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Volume 7 •  Issue 3 •  AUGUST 2013

CASCADE

GOLFER cascadegolfer.com

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

A LOOK

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INSIDE GOLFER

Departments

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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, Bob Sherwin

CASCADE

• • • • • •

Washington’s newest nine CG Cup duo having dream year Golf’s most misunderstood rules North Sound Shootout Lynnwood GC gets reprieve SG Extra: Bachelor party, CG style

16 IN THE BAG • Beyond bellies • R1’s back — in black • Shoes, balls and more

20 TEEING OFF • UW’s Sark’s got game

23 RISK vs REWARD • Whidbey Golf & Country Club | No. 12

46 SAVE SOME GREEN • Early-bird and twilight faves • Fall golf values

50 POSTGAME • Your favorite foursomes

PUETZ GOLF SAVINGS

2-3 | 24-27 | 44-45

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ON THE COVER Newcomer Salish Cliffs Golf Club is shooting up our state’s golf rankings. PHOTO BY ERIK EIKENBERRY/ERIKPAUL.COM COVER DESIGN BY JOHN KIMBALL

OUR

25TH ISSUE!

Features

28

THE 2013 TOP-10 WA COURSES

Our first-ever official ranking of the state’s public tracks. Who’s No.1?

36 ROCCO’S MODERN LIFE

Fan favorite Rocco Mediate may be new to the Boeing Classic, but is no stranger to Seattle. by Tony Dear

40 THE ROAD LESS TRAVELED

UW alum Richard E. Lee’s path to the PGA Tour is an even more amazing story than his remarkable 2013 success. by Bob Sherwin

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. PRODUCER AND OWNER OF THE PROUD CHARTER MEMBER

THIS PAGE The first hole at Walla Walla’s Wine Valley Golf Club sets the stage for one of the state’s most memorable rounds. But is it No. 1? Find out on PAGE 28.

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PUBLISHER’S PITCH

DICK STEPHENS

Props to Great Gundy: The Northwest’s Greatest Pro

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n our last issue, I talked about Fred Couples and his World Golf Hall of Fame induction. This month, I’d like to share my opinion on Seattle’s greatest golf hero — actually, a “heroine,” who churned up one of the greatest careers in American golf history. JoAnne Gunderson Carner has been a World Golf Hall of Famer for over 30 years. The Kirkland native’s 49 professional titles (including 43 LPGA wins) and list of honors put her in an elite group of golfers that includes names like Snead, Nicklaus, Palmer and Nancy Lopez. She was a rock star in golf before rock stars existed. The “Great Gundy,” or “Big Mama,” as she was referred to by LPGA Tour followers, was an amateur legend here in Washington even before she hit the pro scene. She claimed five U.S. Amateur titles – her first when she was only 18. Five! That’s HUGE. From the ‘60s through the ‘80s, Gundy reigned supreme with legends like Kathy Whitworth, Sandra Haynie, Pat Bradley and Lopez, helping build the LPGA brand with men and women alike. At that time, Gundy was a household name in golf — certainly in mine, as my dad served in the Marines with her brother “Red” Gunderson, who was a Seattle-area teaching pro for

years. Gundy was the dominant golfer in the U.S. during her amateur career, where in addition to those titles she won an official LPGA event — the only amateur ever to do so until a New Zealander matched the feat last year. Like any Hall of Famer, Gundy has an impressive resume: 43 Tour wins, two U.S. Open titles, LPGA Player of the Year, LPGA Money Title, Solheim Cup captain, the Bob Jones Award, and the distinction of being just the second woman to ever cross $1 million in career earnings. Down to earth and a true people person, she traveled the Tour with her now-deceased husband, Don, in an Airstream trailer. The women on the Tour saw her as a protector — their own “Big Mama.” Carner also struck an iconic image on TV screens across America, with a larger frame, bold swing and drives that flew a country mile. With apologies to Freddie, Carner is, without question, the Northwest’s greatest amateur and professional golfer — possibly, the greatest local product in any sport, all-time. I’ll leave that to your 19th hole chatter — perhaps this will ignite some. I hope it does. If you have any stories about the Great Gundy, I’d love to read em’ — email me. Enjoy the late summer and as always, TAKE IT EASY.

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S G O L F

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4 Can Play for the PriCe of 3! 6

AUGUST 2013

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 September 31st, 2013

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AUGUST 2013

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SHORT GAME

Highlander’s Big Finish

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henever we cast about for opinions on Washington’s best par-3s, one hole is invariably mentioned — Highlander’s 178-yard (black tees) ninth. Played entirely over a yawning canyon, where just about any miss will go bouncing thousands of feet down the brush-covered slope, it’s as knee-knocking a shot as any in the state, and has been Highlander’s signature since the course opened in 2002. So, when finishing off the course’s three-year renovation project in 2013, Highlander designers asked, “Why not bring the canyon into play on the back nine, too?” In May, Highlander finally pulled back the curtain on its brand-new closing nine, featuring all-new turf, over 100 new trees, multiple water features and several redesigned or re-routed holes. One of those — the now par-4 17th — might well be destined to become one of the state’s top risk-reward plays. Formerly a short, 110-yard pitch over a large bunker, the 17th is now a 245-yard par-4 that plays from an elevated tee atop a cliff to a well-guarded green on the other side of the canyon. The strength and direction of the prevailing wind will be a significant factor in players’ decisions to try to go for the green, though even those laying up will still need to carry the ball 190 yards to a small landing area.

Highlander Golf Club • Hole 17 “It’s a tricky hole,” says general manager Joe Gordon, who oversaw the entire back-nine project this spring. “You can get there, but if you miss, you’ll be lucky to make a bogey. It’s a classic risk-reward.” Players will then conclude their round with another shot back toward the canyon, hitting 175 yards from an elevated tee box to the now par-3 18th green, with nothing behind it but miles and miles of scenic Central Washington views extending past the Columbia River all the way to the east slopes of the Cascades. In addition to those two completely redesigned holes, major changes were made to hole No. 10 (shortened to a par-4 to accommodate the new 18th tee), hole 14 (shortened from a par-4 to an uphill par-3) and holes 15 and 16, the latter of which is now fronted by a large glassy pond and a scenic stone bridge.

The revised nine is over 300 yards shorter than its previous length, and reduced course par from 72 to 70, though Gordon says that by adding so many trees and bringing the canyon into play, the course will likely be rated more challenging in relation to par than its original layout. A new rating will be conducted by the USGA later this summer. Highlander completed a similar overhaul of its front nine in 2010, replacing fescue with sod, adding water features and planting over 500 trees. Future plans include splitting the shared No. 3 and No. 5 green, and adding additional water features to No. 5 and No. 13. Golfers have been enjoying Highlander’s new setup since May, and Gordon says the response from players has been overwhelmingly positive. Check it out for yourself at highlandergolf.com!

Congratulations to the winners of June’s enter-to-wins! Four-Night Whistler Stay-&-Play Deven Robinson | Spanaway

Access Golf Twosome (Druids Glen or Willows Run) Brian Brandes | Everett

Snoqualmie Falls Twosome Bernie Dorsey | Seattle

Boeing Classic VIP Passes Ryan Boone | Seattle

Eagles Pride Twosome Roger Clark | Federal Way

Camaloch Twosome Sam Cameron | Seattle

SunCountry Golf & RV Twosome Craig Bennett | North Bend

RIFE Putter Peter Melo | Burien

All-Day Avalon Twosome Jeff Hoover | Kirkland SunCountry Golf & RV • Cle Elum

Wish that was your name next to one of those prizes? Check out the list at right of CG Swag being given away in August, then sign up to win at CascadeGolfer.com!

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IN THIS ISSUE: • • • • • • •

Boeing Classic VIP Experience: Page 37 RIFE putter: Page 48 Twosome to SunCountry in Cle Elum: Page 48 Twosome to Snoqualmie Falls: Page 48 Twosome to Glen Acres Golf Course: Page 48 Twosome to Camaloch Golf Course: Page 48 Twosome to Whidbey Golf & C.C.: Page 48

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PRESENTED BY

mbseattle.com

Life’s A Beach for CG Cup Duo Grand prize trip to Pebble Beach will be long remembered

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or most golfers, playing all three courses at Pebble Beach, and all four at Bandon Dunes, might represent a lifetime bucket list. For CG readers and Cascade Golfer Cup players Herb Oke and Lewis Lopes, it’s merely a good year. In October, Oke and Lopes held the winning ticket in our drawing for a stay-and-play vacation to Pebble Beach, the highlight of our annual Year-End Bash at the Muckleshoot Casino. The duo took the trip in March, playing the Links at Spanish Bay, Spyglass Hill and, of course, Pebble Beach itself, while enjoying luxury accommodations at the Inn at Spanish Bay. Just writing that makes us jealous (as does their recap, at right). Barely six weeks after returning from Pebble Beach, with the sand blown in off the coast still stuck in their shoes, the duo teed it up at Washington National for the second event of the 2013 Cascade Golfer Cup. The grand prize — three nights at the Bandon Dunes Resort and one twosome each at Bandon Dunes, Pacific Dunes, Bandon Trails and Old MacDonald. Suffice to say, if you’re the jealous type, you might want to stop reading. Sitting entirely out of the money with three holes to play, Oke and Lopes finished birdie-birdie-birdie — a three-stroke jump that proved enough to win the closest Cascade Golfer Cup event in series history. Ultimately, it was just those three strokes that separated first from 16th — and sent Oke and Lopes on their second bucket-list golf trip of the year. Heck, of the season. “Yeah, it’s been pretty amazing,” said Oke in June, at the CG Cup event at McCormick Woods. If thoughts of lightning striking a third time were in

their mind at that point, however, it wasn’t to be. A 15thplace finish at the Scramble at McCormick Woods earned Oke and Lopes a trip to Reno-Tahoe, but it was first-time winners Joel Mathews and Jeff Gregory taking home the hardware at McCormick Woods — and with it, a stay-andplay package of their own, to Central Oregon’s Black Butte Ranch & Sunriver Resort. Both teams sit in the top-four of the season-long Cascade Golfer Cup standings, though with four events left at the time of this writing — including two majors — the grand prize Summer Golf Package and its 20 twosomes to the top courses in the state is still certainly up for grabs. There’s still time to register for the final three events of the year — the Puetz Golf Shootout at Salish Cliffs (Aug. 17), the Bridgestone Golf Invitational at Mill Creek Country Club (Sept. 7) and season finale at RMG Club at Oakbrook (Sept. 28), each of which feature their own fantastic prizes, plus the chance to rack up points towards the Cup. And don’t forget — every team which plays in at least four events, or the tournaments at McCormick Woods, Oakbrook and one other, is automatically entered into the first-ever Cascade Golfer Cup Appreciation Day at The Classic — a free tournament for our most loyal players. Even if you’re out of the running for the Cup, adding one last event to your schedule could mean getting into a second tournament, absolutely free. Field size will be limited to 64 teams, with priority given to order of registration, so don’t wait until the final event to sign up. Plus, playing in more events gives you more tickets in the raffle for the year-end bonus prize — a stay-and-play package to Bandon Dunes. For more information on the Cascade Golfer Cup, visit cascadegolfer.com/cup.

IN THEIR OWN WORDS:

Oke, Lopes Recap Pebble Trip

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e decided to head down a day early and get a practice round in before we headed to Pebble. The Ranch Golf Club in San Jose was a tough Nicklaus layout that was hilly, but nice. The next day, we headed to Pebble to play the Links at Spanish Bay. After playing, we checked in at the Inn at Spanish Bay where we stayed for three nights. The room was large and wonderful, and even had a gas fireplace. The following day, we played Spyglass Hill. We both felt the course was tough, but fair. It was difficult to pick my favorite between Spyglass and Pebble, but I would give the nod to Pebble because of the incredible views. We had saved the best for last, so on the final day, we played Pebble. The golf and the views at Pebble are just breathtaking. Both Lewis and I took a lot of pictures every day. Pebble was my best day golfing — I shot 85, but it could easily have been a high-70 or low-80 round. I missed an eagle putt on the par-5 No. 2 and lipped out make-able birdie putts on the tough bluff hole, No. 8, and the famous 18th. I really wanted to say I birdied 18, but felt good about my tap-in par. If you stay at the Pebble property, you can take a luxury sedan out for a free, two-hour test drive, so on the day we were to fly home, we took a $50,000 sedan out on the famous 17-Mile Drive, along the ocean. Since most of our trip was paid for, we splurged for dinner each night. Two of the places at which we ate were right at Pebble — the Bench, overlooking Pebble’s 18th, and Roy’s, at the Inn at Spanish Bay. One night, we also went to Carmel and ate at an Italian place that was great. Lewis Lopes and I want to thank Cascade Golfer and your sponsors for a once-in-a lifetime trip to Pebble! — Herb Oke

Want to win a dream golf vacation of your own? Check out the three remaining events on the 2013 Cascade Golfer Cup schedule at CascadeGolfer.com!

cascadegolfer.com cascadegolfer.com

AUGUST 2013

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SHORT GAME

SAY WHAT?

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olf has a lot of rules. And honestly, most of us have only a vague idea of what they are. Even the best players in the world, their caddies, and the on-course rules officials often can’t unravel the intricate mysteries of the golf rule book — if they could, Tiger Woods may have added a green jacket to his closet this spring. The opaqueness of the Rules of Golf can become even more troublesome when they affect your game, particularly when you’re playing with a group of golfers who each have their own interpretations. We even have debates among ourselves as to what rules apply in certain situations. (True story: you can hit a ball that is sitting in a hazard, 18 inches above the turf, resting in the cup of a fern. Also true: you probably shouldn’t.) Here are six rules that are most often misunderstood:

MYTH:

A ball that is touched and falls off the tee after being addressed counts as a stroke. TRUTH: While it always makes for an easy joke, it’s not true, unless the player was actually making a stroke. Just re-tee and swing away. (Rule 11-3)

MYTH: If you’re keeping a handicap, the highest score you can card is double bogey. TRUTH: In recreational play, players with an index between 20-29.9 may card up to an 8 on any hole — regardless of par. Players with an index between 10-19.9 may card up to a 7 on any hole. Only players with an index in single digits are limited to double-bogey (5 on a par-3, 7 on a par-5, etc.). Also note: the

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“index” in question is “course” index for the tees being played, which may be higher or lower than your overall “handicap” index. Most courses have computers in the pro shop that can determine your course index for you.

MYTH:

When taking relief from an unplayable lie, you can drop your ball anywhere on the line in which the ball entered the lie. TRUTH: In this case, you have three options — replay the shot, drop within two clublengths in any direction, no closer to the hole, or drop anywhere behind the unplayable lie, keeping that spot directly between the ball and the hole. All options include a penalty stroke. (Rule 28)

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MYTH: A red stake and a yellow stake are the same. TRUTH: A yellow stake limits you to three options — play it as it lies, replay from the previous spot, or drop behind the spot where the the ball last crossed the hazard, keeping that point between you and the hole (the latter two including a one-stroke penalty). The same rules apply for red stakes, which add the options of dropping within two clublengths of the spot where the ball last crossed the hazard, no nearer the hole, or dropping on the opposite side of the hazard, equidistant from the hole. (Rule 26-1)

MYTH: If an out-of-bounds stake impedes your stroke, you can pull it out.

TRUTH: While true with regard to the 150 pole or hazard stakes, this is false. You may never take relief from a course boundary — stake, fence, wall, etc. Either play it as it lies, or take an unplayable. (Rule 13-2)

MYTH: You can’t clean your line on the green. TRUTH: You may repair any ball mark in your line, or clear loose sticks or other objects, so long as you use only your hand or a club. You may not tamp down spike marks. (Rule 16-1)

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SHORT GAME

In the “Sun Belt”

Sun, Prizes Rule the Day

I We’re well inside the Puget Sound “Sun Belt” (or rain shadow), and average under 20 inches of rainfall annually.

Visit www.camalochgolf.com

for Special Discounts and the latest

Weather Conditions 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

800-628-0469

www.camalochgolf.com

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t was appropriate that the sun was shining high and hot at June’s North Sound Shootout — because there’s a lot more of that where Ron Marshall and Eddy Page are headed. The Puget Sound duo fired a two-day combined net score of 123.55 to win the two-day tournament, including an 18-hole scramble at Avalon Golf Links, and an 18-hole best-ball at semi-private Whidbey Golf and Country Club. Their prize? A trip to Phoenix, Ariz., next winter to attend all four days of the Waste Management Phoenix Open, including seats at the “Greatest Show On Grass,” the stadium-seating par-3 16th. And you’d better believe we threw in a couple killer rounds of their own to take advantage of while they’re there. Marshall and Page were far from the only winners, however. A total of 45 of the 78 golfers in the field walked away with at least one prize, including trips to Vegas, Reno and Portland, twosomes and foursomes to courses like Chambers Bay, Salish Cliffs, Desert Canyon and more, plus golf clubs, bags, push carts and other prizes. Among the winners were the team of Ed Klein and Michael Robb, who won Sunday’s scramble at Avalon; the duo of Mike Johnson and Joe Beatty, who rode two top-six finishes to second place overall; and former UW and NFL

NORTH

SOUND

SHOOTOUT

tight end Cam Cleeland, who teamed with Matt Cowell to win the low-gross prize on Sunday. In between the two rounds, players were treated to a night of fun at the Swinomish Casino and Lodge, including a hosted banquet and a private tour of the resort’s all-new Callaway Fitting Studio, where long drive and closest-to-thepin contests were held in state-of-the-art fitting simulators. There are still three more chances to play in a Cascade Golfer tournament this year — the Puetz Golf Shootout, Aug. 17 at Salish Cliffs; the Bridgestone Golf Invitational, Sept. 7 at Mill Creek C.C.; and the season finale, Sept. 28 at Oakbrook. Events typically do sell out, so be sure to sign up soon! To learn more, visit CascadeGolfer.com/Cup or contact Simon Dubiel at simon@cascadegolfer.com.

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Lynnwood Golf Course • Hole 10

Lynnwood, Riverbend Consider Their Future

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n April, we reported that the city of Lynnwood was weighing its options with regard to Lynnwood Golf Course, the popular (and we’d say underrated), par-68 track just off Highway 99. Four straight years of losses had put the city in a tough spot, and the City Council was to make a recommendation as to the best course of action. That recommendation proved to be good news for golfers. After weeks of meetings at which many community members voiced passionate support for keeping the golf course open, on May 28 the City Council unanimously passed a resolution committing to do just that. In addition, the Council approved hiring a consultant to determine how best to increase the course’s profitability going forward. One option previously discussed could include hiring an outside management company to take over daily operations, similar to the model followed by Seattle and Everett, whose courses are managed by Seattle-based Premier Golf. The consultant’s recommendation was expected to made in mid-July (just after this issue went to print), and will be covered on CascadeGolfer.com. Just days after the Lynnwood City Council made its commitment to keep the Lynnwood Golf Course open, the city of Kent found itself facing a similar decision regarding the par-3 course at Riverbend Golf Complex. Popular with many locals for its versatility — including a 6,700-yard championship course, a nine-hole par-3 track, a covered driving range and even a miniature golf course — the city has considered selling the par-3 course (where rounds are down 28 percent) to replenish its golf fund, money that could then be used for needed maintenance and improvements at the 18-hole course and range. An open house was scheduled for mid-July, just after this issue went to print, to allow the public to give input. “I know there’s some disappointment that we’re considering the possibility,” said Jeff Watling, Kent’s Director of Parks, Recreation and Community Services. “It’s disappointing to [us], too. From disappointment comes innovative thinking. We need to hear how the public suggests we solve the challenges.” No date for a final decision was set as of this writing. As always, turn to CascadeGolfer.com for the latest news.

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SHORT GAME

EXTRA

Druids Glen Golf Club • Hole 6

A Night To Remember Planning a bachelor or bachelorette party anytime soon? Do it CG-style. PHOTO BY ROB PERRY

T

he days of your typical bachelor or bachelorette party are over, my friends. That special night out before the big day – you know, the one that consists of stories that should remain secret (or just plain forgotten) — has been taken over by full-day excursions that you and your pals can remember forever. And most importantly, that won’t leave you too embarrassed to talk about later. Our idea of a perfect bachelor or bachelorette party — and trust us, this comes from experience — is 36 holes of golf, gambling and general gut-busting on the course, followed by a long night of trying to double our winnings at the tables. Now, when planning the perfect pre-wedding bash, sticking to a single geographic area is key. Not only do you not want to be drinking and driving, but no one wants to waste any time crammed in a car listening to their friend’s mix tapes when they could have a three-wood or a pair of dice in their hands instead. That’s why when we’re planning a day of golf and gaming, we start with the Muckleshoot Casino — not only is it Western Washington’s “biggest and best” gaming experience, it also happens to be within close proximity to more CG-approved golf courses than any other tribal casino in the state.

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BY JOHNNY CAREY

Your day starts with the golf, of course, and whether you’re looking for the tournament-quality challenge or just trying to save some green for your big night at the tables, there are courses to fit the bill. We prefer to mix it up, taking advantage of early-bird rates at a top-rated track like Washington National or Druids Glen (pictured above) in the morning when we’re still sharp, before grabbing lunch in the clubhouse. Then, it’s off to one of the Auburn Valley’s fantastic municipal or family-owned courses — including Auburn Golf Course, Lake Wilderness and Elk Run — where we let our hair down a bit and kick the party into second gear with more beverages, more birdies, and some killer golf. The 6,450-yard, par-71 Auburn Golf Course is perfect for the second half of a 36-hole day — rates are affordable (about $41 at peak times), greens are among the best public golfers will see anywhere, and while the difficulty is eased back a bit from your morning round, there’s still plenty to keep you on your toes.

Auburn’s relatively flat, straightforward front nine allows you to work out the leftover kinks in your swing, but starting with the straight-uphill par-4 11th, the course’s back nine is packed with rolling hills and demanding target shots that will make even the best players think twice before firing away. The par-4 15th features a 100-foot drop from tee to fairway (CG tip: keep the driver in the bag), while the jaw-dropping, 175-yard, par-3 16th, with its waterfalls and colorful flowers, is one of the Seattle-area’s most photogenic holes. To up the ante, craft some side games that combine each player’s (or team’s) performance on the course with your upcoming night at the casino. Make the golf losers cover the first round of drinks, or subsidize the other players’ first bets. Or, play for money on the course, then make those winnings your starting cash at the tables, and see who can finish the night with the biggest stack. Which brings us to the third reason we wrap it up at Auburn — its location, less than 15 minutes away from the front doors of the Muckleshoot Casino. There’s a reason why they call it “The Biggest and Best in the Northwest.” With over 100 table games and 3,100 gaming machines — not to mention the largest non-smoking poker room in Washington — you and your pals will never run out of ways to keep the action going. When you’re hungry for more of what the Muckleshoot has to offer, you can eat like a king at one of the casino’s eight outstanding restaurants. Our suggestion after 36 holes (and a few cocktails, no doubt) is the Spice Bay Buffet, where you can re-energize yourself with a delicious seafood feast for only $25. Once you’ve all decided to call it a night, make sure you take advantage of the Muckleshoot’s shuttle services to a number of local hotels — we love our designated drivers, but that way, no one in your party feels like they have to hold back. Every bride or groom merits the perfect big night out to complement the up coming big day. Start planning your own by calling 800-804-4944 or visiting muckleshootcasino.com. cascadegolfer.com


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RISK vs. REWARD Whidbey Golf & Country Club

By Simon Dubiel

Hole No. 12 • Par 5 • 514 Yards (Blue Tees) The Setup: A great risk-reward hole at a great risk-reward course. The tee shot is downhill, and anything well-struck should leave the average hitter with 230-250 to reach the green in two. A small stream eats up any shot mishit short, while anything hit poorly will find the cattails and a watery grave. Several trees surrounding the green make chipping challenging, depending on your angle.

The Risk: The average golfer will likely be hitting hybrid/3 wood in, and as we all know, sometimes those are not the straightest clubs in our bag. Two-putt birdies are great, but anything not struck pure will

end up in the rough, or quite possibly behind one of the many trees. At that point, the 115yard wedge from the fairway that you could have been hitting instead will look pretty good. The worst-case scenario can lead to double or triple — not something you want after you smacked your drive down the middle of the fairway.

The Reward: Unless you crush the ball, you will have littleto-no opportunity to get home in two from the blue tees on any of Whidbey’s other three par fives. This is your chance.  On a course filled with fantastic, challenging greens, this hole may be the only one where you might not have to make a tough putt to card a birdie. Plus, the layup shot

is no gimme, either … why not take advantage of your length when you can?

Final Call:

If you hit a solid tee ball, this should scream, “green light!” Although wedge-wedge is an option, we say to double-down and just take one swing. You took the drive across Deception Pass to play this semi-private course, so don’t chicken out now. You can’t win by always checking, and this might be your best opportunity for birdie. It’s time to put your chips in the middle. The genius Ty Webb says it best: “There’s a force in the universe that makes things happen. And all you have to do is get in touch with it, stop thinking, let things happen — and be the ball.”

PRESENTED BY

cascadegolfer.com

AUGUST 2013

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Washington’s

10 BEST Public Golf Courses

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3 5 7 10 cascadegolfer.com


The Home Course

Prospector at Suncadia

Dupont

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Roslyn

PHOTO BY ROB PERRY

y now, everyone knows the story of the South Sound course that opened in the fall of 2007 and immediately earned rave reviews, ultimately being selected to host a USGA championship. Oh, did you think we were talking about Chambers Bay? We’re talking about The Home Course, so named for its status as the headquarters of the Pacific Northwest Golf Association, the regional arm of the USGA. While The Home Course’s opening in 2007 was largely overshadowed by that of its 2010 U.S. Amateur co-host 11 miles up the coast, its reputation has only grown with each passing season. Fans of John Fought’s Washington National or Trophy Lake will recognize similar features, including broad, rolling fairways and large greens. Low and highhandicappers alike will have a shot at birdie, and even a poor round comes with the knowledge that a portion of your greens fee went directly to support the growth of the game in our state.

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PHOTO BY ROB PERRY

e’ve long since fallen in love with Suncadia — and not just Prospector, the first of the resort’s two public courses, but also Rope Rider, which just might make this list in future years once more golfers have made the trip up to Roslyn. A sign of a well-designed course is one that’s easy to recall, hole-for-hole, after the round, and Prospector certainly fits the bill. There’s the risk-reward par-4 fifth; the challenging par-4 ninth; the short, downhill, par-5 11th; and our favorite, the massively elevated par-4 10th, with views of mountain peaks stretching for miles to the west. But for all the fantastic holes (and we’ve merely listed a few) it’s the less tangible things that will keep you coming back: The cool mountain air. The scent of the pines. The silence and isolation of the surrounding forest. For four hours, it’s just you, your friends, and your golf game, alone in a beautiful mountain setting — yet still so close to home.

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White Horse

Desert Canyon

Kingston

Orondo

READERS CHOICE

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PHOTO BY ROB PERRY

hen White Horse opened in 2007, it was billed as the toughest golf course in the state, with a slope over 140 and a greens fee to match its reputation as best suited only to serious players. In the three years since it was purchased by the Suquamish Tribe, however, White Horse has undergone a stunning — and, as this ranking would indicate, highly successful — transformation. Greens fees were slashed. John Harbottle (appearing on this list for the third time) was hired to soften the course’s roughest edges, removing dozens of bunkers and trees and smoothing out fairways and green surrounds. And in 2013, a 20,000 square-foot clubhouse was opened, with a restaurant, bar, pro shop, and one of the best back decks in Washington. Once too tough for even the best golfers, and too pricey for frequent play, White Horse has now become one of the most enjoyable courses in Washington — and remarkably, one of its best values, as well.

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B

10

y the narrowest of margins — one single vote — Don Barth’s Desert Canyon edged out the six other tracks included in our “Readers Choice” poll for this No. 10 slot. And, as the pick of the public, it might well be the highest honor of all. Always one of Washington’s most scenic courses, Desert Canyon is also one of its most well-conditioned. Fairways are pleasantly soft, greens roll true, and the scenery might just be second-to-none — colorful flowers, oasis-like water elements and seemingly endless views across Columbia River gorge, to the Cascade Mountains beyond. When you squint from the tee box of the elevated par-5 Desert No. 6 to try and see the green hanging on the edge of the cliff 632 yards away (and that’s from the whites), know that the double bogey you’re about to make will be one of the most unforgettable of your life. Then take in that view one last time, grip loose, and let it rip.

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always one of the best on the Champions Tour: “We are looking forward to having Rocco Mediate in the field at the Boeing Classic for the first time in August. He enjoys the course — if you like him on Facebook, you can see he’s even posted a photo of himself on the first tee. He brings with him an excitement from the fans that we haven’t seen with some of the other Champions Tour rookies in recent years. Rocco will definitely be one to watch.” Like everyone else that has played at TPC Snoqualmie Ridge, Mediate says the views are incredible, and singles out the 14th as his favorite hole. “Whether I’ll go for the green or not all depends on where I stand in the tournament,” he says. “On Friday, you probably take a 4-iron off the tee and wedge it on. But if you’re one or two back on Sunday afternoon, you’ve got to take it on. I’ve hit the green from the tournament tee several times. It’s not that difficult if there’s no wind. But it’s really tough if it’s playing downwind, because the ball can fly the green and end up somewhere nasty. Then it’s hard to make a par.” Whatever he makes at 14, and wherever he finishes in the tournament, it’s certain that Mediate will make it fun for the galleries watching him — while having a good time himself, of course. Mediate had established himself on the PGA Tour by the mid-1990s, but it was when he faced down Tiger Woods in a 19-hole playoff at the 2008 US Open at Torrey Pines outside San Diego (a playoff Tiger would eventually win) — smiling the entire time, in stark contrast to Tiger’s trademark intensity — that he became a fan favorite. It’s a story he never tires of telling. “I woke up on the morning of the playoff knowing I could beat him,” Mediate remembers now. “I thought I was better than everybody, including him, from tee to green that week. But Tiger is so good on and around the greens, he usually makes a score however he’s hitting it. I certainly wasn’t afraid of him, though.” Mediate adores and respects golf, its traditions, and its champions a great deal. But, he’s not the game’s over-bearing, blazer-wearing spokesperson. He plays social golf with Rage Against the Machine and Rush blaring out of the iPhone in his pocket. He’s definitely more Al Czervik than Judge Smails. And he loves his new life on the Champions Tour. “Oh yeah, I’m having a blast,” he confirms. “Every week, I get to play with some of the best players that ever played the game. It’s stupid cool.” He loves it so much, in fact, that he decided earlier this year to pass up any opportunities he might have to tee it up with the youngsters on the regular tour, in favor of playing in more Champions Tour tournaments. Mediate says he’s enjoyed every round he’s played on

the Champions Tour thus far, and gets on well with all his fellow seniors. “They are all such great players and fun to be around,” he says. “My absolute favorite person to play with is probably Bernhard Langer. Not only is he a fantastic golfer, he’s such a classy guy. Everything he does, he does as well as he possibly can — and graciously, too. Trevino’s another. We don’t see enough of him out here.” As much as he’s enjoying playing with his old and new buddies, Mediate insists it’s not all fun and games, and he confirms what we’ve been hearing for several years now – that the competition on the Champions Tour is no less intense than it is among the flatter bellies. “Oh my goodness,” he chuckles. “It wasn’t all that long ago when guys who had been club pros could earn a good retirement by playing the Senior Tour. You can’t get on the Champions Tour nowadays. We’re talking about some of the best players in the history of the game still playing as well, if not better, than they ever have.” This is no exhibition tour, adds Mediate, and the courses are anything but easy. “It’s not driver/wedge out here,” he says. “Some of the courses we play are old-style and relatively short, but most are over 7,000 yards. And you’ve got to make it happen quickly in these three-day events. If you’re not three, four, or five-under par on Friday, you can forget about winning. “My buddies at home tell me they should try for the Champions Tour,” he adds. “I ask them, if I have to give them 10 shots, who on Earth they think they are going to beat on the Champions Tour?” None of this came as any surprise to Mediate, who played the regular tour right up to his 50th year, his last win coming in October 2010, when he holed out with full shots from the tee or fairway four times — including a hole-in-one. Because he knew how much of a challenge the Champions Tour transition would be, and how much he wanted to do well, Mediate recently started working on his game harder than he ever had before. “I’m practicing more than I did on the PGA Tour,” he affirms. “I work mostly on my putting and use a chalk line between the ball and the cup to confirm I’m swinging the putter on a good line. I maybe hit 200 putts a day, just monitoring my stroke.” Mediate earned close to $17 million during his PGA Tour career and thus says the motivation to succeed on the Champions Tour isn’t simply to make money. Players like Langer and Fred Couples, both of whom earned considerably more than Mediate in their younger years, are likewise driven by something other than the financial rewards.

WHEN TO GO

The tournament starts Friday, Aug. 23 with a flyover of a Boeing jet down the first fairway. The flyover is cool, the players are more relaxed, and since it’s a weekday, crowds are a little smaller. Plus, special events for kids include a First Tee Youth Putting Contest, appearances by local team mascots and more. If a weekend works best, come Sunday — nothing is more exciting than a playoff, and four of the last eight Boeing Classics have ended precisely that way.

WHERE TO GO

From Seattle, take I-90 east to Exit 25 (Snoqualmie Pkwy). Turn left onto Snoqualmie Pkwy. Signs will direct you to free public parking. Once inside the gates, it’s a relatively short walk to the best viewing spots. From the area behind the par-3 ninth hole, you can watch golfers target the narrow No. 9 green, and tee off on the short, uphill, par-4 10th. The spacious grassy hillside behind the par-5 18th green also makes a perfect picnic spot, with a view of the entire hole. And nothing on Tour beats the par-4 14th, where daring golfers can go for the green across Bear’s Canyon. To reach the 14th (and the VIP Canyon Club) from the clubhouse, walk towards the 18th tee, then cut across the short hillside just left of the cart path, by the big white tent of the VIP Canyon Club. Don’t forget to turn around to gawk at Mt. Si.

JUST THE FACTS, MAAM Dates: August 19-25, 2013 Location: TPC Snoqualmie Ridge Field: 81 Champions Tour professionals Format: 54 holes of stroke play with no cut Television: Aug. 23-25, The Golf Channel

THE SCHEDULE

Aug. 19 - Seahawks Rumble at the Ridge Aug. 20 - FREE Youth Clinic Aug. 21-22 – Korean Air Pro-Am Aug. 23 – First Round, Kids Day, Boeing Jet Flyover Aug. 24 – Second Round Aug. 25 — Final Round, Military Appreciation Day

TICKETS

Daily: $20 | Tourney Only (Aug. 23-25): $40 Weekly Pass (Aug. 19-25): $60 Kids under 14: Free with paid adult Seniors (60+): 50-percent off general admission prices Parking: $10/day

Passes also available to VIP Club sections; see boeingclassic.com for details. cascadegolfer.com

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*NO CASH VALUE. Holidays not included. Cannot be used with any other special. Must present this coupon for redemption. One coupon per player.

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

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“Success on the Champions Tour really means something nowadays,” says Mediate. “Win out here and you can legitimately add it to your resume. Hale Irwin’s resume got even better than it was after winning all those tournaments in his 50s. It elevated the status of the Champions Tour.” Because of that, says Mediate, there is a sizeable group of players who, like him, are still putting in long hours on the range and practice green. The one exception, perhaps, is Fred Couples. “Freddie doesn’t really need to practice that much,” says Mediate. “He’s just so darn talented.” It seems strange but, after 27 fruitful years on the PGA Tour — at one point (September 2002) climbing as high as 15th in the world rankings — Mediate says when making the transition to the Champions Tour earlier this year, he felt he needed to earn his competitors’ respect once again. “Yeah, I did. I can’t really explain it, but it felt like I was starting all over,” he says. Of course, earning that respect didn’t take long. In his first event, the Allianz Championship in Florida, Mediate opened with a five-under 67, then followed that with an 11-under 61 and a closing 71, enough to see him home by two shots over Pernice and Langer, and become the 16th player to win his debut on the Champions Tour. “He knows he belongs now,” Langer said afterwards. “And he's going to love this tour, because his personality suits this tour just perfectly.” “From my perspective, he didn’t have to prove anything,” said Pernice. “I would be surprised if Rocco

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didn’t play well out here. He’s a very established player.” Most Mediate fans learned all they needed to know about his game and character during that famous showdown with Tiger at Torrey Pines. Mediate knew quite well that hardly anyone gave him a chance. “He was supposed to walk all over me,” he says. “But I really wasn’t that nervous — well, not in a bad way. It was more excitement, and all I was concerned with was how I’d do against the greatest player in the game. I love what he does and respect him so much, but I was able to remain pretty calm. It was the same when I played against Greg Norman back in the ‘90s. I just couldn’t wait to get out there to see what I could do against him.” Sure enough, Mediate appeared relaxed the whole way around, and was actually a shot clear after making three-straight birdies from the 13th. Woods would birdie the 18th to draw level on even par, however, and then win his 14th major with a par four to Mediate’s bogey five on the first sudden-death hole. The cash and exemptions that resulted from the performance were nice, but the real reward, says Mediate, was the extra respect he felt from his peers. “I think my standing in the game went up a little,” he adds. “I think it changed how a lot of people saw me.” As a fearless golfer, possible giant-killer, and potential major champion, perhaps, but not as an unfailingly sunny, cheerful entertainer. We always knew that. Tony Dear is the award-winning author of many books on golf, the publisher of BellinghamGolfer.com, and a frequent contributor to Cascade Golfer.

cascadegolfer.com

EaglEmont golf Club Rated

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! Not VAlID WIth sENIor, EArlybIrD, tWIlIght rAtEs, or othEr proMotIoNs

We offer outstanding tournament rates and full services. let Eaglemont host your 2013 charity or corporate event. Call the pro shop.

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 www.eaglemontgolf.com 4800 Eaglemont Drive I Mount Vernon, WA 98274

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The Road

Less Traveled Richard Lee

Like the poet Robert Frost, golfer took the road less traveled — and that has made all the difference.

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HEN IT COMES TO RICHARD LEE’S LIFE AS A GOLFER, IT’S DIFFICULT TO PINPOINT THE EXACT LOW POINT:

A

Was it in 2004 when, as a 15-year-old, he dropped out of Bellevue’s Newport High School and moved to the Philippines to futilely pursue a professional golf career on the Asia Tour?

B Or,

was it after returning from the Philippines nearly two years later — without success, without a job, without a high-school degree, and, in the words of UW coach Matt Thurmond, with golf skills that were “…not that good. He was not at a level for recruiting at that time,” Thurmond says.

C

Or, was it in 2010, at age 22 — still without a job or money, but with a wife, Christine, and young daughter, Israella, to support — when he bogeyed two of his final four holes at Q-School to miss earning his PGA Tour card by one measly stroke?

D

Or, perhaps it was in 2011, when he spent more on travel than what he made on the second-tier Web.com Tour, and was just about broke, with only $2,000 in his bank account?

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So many lows to choose from. Upon reflection, Lee leans toward C, missing Q-School by a stroke. “That was really tough,“ Lee says. “It hurt a lot. I shed my share of tears. I was so close to achieving my dream.“ Yet, for every one of his disappointments and obstacles, Richard Lee (who is often listed as “Richard E. Lee” on scoreboards, to avoid confusion with another Richard Lee) has managed to overcome and prevail. He may not have had the talent at the time when he needed it and, as he says, “I'm not the brightest guy in the world,“ but his indefatigable spirit has helped him maneuver beyond his many doglegs.

“That was really tough,“ Lee says of missing the Q-School cut by one stroke in 2010. “It hurt a lot. I shed my share of tears. I was so close to achieving my dream.“ “That (missing Q-School) was probably the best thing that could have happened to me,“ Lee says now. “My game was not ready for the PGA Tour. If that didn't happen, I don't know if I'd be where I am today.“ Where Lee is today is a legit PGA Tour member, primarily due to a myopic focus on his dream. His early success this season has already earned him enough prize money to retain his card for 2014. He's had a couple of top-10 finishes, and as of mid-July was inside of the top75 of the FedEx Cup season points standings, and ranked among the top 200 players in the world. That's still a long way to the elite class, but consider

where he started, or even where he was less than two years ago — it would be fair to say that no one else has taken quite the same course to Tour success. “It's definitely not the traditional route,“ Lee admits. Lee, 26, was born in Chicago, moved to Korea with his family when he was three years old, then moved to Bellevue at age 10. It was during a family vacation to The Philippines that Lee first got the golf bug. Friends of his were playing on the Asia Tour, and that became his dream, too — he was going be a professional golfer. It didn't seem to matter to him at the time that he had nowhere near the necessary golf skills. Minor detail, really. “People can dream but they've got to believe,“ he says. “That's easier said than done. But I believed I could be here making a living. Deep down, I knew what I was going to do.“ Lee left Newport High School after the first semester of his sophomore year to live with a friend in The Philippines, where he home-schooled himself and ratcheted up his golf intensity. “I gave it everything I had,“ he says. “But it didn't turn out the way I wanted. I missed school. I missed my friends. I ended up going back.“ What he missed the most was Christine, a girl he grew up with and always had a thing for. Her father was the pastor of their church. Lee's parents were friends with Christine's parents. “She did not like me at the time,“ Lee says. “She gave in later.“ By age 18, marriage was on the table. “My friends would ask me, ‘Is she pregnant? What's the deal? Why 18?’ I just explained that it feels right,“ Lee says. “I knew she was the one. Our parents were for it, so cascadegolfer.com


why wait? I was going to marry this woman. It was a gut feeling. It's awesome. For me, there are no regrets.“ It’s a wonderful story, marrying your childhood sweetheart. And while it was a storybook romance, the happily-ever-after part was a tad more problematic. Lee didn't even have a high school degree, and carving out a professional golf career at age 18 doesn’t exactly jibe with starting a family. Life had rushed ahead; Lee was in a constant state of catch-up. He took five different tests, and passed them all, to earn his GED. He then attended Bellevue College (formerly BCC) for two years, building up his grade-point average with the intention of transferring to Washington. He also played on the school's golf team.

“He makes a difference with the lightness of his smile, his kind heart and his beautiful perspective on life,’’ says Lee’s swing coach, Joe Thiel. “What an amazing story.” “That really made me become a better player,“ he said. “At BCC, I learned to compete and win. I won a lot of tournaments. It's not the best competition but you still had to compete. I saw some progress.“ He also worked intensively on his game with Joe Thiel, who teaches out of Olympia's Tumwater Valley Golf Course. “We would build a 10-step foundation covering every aspect of the game, with the mental equation involved in each one,“ Thiel says. “He understood and practiced the program to create a mental and physical DNA and became a fantastic player.“ Word finally spread to Thurmond that this Lee guy was worth a second look. Thiel called Thurmond from time to time to make him aware of Lee's development. It helped that Lee was named the No. 1 community college player in the country while playing for BCC. Other players also were saying positive things about his game. “Players know who's really good,“ Thurmond says. “I had to take a look at this guy.“ Thurmond was impressed. Lee’s game had grown strong enough for a scholarship offer, but his grades “were nowhere near where they needed to be,“ Thurmond says. “We sat down and told him, ‘Here's what you need to do.’ He did everything.” Lee entered UW in the fall of 2008, a full-scholarship player on a increasingly improving golf program that featured eventual Hogan Award winner Nick Taylor. “Imagine a guy showing up for a workout at 7 a.m., planning a complete golf schedule, traveling, practicing, going to classes and still being a father, husband and student,“ Thurmond says. The Huskies won the Pac-12 Conference title in both of Lee’s seasons. He became one of the top-30 players in the country, and was twice named a third-team AllAmerican. For all that he had to overcome, for all that he accomplished and for all his responsibilities, Thiel calls Lee, “a significant man.“ cascadegolfer.com

“He makes a difference with the lightness of his smile, his kind heart and his beautiful perspective on life,“ Thiel said. “What an amazing story. He and his wife are the perfect match, the finest family you could ever run into.“ Thiel deflects any credit for helping Lee's transformation. He said it was a group effort. “I hadn't really thought about it, but looking back, I realize how tough it was,“ Lee says. “I had to learn how to be a student, golfer, dad, husband. And my wife was still in school, too. We had a lot of help from my wife's mom. “The real credit goes to my supportive wife. When I was 15, I knew this was what I wanted to do. She understood what it meant to me. She helped me get through the ups and downs and the challenges of what we went through.“ By 2010, he had earned his degree. Now this is where dreams intersect with reality.

L

ee tried to make the PGA Tour through Q-School late that year. The top-25 players earn a card, but his attempt ended with his one-shot-short heartbreak. So, Lee set off for the second-tier Nationwide Tour (now called the Web.com Tour) in 2011. Lee missed the cut in four of his first five tournaments. After 10 tournaments, including excursions to Panama and Colombia, he had missed seven cuts and had won only about $19,000. That was barely enough to cover travel, lodging, food and diapers. “That was a tough first year on the Nationwide,“ he said. “Obviously, you don't play for that much money anyway and the travel (costs) add up. I remember looking into my savings account and I had two grand left. That was lowest financial point for us.“ One week later, it suddenly clicked. He shot fourstraight sub-70 rounds in the Mexico Open, finishing second at 15-under par. That earned him $75,600. Oh, how good he felt cashing that check. Lee felt his confidence churning. He missed just four cuts over the final 14 tournaments, finishing the season

with $143,243 in prize money. Taxes and travel took ample slices of the pie, but he was making progress. His dream was still alive. He returned to Q-School again late in 2011, and for most of the six rounds, nothing was happening. He was playing OK, but hope was fading. As he made the turn on his final round, he was not close to being among the top25 finishers who would automatically earn a Tour card. That all changed with five holes to go. Lee played those final five holes at five under par (birdie, eagle, par, birdie, birdie) to earn his card by one stroke — exactly the margin he had missed by the previous year. “Coming back from the disappointment a year earlier, I can't explain how great that felt,“ Lee says. “I still get chills thinking about it.“ He was finally a PGA Tour member, an exclusive club limited to about 150 golfers worldwide. He found out right away why this club was so exclusive. These guys are really good. This was not college anymore, or some secondary tour. PGA Tour golfers were master ball-strikers and tough as nails, mentally. Cutthroats, all of them — and it was Lee being cut, week after week. He cashed just two checks in his first eight tournaments, but one was for $102,400, for a 15th-place finish at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. Small successes, but big rewards. He was progressing. In the fall, he earned another big check — $156,375, for his sixth-place finish at the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospital Open (an event won by fellow Home Teamer Ryan Moore). For the 2012 season, he took home $547,733. It seems like a lot, but in the world of professional golf, it was still not good enough. Lee’s earnings put him 149th on the money list — 24 spots shy of the 125-player cutoff for exemption from qualifying. It was back to Q School again. This time, though, Lee went in with the confidence of a well-played PGA Tour season. It was a breeze. No more last-minute dramatics — Lee finished fourth overall at Q School to easily earn his card. And, the way he's playing in 2013, he's not about to give it up again.

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“We have not seen Richard at his best yet,’’ Thiel says. “He has not arrived, but he’s on his way.’’ By mid-July, Lee had already pocketed $829,991. He’s cashed four checks of more than $100,000. He’s had two top-10 finishes and missed the cut in just four of the first 19 tournaments he entered. He’s ranked higher on the money list than major winners Padraig Harrington, Martin Kaymer, Lucas Glover, Justin Leonard and Trevor Immelman, each of whom have played a similar number of events. He's just about a lock for 2014. Thurmond says that Lee’s success can be traced in part to the unconventional road he traveled to achieve his dream of reaching the PGA Tour. “Richard took kind of the perfect path,“ Thurmond says. “He was learning things each step of the way.“ And according to Thiel, Lee’s path remains far from its conclusion. “We have not seen Richard at his best yet,“ Thiel says. “We're going to see wonderful things from him. “He has not arrived, but he's on his way.“

T

hiel still works regularly with Lee on his game. Lee will email Thiel his thoughts from a previous event. They Skype. They go over swing thoughts. During the winter, Lee travels to Palm Desert, where Thiel has a school, to tune up his game. All those lows may finally be behind Lee. He’s building from a foundation. His goal, like everyone else on the Tour, is to sustain a long career by being a consistent money-winner, so he can qualify for all the majors — especially the Masters. “I have a pretty good chance at [qualifying for] the PGA Championship this year. Hopefully, I can get that one crossed off,“ he said. “I'm constantly moving up, little by little. “Looking back, it's been quite a journey,“ he adds. “But it's been a good one. Everything I've experienced has been for the good. I really grew up fast and I would not change anything.“ A long-time Seattle sportswriter, Bob Sherwin is a regular freelance contributor to Cascade Golfer, having last written about PGA Tour player Jeff Gove in the April 2013 CG. He is also the co-founder and editor of the award-winning GolfersWest.com, and also writes for the New York Times, Associated Press and MLB.com. 42

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SAVE SOME GREEN DAWN TREADERS McCormick Woods Golf Club • Port Orchard BY BRIAN BEAKY • CG EDITOR

O

ne of our favorite summer pastimes is the before-work round of golf. Playing at dawn typically saves you anywhere from 20-40 percent off greens fees and gets you out ahead of the crowd, making a three-hour round (10 minutes a hole) easily achievable — allowing you to be at your desk no later than 10 a.m. And best of all, it’s a round you can get in without having to take any time away from your family in the evening or on a weekend. Of course, if you just can’t pull yourself out of bed, or if your work schedule or home location make that early-morning round impossible, twilight rates offer similar benefits — and so long as you don’t have anyone waiting for you around the dinner table, it’s just as fun to be playing when the sun slips behind the Olympics as it is when it pokes its head above the Cascades. In honor of the season, we’ve picked out two of our favorite early-bird or twilight tracks, each of which possess good quality, fun holes and fantastic early-morning or late-afternoon rates. These courses are all proof that you don’t need five hours or even $50 for a fun round of golf. You just need a little creativity — and a good alarm clock.

1

McCormick Woods Golf Club PORT ORCHARD

Peninsula golfers really are a spoiled bunch. From Cedars at Dungeness to the north, all the way south to Salish Cliffs, our brethren across the Sound have some of Washington’s finest golf courses at their fingertips — Gold Mountain, Trophy Lake, White Horse, Port Ludlow and the two already mentioned ... in this crowd, being good isn’t nearly good enough. That’s why, in 2012, McCormick Woods teamed up with Spanaway’s Classic Golf Club and Lakewood’s

Oakbrook Country Club to form RMG Golf and debut the RMG Golf Club, giving members vastly discounted rates at all three courses. Already a good deal at $59 for a weekend 18, that same $59 gets RMG Club members unlimited twilight play at McCormick Woods for an entire month, plus 20-percent off at other times. Just $99 a month locks in unlimited play at all times of the day and week. Now that’s how to stand out in a crowd. Stretched out to its full 7,040-yard length, McCormick Woods can challenge the shot-making ability of any golfer, particularly with its many doglegs, bunkers, water hazards and tall trees forcing players to think before they swing. Those many doglegs, though, also give the highhandicapper with a decent short game a chance to score. That’s because driver — the club most likely to get a high-handicapper in trouble — is often not the play when teeing it up from the shorter (6,165 yards) white tees. A perfect example is Hole No. 12, a par-4 with a dogleg right around a small pond. Better golfers can fade a driver from the elevated back tee to the fairway below, bisecting the pond and a bunker on the opposite side. From the shorter white tees, though, a hybrid or even a well-struck 5-iron will leave a short iron uphill to the pin. Both players are thus given a good look at par, while also allowed to utilize strategies equivalent to their skills. After your round, be sure to leave time to sample the fare at the clubhouse restaurant, easily one of the state’s best. The Mac and Cheese is a CG favorite, and paired with a local microbrew, is a perfect way to put those greens fee savings to good use.

YARDAGE (par) 3,655-7,040 (par 72) RATES $29-$59 TEL 360-895-0130 WEB mccormickwoodsgolf.com 46

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WELCOMES YOU TO THE

Over $100,000 In Prizes

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Legion Memorial Golf Course • Everett

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August 17th PUETZ GOLF SHOOTOUT at Salish Cliffs Golf Club 8:30 a.m. • 2 Person Best Ball

Legion Memorial EVERETT

Everett’s Legion Memorial Golf Course is not your average muni. It’s certainly not average in length — a full 6,900 yards from the tips and 6,600 from the blues, you’d better have a good long iron game if you’re planning to move beyond the intermediate tees. It’s also not average in cost — just $38 at its most “expensive” time, and just $24 at early bird and twilight times. Those two factors — along with a fun layout featuring elevated tee boxes, challenging par-3s and a couple of risk-reward par-5s — combine to make Legion one of the North end’s most popular courses in the summertime, with golfers teeing off from dawn to dusk. Savvy golfers will take advantage of the early sunrise and late sunset to hit Legion at its low-traffic hours and save a few bucks, though even at peak times, marshals keep groups moving at a reasonable pace. An afterthought at many courses, Legion’s par3s offer some of its stiffest tests. From the back tees, two play longer than 200 yards — the 13th measures 200 from the whites, 230 from the blues, and a mindboggling 258 from the blacks. The one reprieve is the downhill 16th, a picturesque, 141-yard shot from a hilltop to green bordered on the right by a large pond. That’s preceded by one of our favorite holes, the par-5 15th. Just 505 yards from the whites (540 blues, 547 blacks), a well-struck drive puts players in position to get home in two with a 3-wood, though several bunkers and the aforementioned pond wait to collect a poor approach. The par-5 eighth is another risk-reward favorite, a 495-yard par-5 with water bordering the hole’s final third. After an evening round, save time to head into downtown Everett for a quick meal. The burritos at Gordito’s are a personal favorite, while just a few blocks away, Major League Pizza dishes up amazing pie.

All players receive an additional FREE ROUND to Salish Cliffs!

GRAND PRIZE

STAY AND PLAY GOLF PACKAGE TO PALM SPRINGS

including 4 nights and 4 rounds of golf!

September 7th BRIDGESTONE GOLF INVITATIONAL at Mill Creek Country Club 9 a.m. • 2 Person Scramble

GRAND PRIZE

STAY AND PLAY GOLF PACKAGE TO LAS VEGAS including 4 nights and 4 rounds of golf!

cascadegolfer.com TO REGISTER VISIT

YARDAGE (par) 4,805-6,900 (par 72) RATES $15-$38 TEL 425-259-4653 WEB everettgolf.com cascadegolfer.com

WELCOMING

PRESENTING

CONTACT: Simon Dubiel simon@cascadegolfer.com (425) 412-7070 ext.100

SUPPORTING

AUGUST 2013

47


SAVE SOME GREEN • FALL GOLF VALUES BY BRIAN BEAKY • CG EDITOR

W

hile many golfers dream about those long summer days, fall in the Northwest is almost just as amazing — if not even better. In a good year, the sun still shines deep into October, while the temperatures settle in around 65-70 degrees, the golf course colors come alive, and rates drop from their peak-season highs to shoulder-season values. It’s a great time to get out and squeeze in a few more rounds before the rains return in November and you’re stuck hitting balls on the range, or throwing on the poncho for the next four months. That’s why we’re focusing this page on a few courses that, while certainly not the highest-priced or the darlings of national golf magazines, will give you a quality experience that far outpaces the greens fee — or, in one case, the membership dues. After all, not every weekend can be a destination golf road trip — sometimes, particularly later in the season, you’re just looking for a good local course to call home, one tat will test your game, but not your wallet. Here are a few of our favorites.

Whidbey Golf & Country Club • Oak Harbor

Glen Acres Golf & Country Club | Seattle glenacresgolf.com | (206) 244-1720 Terrific south Seattle club delivers country-club quality at a reasonable rate. A nine-hole (18-tee), par72 championship track, it’s one of the Puget Sound’s best country club bargains.

Gleneagle Golf Course | Arlington gleneaglegc.com | (360) 435-6713 While rates below $30 might draw you in the first time, it’s the improvements that new managers have made to Gleneagle’s fairways, bunkers, tee boxes, clubhouse, practice area, and especially its greens, that will keep you coming back.

Mount Si Golf Club | North Bend mtsigolf.com | (425) 391-4926 Long a CG favorite for its combination of short but challenging holes, rates under $50, and scenic mountain views, Mount Si is finally getting the pub it deserves, being named one of the top-10 tracks in the Greater Seattle Area by CitySearch.

North Bellingham Golf Club | Bellingham northbellinghamgolf.com | (360) 398-8300 Views of Mount Baker provide the eye candy at North Bellingham, which is a level, open alternative to the more traditional hilly, tree-lined Washington courses. A creative design provides plenty of challenge, though, while a replay rate of $0 (all you pay for is the cart) guarantees the most out of your visit north.

North Shore Golf Club | Tacoma northshoregc.com | (800) 447-1375 Like many smaller Northwest tracks, North Shore makes up for what it lacks in length (just 6,300 yards from the tips) with vicious doglegs and challenging greens, preventing mashers from dominating with their drivers. Peak greens fees under $40 are a deal that’s tough to beat.

Whidbey Golf & Country Club | Oak Harbor whidbeygolfclub.com | (360) 675-5490 Renowned for its greens, Whidbey has been a favorite of members and in-the-know SnoCo golfers for years. Those golfers know that while Whidbey does sell many levels of memberships, daily fee rounds are also available for as little as $35.

WANT AN EVEN BETTER VALUE? HOW ABOUT FREE GOLF & GEAR!

At Cascade Golfer, we’re all about digging up the best values for our readers — and when

it comes to value, nothing’s better than free. This month, we’ve teed up a free RIFE putter and five twosomes to give away to readers who, like us, know a good value whey they see one. Enter to win them all, or just pick and choose the courses near you! • • • • • •

Glen Acres Golf Course • Seattle 48

AUGUST 2013

RIFE putter Twosome to Whidbey Golf & Country Club Twosome to SunCountry Golf & RV in Cle Elum Twosome to Snoqualmie Falls Golf Course Twosome to Glen Acres Golf Course Twosome to Camaloch Golf Course

Log on to CascadeGolfer.com today for your chance to win! cascadegolfer.com


Glen Acres

“C “Come Com oomee ex experience xpe perience the best greens iinn the No Nort Northwest” rthw hwest” hwes estt”

Golf and Country Club

primary membership as low as

$195 Per month!

Golf/Lunch Combo Grass Driving Range Toughest & Truest Greens in the northwest

Great Location!

18 h 18 holes, oles ol les es, ca c cart cart, art rt, ra rrange rang ang ge ba b ball balls, all ls s,, h ho tdog td og ga nd a B eerr ee hotdog and Beer Weekkda Weekdays dayss - $$40 days 400 pper e pplayer er laye laye la yerr Weekends Week We eken ken ends ds - $$45 ds 4 pper 45 er pplayer er laye laye la yerr (mu ((m (must must st hav havee 3 ppl playe player ayer y r mini m minimum inimum mum at titime me of che check ck in))

Golfch Go Golfchops.com chop hop opss.c .com com ssaid aid ai id Gl Glen Gleneagle’s enea en eaagl gle le’s ggreens ree eens ns ns are are “Simply “SSim impl p y Perfection” Per erfe fect ctio ionn” n” and and rated rat ated ed the the course cou ourse a

“Perfecctt 2255 oout “Perfect ut of of 225!” 5!”

for membership information visit

gleneaglegc.com

1000 S 112th St., Seattle, WA 98168

7619 Co 7619 Country ouunt ntry ry C Club lubb Dr lu Driv Drive ive • Ar Arli Arlington, ling ngto ton,, W WA A 98 9822 98223 2233

www.glenacresgolf.com 206.244.3786 • audrey@glenacresgolf.com

(360) 435-6713 (360) 4435 3355-6667 6713 71133

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

northshoregc.net

Find Us on

cascadegolfer.com

(360) 675-5490 • whidbeygolfclub.com

NORTH BELLINGHAM OFFER • 18 Holes with Cart • Small Bucket • Lunch • & Sleeve of Balls (360) 398-8300 northbellinghamgolf.com

Only $49+tax Valid after 1p.m. Monday to Friday Excluding Holidays Expires Dec. 31st, 2013

AUGUST 2013

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POST GAME ILLUSTRATION BY JOHN KIMBALL

FOUR FOR FORE BRIAN BEAKY • CG EDITOR

E

ach year, the U.S. Open puts considerable thought into its first- and second-round pairings. Sometimes, as was the case this year, pairings are made to put the best players head-to-head for two days of intense competition — in 2013, No. 1 Tiger Woods, No. 2 Rory McIlroy and No. 3 Adam Scott were paired together, with the world’s Nos. 4, 5 and 6 players in the “always a bridesmaid” group right behind. Sometimes, though, groups are seemingly put together by more lighthearted criteria — consider, if you will, the “Wait, which one is that?” group of darkhaired, olive-complexioned 20somethings Jason Day, Rickie Fowler and Matteo Manassero, or the 2012 “allinitials” grouping of K.J. Choi, Y.E. Yang and K.T. Kim. Which made us wonder — if we could put together a foursome of our own to take out to the first tee at any course of our choosing, who would it be? And perhaps even more importantly, where would we play? In order to keep things fun — and after repeated protestations from the Tin Cup fan in the office — we decided to include golfers both real and fictional, living or dead. For me, it’s a no-brainer — myself (of course) and my best friend Seth, to be joined by Ken Griffey, Jr., and Fred Couples at Pebble Beach. We’ll talk Seattle sports and play for the greens fee — me and Fred against Seth and Junior. Good luck, boys. We wanted to know, though, who your dream pairing would be, so we put the question out to our active and insightful community on Facebook (“Cascade Golfer” page). While every foursome submitted sounded like a blast, here were a few we wouldn’t mind being a part of ourselves … put one of these together, and we’ll happily come carry your sticks.

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AUGUST 2013

Tiger, Sergio, and NFL referee Ed Hochuli at TPC Sawgrass. — Nate Rustad

Chris Hansen, Fred Couples, Bill Clinton at Seattle GC. I’d also include my 2-year-old son to caddy. — Tom Hayhurst

How about Paula Creamer, Natalie Gulbis, and Sandra Gal. See what I did there? — Jason Francis

Bobby Jones, Byron Nelson and my grandfather at Palouse Ridge! — Rich Middaugh

Hunter Thompson, JFK and Bill Murray. Any course would be a great setting to pick the brains of these men! — Sam Cameron

Bill Murray, Fred Couples, and Al Czervic (Rodney Dangerfield’s Caddyshack character) at Augusta. — Greg Stackhouse

Charles Barkley, Dave Chappelle and William Shatner at Legends Golf Course. — Jon Kim

Fred Couples and Ken Griffey, Jr., who were my childhood heroes. And for the final spot, I’d pick John Daly. Seeing him blow up and smash his ball across the green would be great entertainment. — Kyle Goeman

Palmer, Couples and my old man, at Wine Valley. — Tyler Daniels

Tiger, Trevino and Jack Nicklaus at Whistling Straits. — Mario P Arellano, Jr.

Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan and my best friend, Brian, so we can tell the stories for the rest of our lives. — Brian Matthews

cascadegolfer.com


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AUGUST 2013

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