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VOLUME 5 •  ISSUE 1 • APRIL 2011 • COMPLIMENTARY

TAYLORMADE’S GREAT WHITES LEAD YEAR OF INNOVATION

NORTHWEST GOLF NEWS & VIEWS •  cascadegolfer.com

A BIG YEAR AHEAD FOR NW TOURING PROS WIN A BRITISH OPEN TRIP IN THE 2011 CG CUP GOLF INDUSTRY SPRINGS BACK — AND WHY YOU’RE THE KEY

Raising The Stakes

Northwest tribes put their chips on the table with new course, casino developments Circling Raven Golf Club • No. 8

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A LOOK

CASCADE

INSIDEGOLFER

Departments 6 PUBLISHER’S PITCH 8 SHORT GAME

• • • • •

New (low!) rates at Chambers Bay NCAA champ gets his Kikks Play the 2011 CG Cup Top juniors, seniors return in 2011 The swing trainer the pros all want

16 TOP SHELF

44 TRAVEL BAG

28

A GOOD BET Golf and gaming go hand-in-hand in the Northwest

• Swap rain for surf at Half Moon Bay

18 PUETZ IN THE BAG

46 SAVE SOME GREEN

• White hot sticks from the PGA Show • Youth movement in shoes

27 RISK VS REWARD

Features

• Mill Creek CC

• Port Ludlow – Tide No. 4

48 PRACTICE TEE 50 POSTGAME

38

• No time? No money? No problem

PUETZ GOLF SAVINGS! 6-7 | 26-30 | 53

TOUR TAKEOVER 2011 could be a record year for NW touring pros

THIS PAGE: The famous crab-shaped bunker snags balls by the third green at the Cedars at Dungeness in Sequim. STORY ON PAGE 28

ON THE cascadegolfer.com

COVER

The success of the Coeur d’Alene tribe’s Circling Raven Golf Club, at the CDA Casino Resort in Idaho (cdacasino.com/golf), has sparked an explosion of golf course development and acquisition by other Northwest tribes. STORY ON PAGE 28. Cover design by Robert Becker APRIL 2011

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Volume 5 •  Issue 1 •  APRIL 2011

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.

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

EDITORIAL STAFF

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

PUBLISHER’S PITCH

DICK STEPHENS

2011: The start of a new era in golf, here and everywhere

A

side from the privilege of owning and publishing this fine magazine and the Cascade Golfer Cup, Varsity Communications owns eight golf expos across the fruited plain in Portland, L.A., St. Louis, Hartford, Salt Lake City, the Bay Area (where we own both spring and fall shows) and a show we just took over in Kansas City. We are in and around golf a bunch at the grass-roots level, both here in Seattle and nationally. It’s a great job and our team is like a family in many ways. But, the reason I bring this up is that since January, I have felt a lifting feeling going on in golf, which I haven’t felt in over five years. The lift is gradual — not dramatic. But, lifting nonetheless. Starting with the PGA Show in Orlando, running through the five shows we produce and this issue of the magazine, we have heard from the industry that they sense it, too. The manufacturers, the apparel folks, the resorts, the high-end and value-focused courses are saying they predict 2011 will be better than 2010. This is HUGE news. Golf is an elective activity and — let’s face it – has to sometimes be tapered when belts get tighter at home. Golf is also like baseball as it’s part of the American fabric, which means it never goes away. It just

sometimes has to evolve and follow the growth trends. It kills me to see courses and golf-related businesses struggle, but the sport as a whole has done what it needed to bridge the economic twists and turns. And the grass roots are a reflection of golf’s mainstream — the PGA Tour, Golf Channel, the big magazines and what we hear and read in the media. In 2011, ratings on TV (CBS, NBC and GOLF) are all up — in some cases, nearly double. And, this is not on the back of Tiger Woods. It’s the sport and renewed interest in the game that is driving up ratings, viewership and early 2011 participation. Look at the younger players on TV like Rickie Fowler with their white drivers, bright clothing and swagger in their steps. They are ushering new hipsters into a game that needs youth and vitality. This will pay dividends for years to come. So, if anything you read here sticks and you use it to your advantage at the water cooler or in waiting-on-thefirst-tee chit-chat, remember this — golf is on the upswing again. Spread the word and support the game here in Puget Sound, and we will keep cranking out the news and views for y’all. TAKE IT EASY AND ENJOY THE GAME THIS SPRING.

ADVERTISING & MARKETING STAFF

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

ACCOUNTING STAFF

DIRECTOR OF FINANCE Bobbi Kramer ACCOUNTS PAYABLE & RECEIVABLE Pam Titland

PRINTING

Consolidated Press • Seattle, WA COPYRIGHT 2011 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

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APRIL 2011 2011

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Camaloch

SHORT GAME

Golf Course

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

Chambers Scores an Ace With New In-State Rates

Visit www.camalochgolf.com

for Special Discounts

www.camalochgolf.com 800-628-0469

S

ince it opened in 2007, every serious golfer in the state has wanted to play Chambers Bay. But until this year, not every golfer has necessarily been able to afford it. That’s about to change. In January, the celebrated course in University Place — which hosted last year’s U.S. Amateur and will host the U.S. Open in 2015, not to mention our season-opening Cascade Golfer Cup event in April — announced that it will offer a special lower rate in 2011 for residents of Washington state. That’s music to the ears of thousands of Washington state golfers who have been dying to play Chambers, but had their golf budgets slashed significantly by the recession that hit less than a year after the course’s celebrated opening. Marketing director Jamie Fay says that the change — which will see Washington state residents save up to 30 percent on non-resident fees at peak times of the year — is a direct effort to give more golfers in Washington state the chance to play Chambers Bay, named America’s “Best New Public Course” in 2007 and the “hottest municipal golf course on the planet” by Golf Digest that same year. All that press — and the USGA’s unprecedented decision to award the course a U.S. Open before it was even open for play — has helped to make Chambers Bay a magnet for tourists from around the world (a map in the van that ferries golfers down from the clubhouse to the first tee includes pins stuck into it by golfers from every continent besides Antarctica).

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Yet, even as international play has remained steady, the Pierce County-owned course has understood that its bread and butter is the Puget Sound daily fee golfer, first offering special rates to County residents in 2007. With its new state-resident rate structure for 2011 — Washington residents will pay $119 for an offseason weekday, and $139 on weekends (down from $145 and $165) in 2010, and $145/$165 during the peak JuneSeptember season (down from $205) — Chambers Bay hopes to brand the course as not just a part of the city or county identity, but as a point of pride for golfers statewide. The offer will also be extended to PNGA members from outside Washington state. In addition, the course is selling Annual Memberships for $2,400, giving golfers unlimited play, access to the practice facility and other benefits. That’s less than the membership fee and dues at most private courses, yet gives golfers unlimited access to a U.S. Open golf course — try getting that kind of deal at Pebble Beach any time soon. Which is all our way of saying that if you haven’t played it, now’s the time — not only is the course in the best condition it has been since it first opened in 2007, its new rates make it more affordable than ever. As you’re standing on the tee at the par-3 ninth, looking down at the entire golf course laid out below your feet, backdropped by a sun-streaked Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains, you’ll have that moment where you think, Wow, I actually live here. And with new in-state rates, now you can truly feel like you belong.

cascadegolfer.com


NCAA Champ Gets His Kikks

Pay for nine holes and Play 18 holeS

I

n 2005, James Lepp was on top of the collegiate golf world, having added his name to a list of NCAA men’s golf champions that includes top PGA pros like Ryan Moore, Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Justin Leonard and dozens of others. By 2008, he was done. “I was getting worse, which is not a good feeling,” Lepp told Golfweek in 2009, not long after deciding to end his professional career before it truly even started. “I started practicing less and my passion for the game nosedived.” By 2010, he was back. But not on the same side of the ropes. Throughout the last year of his professional career, Lepp became increasingly frustrated with the lack of golf shoes that, he says, “didn’t make me look like my Dad.” He started tinkering with his own designs, consulted the Internet to learn how to make spikes, recruited some childhood friends — who combined a similar passion for skating, surfing, and looking cool with marketing and business savvy — and made up some prototypes. Kikkor’s breakout shoe — the Eppik — has a classic West Coast feel, low-cut and laid back … something you’d be just as likely to see out at the club as on the golf course. Other designs share similar themes, maximizing the comfort and cool factor, while also offering a stable, durable shoe that can be worn in all conditions. “Young people want to have fun playing golf, and be able to express their personal style,” the 26-year-old says. “I kept waiting for someone to make a shoe like this, something that I would want to wear. Finally, I decided, if no one else was going to do it, I might as well.” Last fall, Lepp teamed up with his alma mater to sponsor

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the Husky Golf Invitational, earning some added exposure to media, fans, and most importantly, dozens of young and talented golfers who may one day make the transition from college to the Tour … while hopefully rocking a pair of Kikks. In January, Lepp bought a 10x20-foot booth at the PGA Merchandise Show and turned it into an ultra-cool golf lounge, with a back-lit bar, white bar stools, soda and Red Bull on tap and — of course — samples of Kikkor’s latest models on display. The booth was mobbed all week, and Lepp estimates he filled over 450 orders, while making countless other contacts in the golf industry. He’s also signed deals with major reps — including Puetz Golf — to sell his shoes in stores, and will be the official shoe of this summer’s Cascade Golfer Cup. Prices start at just $55 for the original Eppiks, and peak around $100 for the newest models — far cheaper than the similar lines being rolled out by some of the game’s big boys. Again, low prices are part of Kikkor’s mass appeal. Ultimately, Lepp says, “it’s about having fun. That’s what we’re all about.”

ENTER TO WIN A PAIR OF KIKKS!

Be the first of your friends to rock a pair of Kikks on the golf course — or out at the club. Log on to CascadeGolfer.com for your chance to win today!

Congratulations to the winners of December’s CASCADE GOLFER ENTER-TO-WINS! GolfTEC Swing Evaluation Marc Burnett • Bonney Lake

Rancho Las Palmas Stay and Play Jay Smith • Renton

Las Vegas Golf Getaway Zack Ketter • Kent

Palm Springs Weeklong Getaway David Low • Everett

cascadegolfer.com

TWO MORE CHANCES TO WIN THIS MONTH! Kikkor Golf Shoes | Page 9 PSP “Little One” Iron | Page 14

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SHORT GAME Cascade Golfer Cup is Back With New Courses, New Formats and a Trip to the 2012 British Open

Washington National Golf Club will host the Cascade Golfer Challenge at Washington National on May 21, where the winning team will receive a trip to Bandon Dunes.

I

n 2009, we sent our tournament champions to The Masters. Last year, we sent winning teams in our Cascade Golfer Cup events all around the country — to the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, to Bandon Dunes and Hawaii … even to the exclusive Callaway Golf Performance Center in Carlsbad, Calif., to be custom-fit for a new set of sticks. So the question floated around the offices of Cascade Golfer ­— where do we go from here? Tea and crumpets, anyone? That’s right — we’re sending one participating team from this year’s summer-long amateur tournament series, the Cascade Golfer Cup, on the dream golf vacation of a lifetime — a trip for two to the 2012 British Open, including airfare, transportation, lodging and passes to all four days of the 2012 Open Championship. Best of all? You don’t even have to play well to be sipping the Guinness at Royal Lytham. Every team that participates in this year’s Cascade Golfer Cup will be invited back to the year-end awards party at the Muckleshoot Casino, where one lucky team will be drawn to see their British Isles golf dreams come true. Of course, that’s just the icing on the cake. In addition to the British Open package, we’re giving away over $100,000 in prizes throughout the year, including stay-and-play packages to Bandon Dunes, Hawaii, Las Vegas, Reno-Tahoe, Central Oregon, the Bay Area, Palm

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Springs and others, plus golf clubs, rounds of golf to the top Northwest tracks and more. And that’s just the individual-event prizes — teams participating in any Cascade Golfer Cup tournament will accrue points towards the overall grand prize, the 2012 Summer Golf Package, featuring twosomes to 20 different Puget Sound courses — including all seven host venues. Think this all sounds great, but you’re not good enough to win? Yeah, us too. That’s why each tournament will be open to any golfer with an established handicap and will feature up to 64 two-person teams competing in a variety of net and gross formats, including Best Ball, Scramble, Chapman and Modified Stableford. Play YOUR best, and you could be walking away with the grand prize, whether you’re a 6 or a 16 (prizes will also be awarded for low gross scores) — now that’s a tournament for us. It all kicks off April 30 at Chambers Bay, where every participating team will receive a free round at Chambers just

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THE 2011 CASCADE GOLFER CUP, contact tournament coordinator Simon Dubiel at simon@cascadegolfer.com or (206) 367-2420, x1236, or visit cascadegolfer.com and click on the Cup.

for playing — meaning that before you even hit the first tee, you already have a sweet prize in your pocket … everything else is just gravy. Tournaments continue throughout the summer at Washington National (3rd annual Cascade Golfer Challenge, May 21), McCormick Woods (June 11), Suncadia’s new Rope Rider Course (Puetz Golf Shootout, July 23), White Horse (Aug. 13) and Gold Mountain’s Olympic Course (Michelob ULTRA Open, Sept. 10), followed by the season-ending Cascade Golfer Cup Championship at Druids Glen on Oct. 1. In fact, Suncadia is giving our players exclusive first look at their new track — the Puetz Golf Shootout at Rope Rider will be the first public tournament ever played on the course, one of the most anticipated in years in Western Washington, scheduled to open the following week. Prizes will be awarded to the top-15 net and top-5 gross teams, while numerous tee prizes and other awards will be handed out at an exclusive post-tournament awards party hosted by Michelob ULTRA. Also included in the cost of entry will be drinks on the course, a post-round meal at the Michelob ULTRA awards party and tickets to the yearend awards bash — and British Open drawing — at the Muckleshoot Casino. So play in just one, and go for those fantastic event prizes, or play in them all and shoot for a free summer of golf in 2012 — it’s up to you! cascadegolfer.com


SHORT GAME USGA, Champions Tour Return to NW in 2011 Gold Mountain Olympic Course• Gorst, Wash. Photo by Rob Perry

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e’ve known for years that the Puget Sound region has some of the best collections of golf courses in the country. Well, it seems like the rest of the country is finally taking notice, too. On the heels of a year in which our region hosted a U.S. Amateur Championship and a U.S. Senior Open — as well as the No. 1 event on the PGA Champions Tour, the Boeing Classic — the Puget Sound will yet again welcome the USGA for this summer’s U.S. Junior Amateur Championship at Gold Mountain’s Olympic Course, July 18-23. What’s more, it’s worth noting that two of those four events — the Junior Amateur and last year’s Amateur at

Chambers Bay — were held on daily-fee courses, too. Not only do we have some of the best tracks around, but you don’t have to have a six-figure bank account to play them. The U.S. Junior Amateur will draw the top junior golfers from across the country (to qualify, golfers must be under 18 and have a handicap no higher than 6.4), and will give Northwest golf fans the chance to have that “I saw them when” moment — past champions include Tiger Woods, David Duval, Hunter Mahan and Johnny Miller, the latter of whom will be the featured speaker at the players’ dinner prior to the tournament. This isn’t the first time the USGA has smiled on Gold

Mountain ­ — the Olympic Course, which will host the penultimate Cascade Golfer Cup tournament of the year in September, also hosted the U.S. Public Links Championship in 2006, and is in the regular rotation for collegiate tournaments and championships. Gold Mountain isn’t the only local course or tournament making national news, either. Over the winter, the PGA Champions Tour named our Boeing Classic at TPC Snoqualmie Ridge the No. 1 event on Tour, as recognized by the awarding of the prestigious President’s Award. The 2010 event, which had to compete with the U.S. Amateur and U.S. Senior Open in the same month, proved

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W Boeing Classic tournament director Michelle DeLancy accepts the 2010 President’s Award, given to the event voted best on the PGA Champions Tour.

once again to be a blast for local golf fans, who were able to get right up close to some of the game’s legends, including reigning Senior Open champ Bernhard Langer, Tom Kite and, making his Boeing Classic debut, our very own Boom-Boom. This year’s event, which has raised over $3.2 million for charities in the last six years, returns to Snoqualmie Aug. 22-28. Annual visits from the USGA, heaps of praise from the Champions Tour … it’s high time that the Puget Sound region finally gets its turn in the spotlight. Now it’s up to us to make the most of it. To volunteer, or for schedules, tickets or other information, visit usjunioram.org and boeingclassic.com.

cascadegolfer.com

APRIL 2011

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SHORT GAME Little One Has BIG IMPACT

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endall Thomas sticks the club into my hand and tells me to go hit a few on the range. I laugh; this has to be a joke. You want me to go hit a ball with that? “That” is “The Little One,” a training club from PSP Golf featuring a full-length shaft with a miniature head just large enough for a golf ball. When you first hold it, the concept of making solid contact with a club that’s just a fraction larger than your ballmark repair tool seems impossible. But then you start grooving a few and you realize … it’s not as hard as it looks. Which begs the question, Why do I have so much trouble hitting my full-size irons? It’s all in the brain, says the club’s creator, Dan Bonomo. The human brain adapts to the perceived difficulty of a task — train the brain to hit a more precise area, the thinking goes, and it will adjust. Then, when you return to using a regular-sized club, the task will seem easy by comparison — you’ll be more relaxed and confident, and your swing (using the muscle memory supplied by drilling the trainer) will be more consistent. Golfers who have trained on the Little One have noted a half-club improvement in their iron distance — indeed, PSP says 25 of the world’s top-60 players are using the club, including past Masters champions Vijay Singh and Angel Cabrera. In fact, Cabrera has reportedly inquired about distributing the club in South America. At the Portland Golf Show in February, Thomas’ booth was mobbed throughout the weekend — not only by attendees, but by many of the club pros and manufacturers’ representatives exhibiting at the show, with many interested in purchasing “Little Ones” for lessons or sale in stores and pro shops. “It smoothes out a golf swing and makes it consistent and on a plane,” says Tour veteran Greg Powers, who helps rep the club. “It develops precision and a sense of consistency.” Check it out at pspgolf.net and let us know what you think. If you like it, log on to cascadegolfer.com and win one for yourself!

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cascadegolfer.com


TOP SHELF

A glimpse of the good life — with a CG twist

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n our four years of publishing Cascade Golfer, we haven’t written much about private courses. It’s not that we have anything against private golf courses — in fact, some of our favorite Northwest tracks, including TPC Snoqualmie Ridge and Sahalee, are members-only. It’s just that for the most part, the large majority of our readers will never have the chance to play them — it’s like dangling a piece of candy in front of a child’s face, then yanking it away. As far as those players are concerned, we might as well be writing about a golf course on the moon. Over the last two years, though, things have changed.

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The shifting economy has forced many private clubs to rethink the way they do business. Several are now offering lower initiation fees, lower monthly dues, increased benefits and — of most interest to those of us who have always wanted to “see behind the curtain” — some have even begun to allow a limited amount of daily-fee play, all in an effort to bring more golfers to the course. One such club is Mill Creek Country Club. Designed in 1976 by famed architect Ted Robinson (you might have heard of his other major Northwest effort, Sahalee Country Club), Mill Creek has everything that defines a Northwest

Mill Creek Country Club • No. 9

track — towering pines that crowd the fairways and greens, numerous natural water features that challenge the best shotmakers, and beautiful natural scenery that reminds you just how lucky we are to live here. Much like at Sahalee, there isn’t much rough beyond the edges of the fairways — just those tall, long-limbed pines that, you can only hope, send your wayward drives back into the fairway. It’s sort of like bowling with bumpers — you’ll never find yourself playing a shot from another hole, but that doesn’t mean your bad shots won’t go unpunished. For all the trouble the longer holes can cause a wild swinger, the par-3s are where the real action is — all offer various forms of treachery, from a green encircled by nearly 300 degrees of trees at No. 2, to an all-water carry at No. 9, to a steep downslope at No. 14, to a long, narrow approach at No. 16. Sahalee may get most of the publicity, but Mill Creek is every bit the challenge … and every bit as fun. It’s hosted U.S. Open qualifying, U.S. Amateur qualifying and numerous state and national association championships. And starting this year, it’s become easier than ever for golfers like us to trod its fairways without having to take out a second mortgage on the house. Initiation fees have dropped as low as $1,000 on Discovery Golf memberships, which feature monthly dues as low as $405 ($435 for families) and allow golfers unlimited use of the golf, tennis and social facilities, including the high-class clubhouse, dining and banquet facilities. The club also offers a Junior Executive Golf Membership to applicants aged 23-39, with an initiation fee of $1,000 and monthly dues starting as low as $215 ($230 for families). At the lowest rate, play it just once a week (the minimum played by most members), and you’re looking at just $68/ round, not to mention all the social and other benefits (plus, with the Junior Executive Membership, an equity stake in the club). If you’ve ever considered a country club membership — or are just tired of waiting around on crowded and underfunded municipal courses, or rising peak season rates at your favorite tracks — give Mill Creek head pro Jon Larson a call at (425) 743-1444. There’s never been a better time to make the jump from daily fee to private courses, and unlike the hunt for your wayward drive amidst the tree trunks at Mill Creek, this economy won’t last forever. cascadegolfer.com


IN THE BAG REVIEWS

Product

BROUGHT TO YOU BY PUETZ GOLF SUPERSTORES

and equipment news you can use

GUESS WHO’S BACK?

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BY BRIAN BEAKY CG EDITOR

eports of golf’s demise have been greatly exaggerated. For much of the last three years, the golf industry has fought to adapt to the changing global economy, with courses cutting rates to lows not seen since the 20th century, and retailers and manufacturers slashing club prices, increasing loyalty rewards — even making 2-for-1 offers in an effort to encourage golfers to invest in new sticks. While it’s been a fantastic time to be a golfer, as courses and retailers go to historic lengths to earn your business, it’s been tricky for the industry’s bottom line, leading some to speculate – can golf survive? The record crowds and excitement at January’s PGA Merchandise Show – and the unique clubs and other products being rolled out for 2011 – seem to indicate that not only will the golf industry make it through this challenging period, it’s going to be better for it. The ongoing competition among courses, retailers and manufacturers for a dwindling pool of recreational income has forced golf courses to find creative ways to appeal to local consumers (some of which you can read about in this month’s “Postgame” section on page 54) and spurred an era of technological innovation in golf club manufacturing unlike any we’ve ever seen before. This year’s hottest new sticks at the PGA show – the TaylorMade R11 and Titleist 910, both of which we feature this month – take customization to the next level. Adjustable shafts, hosels, clubheads – truly, it’s like being your own clubfitter. Oh, and they happen to hit the ball a mile, too. Ultimately, those of us who love the game simply want to golf. And it’s that – not the courses, retailers or manufacturers – which has kept the game strong and growing for more than a century. If our jobs and families limit us to just three hours of free time on the weekend, we’ll play nine, or hit the range. If we can’t afford that high-end course, we’ll find the values amongst the middlerange tracks. If we don’t have the cash to spend on that brand-new driver out of the box, we’ll wait until the big sale at our local retailer, or buy last year’s model at a reduced price. The game will survive because no matter how many times that birdie putt lips out, or that tee shot plunks into the water, we just can’t help ourselves – we love to golf, and it’s going to take a lot more than a recession to keep us off the tee.

CONGRATULATIONS to Puetz Golf clubfitter

RYAN CHRISTENSON, NAMED PING’S REGIONAL CLUBFITTER OF THE YEAR! Check him out at the Puetz Seattle store and range! 18

APRIL 2011

TaylorMade R11 PUETZ GOLF PRICE $399.95

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ithout question, much of the buzz and optimism at this year’s 2011 PGA Merchandise Show centered on the never-before-seen crowds packed around the hitting stalls at TaylorMade to see the club manufacturer’s new white drivers — that’s right, white. However, while they came to gawk at the clubs, that same crowd left talking less about the clubs’ unconventional color than their performance. TaylorMade’s new R11 — one of two white drivers being released by the company this year, including the Burner SuperFast 2.0 — is quite simply the most customizable driver ever made. Whereas the r7 and R9 models gave golfers the ability to adjust shafts, weights or face angles, the R11 does all three, and adds the ability to adjust loft as well — in all, giving golfers 48 different possible combinations of loft, face angle and draw/fade bias. Whether you fit it yourself, or have it fit for you, there has quite literally never before been a club that can be as specifically fit to maximize your swing. Those who tested it at the PGA Show reported an average six-yard increase in distance without any loss in the forgiveness that has made TaylorMade drivers so popular among golfers of all skill levels in the last five years. And about that color? Designers say the white clubhead contrasts with the black face to make it easier to properly align the club, while the color also reduces glare at address.

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IN THE BAG Titleist 910 Line PUETZ GOLF PRICE Drivers $399.95, Fwds $249.95, Hybrids $229.95

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Cleveland Launcher Ultralite Series

PUETZ GOLF PRICE $299.95

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n recent years, as club manufacturers looked to up the ante in the ongoing technology war, much of the focus has been on weight — creating drivers that are lighter, and thus faster, than any before to help golfers maximize distance. However, lightest is not always best — a golfer with a fast swing speed may not need the lightest driver, but instead prefer one that offers other benefits like workability. Enter Cleveland. In 2011, Cleveland became the first manufacturer to begin fitting golfers not for shaft length, draw bias, or other well-covered subjects — but for weight. Cleveland’s “Right Weight Fitting System” considers factors like swing type and performance goals to determine which of its three new ultra-light drivers — the TL 310, SL 290 or XL 270, each of whom’s name is specific to its weight in grams — is right for you. The XL 270 is the lightest of the three — indeed, one of the lightest ever made — and is perfect for a golfer with a slower swing speed or one looking to maximize distance. The TL 310 is the heaviest by comparison only (it’s still 25 grams lighter than the average Tour driver) and is the most workable of the three — good for a hard-swinging low handicapper who prefers shot-shaping ability over pure juice. The SL 290 is the compromise — increasing speed distance over the TL 310, without sacrificing as much playability as the all-heat XL 270.

hile many of the game’s biggest manufacturers have been rolling out new drivers and iron sets every year — some even multiple times per year — Titleist has been largely quiet since its 909 line hit stores in the fall of 2008, pouring research and development cash into its Scotty Cameron line of putters and Vokey wedges. Rather than try to cash in by flooding the market with “new” clubs that can be sold for a higher price (but are really just slight variations of previous models), Titleist’s designers have instead been incorporating the many technological advances of the last few years — adjustable faces and clubheads, high-MOI advances, etc. — into one do-it-all club that would mark a significant leap from the popular 909s. Enter the 910 line, including two drivers, two fairway metals and a set of hybrids targeted at low- and high-handicappers alike. Better players will appreciate the 910 D3 driver, which produces a low loft and spin for maximum workability, and a dual-angle SureFit hosel that allows the golfer to adjust the loft angle, lie angle, or both. Mid-to-high handicappers, meanwhile, will go for the 910 D2, which features a slightly larger clubhead and a higher launch angle, resulting in greater forgiveness and easier-to-hit drives. The line also includes a maximumforgiveness fairway metal, the 910F, and the 910F-d for more accomplished players, as well as a full set of hybrids (the 910H) for players of all skill levels who’d prefer a little help knocking it long and straight with the long irons.

TaylorMade Burner SuperFast 2.0 PUETZ GOLF PRICE $299.95

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he R11 wasn’t the only white driver turning heads at the PGA Show. What TaylorMade’s R11 offers in customization, TaylorMade’s Burner SuperFast 2.0 offers in speed. Last year’s SuperFast was the lightest, and had the largest face, of any driver TaylorMade has ever created. This year’s second-generation upgrade is lighter — at 279 grams, one of the lightest on the market — and has an even larger face and lower center of gravity, making it easier for you to let it rip without fear of missing the sweet spot. That’s important to those of us who would love to ramp up our swing speeds to add a little extra distance, but not at the cost of what little accuracy we have. With the SuperFast 2.0, TaylorMade clearly understands what those of us midhandicappers already know — an extra five yards (10-15 if you hit it on the sweet spot) is great if your ball is soaring down the fairway, but not if it means you have to climb five yards deeper into the woods to find your ball.

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APRIL 2011

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IN THE BAG Odyssey D.A.R.T. Putters PUETZ GOLF PRICE $179.95

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ot since the PING Anser, with its offset hosel and cavity-back design, has a putter exploded on the market like Odyssey’s 2-ball did upon its debut in 2001. Within a few years, it seemed like nearly every golfer either played a 2-ball or had at least tried one, while the major manufacturers incorporated their own forms of radical alignment aids to try and keep up. Ten years after the 2-ball changed the way putters were made — and having undergone 35 iterations of its own in that span — Odyssey is once again changing the way alignment is done with its new Direction and Realignment Technology (D.A.R.T.), which takes advantage of the brain’s natural ability to complete images and patterns to help golfers properly align the putter to the ball, and to the intended path of the putt. Available in various forms — including blade and the popular Backstryke style — the D.A.R.T. putters also incorporate Odyssey’s most recent “big idea,” the White Ice insert, that promotes a smoother and more consistent roll.

PING Scottsdale Putters PUETZ GOLF PRICE Starting at $127.95

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t’s been 50 years since Karsten Solheim first got his PING putters into the hands of touring pros, launching a half-century of innovation that has turned putters from an afterthought in the manufacturing world to perhaps the most talked-about and re-designed club in the bag — and the one, along with drivers, that golfers are most likely to swap out on a frequent basis in an attempt to find the perfect match. As its competitors continue to ramp up their development, PING is once again dominating the marketplace this spring with no fewer than 14 new additions in its Scottsdale line, a tribute to those old PING Scottsdale Ansers. Each incorporates a variety of alignment aids, and a thermoplastic-elastomer insert (say that three times fast) that produces a soft sound but a quick, smooth roll on contact. With so many models to choose from, there are options for traditionalists and innovators alike — we favored the Pickemup (top right) which not only offers multiple alignment aids and a forward-set shaft that keeps your hands ahead of the ball for a level swing, but also doubles as a ball scooper.

Bag Boy Quad Push Cart PUETZ GOLF PRICE $199.95

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nyone who has ever had a push cart has, at some point, grown tired of always having to tip up the front wheel in order to take a sharp turn, or had their bag blown over by a strong wind, a fellow golfer or a wayward bump, only to see your clubs go spilling out across the turf. At Bag Boy, they’ve finally had enough. This year, the company released its first-ever four-wheel push cart, which they promise offers increased stability and mobility over a traditional three-wheel cart, not to mention an easier, two-step folding process. While we haven’t had the chance to take one out on the course, we found the adjustable handle to be a nice feature (it can be set at a range of heights to match your preference), as well as the bicycle-style parking brake that thwarts another common push cart issue — that is, your bag rolling away as you’re trying to focus on that all-important birdie putt. In a year where we’re hoping to get out and walk more, an easy-to-use push cart is the perfect addition to the bag for 2011.

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The Quad’s four wheels Increase stability and mobility, while an easy two-step folding process saves time and effort.

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YOUTH MOVEMENT

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he kids are taking over. No, I’m not referring to future President and First Lady Justin Bieber and Miley Cyrus — and if you don’t know who those people are, ask your kids (or, on second thought, just be glad). I’m talking about golf. As the Gen-X crew gradually takes over the PGA Tour, so are the major apparel manufacturers starting to design products that appeal to their cutting-edge tastes. One of the most visible changes in recent years has been in golf shoes, where stiff-sided, thin-laced (and often uncomfortable) shoes of the past are out, while soft, athletic-looking sneaker-style shoes — often in an

IN THE BAG

array of colors our fathers and grandfathers would have scoffed at — are most definitely in. And it’s not just the young guys, either — future Hall of Famer Fred Couples did his part to spur the explosion of modern, soft-sided shoes last year by wearing a pair of stylish Ecco Premiers throughout the season, prompting golfers of all ages to take notice. This year, more than a dozen major shoe manufacturers — including many making their first bold foray into the golf market — are riding the new wave with new golf shoes that focus just as much on form as function. Here’s a few of our favorites.

NIKE Air Rate

PUMA Cell Fusion

Incredibly lightweight and breathable, the Nike Air Rate is Nike’s best golf shoe yet – be sure to try them on, as sizes aren’t always consistent.

One of the athletic shoe company’s first forays into golf, featuring a sleek profile and removable Smart Quill spikes for all-day wear. The current favorite of fashion trend-setter Rickie Fowler.

ECCO BIOM For the follow-up to Boom-Boom’s Street Premiers, ECCO testers scanned 2,500 feet to create a design that provides stability, performance and comfort. Made from Tibetan Yak leather, three times stronger than other leathers.

ASICS GEL-Ace Longtime running-shoe leaders bring their talents to golf, adding extra support in the heel and arch to a waterproof, comfortable – and undeniably cool – shoe. Sizes run longer than Asics running shoes, so check the fit.

TRUE Linkswear

ADIDAS adiPURE NUOVO

Worn on Tour by Ryan Moore, an extremely thin sole and the replacement of spikes with “Ergo-Traction” tread brings your foot closer to the turf for added stability. So thin it’s almost like playing barefoot – if your feet were waterproof.

The most comfortable shoes yet from adidas, with waterproof leather lining, the company’s patented ThiNTech cleats and an abrasion-resistant material that increases the shoes’ lifespan.

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APRIL 2011

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APRIL 2011

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RISK vs. REWARD Port Ludlow Golf Club —Tide Course Hole No. 4 • Par 5 • 465 Yards (Blue Tees)

The Setup: At just 465 yards from the blue tees, this hole dares even the hitters of average length while still challenging those with superb accuracy. Although the tee shot appears straightforward, one must find the fairway to avoid a dramatic sidehill lie that will push all approach shots to the pond on the left side of the fairway. A creek and bunker will swallow anything left and short, while the green has a dramatic front-to-back, leftto-right slope. Two-putts are at a premium.

The Risk: Sidehill lies, two water hazards, greenside bunker, trees … what more of a challenge can a hacker ask for in a short par-5? If you are able to negotiate the tee shot, leaving yourself a flat lie and a proper angle, you’ll have to be confident in the accuracy of your long irons or fairway woods — a lack of power will leave your dropping your third behind the stream with only an outside chance at making par, while misses to either side will have you playing out of the bunker – or the woods. And with

By Simon Dubiel

GD=19

a tough, sloped green, even just being on the surface doesn’t guarantee a two-putt. 2 1

The Reward: A good drive should only leave you a tad more than 200 yards for your approach. Although wedge/wedge might have a nice ring to it on most holes, it’s not likely going to leave you with an easy birdie putt on this tricky green. As long as you can clear the stream, you should leave yourself no worse than an up-and-down for a circle. As the great Sam Snead once said, “Of all the hazards, fear is the worst.”

Final Call: Anything from 225 and in screams “green light,” and that is what a decent drive should leave you here. Solid contact should get you near the dance floor and we all know that is where the action is. Sometimes, you just need to have some heart and put your money on the line. Besides, you miss every shot you don’t take, so let’s fire away.

113 I-174 2-204

Stump to Creek I-194 2-225

Edge of Lake 245 Bk 220 Bl 189 W 140 G

225 Bk 199 Bl 168 W 119 G

490 465 434 385

PRESENTED BY

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A

GOOD

BET While many regions nationwide see courses closing, the Northwest benefits from a wave of investments from its earliest residents

7 Cedars Casino • Sequim, Wash.

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Golfers in the Northwest are fortunate to have easy access to a handful of world-class courses owned by American Indian tribes. But to many people, these facilities mean more than just having a place to play the game. BY TONY DEAR

James Samuels didn’t know what to expect when the Coeur d’Alene Tribe broke ground on its very own golf course some time in 2001. Samuels was a manager at the small bingo operation the tribe had set up in 1993 in a non-descript aluminum shed just north of Worley, Idaho, and would drive to work along what was then Highway 95. As the layout slowly took shape, Samuels remembers driving down the road, wondering where exactly the course was. “I didn’t really know what or where it was going to be,” he says now, seven-and-a-half years after the

opening of Circling Raven, the most widely-acclaimed of the handful of courses owned by Northwest tribes which have invested heavily in golf as a companion to their successful casinos and resorts. The addition of tribal-owned golf courses to the Northwest landscape — including Circling Raven, White Horse, The Cedars at Dungeness, Wildhorse and the all-new Salish Cliffs, opening this year – has undoubtedly resulted in a win-win-win situation for the tribes, the surrounding communities, and of course, golfers themselves.

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he tribe benefits financially by adding a quality attraction to its list of amenities, which helps attract gamers to their casinos, while tribe members themselves benefit from having a far greater opportunity to try the game, reduced green fees, exclusive tournaments and clinics, and an elevated standing in the community that comes from being associated with a great course. The surrounding communities benefit, as Native Americans have an innate desire to protect and nurture the land and therefore tend to be more conscious of their impact on the environment. And golfers get to play topranked, well-conditioned layouts at very reasonable rates. Visitors to White Horse, in Kingston, will pay no more than $49 this year, while it’s just $44 at the weekend in summer at Sequim’s Cedars at Dungeness, and just $34 at the John Steidel-designed Wildhorse, part of the Wildhorse Resort & Casino in Pendleton, Ore. No decision has been made yet on what the Salish Cliffs green fee will be, but word is it will be ‘affordable’. And the peak rate at Circling Raven, a Golf Magazine Top 100 Course You Can Play (No. 92 in the latest list) is still just $95.

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had read about courses with nine holes going out from the clubhouse, and nine coming back to it, so I expected there to be a string of holes running alongside

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Circling Raven Golf Club • Worley, Idaho

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the highway,” Samuels recalls of those morning drives past the land that would become Circling Raven. “But I could only see two or three. I had no idea where Gene was putting them all.” ‘Gene’ is of course Gene Bates, the man who beat out several better-known course architects to build 18 holes adjoining the CDA Casino Resort Hotel, opened in 1998 and now just a few weeks away from unveiling its seventh expansion, an $85 million development that no one but a Tribal-owned casino resort would have even considered building in this economy. The Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.-based designer was the only one to suggest putting the course on the north side of the highway, a plan that would involve tricky navigation of wetlands and the BNSF railroad track. “When we eventually got to tour the course, I couldn’t believe what an incredible job Gene had done with the routing,” says Samuels. “During my fourth or fifth round, I was standing on the 12th tee when it hit me how amazing the course was. I mean, I obviously knew the land was beautiful, but the course just brought it to life somehow. It fit into the landscape so perfectly.” Samuels speaks about Circling Raven with a reverence so profound and so earnest, it’s easy to see just how much the place means to him. Eager to somehow be involved in the project, he put in for a transfer and moved into the pro shop, starting the day the course opened in the summer of 2003. He is now Circling Raven’s Guest Services Coordinator, taking care of visitors before and after their round, managing the cart fleet and operating the range. Under him is a staff of eight to 17 (depending on the time of year), a few of them young adults who started playing the game during one of the junior camps Samuels provided for tribal youth. For Samuels, these camps are every bit as important as the course itself. “Having our own course has enabled many tribal members to start playing golf,” he says. “And juniors now have a chance to play a game they might not otherwise have had. Not every member plays, but all of them know about Circling Raven. It has had an enormously positive impact on our tribe. We all take a lot of pride in the course.”

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rnie Stensgar was Chairman of the Coeur d’Alenes at the time the notion of building a course was first mentioned. It wasn’t his decision alone to hire Bates and create Circling Raven, but he certainly was a big part of the process and was keen that the CDA build its own layout, having seen several other tribes with successful golf operations. “I remember visiting Kah-Nee-Ta in Oregon and feeling jealous with what the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs had there,” he says. “And I liked what I saw at a few of the Arizona Pueblos too. I knew we had an ideal property for something similar, if not better.” It seems a little whimsical at first, but Stensgar makes a convincing link between a golfer’s character and that of an American Indian.

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GAME ON There’s no reason that golf and gaming have to be kept separate — after all, taking the casino’s money is great, but taking your buddy’s is a lot more fun. Here are some of our favorite ways add some juice to our games:

Circling Raven, above, kicked off a decade of golf investment from Northwest indian tribes when it was built in 2007 as an amenity to the Coeur d’Alene Casino Resort (right) in Worley, Idaho.

SKIN POKER

Don’t worry — we’re keeping our clothes on. In Skin Poker, every hole is worth a skin. At the end of the round, players are dealt cards from a deck – one card per skin each player earned. The best poker hand wins the pot. There’s nothing better than winning only three skins, then laughing as you flip over three aces to take the cash.

“It’s probably true of most tribes, but the Coeur d’Alenes love golf,” he says, noting that the Tribe has hosted a tournament for American Indians since the 1960s. “The very nature of golf appeals to us. The opportunity to build a course that possesses so much beauty and spend time so close to nature was important, but really we just love the spirit of the game. Every golfer needs a little bit of the warrior in him. Plus integrity, courage, honesty, pride.”

ACEY DEUCEY One of my favorites for a group of four. The low scorer on each hole wins a predetermined amount from each of the other three; while the high scorer on each hole owes each of the other three.

T

here’s that word again — “pride.” It comes up time and time again when the Native American Community speaks about its golf courses, especially those built by the tribes themselves. Another tribal original, and another Gene Bates design, is Salish Cliffs, which will eventually open sometime later this year. The Squaxin Island Tribe, which owns and operates the Little Creek Casino Resort in Shelton, faced bleak economic conditions and had to consider the massive expansion it had planned for its own resort before plowing ahead with construction of the course. But the Tribal Council, and Executive Director Ray Peters in particular, were determined to see it open. “The Coeur d’Alene Tribe was just a wonderful, exuberant client and the same is true of the Squaxin Island Tribe,” Bates told IndianGaming.com in May of last year. “They’ve been so encouraging. They don’t want to take any shortcuts.” David Kass, the course’s newly appointed head professional, arrived in February from Florida and is naturally excited about the upcoming opening and working with a tribe for the first time in his career. “I’ve been so impressed with Mr. Peters and the rest

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ADD ‘EM UP

of the Council’s commitment and passion,” he says. “They really want Salish Cliffs to be as good as it can possibly be, not just because they want it to succeed financially, but so that it reflects well on the tribe, too.” If Salish Cliffs turns out even half as well as Circling Raven, then Washington golfers will have another topclass venue at which to combine a passion for golf and gaming – or just enjoy their favorite sport. Two such courses which may not have been built with American Indian funding, but which will surely flourish now that tribal dollars are not only propping them up but lining up to enhance what’s already there can be found on the Kitsap Peninsula – each with a tribal casino just a few minutes away. The Cedars at Dungeness, once just Dungeness, was bought by the 7Cedars Casino — which is in turn owned by the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe — in December 2006. Since taking over, CEO Jerry Allen estimates the new owners have made an investment of roughly $2 million into the Sequim course, delivering a new GPS-enabled

An easy game to understand, play and most importantly for those of us not mathematically inclined — an easy one to tally up after a long day of golfing and, er, consuming beverages. Each player starts with a set amount of points equal to their handicap. Players can play alone, or be matched up to create roughly even teams by total handicap. Players then receive one point per bogey, two per par, four per birdie and eight per eagle. Negative points can also be given for triple bogeys or worse. The player, or team, with the most points at the end of the round wins.

BRIDGE A game that asks not, “How good are you?” but rather “How good do you think you are?” Before each hole, one of the players (if a twosome) or teams (if a foursome) bids the number of total/combined strokes it will take them to complete the hole. The other player or team then has three options — bid lower, accept the bid and challenge the bidding team to make it, or – if they think the bidding team has grossly underestimated – double the stakes. Every hole is worth a set dollar amount, and the teams rotate bidding every hole. APRIL 2011

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White Horse Golf Club • Kingston, Wash.

cart fleet and rebuilding cart paths. The spiritual bond between course and owner may not be quite as strong here as it is at Circling Raven, but rest assured the Jamestown S’Klallam will use the amenity not only to attract business to its resort casino but also to provide tribal members with learning and employment opportunities. “We offer free golf to elders as well as reduced rates, clinics, camps and various programs to tribal members both young and old,” says Allen, who adds that the Jamestown S’Klallam had been considering a move into the golf destination industry for some time prior to buying Dungeness, and is still considering building its own course.

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“We always knew a golf course would be a welcome and necessary addition to our resort to attract visitors from across Puget Sound. The relationship between the tribe, casino and golf course is extremely positive, so much so we are still looking into the possibility of developing a course at Diamond Point.”

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imilarly good vibes circulate between the Clearwater Casino Resort, the Suquamish Tribe that owns it, and the White Horse Golf Club, which the Suquamish added to its many assets in February 2010 — despite having been vehemently opposed to the course’s

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development in the mid-1990s, when businessman Bob Screen drafted the first proposals. “The addition of a course to our casino and waterfront hotel property was a perfect fit for us,” says Russell Steele, the CEO of Port Madison Enterprises, the tribe’s business arm. “It completes the destination resort experience for our guests.” All this is music to Bruce Christy’s ears. The Director of Golf from day one, Christy had begun his time at White Horse thinking, with some justification, that he had reached the promised land. When the economy turned sour in 2009 and White Horse appeared on the brink of closing (CG, June 2010), Christy could have jumped ship but instead stuck it out, enduring the dark days in the belief that White Horse would one day reach its potential and become the nationally, even internationally-acclaimed venue he knew it could be. By the time the Suquamish came on board, Christy had already worked with members of the tribe for three years, helping to set up stay-and-play packages at the Clearwater. He’d found them very easy to do business with. “I had a wonderful working relationship already in place with the tribe,” he says. “I couldn’t have been more thrilled when it became clear they would indeed become the new owners.” Christy is now White Horse’s head professional and general manager, his main role acting as a bridge

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Cedars at Dungeness • Sequim, Wash.

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OTHER GREAT PARLAYS Of course, not every great casino is officially paired with a great course. Here are a few other casinos that make a winning parlay with one or more Western Washington courses:

MUCKLESHOOT CASINO AUBURN PARLAY IT WITH: Auburn Golf Course, Druids Glen, Washington National Located in Auburn, just five miles east of I-5, the Muckleshoot is the most accessible of the Puget Sound region’s major tribal casinos, and offers players’ card values and other promotions that reward loyalty. It’s also a fun choice for banquets and events – like our very own year-end Cascade Golfer Cup Awards Banquet – and a perfect post-round gathering spot after hitting the links at any of the Auburn area’s numerous top tracks.

SILVER REEF HOTEL & CASINO FERNDALE PARLAY IT WITH: Semiahmoo, Homestead Farms, North Bellingham Located in Ferndale, right between the major golf centers of Blaine (Homestead Farms, Semiahmoo, Loomis Trail) and Bellingham (North Bellingham, Sudden Valley, Lake Padden), the Silver Reef is a perfect place from which to set out each morning to hit Whatcom County’s top-class links. Then come back in time for dinner in the Red River Café, Pizzanini or The Steak House at Silver Reef, before catching a show or hitting the tables.

Salish Cliffs Golf Club • Shelton, Wash.

between the tribe and Texas-based Touchstone Golf, which manages the course. “The tribe has been very supportive of all our efforts,” says Christy. “They are committed to this undertaking for the long haul and want their course to stand out for both the quality of the customer experience and for having superior playing conditions.” Christy adds the tribe obviously takes a great deal of — you’ve guessed it — pride, in their course. As at The Cedars at Dungeness, White Horse certainly won’t be lying fallow now that an organization with robust finances has taken over. A clubhouse is very much part of the future plans and Tacoma-based architect John Harbottle is currently involved in softening the course, a move that countless visitors have sought after finding some of the course’s 137 bunkers. “We are trying to make the course a little more friendly for the average player,” Harbottle told the Kitsap Sun. “This will involve removing 62 bunkers. Our intent is to preserve the great Dye character while creating the opportunity for players to bounce their ball off the slopes toward their target.” And just as at The Cedars and Circling Raven, tribal members will get a great deal at the course they now call home. Members receive a 50-percent discount on green fees, employees of the tribe (including those at the casino, resort, Kiana Lodge, etc.) get 30-percent off, and there are the standard clinics and youth programs to promote the sport. “We conducted an ‘Introduction to Golf’ Clinic for tribal members last year and another for the tribe’s juniors,” says Christy. “Both were very well attended. This year we

will be conducting three clinics for each group. The goal is to increase awareness of the golfing possibilities that are now available to the tribe now that it owns such a magnificent golf course.” But in addition to a great course, White Horse badly needs that clubhouse, having survived the last four years with temporary facilities. Christy says he, Touchstone and the owners are currently undertaking due diligence to decide the building’s most appropriate dimensions and design, and identify the correct architect. Construction, Christy adds, will hopefully begin some time in 2012.

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nd of course, all of this tribal investment means a great deal for Northwest golfers. While courses in other parts of the country are shuttering their doors given the current economy, the game continues to grow in the Northwest with new and newly-renovated courses — and at greens fees that leave golfers with enough extra cash to hit the tables after their round. There really is an awful lot to be said for tribal golf courses. And with 40 Tribes, Councils, Confederations and Reservations in Washington State listed on 500nations. com (including eight that are Federally Non-Recognized), 16 in Oregon (four FNR) and six in Idaho (one FNR), it’s not unreasonable, perhaps, to hope for even more. Tony Dear is an award-winning writer and author of several books on golf. His latest venture is BellinghamGolfer.com, an online resource for Whatcom County golfers or visitors featuring columns, reviews, instruction and more.

ANGEL OF THE WINDS CASINO ARLINGTON PARLAY IT WITH: Eaglemont, Kayak Point, Gleneagle With two of Western Washington’s top-10 courses within 15 miles, it doesn’t take a lot of extra thought to put the Angel of the Winds on our list. Smaller crowds than at other large Snohomish County casinos make it easier to get around, while the 99-cent menu and free beverages on the casino floor (and no, you don’t have to wait an hour for the waitress to bring it back as you pour dollar after dollar into the slots) help you stretch your budget a little farther. 36

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Salish Cliffs Golf Club • Shelton, Wash.

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THE

LONG ROAD BACK

MICHAEL

PUTNAM

The return of Tacoma’s Michael Putnam to the PGA Tour highlights a big year ahead for Northwest pros

BY BOB SHERWIN

I

n terms of admission standards and exclusivity, there is little doubt which golf club is the world’s toughest to get into. It’s the PGA Tour. There are only 150 members, worldwide. They are all male, generally under 40 with extraordinary golf talent, a healthy measure of mental toughness and a dash of good fortune. You don’t just apply, and no amount of money will pay for a membership. Few clubs are more selective. Of course, there is a “club within the club “ in Tacoma that, in some ways, is even more exclusive. “You look at the PGA Tour and there’s 150 players. But five of those players are all members of the Tacoma Country & Golf Club. There’s a lot of great talent up here,’’ says Michael Putnam, a Tacoma native who won his PGA Tour card this season for the first time since 2007. Putnam can be found on occasion at the TC&GC along with Andres Gonzales (Olympia/UNLV), Ryan Moore (Puyallup/UNLV), Kyle Stanley (Gig Harbor/Clemson) and Troy Kelly (Tacoma/Washington). Kelly had hip surgery in September and is working his way back. Then you add Spokane’s Alex Prugh, who played at Washington, and there’s a remarkably strong representation from this state on the world golf stage. That’s not even counting the state’s golfing godfather, Fred Couples, an ageless star on the Champions Tour who’s still competitive on the regular tour. Couples placed seventh at February’s Northern Trust Open — one shot back of Moore, who tied for fourth. “Washington is a good place to learn how to play golf,’’ says Putnam, who went to Life Christian Academy and Pepperdine University. “It has different weather to deal with. It’s hilly. It’s flat. Water. It’s good for travel golf.’’

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Putnam has traveled in a circuitous route to reacquire his PGA Tour card for 2011. Back in 2005, Putnam was “supposed” to follow a similar path as his friend Ryan Moore, who went directly from an outstanding college career at UNLV to a sustained professional career, winning millions of dollars and signing major endorsement deals. In his second pro tournament, Putnam took second in the 2005 Buick Championship, pocketing $178,000. He was on his way — or so he thought. Putnam struggled to match his early success, however, and found himself on the PGA Nationwide Tour the following season — pro golf’s minor leagues. It’s a hopeful mix of young golfers on the way up to the PGA Tour, as well as older pros struggling to hang on for one more run — and a far cry from the glitz and glamour of the senior circuit. Nationwide Tour pros pay for their own transportation, their own hotels and own rental cars. Quite literally, there is no free lunch. Putnam, however, made the most of the experience, making 21 of 26 cuts in 2006. He had a second-place finish and a couple thirds. More importantly, he finished among the top-25 Nationwide Tour money leaders, automatically earning his PGA Tour card for the 2007 season. Now, surely, he was on his way — or so he thought. Putnam entered as many Tour events as he could in 2007, knowing that he had to finish among the top 125 money leaders to retain his card. He tied for 16th at the Buick, but didn’t finish higher than 20th after that. He missed 10 cuts, including five of his final eight events, and finished 141st on the money list. One missed cut — one more cash — marked the difference between another year on Tour, and relegation back to the Nationwide Tour. Putnam’s once-optimistic, take-on-the-world spirit had been beaten down. Twice he had tasted the good golf life, and twice he had failed to hold onto it. Driving long lonely highways from event to event, stopping in fast-food joints

and truck stops, Putnam contemplated a career seemingly stuck in first gear. His passion went first; his game soon followed. In 2008, Putnam finished 169th on the Nationwide Tour money list, then bombed at Q-School. In 2009, he missed nine cuts and had just two finishes higher than 24th, finishing 152nd on the money list. Meanwhile, Moore — whose career Putnam had so recently paralleled — earned his first PGA Tour win, while University of Washington grad Alex Prugh supplanted Putnam as the Northwest’s “next big thing” by earning a Nationwide Tour win and his PGA Tour card for the 2010 season. Not only was Putnam not making the jump ahead, he was having trouble just staying even. He had experienced the perks, the prize money, the dizzying heights of success. Now he was barely hovering about ground. “I was really down,’’ he says. “I had missed five straight cuts. I had enough money to play in about five more tournaments. It was almost desperate times. I thought, ‘Why do I play golf?’ I was just scraping by.’’ For the first time in his life, quitting crossed his mind. “Every single golfer has gone through it, and you are better because of it,’’ he says. “If you’re not strong enough to deal with it, guys quit.’’ Putnam, however, couldn’t shake the memory of how well he used to play. During those dark hours in a lousy hotel room in Podunk, U.S.A., he implored himself: ‘’Remember what you’re playing for and where you’re going.’’ Putnam’s endurance and self-motivation finally paid off in 2010. He not only finished in the top 25 on the Nationwide money list – winning the Utah Open on Sept. 12 – he tied for sixth at Q-School to enhance his status. He was in — and he doesn’t plan to go back. “I hope to keep the card for the next 20 years,’’ he says. Putnam got a clue in February of his new Tour life when he went to his locker at L.A.’s Riviera Country Club before the Northern Trust Open and found a new pair of sunglasses, cascadegolfer.com


JIMIN

KANG

new rain gear and a gift certificate. It’s good to be good. Prugh, who graduated from Washington in 2007, spent two years grinding through the Nationwide Tour before his breakout year in 2009. He started strong in the PGA last year, finishing fifth in two of his first three tournaments, and placed 81st on Tour. That put him well within the range to return for 2011, where he is off to another great start. Prugh says the key to getting, and staying, on Tour is to manage the hard times — not letting one bad shot become two, one bad tournament become a bad month. Or, Putnam might note, one bad year become three. “Everyone goes through that tough spell,” says Prugh. “It’s a matter of trying to forget it, move on, and learn from it.” Putnam hopes that next year he can take the lessons he has learned in his struggles to help younger brother Andrew, a senior at Pepperdine and one of the most celebrated amateur golfers in the nation (see sidebar on page 40), around the trapdoors of qualifying. “That first year I didn’t know too many people,’’ Michael says. “This year, I have a great group of friends, I’m more familiar with the courses, the way things are done. I’m feeling more comfortable. But you still have to play well. You can’t fake it up here.’’ Joining him on a more limited basis is his friend Gonzales, his primary high school rival who was Moore’s UNLV teammate. Gonzales played last year in the Nationwide and Canadian Tour events, but not well enough to break through. His card was earned at Q-School last December. Kyle Stanley, who went to Bellarmine Prep, earned a scholarship to big-time golf factory Clemson. He won the Ben Hogan Award as the nation’s top college golfer in 2009 and was the two-time NCAA runner-up. But when it comes to turning pro, he still had to get in line with the rest. Stanley played a near full schedule in the Nationwide Tour last year, finishing 35th, then earned his Tour card cascadegolfer.com

RYAN

MOORE

through the six-day, 108-hole Q-School. With the addition of Putnam, Gonzales and Stanley to the PGA Tour, and the debuts of celebrated University of Washington golfers Nick Taylor and Richard Lee on the Nationwide Tour (joining fellow former Husky Brock Mackenzie), the 2011 year is shaping up to be one of the most exciting in years for those who like to follow our homegrown pros. Of course the region’s bell cow on the PGA Tour is Moore. The Puyallup native, raised on the fairways of The Classic Golf Club, became the region’s “next big thing” in 2004, winning the U.S. Amateur, U.S. Public Links, NCAA championship, Western Amateur and Sahalee Players Championship. Moore won enough money in 2005 just from his special invitationals and exemptions to earn a PGA Tour card — the first to do so since Tiger Woods. He has kept his card since, although it took him until August 2009 to win his first tournament. “I’m sure he was surprised it took him so long,’’ Putnam says. “He’s also surprised he hasn’t won since.’’ Moore, who was bothered for years by a wrist injury, nevertheless has won more than $9 million on the Tour. He also signed a major merchandise deal this year with Adams Golf. On the women’s side, Paige Mackenzie carries the state banner. The former University of Washington standout from Yakima joined the LPGA Tour in 2007. Mackenzie has won more than $325,000 in prize money on the LPGA Tour, which is not as well funded as the men’s tours. She has one top-10 finish, taking eighth at the 2009 Safeway Classic. “She’s healthy, she’s feeling good about her game,’’ said Mary Lou Mulfur, the coached Mackenzie and fellow pro Louise Friberg at Washington. “I have every reason in the world to believe she will win out there. She has the work ethic, the tools and the mindset to do it.’’

ALEX

PRUGH

Led by RYAN MOORE, ALEX PRUGH and JIMIN KANG, the state of Washington will have seven players on the PGA and LPGA Tours this year.

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WHO’S GOT NEXT? As Washington golfers start to take the pro Tours by storm, we look ahead at some young up-and-comers who may be household names in a few years’ time:

CAMERON PECK • OLYMPIA The 2008 U.S. Junior Amateur champ enters his second spring at Texas A&M, where he was an honorable mention AllAmerican in 2009-10. Made the top-64 of the U.S. Amateur at Chambers Bay last summer, and won a Junior Ryder Cup with the U.S. team in 2008.

ANDREW PUTNAM • UNIVERSITY PLACE Pepperdine junior and younger brother of PGA Tour’s Michael Putnam was second low-amateur at the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, placed second at the Sahalee Players’ Championship, then won the Pacific Coast Amateur to wrap up a busy summer.

ERYNNE LEE • SILVERDALE 17-year-old has been one of Washington’s most impressive juniors in years. In 2010 alone, she bested the country’s top amateurs to finish as co-medalist and reach the quarterfinals of the U.S. Women’s Amateur, earned a win and five top-10 finishes on he American Junior Golf Association Tour, and made the round of 64 at the USGA Junior Girls’ Championship. Lee was named Washington’s top women’s amateur by the WSGA at the age of 16.

DOMINICK FRANCKS • OLYMPIA 17-year-old won both the WJGA State Championship and the PNGA Junior Amateur last year.

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Friberg, meanwhile, is at the other end of the spectrum, having lost her card last year. A winner on the LPGA Tour in 2008 with over $500,000 in career winnings, Friberg lost in a playoff to Laura Davies near the end of 2010, and barely missed earning her LPGA card for 2011. The native of Sweden will play on the Ladies European Tour this year, another example of the razor-thin margin between top-tour success, and mini-tour obscurity. This area also claims Jimin Kang as a native, even though she was born in South Korea and moved to Everett when she was 15. She began playing at age 13 and played for King’s High School then Arizona State, where she won the 2002 Pac-10 title, beating Lorena Ochoa. Kang turned pro in 2003 and has bounced between the LPGA Tour and the Futures Tour. She won the 2005 Corning Classic in dramatic fashion, knocking in a hole-in-one down the stretch. After a number of lean years, Kang won the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia tournament last year, closing with a final round of 65 to edge Juli Inkster by a stroke. Her exemption has been renewed. Of course, if all of them could design a blueprint for their careers it would likely match that of Fred Couples. Couples won 15 times on the PGA Tour, including the 1992 Masters. He has taken home more than $24 million in prize money, a figure that includes more than $2 million last year as “Rookie of the Year” on the PGA Champions Tour, where he won four times. Couples had a veritable victory lap last summer when he returned home to play in the U.S. Senior Open at Sahalee Country Club and the Boeing Classic at TPC Snoqualmie Ridge. Cheered by a large hometown crowd, Couples finished second in the former and third in the latter, once again matching a fluid swing with his easy-going personality. He makes the game seem so easy. But, as Putnam or anyone who has ever tried to make a living doing it can attest, it’s not. “I heard a quote recently, from one of the caddies,” says Prugh. “He said, ‘KISS — Keep It Simple, Stupid.’ That’s it; that’s what it’s all about. It’s about making pars with some birdies here and there and limiting bogies. That’s the biggest thing.” Bob Sherwin is a freelance writer for Cascade Golfer, the Associated Press, the New York Times

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CALIFORNIA

TRAVEL BAG BY BRIAN BEAKY CG EDITOR

F

irst, a confession – while I have now lived in the Seattle area for almost 20 years, and hope to be here the rest of my life … I’m not a native. Worse, I’m one of those California transplants that are taking all the jobs and crowding out the locals. But I went to high school here, I went to college here, I pay my taxes here … I think that’s earned me my Northwest stripes. That being said, this is the time of year – when the sun peeks out just often enough to get me excited about hitting the links again, yet the rain seems to find me every time I actually try to play, that I usually consider one last quick, affordable getaway to warmer, dryer climes of my childhood … at least until the sun returns in all its full glory in June.

Half Moon Bay Golf Links Old Course • No. 18

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f course, growing up in Northern California, there was really just one dream golf destination that was ever discussed in our household … Pebble Beach. Throughout the house my father hung framed photos and lithographs of Pebble’s most famous images — the 7th green standing firm against the relentless frothy waves of the Pacific, the 8th and its fairway-devouring cliffs, Tom Watson sprinting across the green at 17 (an autographed photo, no less!), and of course, the iconic Lone Cypress. Sometimes, on the weekends, we’d make the twohour drive from our East Bay home to Carmel-By-The-Sea, and make the brief walk north up the beach from the end of Ocean Ave. — no more than half a mile — to the foot of the most famous peninsula in all of golf. We would walk as far north as we could before running into a cliff wall, just below the ninth green at Pebble Beach, and stare upward at the golfers hitting their approach shots to some of the most photographed greens in the world. To me and my Dad, standing below on the beach with our faces turned upward towards the heavens, the golfers above us were like gods, the turf on which they trod as fitting an image of heaven as any T.V. or movie had ever shown us. We’d stay for 20-30 minutes before slowly trudging back to the car, glancing over our shoulders as we walked to catch one last glimpse of the sea waves crashing against the cliffs below the feathery-soft fairways – the framed images from our living room walls come to life. Scotland, Hawaii, Ireland … those were pipe dreams. Pebble was one we could see, hear and smell. It was the Holy Ground of Northern California golf – no other course could ever be a realistic substitute.

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To me and my Dad, standing below on the beach with our faces turned upward towards the heavens, the golfers above us were like gods, the turf on which they trod as fitting an image of heaven as any T.V. or movie had ever shown us.

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ow, this is the point in the story where I am supposed to tell you how that glorious day finally came, and my Dad and I bonded like never before while walking Pebble’s hallowed fairways. There should be a poignant scene where we stand on the ninth hole and look down at the people below us on the beach, seeing ourselves in a father and son standing together, staring back up at us. The trouble is, we never made it. What happened? Well, life, for one. I grew up and moved away to Seattle, and Dad eventually relocated to Sacramento, a little farther inland and another two hours north.

What also happened was that golf course developers began to realize that Northern California didn’t have to be all about Pebble. Around 1990, a building boom began in and around the San Francisco Bay Area that led to the opening of literally dozens of incredible tracks, courses that while maybe not possessing Pebble’s mystique, provided a fantastic round at a significantly lower cost. One of the most successful attempts to replicate the Pebble Beach experience for Nor Cal golfers has been at Half Moon Bay, a longtime haven for surfers (and one of the world’s most populous areas for great white sharks) and art gallery owners that over the last 15 years has become what the New York Times called “the Pebble Beach experience just up the coast.” Physically, a stay in Half Moon Bay puts you just 30 minutes from San Francisco International Airport, and just 45 from Fisherman’s Wharf. Mentally, though, the fog that shrouds the coastal mountains to the east in the morning and evening act as an impenetrable barrier from the hustle and bustle of the city, isolating you on a private island of peace, beauty — and some downright incredible golf. With two courses of varying styles on either side of the stunningly beautiful Ritz-Carlton Hotel, the awardwinning Half Moon Bay Golf Links offers a Pebble Beach experience at less than half the price. Designed by Arnold Palmer and Francis Duane in 1973, and remodeled in 1990, the original course – the

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DREAMIN’

TRAVEL BAG shotmaking, the Ocean Course is a test of survival — man versus the elements. Both courses earned four stars in Golf Digest’s most recent rating of Bay Area tracks, while the property’s most impressive bit of eye candy — the epic Ritz-Carlton — earns every bit of its five-star rating. Luxurious rooms with private balconies that open right onto the golf course allow guests to watch the sun set into the Pacific while enjoying a fine Napa cabernet around a private fire pit, before heading to Navio for a five-course meal prepared by one of America’s top chefs. As little as $439 a night scores a room at the Ritz complete with marble-tiled bathrooms and mahogany wood furniture (itself a $279 value), and unlimited golf on both Half Moon Bay courses from 2 p.m. the day of check-in, until sunset the day of check-out. Stay even one night, play three total rounds, and you’re essentially staying at the Ritz for free. In addition, golfers also receive complimentary valet parking, a customized cart staged on the hotel’s front drive each morning, and a commemorative gift to mark the occasion — not to mention a golfing weekend you’ll never forget. f you’re adding a couple of extra days to your trip – and can tear yourself away from Half Moon Bay’s enthralling fairways – hit TPC Harding Park, San Francisco’s most esteemed public course and the home to the 2009 President’s Cup; The Course at Wente Vineyards, a scenic 18-hole track that winds its way through vine-covered hills in the East Bay region, just 45 minutes from San Francisco; and its neighbor, Poppy Ridge Golf Course, the sister course to Pebble’s Poppy Hills. All three provide the kind of value that CG readers enjoy, and unique experiences that cover the full range of Northern California golf. These are just a few of the dozens of great NorCal tracks accessible these days to the average Joe Five-Iron, and don’t require a year’s worth of greens fee savings to play. Does that mean that Dad and I shouldn’t still dream about Pebble? Of course not. But it does mean that saving up for that dream isn’t necessary to enjoy the best Northern California has to offer.

I Old Course – is Palmer’s homage to Northern California, reminding golfers at every turn of the beauty of the California coast. After winding inland through narrow chutes of cypress and sycamore trees for much of its first 16 holes, the Pacific Ocean is revealed in all its glory on the final two holes, including one of the most memorable in all of golf — anywhere. The tee box at the par-4 18th offers a near-panoramic view of the ocean to the west and mountains to the east, before following the slope of the white-rock cliffs downward to a green framed on two sides by Northern California’s

most luxurious hotel. Most golfers stop to take a picture on the tee, but it’s not really necessary — the image will last in your mind far longer than the photo will last in a frame. The Ocean Course, meanwhile, boasts sweeping Pacific views on every hole, with a Scottish-links design that makes a perfect companion to its older sibling. The stiff ocean wind, firm fairways and open approaches reward golfers who can drive the ball long and low, and master the bump-and-run approach. Pelicans and red-tailed hawks circle the fairways, while seals bark up from the beaches below. If the Old Course is a test of

A SAN FRANCISCO GOLFER’S TREAT: Five stars. That’s an entirely other level when you talk about food, wine and accommodations. The St. Regis San Francisco is one of the few hotels in the world that have a five-star rating — and they love golfers. St. Regis is committed to golf and the golfing lifestyle with properties they own and run across the U.S., like the St. Regis Monarch Beach in Orange County and the famed Punta Mita Resort outside of Puerto Vallarta in Mexico, just to name a couple. The Bay Area has so many great tracks that it

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makes sense to make your home base an urban hideout from which you can hit the links by day, and the city restaurants and nightlife after dark. And all while staying within a budget that would rival the packages at a golf-only resort. The St. Regis is located in San Fran’s SoMA district and is close to shopping, art, music, the Embarcadero and Fisherman’s Wharf. It’s at the heart of one of the greatest cities in on planet Earth — but when you are there, you’re on planet Luxury. Butler service in the hotel, a Bentley limo service

ST. REGIS

to swing you around town, and world-class cuisine further separate St. Regis from other hotels. Their signature restaurants, Ame and Vitrine, are on many top-10 lists and the ambiance is truly amazing, while the staff are top-class from the second you arrive. So, when you look at Half Moon Bay, TPC Harding Park, The Olympic Club, TPC Stonebrae and other tracks, look at pairing it with a St. Regis getaway. You will never forget it. Check them out on the web at stregissanfrancisco.com, or call (415) 284-4000. — Dick Stephens

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SAVE SOME GREEN

AFTERNOON DELIGHTS Allenmore Golf Club • Tacoma

BY BRIAN BEAKY • CG EDITOR

1

I

n our line of work, we have the chance to talk to a lot of golf lovers. Whether through our magazine, or at one of our Cascade Golfer Cup events, or at one of the consumer golf shows we produce around the country, we’re constantly talking to golfers, golf course managers, product reps and others to stay on top of the pulse of the golf community. And no matter who we talk to, every single one of you say the same thing — you all want to golf more this year than you did the year before. We heard it from guys who played fewer than five times and others who played 35, beginners and old hacks, weekend warriors and retirees … every single golfer out there wants to play more than they do. Of course, there’s those two pesky little issues that hold us back — money, and time. It can take a fair bit of both to enjoy a good round of golf, and as the economy puts the squeeze on us at work and at home, it seems that there’s less of both to go around at the end of the day. That’s why we’ve chosen this month to feature courses that are not only a good value — all three offer greens fees under $30 — but also don’t generally require a day-long commitment to play. Each of the three — Lynnwood Golf Course, the Nile Golf and Country Club in Mountlake Terrace and Allenmore Golf Club in Tacoma — are either just off the freeway, walkable in three-and-a-half hours or less, or both. That combination makes them a great fit for those days when you want to cut out of work a little early and squeeze in a quick 18 on the commute home — in other words, a good way to supplement those rounds you played last year with a few extra trips around the greens in 2011, without overly taxing your wallet, sacrificing a weekend, or having to take a whole day off of work. The truth is, we can all play more golf this year than we did in 2010. We just may have to get a little creative.

Allenmore Golf Club TACOMA

Standing on the tee at Tacoma’s Allenmore Golf Course, all you can think is, Thank goodness they built this thing back in 1931. After all, its prime position high atop a hill above Highway 16 just west of the I-5 interchange, five minutes from downtown Tacoma and with unobstructed views of Mt. Rainier and the Cascade Mountains, is the kind of urban land where these days one expects to see high-end condos or expensive homes … certainly not a golf course. But, lucky for us, developer Sam Allen – whose name adorns the course, the adjacent hospital, and the titles for most of the land on and around the hill – wanted a place to gather with his fellow Elks, hit some golf balls, and enjoy a post-round drink in the clubhouse. Like the Shriners’ Nile course in Mountlake Terrace, the Elks’ Allenmore opened originally as a nine-hole track, then expanded to 27 before dropping back to its current 18-hole layout in 1965. Unlike the Nile, however, Allenmore offers golfers a full test of their abilities – its forward tees, at 5,652 yards, are longer than the back tees at either the Nile or Lynnwood, while its back tees tip out just over 6,000 yards. And it’s not even the three par-5s that get you – though at 510 yards and with a blind second shot, the 11th is no slouch – it’s the par-4s, three of which are longer than 395 yards, and seemingly half of which play directly into the prevailing wind. That’s not to say you don’t have plenty of opportunities to throw up a good number – the 281-yard fourth hole gives big hitters the chance to play for a two-putt birdie, while the 469-yard, par-5 ninth is also reachable in two if you can knock your approach around the tree bisecting the fairway 100 yards shy of the green. Between the tall firs that frame every hole, the uneven lies on each fairway and greens that give a true roll 12 months of the year – not to mention a peak $30 greens fee and an easy and quick walk – Allenmore is a great place for Tacoma-area golfers to work on their complete game in between those summer trips to destination tracks. Plans are in the works for a new, 40,000-square foot clubhouse/Elks lodge to be completed in 2012, which will certainly make Allenmore one of the premier clubs in the city – at a price that nearly any golfer can afford.

BEST HOLE The views of Mt. Rainier might be better elsewhere on the course, but for sheer golf quality, nothing in any of this month’s Save Some Green courses compares to the par-4 5th. As if 430 yards wasn’t a challenge enough, a steady wind tends to blow across the hilltop right to left, meaning your 250-yard drive might only carry 225. Do the math, and that’s a 205-yard approach with O.B. all down the left side. A par is almost always a guaranteed skin.

YARDAGE 5,652-6,093 RATES $22-$30 TEL (253) 627-7211 WEB allenmoregolfcourse.com 44

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Nile Golf & Country Club

MOUNTLAKE TERRACE

Nearly every Seattle-area golfer has a story about the Nile. Maybe you skulled a drive off the side of a passing car on the par-3 fourth hole, whose tee box and green are bisected by the golf course driveway. Maybe you reached the 237-yard par-4 second green in one, only to three-putt for par as your buddies snickered in the background. Or maybe you’ve never played, but have glimpsed the Nile’s fairways during your regular I-5 commute, or noticed the unique sign with the Shriners’ hat off of 244th St SW in Mountlake Terrace and thought, What’s the deal with that place? Built by the Shriners in 1968 as a private, executive 9-hole course, the Nile converted to public play in 1996 to celebrate the addition of nine more holes that lengthened the course to its current 5,010 yards. While the front nine offers some good scoring opportunities — provided you watch out for the cars on No. 4 — it’s the back nine that offers the better test of your game. Uphill approaches on the par-4 10th and 12th holes make for tricky club selections, while the downhill 11th is a chance for the big swingers to let it fly. That trio is followed by the course’s signature hole, the downhill par-3 13th (see below), before a series of par-4s crisscross a stream and run out to the main road and back before a fun, par-3 finish. There are no par-5s on the course, and most of the par-4s check in at under 350 yards, making it an easy – and quick – walk for any golfer, and a great option for juniors, beginners, or an after-work alternative to hitting the range. Best of all, I’ve never needed more than three-and-a-half hours to get around the track, and have always felt that I got my money’s worth – which at a peak rate of $33 in the spring, is the kind of value we’re all about.

BEST HOLE The par-3 13th offers one of the most elevated tees of any in the city of Seattle, from where you can look straight ahead to Mt. Rainier in the distance, or 60-70 feet down to a large green 182 yards away. The elevation, and frequent crosswind, makes club selection key. Whatever you choose, hit it true and smile at the commuters heading north on I-5 as they look up at you in envy.

YARDAGE 4,503-5,010 RATES $20-$33 TEL (425) 776-5154 WEB nilegolf.com

Mill Creek Country Club

has the best golf value in the NW, memberships starting at $215 per month Unlimited Play Private Championship Golf Course Seven Northwest Reciprocals

Contact our membership director at

(425) 743-1444 or visit us at

www.millcreek.cc We would like your permission to solicit interest in Mill Creek Country Club.

cascadegolfer.com

APRIL 2011

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3

Lynnwood Golf Course LYNNWOOD

I wasn’t sure what to think the first time I headed over to Lynnwood Golf Course. I had heard from friends that it was a quality track, but was a little hesitant to fork over $28 to play a par-65 course that didn’t even play to 5,000 yards from the tips. One rainy spring morning, though, my friends all bailed on a planned round elsewhere, and – quite literally all dressed up with nowhere to go – I decided to head over to Lynnwood. At the very least, I figured, it would give me a chance to work a little on my short game. Two hours later (yes, you read that right), I walked off the 18th green saying, “When can I come back and play this again?” The first misconception that I had about Lynnwood was that it was a “short” course. That’s where the par65 and 4,741-yard distance are deceptive. Look a little closer at that scorecard and you’ll see that while the course may be short overall, there’s nothing short about its individual holes – it simply doesn’t have any par-5s, instead tossing out seven par-3s and 11 par-4s. Three of those par-3s, however, top 160 yards, while more than half of the par-4s are beyond 350 yards in length. My second fault in logic was in my assumption that, given the brevity of the track, its awkward location behind Edmonds Community College and its relative anonymity, it wouldn’t be that well maintained, or feature a very creative layout (I know – as the editor of a magazine whose very mission is uncovering the great value-priced courses, I should know better). Wrong again. The first tee offered me the chance to try and cut the corner off a dogleg by hitting over some trees (and a well-placed bunker) on a 375-yard par-4, while the second saw me staring down a much-unexpected 189-yard par-3 tee shot. The third hole, meanwhile, is certainly a signature in my mind, a slightly downhill, 280-yard par-4 with a lake guarding the entire front edge, bunkers on three sides and trees all around. Go for if you dare – though, even a layup requires a precise approach for a shot at birdie. 46

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Lynnwood Golf Course • No. 3

It was like that the rest of the morning – every time I’d stand on a tee box I’d look down the fairway and think, This hole is actually pretty neat! The ninth requires a precise tee shot down a narrow, tree-lined chute; the 10th is another short par-4 lined entirely down the right side by water. The 12th is a scenic, short par-3 played over water to a narrow, bunker-protected green, while free-swingers on the 13th hole must heed a water hazard roughly 220 yards from the tee box, and trees to the right that block the approach angle to the green. The round wraps up with two mid-length par-3s, followed by one last reachable par-4 – though at 288 yards, and with water and sand all around, it’s a wiser choice to play it safe. I played the course around 9 a.m. on a weekday morning, walked, hit multiple tee shots on several holes and frequently dropped a second ball for practice from the fairway or bunker. In otherwords – I took my time. I still finished in just a touch over two hours, and didn’t run into a single other group on the course until the 16th hole. Considering that the two biggest issues facing the golf world today are the rising cost of greens fees and the pace of play, any course where you can pay $28, hit every club in your bag, hopefully make a birdie or two and finish in under three hours is one I’ll return to time and time again.

BEST HOLE Others are tougher or prettier, but the most memorable is the par-4 third. Just 280 yards from the tee, and slightly downhill, it’s tempting to let ‘er rip. If you could see the green from the tee, though, you’d know better – hit it 250-279, and you’ll be wet. Hit it 290 and you’ll be in the bunkers, or worse, in the trees.

YARDAGE 4,094-4,741 RATES $22-$33 TEL (425) 672-4653 WEB ci.lynnwood.wa.us cascadegolfer.com

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PRACTICE TEE

Mastering Uneven Lies BY CHRIS LUNGO Head Golf Professional • The Plateau Club

Have you ever had the ball react differently than you anticipated from an uneven lie? Many shots in golf are played from lies that are uneven. Let me help you understand what to expect when you encounter an uneven lie. There are four different types of uneven lies: ball above your feet, ball below your feet, uphill and downhill. Each of these lies will have a different effect on how the ball comes off the clubface. When the ball is above your feet, you are changing the playing characteristics of your club to be more upright. This change will make your club aim more to the left of your intended target for a right-handed golfer, which is why this shot usually travels right to left. When you encounter this type of lie, it is best to aim a little right of your target, and choke down on your club. In order to maintain balance, try to keep your weight on the balls of your feet, and lean into the hill. The opposite is true when the ball is below your feet. Your club will play flatter, which causes your club to

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aim to the right of your target. Try taking one extra club, and aim a little left of your target. The extra club length will help you hit the ball without having to hunch over. Remember, this shot has the tendency to travel left to right. Maintain your balance by sitting into the hill. If you encounter an uphill lie, try to match your shoulder plane with the plane of the slope. This will add loft to your golf club, so you may need to take one club longer. Plan on the ball flying higher than normal, and rolling less when it hits the ground. Play the ball in the middle of your stance, and stay down through your shot. It is difficult to make a full weight shift on these shots, but make sure to avoid falling backwards. When faced with a downhill lie, again, try to match your shoulders with the plane of the slope. This will decrease the loft of your golf club, so you may need to take a shorter club or choke down on the club you would normally use. Play the ball a little back in your stance, and try to swing down the slope of the hill. The ball is going to come off lower than normal, with less

spin, so plan on it rolling-out after it hits the ground. Set most of your weight onto your downhill leg. This will help you maintain your balance, and allow you to make a steeper swing. If you have any questions about uneven lies, please contact your local PGA Professional. Chris Lungo is the head teaching professional at The Plateau Club in Sammamish. To learn more from Chris, contact the Plateau Club at (425) 836-4653 or online at plateauclub.com.

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APRIL APRIL 2011 2011

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Presented by

POST GAME ILLUSTRATIONS BY JOHN KIMBALL

Extra-Curricular Activities BY BRIAN BEAKY • CG EDITOR

I

n this month’s “In The Bag” feature, we wrote about how the “Great Recession,” as some are already calling the period we are hopefully now passing out of, has had some positive changes on golf club manufacturing. The same positive changes have been effected at golf courses. The new Washington state resident rate at Chambers Bay can be seen as a direct attempt to make quality golf more affordable for the masses. Other courses, too, have found ways to trim costs, lower rates and add other benefits and incentives to keep golfers on the course. It’s been a welcome change for those of us who love to play the game, and helps expose golfers to courses they might not otherwise play, or play as frequently, business the courses are counting on to continue once our wallets are a little more full again. Some courses, however, have gone even further, luring golfers will all sorts of promotions and events that in many cases have nothing whatsoever to do with golf, and everything to with just having a good time. We’ve included a few of our favorites here.

Druids Glen Golf Course

High Cedars Golf Club

Trophy Lake Golf & Casting

Druids’ Fire Creek Grill has long been one of its top selling points. So rather than just focus on the golf, why not draw people to the grill? Starting this spring, Druids will be offering golfers and non-golfers alike the chance to compete in a weekly Beer Pong league. Teams will battle to bounce ping-pong balls into the other teams’ cups, forcing them to down the contents. Last team with a full cup — or the last team standing, whichever comes first — is the winner. Best of all, for soggy spring golfers? No rain gear required.

Tucked away about 14 miles east of Spanaway, High Cedars has always been a bit of a local secret for Orting residents. Its new Women’s Golf and Wine Tasting promotion, however, is sure to draw a crowd from all over the south Sound region, including golf lessons and samplings of the world’s great wines. Classes start in April on Tuesdays and Thursdays … just be sure you do your driving before your drinking, and not the other way ‘round.

Turns out golf balls aren’t the only thing being fished out of the lakes at Trophy Lake this year. Swap your five iron for a fly rod this spring for one of Trophy Lake’s fly-fishing courses, held right on the property adjacent to Trophy’s sixth hole. The A to Z course teaches all the basics of fly fishing from tying flies to casting, and include breakfast and lunch at the course. Oh, and if you find any Pro-V1s, just send them my way.

Kent • druidsglengolf.com

Orting • highcedars.com

Port Orchard • trophylakegolf.com

ADVERTISER INDEX

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GolfTEC. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

Palouse Ridge Golf Club. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30

ADIDAS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34

Hampton Inn. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46

PING . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15

Apple Tree Resort . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16

Kikkor Golf. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47

PSP Golf. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47

Auburn Golf Course. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45

Lake Chelan Golf Course. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14

Prodigy Putters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

Best Western University Inn. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32

Leavenworth Golf Course. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14

Sunriver Resort . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35

Camaloch Golf Club . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

Michelob Ultra. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51

Tattoo Golf. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8

Cedars at Dungeness. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37

Mill Creek Country Club . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45

Therapeutic Associates . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48

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Miura Golf. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2

Twin Lakes Country Club. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13

Chambers Bay Golf Links . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27

Mount Si Golf Course . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9

White Horse Golf Club . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30

Circling Raven Golf Club. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32

Muckleshoot Casino . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39, 52

Wine Valley. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

Coeur d’Alene Resort. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33

NIKE. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17

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Druids Glen Golf Course. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46

Oki Golf. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13

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Cascade Golfer April 2011