Hit the Links for a Round of Golf

Lewis and south Thurston counties are known for their picturesque environments with hills, rivers and trees — and four golf courses in the region take advantage of that scenery. Enjoy a relaxing round of golf at either Riverside Golf Club in Chehalis, Newaukum Valley Golf Course just north of Napavine or the par-3 Gate Ranch Golf Course in Rochester.

Riverside Golf Club

Where: 1451 NW Airport Rd., Chehalis

Contact: (360) 748-8182

Website: www.playriversidegolf.com

Riverside Golf Club offers 18 holes along the Chehalis River that have become a favorite for the most seasoned golfers in the area.

The course, situated at the north end of Chehalis just behind the Chehalis-Centralia Airport, offers a scenic course that offers a great way to relax and unwind while still offering a challenge.

Riverside is also home to several events, such as the annual Lewis County Amateur, United Way Golf Tournament, Ladies Night and more.

Aside from the sport of golf itself, Riverside has also begun a pickleball league that uses space under the pavilion to the north of the clubhouse. The course also hosts several events in its restaurant and Roof Top Bar, including the ever popular Comedy at the Course series.

A full-service pro shop comes fully stocked with apparel, equipment and more to help improve and hone one’s game. Golf lessons are available from the Pro Shop as well.

For people coming in from outside the area, Riverside also offers an RV park. Call (360) 748-8182 for more information about available hookups and amenities.

Visit www.playriversidegolf.com or follow them on Facebook at Facebook.com/riverside.golfclub for more information and updates on events throughout the year.

Newaukum Valley  Golf Course

Where:  153 Newaukum Golf Drive, Chehalis

Contact: (360) 748-0461

Website: www.golfnewaukum.com

Locally owned and operated for more than three decades, Newaukum Valley Golf Course provides 27 holes of golf and has recently added two new twists on the game.

Three nine-hole groupings known as the South Nine, East Nine and West Nine each have a style all their own while bringing golfers through tranquil areas near the Newaukum River. The South Course leaves little to no room for error, the East Course is a bit more forgiving, and the West Course is deceptive in its short length yet the need to be technical and precise.

The course offers both a Men’s Club and Ladies’ Club. Contact their front desk for more details on involvement and how to sign up.

Two recent changes to the West Course offer new ways to get into the game of golf. Hack Golf aims to provide novice golfers a wider cup — 15 inches in diameter — to allow for work on one’s short and putting game. An entirely new tweak to the game, FootGolf, is also available. Bring your soccer ball or rent one from the course and book a tee time to enjoy the game of golf with your foot as the driving force.

Newaukum Valley Golf Course is home to The Grill, offering a variety of food and availability for events. Call 748-0461 for more information.

Visit www.golfnewaukum.com or follow them on Facebook at Facebook.com/GolfNewaukum.

Ironwood Green Golf course

Where: 8138 Highway 12, Glenoma

Contact: (360) 498-5425

If you’re looking to play a quick round on a rustic, nine-hole course while taking in all the sights of mountainous East Lewis County, consider a stop at Ironwood Green in Glenoma just off U.S. Highway 12.

The executive course features 1,512 yards of golf. It’s a par 30. According to golfnow.com, it was designed by James Redman and opened in 1983.

Gate Ranch Golf Course

Where: 11900 Hunter Rd. SW, Rochester

Contact: (360) 273-7074

One of the hidden gems of our area lies just west of Rochester, where the Dunson brothers operate a quaint par-3 golf course on land they own.

Stop by with clubs of your own or borrow some from the owners, and just enjoy a quick round on nine holes that may prove to be a surprising challenge. Navigating water, trees, bumps and ridges requires a bit of technical skill to one’s game.

The course is entirely playable with a few irons, pitching wedge and a putter. One is best served leaving the drivers and woods at home.

There’s no fee to play, but donations are encouraged. The course is open seven days a week, and if you’re looking for a quirky yet fun golf outing, the Gate Ranch Golf Course is it.