VOLUME 12 • ISSUE 3 • AUGUST 2018 • COMPLIMENTARY
CALLAWAY GOES BLACK TOPGOLF IN SEATTLE? IT’S CLOSER THAN YOU THINK BIG CHANGES COMING TO GOLF RULES, HANDICAPS NORTHWEST GOLF NEWS & VIEWS • cascadegolfer.com
LOCAL CELEBS RANK THE STATE’S PRETTIEST HOLES
Wine Valley Golf Club • Walla Walla
From new rules to new technologies,
golf’s changing in a big way
— meet the people, and play the courses,
that are leading the way
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Volume 12 • Issue 3 • AUGUST 2018
Departments 4 6
Cascade Golfer is published and owned by Varsity Communications, Inc. This publication is mailed free to more than 90,000 registered Puetz Golf Preferred members. Additional copies are printed and distributed throughout the Puget Sound region.
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• New rules coming in 2019 • Changes at local courses • Duke’s Junior Golf Scholarship • Kyle Stanley hosts junior tourney • Join the CG Cup at Gamble Sands • What to look for in a lie • Boeing Classic returns in August
18 TEEING OFF
• Soccer star Cristian Roldan “sounds” off
P R E S I D E NT / P U B LI S H E R Dick Stephens E D I TO R Brian Beaky ART DIRECTION Robert Becker GR APHIC DESIGNERS Robert Becker, Katie Erickson FOR EDITORIAL SUBMISSIONS AND INQUIRIES: Brian Beaky • (425) 412-7070 ext. 103 email@example.com
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SALES & MARKETING Simon Dubiel, Ian Civey, Elijah Prokopenko
20 IN THE BAG
• TaylorMade Interactive Putter • Scotty Cameron Concept X • New PING irons • And more!
As Executive Chairman of Topgolf, Bellevue’s Erik Anderson has “unbundled” the game — and unlocked the secret to saving golf’s future.
• Chambers Bay No. 12
48 SAVE SOME GREEN
• Early bird gets the worm
50 POSTGAME • Look into our crystal ball
FOR ADVERTISING INQUIRIES, CONTACT: Simon Dubiel • (425) 412-7070 ext. 100 firstname.lastname@example.org
34 The Future of Golf Is Here
33 RISK VS REWARD
Pretty As A Picture Page 20
DIRECTOR OF FINANCE Bobbi Kramer ACCOUNTS PAYABLE & RECEIVABLE Pam Titland
Washington’s most scenic holes, as ranked by readers, writers and our state’s sports celebs.
PUETZ GOLF SAVINGS 24-31
Consolidated Press • Seattle, WA COPYRIGHT 2018 Cascade Golfer. PRINTED IN THE USA. All rights reserved. Articles, photos, advertising and/ or graphics may not be reprinted without the written permission of the publisher. Advertising and editorial contained herein does not constitute endorsement of Cascade Golfer or Varsity Communications, Inc. Publisher reserves the right to edit letters, photos and copy submitted and publish only excerpts. The publisher has made every effort to ensure the accuracy of all material contained in this issue. However, as unpredictable changes and errors do occur, the publisher can assume no liability for errors, omissions or changes. All photos are courtesy of the course or individual unless otherwise noted.
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Congratulations to the winners of June’s CG Swag!
Pronghorn Stay-and-Play Sean Epperson • Snohomish Black Butte Ranch Stay-and-Play Kristen Legg • Seattle Palouse Ridge Foursome David Gundlach • Kent
• Twosomes to Avalon, Auburn and Eagles Pride • Page 6 • Boeing Classic VIP Experience • Page 17 • Foursome to Wine Valley • Page 47
Avalon All-Day Foursome Greg Burnside • Edmonds
Log on to CascadeGolfer.com for your chance to win!
PROUD CHARTER MEMBER
Don’t sweat if you didn’t win any of those sweet packages in June — we’re serving up three more in this issue, including a foursome to Wine Valley, the chance to be a VIP at the Boeing Classic, and a three-pack of twosomes to Avalon, Auburn and Eagles Pride!
A tip o’ the hat to The Open, and the game’s framers
was immersed in The Open Championship this year — reading, watching documentaries, poring over statistics, and reliving memories from fans and players alike. Some that won it – some that let it slip away. The Masters is glorious and grand; golf’s Wimbledon. The U.S. Open is the celebration of our American game and a reminder that anyone can play and compete. The PGA Championship is the heralding of the professional golfer. But, The Open is mystical. Ominous, but not stuffy. For me, it’s golf’s greatest test — and it always has been. The crowning moments and inaugural championships for most sports date back 50-80 years. The Open, though, was first played in 1860, nearly 160 years ago — the same year Abraham Lincoln was elected president. That first Open featured three rounds of 12 holes, played in a single day. The winner earned the boxing-style “Challenge Belt;” it took 10 years for the Claret Jug to take its place. Players like Willie Park, Sr., and Old and Young Tom Morris were tough guys with big beards, thick tweed jackets and high-topped boots, who smoked while they played. The Open champion is referred to as the “Championship Golfer of the Year” and, it seems to me, that it carries
with it more of a “Holy Grail” vibe than the other trophies. I spent some time in the U.K. and felt the connection of The Open to the public golfers there. It’s a public trust, and doesn’t feel “out of reach” or snooty. As much as I love golf, I must freely admit that golf has a stiff and preppy vibe here at home, where it grew on the backs of private clubs and privilege. But, in golf’s early days across the sea, courses were seen as a cheap form of leisure, and found dotting rail lines along the land “linking” the mainland to the ocean – hence the term, “links.” Golf was a walk and a game smashed together. I love that. Even though the modern Open is a star-studded showcase of lean athletes and high-tech tools, it’s played on courses that test the mettle of a player’s ability and soul. The courses are rough and tumble – brown, rugged and windy. It’s as if the New York Giants played on the clumpy Polo Grounds, or NASCAR drivers competed on the trails of the Paris-Dakar Rally. The Open, and our sport, comes from grit and fortitude. I encourage you to find a course — any course — that gives you comfort and reminds you of why you love to play. Enjoy the end of summer and TAKE IT EASY.
SHORT GAME USGA, R&A Announce Finalized Rule Changes to Take Place in 2019
ast year, we wrote about a whole host of proposed rule changes by the USGA and R&A to both simplify and speed up the game — rules that would be workshopped and tested throughout the next year, and potentially implemented as soon as 2019. Well, the workshopping is over, and while some of the proposed rules have been amended, nearly all of them will be included in the new Rules of Golf that will become law when the clock strikes midnight on Dec. 31. As we did last year, let’s take a quick look at those which will most likely affect your game, starting at the tee box, and working our way towards the green: 1. Break Out the Rangefinders Now ubiquitous, rangefinders will be allowed in all forms of play, unless the local course or competition committee says otherwise.
courses will have the option to establish a local rule allowing you to drop in the nearest fairway area to where your ball is thought to be (no closer to the hole, of course), or anywhere back on the line from the flag, for a two-stroke penalty. You end up with the same score — it’s two strokes either way — but save a lot of time, and have more control over the lie for your next shot. 4. Speed It Up And, without the need to go back and re-tee, you shouldn’t waste as much time looking for that lost ball — the allowable time to look for a lost ball will be reduced from five to three minutes, while the maximum time to hit after first addressing the ball will be 40 seconds.
2. Embedded Ball Of all the proposed rules, this is the one we were happiest to see remain unchanged. Starting in 2019, we will be able to take relief for an embedded ball anywhere except a bunker or hazard. Winter and springtime golfers, rejoice.
5. Take a Drop Oh, and about that drop? It’s about to get easier, too. Currently, drops must be taken from shoulder height, and it was proposed in 2017 to lower that to any point above the surface. The final rule is a compromise of sorts — starting in 2019, you can drop from knee height, which should cut down the number of re-drops, and lead to better lies, too.
3. Stroke and Distance This is a new one, actually, that came from player and course feedback after the 2017 proposal was released. There’s nothing worse than driving up to find your ball unexpectedly out of bounds, or hopelessly lost, and having to drive back to re-tee. Next year,
6. In A Hazard For starters, there can be more hazards — courses can now designate waste or other unmaintained areas as hazards instead of O.B. Furthermore, you are free to ground your club and remove any loose impediments in your way.
7. In The Bunker Bunker play is about to get simpler. Not only will you now be able to remove loose impediments, you may also touch the sand with your hand or club (provided you don’t ground the club right next to the ball), and — if it’s just not your day — can go “Full Mickelson” and voluntarily accept a two-stroke penalty to drop outside the bunker instead. 8. On the Green Two rule changes will make putting quicker — and easier. As proposed in 2017, golfers need no longer pull the flag before putting, and may fix any unnatural damage in their line — spike marks, footprints, etc. As we noted last year, a lot of these rules — fixing spike marks, taking relief from embedded lies, leaving the pin in while putting, moving rocks in bunkers and hazards — mirror how many amateurs play already, but now you can do so without feeling like you’re bending the rules. Others — particularly the ability to take a drop as opposed to re-teeing — offer a refreshing new take, and could make the game quicker and easier to play going forward. “We are pleased to be introducing the new Rules of Golf,” says David Rickman, executive director of governance at the R&A. “We believe that the new Rules are more in tune with what golfers would like and are easier to understand and apply for everyone who enjoys playing this great game.”
YOUR Win Three Terrific Twosomes!
Auburn G.C. • No. 15
ant to get out there and play some golf before the season ends? Well, this is going to help. We’re giving the winner of this CG Swag contest not one, not two, but THREE outstanding twosomes to three of our favorite local tracks, including Auburn Golf Course in Auburn, The Links at Avalon in Burlington, and DuPont’s Eagles Pride! That’s 54 holes of golf, just for clicking a few buttons on our website! Log on to CascadeGolfer.com and click the “Enter to Win” banner for your chance to win!
Local Courses Launch Major Projects This Fall PGC Instruction Academy
North Shore’s new golf shop will open this fall, with the clubhouse on target for 2019.
Improve your golf game at 8 Premier Golf locations! Now lessons, junior camps, clinics, ladies nights & more.
Contact us today!
all is a significant transitional season in the Northwest — the kids go back to school, the weather turns cooler and wetter ... and, this year at least, our local golf courses undergo some significant changes. That starts in Seattle, where the City of Seattle commissioned a study focused on the future of Seattle’s public golf courses — West Seattle, Jackson Park, Jefferson Park and Interbay — to determine what, if any, changes should be made. The study, which began in February, announced preliminary findings earlier this spring, and a full report was expected to be released in May. As of July 23, a source at Premier Golf, which manages the four courses for the city, informed Cascade Golfer that the report was not yet finished, but was expected soon. Among the preliminary findings were a mix of good and bad news for local golfers. Rates of participation in Seattle and the state of Washington exceed national averages, while the perception of golf as a bastion for the upper crust was largely false, with 70 percent of all rounds nationally played on public courses, and nearly 80 percent of courses in Washington state open to public play. So, that’s the good news — the bad is that rising costs, and the failure to implement major parts of the city’s Golf Master Plan — including a driving range at West Seattle and new clubhouse and restaurant facilities at Jackson Park — have prevented the four courses from turning a collective profit. The study is expected to offer three possible directions for the city to move forward. More certain than the situation in Seattle, though, are those at Everett’s Legion Memorial, Tacoma’s North Shore Golf Club, and Chambers Bay. Legion began a major renovation of its front nine this summer, shutting down three holes (temporary
SEATTLE www.premiergc.com holes and greens have been built to maintain an 18-hole layout) while the city works on the water system for the surrounding neighborhood. We go into more detail in “Save Some Green” on page 57, but when the holes reopen in October, Legion will have two brand-new holes, new water features and an all-new routing. North Shore, meanwhile, launched construction of a brand-new golf shop and clubhouse this summer. The new building — part of the investment of the Puyallup Tribe of Indians, who purchased the course in 2016 — will include a 15,000-plus square-foot clubhouse, with an event center that can accommodate up to 300 people, plus a 1,123-square-foot golf shop. The golf shop is expected to be completed this fall, with the clubhouse to follow in 2019. Lastly, just as those courses are opening to show off their new features, Chambers Bay is expected to shut down in order to prepare its own — that is, the 15 greens that will need to be replanted with poa annua grass and grown in before the spring golf season. Three greens — 7, 10 and 13 — have already been converted and are being monitored by course staff. If all goes well (and the fact that much of the poa needed to finish the job has already been ordered, and is indeed on-site, would seem to indicate that it is) then the course will be closed for up to five months starting in October to plant the new greens and ready them for 2019. Our quarterly publishing schedule means you won’t hear from us again until December, when many of these projects will be complete or underway. To stay up-todate on these or other news, though — including the recommendations from the Seattle golf course study — visit CascadeGolfer.com and follow us on Facebook (Cascade Golfer) and Twitter (@CascadeGolfer).
Interbay Golf Center Jackson Park Golf Course
BELLEVUE www.bellevuepgc.com Bellevue Golf Course
EVERETT www.everettgolf.com Legion Memorial GC Walter Hall GC
MARYSVILLE www.cedarcrestgc.com Cedarcrest GC
BELLINGHAM www.lakepaddengolf.com Lake Padden GC www.PremierGolfCenters.com AUGUST 2018
SHORT GAME USGA, R&A Propose New System for Calculating Handicaps
ho knew that the higher-ups at the USGA and Royal & Ancient, the two main governing bodies of golf, read Cascade Golfer? OK, maybe they didn’t get the ideas that went into the recent proposal for a revised system of calculating handicaps from these hallowed pages, but we were excited to see that some of the changes we’ve suggested for years will finally be reality starting in 2020. Most notable is a reduction from 10 to three rounds to establish a handicap; a reduction from the best 10 to the best eight of a player’s last 20 rounds used to calculate their handicap; a maximum handicap of 54.0, regardless of gender; daily handicap revisions that take course and weather conditions into play; and, most significantly, the capping of scores at net double bogey for all golfers, regardless of skill level (for handicapping purposes only). There’s a lot to unpack there, but we’ll highlight what we feel are the two most significant changes as they pertain to the average Northwest golfer — namely, taking weather into account, and capping scores at net double bogey. In our August 2012 issue, we wrote, “The official USGA handicap formula...assumes that a course plays equally difficult regardless of conditions — an assumption clearly made by someone who doesn’t play [very many rounds] while trying to hold wet grips or carry a long iron through the wind and rain.” We speculated at the time that there should be some standard formula for measuring wind, rain and course conditions, which would be applied to adjust a course’s slope and rating up or down.
A sign in the pro shop could indicate the current necessary adjustment at the start of your round. Now, there are obviously a host of variables there that would have to be worked out, and it’s as yet unclear exactly how the new handicap system will take conditions into account, but as die-hard Northwesterners, we’re excited to see that it’s going to happen. The other significant change is the capping of scores at net double bogey. Under the current system, players with single-digit handicaps are capped at net double bogey (for the purpose of reporting scores for handicaps), while players with 10-19 handicaps are capped at 7, and players with 20-29 handicaps capped at 8 — all with the goal of minimizing the impact of “blowup holes” on a player’s handicap, and allowing their handicap to truly represent a golfer’s best ability. In reality, though, the system makes par-3s much more significant to your handicap than par-5s — a 15 handicap, for example, can take a disastrous quad on an easy par-3, but is limited to
no more than double on an incredibly difficult par-5. That’s partly why the R&A has long used the net double bogey system instead; starting in 2020, so can we. The new system — called the World Handicap System — will be implemented worldwide, making handicaps portable across all of the globe’s golf associations. The goals of the new system, as stated in the USGA press release announcing the changes, are to encourage more golfers to maintain a handicap; to make it easier for golfers to take their handicap with them anywhere in the world; and, most importantly, to more accurately reflect the score a golfer is capable of achieving. “For some time, we’ve heard golfers say, ‘I’m not good enough to have a handicap,’ or ‘I don’t play enough to have a handicap.’ We want to make the right decisions now to encourage a more welcoming and social game,” says Mike Davis, CEO of the USGA. Martin Slumbers, Davis’s counterpart at the R&A, adds: “We want to...strip away some of the complexity and variation which can be off-putting for newcomers. Having a handicap can make golf much more enjoyable and is one of the unique selling points of our sport. “We are working with our partners and national associations to make golf more modern, more accessible and more enjoyable as a sport, and the new World Handicap System represents a huge opportunity in this regard.”
SHORT GAME Kyle Stanley Brings the AJGA To Gig Harbor’s Canterwood
ey kids, break out the sticks — because come September, you’ll have the chance to win a major junior tournament right here in our own backyard. And, the hottest Home Teamer in the land, Kyle Stanley, will be there on 18 to hand you the trophy. Gig Harbor native Stanley — in the midst of his finest PGA TOUR season — will return home Sept. 14-16 to host the first-ever Kyle Stanley Championship by Transamerica, at Canterwood Golf & Country Club in his hometown. The three-day event, part of the American Junior Golf Association schedule, will feature 72 junior golfers aged 12-19, boys and girls, who qualify through performances at other state, regional and national events, including AJGA and non-AJGA events. Similar to the professional tours, players who perform better at those events receive higher priority for entry into future tournaments, with the field filled from the top down. The 54-hole tournament — including a Stanley-run clinic, practice round and hosted dinner on Friday, followed by 36 holes Saturday and an 18-hole final round Sunday — is the first of its kind to be hosted by Stanley, who grew up in Gig Harbor, attended Bellarmine Prep, and still calls the area home in the offseason. “I couldn’t be more excited about [it],” Stanley says. “It combines three things that have been very instrumental to my golf career — the AJGA, Canterwood and Transamerica. I am looking forward to being a part of this great event and hope the Gig Harbor community will embrace and support the tournament.” Indeed, Stanley was a three-time Rolex Junior All-American in the AJGA from 2004-06, before traveling across the country to play at Clemson, where he won golf’s Heisman Trophy, the Ben Hogan Award, in 2009. Since joining the PGA TOUR full-time
in 2011, he has won twice and banked more than $12 million — nearly half of that coming in the last 20 months, the best stretch of his pro career. In hosting his first AJGA event, Stanley follows in the footsteps of Ryder Cup hero and Puyallup native Ryan Moore, who hosted the AJGA’s Ryan Moore Junior Championship at Oakbrook Golf Club for the sixth time in July. “We are excited to welcome Kyle as the AJGA’s newest tournament host,” says the AJGA’s Jason Etzen. “Kyle has been a great ambassador for the AJGA and we’re looking forward to bringing Gig Harbor its first AJGA tournament.” To learn more, visit www.ajga.org.
Duke’s Scholarship Winner Emma Murphy Has Type-1 Diabetes, but Diabetes Doesn’t Have Her
mma Murphy was just one year old when she was diagnosed with Type-1 diabetes, an auto-immune disease that makes it harder for a person’s body to turn food into energy. Diabetics must constantly check their blood-sugar levels and, when necessary, self-administer shots of insulin to keep their body functioning normally. “Type-1 diabetes is a huge part of who I am, since I was diagnosed so young. I’ve grown up with it,” says Murphy, now a 16-year-old junior-to-be at Enumclaw High School. “There’s no breaks from it. [But] I do everything I want to do. I don’t let it hold me back.” That’s quite the understatement. In the two years since starting high school, Murphy has emerged as one of Enumclaw’s leaders in the classroom, on the stage and, of course, on the golf course. A two-year letterwinner for the Enumclaw golf team — and a regular participant in Washington Junior Golf Association events — Murphy led her team in driving, putting and chipping in 2017-18, earning second-team all-NPSL honors, a trip to the state tournament (where she shot a career-best 80 in the opening round) and the Most Inspirational Award from her teammates. She also participates in basketball, choir and drama (where she earned the award for Outstanding Actor in a Leading Role in the school’s production of “Spamalot”), and maintains a 4.0 grade-point average, including multiple advanced-placement courses. That’s a full plate for anyone, much less someone managing a lifelong disease. But, Murphy isn’t even close to done. She also works with the school’s WE Nourish project to design and run cooking classes for food-insecure families in the Enumclaw and Black Diamond communities, volunteers for Plateau Outreach Ministries, the local food bank, the Special Olympics and a local nursing home, and leads fundraising efforts for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF). This year, the JDRF named Murphy one of four youth ambassadors for the organization, which led to appearances on radio and in pre-recorded video segments, as well as live speaking opportunities. Her fundraising group, Emma Jane’s Gang, raised more than $3,500 in advance of this year’s JDRF fundraiser — the annual Beat The Bridge 5K that begins and ends at Husky Stadium — bringing its 15-year total (including, obviously, a few years before Emma took charge) to more than $30,000 raised. Done? Almost. For all of these efforts, Prudential named Murphy the Washington state middle-school winner of its Prudential Spirit of Community Award in 2016 — and Duke’s Chowder House is proud to award her the Duke’s Junior Golf Scholarship for the fall quarter of 2018. “When we looked at the pool of applicants, it was clear right away that Emma was the one,” says John Moscrip, son of Duke’s founder Duke Moscrip and the company’s COO. “To have accomplished all she has —
and be doing all that she is — at her age is amazing, even before you consider that she is doing it all while managing Type-1 diabetes. I wish I had that much energy! She’s a remarkable young woman and incredibly deserving of this recognition.” The $1,000 scholarship is awarded quarterly by Duke’s Chowder House — with winners announced in each issue of Cascade Golfer — and is intended for young golfers who have shown a proven commitment to golf, academics and community service. While the scholarship can be used for any purpose, it’s the intent of Moscrip to help offset the high cost of pursuing a lifelong interest in golf. In the three years since the scholarship was founded, Duke’s has awarded more than $12,000 to deserving boys and girls throughout the Puget Sound region. “This scholarship is an amazing honor,” Emma says. “I say this because everything I do, I do with no intent of getting rewarded. I do it because I love to do it and it helps me to enjoy life. This scholarship shows me that my hard work has paid off. Golf has provided me so many wonderful opportunities. I am so thankful for this amazing honor and I can’t wait to see where I will go next.” Applications are accepted year-round, so if you know of a deserving student, log on to CascadeGolfer.com or email email@example.com. Be sure to include any and all supporting information to bolster your nomination, and who knows? You could be reading about your young person in this space next issue! AUGUST 2018
SHORT GAME Congratulations to the Winning Teams at This Summer’s CG Cup Events!
ver $10,000 in prizes at each event. Fun team formats. Incredible courses. Plus, free beer and post-round meals. Yeah, there’s a reason these teams are smiling. Each of the teams pictured here earned a victory this summer at a Cascade Golfer Cup event, one of seven such tournaments taking place throughout the year. Featuring up to 64 two-player teams competing in net and gross categories, the tournaments give players of all skill levels the chance to experience the thrill of tournament golf, while competing for prizes including trips to Bandon Dunes, Palm Springs and Mexico; rounds of golf to Chambers Bay, Wine Valley and Palouse Ridge; and other great prizes. Since our last issue came out in June, we’ve crowned two more sets of champions, including Ed Cribby and Mike Laik (net) and Ross Wohlhueter and Oakley Murphy (gross) at the Michelob ULTRA Open at The Home Course (top image, left to right), plus James McElroy and Steve Cook (net) and Jamie Meade and Chris Scott
(gross) at the Srixon Invitational at Trophy Lake (bottom, left to right). Two events remain — the Invitational at Gamble Sands, on Aug. 11, and the Puetz Golf Shootout at White Horse, Sept. 8, so there’s still time to get in the game! To learn more, visit CascadeGolfer.com/Cup or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cascade Golfer Cup Over $10,000 in prizes at every event!
Gamble Sands Aug. 11 • 9 am Two-Person Stroke Play Aggregate Score
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Puetz Golf Shootout Sept. 8 • 8 am
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SHORT GAME ASK CG: What Should I Look For In A Lie?
ach month, we give our readers the chance to ask a question for our staff to answer — in the past, we’ve explained slope and rating, bounce and grind on wedges, and other sometimes confusing golf terms or rules, and we’ve even simply shared some of our favorite courses and players. If you have a question, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org, or post your question to our Facebook (Cascade Golfer) or Twitter pages (@CascadeGolfer). This month, reader Dave Wold asks about how to analyze your lie, noting, “I really do not think the average golfer checks these things, maybe because they don’t visually know what to look for.” There are a lot of elements to examining your lie — is it on a downslope/sideslope, what are course conditions that day, etc. — so to keep it simple, we will just focus on the turf itself; that is, whether it is firm or soft, fairway or rough, etc. Anyone who has played much golf understands that the ball behaves differently in each of these conditions, yet many golfers don’t make the necessary adjustments to account for those changes. Take a firm fairway, versus a softer or even damp one. It will obviously be harder to take a divot on the
firmer turf, which will limit the amount of backspin you can put on the ball, thus reducing loft — one reason that it’s especially hard to chip in these conditions. To adjust, golfers should play the ball back in their stance and swing down more, to further compress the ball at impact and manufacture that backspin. Taking a higher-lofted club can also help. The backspin issue becomes even more prevalent when playing from the rough, where grass will come between the ball and your club’s grooves, leading to a shot that often comes out lower and hotter. Pay attention to the way the grass is growing — if it is growing against your shot, it will be harder to swing through and you will need to swing at a steeper angle to make good contact. If it is growing with you, take a higher-lofted club and open the face — the ball will have a tendency to come out hot, so this will give you a higher trajectory and better distance control. Beware of a ball sitting up high in the rough — it’s practically teed up, and will often carry farther and higher than you might expect. Drop down a club and make sure you don’t swing underneath it.
In the “Sun Belt” At The Golf Course
The Difference Makers: Larry Gilhuly For the last year, we’ve been profiling the “Difference Makers” — the folks who have shaped the golf landscape we enjoy today. We’ve looked up to influencers like Ken Still, Bill Wright, John and Pat (Lesser) Harbottle and Bill Tindall, who have all made lasting marks on the Washington golf scene. In this final feature, though, we look down — to the turf itself on which we trod, and the man who makes it what it is.
arry Gilhuly is probably the Northwest’s all-time leading golf traveler. No, really — for the past 34 years, Gilhuly has worked as an agronomist for the USGA’s Green Section, first representing the Northwest, and later, the entire West region. As part of his Course Consulting Service visits, the proud WSU grad and former Evans Caddie Scholar averages nearly 125 course visits annually, with a high of 205 in 1986. “If my WSU math is correct,” quips Gilhuly, “that would be 4,250 total visits, but not 4,250 different golf courses. Probably around 1,000-1,100 different courses.” When asked about total mileage traveled, he adds: “Wild guess would be nearly two million miles, when driving and flying are added together.” That includes all 14 states in the West region — a wide swath stretching from Hawaii and Alaska all the way to the Dakotas — plus four Canadian provinces, Mexico, Japan, South Korea, Guam, mainland China and, of course, Scotland, Ireland and England. If you’ve played a Northwest golf course in the last 30 years, it’s virtually certain that Larry Gilhuly has had some influence on how that course is maintained. When visiting courses for an official site visit, Gilhuly “provide(s) an outside and unbiased view of the golf course to enhance both agronomic and playing conditions for those maintaining and playing the facility. We bring a large amount of up-to-date information on virtually every topic pertaining to the maintenance of the golf course. If one of us does not have the answer, we can find it instantly from one of our other 15 agronomists in the Green Section.” After the visit, often attended by club members as well as superintendents and their staff, Gilhuly provides a detailed report, with recommendations. “Our follow-up reports are timely, keep the golf course budget in mind and offer a written history of the maintenance program or changes that have occurred,” he says. “Our philosophy is to help outline the best turf-growing conditions possible to provide the best
playing conditions, based on the golf course budget.” Among the biggest contemporary concerns are trees, forward tees (“to improve the fun factor”), and water conservation. One initiative, the USGA Resource Management Plan, would allow USGA agronomists to work with golf course superintendents to pinpoint the points on the golf course that receive the heaviest use from players, and design specific resource management plans based on that information. “We [at the USGA] are working hard at coming up with new ways to address this issue,” he says. “We hope to significantly reduce overall maintained acreage to reduce water use, fertilizers, pesticides, gas, equipment wear and labor at any golf course.” Including, without a doubt, the one near you. — By Jeff Shelley
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4 CAN PLAY FOR THE PRICE OF 3!
Online Tee Times and Web Specials Available at snoqualmiefallsgolf.com 425-441-8049 or 425-222-5244 Only good for 4 players with same day tee time. Not valid with any other offers or discounts. Good Monday - Thursday. Expires 8/31/18 Not valid on holidays. AUGUST 2018
THE SKINNY Dates: August 20-26, 2018 Location: The Club at Snoqualmie Ridge Field: 78 Champions Tour professionals Format: 54 holes of stroke play, no cut Purse: $2.1 million TV: Aug. 24-26, Golf Channel (live)
Boeing Classic Brings Golf’s Greats Back to Snoqualmie Ridge August 20-26
e spend a fair bit of time in this issue talking about the future of golf, from the numerous rule changes and how they will impact the game going forward, to a Postgame piece imagining what golf might look like in 20 years’ time, to an extensive interview with Topgolf’s top man, Erik Anderson, who is on the leading edge of what appears to be golf’s brightest path forward. But, on this page, we want to talk instead about the past. About Fred Couples, and his legendary swing. About Bernhard Langer, and his ability to keep holding off the inevitable progress of time as long as possible as he wins tournament after tournament. About Miguel Angel Jimenez and that trademark cigar, a relic of a bygone era. About Rocco Mediate and that time he went toeto-toe over 19 playoff holes at the U.S. Open with Tiger Woods — and nearly broke him. About Jesper Parnevik’s trademark style. About Tom Kite, Vijay Singh, Mark Calcavecchia and Tom Lehman. About the epic, unpredictable, and unforgettable ... John Daly. Because, the fact is that while golf’s future is impossible to know for sure, its past makes its presence known every summer at The Club at Snoqualmie Ridge, in the PGA TOUR Champions Tour’s annual Boeing Classic. Our only regular PGA TOUR stop, the Boeing gives us a chance to relive those memorable moments and walk alongside our favorite players of the past few decades — while this year’s player list has yet to be finalized, every single one of the players above has participated at the Boeing Classic before, and most are expected to do so again. Held each August — this year, Aug. 20-26, including a youth clinic, Pro-Am, and 54-hole tournament — the Boeing is, without question, the highlight of the Northwest golf calendar. Legendary pros, playing outstanding golf, on perhaps our state’s most beautiful course — and accessible for as little as $20, or barely more than the cost of a IMAX 3-D movie. For anyone who attended the 2015 U.S. Open and was turned off to the live golf experience by high prices, overwhelming crowds and poor viewing angles, the Boeing couldn’t be a more different experience. cascadegolfer.com
For starters, it’s a breeze to get in and out. Parking is only $10, and shuttles run regularly from two different lots just minutes from the course, dropping you off right outside the front gates. Once inside, you can choose to follow your favorite players — getting right up on the ropes, so close that you’ll be able to hear their conversations with their caddies, or high-five them on the way to their next hole — or set up camp at any of several scenic spots on the course. All of our favorites are just a short walk from the clubhouse, including the stadium-style 18th green (a reachable par-5 where many players are putting for eagle), the par-3 ninth, the par-3 13th (with a fantastic view of Mt. Si) or the No. 1 risk-reward hole on the Champions Tour, the reachable, par-4 14th. Called Bear’s Canyon, the 14th challenges players to take aim at the green from an elevated tee — only, anything short will find the canyon, while anything long will find the trees. Fans gathered in the nearby Canyon Club (a $35 ticket, or free with your Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan VISA card) enjoy shady seats, upgraded concessions and, most importantly, half-off beers for every birdie at 14. When players hit the green, the roar can be heard halfway across the course — when they choose to lay up, so can the boos. It’s an affordable day out, too. Tickets start at just $20 ($10 for seniors), with three-day passes available for $40, and weekly passes for $60. The weekly pass gets you in for the full affair, including the Seahawks Rumble at the Ridge on Monday (a charity tournament featuring past and present Seahawks greats, plus other local celebrities), the Youth Clinic on Tuesday (where a Champions Tour pro gives free instruction to all junior golfers in attendance), the two-day Korean Air Pro-Am Wednesday and Thursday, and all three days of tournament play, starting with the epic Boeing flyover on Friday, Kids and Family Day on Saturday (with special activities for young golfers) and Military Appreciation Day on Sunday. So, put the future on hold for a weekend and head out to Snoqualmie Ridge in August. We’re focused, for sure, on where golf is headed — but it’s still fun to remember the players who helped get us there.
THE SCHEDULE Aug. 20 - Seahawks Rumble on the Ridge - Practice Rounds Aug. 21 - FREE Youth Clinic - Practice Rounds Aug. 22 - Korean Air Pro-Am Aug. 23 - Korean Air Pro-Am Aug. 24 - First Round Aug. 25 - Second Round, Family Day Aug. 26 - Final Round, Military Day TICKETS Daily: $20 advance, $25 at the gate Tournament (Aug. 24-26): $40 advance, $50 at the gate Weekly (Aug. 20-26): $60 (advance only) Kids under 14: Free with paid adult Seniors (60+): 50-percent off GA prices VOLUNTEERS Volunteers receive $300 in value, including merchandise, meals, parking and shuttle preference, and two weekly admission passes, plus tickets to special Volunteer Appreciation Party. Details at BoeingClassic.com.
Win Tickets to the 2018 Boeing Classic!
he only thing that can make the Boeing Classic a better deal, is getting to go for free. This month’s CG Swag winner will take home two tickets to watch Freddie and the gang on any one day of the tournament, plus passes to the Alaska Airlines VIP Canyon Club, where you can kick back in the shade and watch the game’s greats play the coolest hole on the PGA TOUR Champions Tour. Log on to CascadeGolfer.com and enter to win today! AUGUST 2018
If Soccer Doesn’t Work Out, Sounders Midfielder Cristian Roldan Can Always Try Golf
AN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW BY BRIAN BEAKY CG EDITOR
How did the Greenlake video come together? “The Sounders PR staff wanted to do a cool, off-thefield production. I live with three roommates, and we like to spark some competition, and laugh at each other, and play some pitch-and-putt, so it seemed like a good fit. It’s so funny going to Greenlake and seeing people who can’t golf as well as pro golfers. Us included, of course.” Do you golf often? “I’ve gone twice this summer; it’s a lot of fun. Usually, I go with teammates. Chad Marshall is a big golfer, plus Will Bruin, Bryan Meredith and Harry Shipp. Harry is probably the best, and I am definitely the worst.” How long have you been playing? “I didn’t start playing until last year. Some of the guys invited me out and so I got some clubs and gave it a go. It’s always looked like a cool sport, and requires a lot of practice and mental toughness. So, it was captivating for me. Once you hit one good ball, you want to keep playing.” What are the best and worst parts of your game? “From 90 to 120 yards away, I’m pretty good. My worst part is my putting. I do so well to get onto the green, and then I struggle putting, and all of a sudden, a birdie is a bogey. I want to take lessons to get better in the offseason. It’s a cool way to get my mind off of soccer.” Soccer is pretty much year-round, though, right? “Yeah, and when you do have time off, you want to do hobbies that don’t require much physical activity. You 18
want to rest and be prepared for training. That’s why a lot of guys play video games, instead of hiking and being active. And, our offseason is winter, so being in Seattle, if it’s raining, you don’t really want to be outdoors.” Were you always into soccer as a kid? “I have an older brother who started playing, and I always wanted to be like him, so I started following in his footsteps and practicing with his team.” How did the adidas commercial come about? “It was out of nowhere. I was playing in a tournament and the coaches all got a message from production that they were having tryouts. I didn’t want to go; I just wanted to relax. I was crying, and my dad said, ‘No, we’re going.’ I had to juggle on camera, and luckily I got a call back to a second tryout with 50 kids, and then it went from 50, down to 10, down to 5, 3, 2, 1 and I ended up getting the part. We filmed it in about 12 hours, and it ended up being a lot of fun. I’ll remember it for the rest of my life.” Have your Sounders teammates seen it? “They have, and they just laugh at me. Sometimes, if there’s a plastic bag around, someone will toss it my way and say, ‘Hey, Cristian, go make a soccer ball out of that.’” Who are some people you look up to? “Lionel Messi — he is humble, has a wonderful family, seems to be a good teammate, and also does his thing on the field. Off the field, I look at all my family members. My dad has been incredible, also my mom. My high-school
Photo by Jane Gersovich / Courtesy Seattle Sounders
ristian Roldan needs you to know that he is not a golfer. And I don’t mean “not a golfer” in the same way that Lenny Wilkens is not a golfer, or Edgar Martinez is not a golfer, or any of the dozens of other celebrities we’ve interviewed over the years are not golfers. Roldan is, quite seriously, not a golfer. “I’ve gone to Newcastle a couple of times, but I just started playing a year ago,” he says. “I am the absolute worst player on the course. I just go to have a good time.”” But, that isn’t to say he couldn’t be. In a video posted to Sounders.com this summer in which Roldan, his brother, Alex, and two roommates knock the ball around Greenlake Pitch n’ Putt, the high-scoring midfielder actually shows off a decent swing, and notches a six-over-par 33 for nine holes — with assists from a few trees and bushes along the way. It’s on the pitch, though, where he truly shines — star of an adidas commercial at age nine (in which he makes a soccer ball out of discarded plastic bags) a Gatorade All-American in high school and Pac-12 champion at UW, Roldan has become a key cog in the Sounders lineup, starting all but five games since the start of the 2016 season, including the 2016 MLS Cup victory over Toronto FC. Roldan also made three appearances for the U.S. Men’s National Team in group-stage matches at the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup. All this — and he’s only 23 years old. Here’s what he had to say: coach has been a huge influence on me; he taught me so much. I’m thankful that he’s been a part of my life.” What is one way you grew as a person during your time in college at Washington? “College is an interesting time. For me, it was first time leaving California and living on my own, so I had to grow up fast. And then, soccer-wise, it really showed me how an organized team can beat almost anybody. We focused a lot on pressing and defending well, and I have been able to take those lessons to the next level with the Sounders.” What do you consider the highlight of your career? “Winning MLS Cup, and my first cap with the National Team. It’s hard to say which one is better. Individually, that was my moment, with the National Team, while collectively, I’ve never been part of a such a cool group as that one that won its first MLS trophy for the city.” How would you fix the U.S. Men’s program? “We’ve brought in a lot of young guys since the disappointment of 2017, and we’ve shown that we’re capable of playing alongisde these big teams. We tied the world champions before the World Cup started, with a team that had an average age of just 22, so that’s incredible. Bringing in new guys, and new faces, that can impact the team long-term, will help our National Team grow. And then, at the youth level, all of the academies across the United States are helping to develop technical players that understand the game a bit more. We’re heading in the right direction, and I hope it continues.” cascadegolfer.com
BAG 1 PRODUCT REVIEWS and equipment news you can use
BY BRIAN BEAKY — CG EDITOR
Short Game Season
y golf season tends to follow a relatively predictable pattern. After pulling the clubs out in late February or early March — not coincidentally, often right around the time of the Seattle Golf Show, which is like the Bat Signal of golf season — I tend to spend the next few months trying to remind myself how to properly swing a golf club. By the time August rolls around, though, I’m in a solid groove, and am starting to look for ways to shave just a couple more strokes. That’s usually when I switch from hitting the range before a round, to instead stopping at the practice green and working on different chips — short, high flops; long bump-and-runs; downhill lies; uphill lies; deep rough; tight lies; you name it. If the springtime is for reconditioning my swing, the late summer and fall are for fine-tuning my short game. In this month’s In The Bag, we highlight some of the hot new putters and wedges on the market — especially the cool TaylorMade Spider Interactive putter, the Odyssey EXO (for you White Hot lovers out there) and the Titleist Scotty Cameron Concept X — and throw in a couple of new iron sets from PING, too, along with a summer-release junior set that caught our eye. It’s a great time to take advantage of those late-season bargains and grab a new stick for your bag — you might even find that two-stroke savings you’re looking for.
Scotty Cameron Concept X 1 PUETZ GOLF PRICE
f the name “Concept X” sounds like something out of a Defense Department research lab ... well, you’re not far off. Scotty Cameron’s latest putters weren’t really ever meant to leave the lab — they were just prototypes, something the master crafter was tinkering with en route to a final design. They proved so popular with test subjects, though, that Cameron has decided to bring a limited number of the Concept X putters to market, targeting golfers who like the look of a blade, but are interested in the playability and forgiveness of a mallet. That combination is achieved by the use of wings that extend from the toe and heel, adding stability and perimeter weighting without significantly affecting the sightline. The two models — CX01 and CX-02 — differ only in the hosel, with the former offering a slightly more offset look and feel. Both feature Cameron’s four-way sole balancing technology, and a combination of steel and aluminum construction, plus a “stealth grey” finish and pistolero grip.
EXO Putters 2 PUETZ GOLF PRICE
Starting at $319.99
rom the White Hot to the microhinge, Callaway’s Odyssey Brand has led the way in face inserts over the last decade. While the microhinge — literally, dozens of tiny metal hinges that impart topspin on the ball at impact, to limit bouncing and skipping — that debuted in last year’s O-Works line has been popular, some White Hot devotees have been loathe to leave their baby behind. This year’s EXO putters combine the two, putting fewer but larger microhinges on a White Hot insert — there isn’t quite as much topspin as you’d get on a full-microhinge O-Works, but it’s twice as much as the classic White Hot, with the more solid feel that White Hot players have come to count on. The new EXOs come in three models — the classic, forked #7 and mallet-style Rossie, and a new, X-shaped Indianapolis — each perimeter-weighted using a combination of heavier 17-4 stainless steel around the outside (the dark parts), and lighter 6061 milled aluminum in the center (red parts).
Order online at puetzgolf.com • Call Toll Free (866) 362-2441 cascadegolfer.com
Spider Interactive powered by Blast 3 PUETZ GOLF PRICE
Red Ball Putters PUETZ GOLF PRICE
he future isn’t coming. It’s here. TaylorMade’s new Spider Interactive putter is a putter, simulator and a swing coach in one, delivering not only the high-MOI benefits of the Spider Tour putter (one of the most popular putters on Tour, with perimeter weighting and the Pure Roll insert), but also specific data as to swing path, tempo, impact speed and more. The secret is in the SuperStroke grip, where a Blast Motion Sensor records data with every swing, and syncs it directly to a mobile app on iPhones and Androids. Golfers can use that data to analyze their own swings, or can take advantage of drills and teaching videos customized to fix each golfer’s specific swing faults. As you improve, the drills and videos change to encourage your further development. There’s even the ability to record video of your stroke, and play it back later, so that you can learn to recognize and diagnose mistakes on your own, or share the video with a teaching pro.
utside of perhaps the classic PING Anser, there may be no more iconic putter than Odyssey’s 2-Ball, which established a simple and effective sight line that dramatically increased the ability of amateurs and pros alike to drain their putts. There’s one aspect of alignment, however, that the 2-Ball couldn’t address — head position. Every golfer knows that it’s important to position your eyes directly over the ball when putting, but most alignment aids instead focus on lining up the putter to the ball, or to the intended target line. The new Red Ball putter, though, uses a red ball that can be sighted through a scope extending back from the top edge of the clubface. Line up the red ball inside the scope, and you’ll be perfectly positioned over the ball, with the ball in the center of the clubface. The black-and-white Versa alignment patterning further helps you align to the target, while the White Hot RX insert delivers that trademark White Hot sound, feel and roll.
Spider Tour T-Line 5 PUETZ GOLF PRICE
ustin Johnson entered the final round at October’s WGC HSBC Champions event with a six-shot lead, and the chance to become the first player ever to win three World Golf Championships in one year. He walked off 18 having shot 77 — his worst final-round score in nearly a decade. Just days later, he headed to Carlsbad. TaylorMade reps had DJ test 12 different versions of his Spider Tour putter, each with a different kind of sightline. Most (including his existing putter, with no sightline), he lined up anywhere from 1-10 inches left of the hole. One, though — the one with a short, “T-shaped” sightline — he lined up dead-center, every time. Since putting the T-Line in his bag at Kapalua, DJ has won twice and notched seven top-10 finishes (including two majors), and, most significantly, ranks second on Tour in both putting average and three-putt avoidance. The lesson? Putter fitting works. Head to Puetz to find out which T-Line works best for you — the softer red version, or DJ’s firmer black.
FREE SHIPPING on orders of $99 and more • exceptions apply
AUGUST 2018 AUGUST
IN THE BAG
SM7 Vokey Jet Black
Glide Forged Wedge
Prodi-G Junior Clubs 8
PUETZ GOLF PRICE
PUETZ GOLF PRICE
Stand Bag $129.99 Driver $229.99 Fairway $119.99 Hybrid $109.99 Irons/Putter $89.99
hen Titleist released its all-new SM7 wedge earlier this year, it wasn’t any surprise that it proved popular. Bob Vokey’s designs are played by the likes of Jordan Spieth, Jimmy Walker, Webb Simpson and others and, thus, are in high demand by the general public. But, one of the models — the Jet Black — initially offered as an alternative to the standard plated finishes, has proved so popular, that Titleist has pushed it to the forefront this summer. Players like the completely blacked-out clubhead because it minimizes glare from sunlight and contrasts well with the ball and turf, making it easier to set up properly at address. Under the hood, it’s no different from its fellow SM7 compatriots, with a variable center of gravity (higher in the high lofts, since golfers tend to strike the ball higher on the face) and lower in the low lofts, plus a variety of soles and grinds. With so much customization, it’s important to be fit — be sure to talk to a Puetz rep before just grabbing one off the shelf. 22
AUGUST2018 2018 AUGUST
hen naming this one, PING’s marketing team didn’t have to work too hard. The new wedge, designed to “glide” through the turf better than any previous PING offering, practically names itself. That improved turf interaction is the result of a water-repellant Hydropearl 2.0 chrome finish, a more rounded leading edge, and a reduction of two degrees of bounce from the standard sole, placing it somewhere between a thin sole and a standard sole, and allowing it to cut more cleanly through sand or rough. In addition, the all-forged construction results in unprecedented soft feel, while the wheel-cut grooves grab the ball quickly and prevent it from sliding up the face, resulting in a lower launch and higher spin. Better players will favor its more compact shape, allowing for more control and versatility, while mid-handicappers will appreciate a tungsten weight in the toe that minimizes twisting on mishits for greater forgiveness.
PUETZ GOLF PRICE
s any parent knows, keeping a growing kid outfitted in proper-fitting attire isn’t cheap. And if your kid is a golfer? The constant replacement of clubs, shoes and more mean middle and lower-income parents often struggle to give their young players what they need, while even higher-income families sometimes settle for middle-of-the-road equipment. PING’s new “Get Golf Growing” program, however, allows parents to take advantage of a one-time, club-refitting service, at no additional cost. It’s basically like buying your kid’s next two sets for the price of one. Here’s how it works — buy any five PING Prodi G junior clubs in one transaction and, when your young golfer outgrows them, PING will re-shaft, lengthen, re-weight and re-grip the clubs to the new, correct size — and all you pay is shipping. Best of all, each club is custom-built to your child’s needs, so your young golfer can finally play premium equipment — and you can stop worrying about those replacement costs.
Order online at puetzgolf.com • Call Toll Free (866) 362-2441
IN THE BAG
Rogue Pro Black Irons
i500 Irons 11
PUETZ GOLF PRICE
PUETZ GOLF PRICE
PUETZ GOLF PRICE
$137.50 per club
$124.99 per club
$162.50 per club
ince hitting the market back in February, Callaway’s new Rogue irons have been popular — like, really popular. Pros picked them up, as did millions of amateurs, each eager to take advantage of the clubs’ two-piece construction, with a wide sweet spot. There was just one consistent comment, though — we want black. So, Callaway this summer released all-black versions of the Rogue Pro, including black clubheads with limited-edition black True Temper XP 105 shafts and Lamkin Z5 grips. Beyond the color, the Rogue Pro Black features the same technologies that made the original Rogue and Rogue Pro irons so popular, including a thin face backed by a soft urethane material that flexes more at impact (for faster ball speeds and more distance), and a thickness that varies across the face to produce consistent ball flights no matter where on the face it is struck — all packed into a smaller clubhead with the look and feel preferred by better players.
t’s been nearly 18 months since PING last released an update to its “i” line of clubs, typically the ones aimed at lower-handicap golfers, and this summer, we get two — the more traditional i210s, and the muscleback i500s. We’ll start with the former here. The most noticeable difference between the i210s and their predecessor, the i200s, is a cavity back that varies in size and shape as you progress through the set, from a larger, more open cavity in the long irons, to a smaller one in the short irons. This helps maximize distance and forgiveness in the longer irons, while preserving the type of shot-shaping and playability that better players prefer in their shorter irons. Likewise, the elastomer insert has been made 30 percent larger overall, but 50 percent softer, producing a softer feel while simultaneously delivering more energy to the ball, while the Ascending Weight shaft (which was heavier in the short irons, for more control) has been replaced with a True Temper Dynamic Gold 105, for consistency throughout the set.
s Tony Finau calmly navigated the chaos that was the 2018 U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills en route to a top-five finish (alongside his caddy, University Place’s Greg Bodine), the golf equipment message boards began buzzing as gearheads tried to figure out exactly what irons the big Utahan was playing. In fact, they were a prototype of PING’s new i500 iron, a brand-new muscleback targeted directly at the most skilled golfers. A fully forged head with a compact size, minimal offset and that traditional, muscleback look, the i500s definitely have the look of a players’ iron from the moment they come out of the bag. And, if you liked the look, you’ll love the performance — that muscleback geometry and a face that varies in thickness from the center to the edges produces metalwood-like flex, for significantly greater ball speed, trajectory and distance, while a small weight improves consistency on shots hit towards the toe.
FREE SHIPPING on orders of $99 and more • exceptions apply
AUGUST AUGUST 2018 2018
RISK vs. REWARD Chambers Bay
Hole No. 12 Par 4 262 yards (Sand Tees) The Setup: This uphill, drivable par-4 will play longer than the yardage indicates. Named “The Narrows,” the fairway is the tightest on the course, making the layup shot challenging. A large blowout bunker guards the front-left portion of this massive punchbowl green, while a small collection area is where all balls short and right come to rest. A threeputt here can feel like a two-putt when your 100-footer winds up, down and around, only to still end up 15 feet from the cup. Your lag putting game must be on point.
The Risk: A pull left will likely leave you re-teeing and hoping to make bogey. Ouch. Or, perhaps you caught the bunker and now have a huge lip to deal with, and as
By Simon Dubiel much as 40 yards to a back pin. Fun! Anything far right may find you like Sergio Garcia at the 2015 U.S. Open, trying to play a blind shot off of one of Chambers’ fescue-strewn mounds. Enjoy your lie! And, even if you do hit the green, a two-putt is hardly assured, and fourjacks — or worse — are not uncommon. You will be hardpressed to find a bigger green in the state, and there are plenty of contours to navigate.
The Reward: After spending the first 11 holes taking your medicine at this U.S. Open venue, you have come to the 12th, which may be the best scoring opportunity on the course. The green is driveable for many, while the sheer size of the putting surface gives you a better chance to
get home than most driveable par-4s. Just be aware of the pin placement — you’re better off short to a front pin than trying to putt back down the hill from the back of the green. As long as you can avoid going dead left, you should be OK — even a miss right won’t be too bad, as long as you don’t have a wicked lie.
Final Call: After playing the 425-yard 11th, “refreshing” might be the word to use to describe the view at No. 12. One good swing and you are on the verge of putting a circle on your scorecard, if not two. Just knock your ball into the punchbowl and get ready to enjoy happy hour. The cards are in your hands. Your chips are stacked. All you have to do is push them in. Tee it high and let it fly.
Leavenworth Golf Course
...Located in the beautiful Washington Cascades
15% OFF Coupon Book your tee time today! (509) 548-7267 Leavenworth Golf Course 9101 Icicle Rd. Leavenworth, WA 98826 Offer not valid with any other discount offers
Leavenworth Golf Course • (509) 548-7267 • 9101 Icicle Rd., Leavenworth, WA 98826
18-Hole Golf Course located just one mile from the Bavarian Village of Leavenworth AUGUST 2018
As Executive Chairman of Topgolf, Bellevue’s ERIK ANDERSON has “unbundled” the game — and in so doing, unlocked the secret to saving golf’s future
e’s been called one of “the top-10 most powerful people in golf.” One national magazine called him golf’s “No. 1 innovator.” He runs a company with an estimated valuation north of $2 billion, one that a 2018 National Golf Foundation report said is single-handedly responsible for almost one-fourth of the game’s growth over the last three years. He grew up here. He lives here. His kids go to school here. And you’ve almost certainly never heard of him. “I guess I’ve sort of been able to fly under the radar,” he says. Not for long. By Brian Beaky CG Editor
he story of golf’s future begins, as do all the stories we tell, in the past. To visit Spokane in the 1960s was to visit a city that many felt had seen its best years pass it by. The rapid population growth of the early 20th century had slowed as families moved out to the suburbs, or packed up and headed across the state for lucrative Boeing jobs. The 1974 World’s Fair — which would ultimately revive downtown Spokane and lead to construction of many of the city’s iconic structures — was still a few years away. For young Erik Anderson, though — born in 1958 and raised on a farm just outside the city — Spokane was “a great place to grow up. Early on, when I was young, we used to hit golf balls out into the pasture. My dad had an old set of clubs, and we’d just hit balls right there in the yard. That’s my first memory of golf.” A basketball player at Mead High School (where he went head-to-head with North Central’s Ryne Sandberg, the 10-time MLB All-Star and 1984 NL MVP), Anderson used his high-school graduation money to buy his first real set of clubs, finally taking his interest in golf beyond merely smacking balls out towards the cows. Three years studying economics and management engineering at Southern California’s Claremont-McKenna College, followed by two more at Stanford, started Anderson’s climb
up the corporate ladder, from a Dutch engineering firm, to an east coast management consulting firm, to Goldman Sachs, where he spent a decade before returning to Washington — this time settling west of the mountains — and starting his own investment firm, Frazier Healthcare Partners. Along the way, Anderson picked up a golf game (“I remember meeting my pro for the first time, when I was living in New York, and he said, ‘Do you want me to try to help you, or should we just start over?’”) a wife, Deborah, and three kids (from a previous marriage) — Natalie (24), Claire (22) and Trevor (18). By the early part of the 21st century, Anderson had it good — a booming business, a full house and a strong enough investment portfolio to not have to worry about his next paycheck. That’s when a phone call changed the course of his life.
f one half of this story starts in 1960s-era Spokane, with an investment-wise farm boy in search of the next big thing, the other half starts in 1996, 4,630 miles away in Watford, England, where twin brothers Steve and Dave Jolliffe had a big thing in need of investment. Like most golfers, the Jolliffes knew they needed to
practice more to improve. And, like most golfers, they found practice rather dull. But, did it have to be? “British driving ranges are just muddy fields,” Steve Jolliffe said. “We wanted to make the experience better.” The brothers envisioned a driving range with scoring targets, where they could not only practice, but compete to see who could get closer. They quickly set to work developing a golf ball with a microchip inside, that could track a shot’s distance and accuracy. After building a prototype out of a microchipped dog collar and one of their own balls, and testing it using scanners at the local police station, they spent four years expanding upon their idea, eventually opening the first World Golf Systems “game center” at their local driving range in late 2000. And, for the next four years, that was about it. The Jolliffes licensed their technology to a British firm that expanded their game to nearby ranges, but it wasn’t until 2004, when British investor Richard Grogan was invited to visit the Watford facility, that the brothers’ impact on the future of golf started to come into view. Expecting one of Britain’s “muddy fields,” Grogan instead found a driving range packed with golfers of all ages, laughing, cheering and carrying on. He realized immediately that the Jolliffes were thinking way too small — and, also, that it was time to make some phone calls. cascadegolfer.com
He grew up here. He lives here. His kids go to school here. He’s been called one of “the top-10 most powerful people in golf.” And you’ve almost certainly never heard of him. “I guess I’ve sort of been able to fly under the radar,” he says.
Not for long.
n 2004, the golf building boom of the latter 20th century had already started to slow. Savvy investors could see the real estate bubble building, and investors looking five, 10 or 15 years down the road were starting to suggest that golf infrastructure might not be the best place to put one’s money. It was against this backdrop that one of Anderson’s investment colleagues from New York picked up the phone and asked Anderson if he’d be interested in a new venture being developed just north of London. In the months since Grogan had first visited the Jolliffe’s range, he had helped transition the business from a driving range with a social aspect, to a vibrant place to eat, drink and spend time with friends — that just also happened to be centered around a high-tech golf experience. “There had been some challenges in the past with building driving range businesses,” Anderson recalls of his early thoughts. “But, the difference was that instead of just getting one person in a stall, you had four in a bay. And, instead of just hitting balls, they were also eating and drinking. So, the revenue per bay was like eight times what you’d normally get. It was just a much better real-estate proposition. “Also, as a golfer, it was an authentic experience. It was fun,” he adds. “We definitely saw what it could be.” Anderson’s firm became the first institutional investor in the United States, and a year later, the company — now called Topgolf — opened its first facility in the U.S. at a retro-fitted driving range in Alexandria, Virginia, just outside of Washington, D.C. It had two levels and 76 bays — double the size of its U.K. predecessors — and, from practically the minute the doors opened, every bay was jam-packed. “You could tell that there was a little bit of magic in the air, if you will,” Anderson recalls. By 2007, Topgolf had opened two more U.S. locations — one each in Dallas and Chicago — minimized its retail sales (“It was clear early on that people didn’t really want to buy clubs there,”Anderson says) and pushed all-in on the social component, with expanded food and
beverage options, and an early recognition of the power of social media. By 2011 — with Anderson now serving as the company’s Executive Chairman — Topgolf had expanded to seven locations, then eight in 2012, then 10 in 2013, including a three-story, 102-bay venue just outside of Dallas. By the end of that year, Inc. magazine called Topgolf “one of America’s fastest-growing companies” — not golf companies, but companies, period — and Topgolf had expanded beyond the walls of each center to include an app for iPhones and Androids that allowed golfers to play Topgolf-style games on their mobile device. After adding 14 more venues over the next two years — a period of stunning growth that saw Anderson named the No. 1 innovator in golf by Golf Inc. magazine — Topgolf was the toast of the golf world, welcoming more than 8 million golfers a year. Anderson, though, was thinking bigger. In 2016, Topgolf acquired World Golf Tour, a mobile game with more than 14 million users, and the burgeoning Protracer technology, which could track not only a ball’s distance and accuracy with relation to a target, but its exact flight, in real time. Renamed Toptracer, the technology was not only put to use enhancing the entertainment experience at Topgolf centers, but was licensed to every professional Tour in the world, and became a staple of golf broadcasting. “That,” Anderson recalls, “is when we really started to become a very large sports entertainment community.”
Nearly 25 percent of all new golfers canvassed in a 2018 National Golf Foundation report stated they picked up their first club at a Topgolf facility like those in Oklahoma City (above) or Overland Park, Kans. (pictured here).
AUGUST AUGUST2018 2018
In 2017, Topgolf partnered with Full Swing, the simulator company, to build Topgolf Swing Suites in smaller venues like hotels and conference centers; licensed its Toptracer Range technology to driving ranges around the world (including Puetz Golf’s Seattle range); debuted original Golf Channel programming like “Shotmakers” (shot on-site at Topgolf Las Vegas), “The Hook,” “Chef Showdown,” “In Focus” and “Topgolf Tour;” produced pop-up “Topgolf Crush” events in cities nationwide (including one at SAFECO Field); and launched youth golf and charitable initiatives that immediately made Topgolf one of the industry’s biggest charitable donors. “The addition of Toptracer technology has transformed our basic range into a fun, entertaining, challenging golf range,” says Dave Sanders of Puetz Golf. “Our newly enhanced Toptracer range has the same shot-tracking technology you’ve seen on the PGA TOUR, and experienced at Topgolf locations around the country. Golfers can practice their skills and improve their game on Launch Monitor or What’s In The Bag mode, compete in a long drive or KP contests, play an entire round of virtual golf, test their skills in the the popular points game, or simply come for some fun and entertainment. We’ve definitely witnessed enthusiasm for our Toptracer range and look forward to the opportunity to add golf leagues, contests, food trucks and special events.” Today, there are more than 40 Topgolf venues across the U.S. — the company having nearly tripled its infrastructure growth over the last three-plus years — not counting the numerous Swing Suites and Toptracer Ranges in use at venues around the world. The PGA TOUR, European Tour and, indeed, all of the world’s tours use Toptracer technology to showcase their events. PGA TOUR commissioner Jay Monahan, European Tour commissioner Keith Pelley and PGA of America CEO Pete Bevacqua all have Anderson on speed dial. Topgolf coaches give hundreds of lessons each day, and the company’s KidZone, Summer Academy and Youth Play It Forward programs draw in thousands of young golfers each year. On any given day in 2017 (a year in which Topgolf reported more than $300 million in revenues) more than 35,000 people, most of them in the U.S., walked into a Topgolf facility — more than most individual golf courses see in an entire year.
Topgolf’s flagship Las Vegas venue, located at the MGM Grand, features 107 hitting bays, two swimming pools, a concert venue and is home to multiple Golf Channel TV series.
ut, that’s all in the past, and we told you this story was about the future of golf. Well, consider this: more than 51 percent of those 35,000 golfers per day — 7 million Topgolfers in all — had never before picked up a golf club. And, according to a 2018 report by the National Golf Foundation, 75 percent of those non-golfers said afterward that they were interested in playing traditional golf after visiting Topgolf. In addition, 23 percent of golfers who have been playing fewer than three years stated that their initial golf experience came at a Topgolf facility, while 29 percent of veteran golfers said that visiting Topgolf inspired them to play more golf in the last year than they would have otherwise. And, there’s evidence that impact is being felt. The same report canvassed traditional golf courses and clubs and determined that revenue had grown from $20.5 billion in 2000 — the year the Jolliffes opened their first driving range in Watford — to $34.4 billion in 2016, a nearly 60 percent increase. That’s what adding seven million golfers a year will do. So, the question is, of course, how do they do it? After years of declining participation and revenue for the golf industry worldwide, how has Topgolf managed to get millions of people each year — it’s estimated that 15-18
million people will visit Topgolf in 2018, more than half of them millennials, and more than a third women — to make golf their leisure activity of choice? Anderson says it started with what he calls the “unbundling” of golf. “We’ve taken golf from a linear experience — for example, if you want to go play eighteen holes, you start at one, and go around until eighteen — and instead made it a parallel experience that you create yourself,” he says. “At Topgolf, you’re hitting balls, but you can decide to stop and take a selfie in the middle of it and post it to social media. You can watch a few minutes of the game on TV; you can get drinks or great food. You can be competitive with friends, or you can hang out and have a casual date, and be flirty. You really control the whole experience, and can take it any direction you like.” Greg Silvers, the chief executive of EPR Properties,
which has helped build Topgolf venues across the country, highlighted the challenges faced by traditional golf in a 2016 interview with The Financial Times: “There are three major inhibitors in golf: time commitment, skill and cost. Topgolf addresses all three. Topgolf has turned a golf activity into an entertainment activity.” The technology, that was the Jolliffes. The vision to turn that technology into a full-service customer experience, that’s Grogan. But, that last part of Silvers’ quote above — the transition from Topgolf as an entertaining golf activity, to a golf-based social and entertainment activity? That’s all Anderson. Anderson says he remembers when he and the other Topgolf executives began to realize how much more Topgolf could be than just a fun driving range. “You never heard anyone say, ‘Oh, I went to Topgolf and hit balls by myself for an hour and had a glass of
water.’ That wasn’t the Topgolf experience. Instead, people went with friends, buddies, workers, family, et cetera, and had a great time,” he recalls. “So, we coalesced around this mission of connecting people in meaningful ways, and then creating moments that matter for everyone. Really leaning in, that is, not just into our role as a service organization, or a hospitality organization, but as a creative organization that creates these moments for you.” This, you see, is how they do it. This is the secret to crafting the “magic” that Anderson spoke of earlier, the magic that is growing the game at time when most industry observers say it should be declining instead. It’s not the games, the scoring targets, or all the advanced technology that keeps people coming back. It’s not the food (though, it’s an impressive slate), the drinks, or the hospitality of the servers. It’s not the Golf Channel shows, the simulators, the Toptracer branding or even the venues themselves. All of that is simply a means to an end. It’s the moments — the individual moments that each guest creates from their own, unique Topgolf experience — that make a lasting impression. Guests don’t come back over and over again, pay $25-$45 an hour and wait as much as 90 minutes on a busy summer Saturday night because they just can’t wait to hit golf balls, or because they have to have more of those injectable donut holes.
They come back because they want to feel something — that feeling they had when they shared a laugh with their friends, or were cheered on by co-workers as they took their first-ever swings, or shared a photo on Instagram of a date night out with a new love. Think about why you love the game. It likely has nothing to do with your scores, or the physical act of swinging a golf club. It’s the moments — sharing a few hours with a great group of friends, soaking in the natural scenery of a beautiful Northwest golf course, the fleeting exhilaration you feel when you strike an iron pure, or drain a long putt. When Anderson refers to “moments that matter,” it’s these kinds of moments that he’s talking about. And, as
the data is already showing, it’s creating these kinds of moments — not just creating more golfers — that will ultimately save the game we love. Anderson says that there are many ways the golf industry is already responding to its changing demographic, to an audience that is younger, more social, and consumes experiences in smaller bites. He cites the upcoming revisions to the Rules of Golf (see page 6) — designed to make golf faster, easier to understand and easier to play — along with apps that allow golfers to pay for as many holes as they intend to play (seven, 12, etc.) instead of being locked in to nine or 18, as ways in which the game is adapting to meet the needs of a 21st-century consumer.
“There’s always going to be green-grass golf, but Twitter has shown us that people like to consume things in little pieces,” he says. “And, while it may sound funny (to pay for just seven or 12 holes), that means that someone who might usually only play two 18-hole rounds a year, because they don’t have five- or six-hour chunks of time to spare, might instead go seven times and play 12 holes each time, for a total of 84 holes instead. And we, as golfers, don’t care if the person in front of us leaves after seven, or 12 holes. It just lets us play faster. “I think golf will get much smarter, and we are,” he says. “We just need to allow people to consume the game in way that is more fun, and that fits their lifestyle.” And Topgolf, he says, will play an important role in that transition. “With 15 to 17 million visitors each year, we’re clearly becoming big part of helping build a complete golf ecosystem,” he says. “Since they are always hitting to a target, people are becoming better golfers, even if they are just hitting balls for fun. They’re getting more comfortable with the game, they’re creating communities of friends to enjoy it with — it all makes golf feel more accessible. And that’s very good for the game.”
hat’s the macro-, global-level future; we also wanted to ask Anderson about the micro-, local future of golf generally, and Topgolf specifically. That is — with its top executive resting his head on the Eastside each night; a vibrant golf community; a strong economy; some of the world’s brightest minds in engineering, e-commerce and tech; and and an environment that seems perfectly suited for a covered driving range — how is it that the Seattle area doesn’t already have a Topgolf center? “We’re very close,” Anderson says with a laugh, noting that he knew that question was coming. “I think we’ll have some exciting news soon.” “And then, I won’t be able to fly under the radar anymore.” Some pundits look towards the future of golf, and wonder what will happen when the Baby Boomers — who represent roughly a quarter of the current population, but more than 60 percent of total golfers — pass on. They’ve obviously never been to a Topgolf. “I think that in 10 years’ time, we’ll be a global sports entertainment community,” Anderson says. “We should have well over 100 million people engaged with our community in various forms, which should help put tens of millions more golfers on green-grass courses. I would also expect us to have substantial charitable impacts, influencing young lives by teaching the values of the game, and through our partnerships with groups like The First Tee and the PGA TOUR. “We’ve brought golfers and non-golfers together with this great game, and we’re teaching great lessons, and making a positive contribution,” he continues. “We are doing this all already, but we can do so much more. It’s going to be exciting to see.”
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Tom Brown • CG Reader
Palouse Ridge No. 10 “And I’m a Dawg fan.”
STOPPERS From the Peninsula to the Palouse, and the Columbia to the Canadian border, these are the holes that make golf worthwhile Intro By Brian Beaky CG Editor hey’re the holes that take your breath away. The ones
So, for this feature, we thought we’d reach out instead to the
you’re looking forward to from the minute you step on the
broader golf community, and find out what holes resonate with
course, the ones that inspire you to stop and take a selfie,
you. We polled professional athletes, PGA TOUR golfers, Hall of
the ones you’re still thinking about with a smile on your
Famers and even some course designers and local scribes to get
face as you drift off to sleep.
their opinions, then turned to the Cascade Golfer social media
We call them the “Show Stoppers,” and they are, quite simply,
outlets to solicit opinions from readers like yourself. We’ve sprin-
the prettiest, most scenic and most memorable holes in Washing-
kled in some of your picks along the way, and listed your full top-
ton state. You already know our favorites — they’re the ones that
10 on page 47.
have graced the covers of Cascade Golfer, and appeared in large,
two-page spreads across our pages. Think of Apple Tree’s 17th,
at least one of these holes for yourself before 2018 comes to a close.
Gold Mountain’s 18th, or the 15th at Chambers Bay.
Because, while we appreciate beauty, birdies are a lot more fun.
Don’t just look at the pretty pictures, though — make plans to see
DAN HIXSON • Architect Wine Valley
“What I like about the 18th is how it finishes off the round from the highest point of the property, and how it feels like part of the greater Walla Walla Valley landscape. To the south, you can see the Horse Heaven Hills and the wind turbines across the Oregon border, and the beautiful Blue Mountains to the east. After 17 holes full of deception, the 18th is laid out for the golfers to see everything.” No more tricks, just a beautiful view — a show-stopper, for sure.
Wine Valley No. 18 AUGUST 2018
STOPPERS Paige Mackenzie • Golf Channel Twitter: @Paige_Mackenzie
“I think the whole course at Gamble Sands will qualify! I will take the second hole, though, the first of many holes to take in the overwhelming views of the Columbia River,” she says. “Growing up in eastern Washington and having family near the Columbia River in Wenatchee, it is not only beautiful but nostalgic for me. (It also doesn’t hurt that it is a drivable par 4!)” Paige is right — you could put almost any hole at Gamble Sands on this list. As show-stoppers go, though, it’s hard to do better than No. 2 — an infinity green effect, with the river and Cascade Mountains behind it, and the ability to put eagle on the scorecard, get our heart pumping every time we step on the tee.
Gamble Sands No. 2
Greg Stackhouse • CG Reader Apple Tree
“[This one] never gets old.”
Brian Johnson • CG Reader Eaglemont
“There is ‘prettier,’ but the view of Mount Baker from Eaglemont #7 (old #18), and #15 on a clear day are up there.” Andrew Putnam • PGA Tour Twitter: @AndrewPutnam1
“I love this par-three because it is played alongside the Puget Sound with the Olympic Mountains in sight. If you’re lucky, you get to hit your tee shot while the train rolls by just a few feet away.” While the Fox TV cameras fell in love with Lone Fir, No. 15, at the 2015 U.S. Open, there was no better viewing spot for spectatators than this gem, which also features towering stone remnants of the old gravel quarry that echo
Chambers Bay No. 17
the ruins of Scottish castles near the links courses of yore. cascadegolfer.com 44
STOPPERS Detlef Schrempf • NBA All-Star Twitter: @Dschrempf
“I played Gamble Sands last summer and loved all of those holes with the view,” he says. Yeah, that’s pretty much all of them. Surrounded on all sides by the Columbia River, Cascade Mountain peaks and rolling, verdant hillsides, you can’t look any direction at Gamble Sands without soaking in some scenery. Since Paige Mackenzie took the dramatic, par-4 second, we’ll give Detlef No. 16, a par-three with an almost hidden green, and a tee box at one of the course’s high points, from which you can truly soak in the unique course design below.
Sean King • CG Reader The Club at Snoqualmie Ridge
Gamble Sands No. 16
“[I] like seeing the casino in the foothills, where I can take my skins money.”
Jerry Sluman • CG Reader Bear Mountain Ranch No. 7 “[This hole] is pretty hard to beat.”
Jim Moore • ESPN Radio Twitter: @CougsGo
Suncadia (Prospector) No. 10
“I love a hole with a downhill tee shot, and this one certainly qualifies,” Moore says. “It’s a par-4 that leaves you a good chance at birdie with a wedge to the green, if you hit that big drive you’re picturing before you swing.” In our issue this summer ranking the state’s best road trips, we listed Suncadia No. 1 and put this hole — Prospector No. 10 — on the cover. As the prettiest hole on one of the state’s prettiest tracks, Moore’s pick may be tough to beat.
Desert Canyon • Desert (No. 6)
Playing Through ... Our celebrities picked their favorites. Here are a few more of ours: Apple Tree • No. 17 Bear Mountain Ranch • No. 4 Desert Canyon • Desert No. 6 Gold Mountain (Olympic) • No. 18 Highlander • No. 9 Palouse Ridge • No. 3 Salish Cliffs • No. 3 Suncadia (Rope Rider) • No. 10 Washington National • No. 17
Newcastle Coal Creek No. 1
Lenny Wilkens • NBA Hall of Famer Twitter: @LWFoundation
Newcastle (Coal Creek)
“Newcastle is a tough course with beautiful views,” he says. It sure is. And there might be none prettier than the panorama from the first tee
And here’s the top-10 as voted by CG readers on Facebook: 1. 2. 3. t4. 6. 7. t8. t10.
Apple Tree No. 17 Desert Canyon (Desert) No. 6 Harbour Pointe No. 11 Prospector No. 10 Bear Mountain Ranch No. 7 Gamble Sands No. 2 Snoqualmie Ridge No. 14 Chambers Bay No. 15 Eaglemont No. 7 Sudden Valley No. 5 Port Ludlow (Tide) No. 2
at Coal Creek, with the skyscrapers of Bellevue and downtown Seattle in sight, plus Lake Washington and the Olympic Mountains. On a clear day, you can see practically the entire way from Everett to Tacoma — just make sure to get your eyes back on the fairway before taking that first shot.
Joanne Carner LPGA Legend White Horse No. 10
White Horse No. 18
“I played White Horse in June in the Suquamish Clearwater Legends Cup, and really liked this winding par-4 with its elevated tee and water on the left,” she says. “The clubhouse is behind the hole, and while usually that wouldn’t make a hole prettier, this is a wonderful clubhouse with a nice terrace that gives fans a good view of the 18th green.” We couldn’t agree more.
We’re Sending You to Wine Valley!
ou may not be able to play all of our show-stoppers this year ... but you can at least play one. We’re sending one reader a foursome of golf at Wine Valley, so that you can find out for yourself whether you agree with architect Dan Hixson’s pick of No. 18 as the state’s most scenic hole. Do it as a day trip, or part of a wine-tasting weekend — it’s up to you! Enter to win today at CascadeGolfer.com!
SAVE SOME GREEN EARLY BIRDS BY BRIAN BEAKY • CG EDITOR
wo of my favorite summertime traditions are the early-morning, before-work round, and the early-evening, twilight round. With our 16-hour summer days, you can tee off as early as 5:30 a.m. at some local courses, and can often still track your ball in flight as late as 9 p.m. on a clear, sunny evening. The most obvious benefit is the money you’ll save — early-bird and twilight rates are typically 25-40 percent lower than the peak summer greens fee — but I’ve found that I often play better, too. The reduced traffic on the course means that I can usually play at my own pace: not only do I rarely have to wait on another golfer, if I want to take an extra minute to study a putt, have a snack or analyze a lie, I can almost always do so without holding anyone up. We’ve highlighted two of our favorite offpeak courses, one on the North end and another to the South, but the joys of off-peak golf are applicable just about anywhere. Throw a beer or two in your bag this August and enjoy a nice walk on a warm summer evening — because there a few better ways to savor the game.
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Eagles Pride G.C. • DuPont
Eagles Pride Golf Course DUPONT
I’m willing to bet that there are few golf courses in the state that you have seen more often than Eagles Pride. It’s impossible to miss for anyone driving south on I-5 past Joint Base Lewis-McChord, a beguiling visage of fairways and greens tucked among the tall cedars just west of the interstate. There’s also, however, a decent chance that you’ve never played it — and that’s what we’re here to fix. For starters, let’s end any confusion — yes, Eagles Pride is the golf course at Fort Lewis (now JBLM), and yes, it is open to the public, seven days a week. Military personnel do receive some preferred tee times, and pay lower rates, but that’s where the exclusivity ends. And, you don’t have to drive through base gates to play the course. Begun in 1929 and completed in 1938 (a third nine was added in 1979), Eagles Pride is a product of FDR’s Works Progress Administration, which built roads, bridges and other public-works projects — including West Seattle Golf Course — nationwide in the years following the Great Depression. And, like many of the Greatest Generation, Eagles Pride has held up well — 80 years after its completion, it’s still one of the prettiest and most popular tracks in the region, though its South Sound locale and the confusion about its public/military status keeps the course from ever being as crowded as those of similar value closer to Seattle and Bellevue. That’s also partly a product of its 27 holes, which give golfers three playable 18-hole options, each with its own scenery and unique challenges. At 3,455 yards from the tips, the par-37 Red course is the longest of the three nines, though with two par-5s that are reachable in two for big hitters playing from the whites. The par-36 Green nine, by contrast, is just
3,282 yards at its longest distance, and while devoid of water is noted mostly for its postage-stamp greens protected on nearly all holes by multiple sand traps. The Blue is the typical “back nine” option at Eagles Pride, playing to a par of 35 and featuring one of the most challenging finishing holes of any Northwest course — a 598-yard, par-5 behemoth that has been known to test the mettle of even the most battle-hardened old soldier. It’s the original 18 holes, though — the Red course, built for officers, and the Blue course, built for enlisted men — that golfers most often play these days, a combination that has hosted numerous WSGA and USGA events, and has ranked as high as No. 6 among the world’s military courses (and in the top-10 of our own Seattle/Tacoma/Eastside rankings in 2015). Rates start at just $14 at those Super Twilight hours, and peak at just $35 for a public golfer on a warm summer weekend, a bargain for a course of this quality — and we haven’t even talked about the spit-shine clean in the clubhouse and bathrooms, the closely-mown fairways, the professional and polite service, or the lighted, heated driving range. Play it at dawn, play it at dusk, or tee it up under the warm summer sun — just make sure to turn off the freeway and play it this summer. Because, as my Air Force parents taught me, it’s not polite to stare.
YARDAGE (PAR) 5,822-7,005 (71-73) RATES $14-$35* TEL (253) 967-6522 WEB www.jblmmwr.com/eagles_pride/ * See website for current rates cascadegolfer.com
Legion Memorial G.C. • Everett
Legion Memorial Golf Course EVERETT
It’s one of the most popular courses in Western Washington — and it’s about to get even better. This spring, Everett’s Legion Memorial embarked on a renovation project that will dramatically alter the layout and routing of one of our favorite “before work” tracks — one where we can tee off at 6:15 a.m., whiz around in three hours, and be back at our desks by 10 a.m., allowing us to play a fun round of golf — and at a $22 early-bird rate — without even having to take a day off of work, or miss out on weekend time with the family. The project — necessitated by the city’s need to create more stormwater drainage beneath the course for the surrounding neighborhoods — includes building a new pond between existing holes No. 4 and 5; adding an elevated tee box to existing hole No. 6; eliminating the par-3 ninth hole; and breaking the long, dog-leg, par-5 third into two separate holes that meet at the corner — a long par-3 and a short par-4. In addition, the course will flip its two ninehole layouts, with the former back nine playing as the front, and the former front nine — with the excellent, par-5 eighth hole becoming the closing hole — as the back. Construction — led by architect Todd Schoeder of Colorado-based iCon Golf Studio — began in March, and was expected to be completed by July, with three additional months given for “grow-in” before players will be allowed to tee it up on the new holes later this fall. With three holes (the existing third, fourth and fifth) shut down for construction, Legion is currently playing under a temporary setup, with the existing par-5 13th and 16th holes each broken up into two holes, and a temporary par-3 constructed near the clubhouse. Rates have been reduced as a result of the inconvenience, meaning you can currently play Legion for just $28 at peak times — or, you can wait until November, and revel in the new holes, tee boxes and routing, for just $29.25. We’ll probably do both. The construction layout only affects a handful of holes, and the $22 early-bird rate is tough to beat. And, when Legion finally pulls back the curtain this fall, we’ll be first in line to check it out.
• $25 18 hole green fee w/cart Good Monday - Thursday • 20% off Green Fees good Friday - Sunday Must bring in coupon to receive offer.
YARDAGE (PAR) 5,719* (68) RATES $17-$28* TEL (425) 259-4653 WEB www.everettgolf.com * In current layout; see website for post-construction yardage and rates cascadegolfer.com
P R ESENTED BY
2049 By Brian Beaky CG Editor
s your self-driving vehicle brings you to the golf course, you sit in the back seat, reviewing the data from your last round or practice session. Combining data gathered from tech in your shoes, gloves, clubs, balls and wristbands, the program displays virtual renderings of every shot you hit, demonstrating your setup, grip pressure, weight shift, swing plane, clubhead speed, launch speed and angle — and, of course, the distance, spin and direction of each shot — with colored numbers illustrating how far off each reading is from the optimal. By the time the car pulls into the parking lot, you’ve noticed a few consistent errors that you will focus on during your round. After exiting the car, you head straight to the first tee — there’s no reason to wait in line at the pro shop now that your tee times and payment are all taken care of in advance. You swipe your phone at the kiosk by the tee to check in your foursome, while a digital readout provides the necessary handicap adjustment given the current weather and course conditions, recommends a tee box based on all of that swing data on your phone, and uses up-to-the-second analysis of the position of all golfers on the course to display the current pace of play. On the course itself, not a lot has changed since the last major revision to the Rules of Golf, back in 2019, which made the game much more player-friendly. Most of the old mom-and-pop tracks have either turned into housing or been bought out by corporate conglomerates; and, sure, most courses these days are built with
WHAT DO YOU THINK? “I would like to see courses more welcoming of young children playing with their parents. If that means blocking out certain times late in the day for dads/moms to bring the kids out to help grow the game, then it should be looked into. With some courses not allowing young children to enjoy the game at an early age and grow a passion for it, where will the future of golf actually go?” — James Buslon, Seattle
In the future, technolgies like those pioneered at Topgolf will change the way golfers — on average younger and more ethnically and gender-diverse than they are now — will play the game. family- and time-friendly three- and six-hole loops, in addition to the standard nine and 18; there’s a virtual rainbow of tee box options that have sped up play and lowered scores over the years; and it’s a lot easier to find your ball now that they all have those GPS chips in them. But, it’s still up to you to hit that little ball straight, and despite having played golf for most of your life at this point, it still doesn’t behave as often as it should. You play decent — that lesson you received from a pro teaching you how to analyze and interpret the data that your wearable tech collects was huge — and, even before you’ve plucked your ball from the cup, your score (and all of that data) has already been digitally uploaded to the cloud (and, if you were playing in a tournament, is already posted in the clubhouse).
The game’s not all that different, really, than the one you grew up with, or even the one Old Tom Morris first tested out back in the Old Country — it’s just a little faster, a little easier, a little more cost-effective ... and, as a result, a lot more fun. You’ve also noticed many more golfers out in recent years — especially young ones. No doubt they became hooked on the game at a Topgolf or similar location (prompting many courses to light up hazards and flagsticks so golfers can play into the evening, and add Topgolf-style scoring targets to their driving ranges), and you can’t help but think back to that time when doomsayers were suggesting that golf was on the decline. On the whole, things are good. Even if you still can’t get out of those bunkers.
“GPS-tracked golf balls so I can find it, with distances and shot stats. Electronic score count at the end of each hole — no more scorecards; plus, you get live scoring. And, hopefully, more disease-proof turf!” — Travis Scudder, Snohomish
“I am a grandma and I agree about having time that I could bring my grandson to learn more about golf. I am [also] very, very sad to see so many golf courses closing for more homes and buildings. It is a shame. We need those open spaces. I also like the idea about a GPS golf ball. Then I might find it in the rough!” — Pamela Nefzger
“I would like to see progress on the bifurcation of the rules, separating the tour pros from the regular golfer. And make OB just a stroke penalty; this would speed up play.” — Bruce Craig
“I want to see official regulation rounds drop to nine holes. Would grow the game tremendously.” — Ardi Pribadi
The August 2018 issue of Western Washington's most widely read quarterly golf magazine