain rose to acclaim as the site of Jordan Spieth’s victory at the 2011 U.S. Junior Am. This victory would set him up for future success in the Pacific Northwest, and he’s lead to many seeing Washington as a second home for Jordan and his local caddie Michael Greller.
Upon arrival, it is clear that Gold Mountain offers a no-frills experience with golf at the core. Despite being a municipal facility, it is not uncommon to see professionals practicing and playing the two courses. The Olympic course takes the crown for being the more challenging layout and it is often harder to secure a tee time at peak hours.
This is true Pacific Northwest golf which is abundantly clear as the course is cut into a beautiful coniferous forest filled with towers pines and lush green space. After teeing off I was immediately struck by the contours and mounds in the fairway. It is rare to have a flat lie on the Olympic course, and it calls for creative second shots throughout the whole round. Many approach shots leave you thinking that the greens are minuscule, however upon further investigation you find large greens with undulating slopes. Green speeds have a propensity to be fast and the wind can certainly be a factor in the late afternoon.
2 - A short Par 4 that asks you to take on immense mounds in the fairway. Don’t let the length fool you. This Green is protected by steep bunkers right of the green.
9- This long par 5 requires three thoughtful shots. Missing left will draw the ball into a valley and will leave a blind 2nd. Going for this small and well protected green in two is a risk, but playing the slopes on the left side of the approach will be beneficial. This beautiful green will be showcased on photos all over the internet.
Par 3’s- I love the par threes on this course. They are far from boring and will require you to choose your clubs wisely.
This is a very good course that is accesible for golfers of all skill levels. If you find yourself in the South Sound, you will not find a better value. It is great to see this facility as a model for municipal golf courses everywhere.
Gold Mountain is one of the best golf deals in Seattle. The course played host to the US Junior Amateur where Jordan Spieth won and is a great test of golf.
The course appears to be very tight but gives the player enough room so you're not losing balls without hitting a poor shot. The front nine was good but the holes on the back nine are the ones I remember most, especially the finishing stretch.
12 - Long downhill par 3 that is framed by the forest in the background. It is probably the best view on the course.
16 - Par 3 over water to a green protected by bunkers. The design of the hole reminds me of 12 at Augusta.
17 - Longer par 4 with a tee shot that plays downhill. The fairway is split by a diagonal hazard which forces the player to choose how aggressive they want to be off the tee.
If I had to choose one course as the paragon of Northwest golf Gold Mountain would be the choice. It's so good in many areas. Starting off GM Olympic is affordable for nearly all golfers. Secondly Harbottle did a great job designing the golf course. It's walkable and offers a challenge. Your 20 handicap man can get around without too much trouble yet it still hosts college tournaments. That says a lot to me. The topography has good elevation change without becoming burdensome. I enjoy how the routing gives you diverse holes; uphill, downhill, flat, sidehill both ways. The course is simply beautiful. Those not accustomed to NW conifers will be in awe of the beauty. You get glimpses of snow capped mountains and the conifers are huge. Even in the winter the course is "relatively" firm compared to other NW courses. Whenever friends and I had the chance we preferred to drive farther and play this course rather than play a course close in to Seattle.
Some of my favorite holes are:
1 - It's a nice opener getting you away from the clubhouse.
5 - A really fun par 5 that challenges the golfer going for the green in 2.
6 - I'm a sucker for long challenging par 4s and this fits the bill.
12 - A really cool long downhill par 3 at 250 yards. Play your tee ball intelligently based on pin position.
17 - One of the prettiest long par 4s anywhere. You play downhill into a beautiful valley. The tee shot is a true challenge with trouble lurking
18 - While not a great hole a drivable par 4 is always fun. It's a good way to finish the round. From there it's a slog back up a steep hill to the clubhouse.
Is Gold Mountain a great course? No, but it's very good. I played it dozens of times and it never got old. It's hard to beat the quality golf, beauty and tranquility of Gold Mountain. It's a top tier public facility. Highly recommended.
Holes 5&6 referenced above should say 6&7.
Both the Olympic Course and Cascade courses are good courses. The Olympic course is the embodiment of a course in the Pacaic Northwest with lush Evergreen trees towering over and lining many fairways. The sweet and refreshing scent becomes apparent if your ball goes astray.
Although a ways out in terms of location the course is a haven and nicely maintained. Lush fairways and proper greens. To play here I personally drove 3 hours total commute. After my round which included 19 at both the Olympic Course and Cascade course I felt that the drive was worth it. A memorable round, playing the Olympic which was challenging but fair, not gimmicky but a good test of golf.