Cascade Golfer December 2015

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THE TRAVEL ISSUE Palm Springs • Vegas • Hawaii PLUS: Top Local Winter Tracks








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Departments 6 8


• TaylorMade M1 headlines new drivers • Titleist, TaylorMade, Mizuno irons • Must-have bags & shoes


• Golf’s greatest holes • CG Cup, Match Play conclude • All-new CG junior scholarships • Changes at RMG courses • Tickets on sale for ‘16 Women’s PGA • Play indoors this winter • And more



Seahawks’ Brock Coyle tees it up


33 RISK VS REWARD White Horse G.C. | No. 14


Our favorite 19th holes


There has never been anyone quite like Kirkland’s Joanne (Gunderson) Carner — and at 76, the World Golf Hall of Famer still draws a crowd. BY CRAIG SMITH

These local favorites stay high and dry




OVER THE RAINBOW We took one for the team and traveled to Palm Springs, Las Vegas and Hawaii to track down the best golf deals this winter. BY BRIAN BEAKY

ON THE COVER At LaQuinta Resort & Club and PGA WEST, snowbirds can play in the footsteps of the PGA TOUR’s top players. Story on page 38.



THIS PAGE Desert Willow Resort is on every winter golf vacationer’s bucket list. We track down the top destinations for every kind of golfer starting on page 38.

Volume 9 •  Issue 4 •  DECEMBER 2015



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

VARSITY COMMUNICATIONS, INC. 4114 198th Street SW, Suite 5 Lynnwood, WA 98036 P: (425) 412-7070 F: (425) 412-7082


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, Katie Erickson CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Craig Smith FOR EDITORIAL SUBMISSIONS AND INQUIRIES: Brian Beaky • (425) 412-7070 ext. 103



Duke’s and CG Team Up For First-Annual Junior Golf Scholarship


n August, I used this space to pay tribute to my father, Gary Stephens, who passed just days before the first balls were struck at the U.S. Open. In the months since, I’ve received many messages of support and condolences from folks who read the story and felt my strong connection with my Dad, and the honor it was to be his son. It’s been uplifting to know that his golfer’s soul resonated with you, too. Since his passing, I’ve sought to spread his love of golf to my own children, planting the seeds that will hopefully blossom into the full-blown passion my father and I both shared for the game. It’s been exciting to see the fire light in their eyes when they connect on a pure shot, or when a long putt unexpectedly drops into the hole. Every time they ask me if they can go with me to the driving range, I’m suddenly 10 years old again, looking up at my Dad and asking him the same question. It’s been magical to see it from his perspective, and has made our connection even deeper. All of this is a long-winded setup to introduce Cascade Golfer’s new commitment to growing the game at the youth level. For the last eight years, we have worked hard to help you save money and get the most out of your golf game. Now, we think it’s time we apply that same commitment to our area’s youngest golfers. I can already see the growing passion in my own kids, and know that there are thousands

more just like them throughout Western Washington, ready to embrace the game and keep it strong for the future. To this end, we’ve secured a new sponsor — Duke’s Chowder House — who is equally committed to junior golf, and has agreed to underwrite an all-new, annual $1,000 junior golf scholarship for one local golfer. In each issue in 2016, we’ll choose one golfer from the e-mailed submissions we receive to be an official nominee for the Duke’s Junior Golf Scholarship, which will be awarded at the end of the year and published in our December issue. Full details on the nomination process and requirements are on page 9. Many thanks go out to Duke’s COO John Moscrip, without whose passion for junior golf none of this would be possible. John spent many childhood days on the golf course with his dad, Duke’s founder Duke Moscrip, learning the life lessons that would help him succeed during a brief career in professional golf, and now in the resturant biz. A father, too, John is now passing those lessons on to his kids, and is excited about the opportunity to recognize outstanding and passionate young golfers throughout our region. We’re excited, too, and can’t wait to start hearing about the amazing young golfers out there. Check out the criteria on page 9, and start sending us your nominees. And, as always, TAKE IT EASY.





Consolidated Press • Seattle, WA COPYRIGHT 2015 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


DECEMBER 2015 2015

SHORT GAME The Story of Golf In 50 Holes


North Berwick GC • Hole No. 15 Photo courtesy North Berwick GC

hen we started Cascade Golfer eight years ago, we knew we had to have Tony Dear. We’d long admired the prose and wit of the native Brit (since transplanted to Bellingham) in his many writings for GOLF magazine and Fairways and Greens, and lucky for us, he jumped at the chance to be a founding member of the writing team at a brand-new golf mag in his backyard. Now, the whole world will have a chance to enjoy Dear’s work, thanks to his newest book — The Story of Golf In 50 Holes, a look around the planet at the holes that have helped shape the game of golf over the past half century. In Dear’s own words, “They’re not the best holes, or my favorite holes — simply a collection of holes that have hosted the most significant moments in the history of the game.” The book, published by New York-based Firefly Books and available in all major bookstores and online retailers, is being distributed worldwide, and is proving to be a hot seller — just 13 copies remained at as of this writing, with demand certain to increase as the holiday season approaches. We caught up with Dear earlier this fall to talk about his inspiration and, of course, his own favorite holes. So, tell me how this book came together? It’s an easy read — with each hole broken down into smaller sections highlighting certain players or moments, it’s something you can keep on the coffee table, read a few pages of, then put down and come back to anytime. “I wanted to take a look back in time, and feature the most significant moments in golf history — the first time a major was won with a metal-headed driver, the first time a woman played in a PGA TOUR event, the first time an African-American won a PGA TOUR event, that sort of thing. I also wanted to be sure and include the game’s greatest players, so in some cases I identified players and then sought out the holes where they achieved their most significant moments.” Do you have a favorite entry in the book? “I do. I knew I wanted to include a ‘Biarritz’ hole. (As the book explains, a hole featuring “a longish carry over a hazard short of a very long green...with a deep swale...and bunkers on both sides.”) I was in Spokane for a speaking engagement about nine months ago, and when I got back to my room around 8:30 p.m., I turned my computer on and Googled, “Biarritz holes,” and proceeded to read everything I could find. I didn’t turn my computer off until 5 o’clock in the morning, got an hour of sleep, and flew back to Seattle the next morning. It was utterly fascinating to learn

the history of the first Biarritz hole, so I always think of that one.” What’s your favorite hole? “My favorite hole in the book is the first at Prestwick. I absolutely love it; it’s so quirky. I remember the first time I stood on that tee, with the railway line not 10 yards away on the right-hand side, looking down the fairway, thinking, ‘Where shall I position this drive?’ Obviously, anywhere but the railway tracks is the answer. It’s only 340-350 yards, so you can hit a decent drive up there and be left with a wedge. It’s just a fun shot. I wonder if [Robert] Trent Jones [Jr.] was thinking of Prestwick when he designed the 16th at Chambers Bay, because it’s not unlike it at all.” What would hole No. 51 have been? What was the hardest cut? “It would have been the 17th at Pebble Beach. Some great things have happened there — obviously, Watson chipping in at the U.S. Open, Nicklaus in ‘72 hitting a 1-iron that hit the flagstick. One of the conditions that came down from the publisher, though, was that there needed to be a good geographical spread, since the book was going to be published around the world. There needed to be holes from Australia, Japan and Europe, as well as the U.S. The 17th at Pebble Beach was definitely in the original 50, but in the end, it got bumped.” How many of the holes in the book have you personally played? “I haven’t counted, but I would say at least 40.” Of those you haven’t played, what’s on top of your wish list? “Anything at Augusta, and the 16th at Cypress Point. I played in a tournament a few years back with some architects and media, and at one point, I mentioned to my foursome how Cypress Point was the one course I’d most like to play. One of my partners said, ‘Well, the next time you’re down there, just give me a call. I can get it sorted.’ But now, I can’t for the life of me remember who said that! So, it’s still on the list.” How long did you work on the book? “They first approached me at the end of 2013, and I broke ground on it in July 2014, and finished in the middle of this past September. This is my fifth book, and I’m really pleased with it. I really like it.”

Congratulations to the winners of August’s CG Swag! Ka’anapali Golf Getaway Scott Callahan • Bothell Twosomes to Auburn and Palouse Ridge Matthew Barry • North Bend Boeing Classic VIP Package Katie Rose • University Place Rife Switchback Putter Mario Taylor • Mill Creek



This month, we’re rolling out our biggest stay-and-play of the year, a 12-round golf getaway to Palm Springs, just in time for snowbird season! But that’s not all: • 2 Hours at Clubhouse Golf Center: Page 11 • Rife Switchback Putter: Page 50 • Mega Palm Springs Stay-and-Play: Page 46

OUR BIGGEST GIVEAWAY OF THE YEAR! Log on to for your chance to win! And don’t forget to follow us on Facebook (Cascade Golfer) and Twitter (@CascadeGolfer) for even more giveaways and contests!

La Quinta Resort & Spa La Quinta, Calif.

Local Trio Win Cascade Golfer Cup, Dozens Take Home Prizes


n the moments before the winners of the 2015 Cascade Golfer Cup were announced, the tension in Kirkland’s Dub Pub, home to September’s Cascade Golfer Cup Year-End Awards Party, was palpable. Three teams had entered the previous weekend’s Puetz Golf Shootout at White Horse with a realistic chance to take home the season-long Cascade Golfer Cup title, and as the top-10 teams were revealed in reverse order, each of the three hoped to hear the others called first. When Bryson Agnew and Chris Martinez, who entered the final event in second place, were announced as the third-place overall finishers, Mike Premo, James Tibbets and Rod Schrader knew they had jumped over at least one team — but had they managed to leapfrog all the way to first? They had. Buoyed by a win at the Season Opener at Salish Cliffs, and top-five finishes at McCormick Woods and The Classic — plus a sixth-place effort in the White Horse season finale — the trio of Premo, Tibbets and Schrader earned first-place overall in the net-scoring standings of this year’s Cascade Golfer Cup, claiming the title of Cascade Golfer Cup champions. There was a silver lining for runners-up Chad and Rick Orvella and Adam Hargrave, though — in a CG Cup first, the overall champions elected to pass on the grand prize “Summer of Golf” Package, including 15 twosomes of golf to tracks like Gamble Sands, Salish Cliffs, Wine Valley and others, instead choosing a stay-and-play package to Nevada’s Primm Valley Resort & Casino. That left the grand-prize package for the runners-up; they won’t get to call themselves Cascade Golfer Cup champions, but those 15 twosomes will go a long way towards salving that wound. In addition to rewarding the top teams in the net division, the year-end awards party also recognized the top-scoring duos in the expanded gross division, which included twice as many prizes at each event in

Mike Premo and James Tibbets won the 2015 Cascade Golfer Cup championship in the net division.

2015, and — for the first time — 10 additional prizes to the top gross-scoring teams in the overall season standings. And after back-to-back gross-division wins at The Classic and White Horse, it was Jamie Meade and partner Dave Foster who hoisted the hardware, just edging out Agnew and Martinez. But lo — just as the net champions before them, Meade and Foster passed on the Summer of Golf in favor of a trip to Hawaii, so Agnew and Martinez will be teeing it up all over the state next year instead. When we created the Cascade Golfer Cup in 2010, our goal was to allow amateur golfers to experience the thrill of tournament golf, while competing for outstanding prizes (not just pro shop credit) alongside their best friends and family. In the six full seasons since, more than 2,600 golfers have taken us up on our offer, competing in 52 events for a grand total of more than half a million dollars in prizes. We’ve sent teams to The Masters, the British Open and the U.S. Open; to Bandon, Pebble Beach, Hawaii, Mexico, Palm Springs, Vegas, Mesquite, Arizona, the Gulf Coast, Whistler, Central Oregon and Idaho; and to every great public golf destination in Washington state. And we’re still just getting started. Don’t miss out on the Cascade Golfer Cup in 2016. Because as it was for Premo, Tibbets, Schrader, Meade and Foster — and even for runners-up Orvella, Hargrave, Agnew and Martinez, each of whom will be playing all over the state for free in 2016 — it just might be your year. Contact Simon Dubiel at to be notified when the 2016 schedule is posted, or visit

APPLY NOW For The First Annual Duke’s Junior Golf Scholarship!


t’s no secret that for the last decade, the number of golfers actively playing the game across the nation has steadily decreased. Most golf economists credit this to the fact that golfers, as an average, are an older bunch — according to a 2012 study, 83 percent of golfers in the U.S. were age 40 or older. In fact, the percentage of golfers over the age of 70 (19 percent) is higher than the number aged 39 or younger (17 percent). The bottom line is, older golfers are ... let’s say, “aging out” ... faster than younger golfers are replacing them. In other words, as Whitney Houston said, “I believe the children are our future.” And Cascade Golfer and Duke’s Chowder House are teaming up to do something about it. Starting in April, we’ll feature a different junior golfer as the “Duke’s Junior Golfer of the Month” in every issue of Cascade Golfer. Deserving honorees need only be under the age of 18, be good students, and have an unbridled passion for golf. They don’t have to have won any tournaments, or be ranked among the top amateurs; just young golfers who love the game, and will help ensure that it keeps going strong for decades to come. At the end of the year, we’ll choose one of the four nominees (one per issue) to receive a $1,000 college scholarship from Duke’s Chowder House. To nominate a junior golfer, send an email to editor Brian Beaky at Use the subject line, “Junior Golf Scholarship Nominee” and be sure to include a photo, bio and brief description of why you think this golfer deserves our recognition. We look forward to hearing from you!



Season Opener at Salish Cliffs..................................................................... Mike Premo & James Tibbets..........................Scott Long & Nick Riebli Muckleshoot Casino Players Championship at Wash. Nat’l................ Adam Hargrave & Chad Orvella......................Bryson Agnew & Chris Martinez Scramble at McCormick Woods................................................................... Josh Landers & Ryan Rudolph........................Bryson Agnew & Chris Martinez CG Challenge at Gold Mountain (Olympic)............................................ Rob & Andy Brautigam......................................Seth Zacks & Alex Cogdall Bridgestone Golf Invitational at Gamble Sands.......................................... Adam Hargrave & Chad Orvella......................Jason Mattaini & Steven Gamba Michelob ULTRA Open at The Classic....................................................... Rob & Andy Brautigam......................................Jamie Meade & David Foster Puetz Golf Shootout at White Horse.......................................................... Keith Stevens & Floyd Bangerter....................Jamie Meade & David Foster




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EXTRA, EXTRA: Club-Carrying Invention Takes Off


n 2013, we told you about a new invention called the Extra Caddy that we had spotted at that year’s Seattle Golf Show — a lightweight club carrier that allowed golfers to comfortably carry up to five clubs at a time, with a velcro closure and an easy carrying strap. It was the perfect invention for the driving range, the par-3 course, or the days when local courses invoke the bane of every Western Washington golfer — the “cart path only” rule. In the two years since, the Extra Caddy has taken on a life of its own, appearing in golf shops and pro shops (including Puetz Golf) as well as online, and earning rave reviews from players nationwide. This year, creator Frank Mancinelli unveiled the Extra Caddy 2.0, an updated version of his popular original, just in time for the stocking-stuffer season. Upgrades include a pull loop and

revised velcro closure with fewer hooks and a rigid edge, making it easier to open and close the Extra Caddy with one hand. Simply unclip the Extra Caddy from your golf bag, slide your hand into the handle (palm-up) place the clubs you want to carry, and close your fist to secure the velcro. You’ll have an easier time carrying your sticks, and perhaps most importantly — will be far less likely to leave them behind, making the Extra Caddy a $20 investment that could save you hundreds down the road. Capable of carrying up to five clubs at a time, available in four different colors (we suggest blue or red, to maximize visibility), and sewn entirely in America, the Extra Caddy is a terrific gift for the golfer in your life this year — or a nice little treat for yourself, too. Learn more at

Golf Season’s Just Heating Up at The Clubhouse


t’s a good bet that if you’re looking for the staff of Cascade Golfer around lunchtime on any gray winter day, you’re not likely to find us at our Lynnwood HQ. Instead, we often take our lunch at the nearby Clubhouse Golf Center, the simulator-packed golf lounge located just off of I-5 by the Alderwood Mall, about 20 minutes from Seattle, Everett or Kirkland. Why the Clubhouse? Why not? Six full-size simulators allow golfers to play any of 88 acclaimed courses, including Pebble Beach, St. Andrews, and new additions Oakmont and Chateau Whistler, among dozens of others. Golfers swing their own clubs and hit real balls — besides the fact that we always seem to score well, it’s just like the real thing, but without the wind, rain or cold. And the on-course beer and food service runs 12 months a year. Golfers pay by the hour, with a typical round taking about an hour for one player to complete. In addition to the golf, there’s the aforementioned food and full bar, plus comfy couches and big-screen TVs positioned in every bay. While we’ve become regulars during the lunch hour, business is busiest in the evenings, just as the “old school” golf courses are buttoning up for the night. Golfers pack in to play 18 while watching the Seahawks, Huskies, Cougs or Mariners on TV, or enjoy a boys’ (or ladies!) night out on the golf course after the kids have been safely tucked in. After all, with our eight hours of daylight in the winter, if you’re not finding a way to play after dark, you’re not playing often, if at all. For its third winter season, the Clubhouse is expanding its popular winter leagues, with the addition of a two-player best-ball league to the already-popular individual player leagues. League golfers pay a $50 flat fee to enter, then receive discounted rounds and other goodies, with the opportunity to complete their rounds on their own schedule. Weekly and cumulative prizes are awarded to the top-performing teams, including golf clubs, simulator time, gift cards and more. In addition, the Clubhouse is launching a “Mulligans for Charity” program this winter — golfers who choose to take a mulligan during their round will have the opportunity (but not the obligation) to drop a quarter in the collection box in each bay, with all proceeds at the end of each month donated to a designated charity. “We might have months where it’s a few dollars, and other months where we have hundreds to donate,” says Clubhouse owner Steve Levy. “Over time, I think the number will be significant.” Sign-ups for winter leagues begin in December,

Tee It Up at the Clubhouse — On Us!

G with play starting in January. And of course, the Clubhouse opens every day at 10 a.m. throughout the winter and spring, in case you need to get that lunchtime fix. Visit for complete hours, or to schedule a tee time, call 425-582-9813.

olf is great, but golfing in the cold and rain? Not so much. That’s why we take our game to Lynnwood’s Clubhouse Golf Center each winter — with six full-size simulators where you can swing your own clubs and hit real balls, a full-service bar, comfortable lounge chairs and numerous big-screen TVs, it’s the perfect place to meet up at happy hour or on an NFL Sunday and catch all the latest sports action while playing some of the most famous courses in the game. Want to check it out? We’re giving away two hours of simulator time at the Clubhouse — more than enough for a full 18 — to one lucky Cascade golfer, so log on to for your chance to win!



SHORT GAME Changes On, Off Course at RMG Tracks


ver the summer, we received word that the RMG Club — which owns and operates The Classic, McCormick Woods and Oakbrook — had undergone some landscaping work at all three courses, primarily involved with the removal of trees. It wasn’t until we showed up at The Classic, though, for our Cascade Golfer Cup tournament in late August, that we realized just how extensive that work truly was. Hundreds of trees were removed at all three courses over the course of the year, and while none of the golf courses were changed dramatically in terms of the way they play, the visual impact at both McCormick Woods and The Classic is striking (we can’t speak for Oakbrook, having not laid eyes on it ourselves since the removal process began). Cascade Golfer Cup players who hadn’t been to The Classic since our 2013 season finale were surprised to see that trees that had once blocked their approaches to certain greens were gone, while spraying the ball a little ways into the woods wasn’t quite the pen-



McCormick Woods • Port Orchard

alty that it had been in previous years, with openings to escape where before there had been none. The changes are even more dramatic at McCormick Woods, where diners on the back patio of McCormick’s Clubhouse Restaurant now have a full view of both the ninth and 18th greens, plus the 10th tee. Add in the pond, gazebo and practice green, and it’s one of the most

tranquil settings you’ll find on a golf course in Western Washington. In addition, multiple trees that had begun to encroach on the tees and greens were removed, as were others whose growth had altered the way the holes were originally designed to be played. “In some cases, we had trees that had been growing for 50 years since these courses were built, and had significantly narrowed the playing areas, while also limiting the sunlight and airflow to the greens, especially in winter,” says Shawn Cucciardi, McCormick’s owner and the COO of RMG Golf. “Since we removed the trees, the footprint of several holes has been widened, and the greens are receiving a lot more sunlight, which will help them come out of the winter in much better shape than they have in previous years. We also anticipate a significant maintenance savings, which we’ll be able to put back into other aspects of improving the golfer’s experience.” Behind the scenes, RMG has undergone changes as well this season, with Columbia Hospitality taking over a management role. The Seattle-based management firm, which also manages Gold Mountain, TPC Snoqualmie Ridge, Salish Lodge and other hotels and spas locally, plus golf courses around the country, will handle dayto-day operations at each course, a role RMG’s owners had been serving since combining their three courses in 2012. RMG’s trademark membership packages — including the ability to play unlimited golf at any one of the three courses for as little as $59 — won’t change; in fact, members will begin to see additional benefits at Columbia Hospitality’s numerous local hotel and restaurant properties. In all, Cucciardi says it’s part of moving RMG — whose membership model has proven hugely popular with local players — to the next level. “Columbia Hospitality brings a different skill set than we do as golf-course operators, and we thought if we could combine our skills with theirs, we could really have something special,” he says. “It’s all about growing the business so that we can drive more benefits to our customers, and so far, it’s been nothing but positive.”


o matter what you may have thought about the viewing angles or the putting greens at Chambers Bay last June, there was one aspect of the U.S. Open that was unquestionably on top of its game: you. That is to say, the more than 5,000 volunteers who worked the tournament — managing parking lots, checking golf fans in at the gate, directing foot and vehicle traffic, operating concession stands, marshaling each hole, and keeping the U.S. Open Merchandise Pavilion running like a Swiss watch. Our volunteers were outstanding all week — and in six months’ time, you’ll have the chance to do it all again. The KPMG Women’s PGA Championship comes to Sahalee Country Club in June (June 9-12), bringing the tournament formerly known as the LPGA Championship to the Pacific Northwest for the first time. It’s an incredible opportunity to watch the world’s top women’s golfers up close, and our first real brush with LPGA greatness since the SAFECO Classic at Meridian Valley Country Club came to an end in 1999.

Tickets went on sale Nov. 28, with single-day, multiday and various VIP packages giving you the chance to watch World No. 1 Inbee Park try to become the first woman — and the first golfer, male or female, since 1927 — to win a major four consecutive times. To do so (and join Walter Hagen and Young Tom Morris in one of golf’s most exclusive clubs), she’ll have to hold off Lydia Ko, Stacy Lewis, Lexi Thompson, Brittany Lincicome, Paula Creamer and all of the LPGA’s biggest stars, on a narrow, treacherous course that has proven itself among golf’s great major championship tests. Of course, there’s another way to be even closer to the action. Just as at the U.S. Open this past summer, the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship will require an army of volunteers to handle admissions and will call, shuttle players around the community, and marshal the golf course during the event. Adult volunteers will be asked to work four, four-hour shifts, while junior volunteers (aged 14-21) — who will have the honor of walking with the players as standard bearers, and op-

Photo courtesy KPMG LPGA Championship

Volunteers Needed for the 2016 KPMG Women’s PGA at Sahalee

Michelle Wie will be among the LPGA greats pursuing a major championship at Sahalee in June.

erating the tournament scoreboards — need only commit to three such shifts. The cost to volunteer is $130 for adults (junior volunteers are free) and includes a uniform, parking, discounted meal and merchandise vouchers, and — most excitingly — a credential granting access to the grounds throughout the week, whether working or not. Tickets and volunteer registration are available at And if the U.S. Open is any indication, neither will last long.

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All eight quarterfinalists gathered at Salish Cliffs in September for the CG Match Play Championships’ final weekend.

SHORT GAME Salish Cliffs Hosts CG Match Play Finale


atch play is great. Especially for golfers prone to blow-up holes, there’s no better feeling than knowing that the snowman you just put up, opposite your opponent’s birdie, counts for no more than one hole in the overall scoring. It’s easy to flush that one bad hole when it didn’t just put you five strokes behind. The Cascade Golfer Match Play Championship brings together golfers from all over Western Washington (and even some in the Portland area) for a four-month, fourround slugfest, culminating in a weekend-long extravaganza at Salish Cliffs, which hosts the final three rounds in September. Prior to the quarterfinals, players (paired in the early rounds with others in their local area) schedule their own rounds on their own time, with prizes awarded for each match won. In addition to up to three free rounds at Salish Cliffs, the quarterfinalists receive twosomes to tracks like Wine Valley, Gamble Sands and Pumpkin Ridge, while the champion and runner-up split stay-andplay packages to Palm Springs and Las Vegas. Not a bad haul for a $75 entry fee.



This year’s tournament whittled the field down to an impressive crew of eight quarterfinalists ranging in age from their mid-20s to their mid-50s, and in handicaps from 3 to 17 — a true cross-section of the Cascade Golfer audience. After the first round on Friday, Sept. 11, the field was cut down to four, and by nightfall, just two players remained — Mark Hepko and Jeff Tarbox, both longtime players in our Cascade Golfer Cup events. As they went to bed that night in the Little Creek Casino Resort, anticipating the next day’s championship round, both Hepko and Tarbox no doubt reflected on the path they’d taken to reach the finals. Playing his early rounds at Allenmore, Meadow Park and High Cedars, Hepko had largely rolled through his competition, closing out four of his first six matches after just 15 holes, with his most emphatic win — 7&6 over Bob Kjenslee — having taken place just hours before, in the semi-final round. Tarbox, on the other hand — playing at Washington National, Mill Creek and Redmond Ridge — needed 17 holes in all but two of his matches, including a narrow 2&1 defeat of semi-finalist Jason Walling.

Saturday dawned clear and warm, with temperatures that would peak at 80 degrees by late afternoon. The luck that had been on Hepko’s side through the tournament’s first six rounds came back in spades in the final, as Hepko struggled to keep his driver in the fairway throughout the first several holes. Before long, Tarbox was 3-up, then 4-up, then 5-up. By the time they plucked balls from the cup on Salish Cliffs’ par-4 12th hole, Tarbox was 7-up with six to play, and the championship — and a trip to Vegas — were his for the taking. Congrats to Jeff — now, start prepping those irons for a repeat next year. The 2016 CG Match Play Championship tees off in May — to be among the first to know when registration opens, send an email to Tournament Director Simon Dubiel at, or call 888-367-6420, x100.



eading down to Arizona to catch the Mariners in action this spring? Don’t think that means you can’t find some terrific Cascade Golfer values. Here are a few of our favorite Cactus League tracks:

ASU Karsten Golf Course TEMPE, ARIZ. Named for Ballard native, UW alum and PING Golf founder Karsten Solheim, who donated $2 million towards the course’s construction, the ASU Karsten course has launched the careers of some of the world’s top golfers, including Sun Devils and major champions Phil Mickleson and Grace Park. Upon playing it, it’s clear why — the links-style track features Pete Dye’s trademark mounding and bunkering, with water or desert shrubbery coming into play on nearly every shot. At just 6,300 yards from the blue tees, it’s not so tough as to prohibit a good score, but it will certainly make you earn it.

Papago Golf Course PHOENIX, ARIZ. Less than a half-hour from Peoria, city-owned Papago

ASU Karsten Course • Tempe, Ariz.

Golf Course is a blast, with a good variety of holes (from the whites, the par-3s range from 156 to 220 yards) featuring more water and trees than many desert tracks, as well as challenging greens and typically wide fairways. Designed by Billy Bell (Torrey Pines), it’s also one of Phoenix’s prettiest courses, with scenic views from the base of Papago Butte.

Club West Golf Club PHOENIX, ARIZ. Tighter than many of the other Arizona tracks, Club West is a test of your complete game, with firm fairways and fast greens that will require not just an accurate driver, but solid irons and short game skills to score well. Its signature hole is No. 17, with a tee box nearly 100 feet above the valley below, beautiful views of the Estella Mountain Range and two greens to target — one as little as 64 yards away, and another as far as 215.

The Duke Of Rancho El Dorado MARICOPA, ARIZ. Located just 25 minutes south of Phoenix’s Sky Harbor Airport, The Duke (named for John Wayne, who owned a ranch nearby) is a fun, player-friendly track with wide fairways, large playable waste areas, and plenty of desert sand around the fairways and greens. At over 7,000 yards from the tips, it can test big hitters, but will give mid-handicappers a fair chance to overcome a bad shot. Other local favorites include Peoria’s Trilogy Golf Club at Vistancia, and Wigwam Resort, in nearby Litchfield Park. The trick is not to plan your golf around the games, but to plan games around the golf. After all, you can watch Felix spit fire and Nelson Cruz crush homers back home. But courses like these, in 80-degree sun, at shoulder-season rates ... that’s the experience you won’t want to miss.





Seahawks’ Linebacker Brock Coyle Would Trade It All For A Green Jacket



wo years ago, in the fall of 2013, Brock Coyle took the field for his senior season at Montana. A former competitive skier who switched to football when he was 16, Coyle had been lightly recruited out of Bozeman (Mont.) High, and was entering just his second year as a starter. Five hundred miles west, a similarly hard-working group of largely unheralded draft picks and undrafted free agents entered the 2013 NFL season with the hopes of breaking through, having suffered a narrow defeat in the 2012 NFL playoffs. By the end of the year, both would make their mark. The Seahawks, of course, dominated the NFL en route to the franchise’s first-ever Super Bowl win, while Coyle became one of the most feared defenders in the Big Sky Conference, racking up 125 tackles and earning all-conference honors for the first time. The Seahawks signed Coyle as an undrafted free agent the following spring and the Northwest native became yet another Seahawks success story, making the team out of training camp and becoming a mainstay on special teams, plus a fill-in starter when middle linebacker Bobby Wagner missed two games at midseason. Skier, linebacker ... golfer? Why not? We caught up with Coyle this fall to see if there’s anything he can’t do. How did you start playing golf? “My dad played golf, so he introduced me to it. I started playing a lot in middle school, then other sports started to take a little more of my time later in high school. I played for fun in college, then really started to pick it up more in my later years at Montana.” What are your favorite courses in Montana? “There are a lot of good courses in Montana. Eagle Bend in Kalispell is really good. My favorite is probably Old Works, right in the middle of Anaconda. It has blacksand bunkers and is just a cool Jack Nicklaus design.” When was the last time you played? “I play a lot in the offseason, at least once or twice a week. The last round I played was out at Rope Rider at Suncadia, after training camp. It was really cool; it reminded me a lot of Montana, looking up at the big pine trees.” Do you have a favorite local course? “I was a member at Fairwood; I played that course a lot. I liked Meridian [Valley], and I got to go play Chambers Bay with the Seahawks. That was an awesome experience. I really, really enjoyed Chambers Bay a lot.” Who are your favorite teammates to play with? “I’ve played a lot with Mike Morgan and DeShawn Shead. They were beginner golfers this offseason, but are really into it. We had a lot of fun. I’ve played with Steven Hauschka, he’s a very good golfer. But I play with Shead and Morgan the most.” 16


With Max Unger gone, who organizes the foursomes? “I haven’t really seen anyone doing that. I was sort of that guy for the linebackers, who’d get everyone out to go hit some balls.” What’s the most memorable round you’ve ever played? “Recently, I went out to Lake Chelan and played Bear Mountain Ranch. That was probably one of my favorite courses I’ve ever played. I’ve never seen a course like that, with so many blind spots and big drops. I really enjoyed that course. I played well, and it was just a really fun golf experience. It was really cool.” What kind of clubs do you use? “I have Nike Vapors.” How’s your game? “I can hit it pretty long, but I’m inconsistent off the tee. My iron game is probably my best. We’re always all striving to make everything better about our golf game, right?” Is there anyone on the team who’s been a particular mentor to you? “There’s a lot of guys, but if I were to pick one, I’d say Bobby Wagner. He’s a great mentor and a great friend. It’s cool, because I think he’s the best linebacker in the league, and I get to learn from him and watch him every single day. He helps me get better as a player, and is a great mentor both about being a player, and just as a pro.”

Does he ever ask you for golf tips? “Ha, no. Bobby isn’t much of a golfer. He came once, and he just swung as hard he could. He missed it a few times before he hit it. But no, he doesn’t golf.” When you were at Montana in 2013, did you let yourself imagine being a part of the Seahawks defense? “First of all, I really enjoyed watching that team. And then as the idea of me playing in the NFL became more and more a reality, that was definitely a team that I thought about being a part of. And now, being a part of it is a dream come true.” What would you say is your greatest strength as a player? “My heart. I have a lot of heart. Every time I go out there, I give 100 percent and just love the game. So I’d say my passion and my heart, for sure.” If I had a crystal ball and guaranteed that you’d become a multi-time Masters champion if you quit football tomorrow and focused solely on golf, would you do it? “Uh ... yes. Man, if i knew that? Yeah, I’d quit football.”

Play a round at Pebble Beach or St. Andrews! Win great prizes at our winter golf leagues! • Over 80 PGA courses to choose from! • Great food and drinks from our full bar • Largest indoor golf center & sports bar in WA state • Corporate and Private Parties • Watch your favorite sporting events on the giant screens • Book you tee time online! (425) 582-9813

3105 Alderwood Mall Blvd, Suite A, Lynnwood, WA 98036

Book Your Tee Time Today!





Find all golf accessories on or at all four PUETZ GOLF SUPERSTORES™



RISK vs. REWARD White Horse Golf Club

Hole No. 14 Par 5 499 yards (Blues)

By Simon Dubiel

The Setup:

The Reward:

A tee shot down the middle is preferred, as the landing area is narrow. Anything hit well and to the right will find the trees or possibly block your approach, while a miss left might kick down off the hill, or stay in the rough. The approach to the green plays severely downhill, and trouble awaits almost any shot that misses the green.

If you cork a drive and find yourself in position “A” with a little over 200 in, the green down below beckons. Although it has been softened substantially in recent years, White Horse is still no easy walk in the park. It challenges you on every hole; however, with a great second shot here you can get one back — maybe even two.

The Risk:

You have to pick and choose the time and place to put your chips in the middle, and White Horse gives you plenty of opportunities to do so. If you are swinging good and feeling lucky, perhaps this is your moment to go all-in, but we argue there is a better hand to bet on. Ben Hogan said it best: golf is 20-percent talent and 80-percent management. Lay up, pull wedge and drain your 20-footer for birdie. That is a hand worth playing every time.

Bunker left? Check. Bunker right? Check. Bunker long? Check. If that is enough to scare you, then pay no attention to the lateral hazard long and to the right. Not that you can see them much, as your downhill approach is likely a blind shot anyway. What you don’t know won’t hurt you, right? Maybe, but it sure can kill your score.

Final Call:






Kirkland’s JOANNE (GUNDERSON) CARNER smoked, fished and rode a Harley — and dominated the LPGA Tour like few others who’ve ever lived BY CRAIG SMITH




ne of the best female golfers in history has deep roots in Washington state. But most Cascade Golf-

er readers wouldn’t know her if she showed up at their breakfast table. “If you asked people in the golf community under the age of 40 about JoAnne Carner, they would have a hard time knowing who she is and what she’s done, even though she’s a legend, for sure,” says Mary Lou Mulflur, University of Washington women’s golf coach. “She’s clearly the best ever to come out of this state.”

Not just the best female golfer. The best golfer, period.

Need proof? The daughter of a Kirkland carpenter is one of just

two golfers in history — and the only woman — to win the U.S. Junior title, the U.S. Amateur (which she did five times) and the U.S. Open (which she won twice). The only other golfer to accomplish that trifecta? Someone named Tiger.

The best description of Carner is probably the first paragraph of

her bio in the World Golf Hall of Fame:

“She loved match play, showboating to the galleries, riding motor-

cycles and partying in the clubhouse with members after her rounds. As JoAnne Gunderson, and later JoAnne Carner, she dominated women’s golf — and nobody had more fun dominating than she did. There was a little Babe Ruth in her, a little Babe Zaharias, a little Wal-

Having cut her teeth at the nine-hole Juanita Golf Course, Carner dominated the amateur scene, winning five U.S. Amateurs before turning pro in 1970.

ter Hagen and a little Shelly Winters, too. It made for some package.”

Still not convinced? No problem, there’s plenty more.


arner attended Arizona State on a women’s golf scholarship at a time when women didn’t get scholarships. She proved the coaches right, winning the national title. She won 43 times on the LPGA Tour, was three times named player of the year and finished three seasons atop the money list, ending her professional career as just the second woman to top $1 million in career earnings. Despite the LPGA playing just two majors a year for the first 16 years of her career, she won two majors, was runner-up eight times (trailing just Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Phil Mickelson, Louise Suggs and Patty Berg in golf history), and in the top-10 an unbelievable 32 times in a 70-major stretch between 1962-92 — oh, and just for kicks, 25 of those 32 were top-fives. She never lost a singles match in four Curtis Cup appearances (U.S. amateurs vs. Great Britain), and captained the U.S. to victory in the Solheim Cup (the women’s Ryder Cup) in 1994. She locked up World Golf Hall of Fame status a full 23 years before her final tournament. In 2004, just shy of her 65th birthday, she became the oldest woman ever to make the cut at an LPGA event. Today, at age 76, 10 years after her retirement, she still plays regularly near her home in Florida, and teaches at a women’s golf training academy that bears her name.

“I don’t hit it as far as I used to, and I don’t do the same things,” she says, “but it’s still a lot of fun.”


arner grew up about a half mile from the ninehole Juanita Golf Course (now a park), where she hunted for balls as an 8-year-old and started playing golf at age 10. “I still love to hunt for golf balls,” she says. “Sam Snead loved to look for balls, too.” She is the youngest of five children, all of them still alive. Her oldest sister, Helen Sherry of Maple Valley, describes JoAnne as “very active” as a toddler and child. Was it an advantage to be the youngest? “You bet,” says Carner, laughing. “I was spoiled rotten.” Carner recalls that the local kids would sneak out on the Juanita course after dark, with as many as 10 kids at at time playing after the sun went down. “We played a lot of moonlight golf,” she says. “When the moon was in your face, you had to tell by feel whether the ball hooked or sliced. It was wonderful training.” Carner flashed golf talent early, and the Sand Point Country Club helped her develop. The club allowed her

father, Gustav, to pay for her tournament travel and lessons with head pro John Hoetmer by doing necessary carpentry work around the club, and made the teenage Carner an honorary member — a necessity to play in club tournaments throughout the region. It’s a fact she remains grateful for to this day. Those lessons helped her win the U.S. Junior Girls championship in the summer of 1956 and finish second in the U.S. Women’s Amateur. Despite being one of the top amateur golfers in the country, however, she was barred from competing on the Lake Washington High School golf team — the school offered no girls’ golf program, and girls were not allowed to compete with the boys. The Kangaroos, however, did appreciate what a gifted athlete they had in Carner. When she showed up for her senior year after that headline-grabbing summer, she was awarded a letterman’s sweater, even if she couldn’t compete. Carner was a giant in amateur golf in the 1960s, winning just about everything she entered. She won five U.S. Amateurs (during a time when fellow Western Washington golfers Anne Quast Sander, who would make the cover of Sports Illustrated in 1959, won three, while Pat Lesser Harbottle won one), and won the LPGA’s Burdine’s DECEMBER 2015


Known as “THE GREAT GUNDY” as an amateur, Carner earned the “BIG MOMMA” nickname for her prodigious drives on the LPGA Tour. Invitational in 1969. She was the last amateur to win an LPGA event until New Zealand’s 15-year-old phenom Lydia Ko did it in 2012 in a tournament in British Columbia. Pittsburgh golf writer Marino Parascezo wrote that Carner won the 1968 U.S. Women’s Amateur — her fifth in 11 years — without even practicing. She was having fun dominating the amateur scene, and as she notes, the LPGA purses weren’t anything to write home about at that time anyway. Another year of dominance later, though, her future husband, Don, finally told her, “You need some new goals.” So, in 1970 — at the age of 30 — she finally turned pro, with Don as her business manager. He didn’t serve as instructor, but was present at every lesson she took from the likes of Snead and Gardner Dickinson, so he’d know what to watch for on the road, and could point it out. It wasn’t long before Carner had earned a reputation as a character the likes of which the Tour had never seen. She rode a motorcycle, fished her way from event to event (and especially on off weeks), and traveled from tournament to tournament towing an Airstream trailer. “I play better golf living in our trailer,” she once said. Another bonus: Don was a good cook. “I did most of the cooking, but he was a better cook,” she says. She was called “The Great Gundy” (maiden name Gunderson) before marrying Don in 1963. It was her other nickname, though, that would truly become legend. Following 72 holes at the 1976 U.S. Open, Carner was tied with Sandra Palmer, who stepped to the podium to assess her chances. “Well, I’m going against ‘Big Momma,’” Palmer said, referring mostly to Carner’s long drives instead of her physical size. Carner was, at the time, a nothing-exceptional 5-foot-7 and wore a size 8 dress. However, Palmer was only 5-1 1/2. Carner won the playoff, and the “Big Momma” nickname stuck. In the ensuing years, “Big Momma” became more than just a reference to Carner’s prodigious power, but to the way she treated her fellow players. At a time when there weren’t nearly as many professional women’s 36


sports role models as there are today, Carner became a true mother figure to the younger players on Tour, taking them under her wing and helping them navigate the waters of professional women’s golf. In 1979, Carner wrecked her motorcycle and took several months off, before returning for the Wheeling Classic in the hills of West Virginia. As she sat chatting in the lodge, fellow players began walking in from their practice rounds. Parascezo writes: “They would come through the door, headed wherever, then spot Carner and veer over to the couch and shake hands or pat her shoulder, and say, ‘Welcome back, Momma,’ and so forth. Clearly, they were more than just happy to see her. They were relieved. “And this was a little bit crazy,” he continues. “JoAnne Carner — ‘Big Momma,’ the mother-figure, sister-figure and great pal who, by the way, was always ready to beat them to the money.” Carner was popular with crowds, too. She talked to galleries to stay relaxed on the course and showed humor in situations where other golfers would have steam coming out of their ears. She once drove her first two tee shots into a parking lot, then turned to the gallery and said, “Well, that lot is full. Let’s see if I can park this baby somewhere else.” Carner’s game didn’t have a weakness and she considers two of her strengths to be bunker shots and trouble shots. She was a powerful but sometimes errant driver. “The ground shakes when she hits it,” Palmer once said. Sometimes, she needed help finding her ball, which usually avoided the side of the fairway with the most danger but nonetheless required a search. The fans would often find it for her, and she’d banter with them before taking her shot. “They’d ask what I was going to try to do and I’d tell them,” she says. “If I didn’t do it, I’d just say I had changed my mind.” Her biggest victories were the two U.S. Opens, in 1971 and 1976. She lost the 1987 U.S. Open in a playoff to Laura Davies. In 1985, she won her final LPGA Tour event — appropriately, on Northwest soil, at the SAFECO Classic at Meridian Valley Country Club in Kent.


igh-level competitive golf has high-level tension, and Carner had an unusual way of handling it — she would watch sad movies. “I would cry and the tension would be gone,” she says. In 1999, there was real-life sadness when Don died at age 83, after a prolonged illness due to Parkinson’s Disease accompanied by dementia. JoAnne chose to remain in Florida, hasn’t remarried, and lives today in Palm Beach County. She starts her day with crosswords and Sudoku, then on many days goes and hits balls and practices. She plays on some events on the Legends Tour and played at Inglewood Golf Club in Kenmore when the Legends Tour stopped there in 2012 and 2013. She owns a 42-foot fishing boat and fishes in the Atlantic Ocean. She can operate the boat, but instead has a female captain so she can concentrate on fishing and spending time with guests on board.

During one 70-major stretch, Carner earned 32 top-10 finishes, 25 top-fives and won two U.S. Open titles. She was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1982.

“We caught six fish yesterday,” she says. At night, she watches television. “I love sitting here in 90-degree Florida heat watching snow and ice,” she says. Carner still smokes, and smoked while competing. She tried unsuccessfully to quit at various times in her life. During one attempt to quit, she shot 45 on the front nine in a California tournament. At the turn, she dispatched her caddy to get cigarettes and told him to “find the strongest ones you can.” He did just that, and she shot 32 on the back nine. Like many LPGA veterans, Carner lobbied for years for the USGA to add a women’s Senior Open Championship, an event the men have had since 1980. It would have given her a chance to win a fourth different USGA championship. “Please do it before I’m 100 years old,” she halfjoked to USGA officials. Finally, her wish has come true, with the announcement that the first U.S. Senior Women’s Championship, for women 50 and over, will be held

in 2018. That will likely be too late for Carner, however, as the winner is sure to come from someone in her 50s. Carner says she is impressed by the LPGA these days, and how golf has become a global sport. She said she is pleased that an LPGA major will be played next June 9-12 at Sahalee Country Club, when the 2016 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship comes to town. Carner’s 1982 induction into the World Golf Hall of Fame ensures that she won’t be forgotten in golf history, even if younger Northwest golf fans may be unaware of her legendary accomplishments. She was a colorful, likeable competitor who was never afraid to say what she felt. She even managed to perfectly sum up her career in one quote: “Some people are afraid to win, others are afraid to lose,” she once said. “I think winning is a lot more fun.” Craig Smith is a freelance writer and former columnist for The Seattle Times. He is a frequent contributor to Cascade Golfer. DECEMBER 2015


Fly Away, Little Birdie Thinking of getting away for the winter? Whatever species of snowbird you are, CG has the perfect destination for you


e all love living in Western Washington. Treelined roads, thick forests receding into the distance, towering whitecapped peaks on both sides, and the knowledge that we’re never more than a few minutes from the Salish Sea, able to transition from the water, to the mountains, to the high-culture society of a major metropolis whenever we wish. There’s no place else we’d rather live. But if we’re all being honest, it’s time to admit — golfing in Western Washington from December to March is, well ... let’s go with, “a labor of love.” It’s usually cold. It’s usually wet. Sure, the bargains are great, with every course at 50-65 percent of its peak summer greens fee, but when you have to buy a new set of balls for every round because all of your



By Brian Beaky CG Editor brand-new Titleists disappeared into soggy fairways, and your shoes don’t prove to be as waterproof as advertised, and you lose 15-20 yards off of every club ... well, it’s only natural for your mind to start to wander to sunnier golf locales. Let’s face it, there’s a reason the PGA TOUR spends the winter in Hawaii, California, Arizona and Florida ... it’s incredible there! Temperatures in the 70s and 80s, hundreds of perfectly manicured courses, and entire cities like Palm Springs and Scottsdale that seem to exist solely to cater to sun-starved golfers from Northern climates. Of course, not every snowbird, as the locals in these various destinations call golfers who migrate south for the winter, is made equal. There are those who come for weeks,

and others who just drop in for a few days; those who seek the highest luxury, and those who need to stretch their few dollars as far as they can; those who prefer to take it slow, and those who want to play from sun-up to sundown; those who want to see some sights, and those who care about nothing but their next tee time. Well, good news, snowbirds — we’ve got you covered. We’ve picked out a different wintertime destination for every kind of golfer we can think of, and laid them all out for you to see. Find the one that best matches your budget and itinerary, then pack up the clubs and hit the road. And don’t worry about us — we understand. Sometimes, when the rain starts falling, you just have to go chase that sun.

Classic Club • Palm Desert, Calif.

TPC Stadium Course No. 17 • La Quinta, Calif.



CLASSIC CLUB Palm Desert, Calif. 760-601-3600

eel a little guilty about your desert golf splurge? Want to feel like you’re giving a little back to the community while knocking that little white ball into the hole? Then Palm Desert’s Classic Club is the place for you. Each year, the Classic Club donates thousands of rounds to local charity tournaments, who in turn raise more than $500,000 to support their causes. Of course, that kind of generosity is to be expected of a course that was built by Arnold Palmer for the sole purpose of hosting a charity event — the PGA TOUR Bob Hope Chrysler Classic — which drew the world’s best golfers and biggest celebrities to the Classic Club each year from 200509, before the tournament rotated to La Quinta Resort & PGA WEST. Of course, we wouldn’t just send you to a course because it has a big heart. The Classic Club is also one of the Coachella Valley’s top-rated tracks, with a combination of beautiful and challenging holes, quick greens

Royal Links G.C. • Las Vegas, Nev.

and even the occasional conifer to make you feel right at home (just don’t hit into one, because there’s no more self-defeating golf experience than traveling all the way to Palm Springs just to find yourself hitting from underneath the desert’s one pine tree). Many golfers who show up in the Classic pro shop say they’d never heard of the course before picking up a recommendation from a friend, or a local. By they time they leave, they’re spreading the gospel to all who will listen. And at under $150 at peak times (including goodies like yardage books, ball markers and at certain times, lunch vouchers), you’re giving yourself a little charity, too.



inding a great round of golf in Palm Springs is as easy as tapping in a six-inch putt. Finding a great round in Palm Springs for under $100? Now that’s a downhill chip shot from thick rough, over a bunker, to a

narrow green backdropped by water. Guess we’ll just have to pull the lob wedge and stick that baby inside two feet — because fantastic golf for a double-digit greens fee is just what we’ve found you. Shoot, we’ll even kick in a free lunch. Indian Springs, redesigned a decade ago at a cost of $4 million, decided early on to set itself apart from its competitors — of which there are no shortage in America’s most golf-saturated valley — by keeping its rates low even as its neighbors jacked theirs past $100, $125, $150 and onward. A weekend round at Indian Springs through Mar. 31 — peak season in Palm Springs — will cost you just $89, including cart, GPS and your choice of one of seven items of the course’s lunch menu. Heck, that’s a peak-season deal many Western Washington courses can’t even match. The truth is, Indian Springs could easily charge more — for sheer enjoyment, the course rivals just about any of its local competitors, with wide, friendly fairways, quick greens and fewer of those sandy wastes that gobble up balls and slow down play at many desert tracks. In fact, despite serving more than 35,000 golfers a year, Indian Springs usually reports one of the fastest paces DECEMBER 2015




in the valley at roughly four hours, leaving you plenty of time to enjoy the region’s many amenities. And if you are trying to play 36 holes a day, that free lunch, low greens fee and fast pace of play makes Indian Springs an ideal addition to the itinerary.

THE HIGH ROLLER BALI HAI & ROYAL LINKS Las Vegas, Nev. 888-427-6678


ou play your local rounds at Coal Creek, Chambers Bay or your private club. The bag boys all know you by name. When you step out of the car, you expect a certain level of service, and a golf experience that you can’t find at just any local course. You need to go to Vegas. And not just Vegas — specifically, to the two courses owned by sports wagering mogul Billy Walters, Bali Hai Golf Club and Royal Links. Both are located just minutes from The Strip — in fact, Bali Hai is the course you see just west of the runway at McCarran Airport, barely a long par-5 away from the Mandalay Bay — and both offer the kind of customer service you’d expect from a track owned by one of Vegas’ most famous high rollers. (If you missed it, go to and read our 2012 feature chronicling his unique and incredible career.) Valets greet you by name, clean your clubs and offer you a mango-scented towel to help relax while they park your car. Caddies and “ParMates” — attractive, knowledge-

Bali Hai Golf Club • Las Vegas, Nev.

able young women who serve as professional forecaddies for your group — carry your clubs, read greens, repair divots and otherwise work to ensure you play your best, while the course’s pro shops and restaurants are consistently ranked among the best at any U.S. course. All that, and we haven’t even talked about the golf. Bali Hai is a Malaysian-style oasis, with white-sand bunkers, tropical water features, fragrant flora and abundant palm trees. It’s a course designed to stand out for its extravagant luxury in a city where extravagance is the name of the game. Royal Links, just a few miles east, is the total opposite, a course meant not to immerse

you in Las Vegas luxury but to transport you to a simpler time and place — specifically, the British Isles. Each hole at Royal Links is modeled after a hole in the Open Championship rotation — golfers who can’t afford a trip abroad can walk across Swilcan Bridge, play St. Andrews’ Road Hole or Royal Troon’s Postage Stamp (plus holes from Carnoustie, Muirfield and others) then be back at the tables at the Bellagio before dinner. If you want to be treated like a VIP, Bali Hai and Royal Links are your best bet. Rates vary by day and season, so be sure to play around on the website a bit to find the right match for you.

“there IS a *free Lunch at Indian Springs” Best course Under $100 ~the Desert Sun

La Quinta, CA

Club House Grille 760-200-9844

*Call For Details 760-200-8988

Best Value in the Palm Springs Area • Our Greens are a “Perfect 10” call about Stay & Play Packages!

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Royal Ka’anapali Golf Club • Lahaina, Hawaii

THE BEACH BUM KA’ANAPALI GOLF RESORT Lahaina, Hawaii 866-454-4653


olf is great, but when you’re escaping the cold, damp Northwest in the winter, sometimes you just want to lay on the beach. No place combines beaches and golf like Hawaii, and no place in Hawaii is as easy to get to, or offers the

variety of golf, golf-related and leisure activities as the 36 holes at Ka’anapali Golf Resort. Located just across from the Westin Maui Resort & Spa, the two courses at Ka’anapali — including Royal Ka’anapali and Ka’anapali Kai — are regulars in rankings of Maui’s top tracks, and have played host to the Champions Tour Skins Game, Wonderful World of Golf and “Big Break,” among others. Golfers disagree about which of the resort’s two courses are superior — even around CG HQ, it’s a question that prompts all those who have played them to choose sides. The Robert Trent Jones., Sr.-designed

Royal Ka’anapali (one of just two Robert Trent Jones, Sr., courses in Hawaii) is the tougher of the two, with broad, sloping fairways and contoured greens. Golfers start out by the ocean before winding up into the mountain foothills, with mind-blowing views at every turn. The par-70 Ka’anapali Kai, completely remodeled in 2005, plays just a bit shorter, with tighter fairways but friendlier greens, surrounded by colorful flowers and lava rock formations. Which you’ll notice, if you can manage to pull your eyes away from the stunning ocean and mountain views. Every Maui course has views, though. What sets the courses at Ka’anapali apart are their location just steps from Ka’anapali’s major resorts, restaurants, shops and beaches (including the world-famous snorkeling spot, Black Rock) and the unique programs offered to golfers and non-golfers alike. “Fit Golf” allows golfers to play six holes a day after 4 p.m. for just $99 per month (do the math, and you could play 186 holes for under $100 if you so desired), while the “Golf My Way” program lets you play 18 holes over a seven-day span. Have an hour or two of free time each day while your traveling partners are out to lunch or shopping? Play a few holes one day, then a few more the next. It’s entirely up to you. The resort also recently became the first Maui course to add FootGolf to its list of activities, giving families another option for evening fun. Palm Springs has the most golf courses, and Vegas has the casinos. But only Maui has the beach — and if you’re bringing any non-golfers with you on your trip, the beach will win every time.


Play a guaranteed winner Aliante Golf Club Located 25 minutes from the Las Vegas Strip, Aliante Golf Club is a memorable, Troon Managed, 18-hole championship course that was designed by Scottsdale-based Gary Panks Associates. Aliante is an exciting and challenging course that will challenge the expert to utilize every club in the bag while providing an enjoyable experience for the novice golfer. The presence of the meandering arroyo that comes into play on 14 holes causes the golfer to feel slightly elevated, providing interesting contours and unique playing lies and angles. The course is highlighted by two water features, generous landing areas, and strategic use of trees that are not commonly found in most desert courses, such as Pear and Purple Locust trees. The practice facility features an expansive driving range, putting green, chipping green and practice bunker. Aliante offers a variety of packages that include transportation, rentals and meals. Please visit for more information.

(702) 399-4888 42


3100 West Elkhorn, Las Vegas NV 89084



Bear’s Best Las Vegas • Las Vegas, Nev.



ne of the coolest aspects of the 2015 U.S. Open at Chambers Bay was watching the world’s best golfers play the same holes that we have the privilege to play on a regular basis. There’s something undeniably cool about watching Tiger, Phil, Jordan, Rory and DJ walk the same fairways that we’ve walked, chip out of the same bunkers we’ve hit into, and line up the same putts that we’ve attempted. In Palm Springs, there’s no shortage of public golf courses that used to host PGA TOUR events. But there’s

only one public golf course that will do so in 2016 — and you can walk right in their footsteps. The CareerBuilder Humana Challenge (formerly the Bob Hope Classic) moves from the private course at La Quinta Country Club to the public courses at PGA WEST — both the famed TPC Stadium course and the Jack Nicklaus Tournament Course. It’s an exciting change for golf fans, who will have the chance to play the course in its tournament setup in the days and weeks following the event’s conclusion, on Jan. 24. In addition to PGA TOUR stars, the biggest names from the sports and entertainment scene will also be on hand for the tournament’s annual Pro-Am, a highlight of the annual golf calendar since 1960. “We are delighted to continue our long-standing relationship with Desert Classic Charities and the PGA

TOUR,” said Paul Cherrett, Managing Director of La Quinta Resort & Club and PGA WEST. “The TPC Stadium and Jack Nicklaus Tournament courses at PGA WEST have a rich history hosting great tournaments. We welcome the tournament back to these world-class courses; courses that the public will be able to play as they walk in the footsteps of the pros.” The resort’s most popular stay-and-play is its Desert Links package, which includes a night’s stay, plus unlimited golf on all five of the resort’s public courses — including the Mountain and Dunes Courses at La Quinta Resort, and the Nicklaus, Norman and TPC Stadium courses at PGA WEST — plus a $25 resort credit, all for as little as $259. Given that greens fees alone regularly run well into the triple digits, it’s as sweet a deal as you’ll find in the desert. Unlimited golf, an iconic resort, five courses to choose from and the chance to play a course on the PGA TOUR rotation, in peak season, all for under $300? That’s a deal that any species of snowbird would be happy to snap up.



Desert Willow Golf Club • Firecliff No. 17



olfing with your friends is great. But some golfers, like Beast Mode himself, are “all ‘bout that action, boss.” Throughout the summer, there’s no shortage of tournaments and cash games on the schedule — from the Cascade Golfer Cup, to our Match Play series, to the Pacific Amateur and other acclaimed Northwest events, it’s never difficult to find an outlet for your competitive streak. In the winter, though? Not so much. Instead, travel to Sin City for the Las Vegas World Amateur, one of the largest amateur golf tournaments on the West Coast. Held Feb. 22-26 on nine of our favorite Vegas tracks — including Angel Park, (which we put on the cover of our December 2012 issue) plus Bear’s Best,

ert Pines, Painted Desert and The Revere — and featuring hundreds of golfers from across the globe, it’s quickly become a marquee event on the amateur golf calendar. For $575, every golfer receives a minimum of three rounds of golf, with the top-four players in each flight (determined by gender, age and handicap) advancing to a final championship round where all flights are combined, and players compete in net-scoring stroke play to determine the overall Las Vegas World Amateur Champion. In addition, players receive tickets to a pre-tournament reception and post-tournament awards party, complimentary snacks and beer at nightly parties where scores are posted, plus tee prizes and other goodies. “It’s a remarkable value, you play fantastic courses, meet really fun, entertaining and unique people from all over the planet ... and you get to work on your tan a little bit at the same time,” says Bill Hobson, producer and host of Michigan Golf Live, who played in the event in 2015. “It’s just a lot of fun.” So, let’s see — there’s sun, up to 72 holes of golf on courses we love, free beer, parties, prizes and ... did we mention sun? Best of all, if you do win that trophy, it’s one thing that happened in Vegas that you don’t have to leave behind.

THE NESTER DESERT WILLOW GOLF RESORT Palm Desert, Calif. 760-346-0015


ome golfers treat a golf vacation like a bucket list — they fly in, play as many different courses as possible, then fly out, having added a few new tags to their bag and crossed some of golf’s greatest courses off their list. Even if you’re not a golfer, you’ve vacationed with these types — they plan out every day, buy all their museum tickets in advance, and generally run you ragged. By the time you’re home, you need a vacation from your vacation. Others, though, prefer to find a comfy spot, build a nest, and settle down for a nice, relaxing week (or month, or — if you’re so lucky — season). To those golfers, we recommend nesting down at Desert Willow. The first reason, of course, is for the courses, each of which are among Palm Springs’ finest, and dare we say as nice as just about any private course even this ultra-chic locale can muster up. The Firecliff is the course even those “bucket list” golfers have to play, a challenging test of target golf with bunkers that in some cases run the entire length of the fairway, and water hazards galore. It’s tight, twisty, and oh-so-fun. Golfers who want to bite off a little less take on the Mountain View, which is every bit as beautiful, but slightly shorter and with fewer forced carries. Playing at least one of the two is a must for any desert traveler. So why nest down at Desert Willow, rather than playing it once before moving on? It all comes down to value. While just about every desert course offers some kind of reward program, Desert Willow’s “Platinum Club” is the best — just $339 saves you up to $60 off the full-price greens fee for you and three guests, plus advance tee times, earlier twilight rates and significant discounts on food, apparel, lessons, range balls and more.



Travel with three friends and each invest $85 to buy one card, and you’ll each save $60 off your first round ... by the time you wander over to the second course for another 18, you’re already in the black.

THE STICK THE GOLF CLUB AT TERRA LAGO Indio, Calif. 760-775-2000


he entire economy of Palm Springs is built around tourists. Whether golfers and retirees in the winter, or Coachella festival-goers in the spring, Palm Springs — a city which rose to fame as the preferred vacation spot of Hollywood’s mid-20th-century stars — still lives to serve those who travel from afar. And when it comes to golfers, those vacationers don’t like to struggle. That’s why so many Palm Springs courses have that “resort course” feel — level playing surfaces, easy-to-read greens, and sand and water that provide more in the way of eye candy than they do in actual hazards. Terra Lago, though? That’s a different story. While players can certainly tee off from the 5,800-yard regular tees on Terra Lago’s two 18-hole tracks (North and South) if they like, most go back to the Championship tees (6,500 on the North and 6,400 on the South), while the truly talented take on the 7,000-yard-plus Professionals. The real challenge, though, isn’t the distance — indeed, provided one can avoid spraying their driver off into the waste areas, most landing areas off the tee are reasonably wide. The greens, though, are another story, particularly on the South course, where multi-tiered greens are surrounded by bunkers and uneven terrain, making precision with irons and wedges a key to scoring. While the South is defined by its challenging approaches, the North is memorable for its many elevation changes and fantastic finishing holes. Tee it forward, and you’ll have a great time and hopefully post a good number. Go too far back, though, and


The Golf Club at Terra Lago • Indio, Calif.

you’ll learn what PGA TOUR pros like Greg Norman, Colin Montgomerie and our very own Boom-Boom found out during the Skins Game from 1999-2002 — when you come to Terra Lago, you’d better bring your “A” game.



ere in the Northwest, we’re proud of our wildlife. Bald eagles soar over our beaches; hawks, falcons and osprey circle our freeways; orcas and dolphins frolic in the Sound; bears wander through the mountains and woodland animals galore find their way into our backyards (OK, maybe that last one we sometimes could do without). In the Palm Springs area, though, wildlife can be hard to find. Sure, the birds still circle, and the lizards and

iguanas are everywhere, but most courses — even those at many of the fanciest resorts — wind between rows of houses. That sense of isolation in nature you can find at so many Northwest tracks is a rare experience in the desert. The City of La Quinta’s SilverRock Resort, though, has natural scenery the likes of which we’ve never seen back home — real, live mountain goats. The shaggy, white locals wander down from the Santa Rosa Mountain peaks that abut the course’s western edge, wandering the fairways and nibbling on the rough. The first time you see one — sometimes so close you could touch them — it’s a startling surprise. By the end of your round, you glance at them like you would a deer at Mount Si. Closer to the Santa Rosas than anyone but the neighboring La Quinta Resort, SilverRock uses its dramatic backdrop to its advantage, with holes that play towards, away from and directly alongside the mountains. Numerous bunkers put a premium on iron play (as PGA TOUR players found out during the Bob Hope Classic


h, baby, this is the one you’ve been waiting for ... 12 rounds of golf at top Palm Springs-area courses, plus a stay at the fabulous LaQuinta Resort & Spa and PGA WEST — all for free! The winner, drawn at random from all entries submitted to, will receive lodging at LaQuinta Resort & Spa, plus: • Twosome to La Quinta Resort & Spa and PGA WEST • Twosome to Desert Willow • Twosome to The Golf Club at Terra Lago

• Twosome to SilverRock • Twosome to Classic Golf Club • Twosome to Indian Springs

Indian Springs Golf Club • Indio, Calif.

So what are you waiting for? Log on to to win your dream Palm Springs golf getaway! 46


from 2008-11), but so long as players don’t bite off more than they can chew, it’s not too hard to post a good number on this Arnold Palmer design. Play it in the evening to catch the mountain goats when they come out to eat and to see the mountains in their most dramatic light — you’ll also save significantly on the greens fee, which tops out at $170 on a weekend, but drops to just $40 two hours before sunset.

THE ADVENTURER ALIANTE GOLF CLUB North Las Vegas, Nev. 702-399-4888


ome tourists like to see the major sights, eat in all the most-Yelped restaurants, take pictures in front of all of the major landmarks, and generally do all the things one is “supposed” to do when visiting a certain location. Others, though, prefer to go in without a plan, talk to the locals, and let the wind carry them where it may. If you’re the latter type of traveler, head north from The Strip and check out Aliante Golf Club. It’s not in the shadow of the Luxor (though it is adjacent to the Aliante Casino & Hotel), nor does it feature tee boxes shaped like playing cards, themed holes, night golf or any of the other unique traits that dominate most of the writing about golf in Las Vegas. It’s just a good golf course, run by friendly people, at a good price — just $73 at peak winter times. They’ll even you drive you from The Strip for an additional $20,

SilverRock Resort • La Quinta, Calif.

rent you a bag of shiny new sticks for an additional $25, or kick in a meal for an extra $15. That’s golf plus transportation, rental clubs or a meal, all for under $100 — on a Saturday in peak season. A Troon Golf facility (meaning even bigger savings for Troon Card holders), the course prides itself on a fast pace of play (the recommended “Time Par” is just four hours), welcoming staff and creative Gary Panks design that winds through and around a desert arroyo.

It’s fun, playable and sufficiently flexible to please groups with mixed abilities, with scenic mountain views and an “out-of-the-way” vibe. Any time we see a course that has been named “Best New,” “Top-10,” “Most Underrated,” “Best Value” and “Most Player-Friendly” in its region, we know we’re at the right place. So when all the other tourists zig, we recommend that you zag. That’s the only way to make a truly unique memory.





rom an outsider’s perspective, wintertime golf in Western Washington is a cold, wet experience, full of plugged lies, puddled bunkers and putts that kick up rooster tails the Miss Budweiser would envy. Actually ... that’s pretty much accurate. However, some of our local courses play almost the same in winter rain as they do in August sunshine. Courses built on sand drain better than those on dirt, while courses on exposed slopes will dry better than those engulfed by trees. To make it easy on you, we’ve picked out two of our favorites, then dialed up a full 18 of courses for you to target this winter. Even if it does turn out to be a wet one, these tracks will hold up better than the rest, and let you hit the ground running next spring.

Golf Club at Newcastle, China Creek • Newcastle


Golf Club at Newcastle (China Creek) NEWCASTLE

China Creek, and its sibling, Coal Creek, are perfect examples of the kind of course we talk about when looking for those winter golf opportunities. Tucked high on the Newcastle ridge overlooking Bellevue in the foreground, and downtown Seattle in the distance, they’re kept dry in the winter months by the slopes that send the water running downhill, and by the winds that blow steadily across the fairways and greens on the exposed areas of the ridge. They’re also courses that, while at the high end of the region’s greens fees in the summertime, drop right into the CG wheelhouse come winter. China Creek, in particular, is an excellent deal, topping out at $125 in summer, but dropping as low as $55 in winter, giving you the chance to save more than 50 percent on the peak greens fee, while not sacrificing much in terms of value given its excellent winter condition. Where Coal Creek starts off with one of the most-photographed tee shots in Washington — the downhill, par-5 first, with views that stretch seemingly from Everett to Tacoma — China Creek heads inland, paralleling the driving range before turning south into a maze of trees and home sites for most of its front nine. Besides the views, though, you’d be hard-pressed to find many differences between the holes themselves — Coal Creek is longer, with more bunkers, uphill approaches and uneven lies, but China offers plenty in the way of difficulty, particularly from its 6,102-yard blue tees or 6,632-yard gold tees. Numerous doglegs, particularly on the tighter front nine, force players to target certain sides of the fairway for the easiest approaches to the green, while Newcastle’s ever-present, British Open-style second cut of rough swallows up anything that strays too far 48


from the fairway. And for those who relish any chance to put a 2 on the scorecard, the par-71 China Creek replaces a par4 with a fifth par-3 — a pleasure, since each of China Creek’s par-3s offer something a little different. The downhill, 200-yard (blues) second requires a good long iron approach, while the 148-yard seventh and 144-yard ninth are both straight uphill, the latter backdropped by Newcastle’s iconic clubhouse. The 169yard 11th is all carry, with water from tee to green, while the 143-yard 15th lets you breathe a little easier. Our favorite holes are almost always driveable par-4s, and China Creek’s third is no exception. At 293 yards from the white tees and 322 from the blues, it’s a reach, but the steep downhill slope from tee to green puts eagle into play. Miss the green, and you may never find your ball, since the direct approach requires firing blind over the left side of the ridge towards the green below. Make it, though, and it’s a shot you’ll never forget. Of course, China’s 19th hole also makes it a favorite winter-weather choice. Sipping a whiskey or a glass of red wine at the Wooly Toad, with a roaring fireplace putting some color back in your fingers, it’s a taste of the good life — on a middle class budget.

YARDAGE (PAR) 4,782 - 6,632 (71) RATES $55-$80* TEL (425) 793-4653 WEB * See website for current rates

Cedars at Dungeness • Sequim



Located on the Strait of Juan de Fuca, just a few minutes outside Sequim, the Cedars at Dungeness is as famous for its dry conditions as for its crab-shaped bunker and seemingly ubiquitous commercials starring Husky football legend Sonny Sixkiller. Owned and operated by the Jamestown S’Klallam tribe, in conjunction with the (relatively) nearby 7 Cedars Casino, the course is not only Washington’s driest, but one of its most fun — and affordable — as well.

Mostly flat, but with a few slight elevation changes, it’s not the course design that will challenge you as much as it is the persistent wind that blows in off the strait. That wind can drastically alter your club selection in both directions, and requires a few holes to get used to. Among our favorites are the dogleg, par-5 third, featuring that crushed red rock “Ole Crabby” by the green, and the par-4 18th, with a right-to-left sloping fairway and a narrow, tree-lined approach to the green that requires perfect placement off the tee. At just over 6,000 yards from the whites and 6.500 from the blues, it’s a good match for any skill level — there are birdies (and, for long hitters, even some potential eagles) to be made, but with a rating of 70.2 and a slope of 125 from the back (blue) tees, it’s no pushover. And of course, one of its best features are its rates, just $30 on a weekend from December-February, and just $40 at peak times in the shoulder months of March and April. Paired with White Horse, that’s 36 holes of fantastic winter weather golf for under $70 — exactly the kind of winter golf “opportunity” of which we love to take advantage.

YARDAGE (PAR) 4,673- 6,529 (72) RATES $17-$30* TEL (360) 683-6344 WEB * See website for current rates

HIGH AND DRY The Links at Avalon • Burlington Capitol City Golf Course • Olympia Cedars at Dungeness • Sequim Chambers Bay • University Place Classic Golf Club • Spanaway Eaglemont Golf Club • Mount Vernon Gold Mountain Golf Club • Bremerton Golf Club at Newcastle • Newcastle Golf Club at Redmond Ridge • Redmond The Home Course • DuPont Legion Memorial Golf Course • Everett The Links at Hawks Prairie • Lacey Lipoma Firs • Puyallup Maplewood Golf Course • Renton Trophy Lake Golf Club • Port Orchard Washington National Golf Club • Auburn West Seattle Golf Course • Seattle White Horse Golf Club • Kingston








By Brian Beaky CG Editor

hen we play golf in the summer, we almost always seem to bolt out of there right after shaking hands on the 18th green. Sometimes it’s because we have another 18 to get to as part of a 36-hole day, or sometimes because we’re on the other side of the state and have to drive home, but for whatever reason, we don’t tend to stick around at the course much after the round. I think that, more than anything, it’s that when the sun’s out and the temperature is above 70, the last thing we want to do is sit inside a clubhouse bar. But when winter comes around? That’s a different story. This time of year, not only do we hit the clubhouse after almost every round, but I usually start thinking about that belly-warming, mind-soothing beverage sometime around the 11th hole, huddled in my cart as the rain falls around me, wondering why I didn’t just call it quits at the turn. If you’re like us, the 19th hole is your favorite this time of year — it’s the easiest (and warmest, and driest) to play, and is the one hole guaranteed to satisfy. Here are a few of our favorite 19th holes in the Seattle area, and our drink of choice at each one:

The Wooly Toad

Clubhouse Restaurant & Bar

Chambers Bay Grill

The Wooly Toad isn’t a cool clubhouse lounge — it’s a cool lounge, full stop. Mahogany-lined cabinets and woodwork, complimentary billiards and the best view in all of golf (yes, even in the winter) make this one of our favorite places to bring out-oftown guests, or entertain clients.

There might not be a better menu item at any golf course in Western Washington than the Beecher’s Mac & Cheese at McCormick Woods. The portion size never looks huge when it’s placed in front of us, but halfway through, we can’t figure out how we’re going to clean our plate. With big-screen TVs and large windows looking out at the practice area, lake and gazebo, the Clubhouse is the perfect place to warm up after a winter round.

The Chambers Bay Grill isn’t fancy, but with a view like that, it doesn’t have to be. On a rainy winter day, I have frequently found myself sitting by the window at the Chambers Bay Grill, watching the sheets of rain make their way across the Sound toward the few, solitary golfers below, fearlessly battling the course and the elements. The power of nature, the beauty of golf as it was meant to be ... it’s as humbling and peaceful an experience as you’ll ever have.

BEVERAGE OF CHOICE: You’ve heard of a Hot Toddy, but have you ever heard of a Hot Shotty? Start with a warm mug of hot chocolate, then pour in some tequila, and top it off with a little whipped cream, cinnamon and chili powder. Yep, chili powder. You’ll warm up in no time.

BEVERAGE OF CHOICE: After 18 likely wet and almost certainly chilly holes, a cold drink just might not do the trick. On those most miserable of days, go for a straight-up Irish Coffee. We’re not talking coffee with a little bit of Bailey’s poured in. We’re talking whiskey, sugar, coffee and cream — just like Old Tom Morris might have sipped while crafting the links at Lahinich.

Golf Club at Newcastle | Newcastle

BEVERAGE OF CHOICE: A lounge this fancy is no place to order a Coors Light. If you want to look sophisticated, you have to be holding the right drink — might we recommend an Old Fashioned? Popular in the mid-20th century and revived by Mad Men’s Don Draper, the Old Fashioned requires time, effort and patience — qualities befitting your refined taste. Sip it slowly and let the bourbon, sugar, and citrus flavors mix together, before plucking the cherry from the bottom of your glass.


McCormick Woods | Port Orchard

Chambers Bay | University Place

Win a New Putter, Just In Time For The Holidays!

t’s probably been a while since Santa last left a surprise under your tree. Well, this year, we’re putting on the red suit and hat and giving one lucky reader their very own Rife putter! And you don’t even have to write us a letter, or leave us cookies and milk ... just log on to and enter to win today!



APRIL 2015