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VOLUME 6 •  ISSUE 1 • APRIL 2012 • COMPLIMENTARY

CALLAWAY’S BLACK BEAUTIES HEADLINE HOT NEW 2012 STICKS

NORTHWEST GOLF NEWS & VIEWS •  cascadegolfer.com

32 COURSES, ONE BRACKET: THE MADNESS BEGINS CG CUP RETURNS WITH OVER $100,000 IN PRIZES PLAY THE ALL-NEW CENTRAL WA SHOOTOUT! ONE CARD, FIVE ROUNDS — CG PLAYERS CARD IS HERE

Just Win, Baby How Gig Harbor’s KYLE STANLEY rose from the ashes to win in Phoenix

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CASCADE

INSIDEGOLFER

A LOOK Departments 6 PUBLISHER’S PITCH 10 SHORT GAME • • • • • • • • •

RMG Golf has a deal for you Get Your 2012 CG Players Card All-New CascadeGolfer.com Central WA Shootout coming in June It’s Back — 2012 Cascade Golfer Cup Kikkor Golf goes global Billy Mac tickles the ivories Changes aplenty at Puget Sound tracks Black Butte Ranch reopens Glaze Meadow

22 PUETZ IN THE BAG

56 SAVE SOME GREEN

• • • •

• Local munis deserve our support

Callaway’s black beauties Belly putters go mainstream PING targeting top players New bags and rangefinders

60 PRACTICE TEE

• Grip it and rip it

27 RISK VS REWARD

62 POSTGAME

• The Golf Club at Newcastle, Coal Creek No. 17

• Have fun out there this year

54 ROAD HOLES

• Tri-Cities foursome worth a trip

PUETZ GOLF SAVINGS! 8-9 | 26-30 | 60 Cover design by Robert Becker

THIS PAGE: Can Druids Glen Golf Course — with its stunning Mount Rainier views, challenging holes and terrific rates — fight through a tough Central Sound Region in the Cascade Golfer Match Play Madness? CHECK OUT THE BRACKET ON PAGE 32.

Features

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Bracketology We’ve taken the top32 courses in the state and seeded them by region — now it’s up to you to crown Washington’s No. 1 track

APRIL APRIL 2012 2012

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Rise of the Phoenix Just seven days after his stunning loss at Torrey Pines, Gig Harbor’s Kyle Stanley was kissing the silver in Arizona

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CG’s Pronghorn Vacation Jim Moore packs the family — kids, wife, dog and all — off to Oregon’s Pronghorn Resort for a trip that would make even Chevy Chase jealous

cascadegolfer.com cascadegolfer.com


Volume 6 •  Issue 1 •  APRIL 2012

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, Jim Moore, Bob Sherwin FOR EDITORIAL SUBMISSIONS AND INQUIRIES: Brian Beaky • (206) 367-2420 ext. 1209 editor@cascadegolfer.com

PUBLISHER’S PITCH

W

DICK STEPHENS

2012 Golf Outlook Is Bright, From Sea to Shining Sea

hen we are not publishing Cascade Golfer and Destination Golfer magazine, one of our other pursuits is producing consumer golf expos in Portland, L.A., the Bay Area, Kansas City, St. Louis and Connecticut. We have been up close and personal with the game since January, putting on six golf shows and producing two magazines, so we’ve had a good long look at how the golf world is shaping up for 2012. On the national level, the PGA Show in Orlando was, to a person, one of the best in recent years. This is good news for everyone, as that show sets the cadence for our sport. A major reason for that enthusiasm is the bold moves being made by major manufacturers. Last year, TaylorMade made a statement with the R11 and Burner SuperFast drivers, resulting in big sales. This year (as profiled in “In the Bag”) Callaway has responded with their own impressive RAZR X line, while PING, Mizuno, Nike, Bridgestone, Titleist, Wilson and many others have brought both high-end and value-priced options to the marketplace. Cleveland, with its classic spin on the driver, and Cobra Puma with its shock-orange Amp, have also stuck out for me as companies that made clever innovations in their product lines — reaching both hipsters

and baby boomers alike. What does this mean for you? The industry is as balanced between all the manufacturers as I’ve seen it in some time, meaning there’s tons of exciting new clubs for you to choose from, and even more options in fitting and testing to get the right stick in your hands. Furthermore, the 40,000-plus attendees at our golf shows this winter indicate that the average golfer has become more comfortable navigating the tricky waters of the new economy. Times are still tough, that’s for sure — but, golfers have started to figure out how to manage their golf budget, and are starting to trickle back to the golf shops and courses to take advantage of the unbelievable deals and offers being made by the golf industry to lure us back. This is in no way official, but just a feel from what I have seen across the U.S. in early 2012, in different economic markets. And if our backyard is anything like the others, I am betting a bright blue chip that we’ll see even more evidence of the game’s growth locally this year. Please share your news and views with us on how you feel – it’s valuable input. Enjoy the longer days ahead, and of course, TAKE IT EASY!

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 2012 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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SHORT GAME

Unlimited Monthly Golf For $49 — Need We Say “Moore?” McCormick Woods • Hole 18

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nlimited golf on McCormick Woods, The Classic or Oakbrook Golf and Country Club, for as little as $49 a month? This e-mail can’t possibly be right, we remember thinking when we first saw it last December. Can it? It is. And, according Shawn Cucciardi — longtime McCormick Woods owner and Chief Operating Officer of the all-new Ryan Moore Golf (RMG) Group, it’s just the beginning. It was a couple of years ago that Cucciardi, who has owned McCormick Woods since 2003, first conceived of the idea of a group of golf courses that could, together, provide golfers a value and experience that none could provide alone. But it wasn’t until a meeting with the Moore family, owners of Puyallup’s Classic Golf Club, in October that Cucciardi’s idea moved from concept to reality. “We just started talking about the future of golf, and the things we need to do to grow the game,” he recalls. “Before long, the ideas were taking off. Within just a few weeks, we had created RMG Golf and acquired Oakbrook Golf and Country Club.”

“It all came together incredibly fast.” “It” is a remarkable deal for golfers in the areas of RMG’s current three tracks. For as little as $49 a month (based on a one-year commitment), golfers can designate any one of the three courses as their “home” course, and receive unlimited twilight play, seven days a week. For $99 a month — essentially the cost of 2-3 rounds, depending on the time of year — golfers can receive unlimited play anytime on their home course and 30-percent discounts at the others, and for $179 a month, golfers receive unlimited play on any RMG course … including McCormick Woods, The Classic, Oakbrook Golf and Country Club and up to three more in the Puget Sound region that Cucciardi hints strongly could be added soon. Golfers at all levels can add a spouse for just $49 a month, with junior memberships also available for as little as $39 monthly. “We want to change the way people enjoy golf,” Cucciardi says, “If we can attract and retain new people, we can help grow the game in the future, and that will benefit the whole golf industry.” On a Friday in early February, Moore fired a 64

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE WINNERS OF DECEMBER’S ENTER-TO-WINS!

MAUI STAY-AND-PLAY Bob Worley • Bellingham

INNOVEX GOLF BALLS Greg Wagner • Shorewood

PALM SPRINGS STAY-&-PLAY Elizabeth Stowell • Lakewood

ORANGE WHIP TRAINER Chuck Perrazzo • Enumclaw

LAQUINTA RESORT STAY-&-PLAY Reinhold Shuetz • Bremerton

GOLFTEC SWING EVALUATION Rolston McKenzie • Maple Valley

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at Pebble Beach to surge into contention at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. Minutes later, Cucciardi’s phone rang — it was Ryan, not wanting to talk about his round, but about a new idea he had for improving the experience of RMG golfers. “He’s very involved,” says Cucciardi. “When the relationship first started, I wondered about that — so many times you read about a so-called celebrity who puts their name on something but doesn’t really have anything to do with it. That’s not the case at all with Ryan. He calls daily, e-mails daily, sharing a best practice idea he’s picked up as he plays around the world. He’s a real visionary.” The early response from golfers at all three courses has been overwhelmingly positive, Cucciardi says, sparking other courses to contact RMG about the possibility of joining forces. By creating opportunities for golfers to pay less while playing more on their favorite tracks, Cucciardi hopes to help reverse the annual decline in the total number of golfers playing the game nationwide. “Golf needs a change, it needs a fresh breath of air,” he says. “That’s exactly what we’re looking to do.”

ENTER TO WIN And As Always, If You Didn’t Win... Don’t Worry! There Are More Opportunities To Win This Month! 2-DOZEN INNOVEX BALLS Page 12 RIFE BELLY PUTTER Page 15 PRONGHORN STAY-&-PLAY Page 53 TWOSOME TO DRUIDS GLEN Page 56 cascadegolfer.com


One Card, Five Rounds for $129

O

Druids Glen Golf Course

White Horse Golf Club

of

Cedars

Dungeness ne of the perks of working at Cascade Golfer is the chance to play a lot of golf. And when we play, we like to spread ourselves around as much as possible — while most golfers primarily call one or two courses “home,” we rove around the region playing different courses in an ongoing effort to find Highlander Golf Club the best values for our readers. Mt. Si Bucket of Balls Golf Course One day last fall, while smacking irons into the Central Washington wind the day after hitting drives by the Strait of Juan de Fuca, we thought … why can’t we figure out a way for everyone to play like this? So, we did — with the 2012 Cascade Golfer Players Card. Throughout the winter we went to our favorite courses and convinced them to give us rounds of golf for our cardholders, at per-golfer rates they’d never let you have on your own. Courses like White Horse. And Druids Glen. And Highlander. And Cedars at Dungeness. And Mount Si. Five rounds in all — plus a bucket of balls at Puetz to help you warm up, and a POW golf glove to make sure you show up with a little CG style. If we simply added up the values, the card would cost $295, but we’re going to give it to you for just $129 — adding in the bucket of balls and glove, that’s barely $1 a hole. Yeah, that’s something we can get behind. Each of the first four courses are among the best in the state as defined by our Cascade Golfer Match-Play Madness bracket on page 32. And while it just missed the Match Play cut, Mount Si was voted the No. 2 value and second-best customer service in the Puget Sound region by our readers in 2010. This way, you can use that other $165 to pick up a new stick for your bag — or even better, to treat your spouse to a night out after one of your killer golf day trips. Supply is limited to the first 200 golfers, so be sure to move quickly. And when your spouse asks where the extra cash in the budget came from for that fancy night out, you can tell them it’s on Cascade Golfer­— keeping marriages alive, one Players Card at a time. GET THE FULL DETAILS ON CASCADEGOLFER.COM!

I

Player’s Card

Check out the All-New CascadeGolfer.com!

n the five years since we launched Cascade Golfer to service local golfers in 2007, CG has grown into the most widely read golf magazine in the Puget Sound region, spawned the Northwest’s top amateur tournament series, and become a fixture of the golf season for over 106,000 golfers from Everett to Olympia, Sequim to Wenatchee, and all points in between. Of course, this is all possible because of you, the Cascade Golfer reader. You’ve come to turn to these pages for tips on local courses giving the most bang for your buck, the new clubs worth taking a swing with, exclusive savings on destination stay-and-plays, and – of course – enter-towin prizes that have sent readers on golf getaways to Palm Springs, Hawaii, Bandon Dunes … even as far away as Malaysia. That’s why this year, we’re upping the ante with the all-new CascadeGolfer.com — 24/7 access to the course specials, product reviews and local news you’ve come to count on. In addition to posting content from the magazine, the all-new site, launching April 1, features weekly specials on greens fees at local tracks, weekly

cascadegolfer.com

deals on clubs and more, guest articles from local contributors, plus swing tips from top teaching pros, breaking news of interest to Northwest golfers, and anything else we think you might like to see. If we get an e-mail about an amazing 24-hour deal on greens fees at a top local track, we’ll post it. If Puetz tells us that, for the next three days, they’re blowing out brand-name clubs just for our readers, we’ll post it. If Kyle Stanley and Ryan Moore are battling it out on the 18th hole at Augusta, we’ll post it. If we come across a YouTube video of a golfer falling backwards into a pond; or a 5-year-old making a holein-one on a 200-yard par-3, we’ll post it. You get the idea. And of course, we’ll continue to use the site to host all of our incredible enter-to-win contests, and might even cook up some web specials for our most frequent visitors. Check it out today at cascadegolfer.com, and let us know what you think. After all we’re here for you, Cascade golfer — and now, we’re here 365 days a year. APRIL 2012

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SHORT GAME Play The ALL-NEW Central Washington Shootout!

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Prospector at Suncadia • No. 17 PHOTO BY ROB PERRY

t the end of every Cascade Golfer Cup year, we survey our players to find out how we can make next year’s series even better. One part of that survey asks which courses our players liked, and which they’d most like to play in the coming year. It didn’t take many responses to roll in before we noticed three courses receiving a high number of votes … Desert Canyon, Prospector, and Suncadia’s newest course, Rope Rider. Three courses … all in Central Washington … all high on the wish lists of Cascade Golfer Cup players. Five seconds later, the 2012 Central Washington Shootout was born. The three-day tournament, in the mold of our Cascade Golfer Cup events, will highlight the best Central Washington has to offer — three of the state’s most enjoyable and highly-rated tracks, meals and events at some of the top lodges and clubhouses in the region, and over $10,000 in and stay-and-play vacations, rounds of golf and more. After all — Central Oregon has the Pacific Amateur, Nevada has the Mesquite Amateur … why shouldn’t we have our own incredible destination event? Each of the three rounds – June 1 at Suncadia’s Rope Rider, June 2 at Desert Canyon and June 3 at Suncadia’s Prospector – will feature a different team-scoring format, with prizes awarded in both net and gross categories. In addition to the overall grand prize for the team with the lowest combined 54-hole score and prizes for the topperforming overall teams, daily prizes will be awarded after each round, plus other prizes in categories like Long Drive, Straightest Drive and Closest to the Pin. Prizes will range from golf clubs and other equipment, to rounds of golf at places like Chambers Bay, Pumpkin Ridge, Wine Valley and all three host courses, to stay-and-play getaways to the top destinations in the West, including Las Vegas, Central Oregon, Reno-Tahoe and more. And with prizes for net and gross teams, you don’t have to be a scratch golfer to win … in fact, with over 70 prizes to be given out throughout the weekend, and the field limited to just 64 teams, you might find it harder not to win something. Lodging specials will be available at both Suncadia and Desert Canyon, as well as other locations in Chelan and Wenatchee. In addition to the 54 holes of golf, each participating team will receive special admission to an exclusive mixer at Desert Canyon on Saturday night, hosted by Michelob ULTRA and featuring food, beer and fun prizes and activities on their putting course. “Central Washington has some of the most enjoyable public courses in the entire Northwest,” says tournament director Simon Dubiel. “With the Central Washington Shootout, we want to celebrate our state’s outstanding golf values, while giving local golfers the chance to compete in a fun, getaway event with some incredible prizes. Each of the teams who tee it up that Friday at Rope Rider are going to be in for 72 hours of some amazing golf.” Three days. Three amazing Central Washington courses. One unforgettable golf weekend. Oh yeah, we’re in. For more information on the Central Washington Shootout — including schedules, entry fees, formats, etc. — visit the all-new CascadeGolfer.com and click on the Shootout button, or contact Cascade Golfer tournament director Simon Dubiel at 206-367-2420, x1236, or by e-mail at simon@cascadegolfer.com.

ENTER TO WIN TWO-DOZEN INNOVEX BALLS! It’s a rite of spring to purchase a couple of new boxes of balls — knowing full well that practically all of them will wind up in a ravine or pond within a few weeks’ time. So this year, let us take care of that first couple dozen for you — by entering to win two dozen E-Motion and V-Motion balls from Innovex! The Bellevue company has broken into the rarefied air usually reserved for big boys like Callaway and Titleist with its new balls, which earned a spot on Golf Digest’s prestigious “Hot List” in 2011 and were the buzz of the PGA Merchandise Show again this year. Find out what the buzz is about by logging on to the all-new CascadeGolfer.com to enter to win! 12

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SHORT GAME CG Cup Tees Off At Chambers With Over $100,000 In Prizes

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ithout question, Cascade Golfer Cup players every year cite Chambers Bay as their favorite stop on the seven-event series. And why not? With 18 holes tucked between a high bluff and the glistening waters of Puget Sound, it’s a course unlike any other in the state — and one our players will know intimately by the time Rory and Co. show up in 2015 for the U.S. Open. Like the Daytona 500, we’ve always put our marquee event first, kicking off the Cascade Golfer Cup at Chambers Bay in May. This year, we’re going to go one better — starting AND ending the series on Chambers’ fine-fescue links, while hitting five of the Puget Sound region’s top tracks in between. And did we mention there’s a twosome at Pebble Beach in it for two lucky golfers? Over the last two years, the Cascade Golfer Cup has become the Northwest’s most popular amateur tournament series, with seven events played in fun, team-scoring formats on some of the top tracks in the

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region, and over $100,000 in prizes. This year’s series tees off at Chambers Bay on Apr. 28, where every participating player will receive a free round to use at Chambers later in the year. That’s right, a free round, just for showing up — put a 125 on the scorecard, and you’re still walking away with a $150 prize. The action continues May 19 at Washington National, June 16 at McCormick Woods, July 21 at Druids Glen, Aug. 18 at White Horse and Sept. 8 at Gold Mountain’s Olympic Course, before coming home to Chambers for the 2012 Cascade Golfer Cup Championship, Sept. 29. As always, events will be played in fun, team-scoring formats, with prizes awarded to the top-15 net and topfive gross teams at each event, plus hole prizes and giveaways at every tournament. With fields limited to 64 teams per tournament, that means that nearly 25 percent of all teams in the field go home winners — and we’re not talking pro shop credit. We’re talking stay-and-plays to Bandon Dunes, Las Vegas, Palm Springs, Mesquite, Central Oregon and other

top destinations. Twosomes and foursomes to tracks like Wine Valley, Chambers Bay, Palouse Ridge, Desert Canyon and other top locales, plus golf clubs, push carts, free lessons and too many other goodies to list. In addition, teams from first place to last place at each event will earn points towards the overall Cascade Golfer Cup Championship and the Grand Prize — the 2013 Summer Golf Package, including up to 20 twosomes at the top courses in the Northwest. Yeah, it’s sweet. It all wraps up Oct. 6 with the Cascade Golfer YearEnd Bash at the Muckleshoot Casino, where we say goodbye to golf season with an Awards Party, Poker Tournament and other elements to help us celebrate the

cascadegolfer.com


BELLY UP! Enter to Win A RIFE Belly Putter!

Chambers Bay • Hole 17

close of another fantastic year of golf in the Northwest. We’ll give out prizes from the final event and the season-long Cup, hold our second-annual Cascade Golfer Hold-Em Tournament, and conduct a raffle for an incredible, mind-blowing, unforgettable golf vacation, with TWO winners drawn at random from all of our participating teams. Over the past three years, we’ve sent Cascade Golfer tournament players to watch Mickelson save birdie from the pine straw at the Masters, to the U.S. Open and to this year’s British Open in England ... so just what do we have up our sleeves for 2012? Well, in honor of the fact that we’re playing two tourney events at Chambers Bay this year, we’re throwing

cascadegolfer.com

in a three-night, three-round stay-and-play package to America’s most famous daily-fee U.S. Open track. That’s right — we’re putting you and your partner on the tee at Pebble Beach. And Spyglass. And Spanish Bay — with three night’s lodging at the Inn at Spanish Bay as well. Be the first to sign up at cascadegolfer.com/cup, or by contacting tournament director Simon Dubiel at (206) 367-2420, x1236, or simon@cascadegolfer.com. After all, what’s more fun — watching a major championship at Chambers Bay, or playing in one? LOG ON TO THE ALL-NEW CASCADEGOLFER.COM FOR COMPLETE INFO!

If it weren’t for Keegan Bradley’s proficiency with the belly putter at last year’s PGA Championship, our own Kyle Stanley may have had the inside track to Tour Rookie of the Year honors. We’re giving you the chance to find out what all the belly putter buzz is about with a FREE belly putter from our friends at RIFE — choose from one of four models, including the Cayman, Barbados, Deep Blue and Hybrid! And sorry, Kyle — PGA Tour pros are not eligible to win. This one’s for the rest of us! Log on to cascadegolfer.com for your chance to win!

APRIL 2012

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SHORT GAME

Kikking It Up A Notch

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ames Lepp is a busy man. It was around this time in 2011 when Lepp’s Kikkor Golf — the hip, stylish footwear company he started with friends in 2010 — took off following an attention-grabbing debut at the 2011 PGA Merchandise Show, where Lepp turned a boring 10-by-20 exhibit space into a trendy bar highlighting the youthful, ultracool vibe of his shoes. Since then, the phones at Lepp’s B.C. headquarters have been buzzing, both with orders from customers and requests from distributors as far as way as Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Southeast Asia, all interested in helping spread Kikkor’s “awesomeness” around the globe. “We went from two distributors at this time last year — only in the U.S. and Canada — to 11 now around the world,” says the former Washington Husky and 2005 NCAA men’s golf champion, who gave up a pro career to found Kikkor in 2010. “It’s been great.”

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Lepp says the biggest challenge in the last year — besides resisting the urge to keep pumping money into designing new styles (spoiler alert: the urge won) — has been trying to break into the PGA Tour market, where footwear sponsorships can be a cutthroat deal. “I think it’s been surprising a bit just how hard it is to get a player to wear a certain pair of shoes,” he says. “It’s different on the apparel side, where a lot of players will just wear what they like. Footwear is almost always tied to a sponsorship, and it’s very expensive. I know a lot of my friends, guys on the Tours, tell me that they love our shoes but that they can’t wear them [because of existing sponsorships]. That’s been a challenge.” LPGA and Futures Tour player Ryann O’Toole, who placed ninth at last year’s U.S. Women’s Open, will become Kikkor’s first pro in 2012, with Lepp hopeful that more will follow. They’ll have plenty of new styles to choose from. In addition to Lepp’s classic Eppik shoe, Kikkor has rolled out yet another eye-popping line for 2012, including Vansstyle slip-on Slyders; a classic Tour style with an upscale feel; lightweight, lace-up Tennys … even a neon high-top that’s more Chuck Taylor than Chi-Chi Rodriguez. In addition to being Kikkor’s coolest styles yet, the new models also incorporate Kikkor’s new VEKTRboard outsole, a spikeless platform that gives traction in 360 degrees, not just side-to-side in the manner of most golf shoes. They also make the shoes even more wearable from the country club to the … well, club, where they’ll turn just as many heads as they did on the first tee. Lepp says that Kikkor’s mission has remained the same, even as the company has grown to international status over the last year. “We just want to show people why Kikkor is awesome,” he says, using the word that has become Kikkor’s trademark — whether at shows, on their shoe boxes, or in the amusing videos and related content on their website, Kikkor.com. “We probably spend too much money coming up with new styles, or new designs, but we just can’t say no. We’re having too much fun.” cascadegolfer.com


SHORT GAME

TEE IT UP

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he Northwest is known for many things — computers, coffee and endless days of glorious sunshine among them (OK, “occasional days”) — but one of the things we’re most proud of is our music. From Quincy Jones, to the Kingston Trio, Jimi Hendrix, the grunge era and today’s indie scene, the Northwest has been on the leading edge of nearly every music trend of the last century. So when GOLF magazine decided to rank the greatest golf songs ever written, it was no surprise to see Spokane’s Bing Crosby take the top spot with his classic “Straight Down The Middle,” a fixture at his Pebble Beach Celebrity Pro-Am for decades. What was a surprise, though, was the song picked No. 8 — “Augusta, Sweet Augusta,” by a comparatively unknown local musician, Seattle’s Billy Mac. Born in Seattle, Billy moved to New Orleans as a child and earned an education in rhythm and blues from some of the industry’s most legendary performers. In 1998, he released his first collection of golf songs on a CD titled “Tee It Up,” including “Augusta, Sweet Augusta” and eight other tracks infused with his soulful New Orleans style. First came praise from golfers. Then the golf media. Before long, the St. Andrews Links Trust was requesting to use Billy’s song, “The Old Course” as the official theme song of its 600th anniversary. Even other Northwest icons have begun to take notice. “Billy’s songs sing of the great moments in the game we love,” said none other than Fred Couples, who Billy immortalized in “Boom Boom” on his newest CD, “The Back 9,” released last year. In addition to his recorded music, his live, all-golf Tee It Up Show has been hit at tournaments, corporate banquets and anyplace else it has been performed, blending songs, stories, video features and a golfer’s trademark sense of humor to highlight a century of the legendary players, tournaments and iconic moments that have shaped the game of golf. Want to hear it for yourself? Visit BillyMac.com or call (425) 868-0245 to hear songs or book a show for your group, or better yet, check out the video online at YouTube.com/user/BillyMacGolfMusic. cascadegolfer.com

APRIL 2012

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SHORT GAME CH-CH-CH-CH -Changes

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s our Northwest courses emerge from their winter cocoons, golfers strolling to the first tees will notice a number of major changes. Eaglemont opened a new 20,000-square-foot clubhouse atop its No. 13 tee late last summer, including a pro shop, fitness center, locker rooms, banquet room and a back deck with a 270-degree panorama from Mt. Vernon and the Cascade foothills, to the snow-capped Olympics looming across the Sound. With the new clubhouse came a new hole sequence — the 13th, a long par-4 from an elevated tee, is now a fantastic starting hole, allowing golfers to bomb a driver high into the sky on their first shot of the day. The next five holes are played in order, followed by Nos. 10-12 to close the new front nine. Holes previously played as No. 8 and No. 9 are now No. 10 and No. 11, while Nos. 1 through 7 are played in sequence back to the clubhouse. Likewise, Tacoma’s Allenmore is building a new clubhouse of its own (pictured above). The 37,000-square-foot facility, built in a Northwest lodge style at a base cost of $7 million, will house an upscale clubhouse, restaurant and event hall for the public and a lodge for the Tacoma Elks when it opens this spring at the entrance to the facility, located on a high ridge just west of the intersection of I-5 and Highway 16, with incredible Mt. Rainier vistas. Cart paths are also being paved this year and a major beautification process is underway. “Our goal is to create a country club experience in a public setting,” says Ron Forest, Chief Operating Officer of the Tacoma Elks Lodge #174, which owns and operates Allenmore. “We want people to walk in and go, ‘Wow!’” Just a few miles south, Chambers Bay continues its preparation for the U.S. Open with further changes

The new $7 million clubhouse at Tacoma’s Allenmore G.C. will include a restaurant, event hall, and a terrific views.

designed to make the course the best it can be by 2015. While work is planned in many areas — including the widening of pedestrian pathways, the addition of championship tees on several holes (including a waybacker on No. 14) and the reshaping of greens at No. 1, No. 7 and No. 13 to help better hold approach shots — golfers will only notice minimal distractions, with no more than one temporary green in use at any time. White Horse, too, is planning to begin construction on a long-awaited clubhouse of its own that will finally give the Kingston track a home on par with its outstanding links — which, themselves, have finally completed their player-friendly touch-up at the hands of John Harbottle III (Gold Mountain Olympic, Palouse Ridge). And of course, Highlander — whose massive frontnine renovation was detailed in these pages last August — has continued in its ongoing process of beautifying the course through the addition of over 500 trees, construction of a large lake and waterfall, separating the greens on Nos. 3 and 5, and reshaping the bunkers. Work should be completed on the front nine in early 2012, at which point a similar overhaul will begin on the back nine. And last but certainly not least, changes are also — finally — afoot at Jackson Park and Jefferson Park, both of which will see construction begin soon on new driving range facilities and other related improvements, detailed in this month’s “Save Some Green” (page 57). In other words, a lot’s happened since the last time most of us hit the links — and it’s only the beginning of what’s shaping up as a great year for Puget Sound golf. Stay in touch with all the latest at the all-new CascadeGolfer.com!

Oregon’s New Meadow

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he opening of Black Butte Ranch’s Big Meadow course in 1970 helped put Sisters on the map as a premier golf destination. Forty-two years later, the re-opening in 2012 of the resort’s Glaze Meadow course is once again drawing golfers to a region unmatched for its abundance of incredible golf. Acclaimed designer John Fought was hired to complete a $3.5 million overhaul of Glaze Meadow, including rebuilding all 18 greens and tee boxes, clearing trees to improve sightlines and increase shotmaking options, and lengthening the course from 6,500 to 7,100 yards. When it reopens this summer, Glaze Meadow will give vacationers one more reason to add an extra day or two to their stay at Black Butte Ranch. A wide range of vacation rentals offer amenities for every lifestyle and budget, while first-class restaurants and cafes, swimming pools, hiking trails, tennis courts, cycling paths, river rafting, horseback riding and other outdoor adventures fill the hours between tee times. For more information, call 866-901-2961 or visit blackbutteranch.com.

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APRIL 2012

cascadegolfer.com


Product

IN THE BAG REVIEWS

BROUGHT TO YOU BY PUETZ GOLF SUPERSTORES

and equipment news you can use

SHOW STOPPERS BY BRIAN BEAKY CG EDITOR

I

f you’ve picked up any of the national golf magazines in the last six months, you’ve no doubt heard of Golf 2.0. It’s the PGA’s mission to grow the game with young adults by making golf more fun and affordable. If this January’s PGA Merchandise Show is any indication, it’s working. This year’s show — where over 1,000 major manufacturers and eager entrepreneurs alike compete for the attentions and investments of industry retailers and news media — was unlike any that regular attendees could recall. Sure, the little guys always try to make a splash to be noticed among the mega-booths (practically small cities) set up by power players like TaylorMade, Callaway, Nike and others — Kikkor Golf’s chic all-white bar/lounge setup in 2011 among the most memorable (and effective) of recent efforts. But this year, even the big boys were shedding their traditionalist ways to emphasize that the future of golf isn’t with our parents’ or grandparents’ generation anymore — it’s with us. “The Kid” himself, Seattle Golf Club’s own Ken Griffey, Jr., joined Jack Nicklaus in opening the show, his trademark smile a reminder of a time when a backwards hat was as much a sign of youthful exuberance as Rickie Fowler’s wild colors are today. Heck, even Fowler’s unique style went mainstream — Cobra Puma Golf shed its standard black-and-yellow clubs for new sticks with splashes of color on the heads and shafts and (of course) bright orange grips, in tribute to its PGA Tour style icon. What’s more, after years and years of insisting that we needed more movable weights, adjustable faces and other gizmos to hit the ball farther and straighter, this year’s major releases are almost universally simpler, sleeker — and faster than ever. And perhaps the biggest sign yet that the golf industry is ready to shed its traditionalist ways and give the people what they want? Belly putters — long scorned as gimmicks by PGA Tour players, and thus most major manufacturers — were everywhere, in direct response to the increased demand from golfers since 26-year-old Keegan Bradley’s win at last year’s PGA Championship. For this year at least, the golf industry has stopped telling us what we want, and started listening to what we’re saying. That’s music to our ears — and it sounds a lot more like Jay-Z than Frank Sinatra. 22

APRIL 2012

Callaway’s new RAZR Fit drivers are among the most easy-to-use of adjustable drivers, with an OptiFit system that lets golfers quickly adjust the face angle, and moveable weights that can be easily swapped to a golfer’s preference.

Callaway RAZR Fit PUETZ GOLF PRICE Driver $399.95 / Fairway Metal $229.95

I

n the world of golf club manufacturing, millions of dollars are spent on major PR campaigns – for example, Callaway’s RAZR Fit ads feature Alvaro Quiros and Phil Mickelson knocking balls over Las Vegas icons like the Bellagio fountain and Mirage volcano. Turns out they could have saved the money and just given one to a PGA European Tour rookie. Callaway’s first fully customizable driver, the appropriately named RAZR Fit was one of the most-talked about new clubs at the PGA Merchandise Show, and much of the talk was of unknown 23-year-old South African Brendan Grace, who had used the new stick to topple Ernie Els, Retief Goosen and others to win twice in the early 2012 season, jumping from Sunshine Tour to the World Top-100 before the calendar turned to February. Setting the RAZR Fit apart is that it is among the most user-friendly of adjustable drivers, with a simple-to-understand OptiFit system that allows golfers to open, close or square the face (without having to rotate the shaft) and two weights that can be exchanged to control a slice or hook. The crown of both the driver and the RAZR Fit fairway wood are made from Callaway’s patented Forged Composite, a durable, lightweight metal designed in partnership with Lamborghini, while the all-new “Speed Frame” face produces higher ball speeds across the face – a combination of factors that has the RAZR Fit testing faster, and hitting the ball farther, than any previous Callaway driver. The RAZR Fit has won over both testers — taking home a perfect five stars in the categories of performance, innovation and feel to earn a coveted gold medal in Golf Digest’s famed “Hot List”— and pros, with Grace, Trevor Immelman, Stuart Appleby, Els and Quiros (one of the Tour’s longest drivers in 2011) all sticking the club in their bags this year. puetzgolf.com

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IN THE BAG Callaway RAZR X Black

Callaway RAZR X HL Irons

PUETZ GOLF PRICE Driver $249.95 / Fairway Metal $199.95

PUETZ GOLF PRICE Steel $699.95 / Graphite $849.95

Hybrid 3-4, Iron 5-PW

I

T

n 2011, Callaway advertised “performance over paint” – a not-sosubtle reference to the wave of white drivers that dominated the 2011 marketplace. But don’t think that Callaway’s all-black drivers for 2012 represent a change in philosophy – sure, the company’s new sticks will cause a fair amount of envious looks from your buddies when you pull off the headcovers, but that’s nothing compared to the outright jealousy they’ll cause once you hit them. While the RAZR Fit marks Callaway’s first foray into the adjustable driver market, the RAZR X Black is the company’s update to its popular Diablo Octane – a club that, as its name would suggest, was designed with speed in mind. While the Octane – featuring Lamborghini’s Forged Composite crown – was fast, the RAZR X Black has tested nearly 20 percent faster, combining Callaway’s new SpeedFrame face and Streamlined Surface Technology to significantly reduce drag, resulting in higher speeds at impact and long, long drives. The fairway woods, available in lofts from 15 to 24 degrees, follow the same formula, helping shots get airbone quickly, even from tight lies. It’s the paint that will have golfers seeking out the RAZR X Black in golf shops throughout the year, but it’s the performance that will have it in their hands when they walk back out.

here’s no question that Callaway has benefited significantly from its sponsorship of Phil Mickelson. Watching Lefty make Sunday charges behind silky-smooth drives and iron shots that spin to within inches of the pin, it’s easy for a golfer to imagine themselves doing the same, if they only had his sticks. The problem is, most of us aren’t Phil Mickelson – we can play the same clubs, but we’re never going to have that same easy swing. There’s good news, though – we don’t have to. Callaway’s new RAZR X HL irons are designed to make any golfer play like Lefty, even if they swing like Barkley. The “HL” in the club name stands for “High Loft,” which is precisely what the clubs are designed to produce – shots that fly high, long and true, no matter where on the clubface a golfer strikes the ball. Most mid- and high-handicappers strike the ball with the lower portion of the face, so Callaway has used its patented RAZR technology to place the center of gravity low and deep to generate a maximum amount of force behind that portion of the club, and increase forgiveness on mis-hits. The RAZR X HL’s “super game performance” reputation can be enhanced even more by substituting hybrids for the 3- and 4-irons.

Odyssey Metal X Putter PUETZ GOLF PRICE Starting at $149.95

W

hen PGA Tour rookie Keegan Bradley nailed putt after putt at last year’s PGA Championship en route to becoming the first player since Tiger Woods to win in his first professional major, the buzz wasn’t about his age, or his famous aunt (LPGA Hall of Famer Pat Bradley) – it was about his putter. Golfers around the world were clamoring to get their hands on Bradley’s belly-length Odyssey White Ice Sabertooth. There was just one problem — it didn’t exist. The club had been made specifically at Bradley’s request, but the overwhelming demand sent Odyssey designers to the drawing board to incorporate belly versions into its all-new Metal X line, representing the latest innovation from the company that has built an impeccable reputation for putter performance. Available in both mallet and blade styles, the Metal X utilizes a lightweight aluminum face with urethane backing for increased friction and a smoother, more consistent roll. Each of the mallet putters earned a perfect five stars in all categories in Golf Digest’s annual “Hot List” rankings, sweeping gold medals in what has become the norm for Odyssey flatsticks. Available in all of Odyssey’s most popular styles – including 2-ball and DART — it’s sure to be in high demand as soon as it hits the market in April … and if Bradley can duplicate his PGA success at Augusta? Suffice to say, we’re putting our order in now.

cascadegolfer.com

puetzgolf.com

APRIL 2012

23


PING i20 Irons

IN THE BAG

PUETZ GOLF PRICE Irons starting at $99.95 per club

PING i20 PUETZ GOLF PRICE

P

Driver $349.95 Fairway Metals $229.95 / Hybrids $189.95

ING’s i20s might be the first irons ever to debut on Twitter — from the moment Lee Westwood tweeted in December about the new PING i20 irons (“Great set of clubs. Lovely feel.”) the golf world has been buzzing for the first look at the new sticks, which promised to combine Tour-caliber look and feel with the forgiveness of a game-improvement club. In fact, we were going to try and fit this review into 144 characters — then we got our hands on one, and realized we’d need a lot more. A gold-medal winner and coveted “Editor’s Pick” in the 2012 Golf Digest “Hot List,” the i20s are more about consistency and accuracy than pure distance — qualities that will be appreciated by singledigit handicappers, for whom feedback and control are key. PING added a stabilizer bar to give players that satisfying feel, a tungsten weight to increase forgiveness on toe hits (a better player’s most common miss), and a thinner top line and sole for a Tour-style look at address. However, with progressive offsets to promote increased forgiveness in the longer irons, and greater control in the short irons, they’re not only the club PING’s legions of scratch players are reaching for, but also proving popular with midhandicappers looking to make the jump to a Tour-level club.

I

n the golf world, nothing gets the attention of golfers and golf bloggers than success on the PGA Tour, and nothing gets the attention of golf retailers like an impressive debut at the PGA Merchandise Show. So when PING’s Mark Wilson fired a 62 en route to a win at January’s Humana Challenge just days before the start of the PGA Show, he practically guaranteed that PING’s newest high-performance line would be one of the most anticipated debuts of the spring. As with the i15, PING’s previous offering in its successful line of clubs targeted primarily to low- and mid-handicappers, the i20 woods and hybrids feature a matte black finish and a combination of forgiveness and workability that will please a wide spectrum of golfers. Tungsten sole weights in the driver result in a high MOI and low center of gravity to generate the lowspin, piercing ball flights preferred by better players. The fairway metals and hybrids, on the other hand, are designed to create a higher trajectory for longer, straighter shots and a softer landing, even from more difficult lies. Mid-handicappers will find the i20s useful for honing their shot-shaping skills as they make the switch from PING’s G20s or another game-improvement line, while scratch golfers will benefit from the increased forgiveness without having to sacrifice look, feel or workability.

PIN-POINT PERFECTION

This year’s top rangefinders are smaller,

Golf Buddy Voice

Leupold GX3i / GX4i

PUETZ GOLF PRICE $179.95

PUETZ GOLF PRICE $399.95 / $499.95

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L

he world’s first talking GPS, the Golf Buddy Voice doesn’t just show your yardage — it tells you. Small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, the Voice can be clipped to your belt, your bag, or even your hat, and gives distances to the front, center and middle of the green at the push of a button. Over 33,000 courses come preloaded (with room for 7,000 more), and with no subscription fees or download charges — plus an eight-hour lithium battery — it’s as cool a GPS as we have ever seen in its price range.

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APRIL 2012

eupold’s latest updates to its GX line are among the highest-tech, and easiest to use, laser rangefinders on the market. Accurate to one foot from 400 yards, and featuring Pinhunter technology that can quickly identify the pin from other objects in the background, few laser rangefinders can match the GX3i’s pinpoint precision. One that can is the GX4i, which includes the same features, plus an algorithm that uses temperature and altitude data to display not just the true distance, but the distance you’ll need to play based on conditions.

puetzgolf.com

cascadegolfer.com


OGIO Chamber Cart Bag PUETZ GOLF PRICE $249.95

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tah-based OGIO has risen to the top of the golf bag market over the past decade by constantly pushing the perceived limits of weight and durability to produce the industry’s lightest, strongest bags. The company’s 2012 release once again breaks the mold of traditional golf bags by introducing “The Silencer,” a state-of-the-art system for protecting your clubs by keeping them still and separate, whether on a cart, or on your back. Each of 14 individual compartments features a protective membrane that gently grips the shaft and a “compression-fit mechanism bottom” that secures each grip, keeping both shafts and heads from clanking together. It comes in a couple of different colors, but the ninja in us can’t help but picture ourselves putting Callaway’s new black sticks into the black tech version as we silently eliminate our foes. They’ll never even hear us coming.

Clicgear B3 Cart Bag PUETZ GOLF PRICE $219.95

I

n golf manufacturing, there have been only a few products that represented such a revolutionary improvement as to render all other existing models practically obsolete – products like the PING Anser putter, or Callaway’s original Big Bertha driver. Another more recent such product was the Clicgear push cart, whose lightweight frame, durability and compactness – not to mention cool colors – have become the basis upon which all subsequent push carts have been designed. Clicgear, which continues to dominate the push cart market, is hoping to catch lightning in a bottle again with its all new B3 cart bag, the first golf bag ever designed specifically to fit on a Clicgear cart. In addition to a variety of colors that can be matched to your cart, features include 14 full-length dividers to keep your shafts from tangling in the bottom of your bag, and a top designed specifically to position your clubs in such a way that the heads won’t rattle while you push them around the course. Really, though, all we needed to know was that it was from Clicgear – if even half the ingenuity that went into the cart is put into the bag, it’ll be the must-have bag of the year for any Clicgear cart owner.

faster and more accurate than ever. Here’s a few of our favorites:

Expresso WR62 Designer Golf GPS Watch

Bushnell Tour Z6 / Pro 1M

PUETZ GOLF PRICE $179.99

PUETZ GOLF PRICE $399.95 / $499.95

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ou read that right — GPS watch. Not since Dick Tracy turned his watch into a walkie-talkie have we seen wristpiece technology this cool. In addition to showing distances to the front, center and middle of the green, it also displays hazards and can track shot distances. It can even be used off the course as a compass, stopwatch, odometer and alarm — and, of course, to tell time. And just in case you stumble into a pond looking for your lost ball (hey, it’s happened to us)? It’s waterproof up to 30 meters.

cascadegolfer.com

he most accurate and compact rangefinder Bushnell has ever produced, the Tour Z6 boasts accuracy up to a half-yard at a range of up to 450 yards – and a cool, red display (they call it “Vivid Display Technology”) that is easy to see even in bright conditions. The Pro 1M offers 1-yard accuracy at a distance up to 550 yards and features the same cool visual features, while adding Slope Technology that factors elevation change for the most accurate distance display.

puetzgolf.com

APRIL 2012

25


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cascadegolfer.com


RISK vs. REWARD The Golf Club at Newcastle — Coal Creek Hole No. 17 • Par 5 • 475 yards (Blue Tees)

By Simon Dubiel PHOTO BY ROB PERRY

The Setup:

The Risk:

The Reward:

When you stand on the first tee looking out at one of the Northwest’s finest golf course views, you can’t help but check out the city skyline. Of course, you’ll also want to check out the scorecard to see what awaits you at this amazing track. You’ll probably notice the 475-yard, par-5 17th, and look forward to the potential to make up a shot or two, especially if the first 16 have tripped you up. If only golf were that simple.

A 250- to 275-yard poke off the tee leaves you just north of 200 yards to the green. There’s no reason to be nervous with your approach shot here … I mean, as long as you don’t yank it left, lose it right, leave it short or airmail it long, you are in a good shape. That’s right — your margin for error is nil. Sure, it’s just as easy to mishit that 80-yard approach, but a wedge to the middle of the fairway is certainly a lower-risk effort than a 200-yard carry to a green with no bail out.

You’ve made your annual trip up to one of our area’s finest golf facilities. You’ve managed to successfully navigate the first 16 and are looking to cap it off. Your caddy (Mr. GPS) says you have 220 to the center, with barely 200 to carry. Are you really going to lay up on the shortest par-5 Coal Creek has to offer? If you are going to put a circle on the scorecard, this is your chance to do it. Marty McFly said it best: “Nobody … calls me … chicken.”

Final Call: Ask Freddy Couples if he regrets laying up two years ago in the final round at Sahalee’s par-5 second hole. I’ll give you a hint — his second shot was safe, but he busted out anyway when his third shot got wet. The same scenario can be said for No. 17 at Coal. Getting there in two is no sure bet, but it’s not like your third is a cinch, either. Go with the bet that gives you the most upside. In honor of Jean van de Velde, it is time to go for it — just keep your shoes on. PRESENTED BY

cascadegolfer.com

APRIL 2012

31


2012 CASCADE GOLFER

32 Courses, One Cham

BY BRIAN BEAKY CG EDITOR

Round 1

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hat’s the best course in the state?” As the publishers of the Puget Sound region’s most widely distributed golf magazine, it’s a question we’re asked a lot. It’s also nearly impossible to answer. Chambers Bay and Wine Valley are the most unique, each offering experiences unlike any other in Washington. Prospector, Newcastle, Desert Canyon and Bear Mountain Ranch have the best views and most breathtaking individual holes, Semiahmoo and Loomis Trail are of impeccable quality, while tracks like Gold Mountain’s Olympic, Kayak Point and McCormick Woods might be the best Puget Sound values. Which is why we typically say, “Whichever course is your favorite.” When it comes to finding a great round of golf, what matters isn’t what the big magazines say, or what your friends say — it’s what you think. That’s why this year, we’re not going to tell you what the best courses in the state are — we’re giving you the chance to make your own choice. Thirty-two courses, four incredible Washington state golf regions, one champion … the firstever Cascade Golfer Match Play Madness is officially underway. To compile our bracket, we commissioned a panel of local golfers, writers and golf enthusiasts, who rated each course based on a formula factoring quality, challenge, enjoyment and value. Our debate raised a few important ground rules. First off, every course in the bracket had to be public, or at least open to public play. We love our state’s private courses, but if 95 percent of our readers can’t play them, they’re not making our list (sorry, Sahalee, Aldarra and TPC Snoqualmie Ridge). Likewise, every course had to be one that our readers have actually had the chance to play. So to Rope Rider and Salish Cliffs, we say, “better luck next year.” You’re both deserving tracks, but it’s likely most of our readers haven’t made it out to your fairways just yet (though it should be a priority to do so in 2012). Of course, for every team in the bracket, there are at least one or two more deserving tracks that we had to leave out. To those courses whose bubbles have burst — our sincere apologies. There are unquestionably more than 32 great golf courses in Washington state, but we had to draw the line somewhere. To honor you, we’ve taken a page from ESPN’s “bracketologist” Joe Lunardi and published our “First Four Out” in each region — those courses whose candidacy ended up hanging right on the edge of the cup. Lastly, to guarantee that the high-end destination tracks didn’t dominate the voting, we’ve seeded the courses into four regions — Destination, which covers everything east of the mountains and south of Olympia; North, from the Snohomish County line to the Canadian border; Central Sound, including Seattle, the Eastside and all points south to Olympia; and Peninsula, with the top tracks from across the sound. Don’t like our seedings? Log on to the all-new CascadeGolfer.com to vote for your favorites and show us where we scored an ace, and where we shanked one into the trees — just for voting, you’ll be entered to win a brand new Cleveland wedge. Voting will be open after the publication of each issue throughout the year, with the results announced in the following issue — Sweet 16 in the Summer, Elite Eight in the Fall and a Final Four blowout in our December issue. Our friends at the Muckleshoot Casino have jumped on board, so we encourage you to print out the brackets from CascadeGolfer.com and throw a few bones behind your picks — sure, we all know that the office secretary or boss’ kid, who have never played a round in their life, will win, but you can still prove your superior knowledge of Washington golf to your buddies. So what’s it going to be? Wine Valley? Chambers Bay? Gold Mountain Olympic? Semiahmoo? Or will one of the lower seeds pull the upset? Let the madness begin. 32

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Spring

Sweet 16 Summer

Elite 8

1

Gold Mountain — Olympic

8

Gold Mountain — Cascade

4

Resort at Port Ludlow

5

Trophy Lake Golf & Casting

3

White Horse Golf Club

6

Cedars at Dungeness

2

McCormick Woods Golf Course

7

Alderbrook Golf Club

1

Chambers Bay

8

West Seattle Golf Course

4

The Home Course

5

Druids Glen Golf Club

3

Washington National

6

The Classic Golf Club

2

Newcastle — Coal Creek

7

Newcastle — China Creek

Fall

PENINSULA REGION

CENTRAL SOUND REGIO

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MATCH PLAY MADNESS

mpion

‌ CG readers pick the best course in Washington, bracket-style Round 1 Spring

Sweet 16 Summer

Elite 8 Fall

Semiahmoo Golf and CC

1

Snohomish Golf Course

8

Kayak Point Golf Course

4

Avalon Golf Links

5

Lake Padden Golf Club

3

Eaglemont Golf Club

6

Loomis Trail Golf Club

2

Harbour Pointe Golf Club

7

Wine Valley Golf Club

1

Highlander Golf Club

8

Desert Canyon Golf Club

4

Bear Mountain Ranch

5

Prospector at Suncadia

3

Apple Tree Resort

6

Palouse Ridge Golf Club

2

Indian Canyon Golf Course

7

Final Four Winter

NORTH REGION

CHAMPION

ON

DESTINATION REGION PRINT YOUR BRACKET AND VOTE ONLINE AT

cascadegolfer.com cascadegolfer.com

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CENTRAL SOUND REGION SEATTLE

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CHAMBERS BAY UNIVERSITY PLACE OPENED: 2007 (Robert Trent Jones II) YARDS: 5,287-7,547 chambersbaygolf.com

NEWCASTLE – COAL CREEK NEWCASTLE OPENED: 1999 (Robert Cupp/Fred Couples) YARDS: 5,153-7,024 newcastlegolf.com

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WASHINGTON NATIONAL GOLF CLUB AUBURN OPENED: 2000 (John Fought/Orrin Vincent) YARDS: 5,117-7,304 washingtonnationalgolf.com

THE HOME COURSE DUPONT OPENED: 2007 (Mike Asmundson) YARDS: 5,470-7,424 thehomecourse.com

SCOUTING REPORT: Both The Golf Club at Newcastle’s Coal Creek and China Creek courses belong in any list of the best tracks in the Central Sound. But we want to make sure all of our region’s great tracks receive their due, so we’re making our readers choose in the first round — Coal, or China? Coal Creek earns the higher seed, with its 360-degree views from the Cascades to the Olympics, including downtown Bellevue and Seattle. It’s every bit as fun as it is scenic, too, with uneven fairways, and creeks and bunkers that offer plenty of risk/ reward chances. China Creek offers a similar fun challenge from tee to green, with more trees and water elements than its celebrated sibling, but the same sweeping vistas on several holes. Whichever advances, we’ll be sure to toast them from the patio at the Woolly Toad, our favorite Puget Sound 19th hole.

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SCOUTING REPORT: The 3 vs. 6 matchup in the Central Sound region pits tracks that have produced some of the state’s top professional golfers. Opened in 2000 as the home course for the University of Washington golf teams, Washington National has proven to be a massive hit with Huskies and nonHuskies alike … though, the ubiquitous purple-and-gold décor is certainly more palatable if you’re Montlake-inclined. Playable waste areas surround the first 10 holes before the course plunges downhill for one of the most memorable back nines in the region, including the make-or-break, par-5 17th. The Classic opened in 1991, and while thousands flocked to its fairways, it was the nine-year-old son of owner Mike Moore who would become its most famous product. A fun, shotmaker’s course with narrow fairways and twotiered greens, it demands precision on every shot — skills Ryan Moore has put to good use on the PGA Tour.

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SCOUTING REPORT: The Home Course’s fall 2007 opening may have been overshadowed by the region’s No. 1 seed, but it has since earned a reputation as one of the region’s most enjoyable rounds of golf. The “home” of the Pacific Northwest Golf Association, few courses can match The Home Course’s impeccable grooming and sweeping Sound views, and discounts for PNGA, WSGA and USGA members make it one of the region’s best values. A second-round matchup with Chambers Bay would pair courses that together hosted the 2010 U.S. Amateur — first, though, it will have to get past the course which hosted the very first Cascade Golfer tournament in 2009, and has since become a fixture on the Cascade Golfer Cup calendar. Druids Glen takes The Home Course’s Sound views and counters with Mt. Rainier vistas on several holes. The par-3 third — a 182-yard carry over water — is one of the state’s best, while the short par-4 seventh is a tempting, risk-reward treat.

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WEST SEATTLE GOLF COURSE WEST SEATTLE OPENED: 1940 (H. Chandler Egan) YARDS: 5,535-6,725 premiergc.com/west-seattle

NEWCASTLE – CHINA CREEK NEWCASTLE OPENED: 1999 (Robert Cupp) YARDS: 4,782-6,632 newcastlegolf.com

THE CLASSIC GOLF CLUB SPANAWAY OPENED: 1991 (William Overdorf) YARDS: 5,656-6,902 classicgolfclub.net

PHOTO BY ROB PERRY

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OLYMPIA

PHOTO BY ROB PERRY

PHOTO BY ROB PERRY

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SCOUTING REPORT: Seeding the regions was tough, but there was only a microsecond of debate on which course should be No. 1 in the Central Sound. Since earning a U.S. Open just seven months after its grand opening in 2007, Chambers Bay has proven that it deserves a place in the pantheon of America’s top municipal tracks, alongside Torrey Pines and Bethpage Black. Fairways, greens and tee boxes blend together seamlessly, separated only by massive, grass-covered dunes and natural-edged bunkers that are as reminiscent of the British Open as America’s own. Its challenger, however, comes with its own USGA pedigree — West Seattle golf course hosted the 1953 USGA Public Links, and has served in recent years as a direct qualifier to the national Mid-Amateur. Views of downtown Seattle are unmatched by any course in the region, and despite its age, the holes remain as fun and challenging today as they were when the course first opened in 1940.

TO

DRUIDS GLEN GOLF CLUB COVINGTON OPENED: 1997 (Keith Foster) YARDS: 5,354-7,146 druidsglengolf.com

FIRST FOUR OUT: EAGLES PRIDE AT FORT LEWIS, GOLF CLUB AT REDMOND RIDGE, HAWKS PRAIRIE, JACKSON PARK 34

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PENINSULA REGION PHOTO BY ROB PERRY

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GOLD MOUNTAIN - OLYMPIC GORST OPENED: 1996 (John Harbottle) YARDS: 5,220-7,168 goldmt.com

2

McCORMICK WOODS GOLF COURSE PORT ORCHARD OPENED: 1987 (Jack Frei) YARDS: 5,299-7,040 mccormickwoodsgolf.com

3

WHITE HORSE GOLF CLUB KINGSTON OPENED: 2007 (Cynthia Dye McGarey) YARDS: 5,022-7,093 whitehorsegolf.com

4

RESORT AT PORT LUDLOW PORT LUDLOW OPENED: 1975 (Roberrt Muir Graves) YARDS: 5,240-6,861 portludlowresort.com/golf

SCOUTING REPORT: It’s appropriate that a matchup of Gold Mountain’s Cascade and Olympic courses should kick off the Peninsula Region — the two tracks, opened in 1971 and 1996, respectively, bookend the building boom that has seen the Kitsap and Olympic Peninsulas go from a handful of small local tracks to the golf region voted No. 1 by our readers in 2010. The Cascade, opened first, is the shorter of the two by 400 yards, with a rating and slope that suggest it should play about 2-3 shots easier than its younger sibling. It’s popular with golfers who want the Gold Mountain experience — tree-lined fairways and highclass customer service — without a USGA-level challenge. The latter is what you get on the Olympic, which has hosted several USGA and NCAA championships, and includes some of Washington’s most memorable holes. They’re nearly all camera-worthy, and the stretch from No. 16-18 might be the best finishing trio in the state, capped by our favorite risk/reward par-4.

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SCOUTING REPORT: The geographic center of the “holy trinity” of Peninsula golf — including Gold Mountain’s Olympic Course to the north and Trophy Lake to the south, each within a 15-minute drive — McCormick Woods was the first of the three to open in 1987, setting the standard for those that came after. A classic, tree-lined, Northwest course with several elevation changes and tricky greens, it also has the region’s best post-round restaurant, and is a terrific value (even better as part of the new RMG Group ... see page 10 for details). Those factors make it a strong contender in a loaded region, though McCormick fans shouldn’t sleep on Alderbrook, still one of the best-kept secrets in the state. Its remote location in Union (about an hour from Tacoma) keeps the traffic down, making it that much easier to enjoy its natural beauty and abundant wildlife … including plenty of a golfer’s favorite kind — birdies.

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SCOUTING REPORT: Some of the matchups on our list feature similar courses — this is not one of those. White Horse was the state’s most difficult course when it opened in 2007, defined by tight fairways, bedeviling bunkers and greens that refused to hold an iron shot. It’s since been softened up to players’ delight at the hand of John Harbottle, who removed several bunkers and trees, and eased approaches into the toughest-to-hit greens, making the course fun and playable while still retaining plenty of challenge. The Cedars, by comparison, is largely wide open — Dungeness’ broad fairways and lack of towering pines beg you to let fly with the driver and ride the stiff breezes coming off the nearby Strait of Juan de Fuca. Its iconic crushed-brick crab bunker on the par-5 third is one of the state’s most recognizable golf images, but will that be enough to push it past White Horse’s critically acclaimed links? You’ll decide.

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SCOUTING REPORT: If you’re looking for a darkhorse — say, a 4-seed or lower with a good chance of running the table to the Final Four — look no further. Both courses in this 4 vs. 5 matchup are among the most popular with Puget Sound golfers, Port Ludlow for its unique holes and unbeatable value, and Trophy Lake for its private-club quality at public-course rates. Port Ludlow’s Tide and Timber nines feature some of the most scenic Sound views of any Northwest track, with elevated tees that descend dramatically to tree-lined, doglegged fairways, then climb again to the hilltop clubhouse. Few courses can match it for pure eye candy — except Trophy Lake, whose perfectly-manicured fairways, white-sand bunkers and trademark Oki class make for a high-end experience at every turn. Like pulling 3-wood to fire over the water on Trophy’s par-5 18th, putting your chips on either of these tracks in the Peninsula Region is a gambler’s play — they could both win, but only one will get past the first round.

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GOLD MOUNTAIN - CASCADE GORST OPENED: 1971 (Ken Tyson) YARDS: 5,306-6,707 goldmt.com

ALDERBROOK GOLF CLUB UNION OPENED: 1970 (Roy Goss/Glen Proctor) YARDS: 4,551-6,280 alderbrookgolf.com

CEDARS AT DUNGENESS SEQUIM OPENED: 1969 (Jack Reimer/Mark Miller) YARDS: 4,773-6,529 7cedarsresort.com/golf

TROPHY LAKE GOLF & CASTING PORT ORCHARD OPENED: 1999 (John Fought) YARDS: 5,342-7,206 trophylakegolf.com

FIRST FOUR OUT: SALISH CLIFFS (TOO NEW FOR INCLUSION), DISCOVERY BAY, HORSESHOE LAKE, ROLLING HILLS 36

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DESTINATION REGION 1

WINE VALLEY GOLF CLUB WALLA WALLA OPENED: 2009 (Dan Hixson) YARDS: 5,105-7,360 (Par 72) winevalleygolfclub.com

2

PALOUSE RIDGE GOLF CLUB PULLMAN OPENED: 2008 (John Harbottle) YARDS: 5,106-7,308 (Par 72) palouseridge.com

PHOTO BY ROB PERRY

3

PROSPECTOR AT SUNCADIA SUNCADIA RESORT, ROSLYN OPENED: 2006 (Palmer Course Design) YARDS: 5,362-7,112 (Par 72) suncadiaresort.com

DESERT CANYON GOLF CLUB ORONDO OPENED: 1993 (Jack Frei) YARDS: 5,200-7,285 desertcanyon.com

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SCOUTING REPORT: The opening of Palouse Ridge on the WSU campus has given residents across the state the best reason to travel to Pullman since Drew Bledsoe. Named the No. 2 new course in the country in 2009 and the third-best college course in America last year, Palouse is famed architect John Harbottle’s most awe-inspiring design, with undulating fairways, and greens crafted by glaciers, not tractors. It’s fitting that the region’s newest gem should be matched against its oldest — Indian Canyon in Spokane was built by H. Chandler Egan in 1935, and has held up to 75 years of golf club advancement to remain a fun and challenging track. With a 240-foot drop from its highest point to its lowest, and typically thick Northwest pines on all sides, it still requires the same precision and strategy today as it did back when woods were still, you know, wood.

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SCOUTING REPORT: Every year there are suggestions that the NCAA Tournament committee created certain matchups to guarantee a good storyline. We admit that we can’t wait to see who wins this pairing of two of our favorite Central Washington tracks, with two of the state’s most memorable holes — ­Prospector’s par-4 10th and Apple Tree’s iconic par-3 17th. It’s a sign of how strong Washington’s courses are that a track as good as Prospector can’t do better than a 3-seed. Cut through thick Cascade Mountain pines just across Snoqualmie Pass, Prospector is a favorite day trip of Puget Sound golfers, who can experience 18 holes of mountain golf bliss and be back in time for dinner. It’ll face a stiff challenge from Apple Tree, whose perfectly manicured fairways wind through an active apple orchard in Yakima. The last three holes — including the apple-shaped island green 17th — are the most oft-photographed, but the wildly enjoyable front nine might actually be our favorite.

6

SCOUTING REPORT: A 36-hole day trip to Desert Canyon and Bear Mountain Ranch is one any golfer will remember forever – especially when the days are long, the wine is flowing and the views stretch to infinity. Unfolding from a ridge high above the Columbia River’s east bank, Desert Canyon has been a staple of Puget Sound glory-seekers for nearly two decades, a green oasis in a sea of brown and red hills. While the 690-yard sixth hole justifiably gets most of the pub, the course includes a number of other outstanding holes, combining high-desert features with traditional parkland elements. To advance, it’ll have to hold off Bear Mountain Ranch, whose challenging layout, Lake Chelan views and acres upon acres of vineyards have also seduced many a Puget Sound golfer. Truly, every hole is memorable — we love the lake and vineyard views from the front nine, and the three-hole run up and down the ridge from No. 12-14 (the last a fantastic risk/reward par-5) is pure golf heaven.

5

HIGHLANDER GOLF CLUB EAST WENATCHEE OPENED: 2003 (Jim Haley) YARDS: 4,991-6,555 (Par 72) highlandergolfclub.com

INDIAN CANYON GOLF COURSE SPOKANE OPENED: 1935 (H. Chandler Egan) YARDS: 5,336-6,255 spokanegolf.org

APPLE TREE RESORT YAKIMA OPENED: 1992 (John Steidel) YARDS: 5,428-6,961 appletreegolf.com PHOTO BY ROB PERRY

4

SCOUTING REPORT: Dan Hixson’s Walla Walla sensation takes the top spot in a loaded region. Routed across the rolling, fertile hills of Washington wine country, you don’t play Wine Valley — you experience it, with all five of your senses. (Even “taste” — try a local Syrah in the clubhouse and you’ll see what I mean.) Think Bandon Dunes without the ocean — hard fairways, rugged bunkers, large uneven greens and views that go on for miles in every direction. Of course, views are one aspect eighth-seed Highlander can match – on a ridge high above Wenatchee and the Columbia River, golfers at Highlander can find it challenging to keep their eye on the ball. The par-3 ninth hole (at right) — played across a yawning canyon — is one of the state’s most-photographed, and recent additions of a lake, waterfall, white-sand bunkers, 500 trees and other course improvements make Highlander a tough draw for any top seed.

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BEAR MOUNTAIN RANCH CHELAN OPENED: 2005 (Robert Yount/Don Barth) YARDS: 5,043-7,231 bearmt.com

FIRST FOUR OUT: LINKS AT MOSES POINTE, ROPE RIDER (TOO NEW FOR INCLUSION), CANYON LAKES, DOWNRIVER 38

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NORTH REGION PHOTO BY ROB PERRY

1

SEMIAHMOO GOLF AND C.C. BLAINE OPENED: 1986 (Arnold Palmer) YARDS: 5,288-7,005 semiahmoo.com

2

LOOMIS TRAIL GOLF CLUB BLAINE OPENED: 1993 (Gram Cook) YARDS: 5,399-7,137 semiahmoo.com

3

LAKE PADDEN GOLF CLUB BELLINGHAM OPENED: 1971 (Roy Goss/Glen Proctor) YARDS: 5,458-6,575 lakepaddengolf.com

4

KAYAK POINT GOLF COURSE STANWOOD OPENED: 1977 (Ronald Fream) YARDS: 5,332-6,719 golfkayak.com

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SCOUTING REPORT: While most major golf magazines rate Loomis Trail highest of North Region courses — Golf Digest picked it No. 1 in the state in 2005 — we have a slight preference for Semiahmoo, with its forested fairways and signature holes. Semiahmoo’s 11th is one of the state’s best par-4s, and is followed by one its best par-3s, each hooking around a lake that’s home to dozens of Canada geese, which (like their fellow Canadians) frequently jump across the border to take advantage of surprisingly low rates and unmatched quality. As a semi-private course (open to the public on odd-numbered days), it’s appropriately matched with Snohomish, which echoes in style our region’s most famous private track — Sahalee. We’re not saying Snohomish is a straightup equal to the major-championship venue, but it comes with a much lower price tag and offers a similar golf experience — tough, tight holes framed by 100-year-old evergreens that swallow up anything off-line.

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SCOUTING REPORT: Even in a region famous for wet stuff, Loomis Trail stands out. Those rare occasions when you’re standing over a shot at Loomis and don’t see water are actually the most perilous — there’s water up there somewhere, you just don’t know where. Of course, with water comes wildlife — lots of it. Beavers, herons and eagles are all regular sights at Loomis, making the course’s natural scenery on par with its demands on your shot-making ability. It’s matched up against another course renowned for its combination of beauty and challenge, Mukilteo’s Harbour Pointe. While not particularly long at just under 6,900 yards, Harbour’s tight fairways and forced carries can make for a tough test from the back tees. And while Loomis is almost entirely level, there’s hardly a flat hole on Harbour’s entire back nine, including a signature par-4 11th (at right) that plummets more than 100 feet from tee to green.

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SNOHOMISH GOLF COURSE SNOHOMISH OPENED: 1967 (David Richards) YARDS: 5,325-6,813 snohomishgolfcourse.com

HARBOUR POINTE GOLF CLUB MUKILTEO OPENED: 1990 (Arthur Hills) YARDS: 4,951-6,861 harbourpointegolf.com

SCOUTING REPORT: Could Lake Padden, our favorite Bellingham course, make a run to the Elite Eight with a first-round win and an upset of Loomis Trail? Sure it could. Of course, Eaglemont could do the same — especially among voters who’ve played the latter since it opened a new clubhouse (at right) last summer, above the elevated 12th tee (now the No. 1 tee). Switching the nines and reversing the order of some holes has resulted in a better flow, and puts Eaglemont’s signature holes at key points in the round. Of course, a new clubhouse and layout might still not be enough to push it past Lake Padden, whose low rates and scenic holes have made it a favorite of Bellingham locals and Puget Sound day-trippers for over 30 years. Nestled snugly in an old-growth forest around the lake from which it takes its name, it’s a picturesque challenge in the mold of Semiahmoo, with towering pines that will slap the hand of any golfer tempted by its shorter length.

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SCOUTING REPORT: Golfers who have played our No. 4 and 5 seeds will note their similarities to the top-two seeds in this region, Semiahmoo and Loomis Trail. Like Semiahmoo, Kayak Point is a tree-lined test of your all-around game, requiring big drives on some holes and pin-point precision on others, draws and fades, uphill approaches and downhill bombs. And with rates in the $35$45 range, it’s also one of the region’s best bargains. The same can be said of Avalon, whose Northwest wetlands style echoes that of Loomis Trail. Of course, Loomis doesn’t have Avalon’s 27 holes, which both increase the pace of play and give players a varied experience each time they tee it up. And when projecting Avalon’s chances, the ability to play all day for less than the cost of 18 holes at many of the other 31 courses in this bracket can’t be ignored.

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EAGLEMONT GOLF CLUB MOUNT VERNON OPENED: 1993 (John Steidel) YARDS: 5,140-7,006 eaglemontgolfclub.com

AVALON GOLF LINKS BURLINGTON OPENED: 1991 (Robert Muir Graves) YARDS: 5,137-6,860 (North/South) avalonlinks.com

FIRST FOUR OUT: HOMESTEAD FARMS GOLF RESORT, SHUKSAN GOLF CLUB, LEGION MEMORIAL GOLF COURSE, NORTH BELLINGHAM GOLF COURSE 40

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AGONY ECSTASY AND

Many thought Kyle Stanley might never recover MANY THOUGHT JUST from aKYLE Sunday collapse at Torrey Pines — just seven days later, STANLEY SEVEN DAYS LATER, he rose from the ashes to win in Phoenix MIGHT NEVER RECOVER HE ROSE FROM A FROM THE ASHES SUNDAY COLLAPSE TO WIN IN AT TORREY PINES. PHOENIX

A

ll Gig Harbor’s Kyle Stanley needed on his final hole was a par to achieve his goal. He was confident. He was in control. He could do this. Yet, on his approach to the 18th green, he flubbed it, blew the par and ultimately was denied what seemingly was his for the taking. It was painful to watch — fortunately, there was hardly anyone watching. This 18th-hole foldo occurred not earlier this year at Torrey Pines, but nine years ago, in 2003, when Stanley was an underclassman at Tacoma’s Bellarmine Prep, a hot-shot junior poised to flash his talents at the 4A state golf championships at Canyon Lakes Golf Course in Kennewick. Stanley erratically chunked his wedge to the green, then two-putted, missing the cut by one stroke. His vision of a state championship vanished. “[That was] exactly when it started for him,’’ says Matt Stanley, his father. “He was a

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BY BOB SHERWIN good young player but was cut after the first day. He did not play the 18th hole well. “That was the nadir of his golfing career. It really bummed him out,’’ the elder Stanley continues. “We talked a lot after that, about

“When he was about 14, I knew this kid was going be something special,’’ says his junior swing coach, Todd Erwin. “He would ask, ‘What do I need to do to get on the Tour?’ He was dreaming early.” how no matter how much talent you have, you have to work harder than anyone else. “He was kind of a confident kid who didn’t practice much,’’ Matt adds. “But overnight he

transformed himself to become someone who worked very hard. This was a 14-, 15-year-old boy doing that. He knew that’s what it would take. It was the best lesson ever, really. “It was why his latest loss was far from being a downer.’’ His latest loss — a double nadir, if you will — is the one we all saw. It came in front of a considerably larger audience, the nationally televised Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines on Jan. 29. In his second full PGA season, Stanley appeared to be a lock for victory with a seven-stroke lead early in his final round, and a three-stroke lead entering the final hole. A par would win it; heck, a double-bogey would win it. Standing in the fairway, hitting his third to the par-5 18th green, victory seemed assured. But Stanley over-spun his approach to the green, and the ball scooted back into the water. After leaving his chip 40 feet from the hole, a suddenly flustered Stanley started counting the shots he needed to save the win. cascadegolfer.com


“As we stepped onto the green I looked at my caddy and said, ‘We have to two-putt this, don’t we?’” Stanley recalled later. “That was probably when I really started feeling the pressure.” He three-putted instead for a triple-bogey, then three-putted again on the final hole of a devastating playoff loss to Brandt Snedeker. His tears in the post-round press conference gave further evidence of the crushing disappointment of the loss, while his words — no bitterness, no regret, just disappointment and resolve — earned the respect and sympathy of golfers and golf fans worldwide. After the round, Stanley joined his father, mother Michele, sister Kristen and a friend for a somber dinner. They talked about what went wrong — the “What ifs” and, more importantly, the “What nows.” It was an emotionally painful couple of days, but what bolstered Stanley’s spirits was an outpouring of support from his family, fans and fellow golfers. cascadegolfer.com

“By Tuesday he sent me a text,’’ Matt recalls. “He said, ‘You know, this may sound weird, but I think it’s going to work out all right.’ “Those (18th hole collapses) were his two bleakest moments — but they were two of the best things ever for him.’’ What also propped Stanley up was a pep talk from Phil Mickelson. A four-time major champion might not seem to have much in common with a second-year Tour pro still hunting for his first win, but Mickelson had watched Stanley’s finish the previous Sunday, had seen the press conference highlights, and knew exactly what Stanley was experiencing. Just six years ago at Winged Foot in New York, Mickelson had stood on the tee at the par-4 18th, just four shots — or even five — away from his first U.S. Open title. Instead, he sliced his tee shot into a tent, sliced his second into a tree, knocked his third into a bunker and put his fourth over the green, en route to double-bogey. Media reports compared Mickelson’s 18th-

hole collapse to that of Jean Van de Velde at the 1999 Open Championship — a comparison that was also now being made of Stanley. Van de Velde never recovered, winning just once more on the European Tour, seven years later. Mickelson, however, did — and perhaps saw this as his chance to help Stanley do the same. Mickelson invited the young pro to a nine-hole practice round at Whisper Rock in Scottsdale the day before the Waste Management Phoenix Open. As they talked, he emphasized how important it is for a young golfer to stay aggressive — when you get a Sunday lead, don’t ease off the throttle, but instead, go for the throat. “On Sunday at Torrey, I was thinking about winning all day,” Stanley said later. “I almost started playing to protect. The biggest thing [Phil] told me was that you can’t change your mindset. If you get up five, try to go up six; if you get up six, go up seven. You can’t change your game.” It was advice Stanley wouldn’t forget. APRIL 2012

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Camaloch Golf Course

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n retrospect, perhaps it was a sign that the tournament which began the next day was called the Phoenix Open — after the city eponymous with the mythological bird reborn from the ashes of its own destruction. Certainly by Sunday, the parallel was lost on no one. In the final round of the Waste Management

Phoenix Open, it was Stanley who was down by eight strokes, and 27-year-old Spencer Levin with a seven-stroke lead after one hole, trying to close out his first PGA Tour win. It was a script that even Hollywood filmmakers would have declined as too unrealistic — Stanley overcoming his disappointment to charge back for a Sunday win, as Levin mirrored Stanley’s collapse of a week before. But as the holes unfolded, the impossible began to become reality. On the 10th hole, Stanley mis-hit a 2-iron that ran across the hard TPC Scottsdale fairway and down a slope towards the water. Expecting to find the ball in the drink, Stanley was surprised to instead see it suspended on the downslope, just a few feet from the water’s edge. “I looked at my caddy and said, ‘I can’t believe this ball stayed up,’” Stanley said later, in an interview with KJR’s Mitch Levy. “He looked at me and smiled and said, ‘It looks like we’re starting to get some good breaks.’” A few holes later, another mishit that should have left Stanley stranded in the desert waste instead rolled through to a cut of rough, from which he got up and down for a birdie. Another birdie followed. Soon, Stanley could tell from the buzz of the crowd that something special, something so incredibly unlikely, was in fact happening. By the time he stepped to the 18th green, Stanley needed just to roll in a four-footer to win … a nearly identical putt to that he had stood over a week before, with a win seemingly assured. This time, it went down. And with it, a week’s worth of emotions flowed out of him — both elation at the win, but sympathy for Levin, who he describes as a “good friend” and whose pain he knows all too well. “I’m at a loss for words,” he said afterward. cascadegolfer.com


Stanley spun his third shot at Torrey Pines’ par-5 18th into the water, then left his chip 40 feet from the hole. “I LOOKED AT MY CADDY AND SAID, ‘WE HAVE TO TWO-PUTT THIS, DON’T WE?’” he recalls. “That was when I really started feeling the pressure.”

“[But] I feel bad for Spencer. After going through [what I went through], I wouldn’t wish that on anybody.” When addressing the media just minutes after his victory, one of the first things Stanley mentioned were those conversations with his father after his Canyon Lakes failure. “My dad always taught me that talent was only going to get you so far,’’ he said. “If I wanted to be the best, I was going to have to combine that talent with a great work ethic. You’ve got to have dreams and set goals. There has to be a purpose to everything you do.” Stanley had sought and sustained immediate redemption. He also opened some eyes. The 24-year-old had not even closed out that first victory when one TV analyst — inspired by his talent, and more importantly, his toughness — said he could win 30 more.

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f course, those who know Stanley weren’t surprised to see him bounce back. The year following that withering high school failure, Stanley rebounded to guide Bellarmine Prep to back-to-back state titles. He earned a scholarship to Clemson, where he twice placed second at the NCAA Championships, and won the 2009 Ben Hogan Award, given to the best collegiate player in the nation. After failing to make the top-25 in his first season on the Nationwide Tour, he bounced back to secure his Tour card at 2010 Q-School, then won more than $1.5 million last year in his first, small-sample PGA go-around, earning sponsorships from Titleist and financial services leader Transamerica in the process. Like nearly all successful golfers, he’s never been one to let one failure — a bad shot, a

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“I used him as an example,” says Clemson’s Larry Penley, who coached Stanley (at right, from his time at Clemson). “I said, ‘Watch what he does. Do what he does. HE’S SHOWING YOU THE BLUEPRINT TO GET ON THE PGA TOUR. His goal is to be the best player in world. I’ll be more surprised if he [isn’t].”

bad hole, a bad loss or, indeed, a crushing nationally televised defeat — affect him once it’s done. “He always had a forward-thinking attitude, three, four years ahead of anyone else. He’s a tremendous goal-setter,’’ said Todd Erwin,

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who was Stanley’s teacher from age 11 until the time he went to college. From a young age, Erwin said Stanley had the natural ability, a passion for the game and a willingness to put the work in. “When he was about 14, I knew this kid was going be something special,’’ Erwin said. “He would ask, ‘What do I need to do to get on the Tour?’ He was dreaming early.” Stanley already had the swing. Erwin did little to change that, mostly working on every imaginable shot he might encounter. What he stressed more was building his confidence and his mental framework, keeping his cool, and how to carry himself as a pro — firm handshakes, eye contact, head and chest up. With his conditioning obsession and his goal-oriented focus, Stanley developed into one of the best junior players in the country. When it came time to choose a college, Stanley’s goals were the same they had been at 14 — getting to the Tour. “It was a little bit of everything,’’ Stanley said. “I was looking for schools where guys had gone, had moved on and done their thing on Tour. If you take a look at Clemson, they have a good representation of players on Tour, so that was important. And coach (Larry) Penley was great. He really helped me out there.’’ Penley has been Clemson’s head golf coach for 29 years and helped develop PGA stars such as D.J. Trahan, Jonathan Byrd and Lucas Glover. He first saw Stanley at age 16 setting a tournament record to win the 2005 MCI Junior Heritage at Hilton Head, S.C. Penley was blown away by his talent, but figured he had no chance getting this kid to come across country to Clemson — especially cascadegolfer.com


that's


with Matt Thurmond’s elite Washington program in Stanley’s backyard. “Then, he wanted to make an unofficial visit,’’ Penley says. “I liked that. I knew we had a chance. He wanted to come to the East Coast, maybe for a change of scene, warmer weather, different grass. I think he felt like he needed more of a challenge to better prepare him for later. “We were blessed he decided on Clemson. We knew we had someone very special.’’ From his first day on campus, Penley said he saw Stanley’s commitment. He worked out every day, if not twice a day. He closed the driving range, often staying until midnight. He was no-nonsense, no horseplay and purposeful — with one clear focus. “There is no wasted energy with him. Everything he does has a purpose,’’ Penley says. “I talked to our team and used him as an example for anyone who wanted to be on the Tour. I said, ‘Watch what he does. Do what he does. He’s showing you the blueprint to get on the PGA Tour.’ “His goal is to be the best player in world. I think it’s a realistic goal. I’ll be more surprised if he isn’t.” The question that Penley often gets is how the slim-framed Stanley can generate so much power and distance. The PGA Tour lists him as just 5-foot-11 and 165 pounds, yet he consistently ranks among the longest drivers on Tour. “He [has] a great golf swing with a lot of whip,’’ Penley says. “You [can] see the speed in his golf swing. It’s amazing — I’ve never seen someone with that much speed. You can’t teach speed; either you have it or you don’t.” Erwin, trying to answer the same question, mused, “I honestly couldn’t tell you. He does have fast-moving hips. But it’s a gift. Some people have it; some don’t. He’s got a fairly wide arc and he generates a lot of whip.’’ Whether it’s his hips, his whip or a gift, Stanley says, “It’s obviously an advantage to hit it a long ways, but it’s nice when you can shorten holes up and hit mid irons into par-5s and wedges into par-4s. But first and foremost, you’ve got to hit fairways. It’s a stat that is probably the least important out there if you’re hitting it everywhere. But yeah, when I’m driving it straight, it’s certainly an advantage.’’ Last year, his first full season on Tour, Stanley made 22 cuts and pocketed $1.5 million with four top-10 finishes. He had a chance to win the John Deere Classic in early July, until Steve Stricker holed out from off the green for a oneshot victory. Stricker was one of the first players to text support to Stanley after his Torrey torment. Hundreds of other texts followed, including an unexpected encouraging message from Gonzaga basketball coach Mark Few. Stanley is a big-time Bulldog fan stemming back to elementary school; cascadegolfer.com

his favorite athlete is Adam Morrison. According to Stanley, Few texted, “You showed unbelievable toughness and guts to come back and play so well in the playoff after that unlucky break on 18. Congrats on a great weekend, and you have a very bright future ahead of you.” A week later, Stanley heard from Few again — this time under much better circumstances. “Way to respond,” Few texted, just moments after Stanley’s unlikely win. “You could have played the victim, or the warrior, and you were the warrior — big time.” Stanley reflects on the entire experience in the way only a great golfer can — as a chance to learn, and improve. Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, he’s taken the worst punishment the game can deliver, and risen stronger than he was before. “I’m never going to forget that,” Stanley said. “But I think it makes [winning] a lot sweeter, just being able to bounce back. It was very tough to swallow, but that’s one of the things I learned — you need to be prepared for whatever this game can throw at you. “It’s unbelievable. An unbelievable turnaround.” Bob Sherwin is a freelance writer and frequent contributor to Cascade Golfer. A veteran of the Seattle Times, he also freelances for the New York Times and Associated Press, and is the co-founder of Northwest golf website GolfersWest.com.

WHAT’S IN HIS BAG? Driver Titleist 910D3 Fairway Wood Titleist 910Fd Hybrid Titleist 503i Irons Titleist 712MB Wedges Titleist Vokey Design Spin-Milled Putter Scotty Cameron for Titleist Timeless

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High Desert

One writer’s recent trip to Oregon’s

PRONGHORN RESORT left the whole family smiling — except the dog

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o. 10 tee is right this way, Mr. Moore,” said Shawn, our forecaddie at Pronghorn’s Nicklaus Course, as we walked off the ninth green. If Shawn is typical of forecaddies at Pronghorn Resort, just outside Bend, Ore., then anyone making the trip down from Seattle is in for a treat. We’ll get back to Shawn in a minute. Now, I know what you’re thinking: Why read this? Of course Jim is going to rave about golf and everything else at Pronghorn — he was probably comped the whole time he was there. Which is true. But after you go to Pronghorn, tell me there was something to complain about, something you weren’t happy about. Go on, tell me. Certainly, when it comes to golf, I’m easy to please — I’m happy staying at a Super 8 and playing the lowestrated course in the country. If are tee boxes and greens with flagsticks, I’m good to go. But my wife? She’s different. She has standards, high ones. And Pronghorn, in every way, exceeded her expectations. She was content as could be for three

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BY JIM MOORE days — I even caught her looking in the side-view mirror when we drove away, clearly not wanting to leave. The only member of our family that did not enjoy Pronghorn was Willie, our 8-year-old golden retriever. Pets aren’t allowed at the resort, so we dropped Willie off at Happy Tails, a dog hotel between Redmond and Bend. The look on his face when we left Happy Tails mirrored my wife’s when we left Pronghorn. Anyway, back to Shawn — or as I referred to him under my breath, “poor Shawn,” because every time I saw him, he was in the desert looking for my wife’s balls, or my kids’ balls, or sometimes even mine. If you were to ask poor Shawn what he was thinking about our group, I’ll bet it was something along the lines of this: Man, I wish someone would hit a ball in the fairway. How in the world did I get stuck with these hackers? At the rate we’re going, I’ll never make it in time to meet my mom for dinner. I wish I could have a beer. Mr. Moore is sure downing them.

It took us four hours to play nine holes. We let three groups play through. My kids are 7-year-old twins who have been playing golf since they were two. They’re good little golfers, but need to pick up the pace. And my wife, God bless her, she thinks she’s playing fast, but she’s not. She six-putted the first hole, and I can only imagine what the foursome in the fairway was thinking as they watched. I felt like the guy in charge of all three rings at the circus. So it was that as we walked off the ninth green, Shawn politely pointed us towards the 10th tee box. “Shawn,” I said, “We’re not playing the back nine.” “Why not?” Shawn asked in complete seriousness. “Come on, Shawn!” I said. “You think I’m going to put you through another four hours of THAT? Go have dinner with your mom!” He said what he was supposed to say, that he was ready for the back nine if we were. I thanked him profusely, tipped him, shook his hand and thought about the stories he would be telling his mom about the longest nine holes he had ever walked in his life. cascadegolfer.com


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e returned to our villa, where we had the same reaction every time we opened the door — “Wow, this place is unbelievable.” I used to be a sportswriter at the Seattle PostIntelligencer who covered the now-defunct Seattle SuperSonics. My job took me to every major city in the country, and I stayed where the team stayed – at the Ritz Carlton or the Four Seasons. But I had never stayed at a place as nice as our villa at Pronghorn. It featured the best of the best in everything, from kitchen appliances to living-room furniture. There were three bedrooms upstairs — one for Mikey, one for Stevie and one for us. Mikey’s opened up with a view of the 18th green and the living room downstairs. But of course, he was more interested in playing video games on the flat-screen in his bedroom. Before heading to the Trailhead Grill for dinner, we sat on our patio in front of the fire pit, watching golfers putt out on 18. Barbecues are on each patio if you prefer grilling and staying in to eating out. There are many different lodging options, from four-bedroom units to one-bedroom units. All are plush and within easy walking distance of the 55,000-square foot clubhouse and Trailhead Grill, where you’ll find more than good food. The Trailhead building also has a family-fun activity center and two big pools, one with a slide. It was at the pool where we ran into former Seattle Mariners slugger Richie Sexson, who’s a

cascadegolfer.com

member at Pronghorn. I made about five seconds of small talk with Sexson, figuring he didn’t want to be bothered, because if I were him, I wouldn’t want to be bothered either. It’s not uncommon, I learned, to run into celebrities at Pronghorn — the membership also includes former UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel and soccer star Mia Hamm, among others.

Of all of the courses I’ve played

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bigger life jackets or I need to shed some ell-bees off my 230-pound frame before the next time I go. My wife and kids – and no doubt everyone else – got a big kick out of seeing daddy bursting out of his life-jacket.) When you’re at Pronghorn, this is a don’t-miss attraction, especially in the middle of the summer when you’ll appreciate a wet respite from temperatures that can reach the high 80s. You can go on any number of full-day Sun Country trips, but if you’re like me, you’ll like the half-day Big Eddy excursion — because it leaves time to stop by Pronghorn’s Tour Academy after lunch. At the Tour Academy, head instructor Mike Palin uses the latest in video technology, but since I’m old-school and hate to see how bad my swing looks, I just appreciated the tips that he gave me. To this day, I carry his “Points to Remember” card with me in my bag, reminding me to swing to the right (or as I like to think of it, right-center field), release my hands and have a good finish. Within minutes, using Palin’s advice, I was launching 7-iron shots farther and higher than I ever had before. Thanks to Palin, I played better than usual that afternoon on Pronghorn’s Tom Fazio course, the other jewel on the property. It’s private, but if you’re

he next morning, we had breakfast at the Trailhead Grill before taking a 15-minute drive into Bend to go on a Sun Country Raft Tour. I honestly thought we were going to be floating down a lazy river, soaking up sun and scenery. I should have known that something called “The Big Eddy Thriller” had nothing to do with lounging and relaxation. We went through three Class III rapids, paddling like madmen. In fact, if those were Class III rapids, I want no part of Class IV or V. I can only assume that Class VI is death for novices. I like to think that they put the most capable oarsman up front because they wanted someone who could steer us through trouble. But, it was probably more of a case of needing the fattest guy on the raft up front for ballast. Whatever the reason, that’s where I was, right next to my kids, whose entirely drenched little bodies and really wide smiles told the story of our Big Eddy white-water rafting trip on the Upper Deschutes. (Special note: Sun Country either needs to invest in

in 40-plus years — including Augusta National — the Nicklaus and Fazio courses at Pronghorn are in my top five.

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cascadegolfer.com


BELIEVE IT — WE’RE SENDING YOU TO PRONGHORN For years, Pronghorn Resort was the paradise of only the rich and famous. Now, it’s open to you — and we’re giving you a taste of the good life … on us! We’re sending one lucky reader and the playing partner of their choice to spend one luxurious night in a suite at the world-class Pronghorn Resort, followed by a round of golf for both on the famed Jack Nicklaus Signature Course — a $299 value! Visit the all-new CascadeGolfer.com and enter-to-win today!

Jack Nicklaus Course • Hole 18

staying there and talk to the head professional, you can probably get on. In addition to being a first-class layout, as one would expect from a world-class architect, it’s in immaculate shape — just like the Nicklaus. Of all of the courses I’ve played in 40-plus years — the Resort Course at Coeur d’Alene, Big Sky in Pemberton, B.C., and many others — the Nicklaus and Fazio courses at Pronghorn are in my top five. (And in good company — No. 1 is Augusta National, which I played twice as a member of the media when I covered The Masters.) Again, I’m not a golf-course snob, but the fairways at the Pronghorn courses are like greens at other courses. You’d have a better chance of finding a needle in a haystack than a weed on a Pronghorn fairway. If you asked me which course was better, Nicklaus or Fazio, I don’t know what I’d tell you … I like brunettes as much as blondes. Really, it depends on who you ask – Brandon Tucker of WorldGolf.com said the Nicklaus course at Pronghorn was the best publicaccess Nicklaus course he’s ever played. Tucker loved the par-5 15th, calling it a beautifully designed hole — and I’ll have to take his word for it, having never made it past No. 9. One of the neatest holes on the Fazio course is the par-3 eighth, built adjacent to a lava tube. If you’re like me, you have no idea what a lava tube is. Apparently, course architects discovered one while excavating and building the eighth green, and incorporated it into the design. You can go inside the lava tube and walk through the tunnel for a quarter-mile, or so I was told. I can tell you this for certain – it’s dark and cold in there, not to mention a little bit eerie. There are lanterns if you want to take a walk and look around. By all means, do it. The only quibble I have with the Fazio course is the par-5 18th hole. I’ll bet that Mr. Fazio would tell me why he designed it the way he did, but I thought the layup area for the second shot was too narrow for the average golfer, of which I’m one. Overall, though, I enjoyed playing it slightly more than the Nicklaus course, keeping in mind that my wife and kids were at the pool when I was on the Fazio course, allowing me to focus on golf instead of keeping the animals in line. cascadegolfer.com

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e spent three days at Pronghorn and wished it had been 300. We’re looking forward to going back, even if forecaddie Shawn isn’t looking forward to having us. It’s only six hours from Seattle and three hours from Portland. But the best part? Pronghorn is much farther away from the real world. Jim Moore also writes for his own website, jimmoorethego2guy.com, and 710Sports.com. Jim appears weekdays from 3-7 p.m. on “The Kevin Calabro Show” on 710 ESPN Seattle. You can follow Jim on Twitter @cougsgo.

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ROAD HOLES

UNDER THE RADAR THE TRI-CITIES may not be Washington’s most written-about golf destination … which is exactly what makes it such a good deal BY TONY DEAR

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he U.S. Open is likely never going to be played in the Tri-Cities. Indeed, just three times in its 89-year history has a Tri-Cities course even hosted the Washington Open — and that was at a private club most Washington golfers don’t have access to. No, the Tri-Cities aren’t flush with “Top 100” courses. In fact, the Tri-Cities aren’t flush with golf courses, period. But then, you don’t want them to be. You don’t want Tri-Cities courses to be ultraexclusive, with three-mile drives, austere clubhouses, dining room dress codes, or access gates operated by uniformed staff. You don’t want them to have slope ratings in the 140s or higher. And you certainly don’t want them charging you $100, $150, $200 or more a round. What you do want is a handful of accessible, enjoyable and affordable facilities that won’t give your game or your wallet a hard time. You want somewhere

you can drive to in three hours or less on a scenic interstate for a leisurely game of golf or two. You want 300 days of sunshine, and 17 hours of sun a day in the summer. You want a place where the most you’ll pay for a round of golf on the weekend, in the middle of the summer peak season, is just $56. And if this place can give you quick and easy access to more than two-dozen world-class wineries? Then so much the better. The first choice of many a Seattle golfer heading to the Tri-Cities for a weekend golf break is Canyon Lakes in Kennewick, which seems to get most people’s vote for pick of the area’s six full-length public courses. Now 32 years old, Canyon Lakes has evolved beautifully since a 30-year-old John Steidel began his solo design career (he had worked for Robert Muir Graves and Ron Fream in the 1970s) by building some of state’s largest greens – you’ll have no trouble hitting the gigantic 12,000 squarefoot surface at the par-4 12th hole … but two-putting

could be a challenge. Canyon Lakes was the Tri-Cities’ first golf course community and was conceived by Kennewick real estate agent Harold Thompson. “In late 1977, Harold thought the Tri-Cities was ready for a California-style development, but with smaller lots and architecturally designed homes,” says Steidel, who also brought you Eaglemont, Apple Tree and Highlander. “Until that time, upper-end developments in the TriCities tended to offer half-acre lots (no sewer) on which people built their dream homes. You’d have an English Tudor next to Mediterranean stucco with tile roof next to a Southern-style mansion with huge white columns.” Thomson contacted development professionals in Northern California, Steidel adds, to create a residential golf course community unlike anything else in Eastern Washington. The project was a square mile (640 acres) in size – room for 1,920 homes.

Columbia Point Golf Course

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cascadegolfer.com cascadegolfer.com


“The course routing was developed by utilizing 100-foot deep Zintel Canyon (the original name of the project), and land on each side of an existing irrigation canal, and then connecting the two areas,” says Steidel. “Harold wanted to create the best golf course in the area and provided sufficient funds to do that, at least initially. When I first saw the site, I thought it had a lot going for it and few limitations.” Steidel wanted to build a big golf course with 18 signature holes. “It’s fairly long with a lot of contour and elevation change, but the main difficulty comes on the greens,” he says. “They’re not unlike Augusta National’s. I wanted the course to have lots of variety so that golfers would enjoy playing it again and again.” Despite interest rates rising to over 20 percent in 1980 (inconceivable today) and curtailing real estate sales, Steidel had the resources to landscape the site with trees, complete the cart paths, and fill the bunkers with white silica sand from Idaho. The course opened in January 1981 and has since won numerous accolades. Almost as popular is Pasco’s Sun Willows Course, which began life in 1963 as the Pasco Municipal, but was renamed in 1980 when prolific west coast architect Robert Muir Graves was hired to rebuild the back nine closer to the Tri-Cities Airport to make way for commercial space. Sun Willows is still owned by the City of Pasco, and is managed by Petaluma, Calif.-based CourseCo, Inc., which also operates Columbia Point in Richland (and Palouse Ridge in Pullman). Jackie Stevens has been general manager at Sun Willows since October 2008 and says the course recorded 55,036 rounds last year. The course is open year-round except for when there’s snow on the ground, which accounted for nine lost days in January. “The golf course always seems to come out of the winter in good condition,” says Stevens, who adds that Sun Willows’ main focus for 2012 will be getting the poa greens in tip-top shape. “We are working on the rootstructure of the turf, hoping to improve roll and increase speed,” she says. “We want them to be smooth and fast. They are better now than they have been in the past, but we want to keep improving the health of the turf.” Columbia Point is a Jim Engh design, built on the site of the old Sha-Na-Pum course and owned by the City of Richland. It opened in 1997 after Engh, one of only four designers in the world with three courses in Golf Digest’s U.S. Top 100, rerouted the old layout to accommodate a new clubhouse, and built water hazards, bunkers and mounds that hadn’t been there previously. “We basically started from scratch,” he says. “So Columbia Point doesn’t really bear any resemblance to the old course. We had a few issues with the very high water table, but ultimately I think we built a course that fits the bill perfectly. It doesn’t beat anyone up, and hopefully provides players with a fun, interesting round of golf.” Horn Rapids, in the northwest corner of Richland, was designed by Keith Foster, who also created Druids Glen in Covington. It’s the best example of a high-desert cascadegolfer.com

course in the Tri-Cities and averages about 35,000 rounds a year, according to general manager Nick Rodrigues, who adds he gets a steady stream of players from Ellensburg, Spokane and Yakima. As you’d expect of a course built on quick-draining volcanic soil, it’s rarely out of play and never, Rodrigues stresses, resorts to temporary greens or tees. This quartet of courses will fill a long weekend with some entertaining golf, but some might want to limit their golf time in order to maximize wine time. Sampling some award-winning Tri-Cities reds (not forgetting some top-drawer whites) is an important part of this trip and can be accomplished in any of the area’s tasting rooms. A visit to J Bookwalter in Richland to try the lush Foreshadow Cabernet Sauvignon, Goose Ridge for a glass of g3 or Sol Duc, or Preston Premium Wines in Pasco for some 2008 Long Tail Lizard Merlot, are very highly recommended. The Tri-Cities golf/wine long-weekend is one of the most enjoyable trips of the year. And with the “Spring Barrel Tasting” event in April, and “Catch the Crush” in September, it’s perfectly possible you’ll end up making it twice.

Canyon Lakes Golf Course “Great Golf In the Heart of Washington Wine Country” packages START AT JUST $169, and include a twosome of golf, lodging, breakfast and cart rental. Learn more today by clicking the “Golf Getaway Packages” link at at www.visittri-cities.com/visitors/golf.

Tony Dear is an award-winning author and freelance writer, and a frequent contributor to Cascade Golfer. Read more of his work online at his website, thebellinghamgolfer.com.

Horn Rapids Golf Course

www.citygolftour.com info@citygolftour.com (206) 226-3211

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55


SAVE SOME GREEN

LOCAL RULES BY BRIAN BEAKY • CG EDITOR

I

t seems like anywhere I go lately, I’m encouraged to “Buy Local” — everything from produce to clothing. It’s started me thinking, though — have I been “buying local” when it comes to golf? Last year, I went into the golf season determined to further expand my golf portfolio, and cross as many Northwest courses off of my “wish list” as possible. I made trips north to Whatcom County, east across the mountains to Central and Eastern Washington, and multiple forays to the Olympic Peninsula. By the end of the year, I had played dozens of incredible holes, made countless new memories with my buddies and added significantly to my knowledge of the Northwest’s top tracks — I had also, however, played less golf than in any of the last several years. The fact is, planning those day trips away to our state’s bevy of fantastic destination delights takes time, and money — two things that, for most of us at least, haven’t been in plentiful supply for a few years now. That’s why this year, I’m shifting my focus. While I am still going to make sure to plan day trips to some of my favorite destination tracks (Wine Valley and Palouse Ridge being at the top of this year’s hit list), I’m not going to build my entire season around those adventures. Instead, I’m going to pick a few favorite local courses and play them as much as I can — Eagles Pride in Tacoma, Legion Memorial in Everett, Auburn Golf Course … warn the local wildlife, because I’ll be hitting many a driver into your trees and ponds this season. And who knows? Maybe all that extra practice will pay off with a few additional birdies on those long weekends away. In the spirit of “buying local,” we’ve picked out two courses this month that are not just local, but municipally owned — when you play a round at Jackson Park or Jefferson Park, you’re putting money right back into your own pocket as a taxpayer. Not only are you supporting the local golf economy, you’re supporting the local economy, period.

PLAY YOUR FIRST ROUND ON US! We’re helping our readers get a jump start on the 2012 season by giving one reader and a buddy the chance to play their first round of the year on us, courtesy of our friends at Druids Glen in Covington. So what are you waiting for? Log on to CascadeGolfer.com and enter-to-win today! 56

APRIL 2012 APRIL 2012

Jefferson Park

1

Jefferson Park SEATTLE

You wouldn’t know it from driving past Jefferson Park, located atop Beacon Hill just across I-5 from the stadium district, but there are few spots in the region that boast more history than Jefferson’s 6,200 yards of green fairways. Originally opened in 1915 — almost exactly one century ago — Jefferson Park is Seattle’s oldest public golf course. The U.S. Army stationed anti-aircraft batteries and searchlights there during World War II. The nation’s second-oldest African-American golf club, the Fir State Golf Club, was founded there in 1947. Legendary boxer Joe Louis played there during a visit to Seattle. And if you see a gray-haired, seven-footer smacking balls long and true on Jefferson’s fairways these days, it’s merely one of the greatest basketball players of all-time, NBA legend and Seattle resident Bill Russell, a frequent player. And, of course, Jefferson Park helped launch the career of one of the greatest American golfers of all-time … Tiger Woods, who came to Seattle in 1992, at the age of 16, to teach a junior clinic with his father, Earl. (What, did you think I was going to say Fred Couples? Too easy.) While it has undergone many changes throughout its near 100-year existence, Jefferson Park has remained popular with professional and amateur golfers alike for the same reasons golfers like just about any course — it’s affordable, and it’s fun. Played from the blues, it stretches to 6,278 yards, with a rating and slope (70.3 and 120, respectively) indicative of a course that will reward a well-played round with a good score, but can just as easily take strokes away from a golfer who takes it too lightly. On the front nine, played along a ridge atop Beacon Hill, the most memorable hole is No. 7, a 455-yard par-4 that requires the golfer to play either left or right of a small patch of trees that bisect the fairway and will block the approach of a shot struck down the middle. Trees to the left make the approach down that side treacherous, while views of the sun cresting over the peaks of the Cascades to the east provide an equal distraction to the right. After the par-3 10th and its tabletop-fast green, the back nine descends down the east side of the hill and back up again, combining the thrill of watching your ball roll out from an elevated tee with the challenge of gauging the accurate distance to a green 20 yards above your feet. That variety is what makes it one of our favorite home bases between destination rounds, forcing us to practice multiple types of shots while not breaking our meager golf bank. Heck, honing your game at Jefferson Park might even make you some money in the long run — after all, ‘ol Boom-Boom has done pretty well for himself.

BEST HOLE The seventh is the most memorable, but the 11th — a 463-yard, downhill behemoth of a par-4 — is the one that will stick in your craw for hours after your round. With O.B. right and a line of trees to the left, it’s tight off the tee, before opening up on your second shot. Of course, unless you’ve completely hammered that drive, your second shot is likely a long iron or even a fairway wood into the green … in other words, swing and hope.

YARDAGE 5,208-6,278 RATES $20-40 WEB premiergc.com/jefferson-park.php TEL (206) 762-4513 cascadegolfer.com


Jackson Park • No. 3

2

Jackson Park SEATTLE

There is little doubt that Jackson Park is Seattle’s most visible golf course. Running up and down hills just east of I-5 between NE 125th and NE 145th, golfers on Jackson’s fairways are the envy of many a commuter driving past on a weekday morning or evening, or returning from family outings to the city on the weekend. Jackson’s visibility also makes it one of Seattle’s most popular tracks, particularly in the peak summer months when Northwest golfers starved for sun flood the local fairways. That popularity has led the city of Seattle to propose a number of changes to the course that have had – and will have – significant benefits to local golfers. Improved drainage was a major enhancement earlier this decade, turning Jackson into one of the region’s driest tracks during the typically wet winter and spring seasons. In February, the city announced plans to move forward with significant aspects of the oft-cited Golf Master Plan, including paving the cart paths and – perhaps most exciting for North End golfers mourning the loss of Kaddyshack Golf and Driving Range in Lynnwood – a full-size driving range, to be located between the 10th and 18th holes. As part of the construction, the 10th hole will be moved east and the 11th turned from a par-4 into a par-3, a stroke that will be gained back at a later date by extending another hole (potentially No. 17) from a par-4 to a par-5. Those enhancements will only add to a course that is already one of the Seattle area’s best values, with several memorable holes. The par-5 first appears in any discussion of the region’s best No. 1s, a 458-yard, downhill hole that dares golfers to give it all they’ve got right out of the chute. The par-4 third (pictured above) is another fun downhill treat, while the sixth offers the chance to boom a long drive from an elevated tee. On the back nine, the long, narrow par-5 12th and its vexing green has spoiled many a round, while the 14th offers golfers one last elevated shot before grinding their way back up the hill to the finish.

BEST HOLE From the elevated tee at the 402-yard, par-4 14th, golfers have a choice — if you’ve been grooving your driver, go for it and leave yourself a shortish approach to the green. If not, a 3-wood or hybrid might the safest bet to avoid a long pond that runs down the entire right side, though the long iron approach brings the water right back in play.

YARDAGE 5,413-6,247 RATES $20-$40 WEB premiergc.com/jackson-park.php TEL (206) 363-4747 58

APRIL 2012

cascadegolfer.com


PRACTICE TEE

Correctly Gripping Your Club

A

INTERLOCK

majority of swing flaws and mis-hit shots are caused by a poor grip. The grip affects swing plane and has the greatest influence on the clubface itself. A grip that is too “weak” will lead to an open clubface, and a slice. A grip that is too “strong” will lead to a closed clubface, often creating a hook. Here is a step-by-step method to correctly grip the club:

There are some simple checks you can do to make sure your left hand is on the club properly. The line formed with the finger and thumb should point to your right shoulder, and you should be able to see two knuckles on the back of your left hand with the club in the address position.

1. Start by holding the shaft of the club with your right

4. Once you have the left hand on the club, slide your

hand in front of your body.

the grip pressure to control the club.

hand should sit “on top” of the grip with the thumb at the “1 o’clock” position (just right of center).

right hand down the shaft and onto the grip. At this point, most players will either interlock or overlap the pinky and index fingers. Another option is the 10-finger grip. Either method works very well; the goal is have the hands on the club working together.

3. The last three fingers of your left hand will provide

5. Most of the grip pressure will be felt with the middle

2. Place your left hand on the grip. The “pad” of your left

60

OVERLAP

10-FINGER

BY MARK RASHELL PGA Director of Golf • The Club at Newcastle

APRIL 2012

two fingers of the right hand, while the right hand index finger will feel like it is pushing against the side of the grip (not wrapped underneath the grip). When checking your right hand, the line formed with the index finger and thumb should point to your right cheek at the address position. With the correct grip, you will be able to swing the club freely and know that the clubface will be square at impact — allowing the ball to fly straight at your target! To see my video instruction on the grip, visit the “Oki Golf” channel at youtube.com. Mark Rashell is a Class A PGA Member and the Director of Golf at The Golf Club at Newcastle. To learn more or book a lesson, visit the Instruction page at NewcastleGolf.com, or call 425-793-5566.

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APRIL 2012

7 61


PRESENTED BY

POST GAME

Don’t Be “That Guy” BRIAN BEAKY • CG EDITOR

I

’ve done some downright embarrassing things on a golf course. I’ve fallen into a pond (more than once). I’ve swung and missed (more than once). I’ve taken a full swing with a driver, and managed to hit a ball straight down into the ground, a half-inch from the tee (amazingly, more than once). Just last year, at one of the courses featured in our Cascade Golfer Match Play Madness, I took 21 penalty strokes — 21! — and shot 115. It used to be that when this happened, I’d throw a club, shout an obscenity or maybe slam my club into the ground. Over time, though, I came to realize a couple of things — one, getting angry never helped me play better; and two, it usually made my playing partners play worse. Before long, I found myself playing mostly alone. In the years since, I’d like to think I’ve become a much better playing partner, one who understands that some days I have it, and some days I don’t. But, even on my worst days on the course, there’s still plenty to love about the round — the chance to spend a few hours outside on a beautiful Northwest golf course, the company of good friends, and maybe, just maybe, that one sweetly-struck shot that will keep me coming back for more. I know I’ll never be a great golfer — but I can be a great golfer to play with. With that in mind, we’ve consulted our local experts and come up with a few tips your fellow golfers have for being a good playing partner this year:

PLAY NICE

Cursing, sulking in the cart, throwing or breaking clubs, striking the ground — it doesn’t help your score, can damage the course, and can make other players uncomfortable, which in turn hurts their games. Don’t be that guy.

PLAY BRISKLY

Don’t make everyone wait on you. Limit yourself to one practice stroke per shot. And if your score on a hole has reached double digits, just pick up and look forward to the next hole. No one will mind.

MOVE UP A TEE, NOT BACK

If two of you want to play the blues, and two want to play the whites, play the whites. You’ll probably score better and enjoy yourself more, and your partners won’t feel pressured to play a tee box they’re not comfortable with.

HOLD THAT THOUGHT

If you’re not asked, don’t give advice. Even if you mean well, it can make a golfer uncomfortable.

Remember the words of legendary Washington State University broadcaster Bob Robertson, You’ll have more fun this year — and here’s betting you’ll score better, too. 62 62

APRIL 2012 APRIL 2012

KNOW YOUR LIMITS

If you’re not a scratch golfer, don’t act like a round in the 80s is the end of the world. And if you’re not a big hitter, don’t make the entire group wait for you to hit on every reachable par-4 or par-5 just in case you really get a hold of one.

BE RESPECTFUL

...Of your partners, and the course. Don’t spend the whole round on your phone. Be still and silent when a fellow golfer is hitting. Help look for other golfer’s balls if needed. Replace your divots and ball marks.

“Always be a good sport; be a good sport … always.”

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Cascade Golfer April 2012