The 18-hole Hill and Creek courses at Moose Run are situated at the foot of the Chugach Mountains and together they comprise the northernmost 36-hole golf complex in the world. The Hill layout is named after the rugged terrain on which the front nine is laid out whilst the Creek takes its name from the Ship Creek that wanders alongside a number of the holes.
US Army combat engineers built the Hill course and it opened as a 9-hole layout in 1952, expanding to a full 18-hole layout three years later. Constructed with small greens but with relatively open, forgiving fairways, it’s an ideal course for learners and high handicappers.On the other hand, The Creek is a challenging Robin Nelson design that debuted in 2000 as the longest layout in Alaska (at 7,324 yards) and it features the state’s longest hole (measuring all of 640 yards) at the par five 11th. Two of the fairways, at 6 and 11, are routed through reclaimed gravel pits and they’re considered by many to be two of the most attractive holes in The Last Frontier state.
The Moose Run site is near Air Force base Elemendorf-Richardson and at the foot of the Chugach Mountain Range. Moose Run is the northernmost 36-hole complex in the USA. The shorter Hill Course (6,492 yards) dates back to 1952 and was built by the US Army Corps of Engineers as a nine-hole course. It was expanded to 18 holes in 1955. The Creek course opened in 2000 with Robin Nelson as designer. Nelson was prolific in Hawaii (36 courses to be exact) and also did work throughout Asia.
The weather for our mid-morning round was a repeat of the day before – cloudy, 55 degrees and a light breeze. The Creek Course was cut through a dense forest so almost every hole is totally surrounded by tall 10 evergreens. The terrain is essentially flat and the few bunkers give the holes some definition and challenge. Ship Creek divides the course with holes 1, 2, 17 and 18 on one side and the rest on the other side. The picture below shows the 50-foot bridge used to get golfers from one part of the property to the other. The tee for the 182-yard par-3 third hole is on the left side of the picture and the green with one bunker is on the right. The only other holes involving the creek are #6 and #11.
The Creek Course has been rated the 49th toughest course in America. From the tips it measures 7,324 yards with the longest hole being the par-5 #11 at 640 yards. And the finish is a 237-yard par 3 followed by a 600-yard par 5. With soft fairways and an endless supply of tall trees lining each fairway, Moose Run is definitely a big boy course.
Keeping in mind the extreme environment this course was in pretty good shape. I played it in early July. The highlight for me were two bridges about 50 yards long. For whatever reason, i decided to try to putt a ball all the way over the bridge. At first i was not successful, but eventually succeeded. If they would let me i would attach the video clip.
On #8, a par 5, the green is much further left than you think
Moose Run Golf Course - Creek Course is probably the best course in Alaska. The natural beauty and layout make it a must play if you ever come here. It has a great location, just outside of Anchorage and part of Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson. Although a military facility, it lies outside of the gates and is open to the public.
If you come, you'll be treated to excellent conditions, the chance to view moose, bears, fox and other wildlife, plus magnificent views of the Chugach Mountain Range. The fairways here look like a green carpet. Once everything comes in here after spring, you'll be pressed to find a bad lie. The clubhouse is simple but adequate and the staff as friendly as you'll find.
The course starts out with a relatively short par 4 that is all about position. 3 or 7 could be made here. Hole 3 is a beautiful little par 3 that plays over Ship Creek. The creek meanders through the property and really comes into play on hole 9. This is a par 5 where shot placement is key on every shot.
Going back to hole 6, this is a breathtakingly beautiful par 3 with the mountains as an amazing backdrop.
Hole 11 is, from the back tees, the longest hole in Alaska at 640 yards. This par 5 plays through a reclaimed gravel pit. The view from the tee and from the green are equally scenic and is one of the best on the course.
The finishing hole is a par 5. Although rather simple is design, offers quite a challenge and a chance to end your day with a smile.
There is not really a bad hole on the course. The only knock about Alaska golf in general, is that the greens typically take a while to come in. Mid-July on is the best for greens. That's all the courses in general. I have to say that the Creek Course is my favorite. Robin Nelson designed the course that opened in 2000. The staff is doing a great job of upgrading certain areas to make it playable for the average guy. At one time it was ranked the 49th toughest course in America. It is fast becoming a great test for the low handicapper and much more fun for the average player because of these changes.
If I base my review solely on course layout and memorability, I'm rating this one right up there among some of the top courses I've ever played. There may not be a lot of quality golf in Alaska, but this definitely is in that category. And how much fun is it to be out playing golf after midnight in the summer! Don Kramer GM.