VOLUME 10 • ISSUE 4 • DECEMBER 2016 • COMPLIMENTARY
HOLIDAY MUST HAVES RYAN MOORE TALKS RYDER CUP WIN BIG CHANGES AT LOCAL COURSES WIN TRIPS TO HAWAII, PALM SPRINGS
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Volume 10 • Issue 4 • DECEMBER 2016
Cascade Golfer is published and owned by Varsity Communications, Inc. This publication is mailed free to more than 100,000 registered Puetz Golf Preferred members. Additional copies are printed and distributed throughout the Puget Sound region.
CASCADE A LOOK INSIDE
10 SHORT GAME
VARSITY COMMUNICATIONS, INC. 4114 198th Street SW, Suite 5 Lynnwood, WA 98036 P: (425) 412-7070 F: (425) 412-7082 varsitycommunications.com
PUBLISHER’S PITCH • Cash in with all-new NW Golfers Playbook • Chambers Bay hotel in the works • Oki Golf’s surprising sale • Local teen wins Duke’s Junior Golf Scholarship • Compete in indoor leagues this winter • Cup, Match Play come to exciting finish
THE 12TH MAN An exclusive CG interview with Puyallup native — and Ryder Cup hero — Ryan Moore. BY BRIAN BEAKY
18 TEEING OFF
• Seattle Seahawks’ Bradley Sowell
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
ADVERTISING & MARKETING STAFF VICE PRESIDENT/DIRECTOR OF SALES Kirk Tourtillotte SALES & MARKETING Simon Dubiel, Ian Civey, Alex Mroz
19 RISK VS REWARD • Salish Cliffs GC No. 2
20 PUETZ IN THE BAG
• Titleist heads up 2017 drivers • New irons from Callaway, Cobra, Mizuno • Bags, shoes and balls for winter
• Duke’s Jr. Golf Scholarship has deep local roots
PUETZ GOLF SAVINGS Pages 24-31
36 WINTER GETAWAY GUIDE From Hawaii to Vegas to Palm Springs, we’re hunting down the best deals in America’s top winter golf destinations.
FOR ADVERTISING INQUIRIES, CONTACT: Simon Dubiel • (425) 412-7070 ext. 100 firstname.lastname@example.org
DIRECTOR OF FINANCE Bobbi Kramer ACCOUNTS PAYABLE & RECEIVABLE Pam Titland
Consolidated Press • Seattle, WA COPYRIGHT 2016 Cascade Golfer. PRINTED IN THE USA. All rights reserved. Articles, photos, advertising and/ or graphics may not be reprinted without the written permission of the publisher. Advertising and editorial contained herein does not constitute endorsement of Cascade Golfer or Varsity Communications, Inc. Publisher reserves the right to edit letters, photos and copy submitted and publish only excerpts. The publisher has made every effort to ensure the accuracy of all material contained in this issue. However, as unpredictable changes and errors do occur, the publisher can assume no liability for errors, omissions or changes. All photos are courtesy of the course or individual unless otherwise noted.
PRODUCER AND OWNER OF THE PROUD CHARTER MEMBER
Congratulations to the winners of August’s CG Swag! Fairwood C.C. Twosome Allan Folmar • Renton Boeing Classic VIP Package Helen Bjorklund • Tacoma All-Day Twosome at Avalon Scott Paduano • Lake Stevens 36 Holes at Suncadia Adam Zeit • Issaquah 36 Holes at Newcastle Chris Henderson • Kirkland
And of course, there’s plenty more where that came from, including our biggest giveaway of the year! Don’t miss any of this issue’s sweet prizes! • 2 Hours at Clubhouse Golf Center: Page 14 • Mega Palm Springs Stay-and-Play: Page 39 • Maui Golf Getaway: Page 40
Log on to CascadeGolfer.com and follow us online for your chance to win. And follow us on Facebook (Cascade Golfer) and Twitter (@CascadeGolfer) for even more giveaways and contests!
36 Holes at Gold Mountain Lance Nelson • Des Moines 36 Holes at Willows Run Josh Grener • Newcastle
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2016: At home and abroad, a golf year to remember
y the time you receive this issue of Cascade Golfer, you will be in the tractor beam of the holiday season. And, depending on your feelings about the election, you may still be celebrating or recovering from the outcome. With some luck from Mother Nature, perhaps you can sneak in round or two and let the holiday and election stress slip away for four or five hours. Golf, for me, is a chance to let it all go. You have somewhere between 70 and 100 different tests (hopefully closer to the former) each round to consider and execute. With colder, wetter weather, you may have to take to the covered ranges, indoor training centers or even the old coffee-cup-and-living-room-carpet to get your swings in, but regardless of how or where you do it, it’s therapy, for sure. The dark winter days are also always a time of reflection for me on my relationship with this great game. On the grand scale, it was a real pleasure to see the LPGA have such a hit here in Seattle with the KPMG. Sahalee is good TV, and was a great second act to last year’s U.S. Open. I was also excited about this summer’s Olympic golf tournament. Some saw it as nothing more than an exhibition, but not me. I saw it as a crucial opportunity for golf to drop a seed that will help grow the game around the world.
I was also elated to see the U.S. win this year’s Ryder Cup – and just as important, to see our own Ryan Moore take the world’s stage in that moment. Frankly, it would have been an embarrassment for the Americans to post another Cup loss on home soil. But under captain Davis Love III, our guys struck hard and fast and held firm. Again, just as with the Olympics, golf needs heroes and seminal moments, and these two elements proved to be important moments in the game’s history. Personally, I had some special experiences with the sport. I rarely take advantage of the various golf trips and rounds that come my way as a magazine owner, but this year marked the 25th year of my career at our company. As a reprieve, I took some time for myself at places like Alabama’s Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail, Whistler and Bandon Dunes. It’s always neat to enjoy those special experiences, whether forming a new friendship with a fellow golf traveler, or playing with good friends. I had that with each of these and it’s a blessing. Golf shows you the true colors of a person – I love that. Happy holidays from all of us at Cascade Golfer. We will be waiting for you in 2017 with more in store. Cheers and, as always, TAKE IT EASY.
LAY ERS P
Northwest Golfers Playbook Packs Over $4,700 In Golf Savings
ust about every adult has, at one time or another, held an entertainment book in their hands. You know the one — chock full of discounts to restaurants, theaters and other miscellaneous vendors throughout the region. A 2-for-1 entree at Black Angus might be opposite a free popcorn at your local AMC theater. If you’ve never owned one, I can all but guarantee that your parents did. Some families always go out to eat at the same places. Not us — when I was a kid, we almost never went to the same place twice in a given year. When we wanted to go out, Dad would take out the entertainment book, flipping past the tattered remnants of deals he’d already cut out, and announce that tonight was going to be Italian, because some new place across town was offering free dessert with your entree purchase. That’s how I ended up accidentally tasting rum for the first time at the age of eight, in a particularly soaked tiramisu. The fact is, though, it was fun to check out new places all the time, and those books saved our family a lot of
$4,700 INGS! IN SAV
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money. Twenty-percent off here, a free entree there, a free admission to a local museum ... add it up and, by the end of the year, we’d easily saved more than we spent on the book itself. Dad bought the new one every year when it came out, and we always looked forward to flipping through it to find the best deals. At CG HQ, we had the same feeling the first time we got our hands on the new 2017 Northwest Golfers Playbook. Packed from cover to cover with over 100 deals to local golf courses, retailers and other golf-related businesses, it’s like an entertainment book specifically made for Northwest golfers. We’re talking 2-for-1s, 4-for-3s and other savings at courses like Chambers Bay, Wine Valley, Palouse Ridge, Suncadia, Semiahmoo, Gold Mountain, Trophy Lake, McCormick Woods and dozens more, plus discounts to places like Puetz Golf, the Clubhouse Golf Center and other local businesses. Add it all up, and it’s nearly $5,000 in golf savings, at more than 90 courses, for just $39.95.
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Of course, no one could ever use every coupon (though it’d be fun to try), but consider that if you use just one 2-for-1 at a course with a $40 greens fee — just one! — then the book has already paid for itself. Everything after that, Dad would be quick to point out, is pure profit. With the holidays coming up, the Northwest Golfers Playbook is a perfect gift for your Mom, Dad, brother, sister, son, daughter, aunt, uncle, grandma, grandpa, cousin, boss, Secret Santa, best friend, worst enemy (hey, keep ‘em close, right?) — anyone you know who loves playing golf, and saving money. Books are available online at www.NWGolfersPlaybook.com, and in any Puetz Golf Superstore. Readers can also use the online-only discount code “SAVEBIGONGOLF” to receive an additional $10 off. So where will you find CG staff playing in 2017? Let’s crack open our 2017 Northwest Golfers Playbook and find out.
Chambers Bay Gets Long-Awaited Green Light on Hotel Plan lmost since the day it opened in 2007, there has been talk about expanding the clifftop clubhouse and restaurant at Chambers Bay into a full-blown hotel. In fact, a hotel was part of the original RTJ II Design Group plan — with a goal to be open before the 2015 U.S. Open — before the recession kicked in a year later and scuttled just about every major real estate project in America. Well, the recession is long over, Chambers Bay is riding high following its week in the U.S. Open spotlight, and with a recent announcement by Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy, the long-awaited hotel may not be “awaited” that much longer. In October, McCarthy announced to the Pierce County Council that, after reviewing two proposals, a local group of architects, property managers and philanthropists calling themselves the Chambers Bay Development team have been awarded the bid to build University Place’s first hotel at Chambers Bay. The all-local development team includes Dan and Tom Absher of Puyallup’s Absher Construction; Dan Putnam, who worked previously as CEO of structural engineering at Seattle’s PSC Structural Solutions; Seattle’s GGLO Architects; and restaurateur and philanthropist Tom Douglas. A new Tom Douglas bar and grill — the first Tom Douglas restaurant ever built outside the Seattle city limits — will be a fea-
Photo courtesy Absher Construction
tured part of the new hotel. According to the preliminary plans released with the announcement in October (and it’s worth noting that those plans, and thus the image included here, are subject to change), the hotel will sit at the southern end of the course, situated on an east-west axis with its eastward end near the site of the current clubhouse and restaurant, which would be converted into a public overlook. The project includes an 80-room hotel, a health spa, a 5,000-square-foot event space, and the aforementioned Tom Douglas restaurant. In addition, 80 villas could be built below the hotel to potentially be used as long-term rentals. As a county-owned property, profits from the hotel — which the county hopes will include golfers, vacationers and foodies alike — would go towards improving services for residents across Pierce County. Chambers Bay Devel-
opment’s bid also includes improvements to trails and other public-access areas of the park. County parks and recreation director Tony Tipton says the team’s local roots played a big part in their winning bid. “They understand the Pacific Northwest,” Tipton told the Tacoma News-Tribune. “The end product will transform into something this community can be proud of.” McCarthy agrees: “With the county, you want to know who all your players are,” she said. “That provides less risk at the end of the day.” The two sides must now reach a lease development agreement, which McCarthy is hopeful can be signed and approved by the County Council by year’s end. Once that is approved, final designs can be created and necessary permits obtained before actual construction work begins, likely a year or more in the future. cascadegolfer.com
Photo by Rob Perry
Golf Club at Newcastle, Coal Creek No. 8 • Newcastle
Oki Golf Sells 10 Local Courses for $137 Million
f you’ve ever wondered just how much it would take to buy your own golf course, October brought an answer of sorts. For a cool $137 million, HNA Holdings Group — part of a Chinese conglomerate with diversified interests that include Hainan Airlines and ride-sharing service Uber, among others — snapped up all 10 of Oki Golf’s premier courses, including all four courses at Newcastle and Hawks Prairie, plus Washington National, Harbour Pointe, Trophy Lake, Redmond Ridge, and private tracks Indian Summer and The Plateau Club. The news comes just 11 months after Oki announced that it had sold The Golf Club at Echo Falls to a different Chinese-American investor, who planned to build a 100-room hotel and expand the clubhouse facilities in an effort to make Echo Falls a destination resort for international tourists — particularly those from China, which, according to John Boesche of Visit Seattle, represents “Seattle’s largest overseas tourist market.” As was the case with Echo Falls, this latest sale agreement includes the retention of Oki Golf as managers of all eight courses (10 if you count the 36 holes each at Newcastle and Hawks Prairie), which means the continuation of popular programs like the Oki Golf Players Card. Golfers, in other words, should see little change — at least in the short term. “I’m pleased with the opportunity that an innovative global partner such as HNA brings,” says Nancy Cho, President and CEO of Oki Golf. “Most importantly, I am excited to further develop our golf business through additional services and experiences for our current and prospective customers. What that “opportunity” and “additional services and experiences” are exactly remains to be seen — according to Oki marketing and public relations representative Kazumi Mechling, it’s “too early to tell” what HNA’s long-term plans are for the properties. However, Mechling says that it’s expected HNA’s connections in the travel industry will bring increased golf tourism to the Seattle market, and to the Oki courses specifically. Indeed, HNA’s own press release called Seattle “a natural
gateway into the American golf course market,” seemingly indicating the company’s intent to become a true player in the U.S. golf scene. Mechling says that HNA’s offer is just the most recent of many to be made to owner Scott Oki over the years for his golf and real-estate assets, but that none of the previous offers had ever put together as attractive an opportunity as that presented by HNA. It’s a statement echoed by Oki himself in the press release announcing the sale: “While we have been approached several times regarding acquisition, this is the first time we felt that the vision and opportunity being presented was a strong fit and a natural next step for the evolution of the Oki brand,” Oki said. So, with HNA in, Oki — until October, the largest golf course owner and developer in the Pacific Northwest — is out, at least from a course ownership perspective. Thus ends a 20-year development boom that began with the purchase of Echo Falls in 1996 by Oki, a retired Microsoft executive, and included the construction of both courses at Newcastle, plus acquisitions and enhancements at Washington National, Trophy Lake, Harbour Pointe and many other public and private courses regarded among the region’s best. We interviewed Oki about his background and ownership philosophy in 2008, and in reviewing the article, a certain quote jumps out: “There’s really no upside to the golf business, but there is tremendous downside,” he said at the time. “When the economy goes down, rounds go down. But you still have to cut the grass, and clean the bathrooms — your expenses don’t change a bit, and it’s not like you can suddenly double your rates or something.” In selling his courses while retaining a management fee, Oki has essentially swapped those ongoing expenses and uncertain revenues for the steady income of golf course management. So ... if you want to know what it takes to own your own golf course? Business acumen like that is a good place to start. DECEMBER 2016
SHORT GAME Kennedy HS Senior Makenzie Milton Earns Duke’s Junior Golf Scholarship
assion. Dedication. Service. For those of you wondering what it takes to win the Duke’s Junior Golf Scholarship — a $1,000 scholarship awarded quarterly, in each issue of Cascade Golfer, to a deserving young golfer — those three concepts are a good place to start. A passion for the game of golf, to be the best you can be, exemplified by participation on teams, in First Tee programs, and/or through work and volunteer efforts. If you’re planning to pursue a career in the golf industry, so much the better. A dedication to both improving as a golfer, and growing as a student and citizen. You might be the best golfer in the state, but it takes more than just a long drive or a flashy short game to get our attention. The Duke’s scholarship committee is looking for the most well-rounded young players they can find — those who can take that $1,000 and turn it into something greater. Lastly, a demonstration of service — a sign that a student recognizes their place in society as a whole, and is doing their part to improve it. Maybe you organized a fundraiser at your school or volunteered as a youth mentor with First Tee. Anything that shows you care about your — our — community, and are working to improve it, can be a big bonus. Which is why when Makenzie Milton’s nomination appeared in the committee’s inbox, it was practically a no-brainer. A 17-year-old senior at Kennedy High School, Milton has played for the school’s golf team all four years, qualifying three times for the state championships and serving as captain in 2016-17. She also participates in the HyTee Golf Club, an organization of golf clubs under the umbrella of the Western States Golf Association (WSGA) with a charitable mission to teach life skills to youth through the game of golf. Through HyTee, Milton has traveled all over the country to compete in golf tournaments, and has taken on a mentorship role with younger HyTee players as well. If that sounds a lot like The First Tee, well, Milton has also been active in that program for the last 10 years, both as a player and volunteer coach, as well as a First Tee ambassador at events like the Boeing Classic. She also spent three years competing in Washington Junior Golf Association events, winning one district title and qualifying for state each year. Oh, and she also happens to maintain a 3.5 GPA, sing in the school choir, participate on the cheer squad and somehow find time to volunteer with Dignity for Divas, an organization that distributes hygiene products to homeless women throughout the Seattle area. So, yeah — something along those lines is good. “This has been an incredible year, and we feel so fortunate to have been able to help so many outstanding young people throughout our community,” says
John Moscrip, COO of Duke’s Chowder House and the chairperson of the scholarship committee. “Makenzie is unquestionably one of the most qualified candidates to ever come across our desk, and we’re thrilled to be able to recognize her in this way.” As you’d expect, Milton was likewise thrilled to receive the news. “I feel very honored to receive this scholarship; it will help with my future immensely,” she says. “I can’t thank Duke’s Chowder House enough. I’m very grateful for this opportunity.” Moscrip says that when he and his father, Duke’s founder and CEO Duke Moscrip, first fomented the idea of funding a scholarship through Cascade Golfer, they had no idea what it would eventually become. He’s been overwhelmed by the quality of the applications — nearly 100 of which were received in the first year — and the feedback from associates and Duke’s patrons that he hears on a near-daily basis. “Our goal with this scholarship was to identify and honor some of the hard-working young people that we meet and hear about at Duke’s, or on the golf course, almost every day,” Moscrip says. “Looking ahead to 2017, we look forward to recognizing more amazing young golfers and hopefully expanding the program in new and exciting ways.” If you have a young golfer you’d like to nominate — or if you or your business would like to learn more about becoming involved with the Duke’s Junior Golf Scholarship in 2017 — send an email to editor Brian Beaky at email@example.com. cascadegolfer.com
SHORT GAME Stay Dry, Win Green With Clubhouse Golf Center Winter Leagues
ome golfers put the clubs away when the rainy season arrives. And hey, we understand — it’s cold, it’s wet, and for some of you (OK, OK, we admit — some of us, too), it’s just not worth it. You’d rather turn on the heat, make yourself a nice warm beverage, and watch some football. The thing is — you can do both. For the past three years, we’ve spent many a winter’s day at Lynnwood’s Clubhouse Golf Center, where the weather is always perfect, the game is always on, and the savory bites and belly-warming beverages are plentiful. We’ve gone on lunch breaks (don’t tell the boss). We’ve gone during Monday Night Football or NFL playoff games. We’ve gone on NCAA Tournament opening-round days. We’ve gone days, nights, weekdays, weekends — that’s the beauty of the Clubhouse. It doesn’t matter when we have time to play, or what the weather is like — the Clubhouse Golf Center is always there. Located just off of I-5 by Alderwood Mall (and, fortuitously for us, just a long par-5 from CG HQ), the
Clubhouse features six, full-size, indoor simulators that allow golfers to play a full round (or less, if you prefer), hitting real balls, with your own clubs, on some of the top courses in the world. Harbour Town, Kapalua, St. Andrews, Pebble Beach, Firestone, Bethpage Black, Kiawah Island, Pinehurst, Spyglass ... you get the picture. A typical 18-hole round takes about an hour per person in your group, with rates topping out at $40 per hour — in other words, the faster you play, the less you pay. In addition, there’s a full bar with food service, comfy couches and TVs everywhere you look. You can come after the kids are in bed for a quick 18 and catch the end of the Sunday Night Football game, or pop in on a Saturday afternoon with your foursome and watch the PGA TOUR while playing your weekly Nassau. Or, you can join one of the Clubhouse’s competitive winter leagues, including a two-person best-ball league on Tuesdays, and an individual league on Thursdays. Scoring is net- and gross-based, with prizes doled out at
the end of the season. “We’re putting in a new playoff format this year, too, which will be a lot of fun,” says owner Steve Levy, who left a job at Microsoft to open the Clubhouse in 2013. “And if you don’t have a handicap, that’s not a problem — we’ll use the first four weeks of the league to set one for you.” Sound like fun? We thought so. That’s why we’re giving one CG reader the chance to live the Clubhouse Golf Center experience for themselves, with two hours of simulator time — on us! That’s more than enough time to play a full 18, all while enjoying full bar service and watching the Seahawks, Huskies or Cougars on bigscreen TVs. Log on to CascadeGolfer.com for your chance to win — and to learn more, visit www.clubhouse-golf.com or call (425) 582-9813.
SHORT GAME CG’s Summer Tourneys Conclude With Champions in Cascade Golfer Cup, Match Play Events
inning the Cascade Golfer Cup is hard. Seven tournaments, played in different formats, over five months at courses of all different styles — links tracks like Chambers Bay and Gamble Sands, tree-lined Northwest classics like McCormick Woods and Oakbrook, and challenging tests like White Horse, Salish Cliffs and Washington National. Which makes the accomplishments of Mike Premo and James Tibbetts all the more impressive. On the strength of a win at Oakbrook and top-10 finishes at Chambers Bay, Washington National and McCormick Woods, Premo and Tibbetts won the 2016 Cascade Golfer Cup net title. Remarkably, they did so despite only rarely shooting below their handicaps — instead, in a true testament to the team format, when one struggled, the other excelled, as they ham-and-egged their way past a field of over 130 teams to the season-long crown. Just as impressive were overall gross champions Sean McMullen, Tom Carroll and Alex Pounds, who came from behind with a third-place finish in the gross standings in the season finale at White Horse to leapfrog into first place and claim the title of Cascade Golfer Cup gross champions. Interestingly, neither winning team chose the overall grand prize — the “Summer of Golf” packages, featuring 10-15 twosomes at the top courses in the state — instead opting for some sweet vacation packages to Palm Springs and Maui, respectively. That’s cool — the runners-up were more than happy to take those Summer of Golf packages for themselves. While teams were traveling all across Western Washington competing for the Cup, golfers in Washington and Oregon were pairing off in our other summer-long competitive series, the Cascade Golfer Match Play Championships. A field of 77 golfers in May was whittled down to just eight by the end of September, all of whom met at Salish Cliffs on Sept. 30 for the 36-hole quarter-final and semi-final rounds. After two narrow semi-finals — David Blair winning 2&1 over Stephen Roy and Gunnar Groesnick needing 20 holes to take down Herb Bone (including a missed 18-incher to win the match on 18, and a rare triple-bogey halved hole on the 19th) — it came down to Blair and Groesnick, who had the night to sleep on it at the Little Creek Casino Resort before returning for the championship match the following day. The two traded the lead throughout the day, with Groesnick forcing a playoff once again with a birdie on the 18th hole. With a second chance, though, Blair crushed his tee shot down the middle at 18, hit a perfect approach to the 18th green, and nailed the five-footer for eagle and the Match Play Championship crown. cascadegolfer.com
David Blair 2017 CG Match Play champion
In the “Sun Belt” At The Golf Course
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More than 300 golfers participated in Cascade Golfer events this year — and we’d love to have you join them. All of our tournaments are open to any player with an established handicap, and all Cascade Golfer Cup events feature prizes for both net and gross divisions. You can play in them all and compete for the Cup, or just pick one or two at your favorite courses and play for the individual event prizes, including stay-and-plays to Bandon Dunes, Hawaii, Vegas and more, plus rounds of golf, golf merchandise and other great prizes — up to 32 total prizes at each event. With fields limited to just 64 teams, everyone has a terrific chance to win. Be the first to know when the 2017 Cascade Golfer Cup and Match Play Championship schedules are announced by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, and following Cascade Golfer on Facebook and Twitter. Who knows, next year, this article might be about you!
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SHORT GAME Local Tribe & Management Companies Revitalizing Tacoma’s North Shore G.C.
here are courses in just about every community that are beloved by the locals, but struggle to draw golfers from more than 5-10 miles away. This list includes some of our favorite tracks, places like Mount Si, Snohomish Golf Course, Auburn Golf Course and — until recently — Federal Way’s North Shore Golf Course. (Technically, it’s on the Tacoma side of the city line, but just barely. For picturing where it is, think Federal Way.) When we first visited North Shore a few years ago as a staff, we were pleasantly surprised by what we found — a course at least as good in quality as any of the local munis, but with fewer crowds and low rates. We had to ask ourselves, Why hadn’t we been here before? The answer, of course, is that we simply hadn’t heard much about it — a fact that the Puyallup Tribe, Ryan Moore Golf and Columbia Hospitality are hoping to change. In August, the Tribe purchased North Shore and retained the services of Columbia/RMG to manage its day-to-day operations. That puts North Shore in the hands of the same group currently managing Gold Mountain, McCormick Woods, Oakbrook and The Classic, giving North Shore marketing and partnership opportunities it has never had before. “It’s a great course. It’s just a little long in the tooth, and it needs some refurbishment and some capital infusion,” said David Wetli, North Shore’s longtime GM and head pro, in an interview with the Tacoma News-Tribune. “So we’re pretty stoked out here.”
North Shore G.C., No. 12 • Tacoma
The land on which the course was built was part of the Puyallup Tribe’s ancestral homeland, and the opportunity to reacquire it played a significant role in the purchase, says Puyallup Tribe of Indians Chairman Bill Sterud. Local golfers can only hope that the purchase goes over as well as other recent tribal investments in the Northwest golf scene, including those at White Horse, Cedars at Dungeness and Swinomish Golf Links, where struggling local courses were revitalized with an injection of cash and energy — not to mention the construction of new courses like Salish Cliffs and Circling Raven. “It is the goal of MVV to work closely with (Ryan Moore Golf) and Columbia Hospitality to elevate all areas of the North Shore guest experience,” says Chad Wright of Marine View Ventures, a business arm of the tribe which led the purchase, alongside Classic Golf Club owner (and father of PGA TOUR pro Ryan Moore) Mike Moore. “We are excited to bring new energy, along with capital improvements, new amenities and an overall revitalization to North Shore Golf Course.”
In His Spare Time From Golf, Seahawks’ Lineman Bradley Sowell Plays Football INTERVIEW BY BRIAN BEAKY CG EDITOR
rom international soccer icons like Kasey Keller, to some of the most recognizable names and faces from the NBA, NFL, Major League Baseball and college football, this feature has seen its share of stars over the years, and just about all of them have a longer Wikipedia page than Bradley Sowell. But the Seahawks left tackle has something they do not — a scratch handicap, and a headto-head victory over John Daly and Billy Andrade. In August, Daly and Andrade visited Seahawks training camp for a closest-to-the-pin
contest to help promote the Boeing Classic, As the players — including Daly, Andrade, wide receiver Jermaine Kearse, kicker Stephen Hauschka and Sowell — lined up to take the shot to a floating green on Lake Washington, the smart money was on Andrade, or maybe Kearse, if he got lucky. Instead, it was Sowell who cozied his approach up next to the pin, earning an approving roar from the assembled sponsors and media on hand, and the envy of Daly himself. “Brad, he should be playing,” said the twotime major champion. “I’ll caddie for him on the Tour. He said he’s only been playing four
years, that’s amazing. He’s just got the bug and for a big man with that type of swing, it’s pretty awesome. He said he taught himself. That’s pretty cool.” Oh, yeah, that’s right — we forgot to mention that he only started playing as a senior at Ole Miss in 2011, and has never had a lesson. Turns out there’s a lot we didn’t know about the man tasked with having Russell Wilson’s back.
What’s been the high point of your year so far, winning a starting job, or beating Daly and Andrade? “Oh, beating Daly and Andrade, for sure. That was pretty cool, I’m not gonna lie. I was probably taking it way more seriously than them, but I was gonna get that ‘W.’”
Do you have a regular group of friends or teammates that you like to play with? “In Arizona, I played with [Larry] Fitzgerald quite a bit; I played with Drew Butler and Chris Catanzaro, the punter and kicker. We had a nice little group. Up here, me and Jermaine Kearse probably play the most together.”
Of your teammates that don’t golf, who would you most like to get out there with you? “I think Russ could be a good golfer, just because he’s so athletic. But whenever you play with him, he just tries to kill the ball. If he actually tried, though, I think he’d be really good. I just don’t know if he has the patience for it.”
How’s Larry as a golfer? “He’s getting better. Inside 150, he’s like a two handicap. He can hit the irons well, he has a great short game … he just struggles off the tee.”
What’s a misconception fans have about your job? “Honestly, you have to have a thick skin, because people only pay attention to the bad plays. If you have one or two bad plays, people think you’re the worst player in the world. They start Tweeting at you and everything. Then when you have a good play, they act like you don’t exist. I think a lot of people who see a tackle give up a sack might not always understand how or why it happened.”
And you’ve really only been playing four years? “About four-and-a-half years. When I was in college, my uncle gave me a gift card to Callaway, and I was like, ‘What’s Callaway?’ Then I went out and got some irons and started going to the range. I sort of got addicted and started playing more. Now, in the offseason, I probably play 4-5 times a week. Sometimes more.” Did you ever get lessons? “No, self-taught. I’ve had a few guys look at my swing, but I still just try to do my own thing. I’ve actually shot under par quite a bit.” I was going to ask about strengths and weaknesses, but I’m guessing you don’t have many of the latter. “I hit the ball a mile. I have a really smooth swing; I don’t try to kill it. My weakness, by real golfer standards, is putting. I can two-putt anything, but I don’t make as many putts from inside eight feet as the pros do.” I assume you can’t just buy clubs straight off the rack? “Being a big guy, my arms are really long, so a lot of times if I go into a retail golf store, they’ll try to overfit me and put a bunch of inches on the club. But my arms really dangle, so I don’t need much extra length. I go down to the course I’m a member at in Arizona called Scottsdale National and they fix ‘em up for me just how I want ‘em.” 18
Do you have a favorite place to play locally? “I’m a member at Aldarra. It’s my favorite so far. If you play good, you’re going to shoot good, and if you play bad, you’re going to shoot bad. I love courses like that. I like Sahalee, too, but it’s really like you’re going there just to be miserable. I think I hit every tree possible.” How are courses different here than other places? “There’s trees everywhere, for one. The ball also doesn’t go as far. Everything’s a little bit wetter, so you don’t get quite the carry. In Arizona, you’re carrying it over cactuses 360 yards, with a little elevation. Here, you can’t just look at the scorecard and say, ‘Hey, let’s play 7,200 yards today,’ because that’s like playing from 8,000.” Who’s the best golfer on the team? “On our team? I mean, that’s not even a question, really. Kearse is a beginner, and Hauschka doesn’t play much during the season. I’ve played with Hauschka a couple of times. He doesn’t like to lose, so he doesn’t play with me.”
You might make 40 pass blocks in a game, but give up a sack at the wrong time, and that’s all people talk about. “For sure. And people might not know what the exact situation was. They just see you get beat and assume it’s all your fault. Like let’s say the play is supposed to be a quick throw — you might turn a certain way thinking the ball is already out, only to look back and see that Russ still has it and is trying to scramble. Now, if you just get beat physically, then that’s obvious, but a lot of the time there’s more that goes into it. And I don’t think the fans always understand those situations. But hey, it is what it is.” What’s harder, blocking Robert Quinn or trying to chip off a tight lie? “Ha, I’d say they both present their problems. (laughs) But, blocking Robert Quinn is pretty hard. And when it’s a tight lie, I’m probably just putting.” cascadegolfer.com
RISK vs. REWARD Salish Cliffs Golf Club
By Simon Dubiel
Hole No. 2 Par 4 276 yards (Players tees) The Setup:
Hopefully, you got off to a good start on the forgiving, par-5 first and are now looking for some real action. Anything sprayed right on this hole will be left for dead in the cattails and fescue marsh. Three bunkers guard the layup shot while one bunker just short and right of the putting surface will gobble up a miss, or perhaps save you from a lost ball. The left-side approach has a hill that will help keep shots in play and funnel towards the fairway. The green is two-tiered with the back half higher than the front.
“Where my birdies at? Tweet, Tweet!” The Golf Boys might not be the only ones singing about birdies. Strike a tee ball well and at worst you should have a flip wedge and a great opportunity to get up and down. Hit a great tee shot and, well, you might just skip the birdie and head straight to eagle territory. The landing area is larger than you might think, so swing with confidence.
At 276 from the Players tees, this hole screams “Let the big dog eat.” Take the fairway bunkers out of play and open the door to a circle on the scorecard. An approach on the wrong tier makes a two-putt challenging, and besides, layups are for the gym, not the front nine. Start the fade up the left side and watch it go flag-hunting. Don’t avoid the risk. Take it. And go make a birdie!
Sure, golf can be easy when you hit good shots, but what happens when you miss your line? Welcome to 99 percent of golfers’ problems. A dialed-in tee ball with driver will play well, but if you get loose on this hole, you will be instantly cursing out your club selection. Right is toast for sure, while anything pulled left can be hard to find and likely unplayable as well, putting double quickly into play.
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BAG 1 PRODUCT REVIEWS and equipment news you can use BY BRIAN BEAKY — CG EDITOR
t’s not every day that we’re surprised by golf news. But when Nike announced in August that it was going to “transition out” of the golf equipment business, it was a “Whoa!” moment for everyone at CG headquarters. (Nike will continue to make golf shoes and apparel, but will soon stop producing clubs, balls and bags. No specific timetable has been given.) Just three years ago, the world’s No. 1 player, Rory McIlroy, left Titleist for Nike, signing a 10-year deal that seemed to cement the Northwest retail giant’s position as a major player in the golf world for years to come. Less than 36 months later, they’re gone. The fact is, while the golf industry as a whole may be rebounding from the “gloom and doom” prophecies of the last decade (just look at the courses we’ve opened in Washington since 2010, including Gamble Sands, Salish Cliffs and Rope Rider), there are still a lot of anglers — in the form of courses, retailers and manufacturers — casting for a relatively small school of fish. Margins are slim, making it tough not only on our local mom-and-pop courses, but on some of the biggest brands in the world, as well. Of course, as any backseat economist knows, competition favors the consumer. The drive among manufacturers to reach you, the golfer, means more pressure to innovate, more money poured into R&D and, ultimately, more competitive prices in the marketplace. In this issue, we highlight some of those latest advancements, featuring new clubs from Titleist, Mizuno and Callaway, along with some soft goods that are perfect for the golfer who refuses to let a little rain and cold weather bring their golf season to a close. So pick up some new sticks, shoes, balls or bags, and get out there on the links — because it’s a buyer’s market these days, and we plan to take advantage.
917 D2 & D3
PUETZ GOLF PRICE
ith a well-established, every-other-year release pattern, Titleist does its devotees the justice of allowing them to enjoy their new sticks for a good two years, before replacing them with the latest model. It’s a practice that may not boost profits, but certainly boosts loyalty. This year’s model, the 917 (available in more-forgiving D2 and lower-spin D3 models), features the usual SureFit hosel with its numerous adjustable lie and loft angles, plus an Active Recoil Channel that is thinner at the heel and toe than that on the 915, allowing for greater face flex and higher ball speeds on off-center hits. The real innovation, though, is an all-new adjustable weight — a first for Titleist, and the result of five years of research — that slides in and out of a pocket located deep in the heel, allowing players to customize their trajectory and ball flight like never before. Players can use a neutral weight, or a second weight that is heavier on one end than the other; insert the heavier end towards the toe to promote a fade, or towards the heel to produce a draw. Along with a new “liquid slate” finish, it’s a new direction for Titleist — and one we’re certainly happy to follow.
Big Bertha Fusion2 PUETZ GOLF PRICE
Driver $399.99, Fairway Metal $249.99
ust about every year, manufacturers release drivers that are their “insert superlative here” yet. “Fastest” yet, “longest” yet ... you get the idea. So, when Callaway said the new Big Bertha Fusion was their “most forgiving yet,” you could forgive us for excusing it as just more marketing-speak. Testing, though, shows there might be more to this claim than just PR. Callaway has engineered the Fusion with an all-new titanium “Exo-Cage” to form the body of the club, with a likewise new “Triaxial Carbon” crown and sole. That “fusion” of materials results in a clubhead that’s even lighter and thinner than those made from “Forged Composite,” the gold standard of forgiveness in Callaway clubs since 2010. That ultra-light construction results in a significantly higher MOI — which, in layman’s terms, means less twisting on off-center hits, for shots that go straighter and longer. Furthermore, that MOI is retained despite the presence of the aerodynamic crown pattern last used on the Big Bertha V Series, meaning golfers get the best of both worlds — speed and forgiveness. High ball speeds and straighter shots? That fusion will brighten any golfer’s day.
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JPX 900 Driver
PUETZ GOLF PRICE
hen designing a new driver, some manufacturers go with more speed, some more forgiveness, some more adjustability. When putting together the all-new JPX 900, you get the feeling Mizuno designers looked at their various options and said, “We’ll take ‘em all.” The 900 is faster, more adjustable and more forgiving than its predecessor, the 850, and the biggest play yet by the manufacturer known primarily for its top-end irons to break through in the metal wood category. The sole is where the innovations are most obvious — two sliding weights allow players to dial in launch angle (by moving them towards the toe or heel) as well as spin (by moving them towards or away from the face). In addition, an aluminum chip on the sole can be moved to change the face angle by up to four degrees, further enhancing a player’s ability to account for a moderate-to-severe draw or fade. Mizuno has also redesigned the face to be hotter across the entire surface, resulting in higher ball speeds no matter where you strike it.
IN THE BAG
RTX 3 Wedges
PUETZ GOLF PRICE
leveland’s 588 and, now, RTX lines have been the most popular with amateur and pro players alike for decades. So when Cleveland says that they’ve been designing wedges all wrong — that the longer hosel puts the center of gravity too close to the heel, making it tougher for players to strike the ball close to the club’s sweet spot — we listen. Cleveland’s new RTX 3 features a shorter hosel than its predecessors with further weight drilled out inside, resulting in nine total grams shifted towards the center of the clubface — a significant improvement in MOI that results in superior feel and more consistent distances. The grooves, too, are deeper and narrower than those before, to better channel away grass and dirt on shots from the rough, while providing superior spin on shorter chips. And if you can’t find an RTX 3 to match your game, you’re just not trying — in addition to traditional and cavity-back versions, the wedge is available in lofts from 46-64 degrees, each available in up to three different bounce configurations, and three different finishes, for a total of 70 unique setups.
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T7 Wedges5 PUETZ GOLF PRICE
olfers want wedges to be soft and light, with grooves that last through at least a year’s worth of play. As such, most wedges are cast of stainless steel — the material for its softness, and the cast process for its ability to more perfectly refine those groove edges. Long an innovator with its irons, though, Mizuno has forged its new T7 wedges out of boron, not steel. Sure, boron is stronger, resulting in grooves that stay sharper and produce more consistent spin over time, but would players reject the heavier feel? The answer among Mizuno’s PGA TOUR players has been, emphatically, no. The new construction has proven barely noticeable to most players, while the club’s superior performance — particularly in the higher lofts — has been exemplary. Mizuno’s trademark “Quad Cut” grooves are deeper and narrower in the lower lofts to reduce spin, and shallower and wider in the higher lofts, for better contact from all greenside turf conditions. Lastly, better players will like the superior feedback as compared to Mizuno’s more forgiving S5, while everyone can enjoy that sweet Blue IP finish. DECEMBER 2016 DECEMBER 2016
IN THE BAG
Steelhead XR Irons
PUETZ GOLF PRICE
starting at $499.99
hen meeting to discuss new irons for 2017, Callaway designers kept reminiscing about their old Steelhead irons of a decade ago — a high-performing set that players loved, but which was phased out over the years in favor of newer, higher-tech sticks. Could the Steelheads be updated with 2017 technology? Your answer is the new Steelhead XRs, a game-improvement iron combining the best features of the original Steelheads (notably a longer blade length and shorter hosel, for a more stable head and greater forgiveness) with the wraparound cup face technology of the XR and Apex lines. That face design — where the face literally wraps around the sole, topline and toe — creates a larger and more flexible surface area at impact, resulting in longer shots. Furthermore, the center of gravity varies throughout the set, for higher launch and low spin on long irons, and more spin and control with the shorter irons. These new Steelheads prove the old adage — what’s new will one day be old, and what’s old will one day be new again. We’re happy to have them back.
DECEMBER DECEMBER2016 2016
King Oversize Irons
PUETZ GOLF PRICE
starting at $998.99
allaway isn’t the only manufacturer rifling through its old design booklets this season. In fact, Cobra is going back even farther, to an era when Greg Norman was crushing balls with Cobra irons and drivers en route to a world No. 1 ranking. The all-new King Oversize irons are like Norman’s irons on steroids — bigger, stronger and more powerful. We’ll start with size — while the King Oversize has the largest profile of any Cobra iron ever made, modern materials make it significantly lighter than its predecessor, with weight better distributed to the perimeter, a ratio resulting in extreme forgiveness. Furthermore, Cobra’s new L-Cup face construction results in a centrally located “Sweet Zone” that is up to 12 percent bigger than that in even its most recent line, the F6; combined with a thinner, stronger “PWRShell” face made of 17-4 stainless steel, the King Oversize produces higher ball speeds and straighter ball flights than any of its predecessors — the perfect combination for significant distance gains. Who knows, maybe if Norman had these King Oversize irons in his hands, the ‘96 Masters might have turned out differently.
JPX 900 Irons8 PUETZ GOLF PRICE
starting at $899.99
ven as Mizuno has dipped its toe into the game-improvement world in recent years, giving mid- and high-handicappers a chance to rep the brand, they’ve still been primarily a players’ iron company. Well, not anymore. In 2017, Mizuno is going all-in on game-improvement irons with the release of three new clubs, the JPX 900, JPX 900 Forged and JPX 900 Tour. That’s right, Tour — just because it’s a game-improvement club, doesn’t mean the world’s best players can’t take advantage. The JPX 900 achieves ball speeds in a single-piece cast iron that most manufacturers have to resort to inserts to produce. Made of Chromoly 4140M, a type of steel more commonly seen in high-end bicycle frames, its high strength-to-weight ratio allows for casting of an extremely thin face combined with outstanding stability, producing shots that fly off the face. The JPX 900 Forged achieves a similar effect with boron-infused carbon steel, and has a slightly smaller profile than the cast model. Lastly, the JPX 900 Tour is forged from the same 1025E carbon steel as Mizuno’s elite MP irons, with a narrower sole for more workability.
cascadegolfer.com Order online at puetzgolf.com • Call Toll Free (866) 362-2441
WINTER WONDERS When the rainy season arrives, that’s no reason to put the clubs away. Here are some of the latest products arriving just in time for those gray, wet days on the course.
4.5 LS and 3.5 LS Bags PUETZ GOLF PRICE
4.5 LS $209.99 | 3.5 LS $229.99
or years, we’ve raved about Northwest manufacturer Sun Mountain’s bags — they’re light, durable, comfortable and killer-looking. The new 4.5 LS and 3.5 LS fit the bill, with a lightweight construction (4.5 and 3.5 pounds, respectively) and durable carbon-fiber legs that don’t slip on slick surfaces. The 3.5 is a pound lighter, of course, with one fewer pocket and a standard, X-strap carry system. The 4.5, meanwhile, comes with the patented (and back-saving) E-Z Fit Dual Strap system, plus 14 individual, full-length dividers. We’d frankly be happy to find either one under our tree this season.
PUETZ GOLF PRICE
ny Northwest golfer who plays in the winter wearing the same low-profile, thin-exterior shoes that you use the rest of the year is, in our opinion, nuts. Shoes like FootJoy’s new Rain Boot — featuring a two-year waterproof outer layer, high ankle and all-weather cleats, won’t just keep your feet warm and dry (which they will), they’ll also improve your game. Better grip means more stability and better contact, while warm, dry feet will keep you focused on your golf game — not your frostbitten toes.
Big Bertha OS Irons9 PUETZ GOLF PRICE
starting at $975.00
hen writing about the new Fusion driver on the previous pages, we talked about Callaway’s new “Exo-Cage” construction, which saves weight while increasing vertical stiffness, allowing for both increased forgiveness and greater ball speeds. Well, the same technology has been brought to Callaway’s latest Big Bertha line, the OS, which includes a combination of both irons and hybrids. Buoyed by the new Exo-Cage, the OS irons are longer and straighter than the previous Big Berthas, with a center of gravity that gets progressively higher in the shorter irons, for more consistent trajectories across the entire set. The OS hybrids, meanwhile, are designed with what Callaway calls “fairway wood DNA” — in this case producing traits both visible (they’re larger than any other Callaway hybrid) and invisible, with the now-standard Face Cup technology allowing for additional flex and ball speed at impact.
Climaheat BOA Golf Boot
PUETZ GOLF PRICE
till not convinced? Not willing to compromise your style? OK, check out adidas’ Climaheat BOA. It’s comfortable (a “fitfoam” sockliner adds cushion, while a wider forefoot is designed to account for thicker winter socks), it’s waterproof (the “BOA” closure system keeps the laces and collar from loosening during the round, trapping in heat and keeping out water, while the multi-layered lining, called “Climaheat,” does the same), it’s stable (two different styles of cleat provide maximum traction in all directions), and it looks great.
VIVID Matte Golf Balls
PUETZ GOLF PRICE
$29.99 per dozen
e saw these for the first time out at Mount Si Golf Course in North Bend this summer and thought, What the heck is that? Volvik’s golf balls are always high performers — having banked more than $8.5 million in prize money across every major tour — and are especially popular among golfers with slower swing speeds, for their optimal spin rates and long flight. The VIVID packs that same performance into a — well, “shiny” new package wouldn’t be exactly right. The first matte balls on the market, available in four colors, they’re as fun to hit as they are to look at.
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LUCKY WINNER ENTRY Name: Email: Phone: No purchase necessary – drawing held 30 minutes before closing hours at the end of each day at each store. DECEMBER 2015 cascadegolfer.com Check puetzgolf.com/events to see the full list of daily prizes. Winner will be notified by email… so make sure your entry is legible.
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Between a baby in May and the Ryder Cup-winning putt in October, 2016 will be a year to remember for Puyallup’s
s the action wound to a climax on Sunday at Hazeltine National, with Rory McIlroy and Patrick Reed throwing down birdies and eagles, Phil Mickelson draining impossible putts and the pro-American crowd noise building to a frenzy, it suddenly became clear that the fate of the Ryder Cup — the hopes and dreams of an American team that had suffered a crushing defeat on home soil four years before, and an American populace that had celebrated Ryder Cup victory just once in this century — rested on the shoulders not of Lefty, Jordan Spieth, Dustin Johnson or any of the other rock-stars of the American team ... but instead would come down to Puyallup native Ryan Moore. Who? For most American fans, Moore was the least recognizable of the U.S. squad — heck, he’s probably less recognizable than most of the Europeans, too. Moore’s world ranking of 31st was the lowest of all 24 competitors; in the
Interview by Brian Beaky CG EDITOR
immediate aftermath of the captain’s picks the previous week, many pundits questioned U.S. captain Davis Love III’s decision to take Moore — who has 12 missed cuts at majors, opposite just two top-10s — over more accomplished (and higher-ranked) players like Bubba Watson or nine-time Ryder Cup veteran Jim Furyk. On a 12-man team, Moore was clearly No. 12. But around here, we know something most golf fans don’t — never underestimate the 12th man. Down two holes with three to play to the much older and experienced Lee Westwood, Moore went on a threehole stretch that he calls “the best golf of his life,” making eagle on 16 and birdie on 17 to draw level. On 18, under the kind of pressure that, in Moore’s own words, it was “impossible to prepare for,” it was the veteran who
cracked, not the rookie. Westwood stuck his approach in the bunker and then missed his putt for par. Sitting 20 feet from the hole for birdie, Moore knew he had two putts to complete the comeback and win the match — and unbeknownst to him, but clear as day to the millions of American and European fans watching worldwide — to clinch the Ryder Cup for Team USA. “Once the point came where I realized I only had to two-putt, there was zero chance that ball was going to get to the hole,” Moore says with a chuckle. “I was cozying that baby up there.”
TWO WEEKS LATER — after giving him time to come down from Cloud Nine — we called Moore at home in Las Vegas, where he lives with his wife, Nichole, and two kids, Tucker (4) and Sullivan (7 months), to catch up on a whirlwind year and hear, in his own words, what it’s like to be inside the crucible of the Ryder Cup.
I know you had your second child this year — tell me about your kids. “That’s been awesome. It’s been fun. It’s different. It’s certainly not easy on the travel, but they handle it great, and my wife does a great job.” How long did it take you to stick a golf club in their hands? “Not too long, for sure. (laughs) I never had to [play golf], though; it was something that I wanted to do, that I chose to do. I just loved it. So, I’m going to be very much the same way with them. Obviously, they’re going to be around it quite a bit, so they’re going to be exposed. And if they like it and they want to pursue it, then obviously I’d love to help them with that, but if they want to do something else, that’s great, too. They can do whatever they want, as long as they’re doing something they love.” How has fatherhood changed you as a person? “That’s a big question. I think it’s made me a lot more patient. I was a pretty patient person to begin with, but kids definitely force you to focus on that even more. For me, it’s something great off the golf course. It’s great to have that distraction, to be able to get away from golf, and not have to be Ryan Moore the golfer, but just be their dad. Obviously Sullivan is so little, but with Tucker, it doesn’t matter what I do, or how bad I finished in a tournament — when I come home at the end of the day, I’m just his dad, and he wants me to come back to the hotel and play superhero guys with him. It’s helped me to relax when I’m away from golf, which I think has been a great thing for me and my game.” What came together for you in 2016? “Every year, I personally grow as a golfer. I get smarter, I understand Tour life better. Even doing it for 12 years, there’s still stuff that I learn. As far as my golf game, at the end of last season, I pulled my whole team together — my caddie, my coach, my manager — and we got together for a couple of days and did a team planning session. Everybody had a chance to be honest and say, ‘This is what I saw over the last year, and this is what I think we should work to improve on next year.’ It was nice to get that overall perspective. So, I went into this year with a well-thought-out plan as to what I was going to do and how I was going to do it — whether it was equipment stuff, or practice routines, or how I was going to travel, or what I was going to do on the road; we dissected everything. That took a weight off my chest for the year, of knowing that I had this plan that I could trust and stick to. “Then also, I had my son at the end of May, and he had some minor health issues; he had to have surgery. It was nothing life-threatening, but we found out about it when my wife was about six months pregnant, and I think that weighed on me in the middle of the year, knowing that was coming and worrying about it. I had a rough stretch there where I didn’t play very well. But then when he was born, and he was healthy, and the surgery was successful, that was another big weight off my shoulders. “Around that same time, at the end of June, I found a new trainer — Brian Chandler — which was a big part. A lot of my success later in the year had to do simply with feeling better physically. He really studies body movement, motion, efficiency and rotational movement, and cascadegolfer.com
“It’s like the pressure and excitement of being tied for the lead on the last hole of a major — but having that feeling on every single golf shot that you hit all week. It’s just physically and mentally draining,” Moore says. “I never really thought it would be more pressure than a major, but it really is. There’s nothing like it.” it really helped me learn so much about how the golf motion needs to happen, what needs to be strong for it, and where I was weak. I’ve had aches and pains on and off over the years — obviously with a one-sided, repetitive motion that you’re doing over and over, things are going to hurt. I had some things nagging for years, but he’s helped me get to where those things aren’t bothering me, and I can just show up and go play without having that in the back of my head. So that was a huge part to my success at the end of the year, for sure.” You’ve been close in other years to earning a Captain’s Pick, but this year you had yourself in the best position you’ve ever been in going into the selections. Were you expecting that call? “Not until I did what I did at the Tour Championship. If I don’t get into a playoff there, then I don’t think I necessarily get picked. And I’d completely understand that. But, I did have a great week there. If you’re talking about picking the guy that’s hot going into it, then I think I proved that week that I was that person. I credit Davis [Love III, Ryder Cup team captain] a lot for making that decision. To pick me over Bubba [Watson], that was tough — I’ll bet he got criticized quite a bit for that. But we’d been talking a lot over the last month-and-a-half leading up to it, and he said, ‘With other guys, we’ve found reasons to take their name off the board and throw it in the trash, but yours is staying up there as a solid option for us.’ So, in Atlanta, I proved that I was still playing great at the end of the season, and I guess that was it.” Where were you when you got the call? “It was Sunday night after the Tour Championship in Atlanta. I was in the parking lot of East Lake [Golf Club], loading up my car, and to be honest, I actually missed the call. (laughs) My phone was in my pocket and I was getting my clubs in the car, and helping get the kids loaded up and all that, thinking about getting to the airport and
flying back to Vegas, and I just totally missed it. But, I called him right back and he said, ‘Hey, do you think you want to come to Minnesota?’ And I was like, ‘Uh ... yeah, I sure do.’ (laughs) It was a great call to get.” It sounds like you and Davis have a good relationship. “I couldn’t be happier with who I got to play for. I’ve played with and against Davis a lot over the years and know him pretty well. But to get to play for his team at the Ryder Cup, that means a lot. I’d obviously love to get the opportunity to play a Ryder Cup again, but if it doesn’t happen, I’ll be happy with the experience I had for the rest of my life.” For most of your career, you’ve preferred to stay out of the spotlight — from initially not taking any equipment sponsorships, to not really seeking out press or attention. How did you handle the spotlight of the Ryder Cup? “You’re right, I’m kind of an under-the-radar guy; I’m not really out there trying to get a lot of attention. To be one of 12 guys on the course that everybody is cheering for was very, very different. It was great, I loved it, but yeah, it was definitely a big adjustment. It made me want to play well, even more than normal. There’s a lot of pressure; it’s like the pressure and excitement of being tied for the lead on the last hole of a major — but having that feeling on every single golf shot that you hit all week. It’s just physically and mentally draining. Every shot means so much. You don’t want to let down your partner, your teammates, your captain, your country — there’s just so many other things that you’re playing for than usual. It’s something you can’t really prepare for. “I never really thought it would be more pressure than a major, but it really is. There’s nothing like it. I can’t imagine being more nervous than I was on that first tee every day. I literally don’t think it’s physically possible.” You seemed to handle it well. “I think I handled it OK; if I did it again, I’d know what to expect and I’d handle it even better. But, man, I was definitely a nervous wreck for a lot of it. (laughs) It probably didn’t look like it, but I definitely was.” How different was it being teammates with guys that you’re usually competing against? “It was great. We don’t normally sit in a room and hang out together and tell each other what we like about each other’s games, or encourage each other. I don’t sit in the clubhouse and tell Brandt Snedeker what an amazing putter he is; he obviously is, and he knows that. But for those weeks, we do tell each other those things, and it’s nice to hear. You’re handling so much pressure that week, that having your peers encourage you and say those things is cool to hear.” Was there anything specific that another player said that sticks out? “Yeah, I mean, there was a lot. J.B. Holmes, who I was partners with, said a lot of great, encouraging things to me. Brandt Snedeker, after I finished off the last match for the clinching point, gave me a big hug and said, ‘That’s why we picked you. That’s why you’re on this team. You’re such a tough competitor and you play well when it matters.’ And that’s cool. Like I said, we don’t normally say DECEMBER 2016
those things to each other. So, to hear that from guys who most weeks are rivals, and guys who are great players, is encouraging.” What do you guys do when you’re away from the course during Ryder Cup week? “That’s the thing, you just don’t have much downtime. Those weeks are very, very busy. You’re at the course until dark every single day. There’s a little bit of hanging out, and downtime; we’d eat meals together every night, and there was a ping-pong table and that kind of stuff. But you have functions and practice Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, the thing starts Friday and you’re playing 36 holes, then you get back and it’s 10 o’clock at night. In those moments when we were just hanging out, at dinner or whatever, it was fun — we’d make fun of each other, or talk about shots this guy or that guy hit. But, yeah, I was actually kind of surprised how little downtime there is. It really is a whirlwind. The most exhausting week of golf I’ve ever had, for sure.” Was there any one moment where it hit you that you were playing in the Ryder Cup? “I’d like to say yes, but no, there really wasn’t. I didn’t have one of those moments, at least not while I was there. Once I got home and had a couple of days to decompress, it was like, ‘Wow, what just happened? How did I get to do that?’ But really, while I was there — again, you’re just so constantly busy running from one thing to the next, that there isn’t really time to let it sink in. I’d say maybe just the Monday afternoon when I got there, I went to my room, and they had the whole clothes rack with everything laid out for the week, labeled by day, and your bag, and just all the stuff that you get, which was really cool ... I just got to sit there for a couple of hours and enjoy that moment for a little bit. That was probably the only time I had the entire week to even think about it.” You’re going to have to find an excuse to wear those clothes again. “Oh, I’ll be wearing them around, don’t worry.” Tell me about your clinching match with Lee Westwood. You’re down two with three to play; what’s going through your mind in that moment? “I hadn’t played great all day. Neither of us had, really. We missed a couple of putts on 12 and 13 that could have won the hole. Then I three-putted 14 to give him the hole, and then he birdied the next hole to go two-up, and something about that just got a little fire lit in me. As I walked off that green, I spotted J.B. Holmes and Patrick Reed, whose matches had both ended and had come back to follow my match, and they just said, ‘Hey man, it’s not over, just keep hitting good shots and you never know what can happen.’ And something in me said, ‘I’m not going down like this. I got picked to be here for a reason, and I want to earn this point.’ A switch flipped right then and I hit the best shot I hit all day, then hit maybe the best golf shot I’ve ever hit in my life into the 16th green — the second I hit it, I knew there was no way it could be outside 10 feet for eagle. Then I knocked in that putt, and then it all just sort of ... (Moore pauses, thinking) ... I don’t know. It’s hard to 34
“You don’t want to let down your partner, your teammates, your captain, your country — there’s just so many other things that you’re playing for than usual,” Moore says. describe, even now. It was just an incredible three holes of golf for me, let’s put it that way. It’s honestly still a little bit of a blur. “I hit a beautiful shot into 17 and made another great putt, then hit a great drive on 18 — again, on a hole I hadn’t hit a good drive on all week. Then I hit another great wedge shot there ... just to close that match out like that, and play the best golf I played all week on those three holes, when I really wanted to, that’s encouraging. That’ll help me build a lot of confidence, for sure, down the road. If I can do it in that environment, in that situation, I can do it anywhere.” I heard that you didn’t know your putt was the Cup clincher until after it went in? “I didn’t. I was so focused on that moment. I didn’t look at the scoreboard or anything. He’s in the bunker, and I think, ‘He probably isn’t going to hole his bunker shot, but he can still get up and down for par, which means I need to be ready to make this birdie putt to win my full point’ — in my mind, that’s all I was thinking about. Once the point came where I realized I only had to twoputt, there was zero chance that ball was going to get to the hole. (laughs) I was cozying that baby up there. Now, I feel like if I had really needed to make it, I would have put it dead-center, because I had a green light on it, but for me, it was just, ‘Hey, let’s lock up this point.’” Watching on TV, you guys celebrated like Marshawn Lynch after scoring a touchdown, just turning around and calmly shaking hands with the offensive linemen. “Right, yeah. I think it ended up being a little anti-climactic, because I two-putted to win the match. I don’t think anyone else even really knew what was going on. My wife was actually the one who came out and told me that we won. And I was like, ‘Oh, really? That’s cool.’ (laughs) Honestly, I was so excited I won my match, that I wasn’t even thinking about that.” Do you have the ball? “Actually, Davis went and got the ball for me. And by
that point, everyone had gathered around me and was giving hugs, and was all excited. I guess Davis had the clinching point one year, too, and he left his ball in the cup in all the excitement and never got it. So, he came over to give me a hug and gave me the ball and basically said, ‘I never got the ball when I was in your position; I don’t want you to miss out on this.’ I never would have even thought of it in the moment, so I was just like, ‘Cool, thanks,’ and went back to hugging everyone and celebrating and stuff. “Later, though, I was thinking about it, and we were about to go do the awards ceremony, and I went up to him and handed him the ball and said something like, ‘You’re the only reason I’m here, and you believed enough in me to put me on this team. This is your team, you did so much for this — I want you to have the ball.’ I think he was kind of surprised, but then obviously was really happy and excited. But that’s really how I felt about it. He was the only reason I was there, and he did so much over the last two years to make that team successful. I really felt like it was his ball, it wasn’t mine. That clinching point was for him.” How has the Ryder Cup experience changed things for you, if at all, going forward? “You know, I don’t really know yet. That’s the thing. The confidence that I gained dealing with the pressure of everything that week entails, I think, will make me a lot more comfortable in situations where I’m around the lead, or I’m nervous.” When was the last time you got home to play The Classic? (Editor’s note: Moore’s father, Mike Moore, is owner and head pro of The Classic Golf Club in Spanaway, where Moore first honed his craft.) “Man, I haven’t been home since last December. Between having a baby, and just all the regular travel, plus the Ryder Cup, it’s been a crazy year. But we’re coming back up this December, so it will be nice to get home and see the family again.” At this point in the interview, Moore had to take a break for a second to pick up dinner for the family — complete with fortune cookies or, as son Tucker calls them, “crackers.” I’m curious to know what that fortune cookie says. “(laughs) We’ll see. Those are for my son. He’s always like, ‘Dad, can we go to the restaurant with the crackers?” Given how the year has gone, I’m sure it’s something good. “Hopefully you’re right.” What are your goals for 2017? “We haven’t gone over that yet. We’ll have another planning meeting here after this year is over. But, on the table for me is a multi-win season. I’ve never done that, though I’ve been close, including this year. I think that’s the next step for me. A lot of that is physical — working with my trainer for an entire offseason, I think, will help that, and help me build my endurance for playing multiple weeks in a row. “Then, we’ll just take things from there and see how it goes.” cascadegolfer.com
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et’s open with a moment of honesty: I’m not a big wintertime golfer. Yes, I love golf. Yes, I love the Seattle area. And, frankly, yes, I even love the rain. A rainy or snowy winter day is refreshing, cleansing, revitalizing. But ... all three together? Call me a wuss if you must, but I don’t love donning four layers of clothes, wrapping my grips with towels, putting through puddles and hosing mud off my shoes, only to score a few strokes worse than I do the rest of the year. I’ll take advantage of a sunny December day to hit the links, for sure — it’s never crowded and rates are tough to beat — but if it’s 30 degrees or the wet stuff is pouring down, I’d just as soon stay in. There is, of course, another alternative. In many other parts of the country, there is no “off season” to deal with. Sure, it gets hot in the desert Southwest come summertime, but hit the links at dawn or in the evening
By Brian Beaky CG Editor and you can enjoy a beautiful 18 in 80-90 degree weather. And yeah, Hawaii has its afternoon showers — but there’s a big difference between teeing it up at a tropical oceanside course on an 80-degree day with light showers, and doing the same on a 40-degree, rainy day at home. A difference of, I’d say, 4-5 strokes, and a healthy dose of serenity. What’s more, most of the golf courses in these warmer locales thrive on snowbirds coming down from colder climates — as such, they’re in constant competition with each other to put together the most attractive stay-andplay packages, the best players’ card deals and the most appealing amenities to inspire you to choose their course
or resort over the one next door. As we do each winter, we’ve combed through this year’s offers to pick out what we feel are the top packages available to our readers in our three favorite wintertime markets — Hawaii, Palm Springs and Las Vegas. And just as we do 12 months out of the year here at home, we’re committed to finding our readers the best values, at the best courses — even if it requires a little extra travel to get there. Look, maybe you love playing in the rain more than I do — if that’s the case, then enjoy all the pretty pictures as you flip towards the next feature. But if you’re like me and prefer playing in a pair of shorts with the warm sun on your arms, and a few extra dollars in your pocket, then read on. When you’re in peak form come April, with tanned skin and a few more marks checked off your golf bucket list, you’ll be glad you did. cascadegolfer.com
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hen I last visited Kauai in 2014, I wrote of Puakea, “If I lived here, this is where I’d play the most.” It’s the most succinct way to summarize what makes Puakea great. Think about the courses you play the most here at home. Are they the fanciest in the area? Are they the most expensive? Are they the course every out-of-towner puts at the top of their must-play list? Probably not. But are they enjoyable? Do they provide a good value? And most importantly, do they leave you feeling good about the game and eager to come back again? They must — that’s why you play there. And that’s exactly the feeling that golfers have at Puakea. After a few holes on an open plain, the course takes a turn towards the same green mountains that backdropped some of the most famous scenes in movie history, from “Jurassic Park” to “South Pacific.” After playing up, down and around a deep ravine and scenic grasslands for most of the front nine, the course heads for the ocean on the back nine, including one of the prettiest three-hole stretches the island has to offer, before turning back to the mountains once again and heading for home. Each hole is unique, each experience memorable. And while it may be less than half the rate of some of the island’s more well-traveled tracks — $85 at peak hours, and just $45 at twilight times — it’s well more than half the experience. Play Poipu Bay, and Kauai Lagoons, and Princeville, for sure. I’m betting you’ll come back to Puakea. KA’ANAPALI GOLF COURSES Ka’anapali, Maui (866) 454-4653 kaanapaligolfcourses.com
tanding at the peak of Maui’s Haleakala volcano in the pre-dawn morning gloom, bundled up in layers against temperatures that are hovering around freezing, it’s easy to think, What on earth am I doing here? Then the first orange rays of the sun peek over the horizon to the east, bathing the mountain and the island below in a glorious golden light, and you stand, breathless, unable to recall a single thought besides one simple truth – this is why 1,500 years worth of civilizations have been drawn to Maui … an island unlike any other and, for golfers, an experience you’ll never forget. Most golfers choose to stay in Ka’anapali, centrally located between Lahaina and Kapalua, just a 12-minute drive from both. Though officially just five square miles in size, Ka’anapali is home to seven resort-level hotels and numerous rental condominiums and vacation villas, all located on one of the most famous beaches in the world. It’s also home to the area’s two premier courses, Royal Ka’anapali and Ka’anapali Kai. The current home of the Wendy’s Champions Tour Skins Game, the Robert Trent Jones, Sr.-designed Royal Ka’anapali is a challenging test of a golfer’s shot-making skills, combining classic oceanfront holes with others that wind up into the foothills to create a varied golf experience that showcases all that is beautiful about the West Maui coast. At a comparatively reasonable 6,700 yards and with multiple sets of tees, the par-71 course allows golfers to play to whatever difficulty they desire, ensuring a fun and memorable
round for everyone in your group. The shorter Ka’anapali Kai is the more forgiving course, with generous fairways and more subtle greens surrounded by brilliant native flowers, coconut trees and lava rock formations, all backdropped by stunning ocean and mountain views at every turn. Both courses offer packages that make it easy to customize a trip for whatever your group needs — there are multi-round packages that provide more than 50-percent savings on greens fees for golfers planning to tee it up more than once at Ka’anapali, plus a “Golf My Way” program that allows golfers to play 18 holes over a seven-day stretch, playing as many or as few holes at a time as you like. It’s the aloha spirit in action — and in this case, you’ll never want to say goodbye.
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olfers in Vegas have no shortage of options. From the Tom Fazio-designed Shadow Creek and Wynn Golf Clubs, to Cascata, TPC Las Vegas, Bear’s Best and the various opulent courses of local sports-wagering magnate Billy Walters, you can blow your mind playing a different world-class course every day of the week for a month. Of course, you’re also going to blow your budget — and as anyone who’s ever fallen a little behind on cash flow in Vegas can attest, you can dig yourself into a pretty deep hole trying to catch back up. That’s why we prefer Aliante Golf Club in North Las Vegas. It’s a course just as good as any you’d hope to play — ranked No. 10 among Vegas’ top public courses in 2013 and voted the best new course in the city by multiple publications when it opened in 2004 — but at a fraction of the cost. Every one of those courses above will set you back at least $200 — in some cases, $300. You could play Aliante three times for the same price — indeed, just $100 will cover not only your greens fee, but also private transportation to and from The Strip, rental clubs, or a meal at the course — even at the busiest times and days of the season. And you’ll want to come back more than once. The Gary Panks design is best played a second time, after you’ve figured out just what club is best to hit off the tee at the long par-4 second, where a strip of desert wash cuts the fairway in half; after you’ve tried (and probably failed) to bomb the green on the par-4 5th; and after you’ve figured out that the only way to have a shot at the green on 17 is to challenge the waste down the right side off the tee. You’ll also better appreciate the panoramic views, beautifully landscaped tee boxes, flowering trees, and four-hour “Time Par” — the maximum amount of time managers Troon Golf expect a round to take. Golf isn’t the only reason you came to Vegas, after all — so a quality round that leaves you with more time and money on your hands is a round that can’t be beat.
PALM SPRINGS DESERT WILLOW GOLF RESORT Palm Desert, Calif. (760) 346-0015 desertwillow.com
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t Cascade Golfer, we’ve staked our reputation on finding local golfers the best values, to the best courses, that we can find. And as any golfer who has ever spent time vacationing in the desert knows, when it comes to maximizing your desert golf dollar, it’s all about the player’s cards. Just about every course offers some sort of frequent play or loyalty rewards benefit — discounted rounds, merchandise incentives, food-and-beverage bonuses, etc. And when it comes to player’s cards, none even come close to Desert Willow’s Platinum Club card. At $369 for non-residents, you might think, “doesn’t that seem like a lot?” But then you look at the fine print and realize that purchasing the card can save you more than 50 percent-off the $185 greens fee ($90 with card at early-bird times, $115 at peak times). Then you read further and learn that not only do you get those savings, but so does every player in your foursome. Do the math — play just one early-morning round at Desert WilDECEMBER 2016
A few years ago, we asked Desert Willow director of marketing Bruce Nation if this card was for real — after all, most courses would make you buy four separate cards to receive benefits like these for your foursome, much less one of the best golf resorts in the country. “Yeah, it’s for real,” Nation said. “It really is one of the best deals in the desert.” SILVERROCK RESORT La Quinta, Calif. (760) 777-8884 silverrock.org
i Desert Willow Golf Club • Palm Desert, Calif. -low with your buddies, and you’ll save $380 with the card. And not only that, you’ll also receive 10 percent-off in the restaurant, 25 percent-off in the pro shop, 50 percent-off at the driving range, one-hour-earlier twilight rates, discounts at other local businesses, plus the ability to book your rounds a full 21 days in advance — a key feature when planning a busy golf vacation. What’s ironic about the situation is that the courses themselves are actually more than worth the full price of admission, each ranked by national magazines among the top public courses in America. The Firecliff was the first of the resort’s two courses, completed in 1997, and remains one of the most unique golf experiences in the Coachella Valley, combining the natural shrubbery and waste areas with well-placed water and sand features. The Mountain View followed a year later and is a bit of a compromise between the desert-style Firecliff and the more commonplace, resort-style layouts, especially following an $11 million renovation to rework all of the greens, bunkers and lake edges. It’s shorter (6,913 from the tips) and more forgiving than its predecessor, giving resort guests the ability to choose between two unique golf experiences on a day-to-day basis.
n our parents’ and grandparents’ days, nobody would have ever dreamed of taking a destination golf road trip just to play a muni. These days, though, some of the top golf course designers in the world are lending their hand to municipal courses — from Tom Weiskopf’s TPC Scottsdale, to Tom Fazio’s Butterfield Trail in El Paso, to our very own RTJ II creation, Chambers Bay. Suddenly, munis are cool. In 2005, the city of La Quinta — already home to the world-famous La Quinta Resort & Spa and PGA WEST — decided to throw its hat in the ring and hired Arnold Palmer to craft a municipal course on prime city real estate, tucked hard against the same red-rock Santa Rosa mountains that have provided the backdrop for hundreds of hours of PGA TOUR footage from La Quinta Resort over the years. The resulting project, SilverRock Resort, has earned a reputation nationwide as not only one of Palm Springs’ most dramatic settings, but also one of its toughest tests. Part of the regular rotation of the PGA TOUR’s Bob Hope Classic, SilverRock can stretch all the way back to nearly 7,600 yards in an attempt to contain the Dustin Johnsons and Bubba Watsons of the world. If that’s you, enjoy! If not, then you’ll probably prefer the white tees at 6,000 yards or the blues at just over 6,600, or a combination of the two that roughly splits the difference. A few years ago, the city sought to tame the course’s rougher sections, removing several acres of long grasses and clearing desert scrub throughout its 50 acres of native areas to create more playable lies. Not only has the resultant clean-up led to better scores and faster rounds, it’s also left the golf course looking brand-new again, and drawn in many players who might previously have thought a PGA TOUR course too challenging. With the golf course on solid footing, the city is beginning construction in 2017 of a
DON’T GAMBLE ON YOUR NEXT GOLF TRIP!
Play a guaranteed winner Aliante Golf Club Located 25 minutes from the Las Vegas Strip, Aliante Golf Club is a memorable, Troon Managed, 18-hole championship course that was designed by Scottsdale-based Gary Panks Associates. Aliante is an exciting and challenging course that will challenge the expert to utilize every club in the bag while providing an enjoyable experience for the novice golfer. The presence of the meandering arroyo that comes into play on 14 holes causes the golfer to feel slightly elevated, providing interesting contours and unique playing lies and angles. The course is highlighted by two water features, generous landing areas, and strategic use of trees that are not commonly found in most desert courses, such as Pear and Purple Locust trees. The practice facility features an expansive driving range, putting green, chipping green and practice bunker. Aliante offers a variety of packages that include transportation, rentals and meals. Please visit aliantegolf.com for more information.
(702) 399-4888 38
3100 West Elkhorn, Las Vegas NV 89084
$420 million development project including a five-star luxury hotel, a four-star hotel, a resort village, spa, luxury homes, and more, which will transform SilverRock from a fantastic golf course to a high-end luxury resort. Play it at twilight to take advantage of rates that drop as low as $40, and you might even spot a mountain goat or two wandering down from those Santa Rosa peaks for a snack. Yep, that’s right — it’s a literal goat track. But it’s the finest one you’ll ever see. INDIAN SPRINGS GOLF CLUB Indio, Calif. (760) 200-8988 indianspringsgc.com
t’s appropriate that Indian Springs Golf Club straddles the line between swanky, resort-littered La Quinta, and scrappier, blue-collar Indio. Not only is half the course on one side of the city line and half on the other, Indian Springs itself walks the fine line between providing the quality you’d expect from one of the major resorts (like PGA WEST, just a few blocks up Jefferson Ave.) at prices more akin to a local favorite. Indian Springs isn’t a major resort — nor is it trying to be. Instead, it’s simply a good golf course that has become a favorite among locals and visitors alike for providing consistent quality, outstanding customer service and tremendous value. At 6,771 yards, and with greens consistently rated among the fastest and best in the Coachella Valley, it’s tough enough to test the single-digit handicappers, though its wide fairways and player-friendly intermediate tees give the mid-handicapper the chance to swing free without doing too much damage to the scorecard. Redesigned a decade ago at a cost of $4 million — and opening an all-new restaurant, the Big Rock Pub, this winter — it’s as fun as any course in the valley, and despite posting more than 35,000 rounds a year, has an average pace of play of just four hours that leaves you plenty of time for a second 18, or an afternoon dip in the hotel pool. So what do you pay for this privilege? Individual rounds at Indian Springs top out at just $89 during the peak winter months, dropping to $60 at twilight times — including cart, GPS, and a free lunch, with your choice from seven different menu items. In a region where even some average courses can get away with charging three-digit greens fees, it’s an incredible bargain. Indian Springs isn’t trying to win over your pocketbook — they’re trying to win your loyalty. Does it work? Well, there’s only one course we’ve made a point to include in every single one of the features we’ve written about Palm Springs golf, so it’s certainly working on us.
THE CLASSIC CLUB Palm Desert, Calif. (760) 601-3600 classicclubgolf.com
e know what you’re thinking — Spanaway isn’t exactly what you had in mind for a winter golf “getaway.” But we’re not talking about Mike Moore’s
SilverRock Resort • La Quinta, Calif. Classic Golf Club, where PGA TOUR star Ryan Moore honed his craft, we’re talking about Palm Desert’s Classic Club, where Moore’s fellow professionals plied their trade for years in the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic. One of a rare breed of non-profit golf courses, The Classic Club was actually built specifically for the Bob Hope, and continues to donate all of its proceeds to local charitable organizations. To maintain its charitable status, the Classic donates up to 5,000 rounds a year to charitable groups for as little as $35 a round, and maintains greens fees about 20-percent lower than others in the region, with a peak winter greens fee under $150, which includes a lunch voucher, yardage book, divot tool, ball marker, cart with GPS and unlimited bottled water. Given the format of the Bob Hope, in which professionals play alongside celebrities for four of the event’s five days, legend Arnold Palmer designed the course to be both a challenge for pros, yet playable for amateurs, a quality that makes it just as fun and challenging for today’s snowbirds as it was for Phil Mickelson, Samuel L. Jackson and the Bob Hope field in 2006. It’s also unique — for one, there isn’t a single palm tree anywhere on the property. Instead, the course is dotted with over 4,000 native pine, olive and pepper trees, giving it a different feel to any other course in the region. Even more remarkable is the fact that there is virtually no real estate on the property. Where most desert courses were built specifically as amenities to real estate and resort developments, The Classic sprawls across a vast acreage, giving you a feeling of isolation that’s hard to find in America’s winter golf Mecca. Fun holes, affordable rates and a unique golf experience — at The Classic, the one benefitting most from their charity is you.
WIN A PALM SPRINGS GOLF GETAWAY!
Indian Springs Golf Club • Indio, Calif.
here are CG Swag giveaways ... and then there’s the annual Palm Springs package. Sure, Maui’s nice, and Suncadia and Palouse Ridge are a blast, but ... it’s hard to top a week’s worth of golf in America’s winter golf haven. Wondering what we have on tap this year? How about this:
• Two nights lodging at La Quinta Resort & Spa • Twosome to La Quinta Resort & Spa and PGA WEST
• • • •
Twosome to Desert Willow Twosome to SilverRock Twosome to Classic Golf Club Twosome to Indian Springs
That’s 10 rounds of golf and two nights lodging — all for free! One of our readers WILL WIN THIS PACKAGE. So log on to CascadeGolfer.com and enter to win today! cascadegolfer.com
WIN A WEEK IN MAUI!
he gently rolling waves, the swish of the palm trees in the ocean breeze, the smell of pikake flowers in the air ... uh, what was it you were saying? Sorry, we got lost for a minute there. It’s just that when we start thinking about spending a week in Hawaii — and specifically on the southwest side of the island of Maui, it gets a little hard to focus. Want to know that feeling? Then log on to CascadeGolfer.com for your chance to win our most coveted island getaway of the year, including FOUR nights at Maui’s Royal Lahaina Resort, plus golf at either Royal Ka’anapali or Ka’anapali Kai, two of the island’s most famous tracks! So, what do you say? Stick out the winter in the Northwest, and wait for the sun to come back in February ... or head across the Pacific and keep that golf tan going strong? Seems like an easy choice to us — enter to win today at CascadeGolfer.com!
Royal Lahaina Resort • Lahaina, Maui
LA QUINTA RESORT & CLUB AND PGA WEST LaQuinta, Calif. (800) 598-3828 laquintaresort.com
t the time of its construction in 1926, the La Quinta Resort & Club was in the middle of the desert, 20 miles east of Palm Springs with little but flora and fauna between the resort and the valley’s working hub. That privacy made it the most exclusive of exclusive Hollywood getaways, inaccessible to all but those who could afford a good car and knowledgeable (and discreet) local driver who could navigate the dirt tracks and rutted country roads. Today, the resort is the pulsing heart of the community that bears its name — a community that is (not surprisingly, given its origins) dedicated almost entirely to the pursuit of a world-class experience. Much of that experience centers around golf, and much of that golf is located within the property lines of the La Quinta Resort itself, which boasts five of the world’s most famous resorts, including the PGA WEST Stadium, PGA WEST Jack Nicklaus Tournament Course and PGA WEST Greg Norman Course, plus La Quinta Resort Mountain Course and La Quinta Resort Dunes Course. The Stadium course, in particular, needs no introduction. (Remember Trevino’s ace on the island-green 17th at the 1987 Skins Game?) Its wealth of hazards — both of the sandy and wet variety — always seem to pop up in exactly the places you’re aiming for, making for one of the most enjoyable shotmaking challenges in the desert. The Sta-
TPC Stadium Course at PGA WEST, No. 17 La Quinta, Calif. dium Course, and the Jack Nicklaus Tournament Course, are also the current hosts of the CareerBuilder Humana Challenge, meaning you can follow in the footsteps of the top pros and celebrity amateurs in the days and weeks following the tournament’s conclusion on Jan. 22. Savings can be had by bundling your golf with a stay in one of the resort’s thousands of guest rooms, ranging from budget-friendly casitas to the swanky legacy villas, located in a private, gated community adjacent to the resort itself. The Desert Links package combines a night’s stay with unlimited golf on any of the La Quinta Resort or PGA WEST courses (there is a $50 surcharge for the Stadium Course), plus a $25 resort credit, for as little as $189. With 41 pools, 53 whirlpools, dozens of restaurants, premium shopping, a full-service spa, polo, tennis, bicycling, and horseback riding, the resort is really a city unto itself, one where every resident is either having the vacation of their lives — or dedicated to making sure that you have yours.
POST GAME Duke’s Junior Golf Scholarship Has Its Roots in Personal Story
he saying goes, “find a job doing something you love to do, and you’ll never work another day in your life.” It’s an adage John Moscrip — founder of the Duke’s Junior Golf Scholarship — has taken to heart. Of course, if you had told a 15-year-old Moscrip exactly what it was that he’d be doing at age 41 — an owner and Chief Operating Officer of Duke’s Chowder House — he’d likely have rolled his eyes and laughed you out of the room. Duke’s was dad’s labor of love, not John’s — sure, he’d spent hours in the Duke’s restaurants watching his father work, but the protege had zero interest in running the family business. “I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do back then, but I definitely wanted to find and create my own path,” he says. For most of John Moscrip’s first 25 years, that path looked to be professional golf. After first picking up the clubs at the age of seven — (“I’d go out with my dad and we’d get maybe halfway down the second hole, and I’d just say, ‘O.K., that’s enough, I’m done,’ and he’d just walk off with me. He was great, he never pressured me to do or be anything I didn’t want for myself.”) — Moscrip quickly developed into one of the state’s top junior players. By age 11, he started competing in local tournaments and competed well against his older junior peers at Overlake Golf & Country Club. By age 14, he was dominating local and district tournaments, and sweeping his high-school matches. A two-time conference and district champion at Bellevue High School, Moscrip once carded a 63 in the district finals his sophomore year during a wind and rainstorm, catching the eye of college coaches nationwide. Soon, he was soon traveling to — and excelling in — tournaments against top competition in Florida, Michigan and Texas. When that success continued at the University of Washington — where he earned four varsity letters, won one tournament and led the Huskies in scoring average in 1997 — absolutely no one was surprised. After graduating, Moscrip scraped together enough money with the help of some local investors to head out on the professional tours and try to make a career in golf. And while his game matched up reasonably well with the golfers he played against over two years on various mini Tours across the U.S., he quickly realized that they had something he didn’t. “There was one guy I remember, who would drive from tournament to tournament in South Dakota in his Winnebago,” he says. “He was 38, and he had his family with him. I looked at him and knew I couldn’t do that. I couldn’t stick with it that long, just grinding from one mini Tour event to another. I didn’t have that same burning desire.” Find something you love, and you’ll never work another day in your life. Moscrip had spent a quarter century chasing what he thought was his passion, only to realize that what he cared the most about had been right in front of him all along. After returning from the mini Tours, Moscrip spent a few years working for payroll company ADP before one day floating an idea to Duke for a spinoff restaurant called Duke’s Chowder Bar, that would be a “fast-casual” Duke’s experience in high-traffic
areas (an idea that, if it came today, would probably lead to a food truck). Duke loved the idea and put John in charge of this new concept — and, surprisingly, John found that the desire that hadn’t been there on a golf course in South Dakota was suddenly burning inside of him. Within a few years, Moscrip had risen through the ranks at Duke’s to become COO and, ultimately, a partner in the business. “I love the feeling I get when we knock it out of the park with a food experience,” he says. “Duke’s is an iconic restaurant, and people have come with their families for generations. But we’re still constantly working to innovate. “I know it’s maybe a bit cliche, but there really are a lot of lessons from golf that apply to my work every day,” he adds. “You have to take one thing at a time, learn from your mistakes, move on and get better for the next time. You need patience, hard work and perseverance. You’ll never have a perfect shift, which means you can always strive to do better. Every day is something new and different. It’s a fun challenge and I love collaborating on it with the people we have.” These days, Moscrip still finds time to play 30-35 rounds a year, mostly at TPC Snoqualmie Ridge, where he’s a member. Many of those rounds include his wife, Jamie, and his two children, Hannah (11) and Hudson (9). Watching their development, and their growing love for the game, is what inspired Moscrip to fund the Duke’s Junior Golf Scholarship, to help open doors for local young golfers aspiring to further their golf development. In 2016, the scholarship awarded $4,000 to four local golfers, with plans to grow the program even further in the coming year. Moscrip knows firsthand that the lessons these players learn along the way will help shape their future, regardless of how far their golf talent takes them. “Our goal with the scholarship — and I include Duke in that, too, because he’s been very much behind it — has been to help kids achieve their goals, both in golf and beyond,” he says. “It’s been absolutely incredible to see and hear the response we’ve gotten — I’ve easily had over 100 people reach out to me to say something about it. I’ve had the chance to call and speak with every one of our four winners this year, and they’re all amazing; I can’t wait to see what they’re going to do next in their lives. We’re looking forward to taking this to another level next year and hopefully for many years to come!” cascadegolfer.com
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