Baker’s Bay is a gorgeous, friendly place to play a round of golf. But it is also the kind of place I think most people would like to go and never get there.
The course is in a spectacular setting, on a 300-acre peninsula that juts into Puget Sound at the eastern edge of Seattle. It has been beautifully landscaped and maintained by the Baker family for generations. You drive down a narrow, winding road that hugs the peninsula, past lush grounds and restaurants on one side and fine houses on the other. The views are spectacular–the Olympic Mountains, Mount Rainier, Bellingham Bay, and the Strait of Juan de Fuca all framed by tall trees with canopies heavy with moss.
As you walk toward the first tee, you see seagulls wheeling over the green, white pelicans gliding gracefully along shorelines where they have been hauled onto rocks by their mates. After you finish your round there are hot chocolate bars lined up in the pro shop (open since 9:30 a.m.) along with this week’s newspaper (also open since 9:30 a.m.), which tells you what you need to know about life in northern Washington State as well as all about Baker’s Bay.
Baker’s Bay Golf Club is a private, members-only club in the small town of Indian Wells, California. It’s a beautiful place with a great approach and fun to play. The course has one of the finest layouts in Southern California, but it is also very difficult.
I’ve been thinking about how I can describe the golf course in less than 500 words. The answer is that there are lots of ways to do it, but the best way is to describe what it feels like as you’re playing it. At Baker’s Bay, there is something special that happens when you play the course. It’s a feeling of control and freedom at the same time. You can hit your shots precisely and there are no distractions from the course or your game; yet you will never tire of playing it because the place itself is so spectacular.”
Of course, I am biased: Baker’s Bay is one of my favorite places to play golf in Florida. But even if you don’t like golf, it’s worth a look. It has some of the most beautiful scenery on the Tiger Woods trail, and the people who run it are friendly and helpful. The course is challenging without being intimidating. It offers a variety of lengths, holes and landscapes; the greens have been redesigned to minimize the effect of wind. There is a nine-hole miniature golf course and a driving range. The driving range has 100 acres of grassland to walk around on, with species that have been extinct here for millions of years: a prehistoric wetland with carnivorous plants and carnivorous trees, an ancient beach with fossil beaches (where you can see giant sea urchins), and other oddities; there is even a petrified rain forest that looks like some weird kind of Jurassic Park .
If you want to play golf in Florida , this is the place to go – or at least to go for a back-up plan.
It’s always struck me that, as a professional golfer, you might have all the time in the world to practice. But you can’t really practice golf. That’s what the course is for, and that’s why you go there. So when I go to play golf at Baker’s Bay, I don’t intend to just practice. I could even go to a driving range, but I’d rather just play golf!
But isn’t practice good for golf? It certainly can be, but if you play your best on your best courses, wouldn’t it be better to play on your worst courses?
Baker’s Bay is my worst course. I may not play my best there because it requires so much concentration and effort. But if I do my best, wouldn’t it be stupid not to play there?
Admiral Baker’s Bay is a championship golf course, with superb views and a wonderful reputation. The public has access to the course all year round.
The course was designed by George Fazio and built by Jack Nicklaus in 1982. The first hole for the pros is a challenging Par-4, which plays 545 yards from the back tees. It is a 474-yard Par-5 that plays 473 yards from the front tees, and then there are four other holes of similar length.
You’re not here because you like to golf. You’re here because you want to get the most out of your visit to this place, and you don’t have a lot of time. The first thing you need to know is that golfers hate golf courses.
If the course has a set of rules, they are those rules. If they are enforced by the marshals, they are enforced by the marshals. Do whatever you want, as long as you follow the rules written on your card.
The only exception is if there is another rule written on your card which overrides the one in your hand: if it says “No smoking,” it means no smoking. If it says “no drinking,” it means no drinking. If it says “no swearing,” it means no swearing. And so on through all the other rules.
If there is an adjacent grassy area that looks like a nice place for a picnic, you should use it instead of the course’s facilities because that’s what your card permits, and nobody can tell you otherwise; but if anyone asks why you’re there, lie about how far away you live and say that this is a special occasion and that you drove out from Vegas to play eighteen holes with friends from over in New York
The course is a short walk from the airport and a very pleasant one, as you will see if you go to http://www.admiralbaker.com/golf-course.html
To get to the fairways, we had to pass over a manmade beach. Because of the currents in this area, especially in the winter, they have to build artificial lagoons like this to protect landings and takeoffs.
It’s sort of like living in Florida without mosquitoes.