Indian Canyon Golf Course Review
Indian Canyon golf course is located in Spokane Washington has always been one of the top rated public courses you can play in the United States. The course was designed in 1930 by Chandler Egan who was one of the great architects of the Pacific Northwest who worked on other projects such as Pebble Beach and Cypress Point. The course is set on top of a canyon overlooking the west side of Spokane. The majority of holes are either down hill or uphill, there are a few holes on flatter terrain meaning smaller inclines and you will definitely get a nice work out if your walking. The course still has a very championship feel to it, the greens and bunkering around the greens look untouched from when it was first built giving it that very golden age of golf feel to it. The tree lined fairways require left to right and right to left shots placing a premium on shot making and ball striking. Indian Canyon has hosted three USGA Public Links Championships the mens in 1941 and 1984 and the Women’s in 1989. I played here opening day on the way back from Bandon Dunes so the grass in the pictures isn’t green yet but that doesn’t take away from the course. Growing up a 2.5 hr drive away just over the border in BC, I had always heard rave reviews of the Indian Canyon but never got around to playing it. I’m glad that I did and will be back again this time in the summer to see it in its glory.
Hole Reviews and Pictures
1st Hole Par 4 – 443 yds
The first hole at Indian Canyon is a lengthy par 4 that runs downhill all the way to the green. Depending on which tee you hit your drive from the tee is elevated 20ft above the fairway making this hole long on the scorecard but shorter in actual distance. The second shot into the green here is again downhill to a green guarded by a fairly large bunker on the right front. The one thing you’ll notice right away around the greens is the mounding, there isn’t a lot of flat spots making chipping a little more challenging. The green itself looks like a golden age green it has slopes and swales all over and in general the green slopes from back to front.
2nd Hole Par 3 – 121 yds
The second hole is a short par 3 here and a birdie is very possible with a good shot. The green here is small both horizontally and vertically and there are two bunkers that can get you in alot fo trouble if you find them. There are many slopes and mounds around this green that can be difficult to get up and down from if you don’t find the green. The green surface here is fairly flat throughout with some humps on the corners.
3rd Hole Par 5 – 536yds
The first par 5 at Indian Canyon Golf Course gently doglegs to the left the entire length of the hole. The tee shot here is hit into a generous fairway which canters slightly to the left. The second shot is a interesting one and depending on how far your first travels sets up where you should and shouldn’t play your second shot. The fairway drops off into a valley at about 285 yds from the tee and slopes hard from right down to the left. For the all golfers you’ll want to aim down the far right side of the fairway to avoid going down into the valley where your next shot maybe blind. The left side of the hole has a pretty nasty slope and if you miss the fairway you might find the trees. The third shot to the hole is very straightforward there are no bunkers here so you have a great chance at par or birdie. The green surface itself in general slopes from back to front and all sides slope towards the middle of the green
4th Hole Par 3 – 178 yds
This medium length par three requires an accurate tee shot. There are two bunkers guarding the left and right front portion of the green and not much room in between. The right bunker guards some of the right portion of the green here and it can be a very challenging pin. The green surface here has an interesting design. The green has a couple of bowls on either side of a ridge that bisects the two bowls. From the back of the green it looks like smooth waves flowing from side to side, putting can be a challenge here no matter where the pin is.
5th Hole Par 4 – 438 yds
This is a fun hole, visually from the tee the fairway looks very narrow and you must play your ball right to left to have any chance of reaching the fairway. The fairway here actually slopes hard on both sides towards the middle of the fairway, its very unusual to see this type of fairway in modern golf and brings shot making back into play, you can tell there wasn’t much done to the terrain here except clearing the trees and scrub. The second shot into the green you may have to deal with an uneven lie into a green that for the most part is very accessible not withstanding the bunker located short right of the hole above the green. The green surface here is has a couple of plateau’s and is surrounded by a small amphitheatre like mounding in the back and on the sides.
6th Hole Par 4 – 331 yds
This par 4 is short on the scorecard but play a lot longer from the tee, your playing uphill all the way to the green here and that extra slope can add at least one club to your second shot. As if the hole wasn’t already difficult enough the hole doglegs to the left off the tee then opens up for your second shot. The second shot up the hill is fairly steep and at least one club extra is needed in order to reach the green. If you ball lands short you may find yourself well below the green the last portion of fairway up to the green is fairly steep and your ball may come down 10 yds away from the green. The holes only bunkers guards the right portion of the green and should be avoided for any chance of making a par. The green surface here is long and narrow, there are two distinct tiers here that split the green in half.
7th Hole Par 4 – 441 yds
This hole like the last hole doesn’t play its actual distance. The tee shot is hit over and down a hill into the flat part of the fairway. A good line from the tee is to aim at the green, there isn’t any trouble over the hill so you can let your drive go here. The second shot into the green is more challenging here as a result of the greens terrain and two bunkers that guard it left and right. A good miss here is always short left of the green. The green surface is small and has three distinct levels to it, two smaller levels on the front portion and a large one that runs from middle to back.
8th Hole Par 4 – 267 yds
This short hole plays a lot long than the yardage on the card. The hole plays uphill all the way to the green and has a good bend to the left. A good shot will end up between the tree stumps down the right side of the hole and the cart path also down the right side. The second shot into the green depending on where your first ends up will be slightly uphill or your might have a full club extra. The green has one bunker on the left side of the green and there is lots of space to the right. The green itself has two distinct levels to it and the back level is about 3ft higher than the front tier.
9th Hole Par 5 – 449 yds
The last hole on the front nine at Indian Canyon Golf Course is an uphill par 5 from the tee it plays around 500 yds with the hole being uphill all the way to the green. The hole bends slightly to the left off the tee and opens up to a generous fairway. Aiming your tee shot at the green side bunker is a good line off the tee here. The second shot is steeply uphill and is a 2-3 club slope, the best shots here will stay to the left of the green side bunker giving you the best angle on your third shot into the green or for the longer hitters a chip or putt. The green here is very narrow in width so a very accurate shot is needed on your third if your in the fairway.
10th Hole Par 4 – 479 yds
The opening hole on the back nine of Indian Canyon Golf Course is the opposite to the 9th hole and downhill all the way to the green. Its a stern but fair challenge. Your tee shot here is hit from an elevated tee down into a wide fairway. A good tee shot here will stay in the air for a long time before touching grass. On your second shot take a club less to reach the green, the grade of the slope will take care of the rest. This is a very inviting second shot your only bad miss here is in the right green side bunker any other spot around the green won’t hurt you. The green surface here is surrounded by mounds and is located in a bowl so any ball find the outer part of the green should get some role back towards the middle of the green. The green has a nicely blended tiers, the front tier is lower than the back and it smoothly transitions into the back tier.
11th Hole Par 4 – 469 yds
Arguably the toughest hole at Indian Canyon Golf Course, at 470 yds this hole can get up and bite you very easily. The hole doglegs to the left and to make things difficult the fairway also canters to the left. Your tee ball must be kept up the far right side of the fairway to have any chance of reaching the green. If your to far left you will most likely be blocked out by the trees on the corner of the dogleg. There is some forgiveness here on the second shot into the green, both sides of the fairway are sloped towards the middle of the fairway so if you can slot your ball between the slopes you’ll find yourself in good position. Another positive is there is a steep slope left of the green that should deflect your ball down towards the green with any luck. The one position you don’t want to be on your second shot is far right. The green here in general slopes towards the front right as your can tell by the brown patch in the picture.
12th Hole Par 4 – 329 yds
This short hole is a great strategic hole, its definitely reachable with a good drive but there is plenty of trouble if your drive is offline. There is a bunker short of the green to the left that can catch a tee ball not finding the fairway. The fairway slopes hard from left to right and most balls hit to the left side of the fairway end up in middle or right side. A good shot of about 200yds played just to the right of the tallest tree in the distance shouldn’t hurt you, this is also the line for players going for the green. The second shot if laying up will be short one, if your down on the right side of the fairway its an open shot to the green if your left you’ll have to contend with the left green side bunker. The green here is on the smaller side and is round in shape and is for the most part flat with minimal slope.
13th Hole Par 3 -161 yds
The first par 3 on the back nine at Indian Canyon Golf Course is for the most par very straightforward. There is not elevation change and everything is right in front of you. The green is situated between a bunker short right and long left and for the most part a easy hole to make par on if you can avoid the bunkers. The green here doesn’t have much slope to it so putting shouldn’t be a problem.
14th Hole Par 4 – 403 yds
This par 4 is straight away, the hole plays uphill all the way to the green and you can add another 25-30 yds to compensate for the elevation change. The a drive anywhere in the fairway here will be good with the left side being optimal giving you the best angle. You will need at least an extra club on your second shot into this green, there are no bunkers here so your free to take aim at the pin. The green surface runs at a 45 degree angle from the fairway so the back portion of the green is further than the front.
15th Hole Par 4 – 358 yds
The 15th at Indian Canyon Golf Course is a short bunker less par 4 that is straight away. Your tee shot is hit from an elevated tee down into a generous fairway, anywhere between the trees will get you into a decent position to make par. The interesting feature on this hole is the mound just in front of the green that blocks the player from see most of the green. The second shot has a very links feeling to it, you can either play a high shot over it or run your ball over the mound. The green here is round in shape with the back and front portions sloping slightly towards the center of the green.
16th Hole Par 4 – 287 yds
Another short par 4 that gives you lots of options from the tee, for those who choose to drive the green your have thread your ball from left to right around a gap in the trees in order to get on the green. Surprisingly if your ball finds the trees a recovery shot is not hard here as long as your not directly behind a tree. For those who don’t have the firepower to reach the green a shot to the fat of the fairway will suffice leaving your with short shot of under 100 yds. The second shot into the green here is not difficult just avoid the bunker and you’ll have a decent try at a birdie. The green surface here is round in shape and for the most part flat with minimal contour.
17th Hole Par 3 – 224 yds
The longest par 3 at Indian Canyon golf course requires an accurate shot in order to hit the green, at over 220 yds this green looks very small from the tee. The fairway slope from right to left here so any ball hit towards the right side of the green will have a good chance at find a portion of the green. The bunker on the left side of the green is above the hole and the green runs away from it so avoiding the bunker is a of great importance. The green surface here is is contoured like a bowl around the all of the green except the front left which is flat. Staying below the hole will leave you with a uphill putt on most of the green.
18th Hole Par 4 – 341 yds
The 18th is a classic finishing hole, its uphill all the way to the green finishing in natural amphitheater setting front of the first tee. Your tee shot must be played up the right side of the fairway as the fairway canters from right to left. The hole is not overly long so play a club that will get you into the fairway. The second shot is a club more than the yardage and that bunker left is in play. The safest shot here will be right of the pin taking that bunker out of play. The green surface here has minimal contour and hitting the green will leave you with a good birdie chance.