MARCH 31, 1997 : your home town on the world wide web


Golf-In' the Northwest: 'It really is dry'

golf by Chuck Reidt
The wet winter and spring playing conditions in the Northwest are tough enough without contending with the false hype of those golf courses promoting "dry playing conditions," only to find the fairways resembling the "primeval ooze" of a Speilberg movie and the greens providing footmark I.D. that could even convict O.J. Simpson.
   How about dry and a buy!! A seemingly well-kept secret is LiPoma Firs Golf Course, a twenty-seven hole level tract carved through a former tree farm. Located on the south hill of Puyallup off Meridian Street, it's less than a one hour drive from Woodinville and is worth the effort if you're looking for the now forgotten "fairway roll" of the golf ball.
   The three nines, Gold, Green, and Blue, are comparable in length and design, with all of the fairways bordered by fir trees; the only homes on the golf course are on the right side of Blue number 9. Every hole is distinctive, and most of them have some degree of dog-leg. Sand traps are found around the greens; there are no fairway traps, and water is present on just a few of the holes.
   The difficulty at LiPoma lies in snug tree-lined fairways that require control in your golf shot. When you do hit off the fairway into the trees, you'll likely find your ball, but a word of caution on your chip back to the fairway: tee up your golf ball to avoid the plethora of rocks pushed off the fairways during the course of construction. The reason for the great drainage is the soil (rock) condition of the area. Fairways are fine, however. The greens are reasonably flat; some do have a tier or pronounced shoulder. The condition of the greens ranges from fair to good.
   Green fees are cheap. You can play after 3 p.m. for just $10; regular weekdays rates are only $17. The practice facility, however, is weak, with a small driving range in need of repairs, a lousy practice sand bunker, and a very small putting green.
   LiPoma Firs is a personal favorite as a dry, very playable wet weather golf course. Virtually every one of the twenty-seven holes has interesting design features and character without duplicity. It is not heavily played, and a round of golf should only take four hours.

   Lipoma Firs: 18615 110th Ave (off Meridian), Puyallup, WA (1-800-649-4396)
   Par: 72-27 Holes
   Yardage: 5500 yds. to 6800
   Rating: 115-122
   Green Fees: Weekdays $17, weekends $22, seniors $10