The Place: Interbay Golf Center, 2501 - 15th Ave. W., 285-2200
Photos by Matthew Piel Everything you need to improve your golf game.
The Hours: Daily, 4 p.m. - 7 p.m.
The Digs: Interbay is small. Most of the nine holes are a par three, and the putt-putt course is pretty dinky, suffering a dearth of cheesy, cartoon-character obstacles. But all of that is overshadowed by the amazing, heated, two-story driving range. Come rain, shine or snow, you can still comfortably whack away year-round.
By featuring the driving range rather than the course it's not limited to bankers and corporate lawyers. It's a much more all-inclusive kind of place. You can come, even if you've never hit a ball off a tee in your life, because it's not like you're slowing down your foursome and backing up tee times.The Deal: The price on nachos, chicken wings and other food served in the shop drops by a couple bucks putting those items in the $4 - $5 range normally reserved for the (delicious) polish dogs. Cans of Pabst Blue Ribbon and drafts of Radeberger Pilsner bottom out at $2. And there are monthly deals. For all of May, you can get a pint and a round of minigolf for $10.
But the real reason to drive half way to Ballard is the driving range deal--a bucket filled with 102 balls and an entire pitcher of PBR for $15.
The Verdict: Driving ranges are for practicing/getting out your aggression by naming balls after exes and employers and then pounding the holy Hell out of them. Interestingly, beer is also for getting out your aggression, so putting the two together is only natural.
As my rather skilled golfing companion informed me, beer is more commonly referred to as aiming juice on the links, so I decided to see if the golden liquid helped my swing. (For the sake of context, this was my third trip to the range, my only experience on a real course being piloting a golf cart.) Here's how it went down:
0 beers: Best shot of my life thus far - the ball got a little lift and sailed past the first row of flags, which looked to be about 20 yards away. That was followed by three duds that dribbled off the edge of the mat.
0.5 beers: Slight improvement, a couple of shots even went in a straight line. Disastrous swing rate remains about the same, three bad to every one good.
1 beer: Oh my God, the ball went past, like, the third row of flags 100 or so yards away! Little beer spilled on the range in the celebration that followed. Oops.
1.5 beers: Haven't been able to repeat that earlier triumph, but fail rate has fallen off to alternating good and bad shots.
2 beers: Fail rate going back up, but even a couple brews in, I still look better than the kid with new clubs hacking away next to me--and that feels nice.
Our little experiment might be slightly skewed since by the end, the number of golf balls I'd hit over the course of my lifetime increased by half. But the positive impact of relaxing in the cool comfort of cheap beer can't be overstated. And as the sun dipped near the end of our evening, the heaters came on to warm us.