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VOLUME 11 • ISSUE 4 • DECEMBER 2017 • COMPLIMENTARY

2018’S MUST-HAVE CLUBS KICKIN’ IT WITH SEAHAWKS BLAIR WALSH LOOMIS TRAIL UP FOR SALE SEMIAHMOO GOES PRIVATE NORTHWEST GOLF NEWS & VIEWS • cascadegolfer.com

@cascadegolfer

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CASCADE A LOOK INSIDE

GOLFER

Volume 11 •  Issue 4 •  DECEMBER 2017

CASCADE

GOLFER cascadegolfer.com

Cascade Golfer is published and owned by Varsity Communications, Inc. This publication is mailed free to more than 95,000 registered Puetz Golf Preferred members. Additional copies are printed and distributed throughout the Puget Sound region.

Departments 4 6

VARSITY COMMUNICATIONS, INC. 4114 198th Street SW, Suite 5 Lynnwood, WA 98036 P: (425) 412-7070 F: (425) 412-7082 varsitycommunications.com

FOR EDITORIAL SUBMISSIONS AND INQUIRIES: Brian Beaky • (425) 412-7070 ext. 103 editor@cascadegolfer.com

ADVERTISING & MARKETING STAFF VICE PRESIDENT/DIRECTOR OF SALES Kirk Tourtillotte SALES & MARKETING Simon Dubiel, Ian Civey, John Tipping FOR ADVERTISING INQUIRIES, CONTACT: Simon Dubiel • (425) 412-7070 ext. 100 simon@cascadegolfer.com

ACCOUNTING STAFF

DIRECTOR OF FINANCE Bobbi Kramer ACCOUNTS PAYABLE & RECEIVABLE Pam Titland

SHORT GAME

• Loomis Trail up for sale • Duke’s Junior Golf Scholarship • Save Big on Golf With NW Golfers Playbook • The Steady Growth of Indoor Golf

12 PUETZ IN THE BAG

EDITORIAL STAFF

P R E S I D E NT / P U B LI S H E R Dick Stephens E D I TO R Brian Beaky ART DIRECTION Robert Becker GR APHIC DESIGNERS Robert Becker, Katie Erickson

PUBLISHER’S PITCH

• Titleist surprises with AP3 • New irons from all the big names • Short game treats from Mizuno, Cleveland • Odyssey's seeing red • Holiday gift ideas

16 TEEING OFF • Seahawks' Blair Walsh goes long

17 RISK VS REWARD • Legion Memorial G.C. | No. 8

36 SAVE SOME GREEN • Northern lights

38 POSTGAME

Features

26

Endless Summer We're chasing the sun this winter to our favorite desert destinations. BY TONY DEAR

32 Maui Magic Playing our way across the hills and beaches of The Valley Isle. BY BRIAN BEAKY ON THE COVER John Fought's Sand Hollow is one of St. George, Utah's finest treats. Story on page 31. Photo by Joe Newman

• Makin' a list, and checkin' it twice

PUETZ GOLF SAVINGS

• Pages 18-25

THIS PAGE There's no better way to spend the winter than a stay-andplay at Maui's Kaanapali Golf Courses. Story on page 32.

SAVE THE DATE

PRINTING

Consolidated Press • Seattle, WA COPYRIGHT 2017 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.

MARCH 3-4 2018 seattlegolfshow.com

All photos are courtesy of the course or individual unless otherwise noted.

PRODUCER AND OWNER OF THE PROUD CHARTER MEMBER

cascadegolfer.com cascadegolfer.com

DECEMBER 2017 DECEMBER

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PUBLISHER’S PITCH

DICK STEPHENS

A Time to Say Thanks As We Make The Turn

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nother year has passed. And, I once again find myself thinking about all of the things I'm thankful for. I'm thankful for 50-plus consecutive days of sun this summer, and a record number of 70- and 80-degree days. Yeah, I know I should probably be concerned about what this means for the planet, but man, it's great for my game. I'm thankful for Sergio's redemption story at Augusta, Spieth's 3-iron from the Tour vans at Royal Birkdale (we'll be seeing that shot in highlight reels for the rest of our lives), and the "Hello, world," emergence of dominant young guns Brooks Koepka and Justin Thomas. I'm thankful for David Puetz, Mike Livingston, Dave Sanders and the Puetz Golf family. They've been incredible partners in this endeavor, and their commitment to golf in Seattle for the last 75 years has been second-to-none. We celebrated 10 years together with our 40th issue this summer, and there isn't anyone I'm prouder to stand next to. I'm thankful for former Seattle Golf Show owners John Tipping and Owen Hoskinson, who put their faith and trust in us when they sold us the rights to the golf show — along with the Seattle Bike Show and Travel-Adventure-Gear Expo — earlier this summer. This show has been their baby for the last 10 years, and they've done a wonderful job with it. It means a lot that they trust us to usher it into its next decade.

I can't imagine what it's going to be like to walk into the CenturyLink Field Event Center, Mar. 3-4, look around and think, We did this. I hope you'll all join us to celebrate. I'm thankful for all of the exciting things we have on tap in 2018, including our Cascade Golfer Cup and CG Match Play Championships, and the 2018 edition of the Northwest Golfers Playbook, our golf discount book (learn more on page 8). We're also launching a brand-new event, Jan. 1214 at the Snoqualmie Casino. Called the Northwest Indoor Golf Championship, it's a two-player, alternate-shot tournament conducted on five indoor golf simulators. Each team plays a preliminary round, with the top teams advancing to a final round for the chance to win over $10,000 in prizes. It's going to be a blast, and a great way to get your tourney fix this winter. Visit NWIndoorGolf.com to learn more. Lastly, I'm deeply, incredibly grateful to every single one of you who read these words and find enjoyment in the things we have to say. It's humbling to think that the things we write can inspire you to play another round, pick up some new sticks, take a golf vacation, or even just go out in the backyard and knock a few balls around with your kids. More than anything, you're why we do this, and you're what makes it so special. So, a very Happy Holidays to you and yours, and, as always, TAKE IT EASY.

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SHORT GAME Loomis Trail Up For Sale, Semiahmoo to Go All-Private

Loomis Trail Golf Club • Blaine

I

n August, Cascade Golfer readers ranked Blaine's Semiahmoo Golf and Country Club and Loomis Trail Golf Club as the state's No. 1 and No. 2 public golf courses in the northern region (basically everything north of Lynnwood/Redmond), just as they did in 2013 (in 2015, Semiahmoo was first and Loomis Trail fourth). When it comes time to vote again in 2019, though, at least one — and maybe both — of those courses will be off the list. The ownership and membership group of Loomis Trail has begun seeking a buyer for the Graham Cooke design, says Katie Nessel of Columbia Hospitality, which has been managing both golf courses and the Semiahmoo Resort & Spa since acquiring Coastal Hotels in May. According to Nessel, the sale comes at the direct request of the club's ownership and membership group, which motioned and approved in September to put Loomis on the market. "The sale was a joint decision made between the own-

ership group and membership group, and Columbia Hospitality made recommendations throughout the process," Nessel says. In addition to the courses at Semiahmoo, Columbia Hospitality owns and/or manages numerous other Puget Sound golf courses, including The Club at Snoqualmie Ridge, Gold Mountain, McCormick Woods, Oakbrook, The Classic and North Shore, plus well-known hotels and conference centers like the Salish Lodge, Bell Harbor International Conference Center, and Seattle's Smith Tower. Since 2001, Loomis Trail and Semiahmoo have alternated days as public or private, with at least one of the two courses open to the public 365 days out of the year. Once the sale is complete, though, Nessel says that Semiahmoo will no longer offer its alternating public days — instead, the course will be open only to members, Semiahmoo Resort guests and those playing in approved tournaments. It will be, for all intents and purposes, private. The future of Loomis Trail, meanwhile, will be up to the buyer — while it seems most likely that they will

operate it as a public course (the alternative being to try and build up a brand-new membership from scratch), there's no guarantee that will be the case. A buyer could potentially decide to do something else with the property entirely — though, again, that would likely be a more challenging path, economically. As of press time, no buyer had been publicly announced, and Nessel notes that there will be no changes to the public-private policies at either course until the sale is complete. "During the sale process, ownership is committed to both Loomis Trail and Semiahmoo, and current operations will remain in place for all golfers and guests to enjoy," she says. In other words — play them while you still can. We'll of course update this story in the magazine and online, at CascadeGolfer.com, as news progresses, but the moral is: if you love these courses as much as we do, make sure to play them soon. It might be your last chance for a while.

Christmas Comes Early With Our Biggest Giveaways of the Year! In August, we gave away some sweet CG Swag, including an eight-round package to Trophy Lake and other top courses. Congratulations to the winners! Eight Rounds to Top Local Courses Sue Staley • Federal Way

6

Didn't win? Don't sweat it — we've put together some killer prizes for this issue, including trips to Maui, Palm Springs and more! Someone reading this magazine right now WILL win one of these prizes, so visit the Enter to Win page at CascadeGolfer.com today for your chance to win!

Boeing Classic VIP Passes Dave Cox • Suquamish

• Two Hours at Clubhouse Golf Center • Page 11

Two Hours at Clubhouse Golf Center Noble Taylor • Mill Creek

• Palm Springs Getaway • Page 38

DECEMBER 2017

La Quinta Resort & Club • La Quinta, Calif.

• Maui Stay-and-Play • Page 34

cascadegolfer.com


E Is For Elephants — And for Ella Warburg, Winner of This Month's Duke's Junior Golf Scholarship

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on't wait for others to make a difference. You go do it yourself, and trust that others will follow." Those are the words that greet visitors to the blog site "eis4elephants," an internationally recognized portal for news and information dedicated to the conservation of elephant populations worldwide. Barack Obama has noted the blog, as have Hillary Clinton, Pope Benedict, and numerous other global leaders and public figures who have sent feedback or letters of encouragement to the blog's founder — local high school student Ella Warburg. A senior at Mercer Island High School, Warburg started the blog in 2012 to "ensure that elephants will still be around for future generations of 16-year-olds," she wrote. Since then, she has made hundreds of posts, and attracted the attention of some of the world's most influential individuals. The quote at the top of this article? It's not from Martin Luther King, Jr., or Susan B. Anthony — it's from Ella herself. "Once Ella decides to do something, she is focused and dedicated to making that happen," said Corey Waggoner, who has worked with Ella as an assistant golf coach at MIHS. It shows. Not only is Ella on the forefront of the global elephant conservation effort, she also maintains a 3.75 grade-point average (including AP and Honors courses) at MIHS, participates in the Women in STEM (Science, Technology, Math and Engineering) Club, works as an assistant coach for The First Tee of Seattle at Jefferson Park Golf Course, and is a self-taught piano player and vocalist who has published her own recordings. She's also, of course, a heck of an athlete. Just three years into her golf career, she consistently scores in the 70s, has helped lead Mercer Island to two state championships, and has made the state tournament as an individual all three years — including her freshman year, when she was just learning the game. She's also won numerous tournaments herself, has served as captain of both the cross-country and golf teams at MIHS, and was voted the golf team's "hardest worker" in each of the last two years. And, she does all of this despite managing a rare form of epilepsy that manifests itself when exposed to strong, direct sunlight — a condition that presents challenges for one attempting to play an outdoor, summer sport. "It has been a process of trial and error to figure out how to manage this condition on the golf course," Waggoner says. "Fortunately, she has made great strides on this front, and I think it has added a great deal to her personal strength and admirable character." For all of these reasons, choosing Ella as the December recipient of the Duke's Chowder House Junior Golf Scholarship — a $1,000 check to be put towards Ella's golf career or education — was easy, even in one of the most loaded fields we've seen in recent months. “Ella is, without question, one of the most deserving recipients we’ve ever had,” says John Moscrip, COO of Duke’s Chowder House. “What a remarkable young woman. It’s clear that she brings an insatiable drive and passion to all of her interests, be they golf, academics, or trying to change the world, one protected elephant at a time. She spends so much of her time working to help others; hopefully, she

cascadegolfer.com

can take this scholarship and use it to help pursue her own interests and dreams." Up next for Ella is to finish out her senior year at Mercer Island — including one last golf season — before heading to Wellesley College in Massachusetts next fall to play golf and pursue a liberal arts education. And, of course, to continue raising awareness for her true passion, the conservation of elephants worldwide. “Golfing in the Pacific Northwest has taught me so much about how to be tenacious and gritty, both on the golf course and in my preparation," Ella says. "I am lucky to be part of a community of strong female athletes and those who support us.” Do you know of a young individual deserving of recognition from Duke's Chowder House? Nominations for the Duke's Junior Golf Scholarship are accepted year-round, with winners selected four times annually, and announced in each issue of Cascade Golfer. Nominees need only be of high-school age or younger, with a strong academic record and a proven commitment to golf, exemplified by participation in teams, leagues, tournaments or other organized programs. If you think you know of someone who might be a good fit, e-mail editor@cascadegolfer.com!

DECEMBER 2017

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2018

SHORT GAME

GOL GREA

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So, do the math. There are roughly 100 deals, with many valued at over $40 (and some valued at over $50). Use just one of those deals, and the book has paid for itself. Split the cost of a book with a buddy to take full advantage of those 2-for-1 deals, and you'll be saving even sooner. It's a no-brainer, right? That was certainly our goal when creating it — to pack in as many deals as we could from local courses, then price it at a point where saying no

DECEMBER 2017

NORTHWEST

GOLFERS PLAYBOOK

GREAT DEALS

s

ATES IAL R SPEC S OUNT DISC 1s 2 FOR ERS F S O F OW! BONU OOK N OUR B

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Fact 1: The Northwest Golfers Playbook costs $39.95 (or $34.95 with the discount code in this article) Fact 2: Among the more 100 offers included in its pages are several valued at $40 or more, including 2-for-1s, 4-for-2s and 4-for-3s to local tracks like White Horse, Eaglemont, Mount Si, Snohomish, and even Chambers Bay. Fact 3: $40 is more than $39.95.

2018

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would be as crazy as declining a five-foot gimme. Building on the success of last year's debut, the 2018 Northwest Golfers Playbook once again includes deals to courses throughout Washington and Oregon, including dozens in the Seattle area alone, plus destination tracks like Suncadia, Desert Canyon, Palouse Ridge and Wine Valley, and discounts to golf businesses throughout the region. Add it all up, and it's thousands of dollars in golf savings, for just $39.95. Now, certainly no one will use every deal — heck, with literally dozens of deals in the book, most folks probably won't use half — but it takes just one 2-for-1 at a course with a $40 greens fee to make the whole thing worth it. A single golfer can take advantage of savings to courses like Port Ludlow, Avalon, Mount Si, Meadow Park or Battle Creek; lessons at GolfTEC or deals to places like Puetz Golf and The Clubhouse Golf Center, while couples and foursomes can pocket even bigger savings by using 2-for-1s and 4-for-3s to courses across the Northwest. Heck, buy one book and take your buddies to Chambers Bay, and every single player in your group will save more on their greens

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ook, I could bang out 500 words about why it makes sense for you to pick up a copy of the 2018 Northwest Golfers Playbook, or I could just share these three facts:

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fee than the amount you paid for the book alone. Can't play on weekdays? No sweat — many deals are valid on both weekdays and weekends after noon, so you can fit them into a busy schedule. A full list of restrictions is posted online at NWGolfersPlaybook.com, so you can browse before you buy. Whether using the book to save a few bucks at your favorite local tracks, or to convince friends to try out some of the state's higher-priced courses at discounted rates, you're guaranteed to find deals that match your style of play. And 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 — anyone you know who loves playing golf, and saving money. Books are available online at NWGolfersPlaybook.com, and in any Puetz Golf Superstore. And as a special offer to CG readers, use the discount code "SAVEBIGONGOLF" to save an additional $5 off of each online purchase (not applicable to purchases made in-store)!

cascadegolfer.com


SHORT GAME Lynnwood's Clubhouse Golf Center at the Forefront of Game's Growth

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utside the pages of this magazine, there has been a lot of gloom and doom about golf's future in recent years — it's too expensive, it takes too long to play, it's not "cool" enough to attract younger players, etc. As longtime readers will know, we feel like much of this is overblown. Golf isn't at risk of going away; but, it very well may need a reset. Just as when football added the forward pass and basketball added the three-point line and the slam dunk, golf is entering — or perhaps already in — a period of transition from one generation to the next. My father played golf every Saturday and Sunday morning, then spent hours in the clubhouse grill, playing cards or dice with his fellow club members, before coming home and falling asleep on the couch while watching the PGA or LPGA Tour. These days, fathers are just as likely to be shuttling their kids to soccer games on Saturday morning as they are to be hitting the links, while to the younger generation — those teens and 20something golfers who represent the future of the industry — five minutes is an eternity to focus on any one thing, much less five hours. Golf certainly has a future, but it's likely going to be one in which golfers play in what we would consider more "unconventional" ways — think three- and sixhole rounds, relaxed rules that allow for faster play (the USGA already started down this path in 2017) and newer, millenial-friendly venues like Topgolf (where golfers hit balls on a real driving range to light-up targets, while enjoying drinks and food from comfy couches right in their stall) or indoor golf facilities. Take Lynnwood's Clubhouse Golf Center (online at www.clubhouse-golf.com) — in about 45 minutes, you can play 18 holes at any of hun-

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dreds of courses worldwide, using your own clubs, and playing real balls. And you pay as little as $35 (simulators are rented by the hour, so if you do finish in 45 minutes, you can knock out another six holes or so), all while enjoying hot food, a full bar, and whatever game happens to be on the big screen at the time. It's truly on-demand golf — day, night, rain, sun, whenever you want it. "Indoor golf is obviously great for inclement weather, but also fills the need for shorter, less time-consuming, and less expensive golf experiences," says Clubhouse owner Steve Levy. It's also newcomer-friendly. One of the major obstacles to increasing golf participation is that people are simply afraid to make a fool of themselves on the golf course — and, admittedly, some experienced golfers dread the thought of playing 18 or even just nine holes alongside a relative newbie who needs 12 strokes or more to put the ball in the hole. "It really is great for people who just want to try golf." Levy adds. "Newcomers, families that want to introduce their kids to the game, spouses or better halves ... there's no pressure when playing indoor golf. There's no one behind you, so there's no anxiety." Even the USGA itself admits that alternative formats like Topgolf and indoor facilities like the Clubhouse Golf Center — places that allow newcomers to try the game in a fun, stress-free environment, and make the golf experience faster and more affordable for veteran players — are likely the way forward for golf. "We want people to see [golf] as something you can do in a finite period of time, cost-effectively," said Dave Aznavorian, senior director of marketing at the USGA, last summer. "Plus ... full bars and craft beers," Levy adds. "Not a bad way to go."

Tee It Up at the Clubhouse — On Us!

olf is great, but golfing in the cold and rain? Not so much. That's why we take our game to Lynnwood's Clubhouse Golf Center each winter — with six full-size simulators where you can swing your own clubs and hit real balls, a full-service bar, comfortable lounge chairs and numerous big-screen TVs, it's the perfect place to meet up at happy hour or on an NFL Sunday and catch all the latest sports action while playing some of the most famous courses in the game. Want to check it out? We're giving away two hours of Clubhouse simulator time to one lucky Cascade golfer, so log on to CascadeGolfer.com for your chance to win!

cascadegolfer.com

DECEMBER 2017

11


IN THE

BAG

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PRODUCT REVIEWS and equipment news you can use BY BRIAN BEAKY — CG EDITOR

IRON WILL I

n most places around the world, people stop golfing when the weather turns sour. Just ask those fancy desert courses how busy they are in August. Around here, though, we just power right through our most challenging season. Sure, we may not play as many rounds as we do in the summer, but it takes more than a little rain to divert us from our favorite activities. There's a reason why the only people with umbrellas in the Seattle area are tourists — sure, it doesn't rain all that hard, really, but mostly, it's about our desire to prove that we're tough enough to take whatever Mother Nature dishes out. It's our iron will. We also know that this is the best time of year to work on our game, whether by getting lessons or picking up a few new sticks. Break 'em in during the low season, and you'll be in peak form by the time those 16-hour days return. And manufacturers are rolling out new clubs in droves — just since our August issue came out, we've already seen five major iron lines released, plus new drivers, wedges, putters, bags, shoes and more — so much that we honestly couldn't fit it all into this issue. Check out some of our favorite new releases, and browse the rest on PuetzGolf.com. Or, better yet, leave the browser window open with the product of your choice on the screen, some place where your significant other can find it. Maybe this will be one holiday season where you finally receive exactly what you've been looking for.

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DECEMBER 2017

TITLEIST

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2

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PUETZ GOLF PRICE

ntering 2018, Titleist has released six new irons under the 718 brand, including an all-new AP3 that combines the game-improvement qualities of the AP1 with the touch and feel of the AP2 (AP1+AP2=AP3. It's just math, duh.) The AP1 continues to be the most forgiving of Titleist's sticks, while the AP2 retains the classic shape and feel that make it popular with PGA TOUR pros, but with added forgiveness. The real gem, though, is the AP3 — longer than the AP2, and nearly as forgiving as the AP1. Expected to fill the gap between the AP1 and AP2, they've in fact proven extremely popular on Tour, with Jimmy Walker, Bill Haas and others scrapping their AP2s for the longer, more forgiving AP3. The MB irons — PGA champ Justin Thomas's club of choice — remain the gold standard in shot-shaping musclebacks, the CBs offer the most in forged forgiveness, while the T-MB is Titleist's "fast face" offering, with a hotface construction that makes them the longest in the Titleist line. (How long? Go back and watch Jordan Spieth hit that 718 T-MB 3-iron from the Tour vans on Sunday at Royal Birkdale.) Many pros, in fact, mix and match — be fit by a Puetz Golf rep to find the best mix for your game.

$699.99 set of 7

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s referenced at the end of the 718 review at left, many pros mix and match their irons, preferring distance and forgiveness in the longer irons, and control in the shorter clubs. So, when Cleveland sought to re-enter the iron market in 2017, they said, "Why not design an iron line that does both?" The lower-lofted Launcher CBX irons are narrower, with a larger cupface insert that allows the face to flex more at impact, for higher ball speeds. A microcavity in the hosel allows weight to be better distributed across the face for greater forgiveness, while the thicker topline gives confidence to mid- and high-handicappers. The short irons, meanwhile, feature a progressively shorter and taller face, with a narrower topline and less offset, allowing for more workability. Each of the clubs incorporate the new V-shape sole first featured on sister brand Srixon's Z45 irons, which cuts through the turf more easily than a broader, flatter sole, and the same grooves and grind patterns as Cleveland's industry-leading wedges. So, if you're scoring at home, that's more spin, better turf interaction, added distance and forgiveness in long irons, and improved control in short irons. We'll take it.

Order online at puetzgolf.com • Call Toll Free (866) 362-2441 cascadegolfer.com


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Starting at $150 per club

aving dabbled in game-improvement clubs over the last few years, Mizuno has gone back to its roots in 2018, rolling out three-and-a-half new blade-style sets laser-focused on the game's best players. The MP-18s are for the truly elite, a sleek, traditional muscleback with a compact profile, minimal markings and outstanding workability. The MP-18 SC ("Split Cavity") irons, meanwhile, add just the hint of a cavity back for extra forgiveness, while retaining the look and feel of a muscleback at address. Indeed, it's expected that many players will mix MP-18 short irons with MP-18 SC long irons to maximize the benefits of each set. The same is true of the MMCs ("Multi-Material Construction") and long-iron-only MMC Hi-Flis: the former adds titanium and tungsten inserts for more forgiveness, with stronger lofts and a slightly wider sole, while the latter will be the long iron of choice for a player who wants as much forgiveness as they can get in a blade. All four share a high-density forging process that creates a clearer sound and stronger vibration for the kind of feedback that better players prefer. Schedule a fitting to find the combination that works for you, then swing away.

cascadegolfer.com

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PUETZ GOLF PRICE

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$1137.99 set of 7

ook at the back of TaylorMade's new P790 iron and you'd say, "That's a blade." Look at the sole and you'd say, "That's a game-improvement club." Put it down at address and you'd say ... "No, wait, that is a blade!" So, what gives? The fact is, the P790 is a "distance iron for a better player," as TaylorMade reps describe it, combining the forgiveness and playability of a game-improvement club with the look and feel of a blade. Perhaps taking a cue from upstart PXG, whose hollow-construction, elastomer-filled irons were the talk of the tee box in 2016, TaylorMade has manufactured its own "SpeedFoam" insert that expands within the hollow cavity of the P790. That allowed designers to create an ultra-thin face for hotter shots, while also improving feel and sound at impact. The forged face wraps all the way down to the sole, where a SpeedPocket cuts upward into the foam-filled cavity — meaning, the lower portion of the face is quite literally unsupported, giving maximum flex in the place where mid-to-low handicappers tend to miss. For players who want the look and feel of a blade, with a little extra help under the hood, it's a strong choice, especially at the price point.

CALLAWAY

Epic Star Irons5 PUETZ GOLF PRICE $299.99

per club

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obody ever said that the fanciest irons have to be exclusively for the best players. While most manufacturers have typically poured their fancier materials and construction processes into players clubs — in theory, they're the ones willing to spend the most on equipment — Callaway this year brought premium clubs to the masses with its new Epic irons, and is doing so again with the all-new Epic Star. An ultra-lightweight version of the Epics, the Epic Stars look to deliver a premium iron for golfers with slower swing speeds, or to anyone looking for a little extra "oomph." The Stars feature the Epic's revolutionary Exo-Cage, a latticework of stainless steel that stiffens the body while supporting the face. That allows the ultra-thin face to flex more (the FaceCup, in fact, is just 1 millimeter thick at its thinnest point), while reducing vibrations throughout the club, and sending a maximum amount of energy back into the golf ball, where it belongs. In addition, the center of gravity moves progressively through the set, optimizing the ball flight for each club, while stronger lofts than the original Epic produce longer shots with each club.

FREE SHIPPING on orders of $99 and more • exceptions apply

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IN THE BAG

8

7 LASER-MILLING

MICRO-MILLING TOUR ZIP GROOVES

6

CLEVELAND

MIZUNO

CBX Wedge

S-18 Wedge

6

7

PUETZ GOLF PRICE $129.99

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early all amateur golfers play some kind of cavity-backed iron, yet the vast majority of us continue to use a blade-style wedge. It's something I'd guess very few of us ever think about, but when you do, it doesn't make much sense. If we benefit from a cavity back in every other iron, why wouldn't we in a wedge? Cleveland Golf's John Rae agrees, and it's why the industry leader this year released the CBX wedge, a cavity back designed to increase the sweet spot for players used to cavity-back irons. The weight redistribution created by the cavity back allowed Cleveland designers to significantly ramp up the club's MOI, meaning greater forgiveness on mis-hits, while also increasing the width of the sole, for cleaner cuts through sand and long rough. As with the CBX irons, that sole also features Cleveland's V-style design and ROTEX 3 face grooves, the latter giving the company's wedges their trademark grip and roll. In all, it's a more consistent, more forgiving, easier-to-hit wedge ... and isn't that what why we choose cavity-back clubs in the first place?

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ODYSSEY

O-Works Red Putters8

PUETZ GOLF PRICE $149.99

PUETZ GOLF PRICE Starting

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t's been in vogue for years for iron sets to offer progressively different features as you move through the set, emphasizing distance and forgiveness in longer irons, and control in the shorter ones. Mizuno is bringing the same concept to its new S-18 wedges, which feature a progressively higher center of gravity from the lower-lofted wedges to the higher-lofted ones, plus different groove and grind patterns designed to maximize the performance of each club. It's common sense, really — a lower-lofted pitching wedge has a more vertical profile and will be used largely for full shots; thus, the center of gravity needs to be lower in the club, for a higher ball flight and less spin. A 60-degree lob wedge, by comparison, is much flatter, and is far more likely to be used from inclement lies around the green — thus, it needs a higher center of gravity, both to balance the clubhead and increase spin. Grooves are also narrower in the lower lofts and wider and deeper in the shorter ones, while the grind pattern also varies to achieve maximum performance.

at $219.99

his is the third time in a calendar year that we've written about Odyssey's O-Works putters. Now, part of that is certainly that they're the industry's standard-bearer — the 2-Ball is the forebear of just about every mallet putter of the last decade — but most of it is just paint. Yep, paint. In the spring — just months after the initial O-Works putters hit the market — Odyssey released white-black-white versions of three of its most popular models, the #1 Wide, mallet-style #7 and bladestyle No. 9, as an alternative to the primarily black issues of the original line. This fall, Odyssey went at it again, this time releasing red and black versions of several different models, including the 2-Ball, #7 and a modified version of the #7 with an angled hosel, called the #7s. According to the manufacturer, it wasn't consumers this time, but rather Tour players who requested the color scheme, perhaps inspired by the cherry-red flatsticks Sergio Garcia and Jason Day rode to victories the last two years. Either way, they're still sweet putters, and now they look even cooler — and are a perfect match for the holiday season.

Order online at puetzgolf.com • Call Toll Free (866) 362-2441

cascadegolfer.com


‘Tis The Season If you've been stressing over what to get the golfer in your life this year, no worries, we've got you covered — quite literally, from top to bottom. Whether you want to spring for a new bag, or just keep their (or your own!) feet warm on the course this winter, the following gifts will brighten any golfer's holiday season.

FOOTJOY

PRECISION PRO

Hydrolite Rain Gear PUETZ GOLF PRICE

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NX7 Rangefinder

Starting at $119.98 (pants) & $149.98 (jackets)

hen buying rain gear to wear on the golf course, the important thing is to buy something that was made for golf. How do you know? Well, brand recognition is a good start, and almost nobody has been making golf gear as long as Footjoy. Their Hydrolite rain jacket and pants tick all the boxes: lightweight, breathable and waterproof, and with enough freedom of movement so as not to restrict you at any point in your swing.

ADIDAS

PUETZ GOLF PRICE

very year, we write about the latest golf rain boots, and for good reason. Your feet (and head) are the most important things to keep warm and dry on the golf course, and a solid golf rain boot is the best way to do just that. (And a hat. Don't try the boot on your head.) The new Climaproof is one of the best, with a thick rubber sole and a waterproof leather upper that extends up past your ankle, where adidas's patented BOA enclosure system ensures the heat stays in, and the water stays out. Warm, dry and stable, it's a perfect shoe for our winter golf environment.

SUN MOUNTAIN

4.5 Stand Bags PUETZ GOLF PRICE

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he latest laser rangefinder from Precision Pro is the NX7, a dual-purpose rangefinder that can be used for both hunting and golf. What's always made Precision Pro's rangefinders great is the bang for your buck, giving you the pinpoint accuracy of a laser rangefinder at a lower price point than many competitors. With a 400-yard range (and the ability to target either the nearest or farthest target in the frame), it's more than enough for any shot you'll need on the course, and a great choice for your first laser rangefinder. Upgrade to the Pro version for $50 more to add a slope feature and a vibrating pulse that lets you know when it's locked on the target.

Golf Boot

$129.99

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T

FOOTJOY

Climaproof BOA PUETZ GOLF PRICE

$169.99 after $30 mail-in rebate (reg. $199.99)

PUETZ GOLF PRICE

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here adidas goes for style, Footjoy sticks with function. And there's little not to like about the way this boot functions, with a fully-waterproof construction (two-year warranty) and a soft, warm interior lining. Combine the comfort of your favorite bedroom slippers with the sturdiness of a pair of hiking boots, and you've got the idea. Footjoy's patented Pulsar cleats, furthermore, provide additional traction on wet and slick surfaces, and — the real winter bonus — are easier to clean than most.

4.5 LS 14-Way 4.5 LS Zero-G

$209.99

ontana-based manufacturer Sun Mountain helped kick off the whole trend of making golf bags lighter and lighter, a fact for which we've remained eternally grateful (and one that will, no doubt literally, add years to our golfing lives). This year's new 4.5 releases include the standard 4.5 LS — a reference to its four-and-a-half-pound weight — with its E-Z Fit Dual Strap System, cart-friendly bottom, locking legs and cart-strap pass-through behind the clothes pocket (allowing the strap to be cinched under the pocket, instead of over). There's also a version with 14 individual club dividers (the 4.5 14-Way Bag) and another with Sun Mountain's Zero-G Technology (the 4.5 LS Zero-G), which combines the features of the 4.5 LS with a unique hip belt that transfers the weight from your shoulders to your hips. Each bag is available in a wide range of colors, so be sure to browse before buying.

cascadegolfer.com

$129.99

4.5 LS

FREE SHIPPING on orders of $99 and more • exceptions apply

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TEEING OFF

PRESENTED BY

Seahawks’ Blair Walsh Embraces Lessons Learned From Football & Golf

B

AN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW BY BRIAN BEAKY CG EDITOR

lair Walsh missed a kick. Let's just get it out there now, before we go any further. He missed a kick. It was a big one, a 27-yarder ("Shorter than an extra point!" he's been reminded over and over) that would have sent his team, the Minnesota Vikings, to the second round of the 2016 NFL Playoffs. But, he missed it. Yes, it was one of the coldest games in NFL history, and the footballs felt like bricks. Yes, the laces were turned inward by the holder, which often results in unpredictable spin. But it was Walsh who kicked it, Walsh who watched it sail wide left (hold on to that thought for later), and Walsh who received the death threats and weeks of abuse on social media. But, it was also Walsh who, minutes after the game, tearfully addressed the media and took responsibility for the miss. It was Walsh who, less than a week later, met with local first-graders to thank them for letters of encouragement they had sent him, and spoke about the power of empathy. And it was Walsh — and his remarkable humility, responsibility and positive attitude in the face of such criticism — that a Minnesota teen credited with inspiring her to stop contemplating suicide and seek help for depression. So, yes, Blair Walsh missed a kick. But, in doing so, he set an example for how to take responsibility for your mistakes, recover from a setback, and How's your game? “Like most amateur golfers will tell you, one day you're good at one thing, one day you're good at another. I'm a really good ball-striker, which allows me to keep my game pretty consistent. But, I alternate back and forth between putting and driving. They're never on at the same time.” What's the one shot that gives you the most trouble? “Anything that's a serious dogleg right. I have a natural draw in pretty much everything I do — (at this, Walsh chuckles knowingly) — so it's tough for me to make it go the other way.” Um ... as a Seahawks fan, I feel like I can't let that statement just slide by. (laughs) “Yeah, I know, I know.” I was going to get to this later, but since we're there — how did you get past that miss? “My mom and dad raised me to be like that. I also remember my college coach at Georgia, Mark Richt, telling me once that if you want the media and the fans to praise you when you make the game winner, then you'd better be willing to talk to them when you miss it. You have to take accountability for what you do. Part of it, too, is just realizing that there are a lot of great people in the world. We live in a society where people are willing to put their thoughts out there on social media, but I haven't ever had one person actually come up to me and say a negative thing about that kick.”

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work to improve going forward. They're all qualities that make for a good golfer, too, so it shouldn't be a surprise that Walsh regularly breaks 80, playing twice a week in the offseason near his Orange County home. We caught up with him a few weeks ago (actually, the week of the Redskins game — the CG curse lives) to talk about how he keeps everything in perspective.

Well, you certainly won't get any negative comments about it from anyone in this town. (chuckles) “Yeah, that's true.” Who do you usually go play with? “I like playing a lot with my sister — she played college golf at Miami. There are some ex-teammates of mine that live [in the L.A. area], too, that I'll go play with.”

you, whatever happens. Golf is the same in that regard. In fact, it probably helps prepare me mentally for the season.” Why is it that so many kickers are good golfers? “A lot of free time. (laughs) That's the first answer. The second answer is, yeah, probably the solitude of it.”

Of all of your teammates you've played with, who's the best? “He's having a great year for the Vikings this year — Adam Thielen. He's a ringer. He can just put 'em wherever he wants. I think he actually played college golf. He gets upset if he's shooting like 74.”

A lot has been made about the longer extra point over the last two years. How big of a change was that for you? “It's almost the equivalent of having one foot added to every putt you miss. So, let's say you lag a 30-footer to two feet, and then instead, it becomes a three-foot putt. And if you miss by a couple of inches, they add a foot. You'd still be expected to make it, and you don't get any extra credit for making it from farther away, it's just a little bit tougher.”

What do you like best about golf? “I like the responsibility aspect of golf. Everything is up to you. You're not relying on anybody else. If you hit a great shot, it's all for you, and if you hit a bad shot, it's all on you. It's a unique sport in that way. I also like the peacefulness. There's no one yelling at you, there are no intense moments. And every golfer knows that feeling when you hit that perfect shot; all you want to do the rest of the day is chase that feeling. That's what keeps people coming back.”

How is Pete Carroll different from other coaches? “Pete is the most positive coach I've ever been around. The week after we lost to Green Bay, I remember coming into a meeting and expecting him to say something like, 'Well, we lost, it's O.K., let's move on,' but instead he showed us highlights of what we did well. I thought that was amazing. Even in a loss, he wanted to pinpoint what we did well, to help guys prepare mentally for the next week. It was eye-opening. He's a fantastic coach.”

Is embracing that loneliness and self-responsibility something that also applies to placekicking? “It's very similar. It's probably why I like it so much. Even though there's a snap, a hold and a line, it's still on

I have mad respect for kickers who mix it up with opponents, so I loved every second of the preseason antics with the Vikings. Can you ever top that? “Yeah, when we play them in the playoffs.” cascadegolfer.com


RISK vs. REWARD Legion Memorial Golf Course Hole No. 8

Par 5

518 yards (Blue tees)

By Simon Dubiel

The Setup:

The Reward:

This 518-yard par-5 sets up with a pretty straightforward tee shot. A bunker guards the fairway left, and will force a layup if you find it. Trees gobble up anything headed right, unless you make it all the way through to the seventh fairway. A pond guards the last 150 yards down the right side, though a couple of bunkers might save your ball from a watery grave. The bailout area is to the left, but can leave one in the rough with a tough lie and an uneven stance, playing to a two-tiered green sloped significantly from front to back.

Coming off the short, par-4 seventh, there's a good chance you're riding some positive momentum. A piped drive puts you in green-light territory, with a great opportunity to score. If you can avoid letting your ball go right, this hole is very playable. Anything slightly pulled left should be O.K., and will only give you a better angle to the back-right green. The putting surface is challenging, so the sooner you can find it, the better.

The Risk:

This hole certainly pulls all the "go for it" strings. Before any strong wager, though, it is always recommended to weigh the odds. No doubt, you could pure a fairway wood and watch your shot nestle up for a look at eagle. But, with water right, trees and sand on both sides, and a tricky putting surface making placement key, we say to pull back a few chips, knock it up 150 yards and flip your wedge to 10 feet. Maybe you sink the putt, maybe not. Either way, you won’t be pulling an extra ball out of your bag while trying to figure out how many strokes you just gave away. You can’t lose what you don’t bet. Driver, 7-iron, wedge.

If you pound a drive and find yourself with less than 250 yards in, you'll no doubt be tempted to play with fire. But, don’t ignore the water on the right, which is very much in play for even the slightest miss. Plus, the damage won’t be done just yet, as the follow-up shot to your drop will be extremely difficult, putting double- and triple-bogey very much in play. The best scenario on a miss to the right is finding a bunker, leaving an awkward carry over sand directly to the putting surface. Not exactly the hand you're looking to have dealt.

Final Call:

PRESENTED BY

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

cascadegolfer.com

3100 West Elkhorn, Las Vegas NV 89084

www.aliantegolf.com

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FULL OF THE

OF

For Pacific Northwesterners, desert golf in a place like the Coachella Valley is a weird and wonderful experience

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sed to conifer-lined fairways and greens made got the go-ahead earlier this year. BY TONY DEAR soft by near-incessant rain or drizzle, despite the Breaking ground in May was a 140-bedroom, five-star Monbest efforts of skilled superintendents, the Seattage hotel which is going up on the site of the old 18th hole, and tle golfer yearns for the southwest at this time of year, when the sun invariably shines which forced the closure of the back nine. Brandon Johnson, a Vice President and all winter long, temperatures are conducive to relaxed golf, and the playing surfaces Senior Architect at the Arnold Palmer Design Company, has overseen the renovation, remain agreeably firm. which includes a rerouting of the inward nine, and construction of three entirely new Though visually striking, standard desert golf can oftentimes be something of an holes. acquired taste, with its forced caries and well-defined targets, which might explain An architect with PGA Tour Design Services and lead architect for The First Tee why so few genuine desert layouts appear in best-course lists. But, we’ll take all the prior to joining Palmer’s firm in 2006, Johnson has worked on SilverRock since 2012, forced carries and well-defined targets you can throw at us if we get to play them in when the City needed to relocate the canal that flows through the course. Removing it 75-degree sunshine, while everyone back home is shielding him-or-herself from yet entirely proved to be too costly, says Johnson, so it was ultimately realigned. another cold downpour. “We oversaw the changes to the golf course that resulted from rerouting the ca There are a number of well-established destinations in the bottom-left corner of nal,” Johnson adds. “At the same time, we were working with the City and the developthe country that golfers from the Pacific Northwest flock to each winter. The oldest of ment company on a golf course masterplan that would help realize the second phase them is Palm Springs, where nine-hole courses began springing up in the 1920s as of the development project which is currently underway.” people recognized the benefits of dry heat to certain medical conditions, and Holly- Though SilverRock lost its existing 18th hole, there was precious little extra land for wood actors sought refuge from the limelight. the golf course, so Johnson had to get creative. His new plan took advantage of pre The first 18-hole course in the Coachella Valley, whose main centers of population viously unused views of the surrounding mountains, incorporated an all-but-forgotten — Desert Hot Springs, Palm Springs, Cathedral City, Rancho Mirage, Palm Desert, Indi- water feature built years before, and remedied a former pinch point while introducing an Wells, Thousand Palms, Indio, Bermuda Dunes, and Coachella — possess over 120 more fairway space and ground-game options. courses between them, was Thunderbird Country Club in Rancho Mirage. Designed The all-new 11th hole is a strong par-3 over water with the mountains in the backby Johnny Dawson and Lawrence Hughes, it opened in 1951 and became a sanctuary ground. The 12th has a new tee, making it a par-5 – one of three on the new back for sports and movie stars who bought lots bordering the fairways. Four years after nine — and the new driveable par-4 18th is a tribute to Johnson’s old boss, who passed opening, it hosted the 11th Ryder Cup matches, with 43-year-old Sam Snead the star in September 2016 and is still greatly missed by a game, and a world, that loved him. of the USA’s 8-4 victory. “The hole plays directly back into the adjacent mountain range backdrop,” says At the time Thunderbird opened, Palm Springs was beginning to enjoy a mid-cen- Johnson. “Remembering Mr. Palmer’s charge at Cherry Hills in the 1960 U.S. Open, and tury boom period when it truly became established as the resort town in which to be because of our desire as architects to make the game fun, we wanted to give the player seen, and specifically, to be seen playing golf. Though its star dimmed significantly in one last heroic temptation and chance to go for it.” (On holing your putt for birdie, you the early part of the 21st century, it has come back to life in recent years with the culi- do, of course, need to throw your hat into the air and give the great man a thumbs-up.) nary, art, architecture, and lodging scenes all getting a much-needed kick in the pants. The back-nine renovation also reduced the amount of irrigated turf, and converted Perhaps the most elaborate project is happening at the SilverRock Resort (760-777- maintained areas back into native desert landscape. All 18 holes reopened in November. 8884, www.silverrock.org) which was built by the City of La Quinta in 2005, and hosted Work will continue on the $420 million SilverRock development next year, with the the Bob Hope Classic (now the CareerBuilder Challenge) between 2008 and 2011. It Montage set to open in October 2019. A boutique hotel named the Pendry – Montage’s was designed by Arnold Palmer, who built a typically attractive array of holes on 200 boutique brand – is also planned, though the Montage will come first. Also on the acres of a 525-acre parcel long the focus of City development plans – plans that finally docket are 255 homes, and a resort village.

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cascadegolfer.com


CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT:

Desert Willow Golf Resort • Palm Desert, Calif. SilverRock Resort • La Quinta, Calif. The Classic Club • Palm Desert, Calif. TPC Stadium Course • La Quinta, Calif.

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f you didn’t play the Firecliff Course at the very highly-rated Desert Willow Resort (desertwillow.com, 760346-0015) in Rancho Mirage last winter, then you won’t have seen the magnificent bunker renovation completed in the summer by the course’s original architect, Dr. Michael Hurdzan — designer of this year’s U.S. Open venue, Erin Hills. “Bunkers are incredibly expensive to build and maintain,” says Hurdzan. “So the trend today is to have fewer and smaller bunkers, placed at the right location to challenge good players, but not confound the game for everyday golfers.” When Hurdzan designed Desert Willow, alongside former partner Dana Fry, there was little in the way of established vegetation to help define the holes, so he added a lot of bunkers. “Now that the landscape plants surrounding the holes have grown, there is less need for them,” he says. “Pace of play has become a very important issue, and high-handicappers struggle in bunkers, which adds to the length of a round. Plus, the bunkers needed refreshing, with improved drainage and better-playing sand.” Hurdzan removed about 45 percent of the previous sand area, and thinks the experience at Desert Willow — another way-above-average municipal — is greatly improved. “It was good before,” he says. “Now, it’s great.” Bruce Nation, the resort’s Director of Sales & Marketing for the resort (celebrating its 20th anniversary

cascadegolfer.com

this year), says he sees hundreds of Seattle golfers every winter, and enjoys hearing them talk about how good it is to get out of the damp. “They love it here,” he says. “They always comment on the weather, of course, but also the scenery and beauty of both courses.” As well as the Firecliff — still a tough test — Desert Willow offers the friendlier and equally enjoyable Mountain View course, which measures a healthy 6,913 yards from the back tees, but does possess fewer forced carries and wider fairways. Also designed by Hurdzan and Fry, the Mountain View is another terribly popular Coachella stop for visiting snowbirds, so we recommend you book your round as soon as you know your schedule. Nation says the area endured another fiercely hot summer, with temperatures frequently hitting the 110-degree mark, but the courses survived and, after the annual rye overseed, are looking good going into the season. “We won’t have any summer-related issues affecting the golf courses during peak season,” he says.

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f the Coachella Valley is your usual winter hangout, you’ve probably tried all the best courses, but those coming for the first time, or here for just a week or two, need to know where their winter golf budget should go. Besides SilverRock and Desert Willow, we would also recommend Nicklaus Design’s Escena Golf Club, just the oth-

er side of Highway 111 from the Palm Springs International Airport. Opened in 2005, the course all but closed a few years ago as it battled the recession, but it rebounded in a big way and is now back to something like its best. The Classic Club (classicclubgolf.com, 760-601-3600) — one of the few Coachella Valley courses north of I-10, one of even fewer without any houses bordering its fairways, one of just a small handful with Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary status, and the only one with a 63,000 square-foot clubhouse — opened in 2006, and is an underrated Arnold Palmer design, though it was actually Vicki Martz that completed much of the design work. An all-too-rare female course designer who sadly passed away earlier this year, Martz worked at Arnold Palmer Design for 25 years before establishing her own firm in 2010. In 2005, Palmer told Golf Digest, “She designs really good golf holes.” Some of her best are found here at The Classic Club. The course was built by the Berger Foundation (husband and wife H.N. and Frances C. Berger built a real-estate development and banking empire in Southern California, and established a philanthropic foundation in 1961), and donates thousands of rounds a year to charitable causes. It hosted its first Bob Hope Classic in 2006. Operated by Troon Golf and consistently in superb condition, The Classic was meant to be the Hope’s permanent home, but the pros didn’t much like it after strong winds turned the 2007 final round into a six-hour wrestle. DECEMBER 2017

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High Rollin’

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olf isn’t Las Vegas’s main draw, but the city isn’t without some fine golfscapes. Rees Jones’s Cascata and Tom Fazio’s Shadow Creek are the ultimate Vegas rounds — both used to be the domain of the rich, famous, and high-rolling (Caesars guests at Cascata, MGM guests at Shadow Creek), but medium and low-rolling guests can make a tee time nowadays, although neither round comes cheap, of course. Other Vegas courses you should consider include Rio Secco, TPC Summerlin, TPC Las Vegas, Bali Hai, Las Vegas Paiute, Bear’s Best, and the excellent Gary Panks-designed Aliante Golf Course (702-3994888, aliantegolf.com), pictured above, which opened in 2003 and is a 25-minute drive north of the Strip. It's a good golf course, run by friendly people, at a good price — barely $75 at peak winter times. They'll even you drive you from The Strip, rent you a bag of shiny new sticks, or kick in a meal, all for no more than $109 (dynamic pricing varies by time, day and courseload). A Troon Golf facility (meaning even bigger savings for Troon Card holders), the course prides itself on a fast pace of play (the recommended "Troon Par" is just four hours), welcoming staff and a design that winds through and around a desert arroyo. It's fun, playable and sufficiently flexible to please groups with mixed abilities, with scenic mountain views and an "out of the way" vibe. Any time we see a course that has been named "Best New," "Top-10," "Most Underrated," "Best Value" and "Most Player Friendly" in its region, we know we're at the right place. — Tony Dear & Brian Beaky

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It lasted only three years. Winds that strong aren’t common, though, so you’re more likely to have to battle warm sunshine and a gentle breeze than chilly, powerful gusts. The two courses at the Indian Wells Golf Resort (indianwellsgolfresort.com, 760346-4653) – Celebrity and Players – should also appear high on your to-play list. The Celebrity was the resort’s first layout and was designed by Englishman Clive Clark. You might think a Brit would build a modest, understated course emphasizing the ground game, and you would be exactly wrong. The Celebrity, which opened in November 2006, is anything but low-key, with an assortment of colorful flower beds, streams, ponds, elaborate bunkers, waterfalls and carefully positioned boulders. The architecture snob relishing the current trend for more natural, Golden Agestyle designs (guilty) would surely look down his nose at anyone who likes this sort of thing. But, the Celebrity is an incredibly enjoyable course that mixes sound strategy and shot-making demands with all that brass and glitz. Many are the golfers who begin the round feeling cynical and suspicious, and walk off 18 very pleasantly surprised. On paper, John Fought’s Players Course — which opened almost exactly a year after the Celebrity — looks much more agreeable to the old-dog skeptic and, sure enough, it delivers magnificently. Fought proved his talent to Washingtonians at Trophy Lake and Washington National, and much of the quality and character of those two courses — Washington National especially — is on display here. Owned by the City of Indian Wells, this is another exceptional municipal facility. And, like The Classic Club, the 53,000 square-foot clubhouse is a little over the top, too. There are also four high-end hotels on-site, making it a very popular stay-andplay destination. Then, there’s the extraordinary La Quinta Resort & Club and PGA WEST (760-564-4111, laquintaresort.com) which, between them, offer five exceptional public-access courses — The Stadium, Greg Norman Resort Course, and Jack Nicklaus Resort Course at PGA West, and the Mountain and Dunes Courses at La Quinta.

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Red Rock

Together, the quintet recorded 93,000 rounds last year. A round on any of them is a treat, but the ultimate boast is a trip round the Stadium, now officially called The Stadium Course at PGA WEST, having dropped its TPC affiliation at the start of the year. When Pete Dye’s hazard-strewn minefield opened in 1986, it was deemed too malicious by the pros (a slightly earlier version of the ones that didn’t like the wind at The Classic Club). Dye has been back to temper and soften some of the more extravagant features, but it remains an anxiety-inducing ordeal, albeit one where competent golfers up for a challenge will have the time of their lives. Every hole has a memorable obstacle you must navigate, and trouble lurks everywhere. There are numerous water carries and, to be honest, after the fourth or fifth, you may start thinking, “Really? Again?” But, if you know what to expect (don't say we didn’t tell you), pick a judicious set of tees from which to play, choose a sensible line — and hit the ball solidly, of course — then it will certainly be one of the best golf experiences of your life. If you’re having an off day, however, the Stadium Course will shame you. It's hard to know where to put the Stadium Course in your schedule. But, as with all the other courses mentioned above, you’ve got to put it somewhere. A Bellingham native by way of England, Tony Dear is a regular contributor to Cascade Golfer. In 2017, he was honored with the Northwest Golf Media Association's Distinguished Service Award.

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O

ur last desert stop is St. George, Utah, which has grown into a genuine golf destination in recent years on the back of excellent courses like the Matt Dye-designed The Ledges, Keith Foster’s Coral Canyon, Johnny Miller’s Entrada at Snow Canyon, Gene Bates’s debut solo design at Green Spring, the City of Hurricane-owned Sky Mountain, and the remarkable Sand Hollow, designed by OreGreen Spring G.C. • Washington, Utah gon native John Fought and Andy Staples. Photo by Joe Newman Surrounded by amazing red-rock country, St. George doesn’t get up into the mid-60s and low-70s until the middle of March, so you may want to hold off before venturing to this destination that you probably hadn’t considered before. But, you really should make a point to go at some point. Just visit the website of the Red Rock Golf Trail (redrockgolftrail.com), stare at the drone footage on the home page for a while, and tell me you don’t want to go and play golf there right now! The Trail is a collection of 10 courses dotted around the towns of Santa Clara, St. George, Washington and Hurricane. As with other golf trails around the country, Red Rock partners with lodging options nearby to offer stay-and-play packages, with a trip planner online and golf concierges available by phone to make planning your trip easy. Really, choosing which courses to play will be the only problem you have, and gives validity to the phrase "a good problem to have," because you could play any one of them and see things you just don’t see back home. That said, do make sure Sand Hollow is part of your itinerary. All these courses will make you go, "Wow!" Sand Hollow will do it again and again. — Tony Dear

DECEMBER 2017

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TRAVEL BAG

King Kamehameha Golf Club • Waikapu, Hawaii By Brian Beaky • CG Editor

o drive across the island of Maui is to drive through the history of Hawaii itself. Walking out of the Kahului Airport into the warm afternoon sunshine, your eyes are immediately drawn upward to the peak of 10,023-foot Haleakala, the volcano whose very existence defines all that we know of Maui. Centuries ago, Haleakala gave life to Hawaii’s second-largest island, pouring its molten contents into the clear blue sea for millions of years until its flow merged with that of nearby Pu’u Kukui to form the island we know today. Early Hawaiians named the volcano Haleakala, “House of the Sun,” because they believed it empowered the demigod Mau’i to slow the sun’s journey across the sky. Today, tourists celebrate this legend by renting bicycles at the volcano’s summit before sunrise, then slowly descending its slopes as the sun rises from its nightly prison and begins its slow march across the heavens. You’ve never seen a sunrise until you’ve seen it from Haleakala. Immediately to the west of Kahului, just minutes from the airport, is Wailuku, home to the oldest existing structures on the island – temples the Hawaiian oral tradition credits to the legendary Menehune, magical dwarfs and skilled craftsmen who were overpowered by early Tahitian settlers. According to the stories, the Menehune were driven from the lowlands and forced to live out their existence in the lush rainforests of the Iao Valley, where in 1794 King Kamehameha I – with the assistance of American cannons and military expertise – slaughtered the Tahitians to complete his conquest of Maui and unite the Hawaiian islands. One can only assume the Menehune, if they indeed did exist, smiled down from their mountainside villages. After leaving Kahului, the modern Maui traveler passes between the ghostly Iao Valley to the northwest and Haleakala to the southwest through seemingly endless fields of sugarcane, planted in the 1800s to make the rum so desired by sailors aboard the hundreds of whaling ships that berthed on Maui’s southwestern coast each year. The midpoint of the Pacific between the whaling centers of Japan and South America, Hawaii – and specifically, Maui – soon became a key port for oceangoing travelers, who brought with them Western culture, religion, and other influences that would set in motion the chain of events that finally led to statehood, in the still-quite-recent year of 1959. Of course, few vacationers think of these things as they point their rental cars along the 20-minute drive from Kahului to Ma’alaea Bay, where travelers can choose to turn southeast towards Wailea, one of America’s premier recreational communities, or northwest towards the more touristy locales of Lahaina, Ka’anapali and Maui’s most famous golf course, Kapalua. Separated by just 39 miles, a golf vacationer can truthfully stay anywhere on Maui’s southwestern coast and be within easy driving distance of each of the island’s major golf destinations. And, with golf, lodging and dining options to meet just about any budget, from luxury resorts to more modest oceanside hotels, vacation rentals, even beachfront villas, it’s easy to plan a trip to meet your specific needs. Best of all, getting to Maui is a lot easier these days than it was for 18th-century Tahitians. Direct flights to Kahului, Maui’s main airport, start lower than $500 round trip from Seattle, Everett or Portland; knock another $100 off if you're willing to make at least one stop along the way. We’ve saved you time – and money – by checking out the area’s top resorts and courses, and put our recommendations in this issue. No need to thank us – that cold beverage at the clubhouse bar, with the pikake smell in the air and the crashing waves of the Pacific Ocean before us, was thank you enough. 32

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ocated in a protected rain shadow at the southwestern corner of Maui’s larger half, at the base of the majestic Haleakala, Wailea has established itself as a leading resort community, with thriving golf, shopping and restaurant industries that exist to satisfy the thousands of part-time residents who spend at least a portion of the year on the island. Much of the area’s best golf is centered at the Wailea Resort, whose 54-hole complex, Wailea Golf Club (888328-MAUI, waileagolf.com), makes it not only one of Hawaii’s top golf resorts, but also one of its top values. In addition to the largest collection of championship courses in the islands, Wailea includes five superb hotels and eight excellent condominium/townhome options, plus spas, shopping, numerous restaurants, live entertainment, an award-winning tennis club and – most importantly for those travelers looking to relax – the No. 1-ranked beaches in the United States. Of course, what matters to us is the golf. With three varied layouts, ocean views from almost every hole and a 200-foot elevation change from top to bottom, it was a no-brainer for Golf Digest to rate Wailea one of its “Best Places to Play” in a recent story. The Wailea Gold, formerly the site of the Champions Skins Game, is a ruggedly beautiful layout marked by native wili wili trees, stark lava outcroppings, and a solid design that demands careful club selection to be played well. Low lava rock walls, built centuries ago by early Hawaiians and preserved for their historical interest, dot the course, a constant reminder of Maui’s ancient history. The Emerald is a sensuous delight, lushly landscaped with fragrant blossoms and tropical foliage, and numerous island vistas. Fewer forced carries offer a measure of forgiveness, but even avid players will find strong shot placement is key to success. Most memorable about the cascadegolfer.com


Emerald is the double green – Hawaii’s first – at holes No. 10 and 17, bordered by a 1.4 million gallon brackish water lake and a stunning ocean view. The Old Blue is Wailea’s original layout, a more typical “Hawaiian” course with wide fairways, challenging greens, numerous fountains, tropical plants, coral sand bunkers and several lakes. The course meanders through much of the resort, with views of the ocean from almost every point. In addition to the three courses, Wailea is home to the only David Leadbetter Golf Academy in the islands, part of a 12-acre training facility where resort guests can work on their game between rounds. Combining golf with a stay at one of the resort’s hotels or condominiums can save nearly 25 percent on the fullprice greens fee, while a popular Seahorse Swing golf pass can be purchased for just $465, giving a golfer unlimited access to the Gold and Emerald courses for a three-day period (add top-of-the-line rental clubs for all three days for an additional $90, just $30 a day). In addition, kids play free after 3 p.m. with a paid adult, while unadvertised seasonal specials and packages are periodically posted to the resort’s website.

n the island's slender center (I've always thought of it as Maui's "neck," since West Maui takes the shape of a head looking south towards the island of Kaho'olawe), in the foothills of West Maui Mountain, sit two of Maui's most celebrated courses. And, if you're lucky, you can play them both on your next visit. King Kamehameha Golf Club is Maui's most celebrated private club, with a Ted Robinson-designed course nestled 700 feet above the beaches below, and a Frank Lloyd Wright-designed clubhouse. (Wright based the clubhouse on a design for a home for actress Marilyn Monroe and playwright Arthur Miller, which was commissioned in 1949 but never built.) Each boast views stretching all the way across the island — from Kahului in the north to Ma'alaea Bay in the south, with mighty Haleakala rising in between. If it's views you've come for, you can't make a better choice. Of course, it's not — you're here for golf, and you're in luck there, too. King Kamehameha offers limited public play at certain times of the year through its "Guest For a Day" program, allowing golfers of all classes and abilities to venture across Robinson's tiered greens, numerous elevation changes and risk-reward delights. You'll experience a course designed to challenge and thrill, with generally broad fairways, but plenty of bunkers and water features for those who wander astray. Fairways and greens are in impeccable condition, and the club's private status means the course is never crowded, with a typical round played in under four hours. What's not to like? That said, you don't have to experience King Kamehameha to get a taste of the King Kamehameha experience. Just down the road is Maui's Kahili Golf Club (808242-4653, kahiligolf.com), a public track which shares ownership and management with the acclaimed private cascadegolfer.com

FROM TOP TO BOTTOM

Wailea Emerald G.C. • Wailea Royal Ka'anapali G.C. • Lahaina Kahili G.C. • Waikapu course. That means that Kahili receives the same quality of care, and shares many of the same design features and views, as its more famous — and more expensive — sibling, at less than half the cost. Routinely rated among Maui's top values by locals and visitors alike (Golf Magazine once named it the No. 1 public course in the entire state), Kahili is a golfer's delight, with memorable par-3s and numerous doglegs and elevation changes that wreak havoc with its supposed 6,500-yard length. Especially given the wind, it's wise to move up a tee box and give yourself a chance to score well. If you do, you'll want to come back — and unlike at King Kamehameha, a true, once-in-a-lifetime experience for non-members — you can, over and over again.

urning west at Ma’alaea Bay takes you to West Maui, a picturesque coastline from Olawalu to Kapalua that has as its bustling center the history-rich town of Lahaina. Chosen by Kamehameha two centuries ago to be the capitol of his newly unified Hawaiian kingdom and home to his royal palace, Lahaina was once one of the busiest ports on the entire Pacific Ocean. Today, its streets are packed not with sailors, but tourists enjoying an evening

walk along the seaside Front Street, home to dozens of restaurants (many featuring second-story deck seating with unbeatable ocean views), trendy shops and galleries featuring work by local artists. There are also a number of businesses catering specifically to out-of-towners, including whale-watching tours (in the wintertime, the straits around West Maui offer some of the best humpback whale-watching opportunities in the world), professionally led snorkeling and scuba expeditions, helicopter tours into the Haleakala crater, and more. Most visitors to West Maui 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. With its relatively calm waters and abundant sea life, the Black Rock, a large, lava-rock outcropping located roughly at the midpoint of the resort complexes, is considered one of the premier snorkeling locations on the island, with eels, sea turtles and Hawaii’s famous colorful fish — including the fun-to-say humuhumunukunukuapua'a — all common sights for even the most amateur snorkeler. It’s also home to the area’s two premier courses, Royal Ka’anapali and Ka’anapali Kai, at Ka’anapali Golf Resort (kaanapaligolfcourses.com, 866-454-4653). 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 on 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 the course 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. The courses are also ahead of the game when it comes to making golf more affordable and less time-consuming, a key part of the USGA's new, forward-thinking initiatives. The "Golf My Way" program allows golfers to play 18 holes over a seven-day stretch — three holes here, four holes there, whatever you have time for on any given day. It's been a boon with golfers who can't resist the lure of the courses, but also want to maximize time spent with the family. There are also FitClub programs (an afternoon golf fitness program, perfect for snowbirds in town for a while), FootGolf (unlimited play for just $15 after 3 p.m.), GolfBoard rentals, and multi-round packages that drive prices ever lower. And, if you combine your stay with lodging at Ka'anapali's premier hotels, the Westin Maui and Sheraton Maui, you can receive even further savings on both the golf and lodging than if you had booked separately. DECEMBER 2017

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Royal Ka'anapali G.C. • Lahaina

WIN A WEEK IN MAUI!

L

ook, we can write all the pretty words we want, but the only way to truly appreciate the magic of Maui is by going there to experience it for yourself. So, stop dreaming about palm trees, warm breezes and the aloha spirit, and instead point your browser to CascadeGolfer.com to enter for your chance to win a four-night stay 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! One CG reader will be taking this vacation in 2018 — here's hoping it's you! Enter to win today at CascadeGolfer.com!

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n addition to granting you access to the terrific local courses, a stay in Ka’anapali also puts you within 15 minutes of the crown jewel of Maui’s golf enterprise, the Kapalua Golf Resort (golfatkapalua.com, 808-6698044). The 36-hole resort is Hawaii’s most famous, hosting the world’s best golfers year after year, plus thousands of other pleasure-seekers looking to trod the fairways annually ranked among Golf Digest’s “Top 100 You Can Play.” The Crenshaw/Coore-designed par-73 Plantation Course, home to the PGA Tour’s Tournament of Champions and, in 2016, ranked Hawaii's No. 1 course, winds 7,411 yards up and down the West Maui Mountain foothills and through Maui’s most active pineapple plantation, a remnant of the 18th-century Spanish explorers who brought the tropical fruit with them from their explorations in South America. It all leads up to one of the most famous holes in golf, the par-5 18th, a 665-yard monster played downwind to a fairway sloping away from the tee, a perfect storm of conditions for drives that carry 300 – even 400 – yards. While less challenging (and less pricey) than its more famous sibling, many players find Kapalua’s Bay

Course equally enjoyable. While the Plantation winds its way through the mountain foothills, the Bay stretches past the Ritz-Carlton to the coast below, offering players the chance to battle Maui’s famous trade winds during a short-but-challenging two-hole stretch along the coastline — including the signature 5th, the only hole on the entire island to actually play over the water — before returning inland. Visitors to Kapalua can also take advantage of lessons from some of the country's top teaching pros, including half-day, two-day and three-day intensive golf schools designed to tune up your swing just in time to come home and dominate your local tournaments next summer. tanding at the peak of Haleakala in the pre-dawn hours of a late-summer morning, bundled up in layers against temperatures hovering just above 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.

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SAVE SOME GREEN NORTH STARS BY BRIAN BEAKY • CG EDITOR

I

don't play a lot of winter golf. It's not that I'm all that put off by the weather, but rather that between holidays and a busy schedule producing our magazines and golf shows, it's rare to find a free day that aligns with a day of "good" weather (Seattle winter good, that is ... you know, 40-plus and not raining). When I do, though, there are three things I look for in a round — close to home (days are too short to drive too far), affordable (nothing is going to be great this time of year, so I might as well "save some green") and as dry as I can find. On CascadeGolfer.com, we list a few of our favorite dry-weather tracks, but we wanted to expand on a couple in this space — ones that truly meet all three of those descriptions. We're calling them our north stars — because following your GPS in their direction is the surest way to find good golf this winter.

In the “Sun Belt”

At The Golf Course Download our new App for Great Deals

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Featuring some of the best and most well maintained greens in the area! Located in the Sunbelt of Western Washington

We receive less rain during the wet season and less heat during the summer

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Legion Memorial G.C. • Everett

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Legion Memorial Golf Course EVERETT

Even if you know nothing about course conditions, there are a few things to look for when choosing courses in winter. The big one, for me, is high, exposed ground — not only will the rain drain downhill, but an open layout will dry more quickly than one enclosed by trees, due to wind, sun and a lack of fallen needles and leaves that keep ground moist. Many of the area's best winter courses feature one or both of these traits — Cedars at Dungeness, Chambers Bay, Newcastle, The Home Course and, yes, Legion Memorial. On a hill overlooking Puget Sound to the west

and the Cascade Mountains to the east, it's perfectly set up to be a strong winter course — a fact the city played into when reworking Legion a few years back, adding drainage and sand in key places to further cement its reputation. It's a fun, round, too. We play it in winter, but also in summer, when a 5:15 a.m. tee time can have us in the office by 9 a.m. after a quick 18. At 6,900 yards from the tips and 6,600 from the blues, there's plenty of room for longer hitters to rear back and let it fly, without playing driver-wedge all day long. But, for most players, it's a course that rewards strong iron play over a good drive — the aforementioned mostly open layout (with a few exceptions) means you can spray it a little and be OK, so long as your approach shots are on-point. Legion's par-3s are a good example. From the back tees, two play longer than 200 yards, while the 13th measures 200 from the whites (230 from the blues, and a mind-boggling 258 from the blacks). The one reprieve is the downhill 16th, a pretty, 141-yard shot from a hilltop to a green bordered on the right by a large pond. That’s preceded by one of our favorite holes, the par-5 15th. Just 505 yards from the white tees (540 from the blues, 547 from the blacks), a drive struck 260-275 yards puts players in position to get home in two with a 3-wood, though several bunkers and the aforementioned pond wait to collect a poor approach. The par-5 eighth is another risk-reward favorite, a 495-yard par-5 with water bordering the hole’s final third. Our favorite quality, of course, is the rate — under $30 at peak hours in the winter, and as little as $21.50 for golfers trying to jump out early or late. After an evening round, save time to head into downtown Everett for a quick meal. The sandwiches at Kama'aina Grindz are a must, while just a few blocks away, Major League Pizza dishes up amazing pie.

Remember, we’re only 15 minutes from I-5 exit #212, in the “Sun Belt” on Camano Island.

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Camaloch Golf Course

(800) 628-0469

camalochgolf.com 36

DECEMBER 2017

YARDAGE (PAR) 4,805-6,900 (72) RATES $21.50-$29.25* TEL (425) 259-4653 WEB www.everettgolf.com * See website for current rates cascadegolfer.com


Snohomish G.C. • Snohomish

2

Snohomish Golf Course SNOHOMISH

Now, this one isn't exposed or on a hilltop, but it's still one of our favorites. In fact, when it comes to under-appreciated golf courses in the Northwest, there may be no better bang for your buck than Snohomish. Driving out there, it feels "deep" — in fact, it’s actually only about 10 minutes from I-5 or Highway 9 — but that's also one of the aspects that make it great. When you are walking the fairways at Snohomish (and the large majority of players do walk, though it is a bit hilly), the daily rat race is just a distant memory. The course itself is very much a test of golf. We've called it an everyman's Sahalee — with narrow fairways, lined by a dense forest ready to swallow every missed shot, Snohomish demands that you keep your ball on the short stuff, and forces you to hit most of the clubs in your bag. The course stretches to over 6,800 yards with a rating of 72.5 from tips — though, anyone but the best golfers would be wise to stick to the 6,300-yard gold tees, or even the 5,900-yard silver tees. It may not seem long, but with the narrow fairways and many doglegs, just about every hole plays longer than the number on the scorecard (especially when you're hitting sideways from the trees). Even the par-3s present plenty of challenge. The 244yard eighth, with water on the right, leaves plenty of golfers sweating the choice between distance and accuracy. Word of advice? You need both. The rest of the course does a great job balancing dogleg par-4s, par-3s of varying length, and par-5s that are three-shotters for most, but reachable for longer hitters. And, just like Legion, it's hard to beat the rates — under $40 at peak times, with twilight and early-bird rates that are barely more than a 3D movie. Unless you’re getting paid to play, that's about as good as it gets. It's a great course at a great price, and with the local country feel to it — and some of the friendliest pro shop staff in the region — it's a place worth getting to know. Just don’t tell anyone else. — Simon Dubiel

YARDAGE (PAR) 5,325-6,813 (72) RATES $25-$38* TEL (360) 568-2676 WEB www.snohomishgolfcourse.com

Bucket List

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DECEMBER 2017

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POST GAME

Holiday Wish List By Brian Beaky CG Editor

I

t's the time of year when everyone is making their lists (no, I'm not going to say, "and checking them twice." Wait, I just did, didn't I?) — both of the holiday kind, and those for the new year. So, we thought, if there was a Santa Claus out there granting holiday wishes for golfers worldwide, what would we want him or her to bring us this year? For me, it's easy — a sunny spring. I mean, this one's obvious, right? Last year was the darkest, wettest and most miserable spring that most of us have ever had to endure. In a typical year, my golf season kicks off in March, ramps up in April, and is in full swing by May and June. Last year? I played exactly one round before July 4. So, if I could ask for anything this year, it would be 65 degrees and sun starting Mar. 1. We asked our staff what they'd want, and threw in some reader suggestions from

“A stay and play anywhere warm in the dead of winter — Palm Springs, Phoenix/ Scottsdale, Las Vegas, Monterrey, Florida, etc. ... I'm not picky! It would also be awesome for Titleist Claus to drop a set of those AP3s down my chimney!“ — Casey Carter

“Trip to Australia to play Royal Melbourne!“ — Tyler Daniels

“A deal to buy one five-lesson package, and get a three-lesson package for free.“ — Mike Brown

“Since I'm currently in love with my Odyssey Golf putter, I'm wishing for a new custom-fit set of irons. And maybe a new driver while we're at it ...“ — Noah Van Loen

Pebble Beach Resort • Pebble Beach, Calif. Facebook and Twitter as well (including a couple of wishes that, with a visit to the "Enter to Win" page at CascadeGolfer.com, could actually come true). Here's hoping at least one of us gets what we want:

“Golf trip to Brandon Dunes and then down the coast to Pebble Beach.“ — Diane Ginther

“A world-class golf course on the coast, like our own Bandon Dunes. Turn that eight-hour drive into two hours, and I'd practically live there! Not sure how good it would be for my bank account, though ...“ — Keith Kozlowski

“An all-expenses-paid trip to Scotland and Ireland for two weeks, to play 12 top courses, including my family’s course, Cochranes, in Scotland.” — Craig Petersen

“For a set of Wilson Golf V6 Irons to find their way to me from Santa...“ — Ron Lunsford

“Gals golf trip to Pebble Beach!“ — Kathy Anderson

“A trip to Hawaii to play those great courses.“ — Ed Altizer

“Greg Norman's driving ability, Seve's short game, Rory's iron play, Peak Tiger's mental game, Jack's flatstick.“ — Seth Jaspan

YOUR WIN A PALM SPRINGS GOLF GETAWAY!

T

PGA WEST Nicklaus Tournament Course • La Quinta, Calif.

he single best thing about our December issue — besides, maybe, a sneak peek at the coolest new products for 2018 — is the chance to send one of our readers on the biggest golf vacation we give away all year long ... the Mega Palm Springs Package! • Two nights lodging at LaQuinta Resort & Spa • Twosome to LaQuinta Resort & Spa and PGA WEST • Twosome to Desert Willow • Twosome to SilverRock • Twosome to The Classic Club That’s 8 rounds of golf and two nights lodging — all for free! Log on to our website at CascadeGolfer.com today for your chance to win! 38

DECEMBER 2017

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Cascade Golfer December 2017  

The Northwest's largest and most widely distributed quarterly golf magazine