Horn Rapids Golf Course
Located in Richland Washington and carved through the desert, this layout is definitely for the links enthusiast. It reminds me of many of the course layouts in Arizona and Nevada. There is nice green grass on the tee blocks, fairway-landing areas and around the greens. The fairways are plenty big but all the rest is Mother Nature. No trees at Horn Rapids to speak of, just you, your golf ball and the eastern Washington geology. One of the reasons I like Horn Rapids is the scenery. Much of the course plays on a hill just west of Richland and several holes provide panoramic views of the Yakima River and surrounding Tri-cities. The months of September through mid November are my personal favorite times to play golf in Eastern Washington. The temperatures start to cool down and much of the foliage starts to turn those fantastic shades of orange, yellow and red. Due to the temperate winters in the Tri-Cities area, they play year around at Horn Rapids.
Horn Rapids is a target type of golf course. It can play long enough (6,988 from the tips) but it’s mostly about hitting fairways and avoiding the hazards. In addition to the largest of all of Horn Rapids hazards (the surrounding desert), course designer Keith Foster has thrown in plenty of fairway and green side bunkers just for fun. The keys to scoring at Horn Rapids are to keep your tee shots in the fairways. You’ll also need to safely negotiate the par 3’s. They average 213 yards from the tips and 168 yards from the white tees, so they require a mid to long iron shot for most players. The par 3 fourth is the signature hole at Horn Rapids and it’s just a flat out hard golf hole. A long, downhill tee shot to a narrow, crowned green that is surrounded by deep swales and bunkers is what awaits you on four. The greens at Horn Rapids are undulating and pretty fast, which makes getting up and down after missing a green no easy task. I’ll go so far as to say that getting up and down from the right side of the fourth green is all but impossible, unless you get lucky and chip in for par.
As your round at Horn Rapids comes to a close, you are treated with the finishing 18th hole. It’s an uphill, dogleg right, par 4 that requires one of the most demanding approach shots you’ll find anywhere. The green is somewhat elevated and guarded by water left and long. But no bailing right, as there is a huge, deep greenside bunker that can be far more punitive than the surrounding lake. Many a decent round have come to a crashing halt on the 18th at Horn Rapids. Oh, as an F.Y.I., there are not many o.b. or hazard stakes at Horn Rapids, so you can generally play your ball from most anywhere you find it. That being said, I recommend you bring an old 7 iron and designate it as your “desert recovery club”. More often than not the urge to advance our ball without penalty over shadows common sense and, if not careful, the desert can impart a nice little war wound to the head of your new 9 iron - Horn Rapids is certainly worth a play when traveling the Tri-Cites area - Visit them online at: Click Here