Jackson Hole Golfer Magazine 2017

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early every sport has a smaller version, such as Wiffle ball for baseball or ping-pong for tennis. And most can be played at a level appropriate for a wide range of ages and abilities. But nothing matches the scalability of golf. The definition of a “course” can vary from a 7,400-yard track on 500 lush acres to a worn-out putt-putt course in a strip mall. Golf balls have been driven on the moon and rolled across offices on the 50th floor of a skyscraper. The next best thing about golf is that, wherever or whatever the course, it can be leveled so that golfers of disparate abilities can play together. Short hitters play from the front tees, the pros from the back; high handicappers get a few strokes a side; younger players walk, seniors take a cart; but they can all share the same foursome and compete if they wish. This year’s Jackson Hole Golfer is filled with stories of different players from nearly every corner of the country coming together to share their desire for camaraderie, a little adventure, love of the outdoors and a passion for the game of golf, which brings it all together. Leading off is our annual introduction to Jackson Hole’s five world-class golf courses, with a focus on what’s new within these evolving golf communities. Our look at golf options over the hill in Teton Valley, Idaho, also details five golf courses, but puts a spotlight on The Links at Teton Peaks, which embodies a Western, egalitarian approach to golf. While far from a golfing mecca, this region has been adding options in recent years while the rest of the world is seeing more courses close than open. Last summer, Matt Cardis did what you’ve always wanted to do: he quit his job, packed his clubs in the Subaru and went on a golf road trip of epic proportions, playing 74 courses in 2


22 states with the pictures, scorecards and memories to prove it. Perhaps the best example of golf’s scalability can be found in the Cowboy Cup, which for 20 years has brought together a group of Jackson Hole golfers of wide-ranging skills for a 36-hole match-play competition. Some of them are scratch golfers, others couldn’t break a hundred with a handful of $20 bills, but all of them bring a deeply competitive spirit, reverence for the game and dedication to the ideals of the Cup. Amy Stark loves to ski Jackson Hole, but she also loves just a bit more time spent on the links with friends. The same goes for Chris “Nezz” Pierce, who grew up beneath the Tetons. But when the rest of the country is ready for golf in March and April and our valley is still covered with snow, he and his girlfriend Ally hit the road in search of green grass. This year he takes Jackson Hole Golfer along as he experiences Bandon Dunes. Then there are those who love skiing and golf equally, finding a way to combine the two, such as the group of spring skiers I came across this winter as they hacked their way downhill from atop Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, skis and snowboards under foot and a golf bag across their shoulders. In conclusion, this year’s Golfer offers the sad and the sweet. When Arnold Palmer died last year his loss was felt around the globe, including here in Jackson Hole where he left his mark as a course designer, businessman and friend. And to make sure you exit laughing, Drew Simmons once again handles the anchor leg, this time pushing the limits of golf’s scalability to heights that will make you dizzy if not entertained.






Jackson Hole’s five fabulous courses are well-established and ever-evolving. Here’s what’s new this summer. By Derek Pollack




The Links at Teton Peaks highlights the handful of public courses in Teton Valley. By Missy Decker

John Saltas


Editor Brian Siegfried

Life events and lifelong dreams inspired 21,000-mile, 74-course winter golf odyssey that began and ended in Jackson Hole. By Matt Cardis

Art Director Vaughn Robison


Pick-up game of golf has grown into annual must-attend match-play competition. By Brian Siegfried

Advertising Sales Jen Tillotson, Caroline LaRosa


Jackson Hole golf community real estate update from the canyon to the couloirs. By Brian Siegfried

Copy Editor Robyn Vincent


Contributing Writers

IT’S ABOUT CONNECTIONS... Families • Corporate Groups • Reunions • Youth

Matt Cardis Missy Decker Derek Pollack Chris “Nezz” Pierce

Brian Siegfried Drew Simmons Amy Stark

Contributing Photographers

ShootInJH.com | 307.690.7921

Shane Braman Bomber Bryan Matt Cardis Tim Harland Tyler Horne Trent Hulttman Tuck Fauntleroy

Chris “Nezz” Pierce Timothy Scahill Brian Siegfried Amy Stark Anna Sullivan Ally Ward


Sharing chairlifts is fun, but relationships grow stronger while golfing beneath the summer sun. By Amy Stark


34 SHOOTIN’ GALLERY 46 THE JOY OF GOLF 50 BANDON DUNES, OREGON The golf paradise you’ve always dreamed existed. by Chris “Nezz” Pierce


Dropping tee shots on Jackson Hole Mountain Resort’s steepest chutes. By Brian Siegfried


The King made several trips to his Teton Pines design. By Brian Siegfried

Illustration Nate Bennett FIND US ON







Teton tee-athalon takes mountain golf to absurd heights. By Drew Simmons Illustrated by Nate Bennett








Jackson Hole’s five fabulous courses are well-established and ever-evolving. Here’s what’s new this summer. BY DEREK POLLACK

Jackson Hole Golf & Tennis

The course is designed to be a true test of golfing ability with very few nods to seniors and high-handicappers, as the course winds through dense conifer woods, rolling foothills and the sandy soils of the Snake River floodplain with ubiquitous tall grass and water features on nearly every hole. Golf Digest ranked it the “No. 1 Golf Course in Wyoming” in 2015. While Snake River Sporting Club, which is 20 minutes south of Jackson in the Snake River Canyon, could attract enough members with its golf facilities alone, it is the most amenity-rich of the valley’s clubs, offering equestrian sports, fly-fishing, rafting, archery, skating, and more. Just outside its entrance and scheduled to open in 2018 is a new Astoria Hot Springs Park, a natural-fed hot springs pool that last welcomed soakers in 1998. The Sporting Club helped revive this community asset by completing a land swap with the nonprofit Trust for Public Land, which is currently working on raising $5 million to complete the project, which will include multiple soaking pools. A big change that will happen this summer is the opportunity to offer nightly rentals. “People can load up on amenities and outdoor experiences without leaving the property,” says Jeff Heilbrun, executive vice president and director of sales. “Overnight guests have access to every part of the club.”



t was only a few years before man walked on the moon that Jackson Hole landed its first golf course with the establishment of Jackson Hole Golf & Tennis in 1965. That was about 80 years after the nation’s first golf course – Oakhurst Golf Course in West Virginia in 1884 – but since then Jackson Hole has caught up with the rest of the nation, now including five esteemed courses with the three most recently built less than 12 years old. In fact, Jackson Hole is bucking a national trend that has seen the number of U.S. golf courses fall from approximately 5,500 to about 3,500 since 2002. When will the next Teton County golf course break ground? Due to extremely limited private land, the Magic 8-iron says “doubtful.” So until then a better question may be: What’s new at Teton Pines, Jackson Hole Golf & Tennis, 3 Creek Ranch, Shooting Star and Snake River Sporting Club?

TETON PINES Teton Pines, a semi-private course located 8


between Wilson and Teton Village on the west bank of the Snake River, celebrates its 30th anniversary this summer. “It’s a pretty big milestone,” said General Manager Kevin Getz, who started working at the club in 1991. “Reaching the 30-year milestone shows stability and credibility and tradition.” The course, designed by Arnold Palmer and Ed Seay and most recently remodeled in 2008, will celebrate with member parties, many in its clubhouse that was remodeled last summer. The remodel, designed by Colleen Walls and Lacey Stalter of Willow Creek Interior Design, touched nearly every public interior space, and some exterior areas. It transformed the original 1988 clubhouse into a lighter space that is both more contemporary and more comfortable. Art on loan from modern art houses like Diehl Gallery hangs on the walls. Not a member yet? The Pines has a special for new members that is only available this season: The Pines’ Palmer Tribute Membership celebrates the club’s anniversary and honors

Arnold Palmer, who passed away last fall. The membership, which is non-saleable and nonrefundable, must be maintained for five years, and offers a $5,000 joining fee. Palmer Tribute Members must also pay regular golf dues. At the end of five years, Palmer Members can upgrade into a full membership by upping their joining fee. “It is like an intro to the club,” says Getz. The number of Palmer Tribute Memberships is limited to 30.




The first several years of the Snake River Sporting Club’s life were touch and go. And then it went into foreclosure in 2010. Its spectacular Tom Weiskopf-designed course was closed with the only worker on property, an employee of the bank hired to keep the weeds at bay while a new owner was sought. But this story has a happy ending: The course reopened for play under a new ownership group and management team in 2014, which has been gaining momentum ever since.



Teton Pines


The valley’s original golf course, which is semi-private, is still its most picturesque. The location of Jackson Hole Golf & Tennis five miles north of downtown Jackson and in the middle of the “hole” offers panoramic mountain views that are the envy of its peers. Bob Baldock designed the original course, which was updated by Robert Trent Jones, Jr. in 1973 and again in 2006. “This place is one of the best in the world for golf,” says head golf professional Greg Dennis, who moved to Golf & Tennis in 2016 after working as a teaching pro at Teton Pines for 15 years. While Dennis is new at Golf & Tennis, 2017 marks his 30th year as a golf professional. However, a career on the links is not what he envisioned after graduating with a zoology degree from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the early 1980s. By 1987 he was working at North Carolina’s Wade Hampton Country Club before moving on and up to some of the nation’s most upscale clubs including Florida’s Gulf Stream Golf Club, Fishers Island Club, a private club on a private island

Teton Pines



in New York, Sugarloaf Golf Club in Vermont and Greenspring Valley Hunt Club in Owings Mills, Maryland, before landing in Jackson Hole in 1995. In addition to working at Teton Pines, Dennis also co-founded in the late 90s the Jacksonbased Golf & Sport Performance Center, which offers golf-specific personal training to threedimensional golf biomechanical analysis. Golf & Tennis is a par 72 that measures 7,325 yards from the back tees and 5,325 yards from the forward tees. Its layout is forgiving – making it the valley’s best course for younger players – and the topography is mostly flat with extensive sand bunkering and water features on 10 holes. Both back-nine par-3s offer Instagram moments with shots aimed at the Cathedral Group, the snaggly heart of the Teton Range.

SHOOTING STAR Last fall, becoming a golf member at the valley’s newest golf course got much harder. If you’re looking to join Shooting Star today, you’ve got two choices: get on the waiting list or buy property. “It’s pretty amazing we’re at a point where we’re full on membership,” says Mike Kramer, Shooting Star membership and sales director. “We’ve got a limited number of real estate left

to sell and we’re holding golf memberships for those unsold properties.” The memberships reserved for property owners may also dry up more quickly than envisioned for the private course that has been open since 2009. As of spring 2017, 80 of Shooting Star’s 100 single-family lots are sold and all developer-built homes have either sold or are reserved. The 18-hole Tom Fazio-designed “core” course – which means the holes are next to each other and there is virtually no development visible from the fairways and greens – is at the base of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. This area’s most visually intimidating opening hole is here, but its bark is worse than its bite. Shooting Star’s 15th hole is defined by a 40-acre lake, behind which the Tetons explode from the valley floor.

3 CREEK RANCH This summer the 710-acre 3 Creek Ranch Golf Club welcomes a new general manager, Tim Lewis, and a new golf professional, Eric Goettsch. This year also marks its first as a member-owned private club. “We’re in the middle of some big transitions,” says Marketing and Membership Sales Director Carter Callaway.

“I’m so excited for the members to come back and to meet them myself,” says Callaway, who also is new to 3 Creek Ranch in 2017. A native of Lander, Wyoming, Lewis comes to 3 Creek from Vermont’s Quechee Lakes Landowner Association, a 5,500-acre development with 36 holes of golf, a ski resort, racquet complex and numerous restaurants. “I am thrilled to return to Wyoming and join the 3 Creek team,” says Lewis, who takes over from Chad Becker, the property’s GM for more than five years. “Three Creek has established itself as one of the premier private clubs in the nation.” Goettsch, the 2007 Assistant Player of the Year for the North Carolina PGA, joins 3 Creek’s golf staff under director Greg Glover. “Eric brings outstanding teaching skills to 3 Creek and great enthusiasm in helping golfers work with, and through, different physical characteristics to their most efficient swing possible,” says Glover. While there is transition in 3 Creek’s staff, the Rees Jones-designed course is as fundamentally challenging and immaculately kept as always. The sprawling layout winds through and around wetlands, river bottom, rolling buttes and the former hay fields of what was a working cattle ranch from the 1920s until after the turn of the century.

Shooting Star

3 Creek Ranch

Snake River Sporting Club






In addition to the Links at Teton Peaks, Teton Valley offers two additional public golf courses and two private courses.

The Links at Teton Peaks highlights the handful of public courses in Teton Valley.


Tucked into the trees of Targhee National Forest at the far eastern edge of Teton Valley is Targhee Village, a 9-hole public course that is a family affair. Markida Henley and Mona Hipkins still operate the nine-hole layout founded by their father in 1986. The course has come of age in recent years as the once sparse and small fir trees have grown larger and the fairways better defined. Two practice holes have been added and the practice facilities relocated and expanded. Targhee Village also boasts a loyal local clientele that enjoys the casual atmosphere, affordable rates and easy access.





o find The Links at Teton Peaks, start in 1999, a millennium and a mind set far, far away from the state of golf in Teton Valley, Idaho, today. At the time, there was not an 18-hole layout on that side of Teton Pass within 60 miles of the Wyoming/Idaho border. Jackson Hole only had two courses – Teton Pines and Jackson Hole Golf & Tennis – which were open to the public but only during limited hours and for resort rates north of $100 a round. So when Bob Wilson, with the help of architect David Druzisky, built the original nine holes (nine more to follow a few years later) at The Links at Teton Peaks on his land west of Driggs, he was a pied piper to the pitching and putting proletariat. The hour-long drive from Jackson was no problem for priced-out Wyoming golfers. Locals were ecstatic to add a second option to Targhee Village, a bare bones 9-hole course technically still in Wyoming with upside-down saucer greens, sparse bunkers and few features. That is not to say the course was ever overrun with golfers. The sport is not at the top of the list for most residents and the season is short. In fact, in 2006 times were tough and Wilson sold the land, only to buy it back in 2009. However, since the recession The Links has enjoyed a steady resurgence and is now home to a core group of members and locals, frugal travelers and dog lovers. Yes, the Links is dog friendly, if the dog is friendly and follows doggy etiquette, of course. Posted rules for dogs include keeping them out of the clubhouse and sand bunkers, one per owner, leash it if it tends to run away, and perhaps most importantly, not letting 12


them chase cattle on holes 14 through 17. “The greatest difference between The Links and other courses I have worked is that we allow dogs on the course,” said first-year Head Professional Brent Baldwin, a 20-year pro from Utah. “Being a dog lover myself, it is fun to see the different breeds and you can see they are having a great time themselves.” In addition to affordability and accessibility, golfers are drawn to The Links for its charm and character. Wilson’s inspiration was to insinuate into the rolling farmland of the American West the look and feel of the linksland courses of Scotland, but on a budget. The result was a rough-hewn course with natural bunkers and waste areas crossed with small streams and a few man-made water features. There are five par 3s, each of them challenging and aesthetic, and overall the course is not long with few drivers needed. The closing stretch from 14 to 18, however, is more wide open with some of the course’s longest and most interesting holes. Overall, The links is not long or difficult, but it is distinctive and engaging, a course that can be played over and over again. Recent upgrades include wider fairways, the removal of a few particularly nasty bunkers and more mown areas, all contributing to a more player-friendly experience. “The Links at Teton Peaks is truly a distinctive design, one that is very playable for all levels,” Baldwin says. “David Druzisky drew inspiration for the design from links style courses that reflect the natural setting already in place. The Links combines the best view of the Tetons with a challenging design that is very fun to play.”

The third public golf option is Teton Reserve, conveniently located just north of Victor and smack dab in the middle of Teton Valley. Originally designed by Hale Irwin and intended to be a private golf community, the timing could not have been worse as it hit the market in 2006, not early enough to gain any momentum ahead of the recession on 2008. In fact, construction of the course halted before all the cart paths were laid. Fortunately for local golfers, the lengthy, modern course had already been shaped and survived conversion from private to public, now filling the niche of an affordable and accessible “championship” facility. If you look closely during your round, you can see features that allowed the original design to be played in reverse, similar to the Old Course at St. Andrews.


At the southernmost point in Teton Valley, which is closest to Jackson Hole, is Teton Springs. Built in 2004, it was the area’s first 18-hole layout designed and built to compare with the nation’s best. Also similar to its contemporaries, it was private and cocooned within an expansive golf community that includes numerous amenities and real estate options. The all-star design team includes Byron Nelson, Steve Jones and Gary Stephenson. The result was a long, challenging and beautiful course that has established itself as Teton Valley’s fairest test of golf.



Located within walking distance of downtown Driggs, Huntsman Springs is Teton Valley’s most ambitious golf development to date. The course, designed by David McLay Kidd, is a magnet for accolades, awards and sustained awe from those who have played it. Huntsman Springs achieves the effect of a Scottish course carved from the land, a goal to which The Links at Teton Peaks only alludes. The layout includes 153 bunkers, natural water features on nearly every hole, ubiquitous fescue and an amazing amount of vertical variance for an essentially flat golf course. Huntsman Springs also offers myriad amenities and real estate options, but development is only visible from a few holes. The course is reserved for member play only. ISSUE 10 | 2017 • JHGOLFERMAGAZINE.COM


Golf in your

State Mind


Life events and lifelong dreams inspired 21,000-mile, 74-course winter golf odyssey that began and ended in Jackson Hole. BY MATT CARDIS






or more than 10 years I had savored the short but sweet Jackson Hole golf season, arriving at each fall with great memories and some good photos from rounds with friends. At the end of every summer season, I’m left wondering where the time went and wanting more warm weather days. Then, into the garage goes the clubs (along with my fly rods, bikes, camping gear, etc.) and out comes the ski gear along with a determination to make the best of a long cold winter. But not last year. In the fall 2016, I kept my golf season going, stepping out of the comfort zone of a great job and extensive community involvement to embark on a six-month, 21,000-mile journey to play 74 courses in 22 states. Between my final round of golf in Jackson in September and my first round in the valley in late April of 2017, I played some of the nation’s finest courses from coast to coast including Bandon Dunes, The Olympic Club, Whistling Straits, Arcadia Bluffs, Shinnecock Hills, Maidstone Club, Bethpage Black, Sea Island, Torrey Pines and Streamsong, just to name a few. The motivation for such an extensive adventure was both the culmination and combination of several lifelong passions and the result of a tragic event. A dear friend of mine, Alexander Razzolini, died in a freak accident on the South Fork of the Snake River on August 30, 2016. Alex was a passionate young man that I respected very much. He lived life to the fullest and his happiness was not a reflection of his income, social status or material items, but rather his passion for life, the outdoors, friends/family and involvement with the youth of our community. You often hear the phrase “Life is too short.” Well, this time it really hit home. It made me think about my life and all the things I still wanted to do. I decided to make every minute of my life count from here on out and to not waste another second. Combining passions, obsessions, professions My love for golf started at an early age. My father introduced me to the game at age five and I have fond memories of the two of us playing together in Pittsburgh, New York and Los Angeles. He encouraged me to enjoy the game of golf and make the most of the relationships that could be made and strengthened on the course. It wasn’t until 2015, when I joined my first club, Jackson Hole Golf & Tennis, that I fully understood what dad meant and my obsession for the game truly began. While golf is my current obsession, one of my greatest passions is photography. I began 16


California During my travels I had the opportunity to play all over California including Monterey Peninsula, Palm Springs, San Diego and Los Angeles. There is great golf all over this state so don’t feel like you have to play the top names to have a 5-star experience. My highlight has to be meeting Tom In San Francisco, a complete stranger who invited me to play one of the most exclusive private clubs in the country, The Olympic Club. I was staying with a friend after my first week of being on the road, so I went to my car to grab my dirty laundry and a neighbor, Tom, walked out of his house with golf clubs over his shoulder. We immediately started a conversation and built a friendship based on our mutual love of the game. Fifteen minutes later, I was in his car on my way to play the Lake Course at The Olympic Club.

Cleaning clubs along the California coast. shooting at the age of 15 and have done some commercial work, weddings and have had a few images published, but I still considered it a hobby. Professionally my background is in advertising, marketing and hospitality. With my love of photography and my professional background, I’ve always been very involved in social media, particularly Instagram. Last fall, these lifetime pursuits combined with life events to inspire a decision to embark on a personal and professional journey to play golf across the United States. The primary goal of the trip would be to build my portfolio of golf course photography, but I also wanted to have the experience of a lifetime and share it with friends and family through a dedicated Instagram account, “GolfInYourState.” By the end of the trip I had a following of more than 5,000 people from seemingly every corner of the golfing world. Have clubs, Internet access, will travel It all began with a ridiculous amount of research on the more than 15,000 golf courses in the United States. I focused on the “Top” lists from major golf publications such as Golf Digest, GolfWeek and Golf Magazine, which identified the nation’s top-ranked public and private courses nationally and in each state. The initial plan was to play all public courses while camping and living out of my car. As my

followers increased on social media, I began receiving invitations to play some of the most exclusive clubs in the country, which I accepted with gratitude. Yes, I camped the entire journey with the exception of days spent with family and friends, which were plentiful as I visited with more than 120 familiar faces throughout the journey. Perhaps the smartest decision I made in the planning process was to partner with a rooftop tent company in exchange for photography. Not only did this save me a ton of money on accommodations, it enabled me to essentially sleep anywhere from established campgrounds, public and private lands, roadside pullouts or anywhere I could park my car. I was always looking for unique and beautiful places to sleep for the night but mostly I ended up in golf course parking lots. Waking up in the Torrey Pines parking lot at sunrise was particularly spectacular. I’m still trying to process all I learned, the more than 20,000 images I shot and the memories created during this trip, and probably will be for a long time. To follow along, please check out the images on my Instagram account. Below are some highlights from a few of my favorite states out West, in particular those that offer the easiest fall escape for fellow Jackson Hole golfers looking to extend their golf seasons.

Oregon Oregon has been getting a lot of attention in the golf world primarily because of Bandon Dunes, a golf destination that should be on every golfer’s bucket list. But there are numerous

small, unknown courses that will blow your mind if you are willing to brave the weather. I, like so many others, found myself waiting on rain in Oregon. For days, a massive storm refused to pass while visiting friends, but finally, deciding I could wait no longer, I broke out the rain gear and was treated to some of the most memorable golf of this entire journey at Tetherow in Bend, Oregon. Idaho Most initial and final rounds of the year for Jackson Hole golfers almost always take place in Teton Valley, Idaho, or a bit further down the highway in Rexburg or Pocatello, where there are several fine public courses. And if you look beyond the west side of the Tetons, you will find great courses in Sun Valley, Boise, Coeur d’Alene and Twin Falls that, despite relatively close proximity to Jackson, have much longer golf seasons than we do. Idaho wasn’t on my original list of places to play on this trip as I had been there, golfed that many times. But while crossing over the bridge to Twin Falls on the first day of the trip, I looked

down upon the jewels on the banks of the Snake River and couldn’t pass up the opportunity to play Blue Lakes for my first round of the journey. Nebraska Known more for its agriculture than for its golf, Nebraska is often overlooked as a golfing destination despite some world-class options. Courses like The Prairie Club, Sand Hills Golf Club and Dismal River should be on a short list for your next golfing adventure. My experience in Nebraska was second to none. I met some of the nicest people along my journey during my time here. I was invited to play a municipal course that was still under construction on a hospitality day for its donors and volunteers. I met a gentleman, and fellow golf traveler, at a bar and after a few whiskeys and some storytelling he invited me to camp in one of his cornfields and pheasant hunt with his family the following day. New Mexico A little rough around the edges with a polished feel, New Mexico golf is outstanding. I suggest you check out the Sante Fe Golf Trail, which

Waking up to sunrise over the Nebraska plains at Wild Horse Golf Club.



Golf road trip course list

offers several great options on the drive from Albuquerque to Santa Fe. Have you ever been to a Native American Buffalo Dance? My playing partner at Cochiti GC happened to live on a nearby reservation and invited me to the spiritual Native American tradition. What an experience, but unfortunately no cameras were allowed. Arizona There’s a reason a lot of golf companies are based in Arizona. Year-round golf makes this one of the top golf destinations in the world, but it was among the most expensive of all the states I played. Late spring is definitely the best time of year to play here as it is peak season during the fall and winter months. Fortunately I had the opportunity to connect with a Jackson local, Eddie Stewart, and get in a round at a wonderful private club just north of Scottsdale. I followed the round by getting a VIP tour of the PXG Golf headquarters and finding one of the most beautiful campsites of the entire journey overlooking the city lights of Scottsdale. What a day! Utah Utah doesn’t get as much publicity in the golf world as it probably deserves, especially Southern Utah. The pricing is reasonable and the golf is just as good as any other desert destination. Camping is definitely the way to go in Utah. There are a variety of camping options but I recommend a piece of BLM land overlooking Sand Hollow Resort in Hurricane, Utah. It was clear we weren’t the first golfers to stay there with an empty box of balls on the ground and a small mural of a golfer on a rock wall. WHAT’S NEXT FOR GOLF IN YOUR STATE? As I continue to work on the GolfInYourState brand, I have three smaller trips on the books for 2017 to Oregon, Indiana and New York, as well as a major fall trip to Alabama to play the entire Robert Trent Jones Trail, which includes 26 courses at 11 facilities. For 2018, I plan to hit the road for an entire year, partnering with different brands to give away golf in each of the lower 48 states. Meanwhile, I’ll be launching my website and blog, continuing to work on my game, playing at my home course here in Jackson Hole and caddying at Shooting Star and 3 Creek Ranch. If you happen to see a tall, skinny, bearded guy with a camera on the 17th green at your local course this summer, chances are good it’s me, so please say hello. I’d love to meet, play and share golf stories with as many Jackson Hole golfers as possible, either in person or through your support on Instagram. 18


Idaho - Blue Lakes CC- Twin Falls, ID

Taking in the views at Utah’s Coral Canyon Golf Club.

Car camping on BLM land near Sand Hollow Resort in Utah.

California Northern - Bayonet GC- Seaside, CA - Black Horse GC- Seaside, CA - Pacific Grove Golf Links- Pacific Grove, CA - Pasatiempo GC- Santa Cruz, CA - The Olympic Club- Lake Course- San Francisco, CA Southern - Rustic Canyon GC- Moorpark, CA - Olivas Links- Ventura, CA - PV Shores- San Pedro, CA - Oakmont CC- Glendale, CA - PGA West- Stadium Course- La Quinta, CA - PGA West- Nicklaus Tournament Course- La Quinta, CA - The Lights at Indio- Indio, CA - Mt. Woodson GC- Ramona, CA - Maderas GC- Poway, CA - Torrey Pines- South Course- La Jolla, CA - Pelican Hill GC- South Course- Newport Beach, CA Oregon - Bandon Dunes- Bandon, OR - Old MacDonald- Bandon, OR - Pacific Dunes- Bandon, OR - Tetherow- Bend, OR

Pacific Grove Golf Links in Pacific Grove, California.

Tetherow Golf Club in Bend, Oregon.

Nebraska - Wild Horse GC- Gothenburg, NE - Frederick Peak- Valentine, NE Minnesota - The Jewel GC- Lake City, MN Wisconsin - SentryWorld GC- Stevens Point, WI - Whistling Straits- Kohler, WI 10 | 2017 • JHGOLFERMAGAZINE.COM Wild Horse Golf Club in ISSUE Gothenburg, Nebraska.19

Indiana - Brickyard Crossing- Indianapolis, IN

Florida - Streamsong- Red Course- Streamsong, FL - Streamsong- Blue Course- Streamsong, FL -Belleview Bilmore- Tampa, FL - West Palm Beach GC- West Palm Beach, FL - World Woods- Pine Barrens Course- Brookeville, FL - Sandestin- Raven Course- Miramar Beach, FL - Sandestin- The Links Course- Miramar Beach, FL - Regatta Bay- Destin, FL

Ohio - Sweetbriar- Avon Lakes, OH Michigan - Country Club of Detroit- Grosse Pointe Farms, MI - Eagle Eye GC- East Lansing, MI - Arcadia Bluffs GC- Arcadia, MI - Tullymore GC- Stanwood, MI New York - Shinnecock Hills GC- Southampton, NY - Maidstone Club- East Hampton, NY - Lido GC- Lido Beach, NY - The GC at Middle Bay- Oceanside, NY - Bethpage- Black Course- Farmingdale, NY - Montauk Downs- Montauk, NY

Alabama - Magnolia Grove- Robert Trent Jones Trail- Mobile, AL Blue Lakes Country Club in Twin Falls, Idaho.

Desert Forest Golf Club in Carefree, Arizona.

Texas - Old American GC- Colony, TX - Pine Dunes- Frankston, TX

Pennsylvania - Gulph Mills- Philadelphia, PA

New Mexico - Cochiti GC- Cochiti Lake, NM - Twin Warriors GC- Santa Ana Pueblo, NM - Marty Sanchez Links de Santa Fe- Santa Fe, NM

West Virginia - The Club at Cress Creek- Shepherdstown, WV Maryland - Bulle Rock- Havre De Grace, MD - Queenstown Harbor River Course- Queenstown, MD North Carolina - Tobacco Road- Stanwood, NC - Pinehurst- No. 1- Pinehurst, NC

Mississippi - Annandale GC- Madison, MS

Twin Warriors Golf Club in Santa Ana Pueblo, New Mexico.

Sand Hollow Resort in Hurricane, Utah.

Arizona - Desert Forest GC- Carefree, AZ - Talking Stick- O’ogham Course- Scottsdale, AZ - The Legacy GC- Phoenix, AZ - Papago GC- Phoenix, AZ Utah - Sand Hollow Resort- The Championship CourseHurricane, UT - Coral Canyon GC- Hurricane, UT - Sky Mountain GC- Hurricane, UT

Georgia - Sea Island- The Retreat Course- St. Simons, GA Florida - Royal Poinciana- Naples, FL - The Club at Mediterra- Naples, FL - Windstar at Naples Bay- Naples, FL - Pembroke Lakes Golf & Racquet- Pembroke Lakes, FL - Grande Oaks GC- Davie, FL - Long Point at Amelia Island- Amelia Island, FL - The GC at North Hampton- Fernandia, FL 20


Coral Canyon Golf Club in Hurricane, Utah.

The Legacy Golf Club in Phoenix, Arizona.





30th Anniversary Season

TETON PINES COUNTRY CLUB & RESORT Located at the base of the Tetons in Jackson Hole, WY and perfectly situated between the town of Jackson and Teton Village, this stunning par 72 golf course was designed by Arnold Palmer and Ed Seay. Stretching 7,412 yards from the tips and with six sets of tee boxes, golfers of all abilities will enjoy each of the 18 holes surrounded by majestic mountains, breathtaking scenery, and abundant wildlife. Teton Pines Country Club and Resort also features an exquisitely remodeled Clubhouse & restaurant with excellent dining, lively member events, and exceptional service. Indoor and outdoor tennis, fly fishing, a swimming pool, and magnificent cross country skiing make Teton Pines a destination for all seasons. 22






Cowboy Cup turns 20 Pick-up game of golf has grown into annual must-attend match-play competition. BY BRIAN SIEGFRIED



he first year of the Cowboy Cup, held at Teton Pines in 1997, it wasn’t called the Cowboy Cup nor was there an actual cup to be raised high by the victors. On that first September weekend, it was just two brothers rounding up their neighborhood crew for a friendly game before heading home for dinner, just as they had done for years while growing up in Western Pennsylvania, attending Denison University in Ohio and after moving to the Tetons in their 20s. “The Cowboy Cup is the epitome of the Hultman family,” says Bomber Bryan, who has played in nearly every Cowboy Cup and has known the Hultmans for more than 25 years. “Brian and Trent are always building bridges among friends, and 20 years later the Cowboy Cup is alive and thriving.” The Cowboy Cup is a 36-hole, two-day match play golf event between the “Old Guys,” captained by older brother Brian, and the “Young Guys,” led by younger brother Trent. Each round includes two 9-hole matches in a variety of formats (scramble, alternate shot, best ball and individual), with the overall event based loosely on the Ryder Cup, a longtime competition between the best golfers in the United States and Great Britain. Brian and Trent were big fans of the Ryder Cup. “We wanted to share the experience with our friends,” says Brian, adding that many of his friends are golfers but not familiar with match play, where golfers play each other instead of the course. Al Walker, one of only two Cowboy Cuppers to have played in all 20 events, remembers being asked to play in the first Cup by Brian. “I remember thinking it was a great idea. I always loved watching the Ryder Cup,” Walker says. “But I was nervous because I didn’t know most of the guys. Then I show up in blue jeans at the Pines and just about everyone is a member and I’m feeling a little out of place until the first tee where I’m paired up with a guy who is 6 foot 5 and 250 pounds. How could you not have fun being paired with Mel, right?” Being lucky enough to have been invited to play in the second year, my early memories are similar. I did not know the Hultmans well or all of the players, but the kinship and camaraderie were

instant: these were guys just like me who loved everything about sports from the pre-game anticipation to the crucible of competition to sharing the afterglow of an intense athletic event.

Must-play event

Over the years the teams have grown from six a side to a dozen, with more than 30 players participating in at least one event. Now, after 20 years, the competition, which is invariably held on the third weekend of September, has taken on a life of its own. Like the family it is, the Cowboy Cup timeline has been filled with travel, bulging memory books, some additions, some subtractions, plenty of highs and a few lows, rivalries and friendships, all based on the fundamental bonds of friendship and team sports. Unlike many of the group’s youthful pastimes enjoyed while still single or before children and demanding careers, or even before moving to other parts of the country, the Cowboy Cup has become embedded in the schedules of the participants. Players who cannot return from the previous year are quickly replaced by a member of the waiting list and cannot rejoin the event until another player drops out. Stu Zicherman lived in Jackson Hole when the Cup was established, but moved to New York City in 2004. The distance has not deterred him, as he told a local paper in 2016. “I don’t miss them,” Zicherman said to a reporter. “I’ve missed families’ birthdays. I came on the holiest day of the Jewish holiday Yom Kippur. I played the Cowboy Cup without eating. I once played the Cowboy Cup with a broken foot.” The early years were played almost exclusively at Teton Pines and Jackson Hole Golf & Tennis, but included rounds at Teton Valley courses Teton Springs, Teton Reserve and The Links at Teton Peaks. The Cowboy Cup hit the road eventually, with events also being played in Utah and Montana, including the 20-year anniversary in 2016 held at Old Works in Anaconda. After hundreds of matches and thousands of shots, the on and off course moments, memories and myths could fill many magazines. The weather has ISSUE 10 | 2017 • JHGOLFERMAGAZINE.COM





Traditions and tales

The Cup itself has quite a story to tell. Similar to hockey’s Stanley Cup it is annually updated with the names of that year’s participants, except it includes both the names of the winners and losers. Reading through the plates is like leafing through a stack of yearbooks. For the record, the Young Guys have won or retained the Cup 13 times, but the Old Guys won the first one and will be defending the Cup in 2017. Also similar to Stanley Cup tradition, the current cupholders often take the trophy with them in their travels, which have included photo ops at the Old Course at St. Andrews, Corbet’s Couloir atop Jackson Hole Mountain Resort during a whiteout, Chatham Lighthouse in Massachusetts, Haleakala Crater atop Maui, and other destinations both near and far. In 2015, the Cup was at Peak Engraving in a Jackson Hole strip mall that burned down, but the Cup somehow survived unscathed. Only time will tell how much longer the Cup will retain its allure to those who seek it. After all, the event was never intended to last for 20 years and these days the players are spending much more time on the sidelines of their children’s sporting events than participating in their own. The future of the Cowboy Cup is bright, however. Planning for this year’s event is almost complete and there is talk of playing the 2018 Cup in Colorado, the new home of a longtime participant. Looking further down the road, Captain Trent sees a day when the children of the current roster play in the Cowboy Cup. “Let’s pass it along to the next generation of Cowboy Cup kids!” said Trent. To which Captain Brian added, “Pass it on, yes, but I am still going to be playing!”

short drive home Jackson Hole golf community real estate update from the canyon to the couloirs. BY BRIAN SIEGFRIED

olf course property sales slowed significantly during the previous 12 months compared to the year between June 2015 and June 2016, falling from an overall sales volume of approximately $106.2 million to $45.7 million, a drop of 56 percent. Unit sales in the last year also slowed, falling to 19 from 31 during the same period. Perhaps most dramatically, the average sales price fell slightly more than $1 million, from $3.42 million to $2.4 million. However, compared to the broader Teton County market, golf properties bucked the trend as overall Jackson Hole residential sales tracked almost identically with the sales volume of the previous year while unit sales jumped from 367 to 405 during the 12 months ending June 10, 2017. All statistics are derived from reported sales to Teton County Multiple Listing Service, with unreported final sale prices calculated at 95 percent of list price. Why the slow down in the golf property market, at least statistically? One factor is that that this segment was on fire in late 2015, with two sales north of $10 million and eight sales north of $2.6 million. The subsequent year did not see a golf property sale over $4.5 million and 12 sales for less than $2.4 million. With a relatively small amount of sales it is possible for a large sale to significantly skew the numbers. Also, reported sales to the local MLS only tell a portion of the story, with at least 25 percent of all Jackson Hole sales unreported. In the golf property segment this is certainly a good bit higher, with the fastest-growing course in Jackson Hole, Shooting Star, not reporting 90 percent of its land and developerbuilt inventory sales. Statistics aside, each course is its own micro-market with sales and activity in large part determined by its age, degree of buildout and surrounding neighborhoods. Each golf community is in the context of a very different corner of the county, and each is a snapshot in time captured in the architecture and land planning of the era.

Snake River Sporting Club


It’s game on again for Snake River Sporting Club real estate after rebounding from bankruptcy in 2014. Since then several stalled home starts have been completed and resales have picked up. The big news is the roll out of 31 to-be-built residences within its new resort zoning that will be available for ISSUE 10 | 2017 • JHGOLFERMAGAZINE.COM



ranged from gorgeous to monsoonal to arctic. There have been fabulous shots and fantastic failures. Some years have seen lopsided victories, others have ended in a tie (which retains the Cup for the previous winner), and one year – the first trip to Montana in 2004 – the second day was cancelled after four inches of snow fell overnight. The annual dinners have ranged from family friendly to fraternal shenanigans, the latter being the reason we can’t go back to Heber City. The most emotional year for the Cowboy Cup was in 2013, when Brian Hultman suffered a life-threatening stroke just two weeks before the event while competing in his 10th LOTOJA, a 203mile single-day bike race starting in Logan, Utah, and ending in Teton Village. The Cowboy Cup family was there for Brian and his family in the following days as he recovered and began rehabilitation in a Salt Lake City hospital. But would the Cowboy Cup go on? How could it without Brian, its co-founder and competitive soul? The solution: move the Cup from Jackson to Salt Lake City for an abbreviated event (just three matches instead of four) and group visit to the hospital. Bomber wrote to the group at the time: “Well, the Cowboy Cup is this coming weekend, and you know Brian wants the show to go on. Trent has been juggling participants and locations as recently as yesterday, and the whole tribe will be descending on Park City and Salt Lake City this weekend. If all goes as planned, we’ll be able to share some time with Brian at the hospital and hopefully be able to lift him (& Wendy) up like he just sank a 12-inch putt on a 600-yard uphill par-5. Imagine the smile.” By 2013, the Cowboy Cup already had become an important, unifying force in all our lives, but that weekend took it to another level. “Walking into the University of Utah hospital, to present the trophy to Brian as the captain of the winning team and tell him that his guys had won … there is nothing that is ever going to match that feeling,” says Matt Deehan, even though he was on the losing side that year. “I just had this heartfelt joy for him, usually my foe, to see him with that trophy.”

3 Creek Ranch The hammers are almost as busy in 3 Creek Ranch as Shooting Star these days, with tremendous building activity in this 13-year-old golf community. There are two main home options in this neighborhood, which is located closer to the town of Jackson than any other Jackson Hole course. They include either a John Carney-designed 4-bed cabin with about 4,300 square feet on about a half acre or a custom-built home on 2+ acre lots (there also are five 35-acre estate lots) that are as large as 14,000 square feet. ACTIVE LISTING: The golf community property with the highest price tag currently in MLS is in 3 Creek Ranch. This stone and timber 5-bed, 14,123-square-foot home on 3.21 acres comes complete with a built-in golf simulator and is newly completed in 2017. Listed for $19.7 million. SOLD: a 4-bed, 4,357-square-foot home on .59 acres built in 2006 after 424 days on the market, listed for $3.35 million. Brian Siegfried is an associate broker with Jackson Hole Sotheby’s International Realty.



short-term rental. ACTIVE LISTING: The Fairway Lodge is the mid-sized new offering in the short-term rental zone, with 4 beds, 2,626 square feet of mountain modern design, listed for $1.695 million. SOLD: 4-bed, 2,939-square-foot Tall Timber Cottage built in 2016 on a half acre, listed for $2.45 million.

Shooting Star Due to its relatively young age and location in the heart of Teton Village, Shooting Star has by far been the most dynamic golf community in recent years when it comes to golf real estate. However, at this point only a handful of the 100 home sites have not been sold and all 82 cabins and lodges have sold or have commitments. ACTIVE LISTING: Soon-to-be-completed 6-bed home on 1.52 acres with 7,000+ plus square feet, listed for $12.75 million 28


SOLD: One of the original developer 3-bed cabins built in 2010 with 3,321 square feet, 2-car garage, listed for $4.25 million.

Teton Pines Developed in the 1980s, Teton Pines has had time to fill in with few vacant lots remaining. Built inventory is diverse, ranging from fractional ownership units near the clubhouse to townhouses that can be rented short-term to single-family homes that include a homogenous “cluster” to a wide variety of custom homes. The resale market for this West Bank golf community is robust, with more than a third of all golf community sales in the last year and 10 of the 26 current active listings. ACTIVE LISTING: Newly built 4-bed, 6,021-square-foot home on .77 acres construction on the 18th fairway, listed for $5.995 million. SOLD: 4-bed home built in 1994 with 5,000+ square feet on 1.19 acres

on a perimeter lot adjacent to ranchland built in 1994, listed for $3.95 million.

Jackson Hole Golf & Tennis Jackson Hole’s oldest golf community is a box of chocolates when it comes to homes with some as many as 50 years old next to brand new homes, and everything in between. One thing they all have in common is a single level thanks to CCRs designed to preserve views in this corner of the county that has the best look at the Teton Range. ACTIVE LISTING: Built in 2006 is a recently listed 4-bed, 3,669-square-foot single-level home designed by Berlin Architects on an acre off the 8th fairway, listed for $2.695 million. SOLD: a 3-bed, 5,137-square-foot timber frame home on an acre built in 2010 after 380 days on market, listed for $4.45 million.

A cabin in 3 Creek Ranch




Members Pampered. Guests Welcome.


Guests can test their skills on this Robert Trent Jones, Jr. course and enjoy an après golf cocktail or casual dining on the fireside patio or indoor bar and restaurant.

Limited memberships available for those





exceptional amenities to members and guests alike, Jackson Hole Golf & Tennis Club invites you to experience the local’s course. looking for the benefits of exclusive tee times, member socials, tennis, pool, workout facility, golf pro shop, tennis pro shop, and the North Grille Restaurant & Bar.

Tee Times or North Grille Reservations: 307-733-3111 For memberships, special events or group golf, contact Steve Cole, 307-733-7787.

www.jhgtc.com 30




a round of golf with friends can be the best way to spend the day, sometimes playing a quick 9 holes solo is its own form of therapy.

3. Fore play


Sharing chairlifts is fun, but relationships grow stronger while golfing beneath the summer sun. BY AMY STARK


oving to Jackson Hole from California in 2013, I assumed skiing would take the lead as my favorite activity. After all, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort is world renowned for being North America’s biggest, baddest ski area. And I do love to ski. My dad was really into skiing and got me started when I was six. As the story goes, he urged me to try but I refused because “I didn’t want to go off the jump and do the flips.” Apparently I equated extreme ski jumping with downhill skiing. He assured me there would be no flipping and off we went. He patiently taught me how to ski and as the sport bonded us over the years I knew he was happy I had taken the leap, so to speak, and so was I. Eventually my folks traded in their skis for golf clubs and again my dad encouraged me to try his sport. As a tween, I wasn’t as open to his sporting suggestions as I was when still a first-grader, naively dismissing golf as totally boring. Eventually, after a few years of resistance and focus on other sports, I took up the game, mostly so I had something to do with my parents when I visited them in New Jersey. Just like with skiing, my dad was in full-on coaching mode at almost all times. I valued the lessons and the opportunity to learn something new from my dad as an adult. I could tell my playing made him happy. Sometimes we 32


would chip balls in the backyard after dinner while recounting the highs and lows of the day’s round. I was hooked. Today, my dad loves to hear my stories about skiing in Jackson Hole, something he always wanted to do. But I’m more excited to share with him my golf stories. Yep, the sport I ridiculed and avoided is now something I truly love. And in Jackson Hole, it’s become my favorite thing to do. For me, there are many reasons – here are five of them:

1. Blue birdie summer days

Growing up in New Jersey, humidity was a familiar evil, so Jackson Hole’s lack of hot, sticky summer days make long stretches in the sun a pleasure. While it’s a short season here in the mountains, I’ve never spent a summer anywhere more spectacular. I love the crisp air, the just-warm-enough, non-scorching sun, the typically mild winds and the mid-day light rain showers that nourish the greens and native wildflowers. Jackson summers ensure an enjoyable round of golf whether you tee off bright and early, or start a round after work, ending it immersed in a magnificent vanilla sky sunset. Although our summer climate is often nothing short of perfection, it’s unfair

not to give credit to Jackson’s spring and fall. How cool is it that there are days in the spring where you can ski in the morning and golf the afternoon in Idaho? And fall brings forth weeks where the crisp air refreshes while colorful foliage turns the landscape luminous.

2. Fairway to friendships

A couple years ago Jackson Hole made Conde Nast Traveler’s list of the country’s friendliest cities, and I’d have to agree. Since moving here I have met some of the kindest, most genuine people – many of them on the golf course – and have had several friendships start and grow over golf games. My first summer here I joined a 9-hole ladies league at Jackson Hole Golf & Tennis and met a talented and FUN group of supportive golfers. In that first year I also attended one of Katie Colbert’s “Women who Wine” events where we went around the room sharing a bit about ourselves including our favorite Jackson Hole activity. Following several rock climbing, mountain biking and backcountry skiing responses, it was my turn, I said, “I really like to golf …” Minutes later Katie and I were exchanging numbers and making plans to play. We’ve enjoyed playing in the Fish ‘n Chips tournament every year since. And while I’ve found that

Although there are many ways to have a fun and active outdoor date in Jackson, I gotta say I think a round of golf might just top the list. The game demands patience, respect, etiquette, a good attitude and commitment – all qualities you want in a mate. Spending as many as four hours playing golf is a great way to get to know someone and offers the opportunity to celebrate the great plays and to bond over the frustrating, inevitable disasters. And if the disasters outweigh the celebrations, fortunately there’s the beverage cart!

into consideration before committing to a shot, trusting what you know, but always learning something new. And I find it exciting (and maddening) that you can blow up one day and break your own personal record the next. Although it still surprises me, given the choice, I would take a round of golf in Jackson over a day of skiing. As he loves to hear, my dad was right. I’m glad I learned how to play golf, and playing with him and my mom now is valuable beyond words. To play the sport I’ve grown to love in this incredible town I’m so lucky to call home is an even greater gift. Ben Hogan said it well: “As you walk down the fairway of life you must smell the roses, for you only get to play one round.”

4. Après-golf

Skiing isn’t the only après scene in Jackson. Aside from that handy beverage cart option, Teton County golf courses offer a variety of enjoyable post-game atmospheres. Unwinding fireside on the patio at Jackson Hole Golf & Tennis with the most stunning Teton views or bellying up to Teton Pines’ newly renovated bar are just a couple of cool spots for bites and beverages while happily rehashing the hits and misses of the day’s round. The relaxed après-golf scene is also a great way to socialize and meet new people to expand your Jackson Hole golf buddy Rolodex.

5. The wildlife plays through

While playing golf in Jackson I have observed bison, moose, elk, mule deer, bald eagles, marmots, trumpeter swans, and, of course, the occasional waddling family of ducks. Just like everywhere else in Teton County, wildlife has the right of way. I recall a round at Teton Pines where our group had to wait it out for nearly 30 minutes while two moose held our pushcarts, with our clubs and handbags on board, hostage. My golf game has enjoyed many of those special “only in Jackson” moments as deer prance across the fairway or bison stand stoic in the rough, and I always find the scurrying marmots on the 11th hole at Jackson Hole Golf & Tennis totally charming. The array of enchanting wildlife found on the courses here is a humbling reminder of the natural uniqueness we experience by simply getting outside. In general, I appreciate how golf is a sport where your improvement can be clearly tracked with scores and a handicap. I enjoy the mental aspect of it, taking multiple factors ISSUE 10 | 2017 • JHGOLFERMAGAZINE.COM


























T H E J OY 46








Bandon Dunes, Oregon

The golf paradise you’ ve alwa ys dreamed existed. by Chris “Nezz” Pierce

Following the recommendation of friends, we packed up the Ford Motel and headed west. Battling heavy snow showers across Idaho and predictable Oregon downpours along the way, it seemed more probable that we were headed somewhere slopeside rather than embarking on a golf adventure. But as luck would have it, and with a little guidance from above, this momentous trip would grace us with Utopian weather much like we had experienced the previous year in Tacoma, Washington, at Bandon’s sister resort, Chambers Bay. The moment we arrived at Bandon it was apparent that something special was waiting. Lush, emerald green vegetation complemented by the gentle sounds of birds meandering through the mature evergreen trees surrounded us. As we approached the main clubhouse, the path opened to a breathtaking view of the rugged coastline and an attractive, yet not pretentious main lodge and campus-like atmosphere of colorful well-dressed golfers anxiously awaiting tee times.



Four breathtaking golf courses reside along the cliff-lined Oregon Coast: Bandon Dunes, developed in 1999; Bandon Pacific in 2002; Bandon Trails in 2004; and Old MacDonald in 2006. Additionally, a 13-hole Par-3 executive course, Bandon Preserve, was added in 2012, and the Punch Bowl, an 18-hole putting course, was installed in 2014. “The Punchbowl was designed by Tom Doak with Jim Urbina. It’s a 2.5-acre putting course that is fun to play with any size group of friends and/or family either between rounds or to celebrate the end of your day,” explains Brandon Carter, Bandon Dunes head golf professional. “I think what makes it so popular is that it’s a great place to settle some bets on a level playing field. Everyone has the ability to hole a putt, which means less stress and more fun.“ Adding to the ever-expanding vision of owner Michael Keiser and Kemper Sports is a fifth fulllength course called Sheep Ranch. Upon completion, Sheep Ranch will boast one of the most majestic ocean golf holes in the world. Each course has its own dining facility, putting area and golf shop while a larger practice facility is a short shuttle ride away. A five-minute notice to the front desk summons a shuttle that whisks visitors to and from each golf course or restaurant like clockwork. As part of his vision, Keiser made Bandon a walking only course, eliminating golf carts and adding the use of private caddies to assist golfers, a very useful resource on Bandon’s tricky layout.

mostly in the deeply cut and very difficult bunkers. Having the expert tutelage of reading hidden breaks and avoiding difficult approach locations is a must when deciphering Bandon’s mysterious details. The slightest misread can leave you in an even worse position than when you started.

With the help of Scottish golf course architect David McLay-Kidd, a familiar Jackson Hole golf community name for his work designing Huntsman Springs in Driggs, Idaho, Keiser turned an eyesore into a work of art.

But if you have a creative mind and can think outside the lines, Bandon may reward you. One highly imaginative shot on the 18th green of Pacific Dunes, which required a blind approach and my back to the hole, remarkably ended with my ball a foot from the cup. A caddy in our group said, “I would have never considered that approach, nor would I have suggested it.”

Natural windswept sand dunes festooned with native golden fescue, Bandon in some ways resembles The Old Course at St. Andrews in Scotland, one of the oldest and most visited golf courses in the world. Bandon also brings to mind Pebble Beach in Monterey, California. Oversized, bonsailike wind-shaped pine trees add another layer of mystery and intrigue to this unique golf gem.

I responded with a laugh and a shrug, “You said creativity was a virtue on this course!” After lunch, Aly and I had the distinct pleasure of playing with Brandon Carter, the head professional. Somehow, afternoon conditions were even better than in the morning with a light onshore breeze, very uncommon for even the greatest of days on the coast.

The fairways and greens are a combination of tightly mowed fescue and bent grass, which grows atop a dense sandy geography, making drainage of Oregon’s temperamental downpours easy to manage. Erstwhile Bandon golfers might disagree with some degree of envy, as we were told mystical tales of monsoon rain and gale-force winds challenging even the toughest of golfers over the years.

Like kids on a school ditch day, the three of us exchanged our best golf memories like decadelong friends. Brandon’s jaw-dropping stories of Bandon lore included the 100-hole golf experience of playing all six courses, including Sheep Ranch, in one day. Brandon walked further than the distance of a marathon, and carded a hole-in-one on that adrenaline-fueled day. He explained that from sun up to sun down on the summer solstice groups of golfers attempt to recreate this remarkable feat or play as much golf as they can on the longest day of sunlight on the calendar. I managed to play 49 holes in 36 hours, a minor achievement in comparison to the wild stories of endurance we heard from fellow guests and employees.

On our second day the morning started with a crisp round at Pacific Dunes, noted as one of the best courses in North America. Naturally eroded coastal cliffs, dynamic ocean views and windsculpted dunes surround rippling velvet fairways and large undulating greens. It was a true testament to the importance of a caddy on the Bandon courses, since the first nine holes were spent



or the past seven years my girlfriend Aly, a.k.a. “Caddytender,” and I have had the opportunity to visit and write about some of the most beautiful courses along the Pacific Coast from Mexico to Washington. This year, we returned to the Pacific Northwest to play Bandon Dunes Golf Resort in Bandon, Oregon. Located approximately 100 miles north of the California border and 250 miles south of Portland, Bandon sits along the rugged Oregon coastal cliff line.

As a walk-only course located in a remote location where it rains a heavy percentage of the year, the Bandon project was met with heavy skepticism. Additionally, the rugged land on which Bandon was developed was nothing more than an abandoned logging site overrun by an invasive and thorny coastal plant, gorse, further muddying the vision that would eventually become one of America’s premier golf destinations.

Brandon detailed some of the additional tournament services golfers can enjoy while at Bandon.

Head golf pro, Brandon



“As the resort has grown so has the local community. The Bandon Preserve is a wonderful example of this growth and local support,” says Michael Chupka, Bandon Resort communications director. “[The nonprofit’s] focus is funding community projects on the South Coast of Oregon that are committed to triple-bottom-line results - conservation, community, economy.” Not to be overlooked during your trip is the town of Bandon, a neat little town six miles from the resort that is full of charming shops, restaurants and a fascinating history dating back to the late 1800s. Cranberry farming and logging are the most notable industries in Bandon beyond golf tourism. Coastal air, mild climate and sandy soil provide the perfect recipe for cranberry agriculture.

Our overall experience at Bandon Dunes was exceptional from the moment we arrived until it was time to pack up our clubs and memories and go home. Never have we experienced a more organized, professional operation that felt so organic and unforced. Every member of the staff exuded a positive attitude and sincere energy, as if they were as thankful to be there as the guests. “We have 550 employees as well as 300-plus caddies during the summer months that populate Bandon,” says Chupka. “The culture our founder, Mr. Keiser, fosters creates an appealing workplace.” For Aly and I, each new spring golf escape from the Jackson Hole’s deep winter marks a milestone in our continued love affair of life, golf, food, wine, friends, happiness, health and new adventures. In turn, each trip motivates us to leave a similar imprint on the lives of the people we meet along the way. Like the ma jority of our past travels, we left Bandon with big smiles, sore legs, and new friends to accompany a lifelong memory of a golf paradise you have always dreamed existed

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“We can create a custom scoreboard, scorecards and take care of all the scoring for any type of event,” Brandon said. “This allows for groups to simply focus on enjoying the golf experience. Night golf is another option which includes anything from a four-hole scramble to a putting contest at the Punchbowl.” The 13-hole Bandon Preserve short course serves as more than just a good warm up track. The facility also included as part of its development the preservation of the silver phacelia, an endangered Oregon plant species that is now flourishing. Additionally, all the proceeds from Bandon Preserve are donated to local charities and organizations to further support the economic development of the once declining, now tourism-rich Bandon town.


A special thank you to all who helped make our visit to Bandon Dunes truly amazing including, but not limited to: Michael Chupka, Brandon Carter, Timothy Cahill, all reservation desk and restaurant staff, shuttle drivers, Madison at The Wheelhouse for the history lesson, Caro's petsitting service in Coos Bay, and in particular my "caddytender" Aly for everything.







Dropping tee shots on Jackson Hole Mountain Resort’s steepest chutes. BY BRIAN SIEGFRIED





hen skiing in Tensleep Bowl below the infamous Corbet’s Couloir, it is not uncommon to hear hoots and hollers from above. Usually, however, it’s because a skier or snowboarder has just hucked their meat or stuck the feat, flashing the 50-degree chute or spreading their gear to the delight of those leaning on their poles and staring down. But on this sunny, warm, slushy late March day at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, the only item bouncing down North America’s bestknown skiing testpiece was a bright yellow tennis ball. This time of year is definitely the silly season at the resort, with throwback gear, tutus, super hero costumes and Rainier pounders commonplace. Taking it to the next level, however, was this co-ed group of five or six golfers who brought their golf clubs and desire for some spring golf in snowbound Wyoming to new heights. About 10,000 feet above sea level to be exact. The best part about it is, I don’t know their names or why they were doing it, which is pretty much how the best skiers on the mountain go about their daily shredding. They weren’t taking photos of themselves or trying to draw attention. Being the intrepid golf reporter I am, however, I couldn’t help following them for a few “holes.” I didn’t really talk to them, have no idea how they got their golf bags on the tram, or know how the ski patrol felt about it. But I got the iPhone shots to prove it. The lip of Corbet’s Couloir served as the first tee box with the “hole” a large boulder in the middle of Tensleep Bowl about a quarter mile and 400 vertical feet away. The snow was soft but firm after several days without new snowfall, allowing one tee shot to land right on it for a hole in one. No shit. From there they ripped over to the top of Meet Your Maker, an equally steep but shorter chute above Amphitheatre, for the second tee box. The “hole” was the bottom of the Cirque, which required working past a large band of cliffs. This time the golfers skied the chutes, truly marrying the two activities. My favorite picture is of the ringleader pointing it down Meet Your Maker with the golf bag over his shoulder. Look closely and you can see his ski poles in the bag. After that they worked their way over to Study Plots for what looked like a hole ending somewhere in Lower Dick’s Ditch. I went to Thunder Lift to make some turns, which is, after all, why I was there that day.





hen Arnold Palmer, golf’s greatest celebrity and cheerleader, died September 25, 2016, the loss was felt throughout the golf world and beyond, including here in Jackson Hole. Teton Pines is one of more than 300 golf courses worldwide Mr. Palmer designed (most of them, like the Pines, with his partner Ed Seay) and he traveled here at least four times during the design process and subsequently. Many Jackson Hole residents counted him as a personal friend, colleague and business partner, and I’m sure several could share much more personal and fascinating remembrances than the one I recount below. However, I was lucky enough to meet Mr. Palmer on two separate occasions and this is my story. The first time I met Mr. Palmer was in 1997 on his 68th birthday, when Randy Conroy and I caddied for him – me the front nine, Randy the back nine. I was the caddiemaster at the time, so I assigned myself the loop (duh!), and Randy was an assistant pro. Mr. Palmer played in a foursome with the head pro, John Haines, and two members, Bob Hughes and former LPGA Commissioner Charlie Meacham. Mr. Palmer finished with a 71 that included three birdies. Despite his age, Mr. Palmer easily overpowered the course from the members’ tees with long, fairwaysplitting drives and precision approach shots

that had him tapping in for par after missing a makeable birdie putt on hole after hole. I shook his hand twice, first when we were introduced and again after the round. I was struck by how large and calloused his hands were, and how he made the golf club look like a toy in them and a hard game look easy. To my surprise, Mr. Palmer asked for my advice from the start and on nearly every shot. Unfortunately some bad advice from me led to the only blemish on his card, a double-bogey on the par 3 eighth. I suggested he could get there with a strong 9-iron. His shot came up short, just failing to clear the pond. He grabbed the 8-iron, reteed his ball, and hit it right over the stick and beyond the hole by 40 feet. His downhill comeback putt lipped out. On the back nine we were chased off the 12th green by a sudden, very powerful hailstorm that was followed by rain and lightning, which we waited out in a nearby shelter off the seventh fairway. Check out the scorecard from the round, where I note the weather and Mr. Palmer’s quote, “Been there done that.” Not sure exactly what he meant by that or why I wrote it down. Also note that I counted 40 people sharing that shelter, which was a very tight fit. Mr. Palmer was clearly unsettled by the lightning and I was sure he would have liked nothing more than to get back to the club-

house as soon as possible. Perhaps his comment came from a lifetime spent on the links and personal knowledge of how deadly lightning can be. The feeling was not necessarily mutual, however, as many of the people huddled in that shelter were very excited to be sharing it with a living golf legend that was also one of the best-known people in the world. I think a desire not to disappoint his fellow players influenced the decision to play on once the storm passed. Mr. Palmer was well known for a personal connection to his fans, friends and fellow golfers and on this day that was evident. He looked everyone in that shelter in the eye, listened to every word they said. He asked questions. He remembered their names. When we finished the round, a sizeable crowd awaited the group at the clubhouse, and he shook each and every one of their hands too, of course. The second time I met Mr. Palmer was about 10 years ago when he was in Jackson to weigh in on a remodel of Teton Pines. It was a brief and less memorable moment, but I cherish the opportunity and the Teton Pines caddy hat he signed for me that day.

Mr. Palmer left mark here, too The King made several trips to his Teton Pines design. 56






“Pink Garter” (Town Square to Jackson Hole Airport) Par 307

While this hole is clearly not driveable for any but the biggest hitters in the group, the clever tee-box angle provides plenty of options. Conservative players may opt to lay up with an easy fade into the Wildlife Museum target zone, while more aggressive players may opt for the “Big Amangani Draw.” Those who do opt for this right-to-left angle should remember that Spring Gulch Road is clearly OB. Once you’ve achieved the final approach to airport, golfers will enjoy one of the flattest and most forgiving putting surfaces on our course, assuming they can avoid the string of NetJets protecting its northern flank.



“Bounder Fumes” (Blacktail Butte to Jenny Lake) Par 191

The shortest par 191 on the course, the second hole is a mirror image of the legendary eighth hole at Augusta National, with the exception of lodgepole pines, granite schist and a 420-foot-deep lake covering 1,200 acres. Pleasantly shaped by the big designer in the sky (We miss you Arnie!), this hole does have some teeth and will bite back at the golfer who lacks the necessary accuracy. And by teeth, we mean bears. While these honorary course rangers are excellent at speeding up the pace of play, they do get “hangry” from time to time. If confronted by one of our furry volunteers, please drop your clubs and huddle in a fetal position on the ground around a Pinnacle. That’ll do the trick, as even bears have standards.

Teton tee-athalon takes mountain golf to absurd heights. BY DREW SIMMONS



here are long golf courses. There are hard courses. There are rough courses. And then there is our course, which is longer, harder and rougher than a nonstop drive to Tetonia after six cups of coffee and an all-you-can-eat chicken fried steak breakfast buffet. The overarching architectural goal of our high elevation test of mettle and muscle was not merely to create the most difficult course in the world, but rather to craft the most excruciating golf “experience” in the mountain universe.



“French Pointer” (Grand Teton, Owen Spaulding Route) Par 13,777

With every added twist and turn, every blind shot and not-so-sculpted landing area, we have sought to create a one-of-a-kind venue that is as creatively brilliant as Sergio’s practice-day iron play, yet as painfully challenging as sitting through a PGA celebrity roast of Bubba Watson. We want each and every guest at our course to take away more than a sweat and blood-stained scorecard. We want them to go home with all the long-lasting bruises that go with it. We want them to rethink that crosshanded putting grip, to reconsider that extra

leg bump in their long iron, and to research “new hobbies” on Pinterest. We believe that golf needs to get away from the rampant relaxation and enjoyability of “civilized” mountain golf that has plagued our sport for too long. Golf isn’t a picnic. It should be a minimally supported ordeal — a grueling physical test in which survival, let alone completion, is in doubt at all times. Golf needs our course now, more than ever. Golf needs the Teton Tee-athlon, known within the small (very, very small) circle of participants, as the “Snack at the Turn.”

On the striking third hole, the rise from tee to pin is larger than it seems, so make sure to take enough club. While the summit green delivers the most striking views on our course, be aware it also delivers the most 300 putts. We recommend leaving your bag at the saddle and carrying just a putter and wedge for the final approach. Depending on your path to the green, there may be a mild to severe drop-off to the left and right. Don’t look down, but do repair all divots.


“Four Hundred Pines” (Grand Teton to Mount Glory) Par 666

Designed for the ball strikers in the group, the distinctive feature of this tee shot is the visual aiming tool of the Middle Teton. While this 12,805-foot peak obstructs the view of the fairway center, it makes up for it by providing a pretty wicked bounce if you hit it just right. Follow the natural contours of the Teton Crest trail to a landing area short of Death Canyon. (Designer note: anytime you see “death” in the name of a course feature, it’s a wise idea to lay up). From there, well-struck fairway woods will reward golfers with a relatively easy downward roll from Mount Glory to the Teton Pass parking lot. Reminiscent of the Valley of Sin on The Old Course, the final chip from the fringe requires a skillful touch as the break rolls hard – very hard – to both the east and west.

5 88

“Betty” (Teton Pass to Trail Creek Ranch) Par

Perched parallel to the visually intriguing landscape of Telemark Bowl, our signature par 88 is a great place for a photo opportunity, as it provides a spectacular view of the valley the way the first non-native golfers in the area saw it in the 1800s. Well known in the lore of Jackson Hole, avid pros Davey “1-iron” Jackson and John “Swing Lube“ Coulter thought the natural round formation of the valley reminded them of a golf cup, so they originally named the area “Jackson’s 30-foot Birdie Putt Hole”. Over the ensuing decades, the moniker was shortened for marketing and SEO purposes. Aim your tee shot for the old asphalt of the Old Pass Road to achieve maximum distance, but be warned that the farther right the golfer goes off the tee, the more difficult the approach becomes.

6 420

“Green Highway” (Wilson to Red Top Meadows) Par

The turn south starts from the front lobby of Teton Gravity Research and follows the burbling trout habitat of Fish Creek. With the prevailing wind in Wilson blowing increasingly from the right, it’s always interesting to see what options golfers choose for the challenge of our legendary “trophy home carry.” Poor ball control through this feature will extract a one-shot penalty, as well as possible legal action.


“Miracle Mile” (Lunch Counter to Hoback Junction) Par Double Bunny No. 6

Flanked by the Snake River for its entirety, the lengthy seventh hole has created a welldeserved reputation for lost balls. In the sage words of our legendary Golfer-in-Chief: “left is right, right is wrong, and mulligans cost a thousand bucks unless you own the course.” Getting out of here with a 150 should make every golfer proud of their accomplishment and ready to move on to the remaining two holes of the side.


“Flowering Crabtree” (Hoback Junction to Rodeo Grounds) Par 8 seconds

Potentially the most difficult hole on the course due to the developmental density in the area, golfers will be faced with a lot of real estate between them and this compact green – including a 4-bedroom ranch for $900k, a 5-bedroom family place for $1.2m and a 3-bedroom duplex for $600k (all available through Rad Golf Real Estate of Jackson Hole and my blog, www.radgolfersbuylandfromme. blogspot.com. Don’t forget to sign up for the weekly newsletter, “Deals and Divots”). This hole is roughly modeled after the 16th at Sun Valley (Ketchum to Warm Springs), with the exception of actual year-round residents under the age of 60. On the inside corner of the dogleg right is the largest supermarket on the property. Experienced golfers will play over the top of the produce section to achieve the most rewarding line to the hole.


“Polaris” (Rodeo Grounds to Snow King Summit) Par 1000 cc

The key to this challenging tee shot is to keep one leg pointing left, one leg pointing right, and your mind in the middle. A severe fairway corner banks from the softball diamond up Exhibition to the summit, challenging golfers to seriously lay on the throttle for the drive to the summit. Remember – the standard penalty for going OB right on this hole is stroke and distance. But the penalty for not swinging hard enough is a four stroke. See you on the back 9. Drew Simmons is a freelance writer living in a van parked near the water hazard on the 14th hole. His recent “work” can be found in The Drake, Jackson Hole Golfer and WickedOutdoorsy.com. ISSUE 10 | 2017 • JHGOLFERMAGAZINE.COM