VOLUME 13 • ISSUE 4 • DECEMBER 2019 • COMPLIMENTARY
TITLEIST’S BIG IMPACT Western Washington’s Driest Winter Tracks
NORTHWEST GOLF NEWS & VIEWS • cascadegolfer.com
Holiday Gifts for Your Favorite Golfer Teeing Off with Seahawks Will Dissly
EAT GR Washington n Y LIDA HOEditio FT! GI OK BO PLAY
Hungry Like the Wolf
We’re feeding our inner beast by heading south this winter
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The WOLF No. 15 Las Vegas Paiute Resort
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Volume 13 • Issue 4 • DECEMBER 2019
Cascade Golfer is published and owned by Varsity Communications, Inc. This publication is mailed free to more than 90,000 registered Puetz Golf Preferred members. Additional copies are printed and distributed throughout the Puget Sound region.
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Departments 4 6
• Legion Memorial’s new look • Bellevue teen competing at Presidents Cup • Duke’s Junior Golf Scholarship • Make plans for the 2020 Seattle Golf Show • Stuff your stockings with NW Golfers Playbooks • Premier Golf sold to OB Sports • Muckleshoot Casino launches major expansion
14 IN THE BAG
• Hot new irons from Titleist, Callaway, Mizuno • Wondrous winter wedges • Bettinardi’s limited-edition putters • Gift ideas for your favorite golfer
18 TEEING OFF
• Seahawks’ Will Dissly channels big Diss energy
28 RISK VS REWARD
• Legion Memorial’s NEW No. 13
• Your picks for the area’s driest winter tracks
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From St. George, to Mesquite, to Vegas, to Palm Springs, we’ve hunted down all the best winter golf values this year.
36 ... AND PACIFIC PARADISES Prefer surf to sand? No worries. Headlined by a replanted and revitalized Kapalua Resort, Maui has you covered this winter.
Page 16 ON THE COVER If the 15th hole at Las Vegas Paiute Resort’s WOLF course reminds you of the 17th at TPC Sawgrass, it’s no accident — Sawgrass designer Pete Dye built all three 18-hole courses at The WOLF, one of Vegas’ top golf destinations. Story on page 30. Photo by Brian Oar.
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COPYRIGHT 2019 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.
Win our biggest CG Swag packages of the year! We gave away a ton of local golf in August’s issue — were you one of the lucky winners? Twosomes to Gamble Sands & Highlander Steve Walter • Federal Way Boeing Classic VIP Package Karen Butler • Bellevue Twosomes to Eaglemont & Whidbey G.C. Mike Kuempel • Monroe
If not, no worries — while our Northwest golf scene may be cooling down for winter, the action’s just heating up down south — that’s why we’re sending readers on two incredible trips this year, to Maui and Mesquite! • Seattle Golf Show Tickets & NW Golfers Playbook • Page 7 • Mesquite Stay-and-Play • Page 32 • Maui Stay-and-Play • Page 38 Enter to win today at CascadeGolfer.com!
Thanks to our readers for making CG real and relevant
hat a great year for golf here in the Pacific Northwest, and across the country. Tiger Woods won another green jacket and tied Sam Snead with his recent PGA TOUR win, the weather stayed warm and dry well into October, the Seattle Golf Show dodged an epic snowstorm to feature a record attendance, and the Cascade Golfer Cup and Match Play Championships gave Western Washington golfers a taste of the tournament life, in a fun and friendly setting. We tip our hat to the players for making those events as cool and unique as they are. This year, in my opinion, was also one of our best from an editorial perspective. Steve Kelley’s profile of University Place resident Greg Bodine, who caddies for Tony Finau, started the year off with a bang, while our summer road trip features helped golfers plan trips to B.C., Central Oregon and other sweet locales. The highlight for me, though, was the bulls-eye we offered up in summarizing the many stories written about the City of Seattle public golf courses. Working closely with our diligent editor, Brian Beaky, award-winning writer Tony Dear spent weeks drilling down through the literally hundreds of pages of documents and articles to get to the heart of the issue, while art director Rob Becker built infographics that made the data easy to visualize and understand. And, our “what if” notion of poten-
tially building a golf course on a portion of the acreage at Discovery Park became the most buzzed-about feature we’ve ever published, driving commentary on KCPQ, KING and KJR, and even inspiring Jay Blasi — one of the key architects of Chambers Bay — to walk the site and offer his thoughts. Stay tuned, as we are not quite ready to take our focus off of this one. Thanks to the ongoing support and vision of Duke’s Seafood, we awarded five more local teens with scholarships to support their golf development. John and Duke Moscrip and the entire Duke’s team are truly making a difference and their vision and passion is evident. It was also a great year for our readers, who show their flying colors nearly every day on our social media accounts, and shined once again in helping choose the state’s top-10 courses in our August issue. Our readers are this magazine, and we love you for that. Finally, I want to thank our partner, Puetz Golf, the most respected name in the local golf scene. Led by David Puetz and Mike Livingston, the team there are not just stalwarts in the golfing world, they are friends who care deeply about the readers and followers of Cascade Golfer. Here’s to 2020. We can’t wait to see what’s in store and are excited to kick the year off with you at the Seattle Golf Show in March. As always, TAKE IT EASY.
SHORT GAME Remodeled Legion Memorial Earning Rave Reviews
or years, Legion Memorial has earned a reputation as one of Western Washington’s driest courses in the offseason. The surrounding neighborhood, though? Not as much. In an attempt to fix an ongoing flooding issue in the part of northwest Everett that Legion calls home, the City of Everett chose in early 2018 to shutter and redesign three holes on Legion’s front nine, in the process creating three large stormwater retention ponds that will help hold water during the rainy season and provide relief for the homes and businesses nearby. That construction required Legion Memorial to adjust its routing for nearly 18 months — almost a year longer than scheduled, thanks to that same pesky weather — during which time it played to a par of 68, with reduced greens fees to match. On Sept. 9, though, Legion was finally able to emerge from its chrysalis in its finished form, as a beautiful butterfly with three sparkling new ponds, four brandnew holes, and a completely reimagined course routing. “It was a long wait, but it was worth it,” Port Gardner Ladies Golf Club member Carolyn Thomas told the Everett Herald’s Nick Patterson. “These holes are gorgeous, they’ve really added a lot to the course.” The holes in question are those on the southwest corner of the property — formerly, Legion’s third, fourth and fifth holes, which boasted one medium-sized pond adjacent to the green at the par-5 third. That 552-yard par-5 is now a 219-yard par-3 (blue tees) and a downhill, 341-yard par-4. The former par-3 fourth hole stayed put, but is now perched on the edge of a large retention pond that also abuts the former par-4 fifth hole, which now features water on the tee box and threatening the
Legion Memorial G.C • Hole No. 14
left side of the fairway on the approach. Since four new holes replaced three old holes, the former par-3 ninth has been eliminated, while the two nines have been reversed. Golfers will now start their rounds on the downhill par-4 that was formerly played as No. 10, and will finish on the dogleg, risk-reward par5 that was previously Legion’s eighth hole. The net result of those changes is a course that stretches between 4,439-6,603 yards, and plays to a par-71 with four par-3s and three par-5s. CG staff made our own visit to Legion this fall to check out the new routing at what truly is one of our favorite local munis, and found ourselves pleasantly surprised by the four new holes. Where we had expected to mourn the loss of one of our favorite holes in the par-5 third, we instead found ourselves delighted by each of the new offerings, and enjoyed playing a routing that
featured both stronger opening and closing holes than the previous layout. Apparently, we’re not alone. “At the end of the first two weeks we were open, I could count on one hand the number of people who thought it stayed the same or liked it better the way it was before,” general manager Rex Fullerton told the Herald. “Overwhelmingly, we’ve been getting comments about how aesthetically pleasing the course is, how much fun it is to play these holes, and the players who have been here for years are delighted.” The best news? If Everett can figure out how to fix a civic works problem and improve conditions for its golfing community in one fell swoop, maybe there’s hope for Seattle yet.
Bellevue Teen Chosen for Junior Presidents Cup
e already know that Fred Couples will be an assistant captain at the 2019 Presidents Cup, while Tony Finau (and his University Place-based caddies, Greg Bodine) will be donning the red, white and blue as well, hoping to repeat Ryan Moore’s Ryder Cup success of 2016. But, it’s quite possible that a Bellevue High School senior might be our only actual player teeing it up at Royal Melbourne. In September, 17-year-old Ian Siebers was chosen by captain and 1997 Open champion Justin Leonard to be part of the United States’ 12-man team at the Junior
Presidents Cup, which will take place Dec. 8-9, three days before the official Presidents Cup tees off on Dec. 12. The reigning Washington State and Pacific Northwest Junior Player of the Year, Siebers led Bellevue to the 3A state championship in 2019, and was a second-team Rolex Junior All-American. Siebers also participated in last year’s U.S. Amateur Championship, placing seventh in stroke play. Before you get your hopes up, though, Husky and Cougar fans, know this — Siebers is already committed to taking his talents to Duke after graduating this coming spring. In Melbourne, Siebers will join 11 other players from 10
states — each aged 19 and under, and not yet enrolled in college — to compete against top young players from around the world. This year will mark the second time the Junior Presidents Cup has been held, in partnership with the American Junior Golf Association and the PGA TOUR. Siebers and his U.S. teammates will be seeking to keep the Cup on American soil, with Team USA having earned a 14-10 victory in 2017. While the Junior Presidents Cup will not be televised, fans can follow along with nightly highlights on The Golf Channel, plus live scoring at www.presidentscup.com. cascadegolfer.com
Two Local Teens Split $1,000 Scholarship from Duke’s Seafood
hroughout the year, we receive dozens of nominations for the Duke’s Junior Golf Scholarship, including far more deserving recipients than we can possibly recognize. Sometimes, we just have to start spreading the wealth. This month, Cascade Golfer and Duke’s Seafood have identified two outstanding young golfers to share the $1,000 scholarship, awarded quarterly in each issue of CG. Ty Albrecht is a senior at Enumclaw High School who has been golfing since the age of four; at six years old, Ty joined his local First Tee chapter and never left, participating both as a golfer, coach and mentor to younger players. In addition to his involvement with First Tee, Ty also shares his love of the game as a volunteer with the Enumclaw Special Olympics Golf Team, and works weekends at his local church. Oh, and did we mention that he’s also pretty good? Ty placed 17th in the 4A State Golf Tournament in 2019, was 19th in the 2019 WJGA State Championships, and has also participated in numerous PGA Junior League and WJGA events. He was an Academic All-League selection in 2019 as well — maintaining a perfect 4.0 GPA throughout his entire junior and senior high school career — and was a first-team all-league golfer in 2017. “I am thankful and honored to receive the Duke’s Scholarship,” Albrecht says. “I want to be sure to thank everybody that has helped me to get to the point where I currently am, including my dad and mom, all of my high school coaches — including coach Ryan Picinich and Tyler Salsbury — my high school teachers, Brian Thornton at Meridian Valley, Evan Johnsen at The First Tee of Greater Seattle, and the rest of my family.” Joining Ty this month is Kenan Blake, a 15-year-old sophomore at South Kitsap High School in Port Orchard. Always an athlete, Kenan played baseball, basketball and
soccer for several years before joining The First Tee at age 11, in the process becoming the first member of his immediate family to pick up a golf club. In the years since, Kenan has participated in numerous PGA Junior League events and local tournaments. In 2019, Kenan was nominated to be part of the First Tee Washington team that battled First Tee Oregon in the Gearhart Cup, helping lead his fellow Evergreen Staters to victory. Kenan also excels in the classroom and was nominated by his teachers and peers to be a WEB — “Where Everybody Belongs” — Leader, based on his communication skills, leadership potential, responsibility and personality. As a WEB Leader, Kenan traveled throughout the South Kitsap School District to speak to sixth-grade students on what to expect in junior high, and share his experience. And, while you or I would likely consider all of that a full plate, Kenan also finds time to play the french horn, mellophone, trumpet and guitar, and joined the South Kitsap High School Band at the National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, D.C., this past spring. “This was the most impressive list of candidates we’ve ever had to choose from,” says Duke’s COO John Moscrip, who founded the scholarship in 2015 to help offset the rising costs young golfers face when pursuing their golfing dreams. “Both Ty and Kenan stood out for their life-long commitment to golf, their rigorous academic performance and their work to help grow the game in their local communities. We’re thrilled to be able to honor them both.” The Duke’s Junior Golf Scholarship is a $1,000 scholarship awarded quarterly to a young golfer (high school age or younger) with a proven love of golf, strong academics and a commitment to community service. To send in a nomination, email email@example.com — who knows, maybe your young golfer will be next! 2020 NORTHWEST
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e’re going to kick-start one reader’s season with two tickets IN SAVINGS to the 2020 Seattle Golf Show on March 7-8, where you can $39 test out the year’s hottest new clubs, play games to win cool prizes, See Page 9 enjoy free lessons, and even pocket a free round or two just for for details! walking in the door. Once you’re geared up and ready to hit the links, we’re also going to give you two Northwest Golfers Playbooks packed with nearly $5,000 in discounts to courses and clubs throughout the region — we’re talking 2-for-1s, 4-for-3s and heavily discounted rounds to tracks like Chambers Bay, Gold Mountain and more. That’s two golf show tickets (plus all the free golf and goodies you’ll get at the door) and two Playbooks packed with discounts to your favorite tracks — all in all, a value of more than $100! Log on to CascadeGolfer.com to enter to win today!
Join Cascade Golfer at the Seattle Golf Show March 7-8 • 2020
his year’s Seattle Golf Show — Mar. 7-8 — coincides perfectly with what should be the return of beautiful spring weather, drawing over 125 of our favorite courses, resorts and golf business, each offering first looks at exclusive new products, early-season discounts to the best tracks, summertime stay-and-play values and more. In addition, we’ll have our first chance to see and swing the clubs we’ll be writing about all of 2020, and take advantage of exclusive savings on late-model clubs from all the big names. In fact, manufacturers reps will be on-site in the Puetz Golf Testing and Fitting Zone, an indoor driving range where golfers can test-drive all the new clubs, at no additional cost. Shoot, in many cases, reps will even swap out shafts and heads, or fire up the Trackman to help dial in the perfect fit. We’ll also be giving away rounds of golf and more at our long drive, putting and chipping games, hosting interesting guests on the main stage (last year’s show featured Dave Pelz, Jeff Gove, Jan Stephenson and more), cracking beers in the 19th hole, giving free lessons to all attendees, and enjoying another incredible weekend celebrating our little corner of the golf universe. And, of course, we’ll have our Cascade Golfer booth rocking and rolling — pick up a Northwest Golfers Playbook or a 2020 Cascade Golfer Players Card, grab info about next year’s Cascade Golfer Cup or Match Play Championships, or just rap about your favorite stories, courses and more with CG writers, editors and staff. Whatever you do, don’t miss it. From Sonics legends like Slick Watts, to NFL stars like Jermaine Kearse, to music icons like Macklemore, you never know who you’ll run into at the Seattle Golf Show. This year, we want to run into you.
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SHORT GAME With Savings to Nearly 100 Courses, The NW Golfers Playbook Is The Year’s Can’t-Miss Holiday Golf Gift
t can be hard to shop for a golfer. Golf clubs are an obvious choice, but which ones? Unless you know the brand your golfer likes to play, the clubs he or she is looking to upgrade, and their precise specs with regard to club length, face angle, loft angle, grip size, etc., you’re throwing a lot of money at a gift that may just end up being returned. (If you insist on going the clubs route, we strongly recommend a Puetz Golf gift card instead.) The same is true for bags and apparel, which are so subjective that you can’t guarantee that the golfer you’re buying for will have the same tastes that you do. So, what is a savvy gift buyer to do? Might we suggest a Northwest Golfers Playbook? For just $39.99, you’ll be giving the golfer in your life the chance to pocket huge savings in the coming year at more than 100 golf courses throughout Washington and Oregon. Rather than be subject to your choices, the golfer can choose for themselves what courses they want to play, on schedules that work for them, and take home significant savings each time. And, best of all, each time they pull out their book to save at a golf course (or on lessons, or in local golf retailers), they’ll think of you and your generosity. It’s truly the gift that keeps on giving. Over the past three years, the Northwest Golfers Playbook has become one of the most popular discount books in the Northwest, with golfers eager to take advantage of more than $4,700 in savings to courses like Chambers Bay, Gamble Sands, Salish Cliffs, White Horse, The Home Course, Port Ludlow, Avalon, Eaglemont, Suncadia Resort, Palouse Ridge, Wine Valley, Apple Tree, Desert Canyon, Bear Mountain Ranch and more. In addition to that Murderer’s Row, our region’s favorite munis and family-owned tracks have also been well-represented, including Mount Si, Eagles Pride, High Cedars and all of the Premier Golf courses (Jackson Park, Jefferson Park, West Seattle, Bellevue, etc.). That exhaustive list doesn’t even account for half of the participating Washington courses (more than two-thirds of which are in Western Washington) or the 40-plus deals to your favorite Central Oregon and Portland-area tracks. Golfers can take advantage of 4-for-3 and 2-for-1 deals, plus stay-and-play packages, discounted rounds and lessons, free carts, club repairs, apparel savings and more. Nearly all the rounds are good weekdays and weekends after noon, with a full list of restrictions available to preview at NWGolfersPlaybook.com. Even sweeter, our readers can save $5 online by using the discount code SAVEBIGONGOLF. That means you’ll get the same $4,700 in total value, for just $34.99. It’s a slam-dunk choice for the golfer you’re shopping for this holiday season — especially if that golfer is you.
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Premier Golf — Operators of Local Municipal Courses — Acquired by OB Sports
hile the City of Seattle has been quiet since June as to the future of Seattle’s municipal golf courses (for an in-depth examination of the debate, see our August ‘19 story, The Battle In Seattle), there was some news this fall that will directly affect how those courses are managed. In September, OB Sports Golf Management — one of the nation’s largest golf management companies, and itself part of the even larger Troon Golf family — announced that it had acquired Seattle-based Premier Golf Centers, the group responsible for managing city-owned courses throughout the Puget Sound region, including Seattle, Bellevue, Lynnwood, Everett and others. The move isn’t a major surprise, since OB — which also operates Gamble Sands and Mill Creek Country Club — first came on board with Premier in 2018 to offer operational assistance and expertise. Currently, it is not anticipated that there will be any major changes to either the golf courses themselves or the Seattle-based management structure — a press release announcing the acquisition noted that all “executive-level and course-level Premier Golf associates
will continue as Premier Golf employees,” while golfers will “continue to experience the same quality services, card programs [and] course conditions...they enjoy today.” Since that initial working relationship was established in 2018, Premier has been working with OB Senior Vice President Ryan Whitney — whose strong Seattle roots include stints as general manager at Washington National, Sand Point Country Club and TPC Snoqualmie Ridge — to improve services while balancing the ledgers at Premier’s area courses, which include the four Seattle public courses into whose long-term financial stability the City conducted a well-publicized study earlier this year. That study, as detailed in our August issue, concluded that Seattle’s four public courses do adequately cover their own annual expenses, and encouraged the City to invest in them as resources moving forward. In summary, the acquisition is likely no big deal for golfers in the short term, but we’re keeping a close watch anyway on any news that involves our Seattle munis. Our golf courses are a vital part of our city — hopefully, OB will help give them the investment they deserve.
or golfers who like to have a little action on the game, winter can be a tough time of year. Rounds played are less frequent, and some golfers aren’t quite as confident slapping a few bucks down when they can’t predict what kind of lies they’ll find on the course, or when their muscles are too cold and stiff to make a pure swing. Sports betting is against the law in Washington state — shoot, we’re one of the few states in the country where you can’t even go online to lay $10 on the Seahawks if you’re feeling lucky. That’s why we prefer to get our action this time of year at the tables in the Muckleshoot Casino — mostly craps, blackjack and a little bit of poker, but we’ll throw a few down on the roulette wheel when we’re feeling lucky, or even just push a few buttons on those flashy gaming machines. And, coming soon, there’s about to be a whole lot more to enjoy. Scheduled to open by early 2020 are 10,000 addi-
tional square feet of gaming space (including expansion of the casino’s smoke-free gaming areas, already the largest in the state), a new Center Bar, a 20,000 squarefoot events and conference center that can seat as many as 2,000 attendees (and be subdivided up to five ways for smaller events), and more. Three new fast-casual dining experiences — The Deli, Manchu WOK and Baja Fresh Express — have already opened as well. And, that’s just the beginning. One year later, in 2021, the Muckleshoot Casino will unveil one of its biggest expansions yet — an 18-story, 400-room hotel tower that will offer sweeping views of Tahoma (the native name for Mount Rainier), and the Cascade and Olympic Mountain ranges. Guests will also enjoy an indoor, climate-controlled pool; a full-service day spa; and one of the region’s most dramatic upscale restaurants, located on the hotel roof. When both projects — the expansion and hotel construction — are complete, the Muckleshoot Casino will
Images courtesy Muckleshoot Casino
Muckleshoot Casino To Become “Bigger and Better” in 2020-21
boast 157,000 square feet of continuous gaming, 29,000 total square feet of event space, a 400-room hotel, more than a dozen dining choices and much, much more. Not bad for a casino that, 24 years ago, started off in a 13,000 square-foot tent. “The Muckleshoot Indian Tribe has a history of innovation and leadership in Indian gaming,” says Conrad Granito, the Muckleshoot Casino General Manager. “This logical evolution of their well-respected casino brand acknowledges consumer desires for a one-stop entertainment destination where fun, relaxation and dining beyond anything the market currently offers is just steps away.” All that’s left now is to add a round of golf. Washington National, Auburn Golf Course and Druids Glen are all just a short drive away, and make great pairings with an afternoon or evening at the casino — pairings we’ve made plenty of times before. If you, like us, find yourself looking to scratch that gaming itch, head down to the Muckleshoot Casino this winter. It’s already, after all, “the Biggest and Best in the Northwest” — and it’s only getting bigger and better. DECEMBER 2019
BAG PRODUCT REVIEWS and equipment news you can use
New Year, New You
or some golfers, winter is the time of year when they give their clubs one final cleaning, pack them away in a corner of the garage, cozy up in front of the fire and wait for the fairways to thaw out in the spring. If you’re that kind of golfer, then the odds are that you are not currently reading this magazine. For the rest of us, winter may realistically offer a step back from the summertime highs in terms of total trips to the golf course, but it also is the season when we can evaluate what went right and what went wrong for our game over the previous year, and what adjustments we need to make to hit the first tee running in the year to come. For some, that may mean signing up for a series of lessons to work on our short game, improve our ball-striking, or add distance to our drives. The biggest reasons golfers decline lessons during the season are time and money — but, with fewer rounds and greens fees to worry about, winter is the perfect time to stay indoors and develop your swing. Others may decide that an equipment change is in the works. And, lucky for you, there’s no better time of year to be buying new clubs. Golfers looking for the next big thing can check out early releases of 2020 product, while 2019 and 2018 models often see significant price reductions, to make way for the new gear. Plus, whatever you choose, you’ll have three solid months to dial it in before the temperature warms back up in March. Don’t spend the first few months of the season breaking off the winter rust, with the same swing and same clubs that weren’t working for you in 2019. Use these months to improve your game, and you’ll be knocking ‘em stiff this spring.
T300 $749.99 (6 pc steel) T100 & T200 $1,224.99 (7 pc steel)
Epic Forged Irons 2
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itleist changed to a “T” system for its drivers in 2019 and is doing the same for its irons in 2020, releasing T-100, T-200 and T-300 irons that are targeted at players of every skill level. The game’s best have already begun picking up the T-100, a reimagining of the popular AP2 iron that includes a forged cavity-back head with tungsten weights for added stability, subtle changes to the sole and topline, and a slightly thinner face than its predecessor. It’s designed for trajectory and control over pure distance, and has already been put in play by Jordan Spieth (who consulted on the design), Justin Thomas and others; Thomas used his T-100s to take home $1.5 million in Korea in October. For players who don’t have PGA TOUR swing speeds, the T-200 and T-300 both include Titleist’s new “Max Impact Technology,” combining a thin face and polymer core (designed in conjunction with the Pro-V1 team) to create a spring-like effect that rockets the ball off the face. The T-300s are a little larger, with a higher launch and greater forgiveness than the T-200s; they’ll be preferred by players with slower swing speeds (and are also available in women’s lengths and shaft options), while the T-200s are a great fit for golfers ready to move past their game-improvement set, but who still want a little extra help from their irons.
$299.99 per club $2399.99 (set of 8)
n past years, Callaway has teamed up with Boeing, Lamborghini and other world-class brands with a focus on strong and lightweight design to create market-leading golf club materials. So, what did it come up with for the long-awaited Epic Forged? Steel. Well, steel and aluminum. Plenty of materials were tested in creation of the new line, but Callaway’s designers ultimately found that changes to the method of manufacturing had a greater impact on performance than exotic new substances. For starters, the Epic Forged’s face features an imperceptible variance in thickness across the surface, optimizing trajectory and spin for each specific club in the set. In addition, Callaway has added a tungsten core wrapped in urethane microspheres (OK, there’s a little fancy tech-talk) that is suspended in variable positions behind the face of each club, further maximizing launch angles and ball speeds. There are also new Variable Flight Technology (VFT) patterns to increase spin and control in the long irons, plus premium shafts and grips. In fact, you might be asking yourself, “Is this too much club for me?” It’s not — the Epic Forged is designed specifically to fill the gap between the Tour-favored Apex irons and the game-improvement Big Bertha line, merging the latest manufacturing techniques and game-improvement materials to serve a broad range of golfers.
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MP-20 Irons PUETZ GOLF PRICE
starting at $162.50 per club
izuno’s irons have long had a reputation for being the prettiest clubs on the market — spot a Mizuno sticking out of someone’s bag at the club, and you know that’s a player who appreciates the finer things in life. In this year’s new MP-20 irons, though — including three new models, the MB, MMC and HMB — it’s what you can’t see that truly sets the clubs apart. Between the brushed satin outer layer and chrome skeleton of the club is a thin layer of copper that creates an incredibly buttery feel reminiscent of Mizuno’s classic TN-87 and MP29 irons, beloved by Nick Faldo and Tiger Woods alike. The “muscleback” MB offers the smallest profile of the three, and will provide excellent distance and workability for players who consistently strike the ball in the center of the face. For the rest of us, the MMC and HMB offer varying levels of assistance — the HMB is a “hybrid muscleback” that offers the look of a traditional muscleback at address (albeit a slightly larger one), but with a wider sole to promote better turf interaction and lower the center of gravity, for added forgiveness. Splitting the difference is the “multi-material construction” MMC, which includes a titanium muscle plate and tungsten sole weight that work together to give the stability of a game-improvement iron and the feel of a muscleback.
JAWS MD5 Wedge PUETZ GOLF PRICE
ver wondered how professional golfers get their ball to take that one little hop and then stop right next to the hole? Well, they’re better than us, for one. They also have better equipment. Callaway can’t do anything about your skills, but their new JAWS Mack Daddy 5 wedge will get you about as close as you can come on the gear side of things. The groove edges of the JAWS MD5 have been milled at a 37-degree angle — significantly sharper than the 5-degree angle on last year’s MD4 — resulting in much higher spin rates. Combined with the micro-grooves milled into the face that provide 84 unique points of contact with the ball, the new MD5s are worthy of Callaway’s decision to brush off the old “JAWS” moniker — these babies truly have bite. They are particularly effective from 80 yards and in, providing an additional 500 rpm on a 40-yard pitch shot than their predecessor, meaning you’ll be able to hit that perfect little hop-stop without having to spend hours on the practice green. The JAWS MD5 comes in lofts ranging from 46 to 56 degrees, and offer different sold grinds to accommodate different swing types and surfaces. Not sure which one’s right for you? Let a Puetz golf fitter help you get dialed in.
cascadegolfer.com FREE SHIPPING on orders of $99 and more • exceptions apply
Milled Grind 2 Wedge 5 PUETZ GOLF PRICE
nother reason PGA TOUR players get such incredible spin? Many use custom-built wedges with raw faces — that is, faces that haven’t been plated. Manufacturers plate those faces for multiple reasons — increased durability, look and feel being chief among them — but a raw metal is significantly “grippier” than a plated one. If you can pull a new wedge from the Tour van before every round, who cares about durability anyway? TaylorMade’s updated version of its Milled Grind wedge, however, is a bet that you’ll love the performance a raw face provides just as much as you love a new car, even if you know it starts depreciating the second you drive it off the lot. That rougher face, combined with deeper and narrower ZTP grooves, results in significantly increased spin over the 2017 Milled Grind wedge, especially from difficult lies. In fact, TaylorMade based the groove design on the wedges they make for Tiger Woods, resulting in 200 rpm of additional spin over the prior generation. It’s also slightly smaller than other wedges on the market — combined with its tendency to rust (more slowly the better you take of it), it’s going to be candy in the hands of low-handicappers everywhere.
DECEMBER 2019 2019 DECEMBER
IN THE BAG
Vokey Wedge Works PUETZ GOLF PRICE
f you’ve never really understood the difference in the various “grinds” that manufacturers put on their wedges, you’re not alone. Like bounce (another term that is often spoken but rarely explained), different grinds affect the way a wedge performs under different conditions. Some are better from tight lies, others better in the sand; some are better for players who take big divots, others better for players with shallow swing paths, etc. The only way to know for sure which one is right for you is to either to do a lot of research, or get a custom fitting. And, trust us, one of those two things is much more fun than the other. This summer, legendary wedge designer Bob Vokey released a V-grind version of Titleist’s WedgeWorks wedge, which will be particularly useful for players seeking increased bounce on square-face shots, especially those with a steeper angle of attack. Laid open, it becomes even more versatile in different types of lies, especially in what Titleist calls “normal to soft” conditions — which seems to describe our courses about nine months out of the year.
DECEMBER DECEMBER2019 2019
Hi-Toe Big Foot Wedge T-20 Wedge 8 7
PUETZ GOLF PRICE
epending on how bad the lie is, sometimes we find ourselves wishing we could put our wedge back and reach for a shovel instead. TaylorMade’s new Hi-Toe Big Foot wedge isn’t quite a shovel, but at 32mm wide, its sole is more than 20 percent wider than that on a traditional wedge. Combined with a leading edge that is blunter than most, it’s designed to power you through that first layer of rough or sand without digging into the solid ground below, reducing twisting of the clubface and allowing you to more easily follow through and get the ball up and out of trouble. The bounce is greatest in the toe, which is a boon for golfers with an out-toin swing path (a cohort which includes nearly all of us afflicted with a slice), for whom toe hits are more likely, and includes three “CG pockets” in the cavity that promote higher spin and better shot control. Hi-Toe wedges aren’t just for high-handicappers, either. Rory McIlroy carries one in his bag (albeit not the Big Foot version shown here); maybe you should, too.
PUETZ GOLF PRICE
hile just about every golfer is aware that their ball performs differently when it’s wet than when it’s dry, very few manufacturers have ever bothered to try creating clubs to accommodate for those conditions — probably because they’re all based in Arizona or Southern California, and the thought of playing in rain seems foreign. Mizuno, though, is based in Japan, with a climate not unlike our own — so, perhaps it’s no surprise that it’s Mizuno which has unveiled a wedge specifically for damp conditions, the all-new T-20. The club’s “Hydroflow Micro Grooves” act like treads on a rain tire, funneling water away from the face to increase contact between the ball and the grooves, for improved spin rates and distance control in all conditions. They look sweet, too, available in chrome and blue finishes, the latter of which will no doubt be popular in our hometown. Even if you restrict your play to the “dry” season — you know, July 5-Aug. 31 — you’re still going to end up with a damp lie now and then. At least with a T-20, you won’t be able to tell the difference.
Order online at puetzgolf.com • Call Toll Free (866) cascadegolfer.com 362-2441
an’t figure out the right gift for the golfer in your life? Here’s a couple of items you may not have considered that could make their holidays merry:
THERAGUN PUETZ GOLF PRICE
LIV $299.99 G3 $399.99 G3 PRO $599.99
f you’re a massage guru or physical trainer, you may be reading this right now and nodding in recognition. If you’re not, then you probably have no idea what that little device above is meant to do, or how it applies to golf. Well, let me tell you — that little device is going to pound you into submission. And, you’ll never hit a golf ball better. Invented by a chiropractor to treat his own pain after a motorcycle accident, the TheraGun uses percussive therapy — like, really percussive — to relieve muscle tension and tightness, enhance recovery after a workout, ease pain and energize your body. Everyone knows a loose muscle performs better than a tight one — so, it only makes sense that giving your muscles a thorough loosening before your round will lead to longer shots, and greater endurance. Kyrie Irving uses one. So do NFL players, boxers, Olympians. With multiple versions at different price points, there’s a TheraGun out there for you. Treat yourself.
Limited-Edition Putters 9 PUETZ GOLF PRICE
Pricing varies, see store or website for details
e see a lot of putters in our line of work, but there are still few that can stop us in our tracks like a Bettinardi putter. From exquisite sole designs, to that stunning honeycomb pattern on the face, to the bold use of color, to the seemingly countless variations on head shape, shaft angle and alignment, Bettinardi is the Lamborghini of putters — when you see one, you turn and look, even if you’re not traditionally a “gearhead.” New for 2019 is the Queen B 6, the latest addition to the company’s popular Queen B line. Designed specifically for players looking for a crossover between a blade and mallet putter, the Queen B 6 is slightly wider than the popular Queen B 5, with a soft feel and a slightly offset shaft for better balance and alignment at address. In addition to the standard styles on the market, Puetz is currently offering limited-edition versions of the Queen B with varying features, including a FIT face insert, varying alignment aides and shaft angles. Check them out at Puetz before bringing one home — because with a club this nice, the test drive is part of the fun.
cascadegolfer.com FREE SHIPPING on orders of $99 and more • exceptions apply
Vivid Marvel Golf Balls PUETZ GOLF PRICE
ave a golfer who loves Iron Man just as much as he or she loves their irons? Boy, do we have the stocking stuffer for you. Volvik has expanded their popular line of brightly colored matte golf balls to include all of your favorite Marvel superheroes — there’s Iron Man, yes, but also Captain America, Spiderman and The Incredible Hulk, each headlining their own box of themed balls and accessories. Each box comes with four unique balls (all one character), plus a magnetic hat clip and ball marker. And, they’re not just a sexy package — Volvik’s balls are among the best performing in the amateur market, with a soft sound and feel, and a design specifically geared to players with swing speeds in the 70-90 mph range. Frankly, they look so cool in the box that we’d recommend buying at least two — one to play, and one to keep on the shelf in your home or work office.
DECEMBER 2019 2019 DECEMBER
From Montana, to Montlake, to SODO, Seahawks Tight End Will Dissly Is Happy to Be Home AN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW BY BRIAN BEAKY CG EDITOR
Courtesy Seattle Seahawks
n two years (27 games) as a tight end at Washington, Will Dissly caught 25 passes, for 336 yards and three touchdowns. On an offense loaded with big names like Jake Browning, Myles Gaskin, John Ross and Dante Pettis, it wasn’t hard for Dissly to slide underneath the radar of most Seattle-area football fans. Except, that is, for the two who mattered most to Dissly’s future. Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider loved what they saw in Dissly and drafted him in the fourth round of the 2018
NFL Draft, then plugged him in as a starter on Day One of his NFL career. In that first game, Dissly caught three passes for 105 yards and a touchdown. He’d score another the following week, before seeing his season cut short by a knee injury in Week 4. Undeterred, he started off his 2019 season just as hot, scoring four times in the first four weeks, only to once again find himself sidelined, this time by a torn Achilles. That’s a little over eight career NFL games, with 31 catches, 418 yards and six scores. Extend those numbers
out over a full season, and you’re talking about one of the NFL’s top-10, maybe even top-5 most productive tight ends. Not bad for a guy who was playing backup defensive end just a few years ago. In his spare time, you’ll often find Dissly hitting the links at Fairwood or West Seattle Golf Course. We caught up with him earlier this season to try and channel some of that Big Diss Energy. (NOTE: I asked Will Dissly if he was “with me on this” with regard to that catchphrase. I don’t think he was. But, I’m not giving up.)
When did you start golfing? “When I was about 10 or 11 years old. I was really terrible. I totally swore off the game and said I was never going to play again. But, then a couple of years ago, I ended up getting my own clubs, went to GolfTEC and got fitted and got some lessons, and that’s helped.”
like the average golfer. As football players, we’re all quick-twitch muscle, so there’s not a lot of rhythm there. One club I love is my 3-iron. Because I’m not great off the tee box, I take the 3-iron out a lot and lay up short of the green, then try and knock it on.”
“They’re really similar, actually. Coach Carroll is probably a little more emotional; he wears his heart on his sleeve. Both really care about us as players, though, which is rare in this day and age where everything is about money and winning.”
Is there a particular shot you struggle with? “I’m good for a duff now and then, where I hit behind it and it doesn’t go very far. Yeah, that’s a classic Will Dissly move.”
Who of your former UW teammates do you keep up with the most? “Probably Dante Pettis. He and I lived together for a while in college, we’re good friends, and obviously he’s in the NFC West, so I get to see him more than some of the other guys. I’ll go down to California to visit him, and we hang out in the offseason. So, yeah, he’s probably the main guy.”
What changed your mind? “Really, I just wanted to be with my brothers on the golf course. Also, being from the Northwest, I love being outside, and just hanging out with good friends, and playing good music.” Do you like having tunes on while you play? “Oh, yeah, I’m the all-time DJ. I’ll rock some oldies, some CCR, or feel-good tunes. Usually, I start off with the oldies, but if I start falling apart — which usually happens right around the time I get to the back nine — then I’ll change it up and go with some Van Halen, AC/DC, Guns n’ Roses, Blink 182, punk rock, or maybe some country. It all depends on how I’m playing.” Where do you like to play? “Well, we have a hookup out at Fairwood, so I’m out there a lot, but I also love playing at Snoqualmie Ridge. I definitely also want to give a shout-out to West Seattle. Every time my college buddies are out here and we want to go get in a good round, we’re there.” How’s your game? “I’m horrible off the box, pretty good with my irons and definitely need to work on my putting. So, about 18
Is there a memorable round that stands out to you? “One that stands out was when I was playing in a scramble last year in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, as part of a bachelor party. We had a downhill lie in the rough to a pin that was only like five yards away. The rough was too deep to putt it, but it was a really short shot, so I tried this little five-foot flop shot that I had never really done before. Well, it went in, and of course nobody expected that, so everybody just blew up and started screaming and celebrating. That was pretty cool.” What did it mean for you to get to stay in the Northwest when the Seahawks drafted you? “It was a real big relief. The Pacific Northwest is in my DNA, so to get to stay home meant a lot. Husky fans, and 12s, are the best fans in the world, so to get to be around friendly folks like that all the time, and have those fans behind my back ... yeah, I was definitely jacked.” How would you compare Chris Petersen and Pete Carroll?
What’s it like to have so many Huskies in the NFL? “Well, it seems like just about everybody is in the NFC West, so it’s a lot of fun. I remember in one of my first games last year we were playing Arizona and I was on kickoff return and [fellow rookie] Zeke Turner was on kickoff for the Cardinals. We were talking about how we couldn’t wait for the matchup, and on the very first kick, we just ran into each other with this huge collision. I’m pretty sure it was a touchback, too, so there wasn’t really even a need for it, but we just got up and were screaming and smiling and laughing and so excited. That was the most fun experience I think I’ve ever had.” I’m trying to get something to catch on, and I need your social media power to help: BIG DISS ENERGY. Are you with me on this? “Uh ... I’ll see what I can do.” cascadegolfer.com
RISK vs. REWARD Legion Memorial Golf Course
Hole No. 13 Par 4 302 yards (White tees)
By Simon Dubiel
Legion did a great job renovating their course and, in the process, put together a great risk/reward hole. At 300 yards and slightly downhill, you can certainly let loose and go for it off the tee, or lay up with an iron and try for a GIR the old-fashioned way. A pond extends into play about 260 yards off the tee box and will try to grab any shots down the right side of the fairway. Meanwhile, two bunkers wait to catch layup shots or anything missed left of the green, both creating awkward distances to the pin.
Sandwiched between two par-3s, this is your chance to put three-straight threes on your scorecard. If you favor the left side of the fairway, you can reach the green and give yourself some margin for error. The rough left of the fairway is playable, while still giving you an angle to pitch it close to the pin. The occasional eagle, and plenty of birdies, are there for the taking for the aggressive player.
A new risk-reward hole for Northwest golfers comes online, and you think weâ€™re going to lay up? Uh, not today, folks. Time to push the chips in and make a bet worth winning. Blast one down the left side of the fairway and watch it kick down the slope onto the front of the green. Walk off the tee with your putter in hand while your playing partner grabs their rangefinder and wedge. Two-putt birds are nice chips to add to your stack. Giddyup!
Thereâ€™s trouble everywhere, with bunkers left and water on the right. The fairway slopes towards the hazard, so even a well-struck drive that appears to be splitting the fairway or just slightly right of center will put the water in play, while anything long to that side will find a watery grave. Even if you are fortunate enough to reach the dance floor, the green is very deep and can leave you with a challenging two-putt. Mid-iron, wedge is certainly a safe play.
eaving as egas Sand Hollow G.C., No. 12 • Hurricane, Utah
This year, we’re looking outside the heart of the city to find the best golf — and best values — that the Nevada and Utah deserts have to offer
he best things about a Vegas golf vacation are also the worst things about a Vegas golf vacation. Yes, there’s an abundance of incredible desert golf courses, many with themed layouts that echo the pageantry of The Strip. But, that sheer volume of courses attracts tens of thousands of golfers each winter, meaning you often find yourself paying premium rates to play five-hour rounds. And, sure, it’s fun to play golf all day and then hit the casinos after dark to keep the action rolling well into the wee hours of the morning. But, unless Lady Luck smiles upon you, that 24-7, never-stop-moving quality of a Vegas vacation can make it signifi-
Photo by Brian Oar
By Brian Beaky CG Editor
cantly more expensive than a similar trip to, say, Palm Springs, Scottsdale or even Hawaii. Not only are you spending money at the tables, but you’re also eating more, drinking more (um, much more) Ubering all around The Strip ... it adds up quickly. There’s a way, though, to get the best of a golf trip to the Nevada desert — the amazing courses, the incredible scenery, the 80-degree sun on your skin — without the crowds, the crazy rates, or the all-night action that drains your wallet and saps your energy for the next day’s round. You have to get out of town. As we’ve aged, we’ve come to realize that the best way to do a Vegas golf vacation is to keep
the “Vegas” and “golf” parts separate, spending a week or so playing the incredible courses in the nearby vicinity, before finishing our trip with 2-3 nights on The Strip, blowing through all the cash we won off of our buddies. From St. George, to Mesquite, to other courses within a short drive of The Strip, there are dozens of fantastic tracks that offer even better scenery, smaller crowds and rates as much as 50-percent lower than some of those premium Vegas designs. In our twenties, being on the go for 24 hours was awesome; in our forties, it’s simply exhausting. We’re not just older, though, we’re wiser — so, this is how we’re doing Vegas this year. cascadegolfer.com
Green Spring G.C., No. 16 • Washington, Utah Palmer Course at Oasis G.C., No. 6 • Mesquite, Nev.
Photo by Joe Newman
Greater Zion Golf St. George, Utah GreaterZion.com/activities/golf
e’ll start on the outer perimeter of the Vegas golf radar, about two hours northeast along I-15 in St. George, Utah. You’ve no doubt heard stories of St. George — how the luscious, green fairways run all the way to the edges of deep, red-rock canyons; how the views into the Red Cliffs National Conservation Area stretch for miles in every direction; and, most notably, how still and quiet everything is. How you can stand over your ball, about to play across a yawning chasm to a tiny tuft of green clinging desperately to a cliff on the other side, and hear nothing but the wind across the sand, the cry of a distant hawk, and the beating of your own excited heart. Well, in the words of Han Solo in The Force Awakens, “It’s true. All of it.” Less than an hour from Zion National Park, two hours from Bryce Canyon and barely 70 miles (as the crow flies) from the Grand Canyon, the topography of St. George is carved from the same powerful forces that sculpted those iconic, bucket-list landscapes, with wind-swept desert punctuated by stunning bluffs and seemingly impossible red-rock towers, each displaying millenia of different-colored rock and sediment layers. The T-Rex of this apocalyptic landscape is Sand Hollow, created by the Northwest’s own John Fought (Washington National, Trophy Lake) in 2008. Located in Hurricane, just a few miles up the road from St. George, Sand Hollow may have one of the most dramatic five-hole stretches in all of golf — yes, all of golf — on its back nine, including two fantastic par-3s, a reachable par-4, and two additional par-4s, all played across or alongside stunning red-rock cliffs with deep drops to the canyon below. The same is true at Matt Dye-designed The Ledges,
Keith Foster’s Coral Canyon, Gene Bates’ debut solo design at Green Spring (probably the region’s toughest test), the City of Hurricane-owned Sky Mountain, the City of St. George’s Sunbrook (twice named Utah’s No. 1 course by Golf Digest) and many others. You can spend a week in St. George, never play the same course twice, and never be disappointed. “I think some people see how low a lot of the rates are and just assume that the courses are not going to be of the same quality as those that traditionally charge more,” says Doug Boyer, of the Greater Zion Convention and Tourism Office. “But, while it’s a discounted rate, it’s definitely not a discounted experience.” The courses and area resorts have come together to form the Greater Zion Golf group, which makes planning a trip easy. Stay-and-play packages are available with multiple area hotels and resorts — most of which are just 10-15 minutes from the courses — and consultants can help customize a package that works the best for your specific group and budget. Wherever you choose to lay your head, you’ll be eager to wake up again each morning, because St. George is one of few places in the golfing world where reality is every bit as exciting as your dreams.
Golf Mesquite Mesquite, Nev. GolfMesquiteNevada.com (855) 767-9661
hen I used to play EA Sports’ Tiger Woods PGA TOUR Golf, my favorite courses were the fantasy ones that game designers created from scratch, an endless series of epic carries, stunning elevation changes, wild bunkering and incredible background scenery. I knew courses like that couldn’t exist in real life, which was made them so fun to play. Or, at least, I thought I knew that, until I stumbled
onto the Golf Mesquite Nevada website in 2008 and saw that someone had brought my childhood golf fantasies to life. Greens encased by stunning, red-rock bluffs. Fivehundred-yard fairways routed along the edge of cliffs that dropped off seemingly to infinity. Courses carved into alien landscapes made of stone and sand, with color contrasts only an artist (or a video game designer) could conceive. A little over an hour northeast of Vegas, and just over halfway between Vegas and St. George, Mesquite is one of those paradises you dream about, flush with eye-popping courses, but without the crowds and greens fees that many of the Southwest’s top wintertime destinations command. Like St. George, Mesquite is at the center of an outdoor recreational paradise, a short drive from multiple state and national parks, and less than 25 minutes from Lake Mead. The two regions even share some courses in common, with packages to Mesquite also including rounds at Coral Canyon in St. George and Sand Hollow in Hurricane, giving you the chance to taste the best of both regions. Should you simply want to hunker down, though, Mesquite has plenty of its own incredible tracks, including Arnold Palmer’s Oasis Golf Club (which includes both the Palmer course and the stunning Canyons course), Gary Panks’ Conestoga Golf Club, Jack Nicklaus’ Coyote Springs and the Kelby Hughes/Cresent Hardy-designed Falcon Ridge. One of the best ways to explore Mesquite is with the Mesquite Golf Pass, which, for $150, grants you discounted rounds to six courses in Mesquite and St. George, plus a free round to either Coral Canyon or Coyote Willows in the winter (or any of the six courses in the summer), a free hat and more. Assuming you use the free round, just 2-3 additional rounds will pay for the card, making it a no-brainer for anyone planning to spend more than a night or two in town. DECEMBER 2019
Las Vegas Paiute Resort • Las Vegas
Las Vegas Paiute Resort • Las Vegas
Photos by Brian Oar
And, if you are the kind who wants to “game after the game,” and hit the casino tables in the evenings, then making Mesquite the home base for your red-rocks adventure will be your best bet. In addition to numerous stay-and-play partnerships with area hotels, Mesquite is also home to the Eureka Casino Resort, with award-winning bars, restaurants (be sure to check out Gregory’s Mesquite Grill), nightlife and enough tables to keep you busy well into the evening. Visit GolfMesquiteNevada.com to check out stay-and-play packages rates, the Mesquite Golf Pass and more. Just don’t oversleep and miss your tee time — trips like this one only come around once in a while, and you won’t want to miss a minute of the magic.
Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort Las Vegas, Nev. lvpaiutegolf.com (702) 658-1400
ometimes you want to get out of town ... just not all the way out. For golfers looking to escape the hustle and bustle of The Strip, visit Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort. For starters, it’s the only 54-hole golf facility in Vegas (about 25 minutes northwest of The Strip). What’s more,
each of those 54 holes were designed by legendary architect Pete Dye — the only Dye originals in the entire state. Additionally, it’s one of just a few Vegas courses that has absolutely zero homes or buildings on any of its 54 holes (besides the clubhouse, of course), while its cooler climate (the product of a slightly higher elevation) and superb conditioning (a benefit of its location on Tribal land, allowing the course to be maintained to a different standard than most Vegas tracks) have earned Las Vegas Paiute a reputation as one of the few Vegas courses that remain in peak condition no matter when you plan your trip. “It’s an undisturbed oasis,” says resort marketing director Ayeesha McKeany. “It’s really unlike anything else in Vegas.” The sexiest of Las Vegas Paiute’s three courses is The WOLF, which celebrated its grand opening in 2001 by hosting Shell’s Wonderful World of Golf, a head-to-head, high-stakes match between Annika Sorenstam and Karrie Webb. In the two decades since, The WOLF has become one of Nevada’s most buzzed-about courses, featured regularly in top-5 and top-10 lists of the state’s public tracks, and among the top Tribal courses in America. At 7,604 yards from the tips, the WOLF is the longest golf course in the state — you can certainly go all the way back if you want, but the 5,900-yard white tees and 6,400yard yellow tees provide a more reasonable challenge for most golfers. Each of the three courses at Las Vegas Paiute
are distinct in their own way; the WOLF distinguishes itself with wide fairways that ripple and roll, and greens large enough to pull a sand wedge to get from one side to the other. One of the biggest is at the par-three 15th, where Dye recaptured the magic of his famed island-green 17th at TPC Sawgrass’ Stadium Course, adding a little length off the tee but doubling the size of the putting surface. The other two courses, Snow Mountain and Sun Mountain, opened in 1995 and 1996, respectively, and offer alternative playing styles. Snow Mountain is a parkland-style course, with low trees, water and standard-width fairways. Sun Mountain, meanwhile, is the linksiest of the group, with big, open fairways and plentiful bunkers, many faced with Dye’s signature railroad ties. Players typically score lowest on Sun Mountain and highest on the WOLF, with Snow Mountain offering a sweet spot in the middle. There’s no lodging at the resort itself, so most golfers plan a day trip to Las Vegas Paiute from their home base in Vegas, playing 36 holes before heading back into town. To accommodate those players, Las Vegas Paiute offers a Golfapalooza package that, for as little as $149, includes 36 holes of golf at discounted rates, plus lunch and other goodies. The isolation makes Las Vegas Paiute feel like it’s not quite Vegas, without being quite as far out as Mesquite and St. George. If you just have to stay in the city, this is where you can go to get away.
YOUR Win A Stay-And-Play To Mesquite!
f you’re anything like us, then your eyes probably popped nearly out of your skull when you first laid your eyes on the stunning scenery at Mesquite’s seven incredible courses. Here’s a secret for you, though ... as amazing as they look in print, they’re one thousand times as jaw-dropping when you see them in person. Sound like something you might be interested in? We thought so. We’ve teamed up with Golf Mesquite Nevada to put together a stay-and-play package including two nights lodging and two rounds of golf for two ... and, rather than keep this sweet deal for ourselves, we’re going to give it to one lucky reader who logs on to CascadeGolfer.com and fills out the enter-to-win form. Make sure your name is in the hat, because the only things better than pictures from Mesquite are pictures from Mesquite with you in them.
Conestoga G.C. • Mesquite, Nev. Photo by Aidan Bradley
Royal Links Golf Club Las Vegas, Nev. RoyalLinksGolfClub.com (702) 765-0484
K, you’ve spent your week in red-rock Heaven, stopped in at Las Vegas Paiute, and you’re ready to blow 48-72 hours back in the city. But ... all that incredible golf has you itching to play just one more round. The reason you chose Vegas, instead of Palm Springs or Scottsdale, is that you don’t just want to play great golf courses. You want a spectacle. You want to ride up the Eiffel Tower, throw dice in an ancient pyramid, ride a roller coaster around the Empire State Building and grab drinks next to the Trevi Fountain — all in the same evening. So, when you play golf, it makes sense that you might be looking for a little sizzle, a little razzle-dazzle, a little bit of that Vegas magic to transport you from a mob-built town in the middle of the desert, to some of the greatest destinations in the world. And, in golf, that means taking a trip to Scotland. Well, Scotland, and Ireland, and frankly the entirety of the British Isles — which is exactly where you find yourself when you step out of the car at Royal Links Golf Club. Yet another Dye International design, Royal Links recreates 11 different holes from the Open Championship rotation, giving you the opportunity to play all of your overseas favorites, without ever getting more than
Royal Links G.C., No. 9 • Las Vegas
20 minutes from your Vegas hotel room. Have you dreamed of playing the famed Road Hole at St. Andrews? It’s here. Maybe you’ve always wanted to drop a ball into Hell Bunker? Well, smack it on in there and test your mettle. Or, maybe you’ve fantasized about dropping a wedge onto the postage stamp green at Royal Troon, or teeing it up at Turnberry, Prestwick, Carnoustie or Muirfield. Royal Links features holes from every one, plus plenty of amenities on the side that complete the immersive experience. There’s the replica of Swilcan Bridge, which takes golfers from the clubhouse to the tee. There’s the forecaddie service, with professional caddies versed in the history of the holes and courses they represent. And, there’s the iconic, castle-style clubhouse, home not only to one of America’s top-rated golf shops, but to Stymie’s Pub, an authentic, English-style joint where the Guinness flows freely and the fish-and-chips and bangersand-mash are always hot and ready to go.
hether heading east to enjoy the untouched paradises of Mesquite and St. George, or staying closer to “home” to play Las Vegas Paiute and Royal Links — you’ll need to remember three things. First, your name — because, let’s be honest, depending on how your Vegas vacation goes, that’s not always a gimme. Second, take advantage of early-morning and twilight rates that will both save you a few bucks, and keep you out of the worst of the heat. Finally, remember that a golf trip isn’t about the birdies you make, the money you spend, or even the courses you play. It’s about the people you’re with, and those moments when you stop, look around and marvel at the opportunity you’ve had to get away from home, soak up some incredible scenery, and reset. Only then should you step up, smack that little white ball, and watch it fly off into a desert sunset.
THE SOUL OF SCOTLAND, THE ADVENTURE OF LAS VEGAS
Legends have walked these same hallowed holes. Create your own Claret Jug moment and relive history at Royal Links Golf Club, an unrivaled union of fabled holes - like the “Postage Stamp” at Royal Troon and the “Road Hole” at St. Andrews - from the Open Championship’s eleven world-famous courses. This once-in-a-lifetime and, for many, life-changing golf experience can become a reality without a trip across the pond: It only requires a passion for the game and a quick, five-minute jaunt from the famed Las Vegas Strip.
5995 E. Vegas Valley Dr. | Las Vegas, NV 89142 | 702-765-0484 | www.royallinksgolfclub.com
Is Our Kind of Town
Classic Club, No. 6 • Palm Desert, Calif. Photo by Chris Miller
egas has the nightlife, Mesquite and St. George have the solitude and stunning natural scenery, but there’s no desert golf destination that packs in as many incredible courses per capita as Palm Springs. Home to nearly 125 courses, the Coachella Valley — which includes Palm Springs, La Quinta, Indian Wells and various other towns and cities that are distinct largely in name only — is like a Whitman’s Sampler of incredible golf ... just open the box, dive in and enjoy the sweet rewards.
That sheer abundance of choice, though, can create problems for golfers who don’t have time to play all 125 tracks, or even 10. Unless you’re one of those lucky snowbirds who make an annual trek to the desert, you won’t want to waste precious vacation time and money playing courses that simply weren’t worth your investment. You want to squeeze every ounce of quality and value you can out of your dream Palm Springs getaway. If that’s the case, then here’s where to play.
Desert Willow Golf Resort Palm Desert, Calif.
SilverRock Resort La Quinta, Calif.
The Classic Club Palm Desert, Calif.
(760) 346-0015 desertwillow.com
(760) 777-8884 silverrock.org
(760) 601-3600 classicclubgolf.com
One of our first stops in Palm Springs is always Desert Willow, home to 36 Michael Hurdzan and Dana Fry-designed holes each ranked by national magazines among the top public courses in America, plus the single-best Players Card value you’ll ever find. The Firecliff — named for the supper club owned by Palm Desert residents Leonard Firestone (yes, of the Firestone tires Firestones) and Clifford Henderson — 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 natural shrubbery and waste areas with well-placed water and sand features. Firestone called in a favor when the course opened, inviting his old friend President Gerald Ford to appear in its inaugural tournament. 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 yards 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. What truly sets Desert Willow apart, though, is its Platinum Club card, which for $399 grants up to 50-percent off on greens fees for you and your entire foursome, plus other goodies. Split the card four ways and it will pay for itself after just one round; play both courses, and you’re in the black.
In our parents’ days, nobody would have ever dreamed of taking a destination golf 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. Such is also the case at the City of La Quinta’s SilverRock Resort, which — like Chambers Bay — has proven good enough to host the PGA TOUR’s best, but has also undergone regular maintenance to ensure that the course remains fun and playable for those of us who don’t hit it quite like Dustin Johnson. Tucked hard against the same Santa Rosa mountains that form the dramatic backdrop of Golf Channel shots from nearby La Quinta Resort and Club & PGA WEST, the Arnold Palmer-designed course is not only one of Palm Springs’ prettiest, but — thanks to its world-renowned neighbor — also one of its best-kept secrets. That won’t last long, though — SilverRock recently broke ground on a $420 million development project that will include 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 highend resort. In other words, play it now, and be able to say you knew SilverRock before it was cool. And, paying as little as $40 on a weekday at twilight, you’ll feel pretty cool yourself, too.
One of a rare breed of non-profit golf courses, Palm Desert’s Classic Club was built specifically for the PGA TOUR Bob Hope Chrysler Classic, 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 that 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. It’s also unique, in that 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 an immediately 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 haven. Fun holes, affordable rates and a unique golfing experience — at The Classic, the one benefitting most from their charity is you.
SilverRock Resort, No. 10 • La Quinta, Calif.
Firecliff cascadegolfer.com Course at Desert Willow • Palm Desert, Calif.
MaUI Ka’anapali Kai • Lahaina
Want that same warm sun of Vegas, but prefer surf to sand? We’ve got you covered.
Plantation Course No. 5 • Kapalua
Photo by Joe West
et’s be honest — the desert isn’t for everyone. And, it’s a heck of a lot easier to convince the non-golfers in your family to spend their winter vacation in Maui than Mesquite. Maui’s Ka’anapali Golf Resort (kaanapaligolfcourses.com, 866-454-4653) has proven to be one of Hawaii’s most beloved destinations, both for its two award-winning courses, its proximity to Maui’s top hotels and beaches and its unique programs that make fitting a round (or two, or three) around your other vacation plans a breeze. The long-time 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 oceanfront and hillside holes that showcase all that is beautiful about the West Maui coast. The shorter Ka’anapali Kai is more forgiving, with generous fairways and subtle greens surrounded by brilliant native flowers, coconut trees and lava rock formations. Both show up on just about every list of Maui’s top-10 tracks, for their quality alone. Add to that their location just steps from the beachfront Mecca of Lahaina, with its trendy shops, restaurants and the island’s premier snorkeling beach, Black Rock, and it’s evident why golfers often choose to call the courses at Ka’anapali home during their island stay. Combine your stay with lodging at Ka’anapali’s premier hotels to receive discounted or even free golf. Take advantage of multi-round packages that provide more than 50-percent savings on greens fees for golfers planning to tee it up more than once. Or, check out the “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. The best part of a stay at Ka’anapali is its central location between two of the island’s other top golfing destinations — Kapalua, 20 minutes north, and Wailea, 40 minutes south. The undisputed crown jewel of Maui’s golf scene, the Plantation Course at Kapalua Resort (golfatkapalua.com, 808-669-8044) reopened in November following a nine-month, multi-million dollar enhancement project aimed at refining and revitalizing the course regularly ranked No. 1 among Maui’s many public offerings. Led by original course architects Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw, the project saw all 107 acres of Kapalua’s fairways, rough and tee boxes and all 18 greens re-grassed, along with numerous changes to the course’s bunkers, tee boxes and clubhouse. One thing that wasn’t changed was the design and routing of the course itself, which has earned a reputation as the “bucket list” track for Maui golf visitors who marvel at the Plantation Course each year while watching the PGA TOUR’s Sentry Tournament of Champions, held in January. “The newly refined Plantation Course looks and plays amazing,” said Alex Nakajima, general manager of Kapalua Golf & Tennis. “We’re excited to welcome locals, Maui visitors and the PGA TOUR’s best.” The Plantation Course refinement comes on the heels of 2018’s rerouting of the resort’s Bay Course in order to improve pace of play and create a memorable and challenging final stretch of holes. While it may not be as iconic as the Plantation’s risk-reward, par-5 18th, the Bay Course now finishes on a par-5 as well, following Maui’s only over-
Wailea Emerald Course, No. 18 • Wailea Photo by Scott Campbell
By Brian Beaky CG Editor
the-ocean par-3 at No. 17. Unlimited golf packages start at less than $167 a day, with further discounts for guests staying at the resort. Heading southeast from Ka’anapali will take you to Wailea Resort, whose 54-hole Wailea Golf Club (waileagolf.com, 888-328-MAUI) — the only 54-hole resort on the island — is not only one of Hawaii’s best, but also one of its top values. Routed across the sloping foothills of Maui’s mighty Mt. Haleakala, Wailea boasts some of the island’s best views, with fairways as much as 300 feet above sea level offering panoramic ocean vistas. It’s not at all uncommon — especially in the peak season of January through March — to spot humpback whales spouting off the Wailea coast, while the incredible Maui sunsets make for must-see viewing at any time of year. The Gold Course, formerly home of the Champions Skins Game, features low lava-rock walls built centuries ago by early Hawaiians, while the Emerald and Old Blue Courses are scenic delights, with fragrant blossoms, challenging greens and jaw-dropping views. The resort was recently featured on The Golf Channel’s Golf Advisor Round Trip program, and was named to Golfweek’s list of the “Best Courses You Can Play” in 2019. Wailea’s most popular golf deal, the Seahorse Swing, is available year-round, and includes three days of unlimited golf on the Gold and/or Emerald courses, plus a host of extra goodies. Terrific twilight and family-friendly rates (for example, kids play free with a paying adult after 3 p.m. each day) simply add to what is already a great deal. Whether it’s to hit the beach after a round at Ka’anapali Kai, walk in the footsteps of the PGA TOUR’s best at the all-new Kapalua, or soak in the views and values at Wailea, Maui awaits. Just promise you’ll take us with you when you go. cascadegolfer.com
Western Washington’s Driest Winter Tracks
Best drainage by far is The Home Course. — John Mooney
By Brian Beaky CG Editor
s Northwest golfers, we have reasonable expectations for our courses in the winter. No course is going to be entirely dry. Most courses are going to have a swampy patch here or there. Marshals and beverage carts are ... largely nonexistent. And, sure, the greens are all going to run a little bit slower. But, give us some sandy soil, keep the ponds out of the bunkers, rake the pine needles off the greens, and have a hot beverage ready at the turn, and we’re a happy bunch. At least, as happy as we can be with four layers of clothes, socks that are soaked to the skin and towels wrapped around our grips, praying that our Pro-V1 didn’t plug in the middle of the fairway. If we could simply look below the surface and find which courses were built on sand (White Horse, for example), we’d know exactly where to play. But, since that’s not possible, there are some other rough guidelines we can follow. As a general rule, the more trees a course has, the wetter it will be — those trees drop pine needles, leaves and other detritus that help trap water underneath, and
“I’ll throw out Avalon Golf Links. I wont say you wont have a plugged ball occasionally, but the course conditions have improved so much during the winter the last 5 years.” — Jared Johnson “The Classic is a great winter course. Smooth and unseasonably fast greens!” — Shane Meador
shield the turf from the sun and wind that can help dry it out. Think of courses such as Chambers Bay, The Home Course, the Links at Hawks Prairie, Loomis Trail and North Bellingham, all of which have incredible offseason reputations, and are known for their more open, linsky layouts. Likewise, a course with elevation changes can be good, provided that the rain has been accounted for in the design and is channeled appropriately — this is where tracks like Gold Mountain excel. When we turned to Facebook to ask our readers for their best and worst winter golf stories, we heard some doozies, from using snowballs as golf tees, to bouts with pneumonia and more. Ultimately, though, we wanted to know — where are your favorite places to play in the winter? What courses take the best care of you during golf’s offseason? We’ve made a list of some of our favorites here, and included some reader comments as well. If you want to play a quality round in Western Washington this winter without having to scrape an inch of mud off of your shoes, or fish a ball out of a waterlogged bunker, these are your best bets:
“You may get a plugged ball once in a while, but Legion Memorial has always played well in winter and the new layout is super.” — Dave Wold
“Meadow Park Golf Course is very playable in the winter, especially when there haven’t been weeks of heavy rain.” — Dave Hall
The Links at Avalon • Burlington Capitol City Golf Course • Olympia Cedars at Dungeness • Sequim Chambers Bay • University Place Classic Golf Club • Spanaway Gold Mountain Golf Club • Bremerton The Home Course • DuPont Lake Spanaway Golf Course • Spanaway Legion Memorial Golf Course • Everett The Links at Hawks Prairie • Lacey Loomis Trail G.C. • Blaine Maplewood Golf Course • Renton Mount Si Golf Course • North Bend North Bellingham G.C. • Bellingham Oakbrook Golf Course • Lakewood Raspberry Ridge G.C. • Lynden Whidbey Golf Club • Oak Harbor White Horse Golf Club • Kingston “About 10 years ago, [Avalon] was almost unplayable in the winter. Now, it’s one of the driest around, and they do an awesome job of blowing the leaves.” — Brian Johnson
“White Horse is the best winter course on the Peninsula.” — Dave Cox
“For the price with cart, Gleneagle in Arlington.” — Darren Jones
“Mount Si plays good in the winter, with reasonable rates.” — Peter Herrera
Win A Maui Golf Vacation!
early 100,000 Western Washington golfers are going to read about Maui in this issue. But only one — and a friend — are going to have the chance to enjoy it on our dime. Will that be you? Give yourself a shot by entering to win, and you could be teeing it up at Royal Ka’anapali and Ka’anapali Kai, and enjoying a stay at the nearby Royal Lahaina Resort. Unless, that is, you’d rather just trudge out to your local muni, wrap towels around your grips and slog through another Washington winter round. No? We didn’t think so. Instead, visit CascadeGolfer.com and enter to win today!
Photo by Rob Perry / robperry.com
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