VOLUME 10 • ISSUE 2 • JUNE 2016 • COMPLIMENTARY
NORTHWEST GOLF NEWS & VIEWS
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Team USA taking shape for an Olympic golf return after a 112-year hiatus
ark Spitz, Edwin Moses, Charles Barkley, Florence Griffith Joyner ... Jordan Spieth? What do these athletes all have in common? All are American Olympians with a gold medal — sans Jordy, of course. But, when you put a golfer in there, it sounds weird, right? Most assimilate Summer Games athletes with Speedos, tank tops or compression shorts, not three-button polos, slacks, skirts or a visor. But, at the upcoming Rio Olympics this summer, golf will be included for the first time since the 1904 Olympics in St. Louis. How cool is that! It took some lobbying for many years, but the International Golf Federation, who is the governing and ranking body behind the effort, has put our “game” in the “Games.” And, why not? Golf, despite slightly sliding numbers here in America, is one of the fastest-growing sports in the world, particularly in western Europe, Scandinavia, Australia, Asia and parts of Africa. The world rankings are a mirror image of that point. The women’s game is hugely dominated by Korean and Scandinavian golfers. The men have Irish, German, Zimbabwean, South African and Australian players running the table. Although the current U.S. men’s Olympic team, at the time of this writing, is the only one with the maximum four members allowed per the IGF and the International Olympic Committee, it’s clearly an international field. There’s little being written about Olympic golf, which will soon give golf its largest TV audience in the game’s history, and being a huge Olympics fan, I find this very strange. So, here are some basics. The IGF has set up a world ranking system for the men and women that only allows up to four members from any given nation. Only 60 men and women, total, will be allowed to compete. By mid-June, the top-15 in the World Rankings will automatically qualify. The other 45 are determined by the IGF’s system. The Olympic format will be a 72-hole championship tournament that will deliver a gold, silver and bronze medalist, with playoffs for any podium spots, if neces-
Rickie Fowler sary. At the time I am writing this — in Whistler, B.C., not far from the finish line of the 2010 Olympic downhill — our men’s team will likely be Dustin Johnson, Bubba Watson, Rickie Fowler and Spieth. Our women’s team looks to be a two-person contingency led by Lexi Thompson and Stacy Lewis. Both ladies are in the top-10 in the world, and in good form. In my opinion, we may have the six best faces, physiques and social media followings in American golf today. These players ARE athletes in every way. The physical, mental and emotional focus it takes to wire together four days of golf is on par with most sports. There’s been controversy among some who claim that golfers aren’t athletic enough. But, the same arguments can be made for the shooting sports, equestrian and yachting, and no one complains about those sports being in the Games. Most importantly, American golf needs young, colorful heroes. Can you imagine Bubba winning the gold with tears streaming down his face — and not with a Ping or Oakley logo on his shirt, but simply the letters, “U-S-A”? Or what Rickie and Lexi can do for the sport and our youth with a medal showing? I hope the Olympics are to golf what they were to snowboarding, freestyle skiing and beach volleyball. The Olympics catapulted these sports into multi-billion dollar youth pursuits. American golf is ready for this boost. I can’t wait. The brand-new Olympic Course, designed specifically for the Games by American Gil Hanse on a nature reserve in Barra da Tijuca, a suburb of Rio, is flat and rolling. Not a tree-lined track, but one with tons of traps and water. It’s bound to catch wind, as it’s in a district in Rio that is close to the sea. Will the PGA, LPGA, Royal and Ancient and USGA support the Olympics? Yes. They have moved their tour schedule around and exemptions will surely build as momentum builds. Share with us how you feel about it on our Facebook page or Twitter. Enjoy the Games, the late-summer golfing experiences and, as always, TAKE IT EASY. CASCADEGOLFERDEALS.com
SHORT GAME Gamble Sands Goes All-”Inn” With New Lodge, Restaurant
hey said it wouldn’t work. They said that Gamble Sands was too remote, and too expensive, to succeed. Were golfers really going to drive eight hours round trip from Seattle or Tacoma, and 5-6 hours round trip from Spokane or Yakima, just to spend $100-plus to play a golf course in the middle of nowhere? Sure, it works at Bandon, but Bandon has five of the most celebrated courses in the world, and the Columbia River can’t hold a candle to the Pacific Ocean. Heck, there wasn’t even a decent hotel within a half hour of the course. Beautiful golf course you have here, they said — too bad it can’t possibly survive. They were wrong. Nearly two years after opening its doors, Gamble Sands isn’t just succeeding — it’s thriving. Thousands of golfers made the trip to Brewster — about 40 minutes northeast of Chelan — in 2015, and, according to general manager Dave Christensen, just a few weeks after opening its doors for the 2016 season (at the time of this writing in April), the course had already booked more than 35 percent of the capacity on its tee sheet for the coming year. “It’s been packed,” he says. “People seem to love the experience we have to offer.” And really, that’s the key. With the David McLay Kidd signature (the same designer as Bandon Dunes and Tetherow) and “Best New Course in
Gamble Sands • Brewster
America” moniker from Golf Digest, it was all but assured that just about every serious golfer in Washington would check out Gamble Sands — once. It’s repeat play that keeps courses alive, though, so that experience was going to determine whether those same golfers were willing to make that drive, and pay that greens fee, enough times to keep the course afloat. The answer, clearly, is yes. Golfers have been entranced by Gamble Sands’ setting on a ridge above the Columbia River, its sprawling routing across the low hills of the Gebbers family farmland, and its ingenious design that rewards creative shotmaking, while not overly punishing a golfer who struggles to keep the ball in play. The shifting wind conditions and creative contours on the fairways, greens and collars mean a hole almost never plays exactly the same way twice, making repeat play not just possible, but essential to appreciating Kidd’s unique design. Far from folding, Gamble Sands instead is expanding its footprint in the region in 2016 to include a new, 37-room lodge — The Inn at Gamble Sands — and a new golf shop, both being constructed within a sand wedge of the first tee. Opening this summer (just in time for our Cascade Golfer Cup event at Gamble Sands on Aug. 13), The Inn will address Gamble’s primary drawback — lodging. Prior to 2016, if you wanted to make a trip to Gamble Sands more than just a day trip, your options were limited to one decent hotel in Pateros, 30 minutes away, or a high-
priced resort hotel or rental in Chelan. The Inn, though, will give golfers the chance to kick up their heels in the shadow of the course itself — the 37 rooms will include 24 doubles, 10 kings and three suites, each decked out with all the usual modern accoutrements. A bar with beer, wine and snacks will give golfers something to nosh on in the evenings after their rounds, while a putting green and hot tub overlooking the river will help golfers unwind after a full day on the course. In anticipation of the need for increased dining options for guests at The Inn, Gamble Sands is also expanding its Danny Boy Bar & Grill to include the full space that now houses the grill and pro shop. The existing grill will retain its bar-style vibe, while the remainder of the building will be converted into a full-service restaurant with more upscale dining options. A new golf shop, with a larger retail space and club storage for Inn guests, is under construction between the practice green and parking lot, and is expected to open in conjunction with The Inn later this summer. Needless to say, excitement for The Inn is running high among Washington golfers. “We’ve actually had to add a sales director just to manage the calls,” Christensen says. “To be honest, I’m actually surprised how fast this has all moved. But there’s been a ton of interest, and our owners want to reinvest in golf, which is exciting.” Book your stay today at www.gamblesands.com.
Here’s who took home the enter-to-win prizes from our April issue! KPMG Women’s PGA Championship Passes Loleta Brower • Redmond
And hold onto your horses, because we’re celebrating our largest-ever summer issue with the most enter-to-wins we’ve ever packed between the covers — including three destination stay-and-plays!
Twosome at Palouse Ridge Steve Klein • Sammamish
• Boeing Classic VIP Canyon Club Passes: Page 11
2 Hours at Clubhouse Golf Center Gabriel Dequina • Bothell
• KPMG Women’s PGA Championship Passes: Page 41
• Twosome to Palouse Ridge: Page 19 • Black Butte Ranch Stay-and-Play: Page 49 • Pronghorn Stay-and-Play: Page 49
• Skamania Lodge Stay-and-Play: Page 59
Log on to CascadeGolfer.com for your chance to win! And don’t forget to follow us on Facebook (Cascade Golfer) and Twitter (@CascadeGolfer) for even more giveaways and contests!
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Henry Mills Earns Second Duke’s Junior Golf Scholarship
pril was a big month for the Duke’s Junior Golf Scholarship. Not only was the name of the first scholarship winner — Seattle’s Hayden Hunskor — released, but Duke’s founder and CEO Duke Moscrip announced that due to the overwhelming number of outstanding nominees, the company would abandon its plans to award just one $1,000 scholarship, and instead award four $1,000 scholarships, one in each issue of Cascade Golfer this year. It was also the month that we heard from Tom Hornberg, who wanted to tell us about his grandson, Henry Mills. Hornberg was clearly a proud grandpa, writing about Henry’s golf accomplishments (just 12 years old, he’s already shooting close to par), his academics (a 4.0 student in the advanced-placement program at Hamilton International Middle School in Ballard) and his community service. It was the last one, though, that really cinched the deal — in 2015, Henry was one of just two students in the entire Seattle Public School District to be awarded the Seymour Kaplan Humanitarian Award, given to a student (nominated by their teacher) who displays a positive attitude, kindness, generosity, helpfulness and good citizenship. In otherwords, Hornberg was telling us that we had a kid who, at 12, is already a better golfer than most of us will ever be, has a 4.0 GPA in advanced-placement classes, attends a public school and was identified last year by his teachers and Seattle Public Schools as the single most-impressive male citizen in the district. This was a no-brainer. According to Hornberg, the $1,000 scholarship will
allow Henry to further develop his game in junior golf tournaments throughout the state this summer, a hardship his family may otherwise not have been able to afford — which is precisely the situation that John and Duke Moscrip had in mind when they made the decision to fund the scholarship this year. “Thanks to Mr. Moscrip and Cascade Golfer for awarding me the Duke’s Junior Golf Scholarship for Summer 2016,” Henry says. “I broke my arm last spring and all my summer golf plans went up in smoke. This year I’m ready to go, and with the scholarship I’ll be able to play in a lot more tournaments and have a lot more fun.” We’re sure you’re headed for big things, Henry, and are happy to have had the chance to help you along the way. Do you think you have a young golfer deserving of recognition from Duke’s Chowder House and Cascade Golfer? Email firstname.lastname@example.org with details about your nominee — be sure to include their name, age, grade in school, and any facts you feel support their nomination, including accomplishments on the golf course, in the classroom and in the community. And if they’re planning to pursue golf careers (in any related field) after high school, so much the better. We have two more $1,000 scholarships to give this year, so don’t hold back! Email us today and let us know why your young golfer deserves to stand alongside Hayden and Henry as a winner of the Duke’s Junior Golf Scholarship. We know that for every incredible young person we’ve heard about, there are a dozen whose names haven’t graced our inbox — let us know today!
CascadeGolferDeals.com Bringing The Heat This Summer
ou wouldn’t want 40-percent-off golf at Suncadia, right? Or the same discount at Apple Tree? Or half-off lessons at Puetz? Or 45-, 50-, or even 60-percent-off golf at courses like Port Ludlow, McCormick Woods, Whidbey Golf Club, Kahler Glen, Mount Si, Oakbrook and The Classic? Wait, you do want to play courses like this, at incredibly low rates? You want to join the hundreds of local golfers who have, combined, saved more than $40,000 on golf since April of 2015? Then log on to CascadeGolferDeals.com and sign up to receive our free, weekly email during the playing season, including unbeatable deals on golf and golf-related products and services throughout the region.
True to the Cascade Golfer brand, CascadeGolferDeals.com won’t inundate you with messages, won’t sell your email address to other companies, and won’t waste your time with so-so offers to soso courses. Instead, you’ll simply receive weekly, in-season offers to courses we’re proud to team up with — courses like the ones mentioned above, plus others we have on tap for 2016. You can pay full price for golf this summer, or you can start saving as much as 60-percent-off each time you tee it up. And as we all know, more savings means more golfing. So do your wallet — and your game — a favor, and visit CascadeGolferDeals.com. You’ll play more golf, while spending less money — and there’s nothing sweeter than that.
SHORT GAME One Year Later, Chambers Bay Still Reaping Open Benefits
hambers Bay, built with the ideal of achieving great things – as the 2015 U.S. Open affirmed – has evolved. Its purpose, its focus and its attention now is directed at one thing — the regular golfer. “Since I’ve been here, we’ve had many different things to focus on — the U.S. Amateur (in 2010) and the Open,’’ says Matt Allen, general manager for the eightyear-old course. “Now, in 2016, all we worry about is the customer and providing the best experience with the best greens we can. That’s our singular focus. “No more closed holes or protecting the course,” he adds. “They (golfers) come with high expectations. It’s nice to focus on just operating the golf course.’’ They also have come in high numbers. After all, this is a prestigious Open course. Golfers want to play the course they saw on TV last June, the one with all the
Chambers Bay • University Place
controversies over the greens, the one with the dramatic 18th hole where Jordan Spieth survived to win only after Dustin Johnson three-putted away a possible playoff. That’s the one. Chambers has that cache, as it had hoped the Open would provide, and the course is cashing in. “It manifests itself in a major change in the geographic origin of our customers,’’ Allen says. “In our peak period from July to October (after the Open), 42 percent came from outside the state and 85 percent came from outside the (Pierce) county. That’s major. “The best illustration I can give you is [that] during our peak period in 2014, our customers came from 12 states and Canada. Last summer, our customers came
from 48 states and 134 countries.’’ Many of those foreign players came from Australia and United Kingdom, places that feature fescue grass and links-style courses. Folks are curious to see how Chambers measures up and try to imagine how the tournament went down. The greens piqued much of their curiosity because they provoked much of the consternation among the Open pros. Some pros strongly criticized how dry and depleted the fescue greens had become by the final round. Fair or unfair, it doesn’t matter now. The greens are fully restored, partly because of reduced play during the dormant season this winter, and partly because other natural grasses, such as bent and poa annua, have filled in with the fescue. Mowing has been tighter to keep the surfaces firm, fast and more consistent. “Universally, people tell us our golf course is great,’’ Allen says. “Our customer surveys are at an all-time high. The greens are not an issue.’’ As for the course, nothing much has changed. Players can shift around the ribbon tees for whatever length suits their game. The fairway outlines remains the same as the Open, but instead of an eight-inch rough, the mowing is between one-and-a-half and two inches. Allen says his personal emphasis is not just to grow the course’s annual rounds, but to grow the game. He wants to do that by stressing junior programs, clinics and instructions, headed by Chambers assistant pro Ryan Young. To get youngsters out there, for example, juniors 13 and younger can play free when accompanied by a paying adult. As for the summer green fees, they haven’t changed much since the Open. Pierce County residents continue to get the best break, at $169. For Washington residents, it’s $215, and it’s $275 for out-of-staters. The best deal is the Chambers membership for $349, which offers three rounds of golf and discounts on fees, handicap and merchandise. The club has more than 300 members with a target of 500. All this is not to say Chambers does not have an eye on the big prize again, although Opens are committed for at least a decade out. Allen would like to host smaller USGA events or a women’s event before any decision on the Open. He said it would allow both parties “to watch closely the evolution of the course.’’ — Bob Sherwin
SHORT GAME Be A Part of the 2016 Boeing Classic
hile much of our attention this summer will be focused on the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship at Sahalee, we can’t overlook the one event that consistently brings major champions to town year after year, for more than a decade. The Boeing Classic has long been the highlight of the annual golf calendar in the Puget Sound region, not to mention among the highlights of the PGA Champions Tour schedule. Players rave about the scenery in the Cascade Mountain foothills, the quality of TPC Snoqualmie Ridge, the professionalism of the Boeing Classic staff, the incredible late-August weather, and the supportiveness and enthusiasm of Northwest golf fans, all of which ensure that the top players — golfers like Bernhard Langer, Mark O’Meara, Larry Mize, Tom Kite, Corey Pavin, Mark Calcavecchia, Jesper Parnevik, Lee Janzen, Craig Stadler, Rocco Mediate and, of course, our main man Fred Couples — lock the Boeing onto the calendar year after year. This year will be no exception — two months after the LPGA’s best and brightest clear out of town, TPC
Snoqualmie Ridge will open its gates to legends of the PGA and European Tour, plus as many as 80,000 of our friends and neighbors, for a week of incredible golf and (if history holds true) incredible weather, likely leading up to a fantastic finish (five of the last 11 Classics have been decided in a playoff). And the tournament needs your help. Just as with last year’s U.S. Open, and this year’s LPGA major at Sahalee, it takes an army of volunteers to pull off a successful event of this size — about 1,000, specifically, for the Boeing Classic. Volunteers carry scoreboards, manage crowd flow, shuttle players and staff around the course, assist caddies, provide support to Golf Channel’s broadcast crew, and help with dozens of other tasks vital to the tournament’s success. In exchange, volunteers receive orientation, Nike gear and passes to the event, plus a ticket to the annual Volunteer Appreciation Party. To learn more — or to buy tickets, which start this year at just $10 for seniors, and $20 for the general public — visit www.BoeingClassic.com.
Win passes to the VIP Canyon Club at the Boeing Classic!
hen we go to the PGA TOUR Champions Tour’s Boeing Classic, we go for one reason — to have a great time. And nobody at the Boeing Classic has a better time than patrons in the Alaska Airlines VIP Canyon Club, located on the Tour’s most infamous hole, the 14th at TPC Snoqualmie Ridge. In addition to covered (and open-air) seating, upgraded concessions, big-screen TVs and live scoreboards, Canyon Club patrons receive half-price beers for every birdie on 14 — it’s no wonder the roars are so loud when a legend like Fred Couples drives one over Bear’s Canyon and onto the putting surface. It’s an experience every golf fan should have — which is why we’re giving one CG reader two VIP tickets to this year’s Boeing Classic (Aug. 26-28), including a pair of Canyon Club Party Passes. Follow along with the latest updates to the field at boeingclassic.com, and visit us online at CascadeGolfer.com today for your chance to win!
With New Digital CG, You Can Read Cascade Golfer On The Go
echnology moves fast. And, well, let’s be honest — the older we get, the harder it is to keep up. Since 2007, we’ve archived every issue of Cascade Golfer online, at CascadeGolfer.com — go to our website, scroll to the bottom and click “Past Issues” to find any article, from any issue, we’ve ever published. It was state-of-the-art technology back then -- a flip-book PDF that read just like the real thing ... provided you were using a computer. But, in June of 2007 — the exact month we published Cascade Golfer Vol. 1, Issue 1 — the iPhone was released. A decade later, almost nobody reads digital content on an actual computer anymore. We didn’t know it yet, but within weeks of its unveiling, our online archive had already been made obsolete. Not anymore, though. Starting with our 2016 issues, we’ve brought our “Past Issues” page into the 21st century. Not only can you clearly and easily read every article on your computer, phone, tablet or other mobile device, but selected articles, photos and advertisements now feature direct links to additional content, including videos, websites and more. Like that Callaway driver on page 22 and want to double-check the price listed in the magazine — or compare different colors, shafts, grips, etc.? Click on it to be taken straight to the appropriate page at PuetzGolf.com, where you can browse available features and even direct-order (at no additional cost for shipping). Maybe you’ve seen the Clubhouse Golf Center ad and wonder what it’s actually like — click the ad to watch a video. Want to enter-to-win one of the awesome trips we give away in every issue? Click the link in the article to be taken directly to our enter-to-win page at CascadeGolfer.com. Mailman lost your copy? No worries — read it right on your phone or computer. It’s an all-new, dynamic way to enjoy Cascade Golfer, wherever and however you like to kick back and read the latest “news and views you can use.” We’re committed to making Cascade Golfer accessible for as many golfers as we possibly can, and hope you’ll take advantage of this new feature — and also, let us know what else you’d like to see from a digital CG. We’re excited about our new venture — so, if you happen to work at Microsoft and know about some new technology that’s about to make this obsolete, can you give us a little heads-up? To take advantage of the all-new digital CG, visit and bookmark the “Past Issues” page at CascadeGolfer.com. 12
SHORT GAME Local Youth Tees It Up At Augusta
t took Tiger Woods 20 years to make it into the field at Augusta National. It took Jordan Spieth almost 21. Jack McMullin made it prior to his 12th birthday — and he darn near won the thing, too. The sixth-grader from Seattle was among the participants in the inaugural Drive, Chip and Putt Championships in 2014, a joint venture of the USGA, PGA of America and the Masters Tournament to grow the game by encouraging fundamentals in junior golfers. Throughout the year, juniors compete in local and regional qualifiers, with the regional champions earning the right to compete in the National Finals at Augusta National, the Sunday prior to The Masters. An accomplished junior golfer, Jack was watching the 2013 Masters with his father, Brady McMullin, when he saw a teaser for the all-new contest, which would begin with qualifiers that summer and conclude at the 2014 Masters. Brady signed him up, and two months later, Jack showed up — along with 30 or so other kids — at Meridian Valley Country Club for one of several local qualifiers being held nationwide. Each golfer was given the chance to take three putts, three chips and three drives — putts and chips were scored by how close golfers came to the hole,
and drives by distance. Jack — despite being an 11-yearold entered in the 12-13 age group (age groups are determined by age at the time of the finals) — placed second, advancing to regionals. A few weeks later, at Hawks Prairie — against a field of a similar size — Jack did one better, taking first place overall and locking up a trip to Augusta. Dad was ecstatic — Jack, meanwhile, played it cool. “He definitely got it, what it meant to be going to Augusta National, but he plays in so many youth tournaments, he was kind of like, ‘It’s just going to be like any
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other tournament,’” Brady McMullin says. “I remember being like, ‘Yeah ... it’s not quite the same.’ I’m not sure if he really understood the enormity of it, with all the TV coverage and attention it would get.” If he didn’t get it yet, he would the following spring. Brady describes driving down Magnolia Lane as “a surreal moment.” The morning of the competition, the range was limited to just former Masters champions and Drive, Chip and Putt participants. Jack smacked a few drives to get loose; just three stalls over, three-time champ Nick Faldo did the same. On the putting green, Jack gave his first putt a gentle tap and watched it roll ... and roll ... and roll, finally coming to a stop several feet past the hole. “I remember he looked at me and just mouthed, ‘These greens are fast!’” Brady recalls. At a banquet the night before the event, Augusta National chairman Billy Payne gave what Brady describes as a moving speech about the future of the game, and the role the junior golfers in the room would play — “goosebump stuff,” he recalls, adding that Payne spent nearly 10 minutes talking with the McMullins afterward. The following morning, the 11 finalists in Jack’s age group headed to the tee for part one of the competition. Jack blasted both of his drives right down the middle, placing second overall, then followed that up with a win in the chipping portion. When they gathered in front of Butler Cabin prior to the putting competition, Jack was in first place. Each competitor struck two putts — from six feet, and 30 feet — before moving to the 18th green for the final putt of the competition, a 15-footer with a tricky break. Most golfers missed it low; Jack, Brady says proudly, missed it high — the pro side — running it about 18 inches past the hole. The combined efforts were good for second overall. In the summer following, Jack — then 12 years old — placed 26th at the IMG Academy Junior World Golf Championships at Torrey Pines, and lowered his handicap down to 4.0, where it has remained in the two years since. He’s currently one of the state’s top junior golfers, with the goal of playing in college and, hopefully, on the PGA TOUR. Brady says that even now, two years later, he can’t watch The Masters without feeling the emotions from that weekend. “It’s still, to this day, amazing,” he says. “I got to see my son compete at Augusta National.” Hopefully, not for the last time. CASCADEGOLFERDEALS.com
In the “Sun Belt”
Longtime Players Stevens, Bangerter Win CG Cup Opener at Chambers Bay — Will You Be Next?
magine a springtime round of golf, with your best friend at your side. It doesn’t get better than that, right? Now place that round at Chambers Bay. Now picture the clearest, sunniest day you can, with the sun twinkling off the surface of Puget Sound like a million tiny diamonds. Now imagine being handed a coupon good for $75 greens fees at Chambers Bay any month, any day of the week, just as a thank you for showing up. Now, imagine competing on that day, on that course, against 65 other two-player teams from throughout the region ... and coming out on top. Congratulations — you’ve just won the Cascade Golfer Cup Season Opener at Chambers Bay. It feels pretty sweet. If you need proof, just ask Keith Stevens, Floyd Bangerter, Jason Graves and Patrick Nugent. Longtime CG Cup players Stevens and Bangerter fired a best-ball Stableford score of 48 to win the net division, while Graves and Nugent totaled 41 points (including a combined five gross birdies and one gross eagle) to take the gross-scoring category. As a result, all four will be teeing up later this year on the awe-inspiring tracks of Mesquite, Nev. They’re hardly the only winners, though — a month later, the teams of Siddarth Sen and Abhinav Bose, and Kellen Eakin and Greg Swanson, captured net and gross titles, respectively, at the Muckleshoot Casino Players Championship at Washington National, taking home trips to Bandon Dunes (net) and Tetherow (gross). In fact, through two events, we’ve already prized out 51 of the 132 teams that have competed so far, with goodies ranging from stay-and-play packages and golf product, to twosomes and foursomes at some of the region’s top courses. The incredible courses and sold-out fields have been a perfect way to kick off the 2016 Cascade Golfer Cup, our seven-event series featuring two-person teams competing for over $100,000 in prizes. Each event — including upcoming stops at Salish Cliffs (June 4) and Gamble Sands (Aug. 13), plus events at Oakbrook (June 25), McCormick Woods (July 23) and White Horse (Sept. 10) — is its own self-contained tournament, with prizes like those mentioned above. Golfers who compete in multiple events also earn points towards the season-long Cascade Golfer Cup, the winners of which receive 15 twosomes to the state’s top tracks, to enjoy at their leisure in 2017 — a prize package featuring more than $2,000 worth of incredible golf. Have a handicap? You can win. The top-15 net and top10 gross teams prize out at each event, meaning you can take home the glory whether you’re a 2 or a 22. In fact,
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our Chambers Bay event illustrated this perfectly — Patrick Nugent, who truly carried his team to the gross title, is a plus-handicap who came within a whisker of a spot at the U.S. Amateur last year (and fired a gross 67 at our event). Bangerter, meanwhile, played to a 33 handicap, and shot 117 — but still managed to contribute to his team’s net win, beating his partner on five holes (though, honestly, Floyd, you owe Keith a nice steak in Mesquite). Fifty strokes different, but both winners — and both headed to Mesquite. In all, we’ve had 54 events over the years, with 45 different winning teams ... will you be next? Visit CascadeGolfer.com/Cup to join the fun, or email tournament coordinator Simon Dubiel at email@example.com.
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SKLZ Gold Flex Strength & Tempo Trainer PUETZ GOLF PRICE
As our dads get older, and those joints don’t quite work the way they used to, they have a tendency to stop using their whole body to swing the club, and instead just whip it through with their arms — resulting in a significant loss of distance. Try swinging the SKLZ Gold trainer, though, with just your arms, and it won’t work — the flexible shaft will “kick” too early and the weighted ball at the tip will snap limply through the target zone. Using the trainer, though, Dad can not only build his strength and fitness, he’ll also develop a more consistent tempo and swing plane. On second thought, maybe get one for yourself first — we love our dads, but we don’t want to start losing to them again.
The Perfect Gifts for the Perfect Dad
he odds are good that most of us became golfers because one, or both, of our parents were golfers. While there are certainly those who pick up the game in adulthood, either from friends or their own interest, studies have shown that the large majority of golfers worldwide were introduced to the game by a parent. So, now you know who to blame. Here are a few items at various budgets that any dad should be happy to receive this year:
Travis Mathews Puetz Golf Apparel PUETZ GOLF PRICE
Are you awesome? You’re a Puget Sound resident, a Puetz Golf shopper and a Cascade Golfer reader — of course you are. Which means, you probably have an awesome dad. And there’s no cooler way to let his fellow golfers know than with this custom hat and t-shirt, designed exclusively for Puetz Golf by the style-makers at trend leader Travis Mathews. Only available at Puetz, the shirt (available in blue, black and two tones of grey) and the hat (available in multiple combinations of grey, black, white, blue and Seahawks green) send a clear message — I’m awesome, and I’m not sorry for saying it.
Stance Socks PUETZ GOLF PRICE
Don’t wan’t get Dad another tie? How about some socks? Specifically, the latest golf socks from iconic brand Stance. Known for their collaborations with artists, musicians, professional athletes and other style makers, Stance’s recent foray into golf socks means your dad can now have a style in common with Bubba Watson, Allen Iverson, Klay Thompson and Rihanna (assuming he doesn’t already, of course). Not only do they look cool — c’mon, Dad’s gonna flip for those Chi-Chi Rodriguez socks, or the Payne Stewarts — but they’re top performers, too, with a comfortable fit and durable construction.
Lilac City Gives Seattle A Run For Its Money
sk just about any local golfer and they’ll rave about the quality of the munis in the Seattle area — from the city tracks like West Seattle, Jefferson Park, Interbay and Jackson Park, to Everett’s Legion Memorial, Walter Hall and others, we think we have it pretty good out here. Then we go to Spokane. While the Huskies may regularly trounce the Cougars on the football field (hey, they’re 70-32-6 all-time, with wins in six of the last seven years, by an average of 19.5 points each — it’s just a statement of fact), our eastside brethren may well have the last laugh when it comes to outstanding munis. We have three or four over here — Spokane is home to no fewer than seven sweet municipal tracks, including four owned by the city itself (Downriver, Esmeralda, Indian Canyon and The Creek at Qualchan), and three
more by Spokane County (Hangman Valley, Liberty Lake and MeadowWood). In fact, when we asked statewide voters to rank their 10 favorite Washington courses in advance of our 2015 public course rankings, three different Spokane courses were mentioned (Indian Canyon, Downriver and Liberty Lake) to just one from Seattle (West Seattle), with the Lilac City tracks ranked first, second and third in the state in the “Under $40” category. So, if you’re truly looking for an affordable golf trip this summer, you could hardly do better than parking yourself in Spokane, and playing the munis (and sure, we wouldn’t blame you for ducking over to Coeur d’Alene Resort or Circling Raven, each within 45 minutes of Spokane, or down to Palouse Ridge, about 90 minutes away). HERE’S THE SKINNY ON EACH:
Indian Canyon G.C. • Spokane
Liberty Lake G.C. • Liberty Lake
Downriver G.C. (509) 327-5269 • downrivergolf.org The oldest of the Spokane munis celebrates its 100th year in 2016, and it’s still the sweetest-looking centenarian we’ve ever laid eyes on. Most golfers rave about the quality of course conditions, and the scenery of the tall trees framing the fairways, with the Spokane River flowing alongside four holes. We credit the fun layout, the friendly staff, and a rate that — as with Esmeralda, Indian Canyon, and The Creek at Qualchan, never climbs above $35.
Esmeralda G.C. (509) 487-6291 • esmeraldagolf.org Of all the Spokane courses, none stays busier than Esmeralda. That’s largely because of its par-70 format and open, flat fairways, which make it a top choice of beginning golfers and others looking to give their scorecard a break. At 6,200-plus yards, though, from the tips (100 yards longer than the white tees at par-72 McCormick
PALOUSE PICKS Taking our advice and heading to Spokane to play the state’s best collection of munis? Then you’ll be needing places to sleep and eat. Might we recommend the following?
DoubleTree by Hilton Spokane City Center (509) 455-9600 • doubletree3.hilton.com With a downtown location, it’s central to all of the great Spokane tracks, while also putting you close to the river and prime shopping and restaurant districts.
Churchill’s Steakhouse (509) 474-9888 • churchillssteakhouse.com There’s no better steak in Spokane — that’s because the cuts are carved in-house to ensure maximum freshness and quality, then served alongside Spokane’s most delicious cocktails. 18
Woods), and with more than 2,000 trees on the property, there’s still enough there to keep a decent golfer on their toes.
Indian Canyon G.C. (509) 747-5353 • indiancanyongolf.org Indian Canyon isn’t just one of the state’s best munis — it’s one of the state’s best courses, full stop. Courses that received fewer votes than Indian Canyon in our 2015 poll included well-regarded tracks like Eaglemont, Port Ludlow, Kayak Point, Druids Glen and Gold Mountain’s Cascade Course, each of which also come with a higher greens fee (in some cases, as much as double). A classic, Northwest course, Indian Canyon is constructed of narrow fairways, small greens and significant elevation changes; indeed, the course is built into a 240-foot slope overlooking the city of Spokane, with no water but thousands of trees — many right where you wish they weren’t. It’s not long, but it’s by no means easy.
The Creek at Qualchan (509) 448-9317 • qualchangolf.org Qualchan is Spokane’s newest course, which is evident from the design. While the older courses follow the more traditional Northwest script of trees, trees and more trees, Qualchan is a product of the links golf age. Fairways are broad, bunkers and hazards are abundant, and the greens are larger and generally more undulating than those of its Spokane siblings. At courses like Indian Canyon, there’s a right way to play a hole, and a wrong way; at Qualchan, there might be two or even three right ways — your own abilities, pin placement and course conditions will determine which one’s best to take.
Hangman Valley G.C. (509) 448-1212 • spokanecounty.org/parks Is four great courses for under $35 not enough for you? Fine, here’s three more — Spokane’s county’s Hangman Valley, Liberty Lake and MeadowWood — each of which top out at just $34. Hangman Valley is among the most popular, with fairways that generally allow a miss to one side or the other, and greens that aren’t too much trouble — provided you don’t miss them. Lest you think we’re making it sound too easy, though, have no fear — the 610-yard (from the whites!), dogleg-left, par-5 fifth will set you straight, even as it does the opposite to your scorecard. CASCADEGOLFERDEALS.com
Palouse Ridge Golf Club • Pullman
MeadowWood G.C. • Liberty Lake
Liberty Lake G.C. (509) 255-6233 • spokanecounty.org/parks Like The Creek at Qualchan, Liberty Lake is more open than many Spokane tracks, making it a good choice for a golfer who is solid with their irons, but wayward with the big dog. If you played it prior to 2010, it’s worth a return to see what’s new — the course closed for two years from 2008-10 while a $6 million renovation was performed, moving tee boxes, re-contouring greens, and adding bunkers and water features. It’s fun to play, and at $34, it’s one of the state’s best values.
MeadowWood G.C. (509) 255-9539 • spokanecounty.org/parks Of all of the Spokane courses, none is more linksy than MeadowWood. Fairways are wide, greens are easy to hit (but hard to two-putt), and water, while present on several holes, isn’t too much of a factor. Instead, rolling fairways, doglegs and elevation changes are the main challenge — that, and the prettiness of the surrounding landscape. Once named among Washington’s 10-best public courses by Golf Digest, the Robert Muir Graves design also has a larger footprint than most of the Spokane munis, with the front and back nine played on either side of a scenic pond.
PLAY • STAY • DINE
Win a Twosome at Palouse Ridge!
ummer practically screams for a golf road trip. And after the winter we had, heaven knows we all need to throw the top down and hit the road for some fun in the sun. That’s why we’ve locked down a twosome at Palouse Ridge with your name on it — just log on to CascadeGolfer.com, enter your name and information, and you could be teeing it up at one of our favorite courses in the state, for free! And on the off chance you can’t find a partner, our number is right there on page four — we’ll even bring snacks for the road. Enter to win today at CascadeGolfer.com!
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For more infomation on Spokane golf go to: visitspokane.com CASCADEGOLFERDEALS.com
Thankfully for the M’s, Steve Cishek closes out baseball games better than golf rounds INTERVIEW BY BRIAN BEAKY CG EDITOR
he day Steve Cishek was traded to the Mariners last December, we clicked over to his Twitter profile to learn a little more about the M’s new closer. The first thing we noticed was his self-description, since updated to include his new employer: “Christ Follower, Husband to Marissa Cishek, father of Emmie Grace, baseball chucker on the Mariners, and avid golfer.” God, wife, daughter, baseball star, sure, whatever — let’s talk about golf. So, a couple of months later, that’s just what we did, tracking down Cishek — called “Shrek” by his friends — at Mariners Spring Training in Peoria, Ariz., to learn a little more about the man tasked with slamming the door shut on Mariners opponents in the ninth inning this year. Turns out the Massachusetts native has a tried-and-true formula for finding great golf courses to play in the offseason (move to Florida), an unassailable theory as to why so many pitchers are good golfers, and a surprising favorite athlete with an Emerald City connection. You’ve been a Grapefruit League guy your whole career — who’s going to be your guide to the best Cactus League courses? “Sounds like Tajuan [Walker] plays a little bit. So I might lean on him a little and see where the good spots are. But there are some good golfers on this team. I was asking around when I got here and learned that Stefan Romero plays a little bit, and a couple other guys.” What have you heard about the golf up here? “I’ve heard that the courses are gorgeous — they’re just wet. I hope to get a couple of rounds in. I don’t really play all that much during the season. Early on, I probably will, but I don’t want to do too much later on and get sore. But I’m looking forward to it. I’ve heard that everything is just very, very green.” Is there any one course up here that you’re most excited to check out? “Yeah, the one where they played the U.S. Open ... what’s that called? [“Chambers Bay.”] Yeah, Chambers Bay — I’d love to get out there someday. The views look amazing on TV, and I just like to see championship courses in person. I’ve heard you have to walk, too, which is unique. We played Bethpage Black one time and had to walk it, and I thought it was a cool experience.” What kind of clubs do you use? “I play Mizuno MP-54s. I had a RocketBallz driver, but actually just got a new driver when I was out at Safeco for FanFest. They had a simulator there at the stadium, and I got fit for a new Nike driver, the Vapor. I was just smoking it on the simulator.” 20
What’s your game like? “My best part is my irons. It used to be my game off the tee box, but ever since I got these new irons, I’ve been hitting them really well. The worst part, by far, is around the green. I have developed the yips. So, I’m trying to work that out.” How did you get into golf? “When I was nine years old, my dad got me my first golf set, some Spalding kids clubs. We went to a little par-3 course in town with my dad’s buddies and I beat most of them — and I was only nine. So, I kinda got hooked there. I worked at a driving range in my hometown in Massachusetts for four years and played whenever I could afford it.” Were you the guy out there driving the cart around the range trying not to get hit? “Yeah, I was, actually. And I was so tall and lanky, and the cart was so tiny, that I just used to duck my head inside and try not to get smoked with golf balls. It was fun, though.”
ball. It’s the same with pitching — if you’re trying to light up the radar gun and rear back and throw it as hard as you can, it’s not necessarily going to go as well as if you just focus on getting your foot down and driving it into the catcher’s mitt. That’s the biggest comparison I’ve noticed.” Is that why pitchers always make such good golfers? “Nah, we just have more time on our hands.” What do you think is going to be key for the Mariners this year? “The main thing is that we’re going to have to trust each other. There are a lot of new faces and we’re going to have to get to know each other well in Spring Training, and learn to trust the guy next to you. And I was actually just telling someone — that’s where the golf comes in. You can get to know your teammates pretty well on the golf course — how they handle themselves, and things like that. Once we get that trust level up, I think a lot of good things will happen.”
Are you a lesson guy, or are you self-taught? “I’m basically self-taught. At the driving range, when I was growing up, I’d just swing the driver all day and see how far I could hit it. I just learned how to make adjustments with my hands. I’ve had a lesson or two here and there, but not many.”
Last question — who’s your dream golf foursome? “For golfers, I’d say Rickie Fowler — you’ve gotta have one professional golfer, at least. I’d want to play with Frances Ouimet — that’s one of my favorite movies, ‘The Greatest Game.’ So him, Rickie and, if we’re playing with someone who’s not a golfer, I’d want to throw Ray Allen in there.”
Is there any comparison between pitching and golfing? “Yeah, there’s a lot, really. I always tell people that when you try to hit a ball, the harder you swing doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll hit it further. You’ll actually have a better impact if you stay smooth and swing through the
Be honest, you just threw that last one in there to make Seattle sports fans like you. “No, he really is one of my favorite all-time athletes, and certainly a great Sonic. I know he plays golf, so I’d love to play with him sometime.” CASCADEGOLFERDEALS.com
Trying to dial in that perfect, laid-back look for summer? Here are a few picks to help you out.
Freestyle PUETZ GOLF PRICE STARTING AT
F UNDER ARMOUR
Drive One PUETZ GOLF PRICE
n 10 years, we’ve never had occasion to recommend an Under Armour golf shoe — until now. As we watched Jordan Spieth walk around Augusta, we couldn’t help but marvel at his sweet kicks. The all-new Drive One, just released publicly in May, features high-traction spikes; a breathable, two-year waterproof upper; a comfortable Micro G foam sole; and, coolest of all, a removable sockliner that shapes itself to your foot. You may still make a seven on a par-3, but you’ll look good doing it.
ootJoy used to be your dad’s golf shoe brand — now, they’re using tree frogs for inspiration. No, seriously — the new Freestyles were inspired by the Red-Eyed Tree Frog, which maintains grip and stability in all sorts of conditions. Likewise, the Freestyle uses six spikes and a grip system called FROGS to increase contact with the ground, and stability on all types of surface. They’re extremely flexible, too — making them among the most comfortable shoes we’ve ever tried on.
PUETZ GOLF PRICE
ou may have forgotten, what with all the various products they now produce, but Nike was once a little Northwest shoe company — and every now and then, they remind us of their roots. The latest golf shoe from the Swoosh factory is the FI Premiere, a high-top style shoe featuring the free-inspired (FI) design that provides both stability and comfort, plus a hybrid spiked outsole and an innovative, asymmetrical “response” collar for a customized fit. It looks cool, feels great and performs well — exactly what you’d expect from Nike.
Want to upgrade your putter, but can’t afford a new stick? Try a new grip instead — it really can make a significant difference. Here’s a few we like:
Team/Loudmouth Grips PUETZ GOLF PRICE
Oversized grips have moved from the corner of the men’s club where the oddballs hang out, to the forefront of the PGA TOUR in recent years, with more and more players turning to the grips to provide more control of their clubs, especially when putting. Jordan Spieth is among those who swear by Super Stroke, whose new CC Legacy grips (available in increasing size, from 1.0, to 2.0, to 3.0) feature “counter-core” technology that allows players to manually adjust the grip’s weight simply by screwing off a cap and inserting a different weight (weights included).
GET A GRIP
PUETZ GOLF PRICE
Tour SNSR PUETZ GOLF PRICE
It’s not often that a golf grip cuts through the hype to catch the eye of golf media at the PGA Merchandise Show, but that’s exactly what happened with this year’s Tour SNSR grips from Golf Pride. Already the No. 1 grip manufacturer on the PGA TOUR, Golf Pride’s latest creation comes in two shapes (the taperless style traditional with oversized grips, and a pistol-style Contour shape), weights (90 or 124 grams) and colors (red/black or blue/ black). Also of note? They’re the softest grips Golf Pride has ever made.
Starting at $16.99
As much as we might like to claim otherwise, sometimes, we buy products just for the packaging. Whether it’s the brand name on the shaft, or the way a certain shoe looks looks on our feet, a little superficiality can be a guilty pleasure. We say, embrace your superficiality — and show off a little personality while you’re at it. Tour Mark’s 2016 grips (available in both tapered and non-tapered styles) can be customized to showcase your favorite team (including the Seahawks, Huskies, Cougars and Mariners) or your personal style. Confidence is 90 percent of putting, after all — so this year, be yourself.
FREE SHIPPING on orders of $99 and more • exceptions apply
JUNE 2016 JUNE 2016
RISK vs. REWARD Washington National Golf Club Hole No. 17 Par 5 488 yards (Junior/Blue) The Setup: The 17th at Washington National is one of the great risk/reward par-5s in the state. Risk awaits each decision, where realistic scores range from birdie to snowman. Simply put, there is no made hand here, no matter how you play it. The predominant features on this hole are two ponds connected by a stream that bisects the fairway and guards the front of the green. The first pond catches any tee shot short and left, the second pond collects any approaches that miss right, while the creek and bunkers provide extra defenses. Sounds simple enough, no?
The Risk: If you get aggressive off the tee, you’d better make sure you hit it very solid and DON’T GO LEFT. Otherwise,
By Simon Dubiel
you will be dropping to hit your third from a long ways out. If you are in “go range” with your second, then you must hit it pure and be true to your line. While water swallows anything short and right, sand eats up anything left, as well any shots towards the left side of the green that run long. And if that is not enough to scare you, then watch out for the alligators, poisonous snakes and the wasp nest that sits in the cup! OK, we may have made some of those hazards up, but you get the point.
The Reward: Perhaps you birdied the short, par-3 16th, and also know the finishing 18th can be had. Time to put together three birdies in a row? At only 488 yards (and even shorter if you cut the corner off the tee) this hole presents a great
scoring opportunity. With potentially a little over 200 yards in, the green entices you, and with the layup and subsequent approach shot no sure bet, being aggressive might be the best way to go. You can’t avoid the risk, so you might as well keep the reward in play.
Final Call: If you’ve pumped your drive out 250-280 yards, then you certainly have the length to get home in two. But are you willing to double down on 11 with the dealer showing a 10? Although wedge-wedge is likely the easier way to secure your par, isn’t it sometimes about enjoying the ride along the way? We say pull the big dog and go for broke, but I guess you have to ask yourself one question: “Do you feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?”
From who to watch, to where to go, to a look behind the scenes with the people making it happen, Cascade Golfer gets you ready for the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship at Sahalee
BY TONY DEAR PHOTOS COURTESY PGA OF AMERICA
olf’s youth movement is at large and changing the game. Rickie Fowler, Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy, Jason Day and numerous others in the men’s game are transforming our once rather passive pastime into a hectic, high-tech sport — including how we play it, what we wear and how we watch. And, at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship at Sahalee Country Club in June, Lydia Ko, Jessica Korda, In Gee Chun, Brooke Henderson, and Lexi Thompson will prove beyond doubt the young ladies can make some noise of their own. Men with single-digit handicaps who assumed they could give these women a good game will stand dumbfounded when they see Thompson pound a driver off the tee, watch Ko finesse a short-iron close to the hole, or see anyone walk off the 18th green with a three-under-par 68. Girls watching these superstars for the first time will certainly be in awe, but they’ll assume this is how wom36
en have always played the game. Their fathers, however, will be acutely aware that ladies professional golf is not what it was. But it’s not just on the course, on Instagram, and on our television screens where these young people are making the difference. And the revolutionaries are not all wearing fluorescent yellow t-shirts, pink skorts or hightops. One such young person, in fact, is wearing a rather sober suit and tie. And instead of hitting 280-to-350-yard drives, then accepting raucous applause from an adoring gallery, he’s probably seated behind a desk on the phone, negotiating with some supplier, finalizing details with the local police department, or appealing to a local government representative. You see, the person organizing this year’s KPMG Women’s PGA Championship is just 30 years old. Sure, those 20-something LPGA stars might regard Sean Riley as positively middle-aged — especially rock star Lydia Ko, who just turned 19 in April. But, most of us probably think
it remarkable that one so young could take on so huge a responsibility.
he Women’s PGA is a collaboration between KPMG, the PGA of America, and the LPGA, and is in just its second year, following last year’s inaugural event at New York’s Westchester Country Club. Although the current version is new, the tournament is the offspring of the LPGA Championship, first played in 1955, five years after the Ladies Professional Golf Association was formed. Riley was announced as Championship Director last July, six weeks after Sahalee was awarded the event. A graduate of the University of Idaho, where he studied professional golf management and business marketing, Riley is the son of former Tri-City Herald sports writer Jim Riley, and served an internship at Sahalee in 2007 when he worked under then Director of Golf, now GenCASCADEGOLFERDEALS.com
THE FACTS Lexi Thompson
DATES: HOURS: PURSE: FIELD: CUT: TV:
eral Manager, Jim Pike. “I was involved in all golf operations,” Riley remembers. “It was such a great experience, and I became great friends with Jim. It’s been great to team up with him again.” Riley grew up in Kennewick and, for several years, attended the PGA TOUR Web.com Tour’s (then the Nationwide Tour) Tri-Cities Open at Meadow Springs Country Club in Richland with his father. “I suppose that’s when I became interested in how a tournament worked,” he says. “Like every young golfer, I wanted to be a pro, but I realized that wasn’t going to be my path.” After the internship at Sahalee, Riley went to Georgia to work for the American Junior Golf Association (AJGA), where he got his first taste of running tournaments. He then moved to southern Florida, where he was a senior account executive with the PGA of America. Riley was entertaining clients at last year’s KPMG Women’s PGA when he heard the PGA announce Sahalee as the Championship venue in 2016. It got his attention immediately. “I thought to myself, ‘I love Sahalee and would love to get back into that side of the business,’” he says. “I made a request to Kerry Haigh, the PGA of America’s Chief Championship Officer, that day.” Riley and Haigh met a week later. Riley mentioned the Sahalee internship and his tournament-organizing background with the AJGA, and Haigh organized a meeting with Senior Director of Championships, David Charles. “A week after that meeting I received the offer,” says Riley. “Eight days later, after packing up the house and shipping cars, my girlfriend and I were on our way to Seattle.”
reparation, for Riley at least, has come in three stages. His first task was to enlist the 1,300 volunteers needed to run a tournament of this size. Many came from the Sahalee club membership and surrounding community. He also had to speak with local chambers of
commerce, police chiefs and elected politicians in order to navigate the commercial, safety and logistical aspects of the event. Next, it was necessary to publicize the Championship and organize the sale of tickets, which first became available in November of 2015. The last component, erecting the grandstands and building the corporate village, began at the end of April. “The corporate build-out for this event is smaller in numbers but larger in size than it was for the 2010 U.S. Senior Open,” says Riley. “The entrance to the Women’s Championship will be in the same location as the Senior Open, but the PGA of America is creating a bigger entrance with a large tribute wall to recognize and celebrate the pioneers of women’s professional golf. Other facilities include a Champions pavilion for corporate hospitality, the media center, a volunteer center, and a chipping area for juniors that is being sponsored by National Car Rental.” Eight months into the job, Riley was saying what an amazing experience it had been. “Working with a group of very talented people — Sean Quill at KPMG; Kelly Hyne and Brad Alexander at the LPGA; and Jim Pike, superintendent Tom Huesgen and head pro Mike Montgomery at Sahalee — has made my job so much easier,” he says. “Because the championship is relatively new and has a new direction, the PGA had to make some quick decisions. We wanted to come west after holding last year’s event on the east coast, and we needed a venue that was near tournament-ready, and also a great golf market. Sahalee Country Club and Seattle ticked all our boxes.” Riley echoes the sentiments of PGA of America CEO Pete Bevacqua, who is likewise thrilled by the prospect of bringing the championship to the Pacific Northwest, and Sahalee in particular. “We said at the outset we would take the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship to the finest courses in America, and Sahalee Country Club already has a major pedigree that sets it apart,” says Bevacqua. “And we’re excited by the Pacific Northwest market and its passion
June 7-12 Gates open at 7 a.m. each day $3.5 million 156 players Top-70 and ties Thursday, 4-7 p.m. • Golf Channel Friday, 4-7 p.m. • Golf Channel Saturday, 11-2 p.m. • NBC 2-3 p.m. • Golf Channel Sunday, 1:30-3 p.m. • NBC 3-5:30 p.m. • Golf Channel
Tickets: Practice Rounds ($10), Thursday-Friday ($20), Saturday-Sunday ($25), “Good Any Day” Flex Ticket ($30 for any one day), Weekly Pass ($75 for all six days) *Four juniors (up to age 17) will be admitted free with every paid adult. Active Duty military, retirees, active reserve, National Guard, Department of Defense civilians, and their accompanying spouse will also receive complimentary admission.
Parking: Parking will be free at Marymoor Park, with a complimentary shuttle running from 6:45 a.m. each day until 30 minutes after the end of play each day. Disability parking is available — call (877) 472-7275.
Mobile Devices: Phones must be set to silent or vibrate. On competition days, photos and video are allowed if more than 100 yards from competitors, but flash must be disabled. All incoming and outgoing calls should be made in designated areas only.
Prohibited items: Backpacks of any size, bags larger than 10x10x10 inches, cameras, hand-held electronics (iPods, video games, etc.), oversized chairs (particularly those with arm rests), signs, posters, food and drinks (besides one bottle of water per spectator), plus all obvious things — weapons, pets, etc. — will not be allowed on the grounds.
Social: • KPMGWomensPGA.com (web) • KPMG Women’s PGA Championship (FB) • @KPMGWomensPGA (Twitter & Instagram) JUNE 2016
ike Montgomery, Sahalee’s head golf professional, says a “patient and disciplined” golfer will do well. Hmm, how about three-time defending champion Inbee Park, who won last year’s championship by five shots over fellow South Korean Sei Young Kim? Park, though, is averaging just 252.2 yards off the tee this year (116th on the LPGA Tour) which Montgomery sees as a potential problem. “Sahalee is a relatively ‘big’ golf course for the women,” he says. “It’s going to be almost 6,700 yards, which, at sea level, is a long way. And it will play even longer if we get any rain.” Another problem might be Park’s apparent inaccuracy off the tee — just under 69 percent of fairways hit (91st on Tour). Her driving stats, therefore, don’t suggest Park will be a good fit for the course. One player Montgomery does like is fellow UW grad Sadena Parks, who gave a clinic to local First Tee participants at Sahalee in April, and who is familiar with the course, having played the UW-hosted Edean Ihlanfeldt Invitational during her college career. “I’ve had a chance to watch Sadena out here quite a bit and I think this could be a break-out tournament for her,” says Montgomery. “She knows the course from her UW days, and she hits the ball long, with plenty of control.” A Sadena Parks win would certainly be popular with the local galleries. Golf Channel’s Paige Mackenzie, another UW golfer who knows Sahalee well, is confident Morgan Pressel will do well. “She is a very accurate ball striker, and performs well when precision is required,” says Mackenzie, whose brother Brock recorded two top-five finishes in Sadena Parks the Sahalee Players Championship before turning professional. “And her record in U.S. majors last year (T5 in the US Women’s Open, T5 in the KPMG Women’s PGA, third at the ANA Inspiration) leads me to believe Sahalee will be a good fit for her game.” Like Inbee Park, Lydia Ko doesn’t boast scintillating driving stats. At 125th in driving distance (250 yards) and 64th in accuracy (73 percent), she’ll probably need an above-average driving week in order to contend. But at No. 1 in the world ranking, No. 1 on the money list, No. 1 in the Race to the CME Globe (the women’s equivalent of the FedEx Cup), No. 1 in scoring average (68.93), and with two tournament wins in March — including the ANA Inspiration, her second major championship victory — something tells us she’ll probably find a way. We also like Sei Young Kim, last year’s runner up; Ha Na Jang, a two-time winner on this year’s LPGA Tour; Stacy Lewis, who finds over 83 percent of fairways from the tee; last year’s U.S. Open winner, In Gee Chun, who opened the 2016 season with four consecutive top-three finishes; and Lexi Thompson, who is the longest player on the LPGA Tour (286.7 yards) but also finds over 80 percent of greens in regulation.
for the game. We knew this was a market that would respond positively, and we were confident Sahalee and its membership could deliver and host a major championship in the designated time frame.” Any concerns Bevacqua had about the championship being a success with such little preparation time have largely disappeared, thanks to Riley’s commitment and expertise. “We obviously didn’t have the luxury and benefit of the long-term planning of a PGA Championship,” he says. “But Sean has done a remarkable job, leading the charge to drive ticket sales which, to date, have far exceeded our projections.”
evacqua knew he needn’t have any fears over the condition of the course, either. Sahalee’s superintendent, Tom Huesgen, has a resume requiring two sheets of paper to cram in all his experience and achievements. The club’s sixth superintendent in its 47year history, Huesgen is a graduate of both Oregon State University and the University of Missouri, and has worked at, among others, Portland Golf Club, the Links at Spanish Bay, Spyglass Hill, Pebble Beach and, before coming to Sahalee in January 2014, Poppy Hills, where he oversaw work on Robert Trent Jones, Jr.’s $10 million renovation. A background like that would interest any club, but what set Huesgen apart when applying for the Sahalee position was his knowledge and understanding of trees – an important asset at a club with over 8,000 red cedars, Douglas firs, hemlocks and maples. (Huesgen was given the task of replacing the famous cypress tree that guarded the front-right corner of the 18th green at Pebble Beach after the original was struck by lightning and finally succumbed to bark beetles and pitch canker in 2001. A year after it came down, Huesgen transplanted a new specimen, which has thrived.) In the November 2015 edition of Golf Course Management, the official publication of the Golf Course Superintendent’s Association of America, Huesgen explained how he supports Sahalee Country Club’s most recognizable feature(s) while ensuring excellent turf conditions. “The tree density limits air circulation and sunlight, which can be detrimental to turf-grass health,” he said. “If the trees block water, you get a lot of hot spots and wet spots. We teamed with architect Rees Jones to manage the CASCADEGOLFERDEALS.com
s they were for the 1998 PGA Championship and 2010 U.S. Senior Open, Sahalee’s North and South nines will be used for the 2016 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship (the East nine is considered every bit as good as its neighbors). The course will officially measure 6,624 yards and play to a par of 71. Sahalee’s most distinguishable feature is, of course, its trees, which make each hole look considerably narrower than it really is. Tom Huesgen says the fairways will most likely play as they do for the members – between 35 and 45 yards wide. However, on virtually every tee (and in particular on No.s 1, 4, 6, 11 and 12), anyone in the field could be struck by a feeling of mild to severe claustrophobia and a need to steer the ball safely down the hole – never a recipe for a successful outcome. The rough, says Huesgen, won’t be excessive — between twoand-a-half and three-and-a-half inches tall — but Sahalee’s forests will do more than enough to protect par.
Head professional Mike Montgomery, a graduate of the University of Washington and the former head pro at Bellingham Golf & County Club, likes to say that Sahalee is a “Point A to point B to point C” type of course. “You really need to hit your spots on two or three consecutive shots at every hole,” he adds. “I therefore think a disciplined, patient golfer will do well. “Sahalee doesn’t have any breather holes, especially if you start missing fairways,” Montgomery adds. “Even the best golfer can become tentative off the tee.” Huesgen expects green speeds to range from 11-and-a-half to 12 on the stimpmeter, depending on the day and weather conditions. Readers know June can be unpredictable in the Pacific Northwest, but if conditions and temperatures in Sammamish between June 9-12 correspond with those from the same dates last year (just three rainy days in the previous three weeks, and temps of 84, 80, 75 and 69 degrees), the course should firm up, effectively making those fairways even narrower, the greens faster, and par increasingly difficult to match.
trees and trim the canopies, and re-establish the shot-making corridors from when the course opened in 1969.” Huesgen has been working 12-hour days with a staff of 32 for a few weeks now, and will welcome 20-25 volunteers the week of the championship, when, as they are for all maintenance staff the week of a major championship, shifts will be staggered — early morning course set-up, and late-evening mowing, watering and clear-up. Huesgen’s focus has been on the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship for months, but he has had to remain mindful of the club’s 500-strong membership, too (850 with social members). Bevacqua, meanwhile, as leader of the organization that stages the championship, has been able to dedicate all of his focus on holding a first-class event, and the significant impact it can have on the game. His primary hope, he says, will be that “women and girls have the opportunity to experience what the game can mean to them.” Bevacqua is well-known to pursue his goal of growing the game with great determination. But with countless oth-
er activities vying for people’s attention these days, it is a huge task. Riley, meanwhile, has had a pretty sizable workload himself for a few months now — you’d forgive him for feeling a little pressured, if not completely overwhelmed, as tournament week draws closer. It’s the seven-year PGA member’s first large-scale event as a Championship Director (next year’s Women’s PGA Championship at Olympia Fields in suburban Chicago will be his second), and he’s had less than a year to put everything in place. But he smiles when asked to rate his level of comfort – zero being crushed, swamped and utterly exhausted. “I have had some experience of this before, on a smaller scale, certainly, but it’s not dissimilar,” he says confidently. “And I’ve got such a great team of people working around me. My comfort level? I’m definitely a ten.” Tony Dear is an award-winning writer and author, and a frequent contributor to Cascade Golfer. His most recent book, The Story Of Golf in 50 Holes, is available on Amazon.com and most major bookstores.
Join the World’s Top Pros at The KPMG Women’s PGA!
his all sounds great, right? An up-close look at the world’s top female golf professionals, a major championship on the line, a killer golf course, and some sweet summer weather (be good to us, Mother Nature) all at crazy low prices. Well, let’s make it even better by sending you and a friend to the 2016 KPMG LPGA Championship at Sahalee — on us! You’ll have a front-row seat to the first women’s golf major ever played on Sahalee’s famed fairways, and a chance to marvel at some of the most talented — and friendly! — professional athletes in the world. For your chance to win, simply click the “Enter to Win” tab at CascadeGolfer.com!
Crux Fermentation Project • Bend
Just as its golf courses did 30 years ago, Central Oregon’s breweries are taking the world by storm
n the history of mankind, can there be a greater pairing than beer and golf? OK, maybe in your world, you can top that, but in mine, you can’t. And when you put those two together in Central Oregon, you have the ultimate couple on the first tee. I recently returned to Seattle from the Central Oregon Shootout in Sisters, a two-man, three-day tournament that is held at the Eagle Crest Resort Course, Black Butte Big Meadow Course and Aspen Lakes. My partner, Joe Slye, and I finished back in the pack in our division, but I never feel like a loser in Central Oregon – the smell of the junipers, the sight of the Cascade peaks, the beauty of the courses and the choice of craft beers combine for a winning weekend. I admit to having no willpower when it comes to Central Oregon’s golf courses and craft breweries – there are more than 30 courses and more than 30 breweries within 45 minutes of each other. What’s a golfer and
BY JIM MOORE beer drinker to do? I’m completely powerless, overtaken by an urge to sample them all. If you’re like me, you mix the two. One morning, before we played 36 holes at Black Butte, I had a bottle of Mirror Pond from Deschutes Brewery and a Boneyard RPM IPA on tap in the clubhouse bar. “Unlike some other places, craft beer and golf go hand-in-hand here,” says Ted Taylor, who represents VisitCentralOregon.com. “You’ll find players opting for a can of Worthy Brewing beer over a Bud Light at the turn or at the 19th hole.” Central Oregon’s golf industry became well-established long before the craft-brewing industry, but they are now neck-and-neck. And with the way pub houses are popping up, there will soon be more craft brewery options than golf courses in the Bend-Redmond-Sisters area.
This makes Central Oregon a prime destination for golfers and beer drinkers who want the best of both worlds. They get it here — and on top of that, you don’t have to work for it. “There’s a local brewery within two miles of nearly every course in the region,” Taylor says. There’s a growing taste for craft beers, and if you’ve sampled them, you know that the Central Oregon breweries are as good — if not better — than any you’ll find in the country. The same can be said for the golf, with many of the courses featured on top-100 lists in golf magazines. Where else can you play a terrific course like Crosswater at Sunriver, and drive five minutes to have a Rippin’ Northwest Ale at Sunriver Brewing Company? Or play Aspen Lakes and make another five-minute drive to Three Creeks Brewing Company in Sisters. Talk about a contrast to pitch-and-putt and a Budweiser. The dramatic rise in Central Oregon breweries makes sense when you consider that residents in the CASCADEGOLFERDEALS.com
Aspen Lakes G.C. • Sisters
state spend more money on craft beer in retail stores than anywhere else in the U.S. And take a look at some other revealing stats — beer industry experts estimate that craft beer is capturing as much as 40 percent of the market nowadays. “There’s no turning back,” Chris Hodge, Worthy Brewing CEO, told the Bend Bulletin. “That figure is based on history. Once you start drinking craft beer, you don’t turn back.” More specifically, surveys show that 45 percent of visitors to Bend plan to go to a local brewery, where they have more options than ever before. In fact, Bend features more breweries per capita than any other city in Oregon. You’ve heard of golf trails, and there’s one here too, the Central Oregon Golf Trail. But how about a beer trail? Take the Bend Ale Trail on your own or visit four local breweries and let the Bend Brew Bus do the driving for you. Another cool option – the Cowboy Carriage Company will take you to the breweries in a horse-drawn carriage while
you ride on top of bales of hay. Central Oregon salutes its craft beers all year long with various beer festivals and a beer week in May. It has become such a hotbed for craft breweries that local brewers have a hard time coming up with new names for their beers, because they’ve already been taken by someone else. Hops are hard to find, too, due to increased competition. Noticing the local beer boom, Central Oregon Community College in Bend now offers professional brewing programs to students. According to the school’s website, the courses are “open to anyone with an interest in brewing (who is dedicated to studying).” Are they implying that some beer drinkers won’t study? I’m not sure if I should be offended by that or not – I went to Washington State, majored in beer and journalism, and got a degree in both. We’ve all heard about winery destinations, but craft beer tourism is becoming a thing, and Central Oregon
appears to be the Napa Valley of this developing industry. When you want to combine the golf with the beer, plan to visit sometime between April and the end of September. Prepare for sunshine and a combo platter featuring the best craft beers and courses in the country. Here are a few of my favorite local pairings.
Aspen Lakes Golf Course AND Smith Rock Brewing Company Sisters is 22 miles north of Bend, but it’s a quaint little town, well worth the short drive, as is a visit to Aspen Lakes Golf Course. You’ll find bent-grass fairways here, but what sets Aspen Lakes apart are the red-cinder sand traps that are beautifully manicured and incredibly distinctive. Where else do you find red traps? Answer: Nowhere. And the sand reacts the same way regular white sand does, so there’s no learning curve involved if your ball finds one of the many red bunkers. Your favorite might be the par-4, dog-leg left 16th, which typically features a second shot of 150 yards or more, uphill, to a tricky green. My favorite is the par-4 11th, another dog-leg left, with water on the left. It’s spectacular and memorable in a different way for me. On the final day of the Pacific Amateur one year, I took an 11 on the hole. After the tourney was over, I played the course with my wife and knocked in my approach from the fairway for a 2. Looked good on the card; would’ve looked better in the tourney. When you’re finished, take a 15-minute drive to Smith Rock Brewing Company in Redmond. Talk about your birdies and the eight that you took at the par-5 third, when you put it in the creek. You’ll forget about it after having a Red Wall Fresh Hop Amber Ale on the patio. And if one won’t make you forget about it, have two. JUNE 2016
Tetherow Golf Club • Bend
Black Butte Ranch AND Three Creeks Brewing Company You’ve got your choice of Big Meadow and Glaze Meadow at Black Butte, and the best advice is to make time for them both. Big Meadow is a Robert Muir Graves design that flows freely among aspen groves and Ponderosa pines, never easing up with the challenges and views. From the
14th hole, take a selfie with Three-Fingered Jack in the background, then launch a majestic tee shot onto the downhill fairway. Glaze Meadow, a John Fought design, underwent a $3.75 million renovation and re-opened in 2012. It’s fantastic. I love the short par-4 third, a dog-leg left with water right, a nice risk-reward hole. After your round, take a 10-minute drive to Sisters; right next to the Sisters Movie House, you’ll see Three Creeks Brewing Company. Come on in and say hello to Wade Underwood, who founded Three Creeks in 2008.
Deschutes Brewery & Public House • Bend
Make a point, too, of visiting Sunriver’s newest location in Bend, the Galveston Pub.
Tetherow Golf Club AND Deschutes Brewery
Black Butte Ranch • Sisters
Crux Fermentation Project • Bend
If you’re fortunate enough to be there on a Wednesday, fill your growler for only $7. Or, on any other day of the week, order a Firestorm Red or Hoodoo Voodoo IPA. And keep in mind that no one does the Hoodoo Voodoo like they do.
Sunriver Resort AND Sunriver Brewing Company Here’s a can’t-go-wrong combination – three championship courses (Crosswater, Woodlands, Meadows), a par-3 course (Caldera Springs), and a putting course with a brewery smack-dab in the middle of them all. Plus, you can stay at the hotel, a condo or one of the many hous-
es in the sprawling neighborhood. And everywhere you look, it’s kid-friendly at Sunriver, voted a top-10 family golf destination by Golf Digest. Crosswater is top-of-the-line in every way, but my favorite is the Meadows course by the hotel, with its meandering fairways. For whatever reason, perhaps my advancing age, I enjoy the par-5 second hole the most, with views of horses grazing in a nearby pasture. You can walk or take a 60-second drive to Sunriver Brewing Company, where head brewer Brett Thomas has won 10 national awards. Try the Fuzztail Hefeweizen or the Vicious Mosquito IPA. Or, be more adventurous and order a Rippin’ Northwest Ale, Sunriver’s newest craft beer, said to have an “amazing dank hop flavor of an IPA, but with the easy-drinking nature of a pale ale.”
Want stunning panoramic views of Cascade peaks and a formidable challenge on a championship course? Tetherow is on every “best courses” list, with its demanding, distinctive holes in a scenic setting. Tetherow was designed by David McLay Kidd — keep an eye out for a tall red-headed Scotsman, because the designer lives in Bend. I played there with former Cougar and NFL quarterback Drew Bledsoe, a Tetherow member, for a Cascade Golfer story three years ago. You’ll want to have your “A” game for this course; a “C” game didn’t cut it for me, and Bledsoe won $15 from me as a result. In addition to playing the course, you can improve your game with instruction from the Tetherow Golf Academy, and stay in one of the 50 luxurious rooms at the pet-friendly Tetherow Lodge. From there, it’s a quick drive to downtown Bend, where you’ll wash down your round with a Mirror Pond Pale Ale at the Deschutes Brewery, the largest and oldest craft brewery in the city. You’ve probably heard of Deschutes – they distribute their craft beers to 25 states and two Canadian provinces. After the Mirror Pond, try a Red Chair NWPA, voted the best beer in the world at the World Beer Awards in England in 2010 and 2012.
Bend BEER AND Golf Trail
With nearly 30 PUBLIC COURSES and MORE THAN A DOZEN BREWERIES, there’s no place in America combining craft beer and incredible golf like CENTRAL OREGON: Pronghorn Resort • Bend
Pronghorn Resort AND Crux Fermentation Project A few years ago, I had the chance to take my family to Pronghorn Resort for a story I was writing for Cascade Golfer. Every year since, my kids have begged me to go back — they still rave about our five-star accommodations (in a private, three-bedroom villa nicer than any Ritz Carlton or Four Seasons I’d ever stayed in) and the quality of the resort’s Nicklaus Course. I’m not sure they quite understand the meaning of the word, “comped.” Our villa had three bedrooms, with a full kitchen and fire pit on the patio — villas range from one to four bedrooms, each with similar amenities and access to the Trailhead building, home to a terrific restaurant, two giant pools and a family-friendly activity center. As I wrote at the time, the Nicklaus and Fazio courses at Pronghorn are easily in my top-five of courses I’ve played worldwide, a decent-if-I-may-say-so list, topped by Augusta National. They’re beautiful, incredibly well-conditioned, and fun to play, with unique features (like a lava tube adjacent to the Fazio’s eighth green) that make unforgettable memories. Pronghorn’s uniqueness makes it a good pairing with Bend’s Crux Fermentation Project, whose tasting room isn’t just a part of the brewery, but its heart. The tasting room at Crux is built in the center of the building, giving beer drinkers a 360-degree view of the beer-making process. Two of my favorite features? The ability to build your own sampler tray from any of the beers on tap, and a fenced yard where your dog can hang out while you tip back a Banished Tough Love and chow down on a grilled cheese sandwich. Jim Moore is a sports-talk show host at 710 ESPN Seattle. He also writes for 710Sports. com, SeattlePI.com and KitsapSun.com. You can reach him at jimmoorethego2guy@ yahoo.com and follow him on Twitter @cougsgo.
THE COURSES Aspen Lakes • Sisters Awbrey Glen • Bend Big Meadow • Black Butte Ranch Brasada Canyons • Powell Butte Caldera Links • Sunriver Crooked River Ranch • Crooked River Ranch Crosswater • Sunriver Eagle Crest (Challenge) • Redmond Eagle Crest (Resort) • Redmond Eagle Crest (Ridge) • Redmond Glaze Meadow • Black Butte Ranch Juniper G.C. • Redmond
Kah-Nee-Ta • Warm Springs Lost Tracks • Bend Meadow Lakes • Prineville Meadows • Sunriver Old Back Nine • Bend Pronghorn (Nicklaus) • Bend Quail Run • LaPine River’s Edge • Bend Tetherow • Bend Widgi Creek • Bend Woodlands • Sunriver
THE BREWERIES 7th Street Brew House • Redmond 10 Barrel Brewing Co. • Bend Bend Brewing Co. • Bend Broken Top Bottle Shop • Bend Cascade Lakes Brewing Co • Bend Craft Kitchen & Brewery • Bend Crux Fermentation Project • Bend Deschutes Brewery • Bend
McMenamins Old St. Francis • Bend Rat Hole Brewing Co. • Sunriver Silver Moon Brewing • Bend Sunriver Brewing Co. • Sunriver Three Creeks Brewing Co. • Sisters Worthy Brewing • Bend
For complete details on the golf courses and breweries listed above, go to visitcentraloregon.com.
Hit The Beer And Golf Trail — On Us!
e can’t send you to all of the more than 30 incredible golf courses and 24 top-class breweries in Central Oregon — but darn it, we can try. We’re going to start by sending two lucky CG readers to Black Butte Ranch in Sisters — just down the road from one of our favorite breweries, the Three Creeks Brewing Company. You’ll enjoy Cascade mountain views and incredible golf with a package including two nights accommodations in a Black Butte Ranch condo and two rounds of spectacular mountain golf for two, including cart and range balls! Then, just to give even more of our readers a taste of the good life, we’re going to send another CG reader and their best golf buddy on a golf adventure to Pronghorn Resort, including a two-night resort stay and two rounds of golf for two on the incredible Nicklaus course, named one of America’s “100 Greatest Public Courses” by Golf Digest. YOU READ THAT RIGHT — that’s a two-night, two-round package for two at Black Butte Ranch, AND a two-night, two-round package for two at Pronghorn, all for free! And don’t forget to leave some time to taste some beers! Enter to win today at cascadegolfer.com! CASCADEGOLFERDEALS.com
Pronghorn Resort • Bend
Black Butte Ranch • Sisters
Swinomish Golf Links • Anacortes
Skamania Lodge • Stevenson
Wine Valley Golf Club • Walla Walla 50
$30 $60 $90
Wherever you are — and whatever your budget — we’ve got the summer road trip for you
here isn’t a single golfer in Western Washington who doesn’t spend the winter daydreaming about the long summer days, with the warm sun beating down on your arms as you play some mind-blowing destination course. Well, ladies and gentlemen, we’re happy to say — road trip season is finally here. And whether you’re a layman or a lawyer, a ditch-digger or a jet-builder, we’ve got just the trip for you — from simple, budget-con-
Lake Chelan Golf Course
RATES: $29-$41 Your family’s taking a trip to Chelan this summer, and you’re jumping at the chance for some destination golf. But .... you can’t quite swing the $80-plus it’s going to take for a tee time at Bear Mountain Ranch, Desert Canyon or Gamble Sands. Or, maybe you’re just looking to tack on an extra round to what’s already been a fantastic Central Washington golf trip. We’ve got your back. Lake Chelan muni isn’t the first course on most golfers’ Central Washington wish lists, but that has more to do with the quality of those around it than any criticism of Lake Chelan itself. Because, frankly, there isn’t much to criticize, unless you have something against fun courses, in terrific shape, with fantastic views, that top out at just $41 in the summertime (and can be played for as little as $29 at twilight times — which also happen to be one of the most scenic times of day). You don’t? Yeah, neither do we. Last year, on our way up to Gamble Sands for our Cascade Golfer Cup event, we could’ve stopped and played anywhere along the route — Bear Mountain, Desert Canyon, Highlander, Leavenworth, Kahler Glen. We picked Lake Chelan — you should, too. CASCADEGOLFERDEALS.com
BY BRIAN BEAKY CG EDITOR scious day trips to the Olympic Peninsula, the Cascade foothills or the San Juan Islands, to unforgettable, weekend-long excursions to some of the top courses and resorts in the Northwest, it’s all covered. To make it easy, we’ve chosen courses in three distinct price ranges — $30, $60, and $90 —
Cedars at Dungeness
RATES: $24-47, play all day for $60-$70 Can’t afford to spend more than $30 or so on a single round of golf, but still want that summer golf getaway experience? No problem — point the car west to the Olympic Peninsula and take advantage of crazy-low all-day rates at the Cedars at Dungeness. Certainly, any Northwest golfer is familiar with Ole Crabby, the Cedars’ crab-shaped bunker on the third hole. But we’d suggest that while it makes for great marketing, it’s actually one of the least interesting things about the course. Instead, we prefer the way the wind blows in off the Strait of Juan de Fuca, changing shot selections by as much as two or even three clubs on certain holes; the way the course gets progressively more challenging throughout the round, concluding with the tricky par-4 18th; and mostly, the fact that for just $60, we can play two or even three rounds there on a summer afternoon — $70 if we’re coming on a weekend. Throw in the cost of your ferry ticket, gas and lunch, and that’s a full day’s worth of golf, plus a scenic road trip across the water, for under $100.
Swinomish Golf Links
RATES: $20-$33, $15 replay rate Don’t want to take a ferry, or just need to stay closer to home? We can take care of you, too. Since taking over the old Similk Beach Golf Course just outside Anacortes,
and paired them together as best we can by price and region to form the perfect summer golf road trip for you. So shine up those clubs, give the car a good wash, throw on your favorite pair of sunglasses and choose the time frame and budget that best meets your needs — then grab a friend (or three), cue up your favorite tunes, and hit the road. Summer is finally here, and we’re planning to make it count.
on that thin neck of land between the mainland and Fidalgo Island, the Swinomish Tribe has poured money into restoring the course and making it a true attraction for golfers throughout the region — and, of course, a valuable amenity of the nearby Swinomish Lodge & Casino. While superintendent Matt Atterbury, an Anacortes native who spent years learning his craft at Suncadia Resort, has done wonders for course conditions, he certainly had a strong palette with which to work, including views of both Similk and Fidalgo Bay, and a links-style layout featuring only a few hazards, but plenty of elevated tee boxes, firm fairways and long fescue grasses. At just $33 on weekends and with a replay rate of just $15, you could realistically play it three times for just $63 — or, take advantage of stay-and-play packages through the casino for unlimited golf. Either way, it’s a lot of quality golf, on a value golf budget.
Sweet Spo t Apple Tree Resort
RATES: $45-$73 Ooh, baby ... now we’re starting to get into some good ones. Nothing against the $30 tracks, but those in the $60 range represent some of our state’s sweetest values — good enough to start showing up on some top10 lists, but still affordable. JUNE 2016
Take Apple Tree, an impossibly green gem in the midst of a vast, brown landscape. If Eskimos have 100 words for snow (and, in fact, it’s been established that they don’t), then Yakima residents must have at least that many for shades of brown and yellow. But just when you think there can’t possibly be a golf course out here, it appears — a grass-covered oasis, just in time to slake your thirst. While the apple-shaped island green makes the par3 No. 17 as photo-worthy a hole as any you’ll play in your lifetime, the fact is that almost every hole at Apple Tree is unique and memorable, from the front nine that winds through an active apple orchard, to a back nine featuring possibly the best four-hole closing sequence in the state. Do it as a day trip (it’s about 150 minutes from downtown Seattle), or spend the night and hit some wineries. Either way, it’s a trip we make every single year, without question.
RATES: $49-$79 We know what you’re thinking — there’s a place in Washington called Stevenson? There is, and about 45 miles east of Vancouver, you’ll find one of the best-kept resort secrets in the state, a spot every bit as dramatic as Semiahmoo, and every bit as scenic as Suncadia — but at less than half the price. The Bunny Mason-designed golf course and lodge were both carved from thick woods overlooking the Columbia River — so, as you’d imagine, fairways are tight, and views are tighter (for those of us born before 1980, “tight” means good). The shorter overall length (just
Apple Tree Resort • Yakima
5,900 yards from the tips) makes up for it, but it’s still a challenge for any golfer who can’t keep it between the pines, as evidenced by a ridiculous 132 slope (by comparison, that’s almost identical to the nearly 6,800-yard tees at notoriously challenging Salish Cliffs). Keep your driver in play (or, if you’re smart, in your bag), though, and scoring opportunities abound. You can drive down and play it, if you want, for as little as $59, then turn around and come home. And if you do, you’re an idiot. Because for just $40 more — $99 per person — you can spend the night in a luxurious Skamania Lodge room, and play unlimited golf, with cart, and range balls. So, $59 to walk it once and spend seven hours driving, or $99 to take a cart for as many rounds as you want, and sleep in a cozy bed that someone else has to make in the morning. When we said this was a best-kept secret, we weren’t kidding.
Eaglemont Golf Club Mount Vernon RATES: $28-$62, play all day for $67-$77 You may notice that Eaglemont’s rates look like they’re all over the place — that’s because the hilltop course overlooking the Skagit Valley is one of the most aggressive in the state with regard to tee times, with special rates for seniors, early birds (before 9 a.m.), twilight (after 1 p.m.) and even super twilight (after 3 p.m.). Heck, its cheapest rate of just $28 on a weekday afternoon means we could’ve stuck Eaglemont with the $30 courses if we wanted to — but we didn’t, because frankly, none of those rates are what make Eaglemont one of our favorite summertime destinations. Instead, that honor goes to that all-day rate — just $67 on a weekday, and a still-fantastic $77 on weekends. Arrive early in the morning and drive up through the fog to the clifftop clubhouse, and you could potentially squeeze in as many as 54 holes before making the 90-minute drive back
ROAD HOLES Eaglemont Golf Club • Mount Vernon
to the Seattle area — provided, that is, you packed enough balls. Tight, hilly, and with hazards galore, Eaglemont is a rewarding challenge for golfers willing to take the plunge. Tee it forward, take advantage of the beverage cart, and play at least twice — you’ll come home with some great golf under your belt, and less than $100 out of your wallet.
Wine Valley Golf Course Walla Walla RATES: $50-$110 OK, now we’re getting serious. Push your budget up around $90 per round, and we can put you onto some of the sweetest tracks this side of the 45th Parallel. And let’s just start with this — if you can finish a round in four hours or less, there isn’t a better peak-season rate we’re aware of anywhere in the world than Wine Valley’s $50 super-twilight rate, which kicks in after 5 p.m. Most of us, though, will probably pay the $95 weekday rate, $110 weekend rate, or $75 standard twilight (after 2 p.m.) rate — which we’ll happily do, over and over again. There’s only one course like Wine Valley in Washington state — and it just hosted a U.S. Open, and costs almost twice as much to play. Take the links style of Chambers Bay, and combine it with the pristine conditioning of a private track like Tumble Creek or TPC Snoqualmie Ridge, and you’ll have a sense of what it’s like to stand on the first tee at Wine Valley, look out across the endless rolls of green turf and tall fescue, and giggle like a little kid. There are so many different ways to play each hole, so many unique angles of attack — so many ways to make birdie, frankly — that it’s a course you can’t just play once. Regardless of what you shoot, you’ll walk off wondering what would have happened if you had bumped up instead of pulling sand wedge, or tried putting off the slope rather than going at the pin. Then you’ll play it a second time, and unlock new tricks that necessitate a third round. If it’s not your favorite course already, it will be soon — so skip the single-round rates and take advantage of local stay-and-plays starting at just $249. You’ll thank us later. CASCADEGOLFERDEALS.com
Coeur d’Alene Resort
Coeur d’Alene, Idaho
RATES: $125-$195, or stay and play for $250
ometimes, you just have to splurge — and if you’re going to do it, there aren’t many better ways than the stay-and-play packages at Coeur d’Alene Resort. I mean, look at those rates — $125 to $195, for just one round. Why bother with that, when for just $250 per person (assuming double occupancy), you can not only play the course that’s on every golfer’s bucket list, but can also spend the night in a fantastic room, and ride to the course in the morning in the coolest shuttle of all-time — a speedboat that zips across Lake Coeur d’Alene and drops you off at the first tee? And that’s not all — also included in your package is the cost of a forecaddie for your group (the tip’s on you), a complimentary pre-round massage, a personalized and engraved bag tag, and the chance to hit balls all day long on America’s most unique driving range, set up on the lakeshore with yardage markers bobbing in the waves. Want to splurge even more? Higher-priced packages include $100 dining credit at the resort restaurant (where this writer once consumed one of the best steaks I’ve ever eaten, I might add), plus a $30 breakfast credit and complimentary three-ball sleeve. If you’re going to Coeur d’Alene — and at some point, you know you are — you have to take advantage of one of these packages. Because if you’re going on this kind of road trip, you have to go all the way.
Palouse Ridge Golf Club • Pullman
Palouse Ridge Golf Club
RATES: $545-$99 Everything we just wrote about Wine Valley? Just cut-and-paste it for Palouse Ridge. The two courses play to a similar style, though Wine Valley mimics Chambers Bay a little more with its wide-open fairways and large, fast greens. Palouse is a bit tighter and a bit trickier — and definitely much hillier — than its fellow Eastern Washington gem, but it’s every bit as fun to play. We should start with those hills, because they define much of what makes Palouse Ridge great. For starters, there are the views — Western Washington golfers might scoff at the notion of “views” in a part of the state without water, thick forests or dueling mountain ranges, but we defy you to stand on just about any tee at Palouse Ridge without soaking in the scenery. The deep, green turf surrounded by wavy grasses — golden by day, and purple in the evening light — provide the foreground, while silhouettes of Idaho’s Palouse Range loom in the distance. In addition to the elevated views of the surrounding landscape, the hills provide the contours for Palouse’s thrilling 18 holes, which fall off the hillside only to climb back up again, mixing epic challenges with risk-reward delights. If you’ve been lucky enough to play it, you know what we’re talking about. If not, this is the year to find out.
Meadow Park Golf Course
• 18-hole championship course, 6,145 yards, Par 71 • Williams Nine executive 9-hole course, 1,600 yards, Par 30 • FootGolf • Driving Range – 35 stations – partially covered • Putting and Chipping Greens • Pro Shop – fully equipped for your golfing needs • Foley’s on the Green Restaurant & Bar • Lessons from PGA & LPGA members • Online Tee Times • Golf Outings • Junior Golf programs • Clubs & Leagues
Meadow Park Golf Course • 7108 Lakewood Drive West • Tacoma WA 98467 58
NORTH SHORE GOLF COURSE
McCormick Woods PORT ORCHARD
To local golfers, McCormick Woods is like an old friend — built in 1987, it’s been around as long as most of us have, treating golfers to a quality round at a reasonable price. When we’re in a jam and don’t know where to turn — or, in this case, low on funds and don’t know where to play — McCormick Woods has always been there for us. But, if you haven’t been to McCormick Woods in recent months, you might not recognize it. The club’s owners oversaw the removal of nearly 3,000 trees on the property in 2015 (not all on the course itself), to increase light and airflow to the greens, increase pace of play and reduce maintenance costs. While the changes haven’t significantly affected the way the course plays — 99 percent of the trees removed weren’t in play (though, that leaves 30 or so that were, about two per hole, mostly those that had begun to encroach on greens or tees) — they have dramatically altered the way it looks. From the clubhouse, four holes are now visible, including the 1st and 10th tees and the No. 9 and No. 18 greens, as is the on-course cafe, formerly tucked amongst the tall pines between No. 9 and 10 and all but invisible to clubhouse diners. Once you recover from the initial surprise, however, the round itself will be just as you remembered it — a fun, twisting trail through a (only slightly less) thick pine forest,
McCormick Woods • No. 18 with the ability to challenge even the best golfer. The added light and airflow to the greens helped the course better survive the winter and reach peak condition earlier in 2016 — good news to all those golfers looking forward to our annual Cascade Golfer Cup event on-site in late July. And at just $59 at peak weekend times — and just $45 on a weekday — it’s still one of the best values the state has to offer. If you’re on the west side of the Sound, consider a membership — while no longer officially under the RMG Club banner, McCormick continues to offer a version of RMG’s unbeatable membership deals; just $150 per month grants golfers unlimited play at McCormick Woods plus unlimited range benefits, with family add-ons for just another $100 per month.
50% OFF ANY LUNCH OR(withDINNER ENTRÉE any paid green fee) Expires August 15th 2016 *Must present coupon
Tee times - (253) 927-1375 or (253) 838-3660 Restaurant - (253) 927-7439 4101 North Shore Blvd NE,Tacoma WA 98422
Find Us on
YARDAGE (PAR) 3,655-7,040 yards (72) RATES $25-$59* TEL (800) 323-0130 WEB mccormickwoodsgolf.com * See website for current rates
Speed It Up
By Brian Beaky CG Editor
esides the expense of clubs, green fees, lessons, etc., the main reason golfers say they don’t play as often as they’d like to — and one of the main reasons individuals never try the game in the first place — is that a round of golf simply takes too long. We all agree on this, right? I’ve never met a single golfer who said they prefer a five-hour round to a fourhour round — yet, almost every single time I go to the course, I see someone taking 5-6 practice swings, searching through the woods for 5-10 minutes to find a lost ball, sending texts when it’s their turn to hit, or otherwise adding unnecessary minutes to their round (not to mention the group behind them, and the group behind them, etc.). Most course staff strive to maintain a 4:15-4:30 pace — and honestly, even that seems longer than it needs to be. As golfers, we can’t do anything about tee-time intervals or course setup, both of which have been proven to have at least as much impact on slow play as anything golfers do themselves. But we can control the following things — and if we do, there’s no reason we can’t shave our average rounds down closer to four hours — not only will we save ourselves some time, we just might save the game’s future in the process.
Choose The Right Tees
Make Waiting Count
Honestly, it all starts before you even step on the first tee. If you’re a 20-handicap playing a 7,000-yard tee box, you’re not going to get around the course in a speedy fashion. There’s no shame in playing it forward — I’ve often been the guy hitting from the whites while others in my group play the blues. Not only will you play faster, you’ll score better, too.
If you do have to wait – for the group ahead, or one of your playing partners – make the time count. Determine your yardage and make your club selection. Put your glove on. Make a practice swing or two. That way, when it’s your turn, all you have to do is hit.
Greens are often one of the main causes of slow play. If possible, evaluate your line as you approach the green. The time to plum-bob your putt is BEFORE it’s your turn, that way you can just place your ball and go. When you’re finished, clear the green quickly and write down scores on the tee, not on or by the green – you’ll have to wait at the tee box anyway while everyone hits, and by moving, you clear the green for the group behind you.
Keep Up With The Group Ahead This is the single most-misunderstood aspect of pace of play. “Well, no one was pushing us, so we figured we were OK.” We hear that all the time at our Cascade Golfer Cup events. Your proper place on the course is directly behind the group in front of you, NOT directly in front of the group behind you. Bottom line, if it’s a busy day and you’re never within a shot of the group ahead of you, you’re playing too slow – regardless of what the group behind you is doing.
Play Ready Golf Honors is a lovely tradition — but it makes for a long round of golf. Short of standing in another player’s line, if you’re ready to hit before your playing partners are, just hit. Trust me, they’ll barely even notice.
Plan Ahead If your partner is dropping you off at your ball, or you have to walk a ways from the cart, take three clubs, not just one. Even if you’re 99 percent sure of the yardage, factors like wind, hazards by the green, lie condition, etc., can make you wish you had one more (or one less) club once you’re actually standing over the ball. You don’t want to have to run back to the cart, or wait for your partner to return.
Help Your Partners
Unless you’re playing in a sanctioned tournament, there’s no need to post a 10-plus. In fact, the USGA’s Equitable Stroke Control (ESC) formula limits the number you can post on a certain hole for handicap purposes — double bogey for single-digit handicappers, seven for mid-handicappers (10-19) and eight for high-handicappers (20+). If you’re already over that number, just call it a wash and save your good shots for the next hole.
Track every tee shot, not just your own – if you think you know exactly where a ball went, help find it before moving to your own ball. If a player hits out of a bunker and is still away, offer to rake it for them. Little things like this can shave 4-5 minutes off a round. It all adds up.
Most Importantly – Play At The Pace You Wish The Group In Front Of You Was Playing As our parents, teachers, coaches and others have told us throughout the years — if you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.