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VOLUME 4 •  ISSUE 1 • APRIL 2010 • COMPLIMENTARY

SPRING’S HOT NEW STICKS

MAUI AFFORDABLE ELEGANCE NORTHWEST GOLF NEWS & VIEWS

RYAN MOORE LEADS LOCAL SURGE ON THE PRO TOURS SAHALEE & CHAMBERS PREP FOR A BIG YEAR

Spring Breakers

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PUETZ GOLF SUPERSTORES

TH ANNIVERSARY 1945 - 2010

See page 9 for details.

PRSRT STD U.S. POSTAGE PAID Permit # 231 Seattle,WA


CASCADE

GOLFER

Volume 4 •  Issue 1 •  APRIL 2010

A LOOK

CASCADE

GOLFER

www.cascadegolfer.com Cascade Golfer is published and owned by Varsity Communications, Inc. This publication is mailed free to more than 106,000 registered Puetz Golf Preferred members. Additional copies are printed and distributed throughout the Puget Sound.

VARSITY COMMUNICATIONS, INC. 12510 33rd Ave. NE, Suite 300 Seattle, WA 98125 P: (206) 367-2420 F: (206) 363-9099 www.varsitycommunications.com

EDITORIAL STAFF

P R E S I D E NT / P U B LI S H E R Dick Stephens E D I TO R Brian Beaky ART DIRECTION Robert Becker GR APHIC DESIGNERS Robert Becker, Heather Flyte, John Kimball CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Tony Dear, Jim Moore, Mark Moschetti, Bob Sherwin, Craig Smith FOR EDITORIAL SUBMISSIONS AND INQUIRIES: Brian Beaky • (206) 367-2420 ext. 1209 editor@cascadegolfer.com

ADVERTISING & MARKETING STAFF

V I C E P R E S I D E NT / D I R E C TO R O F S AL E S Kirk Tourtillotte S A LE S M A N AG E R David Stolber S A LE S & M A R K E T I N G Simon Dubiel, Ryan Amos FOR ADVERTISING INQUIRIES, CONTACT: David Stolber • (206) 367-2420 ext. 1204 david@varsitycommunications.com

ACCOUNTING STAFF

DIRECTOR OF FINANCE Bobbi Kramer ACCOUNTS PAYABLE & RECEIVABLE Pam Titland

PRINTING

Consolidated Press • Seattle, WA COPYRIGHT 2010 Cascade Golfer. PRINTED IN THE USA. All rights reserved. Articles, photos, advertising and / or graphics may not be reprinted without the written permission of the publisher. Advertising and editorial contained herein does not constitute endorsement of Cascade Golfer or Varsity Communications, Inc. Publisher reserves the right to edit letters, photos and copy submitted and publish only excerpts. The publisher has made every effort to ensure the accuracy of all material contained in this issue. However, as unpredictable changes and errors do occur, the publisher can assume no liability for errors, omissions or changes.

All photos are courtesy of the course or individual unless otherwise noted.

INSIDE

Departments 8

PUBLISHER’S PITCH

Features

24

10 SHORT GAME

• Prugh’s fast start • Freddie gets a win • Plan your own tourney • 2010 CG Readers’ Choice Awards! • Cascade Golfer Cup teeing off • Meridian CC cuts prices • Shh! Alderbrook’s our little secret • UW takes game indoors • SG Extra: Knockin’ it around with Kasey Keller

CHAMPIONSHIP FEVER

How Chambers Bay and Sahalee are prepping for their USGA close-ups

44

17 FROM THE FORWARD TEES

Quips and tips just for the ladies

20 PUETZ IN THE BAG

• Iron sets to impress • New drivers that rock

26 GOLF PERFORMANCE

Poor posture can ruin a good swing

30 PUETZ GOLF SAVINGS 35 RISK VS REWARD

Cedarcrest Golf Course • No. 11

DON’T CALL IT A COMEBACK A new coach and a new equipment from Scratch Golf have helped Ryan Moore get his game on track

36 ROAD HOLES

The road trip of a lifetime to Bandon Dunes

50 TRAVEL BAG

Maui on a CG-friendly budget

56 SAVE SOME GREEN

Kayak Point headlines north-end favorites

62 POSTGAME

20

High-tech clubs debut at PGA Show

Free dog and a drink? We’re in

CORRECTION: In our Dec. 2009 feature entitled “CG’s Desert Delights,” we improperly stated the cost of Desert Willow’s recent renovation as $11 million, when it should have said $1 million. In the same feature, we misstated the URL for Golf Mesquite Nevada. The correct URL is golfmesquitenevada.com. Also, Indian Wells resort was incorrectly listed as being in La Quinta, when it is in fact in Indian Wells.

PROUD CHARTER MEMBER

ON THE

COVER

The scenery at Bandon Dunes is eye-popping — but that’s nothing compared to the golf. SEE THE STORY ON PAGE 36. Photo by Wood Sabold, woodsabold.com • Cover design by Rob Becker.

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APRIL APRIL 2010 2010

cascadegolfer.com


PUBLISHER’S PITCH

DICK STEPHENS

Our dream team of writers bring a wealth of knowledge and experience you deserve each and every issue

S

pring is in the air. We are nearly done with our winter golf slumber and just a few short weeks away from being in the thick of the season. In addition to publishing Cascade Golfer, our company, Varsity Communications, also produces consumer golf expos throughout the west, and I’ve seen in the faces of our attendees this year that they are eager to head back out onto the links. I also think people are becoming fed up with economic stress and that now, more than ever, they need that time on the course to unwind and chill. With that in mind, we want your experience with Cascade Golfer to always feel like it was time well-spent. From the beginning, we have tried to align ourselves with quality, respected golf writers and sports journalists that have a unique flair – not stuffy or protected, but open, inviting and just plain fun. This magazine has always been about inclusiveness and stimulation, with hopes that when you finish the last page, you can’t wait to grab your sticks and head out the door. With a circulation that reaches over 110,000 golfers, Cascade Golfer is the largest golf publication in the state, and among the largest sports-specific publications in the Far West. Since 100 percent of that circulation hits the Puget Sound golfer, we have the honor of bringing you a “Who’s Who” list of local journalists that is second-tonone among sports publications in the Pacific Northwest. In this issue alone, we have contributions from: • JIM MOORE — A long-time Seattle P-I columnist, Jim currently writes for SeattlePI.com and is a frequent guest host on 710 ESPN. Jim is all about golf and has been Seattle sports’ “Go-2-Guy” for years. His writing is fun, direct and speaks to golfers. • TONY DEAR — Our British weapon has a style that stands alone. His work — including articles and books on golf — have been read around the world and has received national and international awards and acclaim. Tony’s been with us since the very beginning, and is a

unique voice for the magazine. • BOB SHERWIN – A Seattle Times columnist for many years, Bob now writes regularly for the Associated Press, MLB.com and the New York Times — when not working on CG, of course. Bob’s words are published across the globe, and we’ve been privileged to have him grace our pages since our very first issue in 2007. • CRAIG SMITH – A Seattle sportswriting icon, Craig is best known for his “Sideline Smitty” column that appeared weekly in the Seattle Times before his retirement in December of 2008. He’s been recognized by the Northwest Golf Media Association and has covered more sports and golf in this region than almost anyone over the last three decades. Lastly, you have our editor, Brian Beaky, and myself. With nearly 13 years’ experience in the Seattle sports market, Brian’s connections and contributions to this magazine, both as a writer and editor, have gone a long way towards making each issue of CG such a muchanticipated read. As for me, I have been golfing all my life and have published three different golf titles over the last 20 years. I don’t write much anymore, but when I do, I feel at home and enjoy sharing experiences and relating to the average golfers. It’s not the norm for a publication to shed light on the editorial staff, but this is not a normal golf publication. We felt it was important to let you know that we take our coverage seriously, so we bring serious talent to the table in putting out a quality product that is “growing.” We truly appreciate each and every one of our readers. I am continually amazed at the responses we get from you all — please, keep them coming. We hope you will let us know what you want to see even more in 2010 and look forward to meeting you at our Cascade Golfer Cup events this year. Enjoy the start of the season, and take it easy.

ADVERTISER INDEX

WANT TO REACH 110,000+ PUGET SOUND GOLFERS? ADVERTISE IN CASCADE GOLFER! Contact David Stolber • sales@cascadegolfer.com • (206) 367-2420, ext.1204 Xxxxxx. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 Xxxxxx. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 Xxxxxx. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 2010 U.S. Senior Open . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 3D Physical Therapy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60 Alderbrook Properties. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Apple Tree Resort . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60 Auburn Golf Course. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43 Ballinger Lake Golf Course . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Brasada Ranch. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Camaloch Golf Course . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Cascade Golfer Cup. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47 Classic Golf Club. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46

6

APRIL 2010

Coeur d’Alene Golf. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49 DiabloGolf.com. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Eaglemont Golf Club. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57 Eagle Crest Resort. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58 Fairview Condominiums. . . . . . . . . . . . . 59 GolfTEC. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Golf Vacations. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Lake House at Chelan. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57 Michelob Ultra. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63 Mount Si Golf Course . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Muckleshoot Casino . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11, 64 O’Brien House at Bandon. . . . . . . . . . . . 41 Oki Golf. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15

OnPar GPS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54 Palouse Ridge . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Running Y Ranch. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 Semiahmoo Resort . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41 Seventh Mountain Resort . . . . . . . . . . . . 48 Sunshine Sports Marketing. . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Tetherow Golf Club. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Therapeutic Associates . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 Travel4Golf.com. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52 University Inn. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Wailea Resort. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55 Westin Maui Resort & Spa. . . . . . . . . . . . 53 Westwind Aviation. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35

cascadegolfer.com


PUETZ GOLF SUPERSTORES TH Anniversary

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1945 - 2010

FIRST PLACE

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th

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PUETZ GOLF SUPERSTORES SEATTLE 11762 Aurora Ave. N. Seattle, WA 98133 (206) 362-2272 (800) 390-7078

BELLEVUE 1645 140th Ave. N.E. Bellevue, WA 98005 (425) 747-0664 (866) 362-7234

TUKWILA 402 Strander Blvd. Tukwila, WA 98188 (206) 439-1740 (866) 362-4279

TACOMA 6409 Tacoma Mall Blvd. Tacoma, WA 98409 (253) 474-8288 (866) 362-2045

Entry form must be completely filled in to win! See store for complete rules. One entry per person. Entry must be received by 04/30/10. Drawing held 05/3/10. Anniversary Sale prices good 4/1/10 to 4/31/10. Some photos may not be exact representations. Selection varies per store. Discounts figured from manufacturer’s original list price. See store for complete details. Advertised items subject to available stock on hand. Puetz Golf is committed to truthful and accurate advertising. We are, however, not responsible for printing errors.

8

APRIL 2010

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PUETZ GOLF SUPERSTORES

APRIL is

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Anniversary Sale prices good 4/1/10 to 4/31/10. Some photos may not be exact representations. Selection varies per store. Discounts figured from manufacturer’s original list price. See store for complete details. Advertised items subject to available stock on hand. Puetz Golf is committed to truthful and accurate advertising. We are, however, not responsible for printing errors.

cascadegolfer.com

puetzgolf.com

APRIL 2010

9


Keep It Up, Alex!

SHORT GAME

BoomBoom’s Double

W

ell, that didn’t take long. Just two events into his PGA Champions Tour career, Fred Couples was back atop the leaderboard at the end of 72 holes at February’s ACE Group Classic in Naples, Fla. The win was Freddie’s first on the Dream senior circuit and 47th of his career, and his first since the Shell Houston Open in 2003. That’s not to say making Fred made it look easy theturn — leading by six at Price one point in the final SALE! round, Couples had to hold off a stunning 10-under run from Tommy Armour III over the latter’s final 13 holes. A birdie for Couples at 17 put the Jefferson Park alum back on top, though, and a smooth-as-always two-putt par at 18 sealed the deal. Of course, Freddy didn’t stop there. Less than a month later, he was raising the cup again, this time after a four-stroke win at the Toshiba Classic in California. Couples’ fellow PGA Champions Tour rookies — including Armour, Paul Azinger, Corey Pavin, Mark Calcavecchia and Kenny Perry — will have to hope he slows down before the Tour makes its Northwest swing. Local golf fans can catch their favorite son in action three times this summer, at the 2010 U.S. Senior Open at Sahalee (July 26-Aug. 1), the JELD-WEN Tradition at Bend’s Sunriver Resort (Aug. 16-22) and the Boeing Classic at TPC Snoqualmie Ridge (Aug. 23-29). Volume 3 • Issue 3 • August 2009 • Complimentary

We Unveil oUr Favorites

Win a trip to bandon in the 2009 CG ChallenGe

hit the road, JaCK FoUr easy nW road trips

Northwest golf News & views

Come see Us at

golf fest Northwest september 25-27

CasCade GolFer previeWs a pivotal year in the liFe oF seattle’s Favorite son

12

FREE!

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ENTER TO WIN A Stay-And-Play Package To Central Oregon! Log on to cascadegolfer.com for your chance to win! APRIL 2010

10

O n TOP DOWn un

2009

CasCaDe Golfer

W

hen Alex Prugh, the former Husky turned PGA pro, told our own Jim Moore last spring that he had no doubt he’d win an event on the big Tour by 2019, and that he hoped by then to be winning at least one PGA Tour event per year, we confess to thinking that the Spokane native might have been getting a little ahead of himself. Sure, Prugh had pocketed a nice payday for a win at the PGA Nationwide Tour’s New Zealand Open last February, almost ensuring that he would finish high enough on the money list to earn his PGA Tour card at the end of the year, but his game had come back to the earth in the half dozen or so tournaments between the big win and our publication deadlines, a period in which he earned a mere $14,000 (that’s “mere” by pro golf standards … a gig we really need to get into). The ranks of pro golf are littered with guys who could cut it in the game’s minor leagues, but it takes a special breed to be able to survive at golf’s highest level. Well, consider us believers. Six weeks into the 2010 PGA Tour season, Prugh ranked higher on the PGA Tour money list (13th) than he did on the Nationwide Tour money list at the end of 2009 (16th). His three top-10 finishes — in his first four events as a pro, a feat for which PGA Tour officials can find no precedent — equaled Steve Stricker for the most of any golfer on Tour through the season’s first two months, while his $585,246 in season earnings were just $85,000 or so shy of the high-$600,000s usually needed to guarantee a finish in those all-important top-125 spots. He also ranked 14th in the FedEx Cup standings with 331 points, a mere 32 points behind the magic number that served as the cutoff for last year’s end-of-season playoff series designed to weed out all but the best of the best (by comparison, last year’s 14th-place finisher in the FedEx Cup standings was Phil Mickelson). At least we can take solace in the fact that we weren’t the only ones surprised by Prugh’s rapid success. The entire golf world has been buzzing about Prugh all spring, and even the man himself admits to maybe being

DeR

Alex PRugh’s win at March’s neW ZeAlAnD OPen has a former husky golfer riding high

W

hile you’re waiting for Ryan Moore to take off as a pro like he did as an amateur, check out another in-state product who is soaring on the Nationwide Tour. By Jim Moore Alex Prugh, who played at Ferris High in Spokane and the University of Washington, won the New Zealand Open in March with a final-round 64, putting himself on This is only Prugh’s second year the doorstep of the PGA Tour. on the Nationwide Tour. He was in semi-contention With $127,303 in earnings, Prugh at the Eugene stop last is fourth on the year, but never truly felt in the heat of the battle Nationwide Tour money list. At because the end of the year, the leaders teed off well after he did. Prugh the top-25 earn their PGA Tour was third in cards, but Prugh could that event, his best career finish before New get to the major circuit this season Zealand. if he wins two more He knew his game was coming Nationwide events. along and knew he was capable, but still. The way he That’s called a battlefield promotion. fought from behind and The three-time won going away ranks as one of the more memorable winner would go directly to the PGA Tour for the rest of achievements in the history of the storied event. the 2009 season and would also be exempt in 2010. After bogeying No. 7 in the final round, Prugh was five “Definitely, that’s my goal,” said Prugh, speaking from shots behind the leader. Nothing to that point suggested his home in Las Vegas, where he was taking a two-week a maiden victory was within his reach. He break in late April and early May. three-putted, “That would be sweet.” walked off the green and told Can he do it? his caddie, Zach Bixler, another former UW golfer, that there “Oh yeah,” Prugh said. “Someone’s were a lot of birdie got to win a holes left. tournament. The first one’s the hardest.” For Prugh anyway, there were a couple He won the New Zealand Open of eagle holes in amazingly easy coming, too. Talk about a jump-start — on the fashion. Normally, a player must par-4 8th, be in contention and Prugh holed out from 127 yards for a deuce. suffer some kind of hardship, perhaps several times, “All right,” Prugh told himself. “Now before breaking through. I’m back into it.” He was frustrated by missed birdie opportunities at

24

June 2009

Nos. 9 and 10, but he birdied 11, 12 and 14 to get within a stroke or two of the lead. Prugh drove the par-4 15th, but three-putted from the fringe for par. At the par-3 16th, he moved in front, draining a 25-footer for birdie. He went to the 17th tee hoping for two great shots to reach the par-5. He got them, then produced an even better one with his eagle putt — Prugh figures it was 25 feet and it must have broken three feet right into the cup. Just like that, he had a four-shot lead and played 18 on cruise control, knowing that if he could just avoid a disaster, he’d win in a breeze. Prugh parred the hole, and there he stood as the New Zealand Open champion, receiving a Maori ceremonial cloak from New Zealand’s lefty legend, Bob Charles. The payday was worth $113,684. Prugh went 8-under on his last 11 holes and shot a backside 30. He won by three strokes, going 19-under 269, mastering the layout at The Hills Golf Club in Queenstown. “I took a lot of confidence from that,” he said. “I wasn’t nervous. It happened so quick.” At Ferris High, Prugh became the third in his family to win a Class 4A state golf championship following his brother Corey, who also played at the UW, and father Steve, who won the title in 1972. Steve Prugh, the head pro at Manito Golf and Country cascadegolfer.com

cascadegolfer.com June 2009

the tiniest bit surprised that his bold predictions of a year ago are coming true so quickly. “To an extent, I’m surprised,” Prugh said in an interview with the Seattle Times after back-to-back fifth-place finishes at the Bob Hope Classic and Farmers Insurance Open to start the year. “I didn’t think I necessarily would start this well, but that’s why you tee it up, to compete and try to win. I definitely knew I could compete.” Sure, it’s early in the season and many of the game’s greats have yet to play in more than 1-2 events each (or zero, in the case of a certain elusive defending FedEx Cup champion), but Prugh’s success can’t be chalked up to merely watered-down fields — after all, every player pulling his sticks out of his bag each week is facing those same foes, and yet very few can claim to have their seasons off to a better start. The numbers don’t lie: the former Washington Husky ranked third at press time in two of the most telling Tour stats, including total driving (combining distance and accuracy) and all-around ranking, which combines a player’s ranking in eight key categories. Between Prugh making a run at PGA Tour Rookie of the Year, current Husky Nick Taylor ranking among the world’s top amateurs, former Husky Paige Mackenzie preparing for a breakout season on the LPGA Tour, Fred Couples back on top of the leaderboards again on the PGA Champions Tour, and a pair of USGA events coming to Western Washington this summer (see page 24), 2010 is shaping up as the year Seattle took over the global golf world — a year we’re looking forward to enjoying with you, every shot of the way. cascadegolfer.com

25


No Partners? No Problem

L

ike many brothers, Seattle-area residents Patrick and Tom Jentz have always been competitive. No matter what the contest, having a little wager on the line has always made the action just a little more intense. When the brothers would play golf, however, they often found that the twosomes they were paired with were wary of a high-stakes game — and after all, when two guys you’ve never met, whose handicaps you can only take their word for, want you to plunk down a fair bit of cash on a course you may never have played, and in a game with which you may not be familiar … well, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out why their fellow golfers might politely decline. Patrick and Tom had a problem. In addition to competitors, however, the two brothers have long been collaborators — and one day on the golf course, the solution became clear. Over the next year, the brothers — who collectively own and operate an internet marketing firm called xyzmedia.com — built DiabloGolf.com, a one-stop portal for golfers seeking a game. Registration is free and easy, and allows golfers to post matches — including the course, tee time, number of players, buyin, game format (low gross, match play, Nassau, etc.) and verifiable GHIN numbers of all players currently registered — and invite other golfers to join them. The beauty, says Patrick Jentz, is that golfers won’t have to show up on the first tee hoping to get a game —

instead, all of the golfers involved will know the stakes, the game and the buy-in before ever leaving the house, and can use the verifiable GHIN feature to ensure that the players against whom they’re competing are of an equal skill level. “It’s like in a game of poker — you want to know the stakes before you sit down at the table,” Jentz says. “Our idea was to bring that concept to golf by creating a place where golfers who want to play for money could get all the information they needed to ensure a fair, fun game.” In addition to matching up users, DiabloGolf also features detailed information on courses throughout the nation, including rates, tee times, user reviews and more. Courses, too, can log in and update their information — and post their own TeeVites — with plans for virtual pro shops in the works. “Nobody’s put everything together in one place like this before — sorting tee times, getting a game, finding and reviewing courses, verifying GHIN numbers — it really is the first of its kind,” Jentz says. In fact, to celebrate the site’s official launch, Jentz is giving the first 1,000 users who complete the site’s free registration using the promotional code “CASCADE” a coupon good for a free sleeve of Callaway Big Bertha Diablo golf balls, redeemable at any Puetz Golf location. Free registration and free balls? That doesn’t sound like much of a risky wager at all.

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ballingerlakegolf.com 23000 Lakeview Dr., Mountlake Terrace, WA. 98043 Must present ad to receive discounts. Not valid with tournaments or in combination with other specials. Offer expires May 31, 2010

THE FIRST-EVER CASCADE GOLFER

I

READERS’ CHOICE AWARDS!

n the three years since we began publishing Cascade Golfer, we’ve listened to your feedback and done our best to make this magazine into what you’ve told us you want. You know the game of golf in the Northwest — the people, the products and the courses — just as well as we do, and you let us know when we’ve hit the mark, or when we’ve swerved off target. That’s why, for the first time ever, we’re turning over an entire section of the magazine to you! Last August, we published our Cascade Golfer Dream 18, a composite of our favorite holes in the state, as submitted and voted on by some of the state’s top pros, course designers, golf

writers and photographers. The feature was a big hit with our readers, many of whom told us about their ongoing efforts to play every hole listed at least once. This year, we’re taking the Dream 18 concept and blowing it up into the biggest, wildest idea we’ve ever had — the Cascade Golfer Readers’ Choice Awards! In every issue, we have the chance to tell you about our favorite courses, clubs and golf experiences. Now, we want to know what you think! From your favorite par-3s to the wedges that get you up and down from anywhere around the green, we want to hear from you!

YOU CHOOSE THE WINNERS! TOP COURSES

cascadegolfer.com

HOTTEST CLUBS

LOG ON Log on to cascadegolfer.com and vote for your favorites today! One lucky winner will receive a free round of golf!

APRIL 2010

11


SHORT GAME

An Exclusive Club At An Inclusive Price

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sst. If you’ve fallen asleep for two years and just awakened, you might want to know that the economy has tanked and we’ve been in a recession. One piece of evidence was Meridian Valley Country Club having a booth at the Seattle Golf Show to solicit new members – and at bargain prices. “It’s a sign of the times,” said head pro Greg Manley, noting that private-club memberships “are the first thing to go when people lose their jobs or disposable income.” Meridian Valley CC has a pedigree. The course outside Kent was designed by Ted Robinson, who also designed Sahalee. It opened in 1967. For 18 years through 1999,

it was the home of the Safeco Classic, the annual stop for the LPGA Tour. It has hosted the Washington Open Invitational six times, including last year. Meridian Valley memberships were selling for more than $40,000 in the 1990s but the club is now offering memberships for an initiation fee of $500 (yes, five hundred dollars). Dues for a member (including his or her family) are $220 monthly through this year. Other monthly fees: $89 clubhouse renovation assessment to help pay for the $6 million remodel and new pro shop projects completed in 2006, a $20 range fee and an $11 tax on monthly golf rounds. The “food minimum” fee is $150 a quarter. The current offer is good through April 1, according to an information sheet at the booth. The club’s board of trustees has final approval on whether an applicant is accepted. Meridian Valley is hardly the only club to be hit by the recession. Many other clubs have lowered initiation fees to entice new members. A few clubs (not Meridian Valley) even are allowing non-members who have always wanted to play a round on the course to pay greens fees and play at an off-peak hour. In other words, it’s not just the public-course prices that are coming down; if you’ve ever dreamed of private club membership, there has hardly been a more advantageous time to join. — Craig Smith

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE WINNERS

OF DECEMBER’S CASCADE GOLFER

ENTER-TO-WINS:

7-DAY PALM SPRINGS ULTIMATE VACATION John Logan • Shoreline STAY-AND-PLAY AT RANCHO LAS PALMAS Terry Wilde • Everett GOLFTEC LESSON PACKAGE Molly Angeles • Seattle

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APRIL 2010

cascadegolfer.com


The 2010 Cascade Golfer Cup — A Tournament For Golfers Like Us

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n our December issue, we teased you with some ideas about the 2010 Cascade Golfer Cup, a proposed series of six golf tournaments in varying formats to be held throughout the Northwest this spring and summer. Throughout the winter, we’ve been working hard to pin down the details of each event, booking courses and gathering prize packages, and have come to a very simple and humble conclusion … we may well have created the coolest golf tournament series ever contested in the Northwest. No, we’re not kidding. In our opinion, there are three elements that are necessary for a great event — awesome golf courses; fun, inclusive formats that give everyone a chance to win; and of course, over-the-top prizes. Check, check and check. Don’t just take my word for it, though. Decide for yourself. Prizes for the individual events will include stay-andplay packages to Hawaii, Las Vegas, Palm Springs, Mesquite, Nev.; Central Oregon, Lake Tahoe and more; tickets to USGA events including the 2010 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, the 2010 U.S. Amateur at Chambers Bay and the 2010 U.S. Senior Open at Sahalee; plus golf clubs and accessories, free lesson packages and rounds of golf at Pumpkin Ridge, Bear Mountain Ranch, Wine Valley, Willows Run, Druids Glen, Washington National, Trophy Lake, McCormick Woods, Mount Si and other top local courses. Oh, and that’s not even including the grand prize for the fourth event of the year, July’s Callaway Golf Classic at Gold Mountain, whose winners will be sent on a trip-of-alifetime to San Diego to play the area’s top tracks and be the guests of honor at the Callaway Performance Center (the same place Callaway fits its PGA Tour pros), where they’ll receive a private, custom club-fitting and a brandnew, 15-piece set of custom-made Callaway clubs. But that’s only half the story. In addition to competing for prizes, teams participating at any of the six Cascade Golfer Cup tournaments will accrue points towards the overall grand prize, the 2011 Summer Golf Package, featuring twosomes at more than 25 of the region’s top courses, golf products, and stay-

and-play packages to area resort destinations like Central Oregon and Lake Tahoe, Nev. — in all, a package valued at over $5,000. Each event will feature 72, two-person teams competing in a variety of formats, including Stroke Play Cumulative Score, Best Ball and Scramble. In addition to the grand prize, additional prizes will be awarded to the top-20 teams as part of an exclusive after-party hosted onsite by Michelob Ultra. Also included in the cost of entry for every golfer at every event will be a sleeve of Callaway golf balls, a post-round meal at the exclusive Michelob Ultra Awards party, drinks on the course and a free swing analysis from the teaching pros at GolfTEC. We’re kicking things off in style on May 1 at Chambers Bay — site of the 2010 U.S. Amateur and 2015 U.S. Open — where teams will compete in the Michelob Ultra Open for a trip to the 2010 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, compliments of tournament sponsor Michelob Ultra. Events will follow throughout the spring and summer on May 22 (Cascade Golfer Challenge at Druids Glen), June 12 (Monster Scrambe at McCormick Woods), July 24 (Callaway Golf Classic at Gold Mountain) and Aug. 14 (DiabloGolf.com Best Ball at Kayak Point), culminating with the Cascade Golfer Cup Championship at Druids Glen on Sept. 11. All six tournaments — including the Championship — will be open to any golfer with an established handicap and will be scored in net formats, allowing players of all ages and abilities to compete on a level playing field (prizes will also be awarded for low gross scores). You can play in just one, and go for the incredible individual prizes, or play in all six and try for that free summer of golf in 2011 — it’s completely up to you. Our only disappointment? That we’re not eligible to play. For more information on any or all of the six tournaments in the Cascade Golfer Cup — including schedules, entry fees, formats, point systems, etc. — contact Cascade Golfer tournament coordinator Simon Dubiel at 206-367-2420, x1236, or by e-mail at simon@ cascadegolfer.com, or visit cascadegolfer.com/cup.

The first event of the Cascade Golfer Cup will be played at Chambers Bay (below), site of this summer’s 2010 U.S. Amateur. Winners will receive a trip to the 2010 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach (left).

cascadegolfer.com

APRIL 2010

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SHORT GAME

The Best Drive You’ll Make This Year

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eople have been coming to Alderbrook Golf and Yacht Club for decades. Some come by boat, cruising down the Hood Canal to moor in nearby Union, where locals and visitors alike enjoy a combination of small-town charm and modernday sophistication that is quintessentially Northwest. Others come by car, making the short drive west from the I-5 corridor (about a half hour from Olympia, one hour from Tacoma, two hours from Seattle) to play and rest among the thick firs and beneath the snowcapped peaks of the Olympic range. So, if so many people have been coming out to Alderbrook for so many years, how is it that the community — including a championship golf course, a full-service resort and spa, plus numerous other amenities — remains largely off the radar of most Western Washington golfers? The answer is simple — because many come, but few ever want to leave.

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Many of those who trod Alderbrook’s tree-lined fairways on a regular basis are residents of Alderbrook Properties, a collection of 750 home sites surrounding the course, and just up the hill from the nearby Alderbrook Resort and Spa. Prices start as low as $378,000 for the twobedroom Holly (pictured above, right), which, like each of six different home styles, includes an open floor plan, hardwood flooring, relaxing fireplaces, large windows, granite counters, jetted tubs and other comfortable and luxurious amenities. Homes range in size from 1,6003,000 square feet, and can be customized to meet the specific needs of any homebuyer. The addition of Alderbrook Properties, formed in 2005 to acquire and develop the lots surrounding the golf course, has taken a popular vacation spot — the newly refurbished Alderbrook Resort & Spa has long been one of the region’s top destination resorts — and turned it into a full-service residential resort community.

While many residents live full-time at Alderbrook, others use their homes as a secluded getaway from the hustle of the Puget Sound region, whether just for a weekend, or for a longer vacation. Located such an easy drive from the region’s major cities, yet completely isolated by thick woodlands and the cool, calming waters of the Hood Canal, Alderbrook provides a unique opportunity to get away — both physically and psychologically — without having to put more than a single tank of gas in the car. Of course, what matters to us is the golf. Purchasing a home at Alderbrook includes a lifetime membership to the Alderbrook Golf Club, including unlimited access to one of the Puget Sound region’s least-publicized championship tracks. It’s our advice that — whether just walking into the pro shop after a short walk from home, or after driving over from Seattle — you should be sure to leave time to hit the range before stepping on to the first tee.

cascadegolfer.com


Golf Vacations Cascade Golfer Specials!

Not only will you want to shake out the stiffness, you’ll want to make sure you’re taking everything you brought with you to the par-5 first, which at just 468 yards from the back tees offers a rare opportunity for a leadoff eagle. Knock your drive to the healthy side of 250 and you’re looking at no more than a 3-iron into a wide-open green, with just one small bunker short right to catch anything astray. It’s good preparation for the next 17 holes, which feature few hazards of the wet or sandy variety, but lots of those big, thick pines that give Alderbrook’s golf course and home sites alike that secluded, woodlands feel. The money hole, for certain, is the par-5 eighth. If the 468-yard first is more reward than risk, No. 8 is its opposite. The 536-yard, double-dogleg eighth threatens to take back any advantage you might have gained on the scorecard at No. 1, plus a stroke or two. Trees lining the narrow fairway make trying to cut the corners a risky proposition. That said, the hole’s length prevents you from being able to club

cascadegolfer.com

down too much on your first two shots, at the risk of a long third shot to a tight green. Take your par and be happy only two holes longer than 400 yards remain. Alderbrook’s trees are it’s defining feature, blocking out almost all except the fairways and greens ahead, the canal below, and the Olympic Mountains above. It’s a peaceful experience, made all the more relaxing by the relative brevity of the course itself, which plays to just 6,326 yards from the tips and just 2,981 on the back. For those who like to dip their toe in the water before plunging into ownership, Alderbrook is open to the public seven days a week at rates as low as $25 per player, with residents and guests at the nearby Alderbrook Resort & Spa having priority rights for tee times. You’ll hit a lot of drives this season, to be sure — a drive to Alderbrook, however, might be the most memorable. For more information, contact Alderbrook Properties at 888612-6970 or visit alderbrookproperties.com.

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APRIL 2010

15


SHORT GAME

Huskies’ New Home

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ashington’s national-caliber men’s and women’s golf teams have played host to major competitions at Washington National Golf Course in Auburn and the The Olympic Course at Gold Mountain, from NCAA Regional and National Championships, to PING Intercollegiates and other top-tier events. Until just recently, however, the team had essentially no presence on campus. Thanks to a number of University donors, that’s not a problem any longer. The all-new Husky Golf Performance Center, built from scratch inside what had been a multipurpose room on the main entrance side of Bank of America Arena, gives Washington’s golfers — who a year ago couldn’t even pull out their driver without first having to drive away from UW — a sparkling new home at the heart of UW’s athletic complex.  “Having a facility is not unique. Having a facility on the 50-yard line of the athletic department is extraordinarily unique,” Washington men’s golf coach Matt Thurmond says of the Husky Golf Center, which opened last year. “We look out the windows, and we see the stadium. The

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windows on the other side of the space look into the arena. We couldn’t be in a better location.” The UW’s athletic administration had given the initial O.K. years before, but the onus was on Thurmond and women’s coach Mary Lou Mulflur to raise every penny. “We were fine with that,“ Mulflur says. “We have such great supporters in the area. We knew we could come up with funding.” They did, though Thurmond acknowledged that some still needed to be sold on the concept. “It was hard for some donors to get their arms around this,” he says. “They were saying, ‘Who has done this?’ We said, ‘There isn’t one — it’s original.’” According to Thurmond, some $2 million was raised in approximately eight months. It paid for a two-level facility with a large indoor putting green, hitting stations, high-speed cameras with multiple angles to help golfers analyze their game, a club repair area, team lounge, locker room, study area and an office that the coaches share. It certainly has grabbed the attention of the current Huskies — and some potential future Huskies, as well.

“When we bring girls in, we sit in that space and talk, and they can wander around and look at all the equipment,” Mulflur says. “To have that right there and be hands-on, it drives home the point about how seriously we take our golf program.” Added Thurmond, “We’ve had a lot of recruits in there. It makes you feel comfortable and gives you a sense of our program. It’s a physical representation of an unbelievable commitment by our athletic department and our supporters.” — Mark Moschetti

cascadegolfer.com


From the Forward Tees

UPCOMING EVENTS FOR WOMEN GOLFERS: Northwest Ladies Golf Association “Spring Social” Thurs., March 18, 6 p.m. Overlake Golf & Country Club, Bellevue Details: http://nlga.ghinclub.com

EWGA Seattle’s “Spring Tee Off” SPRING 2010

BY CHERI BRENNAN

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omen golfers comprise around 25 percent of the golfer population, but they represent both a demographic that’s projected to grow, as well as a segment that boasts a “powerful purse.” Whether golf courses, instructors, retailers, tournament planners and others whose livelihood is tied to golf will attract and retain women players depends in large measure on their own actions. Like most organizations, businesses in the golf industry need to understand customer expectations and cater to their needs. Yet, many of these businesses make little or no effort to uncover the “lifetime customer” opportunities women represent. By assessing the “female-friendliness” of their facility, services or events, managers may be able to identify opportunities to win more women patrons. Consider these questions: 1. Are women welcomed in same manner as men, or are they made to feel invisible? 2. Are the marketing materials, such as photographs, inclusive of women? 3. Does your course have at least two sets of tees rated for women? 4. Do your forward tees have a gender-neutral label (“forward tees” rather than “ladies tees”), and are they groomed to the same standard as other tee boxes? 5. Are there basic amenities such as ball washers, benches and trash cans at the forward tees, in same proportion as other tees? 6. Are there clean restrooms situated at every six holes? 7. Are slope and rating data and course handicap conversion tables for women in an easily accessible area? 8. Are there any women on the golf course staff, or is your facility clinging to the “GOLF” (Gentlemen Only, Ladies Forbidden) mindset? 9. If you offer club-fitting services, how well-trained is the staff in fitting equipment for women with various experience and skill levels? 10. Are the starters and marshals consistent in reminding women and men golfers about slow play, or do they tend to single out women? 11. Does your pro shop carry a good selection of women’s apparel, equipment and accessories – or does the selection look like an afterthought? 12. Does the restaurant offer lighter, healthier fare? Women want a fun, challenging playing experience. (The average woman golfer has a USGA index of about 28, so courses that are set up with that playing ability in mind, coupled with other welcoming attributes, should attract a solid and loyal contingent of female players.) Women don’t want special treatment, just equal treatment in their interactions with golf facilities, services and events. Tournament planners should be mindful of their “female friendliness,” too: 1. Are there flights for women players? 2. Do the promotional materials refer to “two-man” and “four-man” teams, or, alternatively, “two-player” teams and foursomes? (If event is for men only or women only, make that clear.) 3. Does the venue offer rental equipment for women? 4. If the gifts or prizes include apparel, are women’s styles and sizes included?

Sat., April 3, 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Bear Creek Country Club, Woodinville Details: www.ewgaseattle.org

Third-Annual “Golf Fore Red” tournament Sat., July 24, 8 a.m. (shotgun start) The Golf Club at Redmond Ridge, Redmond

Proceeds benefit American Heart Association, Pacific Mountain Affiliate (Seattle) Register at: https://tournaments.okigolf.com/EventInfo.aspx?E=749249 Questions? Contact: GolfForeRed@yahoo.com

Golf facilities that want to attract more women can implement some easy, initial steps to benchmark how well they’re catering to women and what areas need improvement: • Start with basic research, such as comment cards, satisfaction surveys and other feedback systems. Invite suggestions! • Use the criteria at left as a self-assessment tool to uncover deficiencies. • Audit your marketing materials for “red flags” that might make women feel unwelcome. • Consider forming an “advisory panel” of women golfers to provide regular feedback. • Conduct mystery shopping. • Invest in formal research – but only if there’s also a commitment to act on the findings. • Devote some resources for outreach to women’s groups, whether it’s an invitation to a focus group session, a clinic for women who are beginners or just thinking about taking up the game, a “women’s demo day,” babysitting services one day a week for stay-at-home moms, or special offerings for members of women’s golf groups. A FEW STATISTICS UNDERSCORE THE IMPORTANCE OF WOMEN GOLFERS:

Women account for one-third of new golfers and the fastest-growing segment of women golfers is the 18-29 year-old bracket. A 2008 survey of EWGA (Executive Women’s Golf Association) members conducted by the PGA of America found that the average EWGA member plays 32 rounds per year and spends, on average, $4,296 on golf activities, merchandise and golf-related travel. In addition to playing golf, women make and influence more than 80 percent of purchases, including decisions pertaining to travel and vacations. With golf season upon us, becoming more women-friendly can make good economic sense. As emphasized in the book Firms of Endearment: “Earn a share of the customer’s heart and she will gladly offer you a bigger share of her wallet.” ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Cheri Brennan is a Bellevue-based marketing and public relations consultant who has worked with various golf industry clients. She is an active member of the EWGA (Executive Women’s Golf Association) Seattle Chapter, the Northwest Ladies Golf Association (NLGA) and belongs to the Northwest Golf Media Association and other industry organizations. Contact her at 425.957-0654 or cheri4pr@hotmail.com.

Interested in being a sponsor of this page? Contact Cheri Brennan 425.957.0654

cascadegolfer.com

PAID ADVERTISEMENT APRIL 2010

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SHORT GAME

EXTRA

BY BRIAN BEAKY CG EDITOR

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TUESDAY WITH

KASEY

PHOTO COURTESY CORKY TREWIN AND RESIN MARKETING

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HIS WAS GOING TO BE GREAT. The first thing you have to know about me is that my love for golf is matched only by my love for soccer. So you can imagine my excitement at the news that not only would I have the opportunity to play a round at Chambers Bay on a beautiful weekday afternoon, I’d be playing that round alongside Seattle Sounders’ goalkeeper Kasey Keller, a Puget Sound native and undoubtedly the most influential American soccer player of all-time, with over 100 caps for the U.S. National Team and 20 years’ experience at the highest levels in England, Germany, Spain and the U.S. Kasey and I’d be knocking it around for five hours at one of the finest municipal tracks in the world, and then I’d be granted a 20-minute private audience with the legend himself. It was everything I could do not to giggle with glee like a little kid. In the days leading up to the round, I spent hours drafting up questions, working on my game and stressing over how to balance my personal fandom with my professional responsibilities. What’s Kasey going to be like? Would it be wrong to ask for an autograph? Should I ask any questions on the course, or save them all for after the round? My story would weave anecdotes from my round with Kasey with highlights from his globe-trotting career, using small personalityrevealing moments from the golf course as jumping-off points for tales of soccer glory. It would all culminate with Kasey putting out on 18 and smiling at a setting sun, happy to have brought his career full-circle by returning home to lead Seattle into the global soccer spotlight — just as he had done previously for the United States, and indeed the entire American game — before stepping off into his own similarly bright and peaceful sunset. It was going to be fun to write, fun to read, a literary and journalistic masterpiece. That’s what it was going to be, alright. Until I actually met the man, and everything changed.

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ow’s it going, guys? I’m Kasey,” Keller said as he walked up to myself and CG publisher Dick Stephens on the practice green before our round. It was good that he introduced himself — as he approached, he would hardly have been recognizable to many soccer fans, dressed in neatly-pressed slacks, an argyle-print sweater vest, a visor and … no, it couldn’t be … glasses? America’s greatest goalkeeper of all-time wears glasses? Already, I could feel my tidy little plan, built around certain expectations, starting to come unglued. Joining myself, Dick and Kasey on the golf course was Bart Wiley, the Sounders’ Director of Business Development and one of the top amateur golfers in the region. A former Newcastle club champion, Bart is a scratch golfer. I am most definitely not. Kasey — well, he’s somewhere in the middle. Wanting to go out of our way to please our guests, Dick and I let Bart and Kasey choose the tees. So it was that a few minutes later I stood over my first shot of the day from the championship tees, staring at 7,585 yards of bunker-and-gorse strewn golf course before me. The first green was 498 yards away. It was a par-4. Let’s just say it was the first of many, many — many — shots. No, this was not going at all as planned.

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he good news was, I wasn’t alone. Kasey’s first tee shot soared high and right, coming to rest somewhere on top of a 40-foot dune that frames the right side of the fairway. Dick and I fully expected Kasey to re-tee a breakfast ball — or at the very least, to send his caddy up there after it. Instead, Kasey accepted his fate and made the climb up to the top himself, helping his caddy search until they found the ball. A few minutes later, I found myself with a downhill lie in a bunker, about to attempt an impossible (for me) little flop. “You got this, Brian,” I heard someone say. I looked up — it was Kasey. Great, not only am I about to skull this across the green, Kasey Keller is going to watch me do it, I thought. I tried to block it out (Kasey Keller is not watching me embarrass myself, Kasey Keller is not watching me embarrass myself …); it didn’t work. “No worries, man, that was a tough one. You’ll get it back,” he said. cascadegolfer.com


I couldn’t help but smile. It was a refreshingly pleasant — and totally (and obviously, unfairly) unexpected — response from a player whose most iconic image is that of a stern-faced keeper standing tall between the goalposts, barking orders at his defenders and never holding back on hard-to-hear truths in postgame interviews. Smiles, and soft-spoken words of encouragement, aren’t something the average television viewer sees much from Keller on the field. Which, when you finally meet him, makes his laid-back, friendly, inclusive personality all the more surprising and refreshing.

I

t continued that way throughout the day. After staying a little quiet through the first few holes, Dick and I soon realized that Kasey wasn’t the type of celebrity who doesn’t want to be bothered by the “little guys.” In fact, after hitting our tee shots on the spectacular par3 ninth hole (with both Kasey and myself managing to stick it on the green below, albeit a good 100 feet from the hole), Kasey actually waited for us to catch up to him so that we could finish a conversation about my personal favorite team, Leeds United, and some former Leeds players with whom Kasey had played at Tottenham. It was a cool moment, and one Dick and I would both later reference as a highlight of the day — Kasey Keller actually slowing down to walk and talk with us, not vice versa. At the end of the day, we all grabbed lunch on the patio at the clubhouse and Kasey kept Dick and I in rapt attention for over an hour with story after story from his time in England, Germany and with the U.S. National Team — stories only a handful of Americans have the experience to tell. There was the one about the fan in Germany, where Keller was living in a midcentury Bavarian castle while playing for Borussia Mongengladbach, who proudly pulled up his sleeve to

reveal Keller’s signature, tattooed on his arm. Or about the time an owner who had been hot to sign Keller to a contract mysteriously canceled the offer just days after seeing Keller off the field — wearing his glasses. Turns out I’m not the only one to suffer a bout of spectacle shock. Then there was the time Keller led the U.S. to one of the biggest wins in its history, a 1-0 blanking of Brazil in 1998. Keller said he remembered making one particularly quality save and standing up to see Brazilian great Romario before him. Frustrated in all of his attempts to put the ball past Keller, one of the greatest players of alltime had simply one move left — to reach out and shake Keller’s hand. In the middle of the game. Throughout the lunch, multiple fans walked over and timidly introduced themselves, clearly uncertain — just as Dick and I had been a few hours before — how the American soccer icon would react. In each case, Keller not only signed the requested autograph, but went out of his way to make certain the fan knew that their support was appreciated, typically answering a few specific questions from each fan and always ending the exchange with a handshake and a smile. After lunch, we walked together to our cars, and Kasey signed a couple of Sounders flags for Dick’s three young kids, as well as my scorecard — which now figures prominently on my office wall, despite the three-digit number in the far-right box. “Give me a call anytime you guys want to play again,” he said, before heading to his car. “I had a blast.” Dick and I played it cool until we were safely in the car, before turning to each other and breaking into huge smiles. We had been able to do something that few people are ever able to do — we had met one of our heroes, and found out that the real person behind the image was even cooler than the one we had admired all these years.

A native of Lacey, Kasey Keller has made over 100 appearances for the U.S. National Team and has been named U.S. Soccer’s Athlete of the Year three times.

Camaloch Golf Course

Were located in the Sun Belt of Puget Sound, get less than 20 inches of annual rainfall, yet are still only 15 minutes from I-5 exit #212. Excellent greens (smooth & consistent) year round, course is fun to play for all skill levels, yet still challenges the best of players to score on.

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APRIL 2010

19


Product

IN THE BAG REVIEWS

BROUGHT TO YOU BY PUETZ GOLF SUPERSTORES

and equipment news you can use

HIGH-TECH

TOYS BY BRIAN BEAKY CG EDITOR

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here’s nothing quite like the PGA Merchandise Show, the annual trade show in Orlando where the manufacturing world’s heavy hitters roll out their new product releases for the world’s leading golf retailers (yes, including our own Puetz Golf), who in turn decide what products — and in what quantity — they want to sell in their stores in the coming year. A successful club launch at the PGA Show can mean hundreds of millions of dollars for a company like Callaway or TaylorMade, while a bad review can have an equally crippling impact. With so much riding on success at the show, it’s no wonder that these same companies pour millions into product development. Over the past three years, it seems that the technological developments in golf club manufacturing have entered warp speed — almost coinciding perfectly with the life of this magazine. The buzz phrase at the annual PGA Merchandise Show in January 2007 was “moment of inertia” — drivers and irons with high MOI promised a higher trajectory and less spin, the perfect combination for a long, sweet shot. Five months later, we published the very first issue of Cascade Golfer, introducing our readers to the concept of MOI and highlighting a few of the products that — we would soon discover — had kicked off a new era of innovation and development unlike any we’ve ever seen. In the 34 months since that first issue was published, we’ve seen the development of interchangeable shafts and adjustable weights, clubs with polymer inserts and others with laser-etched grooves so deep and biting, the PGA has had to legislate them out of the game (though not entirely out of the bags of certain two-time Masters champions). You may think that, with all this development behind them, golf club manufacturers couldn’t possibly come up with something new again this year. You’d be wrong. From Adams Golf to Titleist and beyond, the floor at this January’s PGA Show was packed wall-to-wall, hitting cage to hitting cage with things we never thought we’d see in a golf club, from drivers with clubheads filled with nothing but air (compressed air, mind you, but still just air), to others with shafts made not of steel or graphite, but both — steel to reduce flex, and graphite to reduce weight. We’ve filtered through the dozens of new products and picked out a few that we think are worth a mention. They’re not necessarily the flashiest, or the most advanced – but they’re our favorites.

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APRIL 2010

Mizuno MX-1000 PUETZ GOLF PRICE $999.95 Steel $1119.95 Graphite

T

he movie industry has the Academy Awards. Authors and publishers have the New York Times Bestseller List. In every industry, there’s a gold standard by which the success is publicly measured. In golf manufacturing, the gold standard is Golf Digest’s annual “Hot List,” where weeks of testing are summed up in the awarding of gold and silver medals to the top new products on the market. In essence, it is for consumers what the PGA Merchandise Show is for retailers – a chance to find out which new products are the “must-haves” for the coming year. If that’s the case, expect consumers to be rushing their local golf shops to get their hands on Mizuno’s new game-performance iron, the MX-1000. The MX-1000 earned a gold medal on the “Hot List” and was one of the highest-rated game-improvement irons – receiving a perfect five stars – in the category of “Look/Sound/Feel,” a strong endorsement given that look and feel are two of the areas usually cited by golf pros as the biggest drawbacks to the game-improvement lines. Not only has Mizuno mimicked the appearance and feedback of a traditional iron, they’ve packed it with all of the usual tricks to help mid-to-high handicappers, including a patented “Hot Metal Technology” and “Hollow Technology” which allow for a lighter club with weight pushed down and to the perimeter for maximum forgiveness and distance. Or in the words of Golf Digest’s editors, simply “one of the best.”

Wilson D-Fy PUETZ GOLF PRICE $799.95

A

nother big winner on the “Hot List” was Wilson, whose all-new D-Fy irons merited a gold medal and four-anda-half stars in three of four categories, including performance, innovation and look. It’s the “innovation” side that has had people talking since the clubs’ release in January — while most golf club development over the past half-decade has been focused primarily on improving the clubhead (CG, MOI, removable faces, adjustable heads, etc.), Wilson has instead focused its next-generation technology on the shaft. Rather than require golfers to choose between steel shafts (stiffer, for golfers with fast swing speeds) or graphite shafts (increased flex at slower swing speeds), Wilson instead developed a unique steel/ graphite hybrid shaft. Testers say the shafts mimic the lightness of graphite with the torque and control of steel, resulting in a club Golf Digest calls, “the most stable irons ever.” It’s a perfect fit for those of us in that middle ground of swing speeds (Don’t know your speed? You should. It only takes a second and can be determined at any Puetz location.) and includes all the usual bells and whistles of a game-performance club, with a mix of hybrids and irons to maximize forgiveness.

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IN THE BAG Powerbilt Air Force One PUETZ GOLF PRICE $599.95 Steel

O

ne of the oldest manufacturers in the game, Powerbilt has been setting the standard for how people crush tiny white balls since John “Bud” Hillerich — founder of Powerbilt’s parent company, Hillerich & Bradsby, invented the Louisville Slugger in 1884. In the 126 years since, H&B has expanded from baseball bats to golf clubs, hockey sticks — if you can hit a ball with it, H&B are the people to see about designing it. So it was no surprise in 2009 when rumors leaked that Powerbilt, H&B’s golf division, was about to unveil a revolutionary new technology. What was a surprise, however, was when industry insiders finally found out just what that technology was — nothing. Well, not nothing, exactly, but compressed nothing, in the form of nitrogen packed behind the clubface of a new line of drivers, fairway woods, hybrids and … irons? That’s right, Powerbilt even found a way to funnel nitrogen behind the ultra-thin face of an iron. The nitrogen pocket, which provides support for the face that on most clubs is provided by metal or complex polymers, allows the face to flex more at impact and creates a springboard effect that rockets balls off the clubface. I know, it sounds radical, but remember — 126 years ago, the idea of hitting a baseball 400 feet sounded pretty radical, too … until Hillerich made it happen. Now, the AFO might not have the same impact as the Louisville Slugger … but we’re more than willing to put our trust in Powerbilt, step up the plate and let it rip.

Callaway Diablo Edge PUETZ GOLF PRICE Starting at $599.95 Steel $799.95 Graphite

I

f you spent any time watching the Super Bowl pregame show this year, you couldn’t possibly have missed the ads for the Callaway Diablo Edge, the new high-performance line of clubs from one of the game’s top manufacturers. The first golf manufacturer ever to sponsor the Super Bowl pregame show, Callaway’s ads ran throughout the event, while Phil Mickelson made a special appearance to help push the product. Of course, Callaway had plenty of reasons to want to crow about its new line — the Diablo Edge dominated this year’s Golf Digest Hot List, winning five of Callaway’s industry-leading 10 gold medals. So what’s so different about the Diablo Edge? For starters, Callaway’s independent research showed that most mid-to-high-handicappers tend to hit the ball lower on the clubface than a scratch golfer. Recognizing that it’s a lot easier to fix your club than your swing, Callaway lowered the center of gravity in the Diablo Edge to put it right behind the lower sweet spot of the high-handicapper, resulting in shots that fly longer and straighter. The Diablo’s wide sole helps cut through rough with ease, while the traditional cavity-back of the 5-PW (the set also includes a 3- and 4-hybrid) help mask the sticks’ game-improvement nature. Not that you should feel self-conscious about wanting a game improvement iron — after all, if the Super Bowl taught us anything, it’s that even the best athletes in sports can use a little game improvement now and then.

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APRIL 2010

21


IN THE BAG Powerbilt Air Force One PUETZ GOLF PRICE $299.95 Steel

I

n the ongoing arms race to produce the world’s most advanced golf club, Powerbilt has been mostly quiet. As other manufacturers have rolled out new drivers and iron sets every year, Powerbilt has stuck to its reliable arsenal that includes the FZ-1, a longtime favorite of Champions Tour pro Fuzzy Zoeller, right on down to the Dynasty, intended for beginning players. Rumors began brewing a couple of years ago, however, that Powerbilt wasn’t sitting out the nextgeneration rush — instead, they were simply taking their time developing something so revolutionary, so forward-thinking, that it would blow the lid off of the golf world when it was released. At this year’s PGA Show, the golf world finally found out about Powerbilt’s revolutionary Nitrogen-Charged Technology, literally a pocket of compressed nitrogen that sits directly behind the clubface. Just as in the Air Force One irons described in the previous section, the Air Force One driver is designed to maximize what Powerbilt calls the “smash factor” — the amount of energy a golfer transfers into the golf ball at impact. Made in two separate designs — a square look for those seeking to maximize their ball flight and trajectory, and a more traditional head shape for the lower handicappers who want to shape their shots – and with an ultra-light shaft, the driver is the current distance king of the year’s new releases, with most golfers reporting an additional 10-20 yards on their drives. And before you ask (this one’s for you, Scott McCarron) — yes, it’s USGA legal.

Adams Speedline FAST 10 PUETZ GOLF PRICE $299.95 (receive a $50 Puetz Golf Card with purchase)

W

hen we see a driver sweep all three divisions at the 2009 World Long Drive Championships, it piques our interest. When Tom Watson follows that up by calling the same driver “beyond anything I’ve ever hit,” we know that’s something we have to get our hands on. The Speedline FAST 10 is the result of years of research — not on the golf course, though, or even the driving range. To develop the Speedline FAST 10 — a club designed to generate maximum forgiveness without sacrificing the aerodynamics of a more traditionally designed driver – Adams’ designers instead went into the wind tunnel. By studying fine element analysis and fluid dynamics, Adams designed a unique shape for the heel of the Speedline FAST 10 that allows golfers to knock it long with high swing speeds, and keep it straight with the latest in game-improvement technology. The result is a ball that flies high (in fact, so high that a high-hitter might want to consider a lower-than-usual loft) and straight — and whether you’re Tom Watson or Tom Q. Public, that’s really all you can ask.

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APRIL 2010

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TaylorMade r9 Super Tri PUETZ GOLF PRICE $399.95

F

or all the research and marketing dollars poured into a good showing at the PGA Merchandise Show or the Golf Digest “Hot List,” still nothing makes a golf club fly off the shelves like seeing the game’s best holding that club in their hands as they stand over an important shot. It’s human nature — we want to wear the same shoes as Michael Jordan, swing the same baseball bats as Albert Pujols (I’d have mentioned a Mariners’ power hitter here, but … well … ). After all, if something is good enough for the best players in the game, it must be good. For that reason, TaylorMade was thrilled to see 25 players put the all-new r9 SuperTri driver in their bag at January’s Farmers Insurance Open, the first week players were allowed to use the new clubs on Tour. In fact, the r9 SuperTri was the most-played driver at the event, with an additional 20 pros swinging the big stick at the PGA European Tour Qatar Masters. So what’s the fuss? The SuperTri combines all of TaylorMade’s recent innovations in its evolving Burner and r-class lines — Movable Weight Technology, Flight Control Technology, Inverted Cone Technology and UltraThin Wall Technology — into one club that makes for a slightly more forgiving club than the previous r9. All the fancy talk doesn’t matter, though — as long as the pros keep playing it, the r9 SuperTri will be a deserved bestseller.

Callaway FT-iZ PUETZ GOLF PRICE Starting at $399.95

W

hile Callaway’s Diablo Edge line dominated the “Hot List” this year, the company also earned raves for its all-new FT-iZ driver, the latest incarnation of its FT-i line that has included the FT-i and Lamborghini-styled FT-iQ, pictured on the cover of this magazine in December 2008. Like the FT-iQ, the FT-iZ includes all the benefits of a square-shaped driver but with a somewhat more traditional, tapered design. Why somewhat? Well, as you can see from the picture here, the FT-iQ features a clubhead design that can best be described as triangular. The benefit of that large and uniquely shaped head is to create a “barbell” effect in which 58 percent of the mass is behind the face and 16 percent in the rear, lowering the center of gravity for increased control. A specially milled face also increases distance and forgiveness, while the company’s patented I-Mix technology lets you swap out shafts as necessary for course, weather and other swing conditions. Most importantly, it gives golfers who maybe need a little extra help, but just can’t adjust to the square-headed drivers, a club they can pull out of their bag with pride. And where there’s pride, there’s confidence – meaning you’ve won half the battle already.

TaylorMade Burner SuperFast PUETZ GOLF PRICE

$249.95

A

dams’ designers aren’t the only ones that have been working on a more aerodynamic, lighter — and faster — driver this year. In fact, the latest addition to TaylorMade’s wildly popular Burner line (played by dozens of the PGA and LPGA Tour’s top pros, and millions of weekend warriors) isn’t just fast — it’s SuperFast. By changing the club’s profile and reducing its weight to a mere 284 grams, TaylorMade has crafted a club that cuts through the air at massive speeds. For those of us who don’t quite pack the mighty wallop of some of the game’s big hitters, it’s a nifty way to add a significant amount of distance off the tee without having to alter our swing. In addition, the SuperFast features the largest face TaylorMade has ever put on a driver, making the club not only long, but forgiving — the perfect recipe for a long, sweet drive.

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APRIL 2010

23


Puget Sound Readies For Its

Close Up F

or a one-month stretch from late July to late August, the Seattle-Tacoma area will be the golf capital of the country, holding a pair of major events in our own backyard. The U.S. Senior Open will be played July 26 through Aug. 1 at Sahalee Country Club in Sammamish, and the U.S. Amateur will run from Aug. 23-29 at Chambers Bay in University Place. These are showcase events, featuring America’s finest golfers at two of the best golf courses in the United States. What’s more, they will be held during our region’s nicest time of the year — imagine those postcard shots from the blimp showing all that salt water and islands off of Chambers Bay, and Lake Sammamish off of Sahalee. Preparations for these events are entering their final stages, and if you’re one of the tournament directors, your work is never done. Ever since Mike Zinga was hired as director of the 2010 U.S. Senior Open, he has been working 60-hour weeks to ensure that the tournament is a huge success. Ticket sales are going well – they’re 25-percent ahead of the pace at last year’s U.S. Senior Open in Indianapolis. Zinga is expecting 140,000 fans to attend the Sahalee event. “We feel really good about that,” he said. More than 2,200 volunteers have signed up so far, which is right on pace for the goal of 3,000. In terms of vendors, Zinga is pleased that the Seattle market is open

Chambers Bay Hole No. 12

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APRIL 2010

BY JIM MOORE As our region prepares to host two USGA events this summer, staff at

SAHALEE AND CHAMBERS Bay are working around the clock to ensure a hole-in-one experience for players and guests. to offsetting expenses with trades. “That doesn’t happen everywhere,” he said. One area that is more challenging is corporate sponsorship. “That’s where we’ve had to challenge ourselves every step of the way,” Zinga said. “It’s not just us. Everyone is fighting for corporate sponsorship money. It’s obviously an area that nobody should be shocked about.” Sahalee members, however, have stepped up and gotten their

companies involved, which has certainly helped. “That’s part of the (business) model, to engage the membership,” Zinga said. The U.S. Senior Open has a lot to sell – a major championship with the world’s best 50-and-over golfers on a layout that has already hosted the 1998 PGA Championship and 2002 NEC Invitational. The field is highlighted by Fred Couples, who will kick off the week with a junior clinic. The Seattle native is looking forward to playing in his hometown, and he’s always been a fan favorite here and everywhere. Last October, Zinga presented him with a Seahawks jersey with his name on the back at the President’s Cup. Couples was the captain of the U.S. team. “We basically wanted to thank him for what he’s doing for our event,” Zinga said. In addition to Couples, Greg Norman and Tom Watson — both Hall of Famers — will be at the Senior Open, adding to the event’s appeal. Then there’s Sahalee, an attraction itself. After playing a practice round last year, Jeff Sluman called it “awesome.” Loren Roberts sent an e-mail to superintendent Rich Taylor and said the course was in such good condition that “you could put the flags in tomorrow and play.” “In my opinion, Sahalee is one of the best courses in

The world’s top amateurs will have to play to a narrow green at the, par-4 10th hole (left) during the 2010 U.S. Amateur at Chambers Bay. Superintendents are overseeding to make sure that players distracted by the scenery like that at the par-3 17th (above) are suitably penalized.

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Sahalee will use the South and North nines for the U.S. Senior Open, with the South No. 9, above, playing as the 9th hole, and the North No. 9, at right, playing as No. 18.

the world,” Zinga said. As with the ’98 PGA Championship, the South and North nines will be used to make up a par-70 course. The East course will be used for operations. It will also be where fans are dropped off in buses transporting them from parking lots at Marymoor Park. Bleachers will be erected on every hole on the back (the North) nine and select holes on the front. Tim Flaherty, USGA director of the Senior Open, came to Sahalee during the last week of February to help finalize bleacher locations. The course setup will feature rough, but it won’t be as penalizing as you might find at a typical U.S. Open. That’s for good reason. “We want the course to play like it was designed,” Zinga said. “If the balls are going to the edges of fairways, we don’t want to stop them from going into the trees with heavy rough.” Sahalee is narrow anyway, so there’s really no need to tighten the fairways, which is often the case at other courses. To increase the difficulty, the USGA has instructed Taylor and his staff to make sure the greens are fast – at 13 on the Stimpmeter.

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“That’s another factor that will test the guys,” said Zinga, who can’t wait for the tourney to start. He moved here two years ago and knows that when it’s sunny and warm, “people come out.” And they really come out for unique events like the U.S. Senior Open. “We want to leave a lasting legacy,” Zinga said. There’s a great chance at having that happen. “What struck us about Sahalee is that most PGA and NEC players really liked the golf course,” Flaherty said. “The extra nine holes helped operationally. We also thought that Seattle was a good market, and we liked the history of the club with big-time events.” While this will be the third go-around for a major event at Sahalee, the U.S. Amateur will mark the first at Chambers Bay, which was awarded the Amateur and the 2015 U.S. Open in 2008 — less than a year after the course opened its doors to public play. A field of 312 amateurs will play stroke play at Chambers Bay and the Home Course in Dupont for the first two days of the tournament. The field will then be reduced to the top-64 for match play at Chambers Bay, concluding Aug. 29. The tournament is open to anyone with a 2.4

handicap or lower, and 36-hole qualifying rounds will be played at more than 100 courses around the country starting the second week of July. To register, click on the “Apply to Play” link at USGA.org. Kathleen Pope, the 2010 U.S. Amateur championship coordinator, is excited about what the event holds in store for those who watch in person or on TV. “The grass will look greener, the sky and water bluer,” she said. “It’s going to be absolutely spectacular. And we’ll have the best amateurs in the world playing the golf course.” Though the qualifiers will be held in the U.S., she expects competitors from as many as 14 foreign countries. Chambers Bay is restoring its bunkers to have them in tip-top shape for the U.S. Amateur. Superintendent David Weinecke is also overseeing a staff that has hydroseeded 95 acres of dunes to assure that long, wispy fescue frames the course and completely fills in any bald spots. The USGA wants Chambers Bay to be firm and fast, and that’s what players will find, along with nine new tees and new green at No. 4.

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What to WATCH for This year’s U.S. Amateur and U.S. Senior Open will include a number of players with local connections. Here’s a few to keep your eye on:

FRED COUPLES Seattle’s favorite son will play his first PGA Champions Tour major before an adoring home crowd. Are the stars aligned for Boom-Boom’s first U.S. Senior Open win?

PETER JACOBSEN The Portland native and Oregon grad hosts the JELD-WEN Tradition at Bend’s Sunriver Resort. He’s sure to have a following at Sahalee as he chases his second U.S. Senior Open title.

CAMERON PECK The 19-year-old graduate of Olympia’s Timberline High School, and a current freshman at Texas A&M, has been one of the hottest amateurs on the planet since winning the 2008 U.S. Junior Amateur. His familiarity with Chambers Bay could pay off with a U.S. Amateur Championship.

Single-day tickets are on sale for both events. Visit 2010USSeniorOpen.com and 2010USAmateur.com for more details.

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APRIL 2010

Sahalee North No. 5

Some have said that the U.S. Amateur is like a training-wheels tournament for the U.S. Open that will be held at Chambers Bay in 2015. Not so. “The U.S. Amateur is the oldest golf championship conducted by the USGA,” Pope said. “It holds its own as far as prestige goes. To combine them and say it’s a warm-up for the other one is not fair to the players and the tradition of the event.” The events are also more than fair to Puget Sound golf fans, with kids 17 and under admitted free to both with a paying adult. For tickets to the U.S. Senior Open, visit 2010ussenioropen.com or call 877-281-6736 — or visit any Fred Meyer location. Tickets to the U.S. Amateur are available at 2010usamateur.com. Jim Moore is a longtime columnist for the Seattle P-I and SeattlePI.com, and is a regular contributor to and a frequent guest host on 710 ESPN.

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GOLF PERFORMANCE

FROM THERAPEUTIC ASSOCIATES

S-Posture & C-Posture T

he ball is on the tee, the right club is in your hand, and there is no wind to battle, but you still can’t get off that perfect shot. Have you looked at your posture lately? Poor set-up position can ruin your swing before you even move the club. Two common posture flaws are S-Posture and C-Posture. These can sometimes be caused by things as simple as improper club length or standing too far away from the ball. More often, they result from muscle imbalances that can be addressed by seeing a professional. The S-Posture (Fig. 1) is characterized by too much arch JULIE DRESCH PT, MS, OCS CMPT Director TPI Ballard Physical Therapy

in the lower back. In this position, the muscles in the back work extra hard while letting your abdominals relax. Without the abdominals engaged through the backswing, you can have complete loss of posture that results in other dysfunction throughout the swing. Exercises that activate the core muscles, as well as posture corrections, can help address this imbalance. The C-Posture (Fig. 2) is characterized by a forward slump of the shoulders, which creates roundness from the upper back all the way to the tailbone. Unfortunately, this posture is often caused by postural deficits that lead to muscle imbalances and joint restriction over several years. Enlisting the help of a physical therapist to do manual stretching and mobilization of the thoracic, or mid-spine, as well as instruction in proper exercises to activate the muscles that stabilize the area, can be key. How do I know if I have a C- or S-posture? The best way to see the posture and its effect on your golf swing is through a videotape of your swing with your local pro. However, a simple test at home can also allow you to find a good starting position. Stand like you are addressing the ball, with your arms crossed over your chest. First, arch

THERAPEUTIC ASSOCIATES - SEATTLE AREA

Fig. 2

Fig. 1

your back to its maximum position. Then, reverse this arch so that your low back rounds. This should be done with minimal leg/knee movement. The neutral spine is found in the middle of these two extremes, and it is the best place to start your golf swing. If you find you can’t get to the end ranges, or you shake and shudder through the motion, then you likely have either joint restrictions or muscle weakness as the underlying cause. Your local physical therapist can be an excellent source for addressing both of these. In the next issue, stay tuned for some great corestrengthening strategies!

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Anniversary TH

65

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A

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Reg. $699.95

r7 Irons

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A

SQ DYMO or DYMO2 Drivers Reg. $299.95

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DIABLO Drivers Reg. $299.95

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PUETZ GOLF SUPERSTORES Anniversary Sale prices good 4/1/10 to 4/31/10. Some photos may not be exact representations. Selection varies per store. Discounts figured from manufacturer’s original list price. See store for complete details. Advertised items subject to available stock on hand. Puetz Golf is committed to truthful and accurate advertising. We are, however, not responsible for printing errors.

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PUETZ GOLF SUPERSTORES TH Anniversary

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Anniversary Sale prices good 4/1/10 to 4/31/10. Some photos may not be exact representations. Selection varies per store. Discounts figured from manufacturer’s original list price. See store for complete details. Advertised items subject to available stock on hand. Puetz Golf is committed to truthful and accurate advertising. We are, however, not responsible for printing errors.

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APRIL 2010

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WOODS Rapture Drivers

Reg. $399.95 SAVE $200

SQ DYMO

Monster XLS

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PUETZ GOLF SUPERSTORES

SEATTLE 11762 Aurora Ave. N. Seattle, WA 98133 (206) 362-2272 (800) 390-7078

BELLEVUE 1645 140th Ave. N.E. Bellevue, WA 98005 (425) 747-0664 (866) 362-7234

TUKWILA 402 Strander Blvd. Tukwila, WA 98188 (206) 439-1740 (866) 362-4279

TACOMA 6409 Tacoma Mall Blvd. Tacoma, WA 98409 (253) 474-8288 (866) 362-2045

Anniversary Sale prices good 4/1/10 to 4/31/10. Some photos may not be exact representations. Selection varies per store. Discounts figured from manufacturer’s original list price. See store for complete details. Advertised items subject to available stock on hand. Puetz Golf is committed to truthful and accurate advertising. We are, however, not responsible for printing errors.

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31


PUETZ GOLF SUPERSTORES TH Anniversary

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APRIL 2010

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WARBIRD Stand Bag

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SHOP ONLINE @ puetzgolf.com PUETZ GOLF SUPERSTORES SEATTLE 11762 Aurora Ave. N. Seattle, WA 98133 (206) 362-2272 (800) 390-7078

BELLEVUE 1645 140th Ave. N.E. Bellevue, WA 98005 (425) 747-0664 (866) 362-7234

TUKWILA 402 Strander Blvd. Tukwila, WA 98188 (206) 439-1740 (866) 362-4279

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Anniversary Sale prices good 4/1/10 to 4/31/10. Some photos may not be exact representations. Selection varies per store. Discounts figured from manufacturer’s original list price. See store for complete details. Advertised items subject to available stock on hand. Puetz Golf is committed to truthful and accurate advertising. We are, however, not responsible for printing errors.

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33


RISK vs. REWARD Cedarcrest Golf Course

Hole No. 15 • Par 4 • 312 yards (Blue)

By Simon Dubiel

204 230 250

104

The Setup: With just a little over 300 yards separating an elevated tee box and the green, this hole forces the golfer to make a tough call. The easy way out is a 6-iron and wedge. However, the gambler may choose the driver and hope for the putting surface. A small pond guards the left side of the green while a bunker sits off the right.

158 184 204

150

The Risk:

The Reward:

Final Call:

Nothing in life is free. A pull left will leave you wet and facing a bogey. A push right can find the sand and leave you with an uncomfortable out. That is, unless you cherish sand-save opportunities where only a small green separates you from water.

There is little more reward on the golf course than making an eagle. Some of us go many seasons without the opportunity to put a double circle on the scorecard — even a single circle is hard enough. You can always play the odds, but you don’t win big without betting big … or in this case, hitting big.

You can certainly make birdie by playing it safe, but you won’t have an eagle putt, nor will you have your ego stroked at the Cedarcrest Grill during the round after the round. Let the big dog eat. Grip it, rip it and walk proudly down the fairway.

308 334 354

PRESENTED BY

WESTWIND AVIATION

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Bandon

Is This Heaven? No,

It’s

Bandon Dunes Resort has golfers seeking to

experience golf’s roots heading to Oregon, not Scotland

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APRIL APRIL 2010 2010

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ROAD HOLES BY DICK STEPHENS PHOTOS BY WOOD SABOLD

For more than a decade, I have been receiving invites to drive to the little, quiet town on the Oregon seashore called Bandon-by-the-Sea, to take in what everyone from Greenlake to Glasgow has been raving about.

T

Bandon Dunes Golf Course

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he first invitation came for a grand-opening media trip in 1999. I wanted to go and be among the first to play it, but my daughter Lily was just born, and of course, being a new dad took center stage. A little while later, two friends asked me to go – a spur-of-the-moment guys’ golf getaway. Typically, that would have been right up my alley, but enduring early-spring temperatures that range from freezing to 60 degrees wasn’t how I wanted to enjoy my first experience on the course. Over the years, there were other chances, but travel, deadlines, family and other things kept me away from Bandon for over 10 years. In that time, I had the pleasure and honor to embark on two separate golf trips – one to Scotland and the other to Ireland. Knocking it around in the birthplace of golf, I thought about how everyone back home called Bandon a “true Scottish links experience” and said that it was on par with the real thing. I assumed, however, that in reality, it couldn’t possibly measure up to what I was experiencing in the British Isles. Man, was I wrong. Bandon — the resort, the four courses and the whole golf-only experience — not only met the lofty expectations I had set, but exceeded them. And I’m not just saying that because I am still brushing the sand out of my hair — this place flat-out rocks, and is indeed world-class. As with any worthwhile golf road trip, I didn’t go alone, taking with me two other great playing partners, friends and co-workers, Simon Dubiel and Kirk Tourtillotte. Rather than drive, we decided to book an airplane charter, which really heightened our experience. We looked to Westwind Aviation to shoot us down the coast in just under two hours (see sidebar on page 40). Sit back and enjoy our account of an incredible three days in Bandon. You may not think it could possibly live up to your expectations, or to the effusive praise that flows off of these pages. You’d be wrong.

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ROAD HOLES BANDON DUNES

M

ike Keiser, owner of the resort and the land on which the current development exists, had a vision to make this seaside linksland dream patch be on a par with the greatest tracks in Scotland. Keiser saw in Bandon what Pat Ruddy saw in Ireland’s European Club or Old Tom Morris envisioned when he laid out the Old Course at St. Andrews. To close your eyes and see something that clear – can you imagine? Ruddy and Morris are global legends, and I have to give props to Keiser for looking at land nobody wanted and doing what he’s done here in a little over a decade. Keiser was no golf course designer, so he brought in an emerging, relatively unknown course architect – Scotsman David McLay Kidd, a wee lad just 27 years old at the time his work began. Some in the golfing establishment scoffed and asked, who? Billy the Kidd? Well, Keiser backed his man in the kilt to the hilt. He knew that his vision was innovative and uncharted. Keiser needed someone that knew how to take linksland and “shape” it into something that can stand for centuries like the courses in the British Isles, and for Keiser, David McLay Kidd was that man. Mission accomplished. McLay Kidd’s stroke of genius was an immediate international hit and earned coverage from around the world. The signature course, Bandon Dunes, is different from the other three currently on the resort property. There are no power carts, and no houses – period. There is, however, the largest and most rugged water feature on any course west of the Mississippi – the Pacific Ocean, which comes into view from nearly every vantage point on the course. Bandon’s turf is firm and reminded me of my lies at Carnoustie and Royal County Down. The harder surface, which drains remarkably well, is not hardpan, but will force you to change up your shots and play many bump-and-run approaches. Being true linksland, your every shot is threatened by long native grasses, rolling, natural berms and the ever-present ocean wind. I’m not just talking about a Northwest breeze like those you might see on a given Saturday at Jackson Park — this is a punishing wind, blowing steady and strong, and can make or break your round. Tee off before 9:30 or so, and you’re fine. After 11 a.m., be prepared to work with a new kind of game. I flat-out loved it, as it suited my game. You can spray it a little on this track and still score, but it’s not easy. No. 5, my personal favorite, is the hardest hole on the course, and an absolute masterpiece. At 428 yards from the black tee, this par-4 is, for most, a three-shot approach. I made little notes in preparation for this story, and have more notes on this hole than any other. The prevailing wind makes the hole play 500-plus, and the layout forces you to play it straight on the final approach, with the hills on both sides pinching tight as the fairway closes in on the green. There are no disappointing holes, but No. 5 is one of the finest I have ever played, here or in Europe.

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NEW KIDD IN TOWN

I

t was 1994 when Scotsman David McLay Kidd first laid eyes on the property that would become Bandon Dunes. “I couldn’t see a thing, because it was completely swamped by gorse and pine trees,” Kidd says. “It wasn’t the open, rolling sand dunes you see today — they were under there, but you couldn’t see them.” Mike Keiser, who had fallen in love with links golf in Europe, had recently purchased the land on which he and Kidd now stood. As the two stared across the vast expanse of wooded wilderness, with the Pacific Ocean beyond, Keiser hoped that Kidd’s vision would match with his. “I told him that golf carts were not the way to go, that development was not the way to go; in fact, I wouldn’t even put the clubhouse in the prime spot on the ocean, but instead put it way back inland to let the golf holes take up the best land,” Kidd says. “I think any other developer would have quickly thrown me out. But fortunately it was a meeting of the minds — what I was saying was exactly the dream that Mike had, so we got to create it together.” Their “creation” — the Bandon Dunes course at Bandon Dunes Resort — became one of the most celebrated courses in all of golf, rocketing to the top of every major ranking of courses in the world and inspiring a renaissance in golf course design. While the success of Bandon Dunes shot Oregon, and American links golf (a heretofore unheard-of concept) to the forefront of the golf world, so, too, did it increase the profile of Kidd, who suddenly found himself one of the most sought-after course designers in the world. So it was that, a few years later, Kidd returned to Oregon to scout a new piece of land in Bend, where developers were eager to cash in on Kidd’s Bandon success by building a luxury development centered around a Kidd-designed course that would be unlike any other in Central Oregon. Kidd quickly set to work crafting a course that, while similar to Bandon in its extensive use of native grasses, its rewarding of the bump-and-run game and a lack of definition to traditional features, could stand alone as a unique golf experience. Since it’s opening, Tetherow Golf Club has earned acclaim for its one-of-akind layout combining a number of elevated tees often looking down on dual fairways, each with its own risk/reward conundrum. Even though Kidd insists that Tetherow is not authentically a links track, it’s hard not to see a little of Bandon Dunes in the large waste areas, ragged natural bunkers, extensive native shrubs and craggy outcroppings that surround the greens and fairways. Kidd says beyond the design itself, there is one key difference between the two courses. “I’ve often said that Tetherow is Bandon with the sun shining,” he says with a chuckle, in reference to Bend’s 300 days of sunshine each year. “As a Scotsman, I’ve had enough of the rain.” In fact, the Scot was so impressed by Bend, he relocated his company headquarters there after finishing Tetherow, and now considers Tetherow his “home” course. Walk its fairways at the right time and you just might see a tall, redheaded golfer playing a perfect bump-and-run, or staring questioningly at a new patch of grass that has sprouted up next to a fairway. “I really love Tetherow,” he says. “It’s just so beautiful in the summertime, low traffic, great people. I’ve been very happy here.” — Brian Beaky

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ROAD HOLES WING YOUR WAY DOWN THE COAST

F

rom Seattle, Bandon is about an eighthour drive. We wanted to play golf the day we left, so we found a Puget Soundbased charter company that caters to, and understands, golfers. Westwind Aviation, based in Friday Harbor, can come to virtually any place you choose with a qualified runway. The owners, Loren and Dan DeShon (father and son) have a combined 30-plus years of experience behind the stick of commercial airliners, and the Cessna 303 they flew us in was amazing. It’s an executive-class, twin-turbo prop craft that seats five very comfortably with plenty of room for our clubs, gear, clothing and camera equipment. Dan and Loren actually helped us design the trip and met us at Galvin Flying terminal at Boeing Field. We drove our car onto the tarmac, where Dan was waiting to help unload our gear. He was as excited about our trip as we were — he and his father are lifelong golfers and big Bandon fans. While he loaded our items, we parked our car for free at Galvin and enjoyed hot mochas in the classy terminal until they asked if we were ready to take off. The flight — just under two hours — was smooth and scenic, and Westwind landed us right on the tiny runway at Bandon’s airport. When we touched down, we unloaded, jumped in a waiting Enterprise-Rent-a-Car (541-751-0298) and were on the first tee in 25 minutes. Westwind caters to golfers and can fly you anywhere for dream golf vacations, wine tours, business or custom travel needs. Once the charter is full, it’s affordable, fast and gives you the sense that you’re a jetsetter. The DeShons were amazing, the flight was easy and an experience unto itself. And, coming home was as simple as telling Dan when and where to meet us. We were masters of our own destiny. Contact them at westwindav.com or 360-378-6991.

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“I have had the great fortune to have played 25 of the top-200 courses in the world. The Pacific Dunes course at Bandon is the best track I have ever walked in my 30 years playing the game.” It’s followed by a hole featuring one of the coolest and most breathtaking views anywhere on the West Coast. On the tee, you’ll swear you’re at Pebble Beach, staring at a green that appears to be at the end of the world, backdropped by the Pacific rushing and roaring loud and proud, big and blue, threatening to swallow you whole. I swear on my children’s souls, I was so sad when I holed out; I wanted to replay this one over and over. Although it’s one of the easier holes, ranked 17 on the scorecard, this 160-yard-plus par-3 can easily play to 190 with the wind and crowned green. In the beginning, before the other three courses were built, Bandon Dunes was reason enough to put this obscure corner of the Pacific coast on your travel agenda. In my opinion, the course was the fairest and presented opportunity on each hole. I played to my handicap on this course and was buzzing when I walked off, ready for whatever next test Bandon could bring.

I

PACIFIC DUNES

have had the great fortune to have played 25 of the top-200 courses in the world – not well, have you, but I’ve played them. So, I feel I can give a fair, educated viewpoint on what defines a great golfing experience. The Pacific Dunes course at Bandon is best track I have ever walked and/or played in my 30 years with the game. Maestro Tom Doak brought everything together so wonderfully, and did it with land and features that could have easily resulted in a mishmash of holes ranging from world-class to total dud. Here, he stitched together 6,600 yards of prolific design that has been recognized by GOLF.com as the No. 1 course in the U.S., and by Golf magazine as the 13th-finest in the world. Pacific Dunes is the Banzai Pipeline of golf in America today, and you need to treat it with no less respect. Like the famed surf spot in Hawaii, it can tear you (in this case, your game) limb from limb as easily as it can sweep you away into an emotional stir of bliss. The melding of the land, earth, sky and ocean is breathtaking, as is the wind, which was still when we started, but blew in on the third hole and was a constant companion for the rest of our round. Most of the holes feature enough elevation changes to require technical decisions with regard to club selection — decisions affected that much more by the ever-present wind. Besides the utter beauty and soothing ruggedness of the course, two other things made their way into my notes. The trees and branchy bushes that dotted some of the holes were something we did not see much of at Bandon Dunes. The other was something that you can only find on fewer than 10 percent of the world’s great

Bandon Dunes Golf Course • No. 5

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courses – real, untouched, natural bunkers that come into play on six of the holes (four on the inward nine alone). I read some journaling from Doak, who said he kept his focus on not moving much earth during the design – rather, routing a path through the seaside acreage and letting “the dunes” lead the way. The sand traps and natural bunkering are in the foreground and periphery on nearly every shot, where one slip-up will leave you hacking it out. But, it’s still fair, with Doak leaving places on every hole for anyone from a scratch to a 16 handicap to place their shot, provided they swing true. Not that an 18 or a 20 can’t score well or have fun, but I can see how Pacific Dunes would give them their money’s worth.

“Pacific Dunes is the Banzai Pipeline of golf in America today, and you need to treat it with no less respect. Like the famed surf spot in Hawaii, it can tear you (in this case, your game) limb from limb as easily as it can sweep you away into an emotional stir of bliss.” The layout does come a little inland and features a small collection of holes that look like heathland courses – pastoral features, with vistas of the Pacific briefly blocked. These holes, in my opinion, accentuate the experience and give you a sampling of a different kind of golf. But, I did miss the sound of the waves and birds as Kirk, Si and I meandered into the rolling landscape in finishing the outward nine. The reward for our patience was one the greatest stretches of four holes you can imagine. Numbers 10-13 will blow you away. Holes 10 and 11, back-to-back par threes, are gorgeous. I hope the wind is kicking up when you play, because that makes the tee shots genuine. Slightly downhill, 10 looks harder than it is, but the sandy hill to the right, gorse to the left and a green that needs to be hit with some precision will force you to focus on your shot while the jaw-dropping scenery threatens to draw your mind away. The 11th is one of the signatures in my book. It’s only 150 yards or so, but the natural bunker blocking the view of the green gives you the feeling of playing a rugged Scottish test like you would find at Lundin Links or Kingsbarns. Then, there’s the 13th … ahhhhhh. This is the hole that’s on magazine covers and posters and wall offices. The one you tell your friends about and think of over and over. What’s amazing about this hole is that even if the crashing Pacific weren’t on your left, it would still get tons of attention because of the high, rolling natural sand bunkering that frames the entire right side of the hole. This hole epitomizes Doak’s ability to let the land win, not the bulldozer. At 444 yards, this tough par-4 is rightfully one of the resort’s most difficult tests. You become so wrapped up in the view, the bunkers and the rolling, uphill terrain, that you have to make sure you focus the job at hand. A bogey is a great score. cascadegolfer.com

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EXPERIENCING BANDON DUNES GOLF RESORT for the first time is something you will never forget. Here are our TOP-10 HOLES that will forever be etched in your mind.

BANDON TRAILS • No. 1 • 346 yards • Par 4 A true dunes hole, this is a breathtaking way to start your round. Enjoy your start to this wonderful track. PACIFIC DUNES • No. 3 • 476 yards • Par 5 The view from the tee says it all. You play towards the water but stay away from sand. The yardage on the scorecard does not do this hole justice. PACIFIC DUNES • No. 4 • 449 yards • Par 4 Bluffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean line the entire right side. The Yardage Guide says it best. Enjoy the view on the right but keep your golf ball to left!

Pacific Dunes Golf Course • No. 13

BANDON DUNES • No. 4 • 362 yards • Par 4 Imagine an approach that can either be with or against a stiff wind. If you are long, you land in the Pacific Ocean. Now go do it. BANDON DUNES • No. 5 • 400 yards • Par 4 The toughest hole on the course is also one of the most difficult par-4s you will ever find. It plays more like a par-5, and is spectacular. BANDON TRAILS • No. 5 • 124 yards • Par 3 A forced carry towards a gap between trees to the most undulating green on the course. Enough said. BANDON DUNES • No. 6 • 153 yards • Par 3 The Pacific Ocean on your left, the wind in your face. Take an extra club — and an extra photo. PACIFIC DUNES • No. 10 • 163 yards • Par 3 With a stiff wind you have yourself quite a debate. Which is greater, the view of the Pacific Ocean or the difficulty of the hole? PACIFIC DUNES • No. 11 • 131 yards • Par 3 This hole can play much longer into the wind. You aim at the smallest green on the course at the second of the most memorable back-to-back par-3s in the country. PACIFIC DUNES • No. 13 • 390 yards • Par 4 One of the toughest holes at the resort can play very long into the wind. A par here is a feather in any golfer’s cap. - Simon Dubiel

I enjoyed my round on Pacific Dunes immensely. Outside of the Old Course at St. Andrews, if I could play any course, right now, this would be it.

BANDON TRAILS

B

andon Trails is totally different from the two Dunes courses – and that’s exactly how it was meant to be. Keiser tabbed the tandem of Bill Coore and PGA Tour legend Ben Crenshaw to see the forest through the trees, and weave an 18-hole line through the foliage. Bandon Trails mixes up the Bandon Dunes Resort experience, throwing a totally different experience at you from the two oceanside courses. Bandon Dunes is open, rolling and linksy. Pacific Dunes is natural, rugged, sandy and loaded with impact. Bandon Trails, the third of the four courses at the resort, rewards you with a smorgasbord of golf design: a couple holes of links, followed by healthy portion of heathland and a generous sprinkle of parkland, with a final dash of links again. The ocean is not with you on this journey, but the trees and elevation changes are. You will remember your round on the Trails in a different way. Fifteen of the holes here could easily be located in Snoqualmie, Wash., or Vail, Colo. It’s a natural surrounding that teeters between rugged and serene. After two days of battling the windy shoreline, it took a few holes on the Trails to remember how to play the game to which I was more accustomed. The spruce and fir trees are a major part of the layout. While it’s not particularly long, at 6,200-6,700 yards, it’s no cakewalk; of the three courses we played in our first three days, I posted my highest score on the Trails. Simon took fire on the front nine, where course management meets risk-reward considerations in an amplified state – which really underscored how awesome this course is. I have enjoyed many a round with ol’ Si and this was the best

golf I had ever seen him play. My favorite was hole was No. 17, which combines all the best elements of the Trails into one par-3 thrill. The features on this hole are so dramatic and differing, it has to be seen to be understood. The home hole brings you back from ridin’ the range and eases you into a world of dunes and salt water. In its variety of holes, it reminded me of a course in Dundee, Scotland, called Monifieth Medal — a lofty comparison, indeed, and a third purely enjoyable round.

OLD MACDONALD

O

ur gracious host and a flat-out great guy, Bandon’s marketing and events manager, Todd Kloster, gave the three of us a sneak peek at what will soon be a global golf story by allowing us to play 10 holes on the yet-to-be-opened Old Macdonald Course, which will debut in June of this year. Doak was paired with Jim Urbina in completing Bandon’s fourth and, possibly, final track. Little has been written about Old Macdonald, named for Charles Blair Macdonald (1856-1939), the father of American golf course architecture and founder of the U.S. Golf Association, so it was a rare treat to play it. The 10hole layout we experienced was not in its final form; in fact, we hit from some tees that will not exist. That said, we were able to get a real sense of the layout, which is different from the other three courses. Old Macdonald clearly rolls with the land, featuring some of the highest and lowest elevations on the resort. It will be a long, windy links test, more in the style of Bandon Dunes than either of the others. Kirk lit it up on this course and played it like a Scot, with low, wind-cheating punches and chips that rolled all the way to the flag. When this it completed, expect that it will earn the same acclaim the other three have received.

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ROAD HOLES HOTEL, FOOD and AMENITIES

T

he resort offers many lodging options, but what you won’t see is any “bling.” This is a golfer’s haven. It’s not about sailing, hiking, shopping excursions and dressing to the hilt. Bandon Dunes is about golf, great food, good drinks (make sure you have a Guinness at McKee’s Pub), meeting new people and relaxing. The design is comfortable, and the practice and instruction center – led by Grant Rogers – is one the best on the West Coast. We stayed in the Lily Pond Lodges, where I slept with the door open to let the Pacific’s waves and nighttime wildlife help me sleep like a baby. For a couple of meals, we headed into Bandon-bythe-Sea, which is a smaller and more quaint version of the famed Carmel-by-the-Sea on the California coast. We dined at Lord Bennett’s (541-347-3663), owned and operated by a golf nut named Rich, who is a member of the men’s club at Bandon Dunes. This is a must-stop dining experience. The fresh seafood, chops, wild greens and incredible Northwest wine selection was on par with anything you would find in Portland’s Pearl District or San

Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf. And it wasn’t stuffy at all – Rich’s staff was funny, over-delivered with made-to-order dessert and kept the wine coming. We called ahead and said we were on a golf trip, and Rich gave us tips on how to play Pacific Dunes the next day. The view through his big windows of the rocky beachline is to die for. We also dined at Alloro Wine Bar and Restaurant (541347-1850; allorowinebar.com), which offered a different experience with a smaller, artistic bistro atmosphere. The menu, with fresh seafood, local twists on salads and pasta, was highlighted with some Bandon-specific wild game and fowl. I couldn’t pass up sampling two game dishes and pairing it with an Oregon Pinot. Owned by a young couple that is throwing everything at the service and ambiance, we really relaxed and felt the Bandon culture there. Don’t be like me, and let a decade pass by without making this well-within-reach pilgrimage to Bandon Dunes. Their website, bandondunesgolf.com, tells a complete tale and will be helpful in booking this dream experience. You may have been to Scotland and Ireland and think you’ve played the finest links courses in the world, but if you haven’t been to Bandon, you don’t know what you’re missing.

?

Seattle

WHERE IS IT?

Olympia

GETTING TO BANDON IS RELATIVELY EASY

5

— whether you decide to fly, like our fearless explorers, or just throw the clubs in the trunk and drive down.

FROM SEATTLE/TACOMA • Take I-5 South for about 311 miles, until you reach exit 162 near Curtin, Ore.

Portland

• Merge onto OR-38 W/OR-99 S toward Drain/ Elkton (continue for six miles)

5

• Turn right at W. B Ave. to stay on OR-38 W (cont. for 50 miles) • Turn left at Oregon Coast Highway/US-101 S (cont. for 45 miles) • Turn right at Randolph Rd. • Continue onto W. Humphreys Rd./Lagoons Rd. • Turn right at Round Lake

38 101

• Enjoy the greatest golf experience of your life.

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RYAN MOORE struggled for three years, doing his best to compete with the world’s best golfers with a surgically repaired wrist. Now, pain-free at last, and with custom-made clubs from new partner Scratch Golf, he is making the changes necessary to contend at the game’s highest level.

SCRATCHING THE SURFACE

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H

e’s so laid back, he probably didn’t notice, but the last year or so has been quite eventful for Ryan Moore. First there was a move from Nevada to Arizona to flee the notorious Las Vegas wind and become a member at Scottsdale’s Estancia Club — exactly the type of establishment he was looking for, he says. He began dating an Australian girl he met down under and who now lives and works in New York City. He spent a year playing whatever clubs he wanted before signing a part-ownership agreement with an Oregonbased manufacturer called Scratch Golf; began work with a new coach and, of course, won his first PGA Tour title. Really, apart from the fact he hasn’t yet qualified for the British Open at St. Andrews (he has a few routes open to him, but his best bet is working his way into the world’s top-50 by May 24th – he was 52nd at the time of writing) life couldn’t be much better for the 27-year-old who grew up on the fairways and greens of Tacoma’s Classic Golf Club. And it will get better still in April when he returns to Augusta National for the first time since 2005. “I absolutely cannot wait to get there,” he says, his voice betraying just a hint of emotion. “It’s always been my favorite tournament, and I think the course sets up so well for my game. It has been painful watching on TV the last few years.” Moore earned a Masters comeback by virtue of his win at the Wyndham Championship in North Carolina last August. In a sense, the play-off victory was five years in the making, and everyone was certain it would act as a springboard for bigger and better things. Within a month, however, Moore was out of the FedEx Cup playoffs, his game in shambles, his confidence at rock bottom. “It really didn’t change a thing, to be honest,” he says of the win. “You obviously hope and expect confidence to spread throughout your whole game, but actually the opposite happened. Really, all it did was show me how far off I was from where I wanted to be. “Everyone on this tour is good enough to win, if they have one of those weeks where everything comes together. That was my week. I didn’t have the same feeling during the first three playoff events, so I didn’t qualify for the Tour Championship.” Were he still battling the same inconsistencies, the thought of teeing it up at an Augusta National that plays165 yards longer and quite a bit tighter than it was when he was

cascadegolfer.com

BY TONY DEAR

PHOTOS COURTESY JEREMY MOORE AND SCRATCH GOLF

last there might induce considerable fear. As it is, Moore says the difference between his short game now — with a new coach and those sharp new wedges — and that which he used to get up and down a year ago is like night and day. Plus, he is now striking the ball as cleanly as he was back in 2004, when he won a number of collegiate and amateur golf’s biggest titles. “Back then I felt I could win tournaments with my ‘B’ game, sometimes even my ‘C’ game,” he says. “I just had the feeling I could find four or five birdies and stay in contention no matter how well I was swinging the club.” That feeling drained away after surgery to repair the hook of the hamate bone in his left wrist in 2006. “The game became a struggle,” he remembers. “I wanted to get the same feelings

“I didn’t want to endorse something for the sake of it, just for the money,” Moore says of his new partner, Scratch Golf. “I believe in these clubs and this company 100 percent. It is an exceptional product.” I’d had in college back, but I needed help.” Instead of hiring one of the game’s established gurus — far too obvious a move for so unconventional a character — Moore did his own thing and hired Troy Denton, an old UNLV buddy, with whom he had played an awful lot of golf both in Rebel red and after graduation. “I wouldn’t say I hired him, necessarily,” says Moore. “He’s one of my best friends, so it’s not like the usual teacher/pupil relationship. But I suppose we did make it a bit more official last September.” Moore says he asked Denton to advise him because no one knew his swing nearly as well.

“Troy had seen my game at so many different stages,” says Moore. “He saw it when I was playing well in 2004 and when I began struggling in 2006. He knows my game better than anyone.” “I’ll be with him two weeks of every month, on the road sometimes, and at home on off weeks,” says Denton, who lives in Dallas and gives lessons at the Golf Performance Institute when not working with Moore. “We’re addressing all aspects of his game, but paying particular attention to his short game.” Indeed, the first drill Denton had his new pupil work on was chipping with just his left hand on the club. Moore says he instantly felt more comfortable and got a much better understanding of where his balance was and the role of the hands. “Before long, I was back trying to hole chips rather than just get them close enough to leave an easy putt,” he adds. Rediscovering the confidence he’d once had in his long game took a while longer, and required input from an unusual source. “I put my name into Google one night and ended up on some guy’s blog which had video of me at the 2005 Masters,” Moore says. “I remember I was crushing the ball that week, so I spent 15 minutes watching the video, trying to let the rhythm of the swing just sort of sink in. Funnily enough, Troy had seen the same video. We knew I needed to make a couple of adjustments to my set-up – flex my knees a little more and bend from the waist more; really just feel a little more athletic. Most importantly, though, I wanted to get the feeling back that my left side was in control of the swing.” The results since Denton became involved have been impressive – three straight top-10s at the end of last year (including a third in his first ever WGC event), and two to start this season. He missed the 36-hole cut in San Diego and the 54-hole cut in Los Angeles a week later, but both Moore and Denton are certain they are still on the right track. Just as crucial as the belief he has in his instructor, however, is the genuine enthusiasm he feels for his new tools; the Scratch Golf blades and wedges he put into the bag for the first time at the start of the Fall Series last October. “It was Troy who first told me about Scratch,” says Moore. “I visited their web site and played around customizing some wedges, which was fun. I then met Ari (CEO Ari Techner) at the Phoenix Open. He sent me a set of clubs a

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WHAT IS SCRATCH GOLF? Ryan Moore’s recent partnership with Scratch Golf has brought the Oregon-based manufacturing newcomer into the big-time world of PGA Tour endorsements. Frequent readers of Cascade Golfer may have first heard of Scratch last June, when we included the new company’s wedges in our “In The Bag” section. What sets Scratch apart from other manufacturers is their ability to customize wedges (and now, irons and hybrids as well) to match your game. An online questionnaire at scratchgolf.com helps determine the lie angle, face angle, shaft length and grind that will best match your game. Also included is a special engraving on the sole — whether you choose to put your initials (like Moore) or another small engraving of personal significance to you, it’s a cool way to feel like a pro without having to learn to play like one. For more information, visit scratchgolf.com or any Puetz Golf location.

Moore started his 2010 season with back-toback top-10 finishes.

few weeks later and I absolutely loved them. I wanted to put them in the bag right away, which I could do because I didn’t have any endorsement contracts to worry about. But I never had a good amount of time to go out and get used to them. “I spent some time researching the company and found they’re one of the few that builds irons and grinds wedges the way they should be,” he says. “I eventually put them in the bag

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during the Fall Series, soon after winning the Wyndham actually, and immediately started improving. I was kicking myself for not having put them in the bag earlier in the year.” The more he talked with Techner and the rest of the staff, the more comfortable Moore felt discussing contracts. In November, he signed an equity partnership agreement, involving a cash payment and performance incentives. “I didn’t want to endorse something for the sake of it, just for the money,” Moore says. “I believe in these clubs and this company 100 percent. It is an exceptional product. And switching to blades (Moore plays the forged SB-1 Blade with lofts five degrees apart) from the perimeter-weighted Ping irons I used to win the Wyndham wasn’t really that big a deal, because the guys at Scratch built me clubs with the perfect combination of sole width and bounce, which I think dictate the feel of the club. I come into the ball quite steeply so I wanted clubs with higher-than-normal bounce that don’t dig into the turf so much.” On-course, everything appears to be in place and Moore seems set for a bumper year. But life away from the Tour is blossoming, too. He is increasingly confident in his Christian faith that, he says, has become a huge part of who he is. “It affects everything I do,” he adds. “It’s my foundation, really. But I don’t want to push it on anyone.” His soon-to-be-ready house in Lakewood will allow him to return to Washington more often. “I didn’t get back as much as I would have liked last year,” he says. “When the house is complete, I’ll be able to come back far more frequently and hang out at the Classic Golf Club, which I love. Its shot values and green complexes are right up there with those at some of the Tour courses we play.” He is in a solid relationship with an Australian

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Cascade Golfer Cup Over $100,000 in prizes including a FREE SUMMER OF GOLF in 2011 ...AND OTHER GREAT TEAM PRIZES INCLUDING

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APRIL 2010

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woman named Serena Solomon, who he met two years ago when visiting his brother at a Bible college in Sydney. “Last June, she moved to New York, which is closer than Sydney obviously, but I still don’t see her as much as I’d like,” he says. “We work it out, though. I played in the Northeast quite a bit toward the end of last season, and she’s coming out to Phoenix in a couple of weeks. We just do what we can, when we can. It’s tough at times, but we’re both fine with it and want to make it work.” Lastly, he’s enjoying his role as Honorary Chairman of the 2010 U.S. Amateur Championship at Chambers Bay, even if there are times when he wonders what it is he’s actually meant to be doing. “I have agreed to help them out with whatever they need,” he says. “Chambers Bay is a great venue and [the U.S. Amateur] is such a great tournament. It helped propel my career; it’s very special to me. This is the first time one of the big USGA events has come to our region. We need to get out and support it and show the USGA we can hold a great tournament in the Northwest. We need to make the most of it.” For a while, with his game regressing following the wrist injury (he missed 42 cuts between 2006 and September last year), Ryan

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A new home in Lakewood will allow Moore to play his home course — Classic Golf Club — more often.

Moore fans were wondering if he’d ever make the most of his awesome talent. Thankfully, his health has returned, he is clearly content with life, he has new custom-made Scratch Golf clubs in his bag and his form of late suggests he is on the verge of something special.

Tony Dear is an award-winning freelance writer for several publications, and a regular contributor to Cascade Golfer. A native of England and longtime Bellingham resident, he has also authored several books on golf, most recently “The Golfer’s Handbook,” available through amazon.com.

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TRAVEL BAG

GOLFING IN

PARADISE BY BRIAN BEAKY CG EDITOR

T

o drive across the island of Maui is to drive through the history of Hawaii itself. Walking out of the Kahului Airport into the warm afternoon sunshine, your eyes are immediately drawn upward to the peak of 10,023-foot Haleakala, the mighty volcano whose very existence defines all that we know of Maui. Haleakala gave life to Hawaii’s second-largest island, pouring its molten contents into the clear blue sea for millions of years until its flow merged with that of nearby Pu’u Kukui to form the isthmus that connects travelers arriving at Kahului to the destination resorts of Wailea, Lahaina, Ka’anapali and Kapalua. Early Hawaiians named the volcano Haleakala, “House of the Sun,” because they believed it empowered the demigod Mau’i to slow its journey across the sky, and thus lengthen the day. Today, tourists celebrate this slow progression of the sun by renting bicycles at the volcano’s summit before dawn, then slowly descending its slopes as the sun rises from its nightly prison and begins its slow march across the heavens. You’ve never seen a sunrise until you’ve seen it from Haleakala. Immediately to the west of Kahului, just minutes from the airport, is Wailuku, home to the oldest existing structures on the island – temples the Hawaiian oral tradition credits to the legendary Menehune, magical dwarfs and skilled craftsmen who were overpowered by early Tahitian settlers. According to the stories, the Menehune were driven from the lowlands and forced to live out their existence in the lush rainforests of the Iao Valley, where in 1794 King Kamehameha I – with the assistance of American cannons and military expertise – would slaughter the native Tahitians and ritually sacrifice his rivals to complete his conquest of Maui and unite the Hawaiian islands. One can only assume the Menehune, if they indeed did exist, smiled down from their mountainside villages. After leaving Kahului, the modern Maui traveler passes between the ghostly Iao Valley to the northwest and mighty Haleakala to the southeast

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through seemingly endless fields of sugarcane, planted in the 1800s to make the rum so desired by sailors aboard the hundreds of whaling ships that berthed on Maui’s southern coast each year. The midpoint of the Pacific between the whaling centers of Japan and South America, Hawaii – and specifically, Maui – soon became a key port for oceangoing travelers, who brought with them Western culture, religion, and other influences that would set in motion the chain of events that finally led to statehood, in the still-quite-recent year of 1959. f course, few vacationers think of these things as they point their rental cars along the 20-minute drive from Kahului to Ma’alaea Bay, where travelers can turn southeast towards Wailea, one of America’s premier recreational communities, or northwest towards the more touristy locales of Lahaina, Ka’anapali, and Maui’s most famous golf course, Kapalua. Separated by just 39 miles, a golf vacationer can truthfully stay anywhere on Maui’s southwestern coast and be within easy driving distance of each of the island’s major golf destinations. And with golf, lodging and dining options to meet just about any budget, from luxury resorts to more modest oceanside hotels, vacation rentals, even beachfront villas, it’s easy to plan a trip to meet your specific needs. Best of all, getting to Hawaii is a lot easier these days than it was for 18th-century Tahitians. The general downturn of the economy over the past year has been a boon for savvy travelers, who can take advantage of direct flights to Kahului, Maui’s main airport, for as little as $400 round trip from Seattle. We’ve saved you time — and money — by checking out some of the area’s top resorts and courses, and put our recommendations in this issue. No need to thank us — that cold, fruity beverage at the clubhouse bar, with the smell of the pikake flower in the air and the crashing waves of the Pacific Ocean before us, was thank you enough.

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Top to Bottom: Wailea Emerald, Grand Champions Villas at Wailea, Wailea Gold, Wailea Old Blue.

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WAILEA

ocated in a protected rain shadow at the southwestern corner of Maui’s larger half, at the base of the majestic Haleakala, Wailea has established itself as a leading resort community, with thriving golf, shopping and restaurant industries that exist to satisfy the thousands of part-time residents who spend at least a portion of the year on the island. Much of the area’s best golf is centered at the Wailea Resort, whose 54-hole complex, Wailea Golf Club, makes it not only one of Hawaii’s top golf resorts, but also one of its top values. In addition to the largest collection of championship courses in the islands, Wailea includes five superb hotels and eight excellent condominium/town home options, plus spas, shopping, numerous restaurants, live entertainment, an awardwinning tennis club and – most importantly for those travelers looking to relax – the No. 1-ranked beaches in the United States. Of course, what matters to us is the golf. With three varied layouts, ocean views from almost every hole and a 200-foot elevation change from top to bottom, it was a no-brainer for Golf Digest to rate Wailea one of its “Best Places to Play” in a recent story. The Wailea Gold, formerly the site of the Champions Skins Game, is a ruggedly beautiful layout marked by native wili wili trees, stark lava outcroppings, and a solid design that demands careful club selection to be played well. Low lava rock walls, built centuries ago

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by early Hawaiians and preserved for their historical interest, dot the course, a constant reminder of Maui’s ancient history. The Emerald is a sensuous delight, lushly landscaped with fragrant blossoms and tropical foliage, and numerous island vistas. Fewer forced carries offer a measure of forgiveness, but even avid players will find strong shot placement is key to success. Most memorable about the Emerald is the double green at holes No. 10 and 17 – Hawaii’s first – bordered by a 1.4-million-gallon brackish-water lake and a stunning ocean view. The Old Blue is Wailea’s original layout, a more typical “Hawaiian” course with wide fairways, challenging greens, numerous fountains, tropical plants, coral sand bunkers and several lakes. The course meanders through much of the resort, with views of the ocean from almost every point. In addition to the three courses, Wailea is home to the only David Leadbetter Golf Academy in the islands, part of a 12-acre training facility where resort guests can work on their game between rounds. Combining golf with a stay at one of the resort’s hotels or condominiums can save nearly 25 percent on the fullprice greens fee, while a popular Seahorse Swing golf pass can be purchased for just $450, giving a golfer unlimited access to the Gold and Emerald courses for a three-day period. In addition, two-round and family packages are available for the Old Blue, while unadvertised seasonal specials and packages are periodically posted to the resort’s website, waileagolf.com. Visitors also can benefit from terrific rates on condos

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TRAVEL BAG from Destination Resorts Hawaii, which offers the largest selection of spacious, residential-style Maui condos with preferred access to premium beaches, Wailea’s championship courses and world-class shopping, plus personalized attention to detail and resort-style service. With condos ranging from one to four bedrooms, and featuring full kitchens, private lanais, separate living areas, daily housekeeping, concierge services and highspeed Internet access, there’s a match for couples or groups of any budget or desired level of luxury.

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WEST MAUI

urning north at Ma’alaea Bay takes you to West Maui, a picturesque coastline from Olawalu to Kapalua that has as its bustling center the history-rich town of Lahaina. Chosen by Kamehameha two centuries ago to be the capital of his newly unified Hawaiian kingdom and home to his royal palace, Lahaina was once one of the busiest ports in the entire Pacific Ocean. Today, its streets are packed not with sailors, but tourists enjoying an evening walk along the seaside Front Street, home to dozens of restaurants (many featuring second-story deck seating with unbeatable ocean views), trendy shops and

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Royal Ka’anapali Golf Course

galleries featuring work by local artists. There are also a number of businesses catering specifically to out-of-towners, including whale-watching tours (in the wintertime, the straits around West Maui offer some of the best humpback whale-watching opportunities in the world), professionally led snorkeling and scuba expeditions, helicopter tours over and into the Haleakala crater, and more. Most vistors to West Maui choose to stay in Ka’anapali, centrally located between Lahaina and Kapalua, just a 12-minute drive from both. Though officially just five square miles in size, Ka’anapali is home to seven resortlevel hotels and numerous rental condominiums and vacation villas, all located on one of the most famous beaches in the world. With its relatively calm waters and abundant sea life, the Black Rock — a large lava-

rock outcropping located roughly at the midpoint of the resort complexes — is considered one of the premier snorkeling locations on the island, with eels, sea turtles and Hawaii’s famous colorful fish all common sights for even the most amateur snorkeler. It’s also home to the area’s two premier courses, Royal Ka’anapali and Ka’anapali Kai, at Ka’anapali Golf Resort. The current home of the Wendy’s Champions Tour Skins Game, the Robert Trent Jones, Sr.-designed Royal Ka’anapali is a challenging test of a golfer’s shotmaking skills, combining classic oceanfront holes with others that wind up into the foothills to create a varied golf experience that showcases all that is beautiful of the West Maui coast. At a comparatively reasonable 6,700 yards and with multiple sets of tees, the par-71 course allows golfers to play the course to whatever

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Westin Maui Resort & Spa

difficulty they desire, ensuring a fun and memorable round for everyone in your group. The shorter Ka’anapali Kai is the more forgiving course, with generous fairways and more subtle greens surrounded by brilliant native flowers, coconut trees and lava rock formations, all backdropped by stunning ocean and mountain views at every turn. Guests at the nearby Westin Maui Resort and Spa receive nearly $50 off the regular greens fees, while enjoying rooms with private decks or lanais – a perfect spot to sip a glass of champagne and watch the sun set over the nearby islands of Lanai and Molokai. Parrots, tropical fish and relaxing waterfalls greet you in the lobby of this award-winning oceanfront resort, while flamingos and swans walk the 87,000-square foot pool area, complete with five outdoor swimming pools, slides

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and a swim-through grotto hidden by waterfalls. The colorful wildlife and soothing ambience set a leisurely paced tone for your entire stay, which is welltaken-care-of by a hospitable staff eager to direct you to any of the resort’s numerous activities, including fantastic restaurants, cafés and bars and a full-service luxury day spa. Families traveling together, or large groups looking for a little extra space, can consider The Westin Ka’anapali Ocean Resort Villas, which offers the same stay-and-play benefits, but larger living spaces, including kitchens or kitchenettes, washer/dryer, in-villa Jacuzzi, separate bedrooms, private balconies and more. This 26-acre resort, located roughly a mile up the beach from the major resort hotels, and featuring its own set of pools, outdoor barbeques, restaurants and sports bars,

TRAVEL BAG Spa Helani, easy beach access, full-service concierge staff and complimentary shuttles to the other Starwood properties in Ka’anapali and to Lahaina town, is a slower-paced alternative to the more heavily trafficked areas of Ka’anapali. In addition to granting you access to the terrific local courses, a stay in Ka’anapali also puts you within 15 minutes of the crown jewel of Maui’s golf enterprise, the Kapalua Golf Resort. The 36-hole resort is Hawaii’s most famous, hosting the world’s best golfers year after year, plus thousands of other pleasure-seekers looking to trod the fairways annually ranked among Golf Digest’s “Top 100 You Can Play.” The par-73 Plantation Course, home to the PGA Tour’s season-opening SBS Classic, is Hawaii’s most famous, its 7,411 yards winding up and down the West Maui Mountain foothills and through Maui’s most active pineapple plantation, a remnant of the 18th-century Spanish explorers who brought the tropical fruit with them from their explorations in South America. It all leads up to one of the most famous holes in all of golf, the par-5 18th, a 665-yard monster played downwind to a fairway sloping away from the tee, a perfect storm of conditions for drives that carry 300 – even 400 – yards. While less challenging (and less pricey) than its

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TRAVEL BAG

HAWAII’S FINEST KA’ANAPALI • Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa maui.hyatt.com • 808-661-1234 KA’ANAPALI • Ka’anapali Golf Resort kaanapaligolfresort.com • 866-454-4653 KA’ANAPALI • Royal Lahaina Resort royallahainaresort.com • 800-222-5642 KA’ANAPALI • Sheraton Maui Resort sheraton-maui.com • 866-716-8109 KA’ANAPALI • Westin Ka’anapali Ocean Resort Villas westinkaanapali.com • 866-716-8112 KA’ANAPALI • Westin Maui Resort & Spa westinmaui.com • 866-716-8112

KAPALUA• The Plantation House Restaurant 808-669-6299 LIHUE, KAUAI • Puakea Golf Course puakeagolf.com • 866-773-5554 WAILEA• Destination Resorts drhmaui.com • 866-384-1366 WAILEA • Grand Wailea Resort Hotel & Spa grandwailea.com • 800-888-6100 WAILEA • Longhi’s Restaurant 808-891-8883 WAILEA • Seawatch Restaurant 808-875-8080

KAHUKU, OAHU • Turtle Bay Resort turtlebayresort.com • 808-293-6000

WAILEA • Wailea Beach Marriott Resort & Spa marriott.com • 808-879-1922

KAPALUA • Kapalua Golf Resort cms.kapalua.com • 877-KAPALUA

WAILEA • Wailea Golf Resort waileagolf.com • 888-328-MAUI

KAPALUA • Pineapple Grill Restuarant 808-669-9600

WAILUKU • Kahili Golf Course kahiligolf.com • 808-242-4653

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more famous sibling, many players find Kapalua’s Bay Course equally enjoyable. While the Plantation winds its way through the mountain foothills, the Bay stretches past the Ritz-Carlton to the coast below, offering the player the chance to battle Maui’s famous trade winds during a short-but-challenging two-hole stretch along the coastline before returning inland. Both courses are stay-and-play partners of the nearby Kapalua Villas, spacious vacation homes with views of the ocean or golf course, plus dozens of little luxuries designed to make for a comfortable stay. Each of the Villas, which range from 1-3 bedrooms, offer discounts on golf and other resort activities, plus access to Kapalua’s tennis courts, shops and restaurants. Amenities vary by size and location, ensuring that a Villa exists to satisfy the specific budgetary and comfort needs of any golf traveler, whether Jack Nicklaus or Joe Six-Pack.

S

tanding at the peak of Haleakala in the pre-dawn hours of a late-autumn morning, bundled up in layers against temperatures that are hovering around freezing, it’s easy to think, “What on earth am I doing here?” Then the first orange rays of the sun peek over the horizon to the east, bathing the mountain and the island below in a glorious golden light, and you stand, breathless, unable to recall a single thought besides one simple truth – this is why 1,500 years worth of civilizations have been drawn to Maui … an island unlike any other and, for golfers, an experience you’ll never forget.

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SAVE SOME GREEN

NORTH STARS Kayak Point Golf Course • No. 9

BY BOB SHERWIN

I

t wasn’t so long ago that the opportunities for golfers north of Seattle were quite limited. But with the maturity of Kayak Point and Ballinger Lake Golf Course and the development of centrally located Harbour Pointe, north-end golfers have some quality choices. Kayak Point in Stanwood opened in 1977 and continues to rank among the top-100 public courses in the nation. Yet, despite all the development over these past three decades, there are still no homes on the course. The ever-present, ball-magnet firs next to the fairways are the same as they were when the course opened three decades ago. It’s fresh, quiet and bucolic. Harbour Pointe in Mukilteo, now part of the Oki Golf empire, is in a prime location, about three miles west of the I-5/I-405 interchange. Folks from Everett, Seattle and Bellevue are within easy drives. It was opened in 1992 and its trees and vegetation have reached the optimum maturity. Ballinger, a nine-hole tract in Mountlake Terrace, is the oldest among the three, built in 1958. But the course underwent a $1.7 million major overhaul in 1999 to make it more demanding. It’s still just nine holes for those golfers who want a quick and thrifty round. All three are good layouts. They are well maintained and, played at various times of the day and week, can save you anywhere from a few bucks to a whole wallet full of cash over the full-price greens fees at some of the more heavily trafficked courses. Best of all, their reasonable rates and moderately challenging layouts (OK, Kayak might merit a full “challenging”) make them a perfect place to work out those wintertime yips and get your swing ready for what is shaping up to be another beautiful season in the Northwest.

Kayak Point Golf Club - Stanwood

5

Harbour Pointe Golf Club - Mukilteo 2

Ballinger Lake Golf Club - Mountlake Terrace 5 56

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1

Kayak Point GC STANWOOD

According to the time-honored rules of golf, a golfer is allowed 14 clubs in a bag. This, the rule-shapers believed, was plenty enough to maneuver past all the hazards and distances presented by 18 holes. More than 14 clubs, the golfer must be penalized. Fewer than 14 clubs is no problem, no penalty. Now, I don’t use all my clubs most of the time. For certain distances and specific shots, I tend to trust a club I’ve had a history with rather than experiment, even though another club may be a better choice. Kayak Point is a course designed for the full bag. There might not be a more enjoyable course to play in Western Washington. Its 6,109-yard layout (6,719 back tees) is challenging primarily because you have to move the ball around so much. That takes different shots and different clubs. Perhaps because the course is about nine miles west of I-5, the club offers more incentives to bring those full-bag golfers to the first tee. Winter rates are among the best in the area, as low as $29 with a cart and a hot dog. Summer rates can be as low as $19 for seniors and juniors with special twilight (after 2 p.m.) and super twilight (after 5 p.m.) rates. You get your money’s worth here because you are forced out of your comfort zone. The course demands faded drives, as well as draws. There are holes built for the moderate and even severe slicers. But, there also are some that require working the ball right to left around obstacles. And of course, straight also works well. Kayak is a course of distinctive holes. First-timers are at a disadvantage because local knowledge is beneficial. For golfers who move the ball left to right, the front nine accommodates — that is, except for No. 1. It’s a dead-straight, 376-yard, par-4 with trees on each side. The fairway is fairly wide but tapers down on the edges. Drives that drift right or left will invariably roll among the trees. You can hit out, but the fairway is so much less complicated. Then the crooked paths begin with the second hole, a 499-yard, par-5 that features a dogleg right at about 180 yards. The 369-yard sixth hole is a deceptive one, requiring a well-spun slice off the clear to circumvent a severe dogleg right. You can’t really go over the trees on the corner, which are too close and too high. And if you can’t get around them, scores soar. The par-5, 480-yard ninth hole should be this course’s finishing hole. In fact, I think the course would be better suited if the nines were reversed. It takes two good connections to have a shot at the green. You also need to decide which way to take your ball around a huge fir tree about 100 yards in front of the green. Where the front nine requires a good fade or slice, the back nine favors the draw. It begins with the course’s most memorable hole, the par-4, 363-yard 10th and its elevated tee. You hit into a wide, deep valley; on a dry day, it should reach the bottom. On wet days, you might end up with an unenviable downhill lie to an uphill green. If you are positioned well, it’s usually a wedge from there.

2

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EaglEmont golf Club Rated

by Golf Digest

Rated #9 on Golf Digest’s list of Top Ten Golf Courses in Washington State

Then comes the most severe dogleg left on the course at No. 11. If the golfer can get his drive out about 200 yards, that should clear the trees on the left. But a long draw is a huge weapon here because the second shot is so long. The green – first-timers be warned – slopes toward the left so an approach along the right side won’t hurt you. The 343-yard, par-4 14th was named to Cascade Golfer’s Dream 18 last year, and for good reason. It’s one of the few holes in the state that offer two different paths of attack from tee to green. Straight ahead is a forest. You can go right, which is shorter and more difficult for the slicer. Or you can go left, requiring a longer drive to clear the trees, but leaving a clean second shot. This is a fun hole. I don’t think I’ve ever gone along the right side, because of my fear of slicing into the right-side woods, but most of the golfers I’ve played with choose that path to save the extra yards. Of course, that’s just one of the many choices you’ll have to make throughout your round. And trust me, by the end of the day, you should be scraping the dirt off all 14 clubs.

We offer outstanding tournament rates and full services. Let Eaglemont host your 2010 charity or corporate event. Call the pro shop.

Early-Bird Rates Before 9:00 AM Monday-Friday

Twilight Rates After 2:00 PM 7 DAYS A WEEK!

Call for tee times - 1.800.368.8876 or visit www.eaglemont.com 4127 Eaglemont Drive I Mount Vernon, WA 98274

BEST HOLE Almost everyone remembers the 10th. Your tee shot is so severely downhill, it just disappears into a canyon. You’re hoping the ball finds a slippery slope to the bottom. It’s also wide open. Even a severe slice or draw here would not get you in trouble. Without any real deterrent, the tendency is to muscle up and over swing. I say to just keep it simple, maybe even use a 3-wood to ride the breeze. You’ll still get some help on distance from the downslope, and will be left with a short approach to the green.

YARDAGE 6,109-6,719 RATES $16-32 WEB golfkayak.com TEL (360) 652-9676

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2

Harbour Pointe GC MUKILTEO

You might think that you can score here. It’s average in length (6,138 yards, white tees) and fairly open. And certainly, on those days when the sun is beaming, the wind and rain are far away, and your swing is silky-smooth, you can score. Lose that concentration for just a moment, though — or play it when conditions are less than ideal — and those scorecardruining snowmen can start to appear rather quickly. Like all the Oki Golf courses, an Oki Players Card grants you 10-percent discounts on green fees, including seniors and juniors. There are also twilight and super twilight rates during the summer that make the course a terrific bargain, especially for twosomes sharing a cart. If you can keep your ball down the middle, you can handle the first two holes. Maybe after a couple pars you’re thinking you’re on your way. That’s when the par-3, 154-yard third hole shows up to throw you off. A wide, intimidating pond between the tee and green will do its best to put those negative thoughts in your head — keep your head down and hit your 160-yard club, though, and it’s not a difficult shot. Starting with the third, you’ll need to keep that concentration level high for the rest of your round. The par-5, 480-yard fourth hole throws woods and wetlands at you, while the 485-yard, par-5 sixth forces you to ignore the danger left and right and let fly with the driver off the tee. Fail to go long with your first shot, and you’ll have no chance to clear the fairway-wide waste area (to a landing area surrounded by woods, water and sand) on your second. It’s

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one of the toughest second shots around, one in which I can rarely find a dry, safe place to aim. The par-3, 144-yard seventh is one of the most picturesque in the area — which, again, is part of the danger. Keep your eyes on the green — not on the water in front and all along the right side, nor at the woods left or long. Trust me, it’s harder to avoid the distractions than you might think. On every hole on the back nine – except for No. 10 — either the tee or the green, if not both, are elevated. If there is a more beautiful hole in this region than No. 11, I’m not sure where it is. From the tee, you look across the Sound to the southern end of Whidbey Island. It’s a short par-4, just 335 yards. But 180 yards out, it drops down a steep slope to a gulley, then slightly up again to the green. The elevation change requires some careful club selection, while an unforgiving forest looms right. Keep it straight on the drive and make sure you’re far enough to see over the hill on the approach. The par-5, 500-yard finishing hole is a good test. The drive is all uphill, probably 200 yards to reach the plateau. Unless you are a true long-bomber, it’s a three-shotter for sure. The long green, though, favors a right-to-left approach. At Kayak, you need every club in your bag. At Harbour, you need blinders. You have to ignore the water on Nos. 3, 6, 7, 8 and 10 then try not to be a hero on Nos. 6, 8, 11 and 13.

Accomplish all of that, and yes, you can score. And if you do, let me know — I guess I still haven’t quite figured out how to work those blinders just yet.

BEST HOLE The 11th at Harbour is the quintessential signature hole for any golf course — incredible views, deceptive routing and a simply unforgettable experience. The view off the tee would add at least a couple hundred thousand to your home price if you were to build on that spot. But it’s a terrible beauty — there is no hope for a ball that sails right, which will simply disappear into the treetops below. The best drive is one toward the left side, about 190 yards. That will give you a peek over the ridge to aim your approach down a steep slope to the green. Only the bold dare be seduced by the siren song of that view to actually go for the green — if you’re long and straight enough, you can get there, but you’ll certainly have some anxious moments once the ball disappears over the ridge.

YARDAGE 4,836-6,861 RATES $20-40 (10 percent less with Oki card) WEB harbourpointegolf.com TEL (425) 355-6060

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3

Ballinger Lake GC MOUNTLAKE TERRACE

It’s only natural to be skeptical of a nine-hole muni. After all, many are little more than glorified putt-putts — short, easy holes with little variation, where a driver-wedge combo is good enough to reach all the par-4s, and every par-5 is an easy two-shotter. That being said, it takes just one look off the first tee to realize that Ballinger Lake — located in Mountlake Terrace between I-5 and Highway 99, on the north side of Lake Ballinger — does not belong in that category. Though relatively short, at just 363 yards from the tips, the first at Ballinger features a sharp dogleg right, forcing the golfer to make their first risk-reward decision of the day. Long hitters have a chance to cut the corner, but a miss long will find Lake Ballinger, while a mid-to-long iron drops you at the heart of the dogleg, and gives you a clear approach to the tee (don’t worry, there will be plenty of opportunities to feed your inner John Daly later). Whatever you decide, you better be able to hit it straight; miss left or right and you’re headed for swampland and an inevitable six. With two par threes over 170 yards, making up those strokes can be tough. As you make your way around this relatively flat course, you realize that Ballinger — which underwent a $1.7 million remodel in 1999 — plays more like the front half of an 18hole golf course than the standard nine-holers we’re used to. At just over 2,500 yards, it’s not a long course, but with plenty of trees, water and O.B. areas, it puts a premium on accuracy that many 18-hole tracks can’t match. When you step off the eighth green and head for the tee box at the terrific, par-5 ninth, be sure to stop and take in an unexpectedly beautiful view of Lake Ballinger — even more spectacular if you are playing a twilight round and the sun is setting. As flocks of Canada geese alight on the water, you’ll find it tough to remember you’re just five minutes from I-5. As nine-holers go, Ballinger is easily one of the area’s finest for a number of reasons — not the least of which is its relative peacefulness and affordability, even at peak times. Eighteen holes can almost always be completed in under four hours, and at rates that typically peak no higher than $30 or so for a full round, half as much for nine. When you’re finished, head back into The Lakeview Room for a drink, where you will find the friendly staff eager to hear about your round. — Ryan Amos

BEST HOLE It’s hard to top the 462-yard, par-5 ninth. Players must align their drive to set up a second shot through a narrow, tree-shrouded opening to a well-bunkered green. Miss right or left and you’re in the reeds; mis-judge the distance and the trees will deny any hope of getting home in two.

YARDAGE 2,267-2,564 RATES $15-35 WEB ballingerlakegolf.com TEL (425) 697-4653 60

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PRESENTED BY

POST GAME

ABOVE AND BEYOND BRIAN BEAKY • CG EDITOR

L

ast summer, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to play 36 holes at Newcastle Golf Club — both Coal Creek and China Creek — in one day. Unfortunately, that one day just happened to be the hottest on record in the Puget Sound region, with temperatures peaking at 106 degrees in Bellevue right around the time we teed off for our second 18. Newcastle could have had its single-greatest day of on-course beverage sales in its history; one step outside the relative shade of the golf cart, and the sweat was pouring out of us. Instead of cashing in on their players’ misfortune, however, Newcastle general manager David Hein dispatched workers out onto the course with coolers filled with bottled water to give away, free, to every golfer they could find — plus cold, wet towels to cool your forehead, neck and shoulders. I’ll bet I went through a dozen or more bottles of water on that day, and had a great experience on the course. It was a cool move on Hein’s part, and showed me that Newcastle is more than just a great golf course, but one that appreciates and takes care of its players. That’s why, in this feature, I want to highlight some of the courses that, rather than try to squeeze every dollar out of you that they can, go the extra mile to give you a terrific value, and engender your loyalty. Now, we couldn’t possibly list every one, but we thought it was worthwhile to highlight a few that, whether through a play-all-day package, a food-and-beverage bonus, or some other incentive, give you more for your money than just a fun and challenging round of golf. Thanks again, fellas — you’re helping to make the game more affordable and enjoyable for all of us.

Mount Si Golf Course

Mount Si Golf Course

Lake Wilderness GC

Eaglemont Golf Course

THE DEAL:

THE DEAL:

THE DEAL:

Snoqualmie

Great golf, delicious food and free internet — starting around $20 a round.

Maple Valley

Golf, cart and lunch for as little as $38 ($30 for seniors)

Mt. Vernon

Play all day for as little as $67

THE SKINNY:

THE SKINNY:

THE SKINNY:

Matt Campbell’s gem of a course just up I-90 has been a well-kept secret among eastside golfers for years. With a brand-new par-3 “Little Si” course designed to make the game easier for juniors and quicker for the rest of us, and the chance to get some work done with free wireless in the restaurant before and after the round, that secret won’t be kept much longer.

A fun, easy round (though an honest challenge for the mid-handicapper) is made all the better by that free lunch in the restauarant afterward. An ideal combo for the golfer who likes his birdies plentiful and his burgers paid for.

As man of summer Ernie Banks used to say, “Let’s play two.” Few courses offer a better repeat-play package than Eaglemont, where for just $15 over the regular greens fee, you can play as much as you want. Pick the right time of year and you can even get around three times, a great value at a course rated among the state’s top-10.

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Cascade Golfer April 2010  
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