Volume 7 • Issue 2 • JUNE 2013
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.
Departments 6 PUBLISHER’S PITCH 10 SHORT GAME
VARSITY COMMUNICATIONS, INC. 4114 198th Street SW, Suite 5 Lynnwood, WA 98036 P: (425) 412-7070 F: (425) 412-7082 varsitycommunications.com
FOR EDITORIAL SUBMISSIONS AND INQUIRIES: Brian Beaky • (425) 412-7070 ext. 103 firstname.lastname@example.org
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 FOR ADVERTISING INQUIRIES, CONTACT: David Stolber • (425) 412-7070 ext. 113 email@example.com
Golf books for Dad Eagles Pride goes green Jim Moore’s talkin’ golf Join the fun in CG Cup, Shootout Latest local golf news SG Extra: An all-day Avalon adventure
22 PUETZ IN THE BAG • Forged gets forgiving • Sweet summer kicks
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 Johnny Carey, Tony Dear, Steve Kelley, Bob Sherwin
• • • • • •
26 TEEING OFF
• We “got” Jesse
33 RISK VS REWARD
• Trophy Lake — No. 18
50 RESORT REPORT
• Port Ludlow is home away from home
Our local pro golfers celebrate the fathers who gave them their start by Steve Kelley
41 ROAD TRIPPIN’
Whether for a day, a weekend, or a whole week, take your game on the road this summer
54 SAVE SOME GREEN • Central WA delights
• Dealing with slow play
PUETZ GOLF SAVINGS!
THIS PAGE The Port Ludlow Resort is a terrific summer escape — for golfers and non-golfers alike. STORY ON PAGE 50
8-9 | 28-31 | 56-57
DIRECTOR OF FINANCE Bobbi Kramer ACCOUNTS PAYABLE & RECEIVABLE Pam Titland
Consolidated Press • Seattle, WA COPYRIGHT 2013 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.
Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner Our April issue was packed with free-golf giveaways. Here’s who brought home the bacon: Apple Tree Twosome John Hagerty • Bellingham Salish Cliffs Twosome Bob Campbell • Gig Harbor Twosomes to Eaglemont & Camaloch Fran Zickes • Seattle
PRODUCER AND OWNER OF THE PROUD CHARTER MEMBER
Twosome to Druids Glen or Willows Run Travis Pope • Edmonds Snoqualmie Falls Twosome & Innovex Balls Derek Carlson • Buckley
JUNE JUNE 2013 2013
And if you thought that was something, just wait and see what we have in store for this issue! • Four-Night Whistler Stay-and-Play: Page 44 • Boeing Classic VIP Passes: Page 18 • All-Day Twosome to Avalon: Page 21 Plus a RIFE putter and twosomes to Eagles Pride, SunCountry Golf Course, Snoqualmie Falls, Camaloch, and your choice of Druids Glen or Willows Run! LOG ON TO CASCADEGOLFER.COM FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN!
Seattle’s favorite son enters the World Golf Hall of Fame
he simple grin. The unique way he saunters down the fairway like he doesn’t have a care in the world. The way he calmly shrugs his shoulders to adjust his shirt as he stands behind the ball before each and every shot. The effortless, incredibly unique, loose backswing he picks up off the ground that creates 110 m.p.h. of crushing impact. The near-emotionless reaction to every shot, whether holing a bird at Amen Corner for a share of the lead, or pushing one into the trees on the 72nd at Riviera to drop out of first. That’s Fred Couples – Seattle’s favorite son and a living legend. He came from humble beginnings — no silver spoon for him. He won everything in sight as a kid in Seattle with off-the-shelf irons, cracked woods, average-at-best duds and a mop top – wrinkling the pressed pants and stuffed shirts of the inside-lane country club kids that he befuddled. In fact, he’s said that he asked his mom for $5 each day so he could play Seattle’s Jefferson Park over and over — when he wasn’t sneaking through the fence, of course. Freddy is the kid down the street. A Sonics-loving sports fanatic who didn’t dream of becoming a PGA Tour star as a kid. He just ended up being one – taking advantage of his talent and opportunities earned, not given. Everyone wants to be around him, because he’s so
cool. He has 15 PGA Tour wins, eight Champions Tour wins (including two senior majors) and a green jacket, but he has a larger fan base than guys with 30, 40, 50 wins. He’s a rock star in L.A. and Orange County. They follow him in Houston, where he played his college golf and returns annually for the Shell Houston Open. His gallery at Augusta is always among the largest. But, I love when he slips Seattle into an interview — and he does it often. His siblings and family still live here; this really is home for him. It’s clearly important to Freddy, and to his perspective. Proof of that is a quote from his induction speech into the World Golf Hall of Fame in May: “Thanks for taking a kid from Seattle and putting him in the Hall of Fame,” Couples said, visibly overtaken with emotion. “This is the coolest night of my life.” Then, with his Boom-Boom gait, he walked off the stage in tears, thrusting both arms in the air — a rare show of emotion. But on a night where the world of golf tipped their collective hat, it was more than appropriate, and showed that inside the steely, chilled-out dude is a fire that drives him. And it drove him all the way to the one spot that the world’s best are honored forever. Hope you enjoy a sunny summer and, as always, TAKE IT EASY.
When you leave your golf cart and need to take more than one club with you, Extra Caddy helps with the annoying task of carrying multiple loose clubs. • Clips to your golf bag & stays there, out of the way, until you need it again. • Great at the driving range when you only want to hit a few clubs! • Find Extra Caddy at your local golf store or at EXTRACADDY.com
AVAILABLE IN FOUR COLORS! BLACK
DEMO DAYS SATURDAYS IN JUNE at the
15 PUETZ GIFT CARDS FOR EVERY $ SPENT 100
AT ALL FOUR LOCATIONS Seattle • Bellevue • Southcenter • Tacoma
JUNE 1ST • JUNE 8 TH • JUNE 15 TH *earn $15 Puetz Gift Cards (PGC) on every $100 USD in retail value, each Saturday – 10am – 4pm from participating vendors – certain PING products are excluded from this promotion, as are SALE items ending in .86 or .88. See Stores for complete list and restrictions. No cash value. Returns will be adjusted accordingly. PGC’s expire 12/31/2013. 8
JUNE 2013 2013
JUNE 1ST 10 a.m. TO 4 p.m.
JUNE 8TH 10 a.m. TO 4 p.m.
JUNE 15TH 10 a.m. TO 4 p.m.
Seattle Driving Range! MANUFACTURERS REPS ONSITE 11762 Aurora Ave. N. •
FREE Dante's Inferno Gourmet Hot Dog, Chips & Pop • 11a.m. - 1p.m.
Seattle Driving Range • No Purchase Necessary
JUNE JUNE 2013 2013
Northern Quest Tees Up Summer Stay-And-Plays
olf east of the Cascades is always a delightful experience — sunny skies, dry conditions … even the chance to work on that summer golf tan. It helps, too, that some of the best golf this state has to offer lies on the leeward side of the Cascade Mountains. Sprinkled in and around the second biggest city in the state, great golf courses are as common in Spokane as Gonzaga victories in the Kennel. So, with the sun once again shining its glorious (and much-needed) rays upon us in the Puget Sound region, it’s a perfect time to cast our eyes east in search of a perfect golf weekend — and if there’s one where the fun continues even after the sun goes down? So much the better. Located just west of the metropolitan area in Airway Heights, the Kalispel Tribe’s Northern Quest Resort & Casino is the Inland Northwest’s only AAA-
rated, Four-Diamond casino resort. You’ll quickly understand why once you walk through the doors of this 250-room palace. The incomparable casino gaming, exceptional fine dining and the unrivalled nightlife makes Northern Quest a must for any group of guys, gals or couples looking to spend a weekend away this summer. The amenities you find at Northern Quest are unmatched. With 14 dining and lounging options, a world-class casino and spa, and a list of entertainers that would make Las Vegas Casino connoisseurs turn their heads, the hardest decisions you’ll have to make at Northern Quest are whether to hit or stay — or, if you want that steak medium, or medium-rare. Don’t forget to catch a game on the largest HDTV screen east of the Cascades, a 30x10-foot monster that eats conventional flat screen TVs for breakfast. What has made Northern Quest a must for golf enthusiasts over the past few years, however, are its golf packages, featuring a wide range of stay-andplay opportunities. Starting at $159 per person, the
City of Spokane Golf Package includes overnight accommodations at Northern Quest, as well as a free green fee voucher at one of Spokane’s fantastic municipal tracks — including Downriver, Indian Canyon, The Creek at Qualchan, and Esmeralda Golf Course, four courses that we’ll collectively match, dollar-for-dollar, against any municipal quartet in the country (yes, including you, Seattle). Also included in the package is a sleeve of Northern Quest’s Titleist PRO V1 logo balls. If you lost on the links, you can double-down after dark in the Northern Quest’s 55,000 squarefoot casino, where — as part of the stay-and-play package — the first $20 of table play is on the house. Compete with your buddies to see who can ride that $20 the farthest, then give that player an extra stroke the next day. And for those who’d rather relax and refresh those joints after your round, The City of Spokane Golf Package helps out there, too, with is a $25 credit to Northern Quest’s nationally recognized La Rive Spa. Escaping from the real world is a necessity in this day and age — and with Northern Quest Resort & Casino’s stay-and-play package, an escape isn’t all that far away. To learn more, call 877-871-6772 or visit northernquest.com. — Johnny Carey
The RIGHT Read
et’s face it — Dads like books. And if you’re one of the millions of golfers who (like our local pros, as featured on page 34) learned the game of golf at your father’s side, it’s likely that your Dad especially likes books about golf. So, if you’re looking for an easy Father’s Day treat — or something for yourself, to bide the time on those last lingering “June gloom” days — here are a few of our favorite golf reads:
Mastering the Mental Game by Dr. Joseph Parent, 2002
There’s an old joke that golf is 90-percent mental, and 10-percent mental. Confidence, concentration and the ability to control your emotions are all cited by legends and local pros alike as key to a good score. It’s one thing to know that, though, and quite another to execute it, particularly when you’re shanking every drive, trying to keep track of the 10,000 swing thoughts you’ve been taught over the years, or standing over your ball with a pitching wedge in hand trying to block out the giant bunker between you and the pin. In Zen Golf, PGA coach and Buddhist teacher Dr. Joseph Parent provides strategies you can use before, during and even after your round to keep your mind clear and focused. Endorsed by Jack Nicklaus, Vijay Singh, David Leadbetter and many others, it’s perhaps the single most useful swing aid you’ll buy this year.
Fathers, Sons, and the Greatest Game by Curt Sampson, 2011
We couldn’t let this item pass without at least one book guaranteed to bring ‘ol Dad to tears, could we? There have been a few over the years that, like our feature in this issue of CG, told the tale of golfers and their fathers, but none that do so with the eloquence, humor and poignancy of Golf Dads. While stars like Ben Hogan, Lee Trevino and Michelle Wie look good on the dust jacket, it’s in the often-inspirational, sometimes-painful stories of lesser-known golfers and their unique father-son (or father-daughter) relationships that the book’s true power is felt.
DOUBLE DOWN AT SNOQUALMIE FALLS Just about every golf course features some sort of players club — not every golf course, though, offers two. That’s currently the case at Snoqualmie Falls Golf Course, where players can choose to join one of two distinct clubs — the Snoqualmie Falls Club and the Club at the ‘Nation, the latter formed by golfers who found themselves without a home course when nearby Carnation Golf Course was shuttered in 2011 (it is currently undergoing renovations, with plans to reopen to the public soon as Blue Heron Golf Course). To join either club is $70 and includes a free round of golf, while joining both costs just $120, with an additional free round included. David Doty, the course’s Director of Golf, says that golfers have enjoyed the increased opportunities to compete in tournaments at their home course. “The Club at the Nation’s events are typically on Saturdays and ours on Sundays,” he explains. “With two men’s clubs, golfers have twice the events to play in, which has been great.” To learn more, visit snofallsgolf.com.
THE LONGEST SHOT
Jack Fleck, Ben Hogan, and Pro Golf’s Greatest Upset at the 1955 U.S. Open
by Neil Sagebiel, 2012
With just one man on the course with a chance to tie — and not even a Tour regular at that, but just a local qualifier — NBC announced that Bobby Jones had won the U.S. Open in 1955 for a record fifth time. When that man — Iowa municipal club pro Jack Fleck — birdied the 18th hole to force a playoff, then outfought the legend for 18 holes the following day, it was, and remains, the biggest upset in professional golf. It is against this backdrop that Neil Sagebiel expertly weaves together the early history of golf in America, and how two men navigated very different paths through post-World War II America to come together in one of the greatest moments in golf history.
Eagles Pride Goes Green
In the “Sun Belt” Come take advantage of the longest sunlight days of the year! Already great pricing gets even better with our lower early bird, mid-afternoon, and late rates. Check out the great pricing on our website: www.camalochgolf.com Remember, we’re only 15 minutes from I-5 exit #212, in the Sun Belt on Camano Island. Like us on Facebook
Camaloch Golf Course
or David Wienecke, the head superintendent at Eagles Pride Golf Course, going green is about more than just being a good environmental steward — it’s about bringing together an entire community. “For a long time, there’s been this idea that golf courses make bad neighbors, that they waste water, and dump chemicals into the turf,” he says. “We wanted to show that a golf course can not only not be bad for the environment, but can actually enhance the environment.” In June of 2012, Wienecke — the former superintendent at nearby Chambers Bay — was drafted by officials at Joint Base Lewis-McChord to oversee the base’s two public courses, Eagles Pride and Whispering Firs. Specifically, the Army wanted Wienecke to draft up an environmental management plan that would meet Audobon International’s criteria for certification. “The Army has a Presidential mandate to develop best practices based on environmental stewardship programs for their facilities,” Wienecke says. “They wanted Eagles Pride to be the national leader in that effort.” What Wienecke quickly discovered, though, was that many best practices were already in place. At Wienecke’s direction, the Army increased vegetative buffers around
water areas to further protect them from any chemical runoff, and increased by 20 acres the amount of land left to grow naturally, reducing maintenance costs, fuel use and emissions, while expanding the natural environment for the many deer, birds, amphibians and — yes — bald eagles that call the course home. And in December, Wienecke’s work paid off. Audobon International officially certified Eagles Pride as its 1,000th certified course worldwide — and just the second military course to earn the honor. To celebrate the landmark, Eagles Pride is hosting a “green golf” tournament on July 19 complete with recyclable signs and other eco-friendly features, at which Audobon International officials are expected to present the course with a commemorative certificate. Wienecke noted that while some golfers still prefer the classic, American park-style course, where every blade of grass is perfectly manicured, environmentally friendly courses are the way of the future — and the world. “In the U.K., almost all of the courses are left to grow naturally like this,” he says. “This is about environmental organizations and golf courses coming together for the betterment of the whole community. I think people around here truly appreciate that.”
Keep Calm and Caddy On
rank Mancinelli had an idea. A really good idea. Now, he just needed someone to invent it. An electrical engineer and computer expert by training, and a professional poker player by trade, Mancinelli was certainly an unlikely candidate to be inventing golf products himself. But as the months and years went by, the product Mancinelli was dreaming of remained elusive. Finally, he took matters into his own hands. “I was playing with a buddy one day, and he kept fumbling his clubs walking back and forth to the cart,” Mancinelli recalls. “I was just like, ‘That’s it. Let’s just do this ourselves.’“ Mancinelli’s invention is the Extra Caddy, a strapbased club carrier that allows golfers to take up to seven clubs out of their bag and easily carry them to the fairway, or to the driving range. A soft pad with a velcro closure wraps around the shafts to hold the clubs together, while a small handle allows golfers to carry the bundled-up clubs without dropping them or leaving one behind. The Extra Caddy was one of the biggest hits among new products at this year’s Seattle Golf Show, with many golfers telling Mancinelli that, just like himself, they’d been waiting for someone to invent a product like it for years. “The response was great,“ he says, noting that the golf show was the Extra Caddy’s coming-out party of sorts, after a soft debut in October. “One guy, the second he saw
it, just went, ‘Yes! Finally! This is what I’ve been wanting!’“ Mancinelli, who has lived in Seattle for his entire adult life, says that one of the Extra Caddy’s biggest benefits is its compact size and ease of use: “It’s small, it’s lightweight, and it clips right onto your bag,“ he explains. “You never know it’s there until you need it.“ Already in Puetz Golf stores and available online at extracaddy.com, Mancinelli is hoping to expand to other markets this year, and in response to user feedback, is already working on attachments that would keep grips and clubheads dry when being laid on the ground. “Those will hopefully be out soon,“ he says, noting that buyers typically cite the need to carry multiple clubs from the cart to the ball, or to carry a small handful of clubs to the range, as opposed to lugging the whole bag. “It just makes things so much easier.“
GOLF ON THE
ut a microphone in front of Jim Moore, and you never know what’s going to happen. At least, that was the thinking of many a local sports fan when the former Seattle Post-Intelligencer columnist and frequent CG contributor was first given the chance to sit in front of the mike as a guest on the Kevin Calabro Show when 710 ESPN Seattle first launched in the spring of 2009. As the months went on, though, it became clear that Moore was more than just a one-trick pony. Sure, he was a golf-playing, wise-cracking Coug, but he was an insightful, interesting and engaging golf-playing, wise-cracking Coug. Last spring, the station let Moore’s leash out a little further with the launch of “The Northwest Golf Show,” an online, golf-themed broadcast co-hosted by Moore and Shon Crewe, a local photographer and avid golfer. The show migrated to 710’s over-the-air lineup this April, now airing on Sunday mornings, three hours before the first pitch of that day’s Mariners game. And, if you’re otherwise occupied at that time — and if it’s sunny, we have a hunch you will be — each show can also be downloaded from the podcast page at 710Sports.com.
SHORT GAME The NW’s Greatest Show On Grass
here’s nothing quite like the 16th hole at the Waste Management Phoenix Open. Thousands of fans circle the par-3 in stadium-style seating, roaring with every great shot, heckling every shanked approach and generally acting like a bunch of college kids who wandered off of Greek Row at nearby Arizona State and suddenly found themselves in the middle of a PGA Tour event. In other words, it’s like every other major sporting event crowd. It also serves to separate the men from the boys on Tour — some players wilt under the stadium-like atmosphere, which is unlike any other gallery in golf. Those who embrace it, however, or even play to the crowd (Ben Crane’s “Golf Boys” made their first public performance on the 16th tee in 2012), tend to shine. It also happens to be just about impossible to get a ticket — unless you know a guy. And, fortunately, you do. As the grand prize package for our first-ever North Sound Shootout, we’re sending two lucky golfers to join the fun at next year’s Waste Management Phoenix Open, with tickets to all four days of the event — including access to the 16th-hole stadium. And, we’re kicking in airfare, lodging, plus some sweet rounds of golf in the Arizona sun. We’re also giving away up to 50 other prizes, including rounds of golf to Chambers Bay, Salish Cliffs, Desert Canyon
and other top tracks; stay-and-play packages to Vegas, Reno and Central Oregon; golf clubs and more. The 36-hole event starts Saturday, June 29 at Whidbey Golf & Country Club, before making its way to the nearby Swinomish Casino & Lodge for a private reception and a night of fun including table games, equipment showcases and more. The next morning, we’ll head over to Burlington’s Avalon Golf Links for the final 18 holes, before crowning our winners and sending them on their way to the “Greatest Show On Grass.” As always, prizes will be awarded in net- and grossscoring categories, and each day will feature a fun, teamscoring format. The North Sound Shootout is open to any player with an established handicap — you don’t have to be the best, you just have to play your best, and you’ll be partying greenside at TPC Scottsdale next year. To learn more or to register, visit cascadegolfer.com/ shootout, or contact tournament coordinator Simon Dubiel at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CG CUP PLAYERS
Father and Son Take CG Cup Opener — McCormick, Druids Glen on Tap
Thinking about playing in a Cascade Golfer Cup event this summer? It’s not too late! Five events remain, and with nearly 50 prizes at each event, there’s still plenty to win. Here’s what our Facebook friends said when we asked why they play in the Cascade Golfer Cup: It’s a great way to meet new golfing buddies. — Greg Stackhouse Because playing golf during the summer in the Northwest is better than almost any place on the planet. — David Tuttle Look at all those prizes to win! — Jack L. Challender
or years, Bob Wayment has made the long drive over from Idaho to play in Cascade Golfer Cup events with his son, Eric. By the end of April’s CG Cup Season Opener at Chambers Bay, the pair were making plans for a golf trip together — to Mesquite, Nevada. Bob and Eric Wayment became the first father-son duo to take home a Cascade Golfer Cup title, and the 25th different team to win a Cascade Golfer event. In addition to the the four-night, four-round stay-and-play to Mesquite, the pair also took the early points lead in the season-long Cascade Golfer Cup, the winner of which will receive 20 twosomes to the top courses in the state to use in 2014. That sets up a fantastic summer headlined by two of the Cup’s marquee events — at McCormick Woods on June 15, and the Michelob ULTRA Open at Druids Glen, July 20. What sets these events apart, you ask? July’s Michelob ULTRA Open will be the first of two “majors,” at which point values for the season-long Cup are increased by 1.5. The McCormick event, meanwhile, is special for another reason. As an added incentive this year, teams who play in the McCormick Woods (June 15) and Oakbrook (Sept. 28) events, plus any third event, will receive automatic entry into a FREE eighth tournament, the Cascade Golfer Cup Appreciation Day at The Classic, Oct. 12. We’re also opening up the Appreciation Day event to any team which plays in any four events, regardless of venue. We’ll have prizes, fun formats and all the usual amenities of a CG Cup event — but without the cost. The field will be limited to the first 64 teams to register and pay for the requisite number of events — and with McCormick, Oakbrook and one other event representing the easiest path to qualification, the former two are sure to fill up fast. As always, Cascade Golfer Cup tournaments are open to any player with an established handicap. Prizes will be awarded to the top-15 net and top-5
Because the wife complains a lot less about golf when you come home with a free trip to Mexico! — Justin Mentink
gross-scoring teams at each event, giving everyone a chance to win — handicaps of team champions at past CG Cup events have ranged from 2 to 32. Play your best, whatever that may be, and you’ll be the one hoisting the trophy. Check out the full schedule and register today at cascadegolfer.com/cup.
Because the game of golf is the only game that will drive you insane the entire round, but can make you feel like you’re on top of the world with one swing. — Jon Kim JOIN THE CONVERSATION! Follow us on Facebook and be a part of the CG community, 365 days a year!
Fourteen hours, 913 strokes —
and one unforgettable day under the sun at Avalon “
ow many holes of golf do you think we could get through in one day?” I felt the smile spread slowly across my face as I pondered the variables. “What time of year? What course? Are we driving or walking? What’s the weather like that day?” And, most importantly: “How soon can we make this happen?” A quick glance at the calendar revealed that April 16, then just two weeks away, was National Golf Day — a perfect excuse to take a day off from work and do our part to help bolster the golf industry. As for where to play, there was never any doubt — Burlington’s Avalon Golf Links, whose all-day-play rates (as low as $47 in the spring) are one of the most famous bargains in Western Washington, and whose 27 holes would increase the variety of our all-day marathon, while also helping with pace of play, the biggest wildcard in our plan. We estimated based on sunrise and sunset times that if everything broke right, we could probably finish about 80 holes. A query to Cascade Golfer’s Facebook followers (the closest of whom would win their own all-day twosome at Avalon) elicited guesses anywhere from 45 holes to a mind-boggling 108. Just the thought of coming in that high put butterflies in our stomachs. Could we realistically get there? And if we did … would we be able to get out of bed the next morning? One thing was for certain, I said: “We’re going to need more balls.”
BY BRIAN BEAKY CG EDITOR
s fate would have it, the morning of April 16 dawned perfectly clear. In August, that would also mean warm. Not in April; as we drove past the rainbowcolored rows of Skagit Valley tulip fields, the dashboard thermometer on the car read 34 degrees. We didn’t care. Layered up in anticipation of the 60-degree highs forecast for later in the day, we headed to the first tee. At 6:25 a.m., with the sun just poking above the Cascade Mountains to the east, I snapped a photo of our first shot of the day. More than 14 hours later, I’d snap another photo of our final shot … well, almost. We’ll get to that. We started our day on Avalon’s North Course, one of three distinct nine-hole tracks on the property, and my personal favorite. The layout is one I always enjoy — three par-3s, three par-4s and three par-5s, each different from the others. On the par-4 fourth hole — a 372-yard (from the “green” tees, equivalent to most course’s blues), dogleg-left par-4 requiring a good drive to stay out of a bunker and cut the corner, I carded the day’s first birdie. To celebrate, we high-fived and picked a Facebook follower to receive a free sleeve of balls. After battling successfully through the North’s tricky 5-6-7 stretch — a 210-yard par-3 followed by a 556-yard par-5 (with water) and a 384-yard par-4 that might be the toughest driving hole on any of the three courses — we made the turn and headed for the West Course. The
shortest of the three, it’s also the tightest — where trees don’t squeeze the fairways off the tee, bunkers and lakes will make you think twice about pulling driver (and in the day ahead, we’d have the chance to think twice … three times … even four times on some holes). Our favorite hole was the par-5 sixth, and not only because of the nesting bald eagles that live high in a tree off the tee box, and who were a regular accompaniment to our round. Just 484 yards, designer Robert Muir Graves crafted a bumpy fairway that makes for tricky lies in the prime landing zone. If you come to rest on level ground, it’s full-steam ahead for any golfer with 230 or less to the pin. Three large bunkers wait to catch your mis-hit approach, but none are particularly penal — lacking a gift for 100-yard shots which have to carry three bunkers to a sloping green, we chose to rip it from the fairway and hope for the best. We put the finishing touches on our first 18 just after 9 a.m., jumped right back out on the West, then 90 minutes later headed quickly to the South Course, which became the favorite of my playing partner for the day, Cascade Golfer’s Simon Dubiel. We had been told that the South Course would play quite different from either of its two siblings — much more open, and located near the edge of a bluff looking down upon the Skagit Valley, it’s far more susceptible to the prevailing winds. Just as long as the North, it can easily play far longer at certain times of the day. Over the next nine hours, we’d have a few chances to find out just when those times were. After tough back-to-back par-4s heading uphill, into the wind, towards the bluff edge — which reward golfers with some of the most scenic views in Skagit County — the course turns inland again at No. 4, a par-5 requiring three solid shots, but where we only seemed to be able to manage two at a time. The par-4 fifth is a tricky, dogleg-right that requires a perfectly placed drive — or layup — to have any kind of look at the severely sloping green, where staying below the hole is a must. In fact, nearly all of the greens on the South were surprisingly fast for the season, and challenging to read — despite being told that “all putts break towards Sedro-Woolley,” we were constantly reading breaks that weren’t there, and either running our balls six feet past or leaving them six feet short instead. After needing just 13 putts on the North Course, and just 16 on the West, I cascadegolfer.com
88 took a whopping 21 in my debut on the South, including four-consecutive three-putts. It was a challenge I’d have to be ready for the next time around. By noon, we had already put 36 holes in the books, and were feeling good — if a little famished. A pair of hot, fresh club sandwiches from the Sweet Bite Cafe (which, as an aside, has to be one of the top short-order golf course cafes in the state) took care of that, though, after which it was right back out to the South to start our third round of the day. Nine holes later, having clearly not learned any of the lessons we swore we’d learned our first time around the South, we decided to re-start our third round of the day. Call it a “nine-hole mulligan” — one of the fringe benefits of a multi-round day. It was at this point that the advantages of Avalon’s 27-hole layout truly became apparent. With the sun shining more than it had in weeks, Avalon’s fairways were quickly filling up with golfers. Pro shop staff, however, were always able to direct us to the emptiest course. For the remainder of the day, we never headed to a No. 1 tee box without checking with the pro shop first, and never had any trouble with pace of play. We ripped off our next 18 (a North/West combo) in just over three hours, then looped around the South once more. By then, it was almost 6:30 p.m., and we’d already counted 69 holes (having skipped three to get around some slow traffic in our second round on the North, the only traffic we encountered all day). While our bodies still felt surprisingly good, our spirits were admittedly flagging. Drives that had carried fairway bunkers in the early morning were now landing in them. Irons weren’t flying as true as they had earlier in the day, and we had long since lost count of the number of short chips we’d chili-dipped as our focus and energy began to slide. We stuck pegs in the ground at North No. 1 at
6:30 p.m., just as we had done at 6:30 a.m. ... … And then, something happened. Maybe the cold beers we had grabbed to soothe our muscles had done the trick, or perhaps the sight of the finish line a mere two hours away energized us, but we started playing well again. We made the turn at 7:45 p.m., the sun already slipping behind the Olympics. On our fourth and final time around the West Course, we practically flew — practice swings were out and no time was wasted looking for a lost ball. We raced the sunset for the next 45 minutes, the last two golfers on a course we had opened 14 hours before. As we strode onto the green to putt out on West No. 9, with only a few rays of light still bending over the horizon, I snapped another photo — a bookend to the one I had taken in the morning. We did the quick math — five full rounds, minus the three holes we’d skipped, for a total of 87 holes. An incredible day … and yet, one we still weren’t quite ready to walk away from. “You know, there’s a par-3 right there next to the clubhouse,” I said, pointing towards the 142-yard West No. 7. “I know we can’t really see much, but …” Three minutes (and two blessedly good tee shots) later, we plucked our balls from the cup, smiled and high-fived. “Eighty-eight holes,” I said, shaking my head and having to stifle a giggle at the sheer absurdity of the number. “Wow.” Later, after a mostly silent drive home, I found myself replaying all three courses in my mind. Like a shell-shocked Marine, I could still smell the leather of my grips, could feel the club in my hand and the rush of adrenaline driving me forward towards the next tee box, the next hole. Finally, I closed my eyes and let my mind slip into a dreamless sleep … as it turns out, that day’s dream had already come and gone.
Think You Can Beat It?
o, you think you have what it takes to play 88 holes of golf in one day — or even more? Well, then here’s your chance to prove it. We’re giving a Cascade Golfer reader the chance to meet up with their most die-hard playing partner at the crack of dawn on Avalon’s first tee, and grip it and rip it ‘til the sun don’t shine — assuming, of course, you’re still standing after what could be a 16-hour golf marathon at the right time of year. If smacking 70 drives, lining up 200 putts, and making more birdies in one day than you’d usually make in a month sounds like your idea of heaven, then log on to CascadeGolfer.com and sign up for your chance to win! cascadegolfer.com
RISK vs. REWARD Trophy Lake Golf & Casting
Hole No. 18 • Par 5 • 532 Yards (Championship Tees)
By Simon Dubiel
This may be the perfect example of what a risk vs. reward hole is all about. A well-struck drive will leave the golfer in the go-or-no-go zone. This home hole leaves no margin for error, as one must make the full commitment to get home in two. Short or right is met with a splash, while anything just left of the green is beached. Go hard, or don’t go at all.
Unless you are George “The Ice Man” Gervin, lay-ups just aren’t that cool. Golfers who make the drive across the Narrows have the chance to finish in style, so why not take it? The bunker left keeps you in play, and with a shot to get up and down. The water in front is merely a stream and can be avoided with a little luck, even with a poorly struck second.
Going for broke can leave you, well, broke, and Wooderson from Dazed and Confused said it best — we would prefer to “keep a little change in our pocket.” Keep the head cover on the 3-wood, and your ball on the dry stuff. The play is a smooth 6-iron layup, followed by a flip chip to about three feet, and a little tap-tappy-tap for the 4. Parlay that into a run at the Lunker Burger at the Dry Fly Cafe. Finish that, and they’ll put your photo on the wall.
Any time you have a 230-yard carry over water, risk is always a big part of the equation. Hit it a little thin, a little fat, or too steep — they all lead to your ball finding a watery grave. It might be one of the best finishing holes our great state has to offer, but it can put an ugly number at the end of a great day’s worth of golf.
Home Grown It takes a SPECIAL PARENT (or two) to raise a SPECIAL GOLFER – our Northwest pros say thanks
BY STEVE KELLEY
yan Moore was back from college and the weather felt like some rare meteorological homecoming celebration. It was January in the Northwest, but the sun was shining as bright as August. So Ryan and his father, Mike, did what came naturally, what they had done together so many other sunny days since Ryan was six years old – they grabbed their sticks and headed for the golf course. For Mike, the owner of Spanaway’s Classic Golf Club, this was a rare, precious-metal sort of day. A chance to play golf again with his son, who was a star at UNLV and moving closer and closer to turning his passion into his profession. “I was playing really well,” Mike recalled. “We were enjoying each other’s company.” But late in the round, Mike hit a ball into the bunker and did what golfers since the 19th century in Scotland have done. He cursed about his bad luck and groused about the game’s unrequited love. Ryan saw his father’s frustration and was having none of it. In one of those turning-the-table moments, the son gave his father some advice that has stuck with Mike for all the years since. “If you can’t enjoy the challenge, if you get frustrated at your bad shots, you won’t enjoy the game,” Ryan told his dad. “Nobody owns this game; we only borrow it for a time. “Golf is supposed to be fun. Why not enjoy it? You’re not doing it for a living.” Golf, of course, is Ryan’s job. He has been on tour since 2005 and has won twice, while earning more than $14 million. He’s made a good living at the profession he loves, but the living isn’t always easy. Every golfer struggles; it’s as inevitable as a rain delay in New Orleans. The easy, fluid swing develops a hitch. The grip on the putter gets too tight. Good shots land inches short and trickle into bunkers, or settle in a divot in the middle of a fairway. No golfer is immune to bad breaks or bad habits, and when it goes wrong for a golfer on Tour, there is nowhere to hide. There is nothing more difficult in sports than winning a professional golf tournament. You have to beat every player in the field – the best golfers in the world. The week-to-week pressure just to make cuts and plow through the most difficult stretches is enormous. And it is in those times when so many sons and daughters lean on their fathers to help them escape the valleys. (Certainly, the mothers share equally in the agony and ecstasy of golf. But, since this is the Father’s Day edition of Cascade Golfer, we’re focusing on the dads.) Northwest golfers Moore, Kyle Stanley, Paige Mackenzie and Jeff Gove all have shared the ups and downs of their difficult professions with their fathers. And, every one of them got their start walking (or riding) the courses of the Northwest with their dads.
hen Hugh and Caren Mackenzie decided to have kids, they promised themselves they wouldn’t let them get in the way of the things they loved to do. They included both Paige and her pro golfer brother, Brock, in their favorite activities. “Ultimately, the thing we liked to do best was golfing,” Hugh said. “And we brought them along.” Hugh devised a contraption similar to a jogging stroller, that attached to the pull carts he and Caren used to haul their clubs. He fixed seats for Brock and Paige so they sat comfortably at the same angle as the bags. It was pure genius. Brock and Paige were each less than six months old when they began riding along with their parents up and down the hills of Yakima Country Club. “The kids were so manageable,” Hugh recalled, “so well-behaved. I was proud of them even then, telling everybody, ‘Yes, those are my kids.’” For these golfers, their home courses became their childhood playgrounds. “It’s like the game gets ingrained in you at an early age,” Ryan Moore said. “It becomes part of your DNA.” Ryan, 30, was between three- and four-years old when Mike began taking him to the course, handing him a cut-down Chi Chi Rodriguez 4-iron. From an early age, he had a natural feel for opening up a club face to hit flop shots, or closing the face to hit low, Lee Trevino-like runners. Adults would gather to watch Ryan hit these shots; he had his first gallery practically before he had cascadegolfer.com
TOP TO BOTTOM: Ryan Moore with father Mike and brothers Jeremy and Jason; Paige Mackenzie with parents Caren and Hugh; Kyle Stanley with father, Matt.
Glen Acres Golf and Country Club
primary membership only $175! Now Through JuNe 30 Th
Grass Driving Range Toughest & Truest Greens in the northwest
Great Location! for membership information visit
www.glenacresgolf.com 1000 S 112th St., Seattle, WA 98168
206.244.3786 • email@example.com
NORTH SHORE GOLF COURSE BRING 3 PLAY FOR FREE
(4 for the price of 3) * Must present coupon Valid Monday thru Thursday — All Day Friday, Saturday & Sunday — After 1p.m. Expires September 30th 2013
Tee times - (253) 927-1375 or (253) 838-3660 Restaurant - (253) 927-7439 4101 North Shore Blvd NE,Tacoma WA 98422
Find Us on
his first bicycle. “Did you teach him that?” golfers would ask Mike after seeing Ryan flop a shot, Mickelson-like, landing it on the green as soft as summer rain. The answer was no. “He just understood how to do it,” Mike said. Matt Stanley enrolled Kyle in the junior golf program at Glendale Country Club. It was obvious early that Kyle had a game. “You saw that something neat was going on,” Matt said. Jeff Gove, 41, received his first clubs when he was four years old. He would play holes No. 7, 8 and 9 at Inglewood, starting 150 yards from the green. “I fell in love with the game. I was lucky to grow up in a golfing family,” he said. “I watched my dad follow his brother Mike on tour. I think that intrigued my mind.” There’s that love connection again, love that is often passed down through generations. From fathers who first put a club in their child’s hands, motivated them to improve during those long, lonely hours on the range, and taught them to accept the abuse that the game throws at them, and to come back for more. But, even after all of that work, golf doesn’t always love you back. For the fathers walking the courses with their kids, or following their rounds on television or the Internet, the game can be more bitter than sweet. Matt Stanley was in the gallery at Torrey Pines in 2012 when Kyle lost a three-stroke lead, triple-bogeying the 72nd hole. Brandt Snedeker beat him on the second hole of their playoff. A year later, Matt still can’t find the proper words to describe the excruciating feeling of being in the gallery that day. After the round, the family went to dinner, a quiet,
somber affair where nobody could find the proper words to ease Kyle’s pain. It was a moment when having his father with him was absolutely necessary, but when even Matt Stanley didn’t know whether to fill the uncomfortable silences with small talk, or a pep talk. “Kyle was devastated, absolutely devastated,” Matt said. When he retold the story recently, Matt’s voice cracked. He had to stop several times to regain control of his emotions. Late into the dinner, Kyle’s phone began to hum like a lathe. Text messages of support came from fellow golfers, from Gonzaga basketball coach Mark Few, from people Kyle Stanley didn’t even know.
WE’VE COME A LONG WAY, KID
t’s been exactly six years since Ryan Moore last graced our cover, on the inaugural issue of Cascade Golfer in June 2007. At the time, Moore was a fast-rising third-year pro — the first golfer since Tiger Woods to earn his Tour card in the same season he graduated from college. Likewise, Cascade Golfer was the new kid on the block in the regional golf scene, breaking into the market with a promise to provide “Northwest golf news and views you can use.” We’ve both come a long way since then:
• Over $14 million in career earnings • Two PGA Tour wins • Consistent top-50 World Golf Ranking • Major sponsorships with Adams and TaylorMade • 10th-place finish at 2009 U.S. Open • Founded the RMG Club, bringing together Classic Golf Club, McCormick Woods and Oakbrook Country Club • With brother Jeremy, founded TRUE Linkswear, one of America’s fastest-growing golf shoe manufacturers
• 24 issues printed; over 2.4 million copies distributed • Over $500,000 in prizes awarded in the Cascade Golfer Cup and related events • 104 CG Swag giveaways, including 39 stayand-plays to places like Central Oregon, Coeur d’Alene, Palm Springs, Hawaii and Malaysia • 161 golf course profiles, including over 100 in WA • 264 golf club and product reviews • Features on Fred Couples, Drew Bledsoe, Raul Ibanez and other golfing celebs • All-new online community at CascadeGolfer.com and “Cascade Golfer” on Facebook
Keep up the good work, Ryan! We’ll be here to cover it, every step of the way.
EaglEmont golf Club by Golf Digest
Rated #10 on Golf Digest’s 2011-2012 list of Top Ten Golf Courses in Washington State
4 plAyErs for thE prICE of 3! We offer outstanding tournament rates and full services. let Eaglemont host your 2013 charity or corporate event. Call the pro shop.
ChECk out our WEbsItE for MorE Info.
Early-bird rates before 9:00 AM Monday-friday
twilight rates After 1:00 pM 7 DAys A WEEk!
Call for tee times - 1.800.368.8876 or visit www.eaglemont.com 4800 Eaglemont Drive I Mount Vernon, WA 98274
4 Can Play for the PriCe of 3! Afternoon SpeciAl 7 Days a Week after 3pm: $25 individuAl 10-round pASSeS AvAilAble Save $6/round with our Weekend Pass Save $5/round with our Weekday Pass Save $5/round with our Senior Weekday Pass leSSonS AvAilAble with pGA profeSSionAlS
fridays are still weekdays at Snoqualmie Falls! weekday rates apply
S G O L F
FALLS C O U R S E
4 Can Play for the PriCe of 3! 38
Visit SnoquAlmiefAllSGolf.com for the latest specials 425-392-1276 or 425-222-5244
Must present ad at the course when booking. Special good through July 31st, 2013
The next morning, as he prepared to leave for the next stop on the PGA’s travelling circus, the Waste Management Phoenix Open, Stanley called his father with the best news a kid can tell his dad. “I don’t think this is going to be such a bad thing,” Kyle told his father. “I think this is going to work out all right.” And that next weekend, in one of the highlights of the 2012 tour, Stanley came from eight shots back on the final day, shooting a bogey-free 65 to beat Ben Crane by a stroke (“Out of the Ashes,” CG, Apr. 2012). Matt and his wife, Michelle, were shopping at Nordstrom when Kyle called with the news. They had recorded the final round and immediately stopped shopping and raced home to watch and celebrate. The win, like the loss, became a shared experience between father and son. “We were bowled over,” Matt said. “Kyle had to show a lot of his soul when he lost, and then to come back. That’s just the way Kyle is. He handles everything with such equanimity.”
here are plenty of horror stories in every professional sport about the “stage dads” who push their kids into their sports, making them practice when they should be playing, forcing their own dreams onto their kids. But, these Northwest golf dads made sure that golf remained a game. They encouraged, but they never pushed. During the interviews for this story, the central theme from the golfers was the support they felt from their fathers; the theme from the dads was the pure pride of seeing their kids succeed. That success, of course, comes grudgingly, even if you have your tour card. There are times when you have to push through all of the tough stuff and survive the missed putts that lead to the missed cuts. The golfers call it “grinding.” It’s the perfect word. They don’t carry last week’s missed cut into this week’s practice round. They fight through the loneliness of a sterile hotel room. They persevere. Mackenzie, 30 – who broke her back during her career at the University of Washington – made the cut at the Nabisco this year, the first major on the LPGA calendar, but she has struggled at times this season, her eighth on tour. Stanley rebounded recently from an earlyseason slump to finish third at the Zurich Classic in New Orleans, and tied for sixth the following week at Quail Hollow. Gove’s career has yo-yo’d between the regular tour and the second-tier Web.com Tour, where he started the season third in all-time money earnings. Gove admits that there have been times when the disappointments have been overwhelming, and he’s wondered if he truly wanted to continue the fight. “There were a couple of moments when I didn’t know if I wanted to keep doing it,” he said. “In those moments, my dad [Gary] has just told me how proud he is of me, whether or not I’m a golfer. But he always tells me, ‘I know you’re good enough.’ He reminds me how lucky I am that this is something special I’m doing. “When I talk to him, I feel like he’s out there living and doing it with me.” During our interview, Paige Mackenzie grew quiet when she thought about the depth of her father’s support. When Hugh Mackenzie joins his daughter on the tour, he hugs her before she steps onto the first tee and hugs her again when she walks off the 18th green. Golfers have to manage their emotions on the course, but it is impossible cascadegolfer.com
to bundle those emotions every day, all day. Mackenzie cried for just a moment when she talked about the importance of those hugs. “We look forward to those hugs, too,” Hugh said. Then, she laughed when she told the story of a recent tournament when her father got lost between the parking lot and the first tee – missing, for that one day, the allimportant hug. “It can be a difficult balancing act sometimes between being there, and also keeping our distance – be there for support, but not be in the way,” Hugh Mackenzie said. “The most important thing for us, as parents, is to be supportive in all aspects of their lives. It’s important to be there as a father, to lend an ear. Most of the time, that’s all it is. “[But] sometimes, I have to make sure Paige knows that no matter what her score is, we still love her. I know what she wants to do, and ultimately that’s to win golf tournaments, but there are things I see that she does that really make me proud of her,” Hugh added. “The way she conducts herself on the course, and off it. She gets it. She does more than she has to do, because she enjoys doing it. She’ll sign every last autograph, because it’s important for her to stay connected to her fan base. I can’t tell you how many people have told me how much they enjoyed playing with her after pro-ams. She always has a big smile on her face.” Mike Moore always made sure that Ryan, who loved playing all sports, never thought of golf as something his father was making him do. Ryan remembers, when he was young, watching his dad leave home to play a round on the short local course at old Meridian Greens. “I used to beg him to take me with him,” Ryan said. “You know, ‘Please, can I go?’ I loved it. But he always made it a treat. A fun thing. I was never parented into playing golf. Never forced into it. He always encouraged me to play baseball and basketball, and I loved them, too. But golf became just a part of me at an early age.” Gary Gove was on his son’s bag in 1994 in Florida, the first time Jeff attempted to qualify at Q School. Jeff missed by two strokes. He was also at LaQuinta the first time Jeff made it through Q School. “That was incredible for me,” said Jeff, “because my dream was his dream, too. That was so much fun.” Mike Moore, meanwhile, was on the bag when Ryan won the Sahalee Players Championship, and caddied for Ryan at the U.S. Open at Bethpage. But like all good parents of pro golfers, he understands the importance of keeping his distance and simply being a fan. “He’s always been my biggest fan,” Ryan said. “He’s always going to encourage me and he’s always been the one to keep me motivated. I’ve never had a swing coach. He’s been the guy I could go to, to bounce ideas off of. He’s intelligent and I trust him. There’s a cause and effect to the things he tells me.” And in those rare times when Ryan gets down and his game goes slightly sideways, Mike makes sure his son remembers the advice he gave his dad on that rare sunny day in January. “I definitely hear from him,” Ryan said. “He reminds me that golf is something I love and enjoy. It’s like I told him … Golf is meant to be fun.” Steve Kelley recently retired after more than three decades covering sports for The Seattle Times. This is his first contribution to Cascade Golfer. cascadegolfer.com
MARATHON MONDAYS! $ Golf as much as your heart desires for only
00* Includes cart
Call ahead to guarantee your tee time 509.674.2226 JUST 60 MINUTES FROM BELLEVUE • An Alpine Course that Challenges Every Golfer • Stay a Day or Stay a Week in our RV Park • Six Miles West of Cle Elum. Exit 78. Golf Course Road. • Golf Course Home Sites Starting at $59,950.
509.674.2226 • www.golfsuncountry.com *Holidays not included, cannot be used in conjunction with any other special.
Either get in the car or get out of our way — we’ve got tee times all over the Northwest this summer, and we’re not coming back without some birdies
BY BRIAN BEAKY CG EDITOR
ome golfers spend their winters on the driving range. Others tough it out in the cold and rain, while still others use the offseason to re-familiarize themselves with their spouses, children and jobs. I spend the offseason planning road trips. I’m a hopeless addict to the open road, to waking up before the crack of dawn, driving into the sunrise over the mountain passes, and sticking a peg in the ground at an incredible Washington golf course in an environment almost alien to where I started. The ability to, within a matter of two hours or less, be high in the Cascade Mountains, flush along a wind-swept Pacific Ocean or Salish Sea coast, or soaking up the 90-degree sun among the vineyards and orchards of central and eastern Washington is what sets our state apart from every other in the nation. Now, add in the dozens of worldclass golf courses within driving distance of the Puget Sound region — all at rates which would make golfers in California, Florida or Arizona green with envy — and you can understand why we say that come summertime, there
is truly no better place in America to be a golfer. Typically, I break my road trips into three categories. Day Trips include any course I can drive to, play 18 (or even 36) holes, and return home, within one day. Now, “day” can be loosely defined — if I leave before dawn, and return well past the time the sun has slipped back into the Pacific, does that count as a day? You bet it does. So long as I’m only taking one day off of work, it’s a day trip, regardless of what time I leave or return. Just about every course in the state of Washington can realistically be done as a day trip, and I try to plan 5-6 of these a year. Weekend Getaways are, of course, any trip of 2-3 days. They could be done during the week, certainly, and those who can do so save money on greens fees and lodging. But for the rest of us with jobs and/or school-age children, a Saturday-Sunday or Friday-Sunday getaway is usually the best we can hope for. Coeur d’Alene, Whistler, Vancouver Island and Portland constitute some of our favorite long weekends, along with pairings of multiple tracks across the Cascades, or up north in Whatcom County. One of these a year is a must — or two, if you
Weekend Getaways Golf Vacations
have a particularly understanding family (or, by some gift from the gods, a golfing spouse). Last is the Holy Grail of all road trips — the Golf Vacation. Lasting up to a week or more, few golfers can plan more than one of these per year. While the buddy trip to Bandon is the hole-in-one of Northwest golf vacations — tantalizingly close, yet rarely achieved — the savvy golfer will sneak a golf vacation into a family trip, taking your spouse on a tasting-room-to-tee-box tour of Washington wine country, or packing the kids in the car for a week away at Suncadia, Chelan or our favorite family golf getaway, Central Oregon. Pull off the Golf Vacation, and you’ll cherish it for a lifetime. In the following pages, we’ve highlighted a few of our favorite trips in each category, and taken care of all those hours of computer planning for you: Mileage, estimated time needed, lodging recommendations … we’ve got you covered. Choose one of our trips, or plan your own. You live in one of America’s most incredible golf playgrounds, Cascade golfer — now let’s go have some fun.
Day Trip Delights Leave at dawn, criss-cross the state, and be back for dinner — now that’s how Cascade golfers do it BY BRIAN BEAKY CG EDITOR
Palouse Ridge Golf Course
f all of the golf getaways we’ll describe in these pages, few give the rush of the day trip. To wake up in your own bed, play a fantastic destination golf course hours from home, and in some cases be back in time for dinner — or at least in time to get a decent night’s sleep — is an amazing experience. Some people consider a drive to Central or Eastern Washington to be a day trip on its own — to those people we say, go ahead and flip the page to the next feature, because these are not the trips for you. But if your idea of a good day’s work is putting the pedal to the metal with your favorite golf buddy, tunes blasting from the stereo as you drive halfway (or more) across our incredible state, playing a mind-blowing 18 or 36 holes and then gunning it back to the We(s)tside — all in roughly the time it takes the sun to make its way across the clear blue summer sky — then read on, because these four trips are guaranteed to blow you away.
WINE VALLEY GOLF CLUB
PALOUSE RIDGE GOLF COURSE
APPLE TREE RESORT
That’s right, 12 hours — when someone tells you there’s no way Wine Valley is a day trip, you can tell them they’re right … it’s a half-day trip. Hop in the car at 6 a.m. and you’ll be staring in awe down Wine Valley’s No. 1 fairway by 10:30 — including a stop in Yakima for a refill of your morning coffee. A round easily completed in under four hours — especially on a weekday — you’ll be heading back home by 2:30, and pulling into the driveway in plenty of time to have dinner with the family and tuck your kids into bed. In between, you’ll enjoy perhaps Washington’s most unforgettable round of golf. Acre upon acre of rolling green turf, punctuated by deep bunkers and swaths of golden grasses. Combine the unique links style of Chambers Bay — open, windswept fairways; wildly undulating greens; hole designs that encourage creativity and daring — with the impeccable conditioning of a Tumble Creek, Sahalee or TPC Snoqualmie Ridge, and you begin to gain a sense of the Wine Valley experience. If there is a golf Nirvana, this might be it. Last year, we took our own day trip to Wine Valley to determine whether it was Washington’s best course, as many readers had suggested it might be. Thirty-six holes later, and with a four-hour drive home ahead of us, we still didn’t want to leave. Plan for 12 hours, but leave room in the schedule for 16 — because once you’re playing Wine Valley, you’re not going to want to stop.
Your friends will tell you that only a Coug would be crazy enough to consider driving nine-and-a-half hours, round-trip, for a four-hour round of golf. They’ll say a trip that far has to be an overnight affair. They’re wrong. Let’s face it — if you sit around waiting for a break in your busy schedule when you can take two consecutive days off to head over to Pullman to play Palouse Ridge, you’re never going to make it to the perfectly manicured links-style monster that even Huskies agree can’t be missed. Rated the second-best college course in America by Links magazine in 2012 (and before you ask, Huskies, Washington National was not No. 1), Palouse Ridge packs a punch for even the best of golfers — but can also be enjoyed by your most typical amateur. A course that we recommend accompanied by a golf cart, Palouse Ridge offers some of the best views the region has to offer. Throw in some of the state’s finest greens and most creative golf holes, and you’ll know why Palouse Ridge has received the accolades that it has in its short lifetime. Few rounds clock in beyond four hours, meaning you can be out and back in as little as 14 hours. We say to plan for 15, though, because a trip to Pullman without a burger and brew from the famous Cougar Cottage after your round would be criminal. Huskies be warned … after your first experience at Palouse Ridge, you might start bleeding a little crimson. — Johnny Carey
Less than two-and-a-half hours from Seattle, a trip to Apple Tree is a walk in the park — you can sleep in until 8 a.m. and still be on the first tee by 11, then back home in time to catch the evening news. For the last hour of your morning drive, the highway is bordered by brown on all sides — brown hills, brown rocks, even brown cows. Then, just when you think there’s no way a golf course could exist in this landscape, Apple Tree appears like an oasis — impossibly green fairways, flowing waterfalls, colorful flowers, acres of apple trees, and the most iconic green in Washington state. Apple Tree’s front nine plays through an active orchard, while the back nine crosses the highway to the more level plains beyond. Both are stunningly green, routed through endless rows of forbidden fruit that dangle temptingly from branches just beyond the edges of the fairways. Apple Tree’s final three holes hold their own against any closing trio in the state — the par-4 16th features a fun drive across a deep valley to a steeply pitched fairway beyond, the par-3 17th is merely the most famous hole in the state, and the par-5 18th was voted by CG readers as one of their favorite par-5s. By the time you’ve putt out on 18 — possibly with an eagle, if you’ve played it well — you’ll be itching to go again. That’s why we always leave just a little bit earlier and plan to play it twice — with our long summer days, we’re still back well before dark.
WALLA WALLA Distance from Seattle: 254.0 miles Round-Trip Time: 11-12 hours
PULLMAN Distance from Seattle: 288.0 miles Round-Trip Time: 13-15 hours
YAKIMA Distance from Seattle: 154.0 miles Round-Trip Time: 9-10 hours
Wine Valley Golf Club
Cedars at Dungeness
Make It A Double
CEDARS AT DUNGENESS
SEQUIM Distance from Seattle: 71.9 miles Round-Trip Time: 9-10 hours
There was a point midway through our most recent round at the Cedars at Dungeness where I stopped still and took a moment to appreciate just how cool it is to be a Washington golfer. Barely 90 minutes after driving off the Kingston ferry, here I was enjoying a terrific public golf course, hair billowing in a stiff afternoon wind blowing in off the Strait of Juan de Fuca, barely 10 miles from the very edge of our nation. Who else gets to do this?, I thought. Who can travel such a short distance to play by the sea, or in the mountains, or in the open farmland — or, yes, even in a different country? I teed my ball up high and let that salty sea breeze carry it a mile down the fairway at the 580-yard No. 7, which can play like 480 at the right time of day. In fact, in the late afternoon, when the wind is at its peak, it’s not at all uncommon for a big hitter to need three shots to reach the 466-yard, par-5 sixth, which plays straight towards the coast, then turn their back to the sea and knock their second onto the green at the far longer No. 7. The course’s most photographed feature is its crab-shaped bunker at the par-5 third hole, but there’s so much attention given to “Ole Crabby” that the course’s other 17 holes — many of which are a blast — have actually become under-appreciated. Unless you have to be back on the mainland by a certain time, play it twice — the low greens fee (about $35 at peak times) means 36 holes cost about the same as 18 closer to home. You can bang out two rounds in seven hours, revel in the scenery of the Olympic Peninsula, and still only miss one meal. Now that’s a heck of a way to spend a day.
1. Pack Some Food
To save a few bucks, pack a couple of sandwiches, some bottles of water and whatever you want to snack on into a small cooler to take with you in the car, and on the course. As a good rule of thumb, the golfers not driving are responsible for the food.
2. Print Directions
Sure, your GPS will probably get you there. But, the last thing you want is to find yourself in the middle of nowhere without cell service, or a dead battery — and a tee time just minutes away.
3. What Happens On A Day Trip, Stays On A Day Trip
Apple Tree Resort
We prefer to take day trips on weekdays — greens fees are lower, and the faster pace means we can often squeeze in 36 before coming home. But, while our boss is fully supportive of that, yours might not be as understanding. So, whether you’re using a vacation day, or calling in sick, avoid boasting about your amazing day on Facebook, Twitter or anywhere else that might make your co-workers question your priorities. Play it cool, and you’ll be able to keep this plan going all summer.
hile the thought of a whirlwind day trip to Palouse Ridge and other Eastern Washington tracks raises the hairs on our arms and gets our hearts beating fast, we recognize that not everyone is quite as gung-ho as we are about spending most of a day in the car. That said, we’re not just going to totally let you off the hook. If you absolutely must do your trip in two or more days, don’t just waste that extra day driving back. Instead, follow up your latemorning round at Palouse Ridge (or any of the terrific Spokane munis) with a drive across the border to the Coeur d’Alene Resort (online at cdaresort.com, or 1-800-688-5253). Just by staying one night in the resort, at the extremely reasonable rate of as low as $134 per person, you’ll be able to tee it up the next morning on one of America’s most famous resort courses and enjoy the full VIP experience: smash practice balls from a grass range into Lake Coeur d’Alene, drive around in a woodpaneled luxury cart, let a forecaddie chase down your wayward shots and provide lasersighted distances to each pin — you can even enjoy a short massage by the practice green to loosen up your shoulders before your round. In addition, every player receives a customized bag tag with your name and an image of the world’s only true floating green, Coeur d’Alene’s par-3 14th. Tethered to land by underwater chains that allow it to be moved closer or further from the tee box each day, the colorful Floating Green is a bucket-list experience for any golfer — after hitting your tee shot (and trust me, take your forecaddie’s advice on club selection), you and your group are ferried to the green by a small boat, which has its own private dock greenside. Whether you make birdie or bogey, you’ll make a memory you won’t soon forget. And if you just have to play it again? The resort’s replay rate of just $79 is a steal, and a second round can still have you back in the car by 5 p.m., with the great state of Washington laid out ahead of you, and three incredible rounds of golf in your rearview mirror. — Brian Beaky JUNE 2013
International Delights A weekend at Whistler is just as fun in July as it is in January
BY TONY DEAR Nicklaus North Golf Club • Whistler, B.C.
arol Maclaine is one of those people every golf course general manager wants on his staff, every employee wants as a colleague, and every golfer wants to meet at some point during their round. Part of the furniture at Big Sky Golf Club in Pemberton, B.C., Maclaine is the model worker who just mucks in where she’s needed – driving the drinks cart, serving behind the bar in the clubhouse, or writing the blog on the club’s web site. Whatever job she’s performing, though, you can be sure she’s doing it well and making somebody smile. She may not have an official title or be listed among the club’s staff contacts, but Maclaine is the type of figure that’s crucial to the well-being of a club like Big Sky. “It’s very much a team effort here, but Carol is invaluable to us,” says general manager Chris Wallace. “She just helps things tick along smoothly, and has a knack for brightening everyone’s day.” Though owned by a large corporation – Vancouverbased investment company Belkorp Industries – Big Sky has the feel of an independent golf and community social club at which everyone is welcome. Thanks to people like
Maclaine and Wallace, who makes a point of sharing a laugh with members and visitors in the pro shop, bar or restaurant, the emphasis at Big Sky is on making friends and having fun, rather than maximizing profits and promoting a brand – it’s casual, not stuffy; informal, not self-important; hospitable, not judgmental. It’s also home to a superb golf course which opened in 1994 and was designed by former Jack Nicklaus associate Bob Cupp. Last year, British Columbian golf pros voted Big Sky the best publicaccess course in the province, and earlier this year, Golf Digest rated it the 28th-best course in the country. Hiring a respected and decorated architect like Cupp to create it was obviously a shrewd move, but what visitors to Big Sky are likely to remember most won’t be the intricate network of creeks and lakes that fortify Cupp’s design. Nor will visitors ruminate over superintendent Mark Drain’s superb conditioning, Chris Wallace’s friendly banter, or Carol Maclaine’s selfless service. Though fundamentally important to Big Sky’s success, none of them can have quite the same effect on visitors as the view that awaits them on the first tee.
The scorecard and course map tell them that, from the back tee, the opening hole is a rather long, straight, flat par-4 with little to distinguish it. Their eyes tell them something quite different. Mt. Currie, named for the Pemberton Valley’s first non-indigenous settler, John Currie, looms majestically in the background, its summit 8,501 feet above sea level. Known as Ts’zil in the St’at’imcets (Lillooet) language, Mt. Currie is the northernmost summit of the Garibaldi Range. If hitting a ball towards it isn’t thrilling enough, you can take a helicopter — operated by golf course partner Blackcomb Aviation (blackcombaviation.com) — to the top, where you can hit one off it. Though not technically in Whistler (it’s 20 miles north on Highway 99), Big Sky is most definitely part of any Whistler golf trip which also takes in the Arnold Palmerdesigned Whistler Golf Club, the Fairmont Chateau Whistler (designed by Robert Trent Jones), and Nicklaus North, to which the Golden Bear has returned twice for the Telus Skins Games since it opened in 1996. Because Whistler is roughly 1,500 feet higher above sea level than Pemberton, its trio of courses typically open
Big Sky Golf Club • Pemberton, B.C.
Run For The Border Sound like a nice trip? Why don’t you find out for yourself? We’re sending one lucky reader — and their favorite traveling companion — on a FOURNIGHT trip to Whistler, with lodging and FOUR ROUNDS OF GOLF at some of Whistler’s top courses, including Big Sky, Whistler Golf Club, and more! Log on to CascadeGolfer.com and sign up today for your chance to win! 44
Fairmont Chateau Whistler
three or four weeks after Big Sky, which opened this year on Apr. 18. Mike Zuccolin, general manager at Nicklaus North, says he has never seen the course emerge from its winter blanket in such good shape, while Nick Droulis at Fairmont Chateau was pleasantly surprised by the firmness of the surfaces following the snow’s retreat. “If you didn’t know any better, you’d probably think a golf course has a hard time recovering from winter,” says Zuccolin. “But it really only takes a couple of weeks of decent weather. I honestly think Nicklaus North will be in the best condition its ever been this summer.” If you’ve never played golf in Whistler/Pemberton before, this is the year you should finally discover what a great trip it is. Besides excellent golf, there’s so much else to do, making it perfect for families who want to hike,
mountain bike, paddle, camp, zip-line and ride horses; couples who want to golf by day and sip wine on their balcony overlooking the mountains by night; and groups of guys who just want to golf, fish, drink beer and repeat. Washington residents are eligible for the Golf Whistler Passport (available at golfwhistler.com), which gives them a round on each of the area’s four courses for $449 — a $175 savings on peak rack rates. Heading to Whistler counts as international travel, of course, but it’s only a four-and-a-half-hour drive from Seattle – four-and-a-half hours which, thanks to the scenery and your excitement, seemingly flash by in about as much time as it takes one of Blackcomb Aviation’s biodegradable golf balls to fall 8,000 feet to the valley floor. So, what are you waiting for?
NEW MERCEDES DEALERSHIP COMING TO DOWNTOWN SEATTLE! Want to pull into the parking lot at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler in style? Mercedes-Benz of Seattle’s new dealership is shaping up to be the biggest thing to hit SoDo since Safeco and CenturyLink Field. Construction is on track for a gala Grand Opening this summer! See our Road Holes feature on the next issue of CG and go to mbseattle.com for information on the 2013 Mercedes-Benz lineup. Check it out, then come back in August to read about our own Mercedes-Benz getaway!
Blazing The Oregon Trail With over 30 golf courses and worldclass resorts, Central Oregon is our pick for a week-long golf getaway
BY BRIAN BEAKY CG EDITOR Sunriver Resort • Meadows Course
t was the last night of our family’s stay at Sunriver Resort, and we weren’t ready to leave. We’d splashed in every pool, hiked and biked seemingly all 35 miles of trails and — of course — played all 72 of the resort’s golf holes … most, more than once. On our final night before driving back to Seattle, we decided to take advantage of a clear, crisp summer evening to head over to the Sunriver Observatory and check out the night sky through one of the largest telescopes in the continental U.S. Wow. Staring through the lens at what appeared to be a solid blanket of stars in the Milky Way, and admiring the rings of Saturn as Sunriver astronomers pointed out nebula and distant galaxies, I felt myself willing the sun to stay below the horizon, so that we could make the most of our last night at the resort. When our 7-going-on-17year-old son — who stubbornly refuses to be impressed by anything — asked to stay an extra half-hour, I knew he felt the same way. Of course, the observatory is just one of an almost endless array of activities at and around Sunriver. Over the course of our five-day stay, we floated down the Deschutes River, hiked nearly a mile deep into a pitchblack natural cavern, took panoramic pictures of a volcanic wasteland atop a massive lava butte, searched for hidden treasure below the summit of Mount Bachelor, took in an airshow at the Sunriver Airport, and much more. We never even made it to horseback riding, the fullservice health spa and several other resort areas. Nearly every day included a family bike ride along some of the 35 miles of protected trails to the SHARC aquatic center, an allnew indoor/outdoor waterpark including waterslides, spray pools, a lazy river and
Jacuzzi spa, plus a grass sliding hill where kids and adults alike can hurl themselves nearly 200 feet down a slope on an innertube. For our thrill-seeking four-year-old daughter, nothing left a more lasting memory. Each morning, I slipped away at dawn to play one of Sunriver’s three championship courses, the Woodlands, Meadows and famed Crosswater Club, which later this year will host America’s top club pros in the 2013 PGA National Championship. Each course has a unique charm: The Meadows, reimagined in 1999 by Northwest native John Fought (Trophy Lake, Washington National) begins in the open grassland near the river and winds back into the trees. Mount Bachelor provides a stunning backdrop to the tee shot at the par-3 16th, while the many deer that call Sunriver home lend the foreground its own bit of natural eye candy. The Woodlands, as one would expect, is tighter and more challenging, with more water and trees than its resort sibling. A Robert Trent Jones, Jr. design, the drama builds throughout the back nine to the terrific 18th, a 372yard par-4 that can play 100 yards shorter if a golfer wants to risk carrying the course’s largest pond to the green beyond. Crosswater, though, is one of the best-conditioned courses you may ever play, a gem that would look good in the crown of any golf region on the planet. Wide-open
fairways give way to lightning-fast greens (all completely redone in 2012) surrounded by water, sand and deep collection areas. From the longer tees, forced carries over the Deschutes and Little Deschutes put a premium on the driver, while the shorter tees give mid-handicappers a shot to score if they can avoid the water and bunkers throughout. In the evenings, as the sun slipped behind Broken Top and the Central Oregon Cascades, I took my son out to Caldera Links, the resort’s par-3 offering, to begin planting the seeds for what will hopefully be a lifelong love of the game. Then, it was into the village for dinner at any of several restaurants followed by a cold ice cream cone on a warm summer evening, smiling as our daughter peered out the caboose of the trackless, kid-sized Alpine Express Train, the ice cream dripping onto her fingers, beaming as if living out a four-year-old’s dream.
hat makes Central Oregon our favorite destination for a week-long golf vacation, however, is that experiences similar to the one above aren’t just limited to one resort. More than 30 golf courses sit within a half hour of Bend, while the river, mountains and seemingly endless miles of bicycle and jogging trails make no discrimination between the various full-service resorts and dozens of independent hotels and golf courses scattered throughout the region. Golfers who prefer a slower pace often stay northwest of Bend, in Sisters. Tucked among the thick Ponderosa of the Deschutes National Forest, barely 10 miles from the Three Sisters peaks that define the Western skyline for the north end of the valley, Sisters is a throwback to the region’s pioneer days, with a Western-themed downtown and mountain village setting. cascadegolfer.com
Black Butte Ranch • Big Meadow
Just north of town is Black Butte Ranch, a 19thcentury cattle and horse ranch reinvented a century later as a five-star golf resort, with hiking and biking trails, public parks, a full-service health spa, a sprawling pool complex, waterslides, horseback riding, river rafting, and — of prime interest to us — two of the top 18-hole golf courses in the region. Reopened in 2012 after a $3.75 million renovation — once again at the hands of Fought — Black Butte’s Glaze Meadow course may be the region’s newest, but its immersion in the natural landscape helps transport golfers back to a time when the idea of Central Oregon as a golf mecca was just a figment in the mind of famed original designer Bunny Mason. Truthfully, Fought’s effort could be more accurately described as a restoration than a renovation — new greens and tee boxes were built on each hole, modern irrigation and drainage systems were installed, and the course’s vibrant wetlands and meadowlands were restored to their original conditions. In addition, certain trees — that, after 40 years of growth, had begun to affect gofers’ shots in ways Mason never intended — were removed, while exact fairway and apron dimensions were altered to provide golfers with multiple routes to the pin. Fought’s effort has made Glaze Meadow a perfect complement to the resort’s other course, Big Meadow. Expanded from nine holes to 18 in 1970, in advance of Black Butte Ranch’s official resort opening, Big Meadow is more open than its younger sibling, and boasts the more breathtaking mountain views — the resort’s ubiquitous “mountain peak behind the aspens” image, which has adorned dozens of magazine covers and travel brochures, was taken from Big Meadow’s elevated 14th tee box, looking out towards Three-Fingered Jack. Golfers who can stay out of the many fairway bunkers and overcome the course’s speedy greens will have a good chance to score at Big Meadow, ranked No. 10 in the state in Golfweek’s most recent “Best Courses You Can Play” ranking. Developing golfers can even take advantage of golf schools, camps and clinics started by Bunny Mason himself, with packages for juniors, ladies and families, plus private and group lessons. In between rounds, golfers relax in any one of 120 fully-furnished vacation homes, at sizes and rates that will fit most any golf vacationer’s budget. Two-night packages in a ranch vacation home start as low as $240 per person for a two-night stay, two meals and two days of unlimited golf on both courses, including cart and range balls. cascadegolfer.com
Aspen Lakes Golf Course • Bend Of course, at Black Butte Ranch, it’s as much about the things you don’t have to do, as it is the many activities you can enjoy. “It’s just an unhurried, relaxed lifestyle,” says Kendal Daiger, the resort’s director of marketing. “Being off the beaten path, we’re quieter and more tranquil than many of the other resorts. It’s really an experience unlike any other in Central Oregon.” A similar vibe exists just down the road at Aspen Lakes Golf Course, a popular pick with locals and Black Butte Ranch guests hoping to sample more of the region’s amazing tracks. While its crushed-cinder bunkers are its most photographed feature, they’re far from the only thing that sets Aspen Lakes apart from — and indeed, above — many of the region’s higherpriced courses. There are narrow, tree-lined fairways and open wetlands holes; short par-4s and long par-5s; holes high-handicappers can birdie, and holes scratch golfers will struggle to par. In other words, just about everything there is to like about a golf course. Most of the challenge comes from its length — 6,500 yards from the white tees, and a knee-knocking 7,300 from the tips (the latter with a 75.4 rating and 141 slope that puts even the tips at Chambers Bay to shame) — plus its many doglegs, bunkers and water features. If you’re staying at one of the major resorts and want a sample of what the rest of Central Oregon’s finest courses are like, Aspen Lakes will give you a small taste of it all — the mountain vistas of Brasada Ranch, the shot-making thrill of Tetherow, the waterhopping doglegs of Crosswater — at a far lower price point ($75 at prime time, as low as $45 in off-peak hours).
taring up at the stars after returning to Seattle from our Central Oregon vacation, we tried to remember what they had looked like from the Sunriver Observatory — there had been far more of them, certainly, but they had also been bigger, brighter and more vibrant. Or, maybe that was just our feeling about the entire vacation, clouding our memory like so many stars in the Milky Way.
Just a short drive from downtown Seattle, the Port Ludlow Resort transports golfers — and their families — far, far away
he time was 3 p.m. on a Saturday in spring, and there was nothing for me to do but take a nap. For a full-time working father of two young children, this is an odd feeling. A typical Saturday consists of a marathon of sports practices, swimming lessons and honey-dos. If the house is quiet by 8 p.m., I’ve done a good job. This, however, was not a typical Saturday. In honor of my impending birthday, my wife, Lindsey, and I had slipped away for the weekend to the Port Ludlow Resort, just a short hop across Puget Sound on the Olympic Peninsula. As I lay back on a thick down comforter, tummy full from a picnic lunch and mind eased by a bottle of sparkling cider from nearby Finn River Farm, I listened to the crackling of our in-room fireplace and the gentle rain pattering on the windowpane. Turning my head, I glanced through the window at sailboats bobbing in the harbor beyond, and a heron stalking a late lunch on the bay shore not 50 feet from where I lay, and found myself struggling to think of a single thing I needed to do in that moment. It was heaven.
BY BRIAN BEAKY CG EDITOR Our room was a large, spotless, modern design with a king-size bed, gas fireplace and a Jacuzzi tub (with French-style windows that open into the main room). Large windows opening onto the bay let in light from two of the room’s four sides, creating a light and airy feeling that only served to enhance the room’s overwhelming sense of space and comfort. In addition to kings, the Inn also includes rooms with oversized twins to accommodate golfers on a weekend getaway. After picking up a picnic lunch at the Inn’s Fireside Restaurant, we drove a short distance to Finn River Farm, a family-owned organic farm that has recently found itself at the forefront of America’s fastest-growing beverage industry. Crystie Kisler, who purchased the farm 10 years ago with her husband, Keith, met us in the tasting room of the Finn River Cidery and gave us a tour of Finn River, currently one of Washington’s largest producers of artisan hard cider.
“One of the biggest myths about cider is that it’s an alternative to beer, but really, it has much more in common with wine,” Kisler says, noting that, like wine, cider is made almost entirely from fermented fruit juices, whereas “beer is mostly just water, with hops.” What started as a small production room has now grown into a three-room production/fermentation/ tasting facility that, itself, will be expanded later this year, as demand for hard cider has skyrocketed. Kisler says that part of Finn River’s popularity has been its unique flavors, which they create by “…throwing in whatever we have around and seeing what it tastes like. We love to experiment.” That includes black currant, pear, habanero, rosehips … even pine needles (used to flavor the delightfully refreshing Forest Fir Cider). There are also sweeter ciders that, like a good port wine, are delicious drizzled over ice cream or other sugary snacks. Finn River’s Artisan Sparking Cider — the bottle that, a few hours later, would play its role in our peaceful
ur day had started a few hours before, when we drove onto the ferry at the Edmonds terminal. Whether the gentle hum of the ferry engines, the soothing depths of the Puget Sound, or the graceful gulls gliding alongside, by the time we reached the Kingston terminal 30 minutes later, we felt as if we had put four-and-a-half miles of water between ourselves and our daily stresses. After a short drive across the Hood Canal Bridge, we arrived at the Inn at Port Ludlow, a charming 37-room hotel (plus a nearby beach house) located on a small spit at the edge of Ludlow Bay, the site of a former sawmill. A century ago, the adjacent harbor would have been filled with tall ships loading timber to help rebuild San Francisco after its great earthquake; on the day we checked in, it was filled instead with a small fleet of sailboats and motorcraft from throughout the Northwest, a handful of kayakers, plus the aforementioned heron and one lazily wandering otter.
desire for a mid-day nap — is its flagship product, made from apples gathered from orchards statewide and fermented first in the large metal tanks, then in the bottles themselves, a time-consuming process known as “methode champenoise.” Each bottle is then rotated by hand twice daily for several weeks before being corked, a process resulting in a much richer and more complex flavor than modern, mass-production methods. Finn River’s ciders are available at QFC, Whole Foods and many other markets throughout the Northwest. But, the best place to try them is on the Chimacum farm itself, when the blueberries are ripe, the vegetable gardens are fully grown and the salmon are swimming upstream. “It’s a good life,” Kisler says. On Kisler’s recommendation, we next stopped at Port Townsend’s Mt. Townsend Creamery to sample artisan cheeses, before touring the former Victorian seaport. Once a thriving hub of maritime trade, Port Townsend now welcomes tourists and day-trippers to its many art galleries, craft-goods shops, public markets and restaurants. A walk through the Port Townsend Historic District lets visitors see the town as it appeared in 1890, including many Victorian-era homes and the beautiful, red-brick Jefferson County Courthouse.
ater that night, we met resort general manager Debbie Wardrop and her husband, Michael, in the dining room of the Fireside Restaurant, and proceeded to enjoy one of the finest dinners we’ve ever had. My sirloin steak tips were mouth-wateringly delicious,
while my wife’s halibut was prepared to perfection — a non-seafood-eater myself, I was cajoled to have a taste, and found myself envying her choice. The baked bread with a custom-made olive tapendade set the mood, while our desserts — a decadent turtle pie for myself, and a hardto-find tarte tatin for Lindsey — were the perfect finish. The restaurant also has an award-winning wine list, with Wine Spectator magazine honoring its breadth and depth with a “Best of Award of Excellence” award in 2012, one of fewer than 1,000 restaurants on the planet to receive the honor. Wardrop noted that Chef Dan Ratigan uses organically raised local meats, fresh seafood and produce from local farmers to create his menu, which is changed each night to take advantage of the morning’s catch and crop. “Every single day, the menu has to be retyped, reprinted, reproofed,” Wardrop says. “It’s time-consuming, but it’s part of Chef Dan’s commitment to using only the freshest local ingredients.”
n the morning, we returned to the Fireside for a breakfast of Fonte coffee, fresh eggs (from Finnriver Farm), sausage, bacon and scalloped potato wedges, before splitting up for our day’s activities — myself to the nearby Port Ludlow Resort Golf Course for 18 holes with head pro Vito DeSantis, and Lindsey to our cozy room, for a one-hour, in-room massage with a professional from the nearby Ludlow Bay Massage and Wellness Spa. Neither of us were disappointed in our choice. The golf course, located atop a ridge just opposite the resort, on the south side of Ludlow Bay, has long been
FROM THE GOLF GAL’S PERSPECTIVE
don‘t golf. I‘m not opposed to it, but I‘m a busy working mom — I have little time, and no extra money for expensive hobbies. Brian, on the other hand, gets paid to write about his golfing adventures. I work hard; why don‘t I get to enjoy a fun weekend away? It was a nice surprise, then, to be invited along on a weekend excursion to the Inn at Port Ludlow. I knew that Brian would spend a portion of our trip golfing; would it be worth the hassle and heartache of leaving the kids, just to hang out alone? Here are five reasons to say, “Yes!”: 1. Our room was so comfortable and relaxing, I would have been satisfied with staying in all weekend. Anything that occurred beyond the walls was a bonus. 2. I’ve never been interested in farming and have failed at growing zucchini, but the tour of Finn River made me grateful to the farms that provide food for their communities. What a farmer harvests in the morning ends up on the menu of a nearby restaurant that night. You can‘t get that experience in the city. 3. A day trip to Port Ludlow is worth it just to eat at the Fireside Restaurant. Delicious! 4. I took a morning hike. Alone. In the sunshine. Port Ludlow has miles of trails, and you don‘t have to get cascadegolfer.com
lost to feel outdoorsy. Most trails are tucked between neighborhoods, which helped me feel safe. 5. I had an in-room massage. It turns out I really needed this massage, at one point telling my masseuse, “I don‘t even know how to relax.“ She helped, and now I miss her. Truthfully, Brian didn‘t spend the entire weekend golfing; in fact, we spent the entire first day of our trip together. When only one of a couple plays golf, the key to finding balance on a “golf vacation” is to enjoy the other area amenities first, together. That way, you can first develop an appreciation of the area and time alone with your spouse, then later appreciate the peace that comes with only having to worry about oneself, even if just for a few hours. — Lindsey Beaky JUNE 2013
renowed for its combination of intriguing design, scenic views and low rates. From the elevated tee box at the par4 Tide No. 2 — one of eight elevated tee boxes on the golf course’s two nines, Tide and Timber — golfers can gaze across Ludlow Bay to the marina and Inn, backdropped by Puget Sound and the Cascade Mountains; Olympic views also abound, mostly on the Timber Course. Both nines are distinct for their massive cedar stumps, living reminders of the region’s logging past. Many stumps have given birth to new trees, wildflowers and other plants, which decorate Ludlow’s fairways and greens and lend the course its most memorable natural features. The golf course, however, is just as memorable for its holes, no two of which play exactly alike. While the scenic Tide No. 2 can be reachable for a big hitter with a decent draw, the par-4 Timber No. 3 requires two excellent shots to reach an elevated green surrounded by towering trees. Likewise, the par-5 Timber No. 9 may be just 452 yards, but climbs 100 feet from tee to green, making it a threeshotter for all but the longest players; the 465-yard Tide No. 4, by comparison, will tempt any player who can top the crest of a small hill off the tee to let fly towards the elevated green beyond. There are holes that reward a good draw and others a good fade, a 128-yard par-3 and a 219-yard par-3 … in otherwords, just about anything a golfer could want, including some of the driest and fastest greens we played in the early part of the season. Tee boxes ranging from 5,200-6,800 yards and rates that peak around $50 on summer weekends have made the course a favorite with Olympic Peninsula residents, who have no shortage of quality tracks to choose from. After the round, we popped into the Niblicks Café for lunch and watched the leaders make the turn in the final round of the Masters. Chowing down on my steak sandwich (which would not at all have been out of place at Chef Dan’s fantastic Fireside Restaurant) and watching Adam Scott make his memorable run, I found myself envious of those local residents, who never have to face that end-of-vacation moment when it’s time to go home.
riving back towards the ferry dock a few hours later, it was easy to imagine coming back later this summer with my golfing buddies and using the Inn at Port Ludlow as a weekend base from which to play the many outstanding Peninsula tracks — as well as taking advantage of stay-and-play rates at Port Ludlow, of course. As we drove onto the boat to head back to the mainland, Lindsey turned to me and said, “Is this what it feels like?” “What do you mean?” I asked. “Being totally relaxed,” she said. “It’s wonderful.” It certainly was. 52
Dedication Members of the Western Washington Golf Course Superintendents Association are a dedicated group of professionals. Not only is it our goal to provide golfers with the very best playing conditions, but to do it in a way that also maintains our status as stewards of the environment.
SunCountry G.C. • Cle Elum
SunCountry GC CLE ELUM
Just a few miles after you come down from the highlands east of Keechelus Lake, right as I-90 makes a southern jog before turning east towards Ellensburg, is a old, faded sign high up on a ridge, with the large block letters that make every golfer’s heart beat a little faster: “GOLF COURSE.” Then, for those who look closely, there’s a little glimpse of some fairway here, and a pin there, before the course slips back into the thick Cascade forest from which it briefly emerged. Many then continue on, perhaps wondering about that little sliver of course, and resolving to come back one day to check it out. We did just that. And boy, were we glad we did. SunCountry Golf Course is right in the “Save Some Green” wheelhouse, a hidden gem squirreled away in the shadow of its much more famous neighbor, Suncadia Resort. In truth, SunCountry wouldn’t be out of place across the street, tucked among the Suncadia homesites alongside Prospector and Rope Rider. It’s shorter than either, at 5,507 yards, but is kept in terrific shape, particularly in the late summer when the Northwest sun is at its peak. Fairways tumble down from elevated tees to firm, fast greens, holes dogleg around stands of tall firs, and cool mountain creeks and ponds challenge several approaches. SunCountry’s best quality, however, is that it’s simply a fun round of golf. A handful of short par-4s and reachable par-5s give even mid-handicappers the thrill of going for the green, while the water, trees and uneven lies create enough challenge to hook a better golfer. You’ll likely make a birdie (or two), you’ll enjoy some terrific mountain views, and you’ll breathe in that crisp, refreshing, pinescented air … all for barely $40, and only an hour or so from home. In fact, we wouldn’t blame you if you didn’t want to leave — many golfers don’t, parking their RVs at SunCountry’s RV Park and staying for up to a week.
YARDAGE (par) 4,711-5,507(par 72) RATES $30-$42 TEL 506-674-2226 WEB golfsuncountry.com cascadegolfer.com
To learn more about the WWGCSA, visit www.wwgcsa.org
New this golf seasoN, JBlM golf is offeriNg the
JBlM golf Pass.
The JBLM Golf Pass replaces the popular 5-day a week (Mon-Fri) “Special” of the last few seasons with a 7 day a week, peak season option that is full of value for the avid golfer.
CheCK out the
Pass-holders are entitled to their initial round of golf for free and play all subsequent rounds for half price green fees. that’s honored at both golf JBlM golf courses eagles Pride and whispering firs.
JoiNt Base lewis-MCChord
Pass is available for $
Public welcome! eagles Pride golf Course
I-5 Exit 116 PO Box 33175 JBLM • Lewis Main (253) 967-6522 or (253) 964-2786 jblmmwr.com/golf_eagles_pride
It’s as simple as that — no fine print, no day or time restrictions. The pass if valid through Oct., 7 days a week, & includes Twilight Rates.
whisPeriNg firs golf Course
Bldg. 895 Lincoln Blvd. JBLM • McChord Field (253) 982-4927 Habañero (253) 982-3271 jblmmwr.com/golf_whisp_firs
ILLUSTRATIONS BY JOHN KIMBALL
Slow Going BY BRIAN BEAKY • CG EDITOR
or all the bad shots, unlucky bounces and lipped-out putts that can leave us tearing our hair out at the end of a round, perhaps nothing gives golfers as much angst as slow play. There are a few things, though, that each side can do to make things easier:
FOR THE GROUP AHEAD
You’ve been enjoying your round, going at your own pace, when suddenly you notice a golfer or group of golfers waiting on the tee behind you. You feel rushed, out of rhythm. What do you do?
1. This is obvious, but first, try to play more quickly. Take fewer practice swings (ideally, no more than one). Be ready to take your shot when it’s your turn. Clear the fairway or green quickly when you’re finished.
2. If you’ve tried the above, and you’re still feeling pressured by the group behind you — particularly if there are fewer players than in your group — stop. You’re going to be miserable — and certainly not going to play well — if you’re sprinting from shot to shot, constantly looking over your shoulder and feeling anxious. Just stop. Signal to the golfer(s) behind that you’re letting them play through, either by waving or calling out, then clear the landing area. Ninety-nine percent of golfers will be grateful for your selflessness, and will play through quickly, typically with many thanks and smiles. At the most, you’ll lose five minutes, but you’ll have at least temporarily removed the anxiety and pressure to play quickly for the rest of your round. You’ll play better, feel better, and have more fun.
FOR THE GROUP BEHIND
You drive up to the tee and find another group in the fairway, with seemingly no one in front of them. You wait … and wait. They’re agonizingly slow, taking multiple practice swings, checking their rangefinders, consulting each other on putting lines. What do you do?
1. Take a deep breath. Yes, we recognize that calming yourself won’t make the group
ahead of you speed up. But, it’s highly unlikely that gesturing, shouting, hitting into them, or trying in other ways to send them an “obvious” signal of your impatience will help, either. And getting upset will definitely not help your golf game.
2. If you see a course marshal, try to flag them down and have them speak with the group ahead. It’s possible that they’re being slowed by another group you can’t see. Many courses aren’t marshaled, however, and even if they are, marshals often won’t penalize a group unless they’re playing at slower than a standard 4:15-4:30 pace — even if you are playing faster. The marshal can, however, request that they let you play through, which can relieve some of the awkwardness of that conversation.
3. If there’s no marshal, try to catch the group ahead of you on a tee box. Then, politely ask if you can play through — mention how it will relieve their anxiety (“Just so we’re not pushing you guys faster than you want to play…”), and promise to be quick. Again, ninety-nine percent of groups, when asked politely, will accept. Then, be respectful — play the hole as quickly as possible to get out of their way, and thank them frequently. It’s likely the last time you’ll see them on the course.
4. If they’re not signaling you to play through or if you simply can’t catch them on a tee box — and you can clearly see open golf course ahead of them — drive (or walk) around them to the next tee box. Sure, it might mean that you have to skip a hole, but it’s a small price to pay to increase the enjoyment of the rest of your round (when skipping a hole, credit yourself with par plus any handicap strokes you receive on that hole). Plus, you can always drive back and play it later if you have time.
hether you’re the group in front, or the group behind, the moral is simple — act how you wish the other group would act if they were in your shoes. You’ll feel better, and play better, too.
TWO WORDS: FREE ... GOLF!
Druids Glen Golf Club • Covington
We all love reading about a great golf course … but it’s a heck of a lot more fun to actually play one. So, rather than just read about the many incredible courses out there, log on to CascadeGolfer.com and enter to win any — or all — of six terrific twosomes: • Eagles Pride at Fort Lewis
• SunCountry Golf Course
• Avalon Golf Links
• Camaloch Golf Club
• Druids Glen or Willows Run (your choice) • Snoqualmie Falls Golf Club All it takes is a few clicks of the keyboard, and you could be heading to the first tee — on us! Visit CascadeGolfer.com for your chance to win! 58