My family and I consider ourselves passionate average golfers. We play a few times a week and maintain a family membership at one of the local golf courses near our home in Chugiak. Naturally when Alaska Tour & Travel started a blog I just had to provide some information on golf opportunities in Alaska for my fellow golfers. Our family ranges in skill levels from average to still learning. Golf courses in Alaska may not be the plush green courses found in the lower 48 but we do have a nice variety of challenging courses all within a short distance from downtown Anchorage hotels. If you have an afternoon or morning free you should consider one of the many choices you have within Anchorage and the surrounding communities.
I’ll start with “our” course, the Palmer Golf Course, located in Palmer, Alaska which is about a 45 minute drive from downtown Anchorage. This is a public course and an 18-hole regulation length course. In my opinion the best time to play is in the late afternoon. Two reasons for this time of day – one it is a great way to end your day and two we have a lot of daylight so you can play well into the midnight sun hours. The breeze is always evident in the afternoons and this helps considerably on mosquitoes but also makes it a challenge on your game.
Just up the road from Palmer is another course called the Fishhook Golf Course. This is a private course that is open to the general public. Don’t be shy when you arrive – just follow the driveway and you’ll see the check-in and driving range. The owners are constantly improving the conditions and adding in challenging obstacles on this 9-hole course. They really have their heart and sole invested into this course. A family friendly course no matter what your skill level is. There are a few sly red fox along the course that like to take your golf balls so watch out for them.
Also about an hour north of Anchorage in Wasilla, Alaska you’ll find Settler’s Bay Golf Course on the Kink-Goose Bay Road. This is another 18-hole championship golf course located within a residential community. It is well maintained and popular to Alaskans. The course has narrow fairways, lots of water and woods.
Moose Run Golf Course is on Ft. Richardson Army Base adjacent to Anchorage, but is open to civilians and tourists. The Hill Course and the Creek Course at Moose Run make-up the World’s Northernmost 36-hole golf course. It is located on the Glenn Highway off the Arctic Valley exit. The hill course is a little rougher but there are plans to upgrade soon. The creek course is very challenging – bring lots of extra balls. Both courses always have moose and black bears so keep an eye out before teeing off. The course marshals are usually around and monitoring the wildlife.
Eagleglen Golf Course is on Elmendorf Air Force base but is open to the general public. It is a Robert Trent Jones 72-par course. This has been voted as one of the best golf courses in the Air Force and a tee time is highly recommended in advance. This is a popular course and in excellent condition. The greens are probably the best in Anchorage but this is a hard one to walk onto at the last minute. The course is forgiving since it is fairly open off the tee box. Greens are fair but do play slow.
The Anchorage Golf Course is located on the Anchorage hillside off O’Malley Road. It overlooks the Anchorage bowl area and offers views of the many surrounding mountain ranges. The course is very tight and fairways have a lot of contour. Not much water but plenty of bunkers and woods. Some holes have a severe incline/decline to them making it challenging to judge distances. Greens are also much slower than expected.
No matter what course you decide to play the beautiful scenery will distract you from your game, but enhance your golfing pleasure. Playing a round of golf in Alaska is definitely unique and not like your typical tropical golf destination anywhere in the world. All of the courses will offer rentals, golf carts, and most have practice driving ranges. Fees can run anywhere from $37-65 per person. Most do offer discounts for military and have discounts on certain days/times. Where else can you play golf at midnight and still be wearing your sunglasses? Enjoy!