Dust off those clubs—it’s high time for a round of golf in the Pacific Northwest. Aside from a few spring showers here and there, the sun is peeking out and the greens of Washington state’s capital region beckon. Whether you’re a seasoned pro looking to perfect your swing or a novice in need of some quality time on the putting green, Thurston County has it covered. But don’t take our word for it, let’s hear from local golfer Benjamin Talbot, PGA Assistant Pro at Tumwater Valley Golf Club.
Q. For background, tell us about your role at Tumwater Valley Golf Club
Ben: I am currently leading instruction with the flourishing First Tee program at Tumwater Valley which provides golf instruction to more than 400 youth per year. I also help facilitate the Valley Golf Academy, host a PGA Junior Team, give individual lessons and support the daily operations of the course. Golf is my passion and I enjoy seeing others get involved and fall in love with the game. It has so many quality benefits and life-long skills that help shape lives.
Q. When it comes to golf in Thurston County, what are the best courses for beginners?
Ben: Tumwater Valley is a great facility for beginners to advanced players. We have a 10-acre practice facility complete with grass tees, a nice practice green, side bunker and enormous putting green to cover all aspects of the game. The course boasts seven different sets of tees that challenge all ages and ability levels including two sets of modified PGA Family Tees.
Q. And which courses would be more challenging for the seasoned golf pro?
Ben: Hawks Prairie offers two distinctly different 18-hole courses. It will test the best golfers.
Q. Are there certain courses that are best played at specific times of year?
Ben: Golf enthusiasts are very fortunate as Thurston County is a destination for golf. We have several courses in the area that all have unique characteristics. Capitol City is known for its playability in the winter (touted as Western Washington’s driest course). The newly renovated Airport Golf Center offers Toptracer technology in a relaxed, fun environment. Players can test their skills virtually at some of the finest golf courses in the world while enjoying a beverage and one of the best views of Mt. Rainier in Thurston County!
Plan a golf weekend and enjoy dinner and a round of local brews following a day on the course. With more than 2,700 hotel rooms throughout Thurston County, there are several options ranging from downtown digs to traveler-friendly rooms. Find details on where to drink, dine and stay at experienceolympia.com or connect on Facebook, Twitter (@Experience_Oly) and Instagram (@ExperienceOly).