One Of Golf Digestâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 2011 TOp fiTTers and CusTOm Club builders
miuragolf.us Miura has named California PGA Master Fitter, David Butler, BSME, MBA, as its first featured World-Wide Dealer
Departments 8 PUBLISHER’S PITCH
22 PUETZ IN THE BAG
52 PRACTICE TEE
10 SHORT GAME
• • • • • • •
John Fought charts new course Pacific Amateur gets new home CG Cup tees off at Chambers Orange Whip turning heads Local artist paints the green Target practice at Fort Lewis SG Extra: Puetz goes high-tech
• Forged irons for all • Flatstick artistry • New bags & rangefinders
31 RISK VS REWARD
• Trophy Lake No. 18
48 SAVE SOME GREEN
• The power of positive thinking
• All decked out
PUETZ GOLF SAVINGS!
6-7 | 26-30 | 53
• Great courses under $50
32 34 40
Almost Famous Jeff Coston is realizing his dreams — they’re just not what he expected
Diamond in the Rough Suncadia goes all-in with new golf course, winery
Let’s Play Two Our favorite 36-hole golf day trips THIS PAGE: The Jack Nicklaus Signature Course at Pronghorn Club & Resort in Bend will host the final round of this year’s Golf World Pacific Amateur Golf Classic. STORY ON PAGE 11
DON’T MISS THIS SUMMER’S AWESOME
FREE ENTRY to the 2011 Pacific Amateur • Page 11 VIP ACCESS to the 2011 Boeing Classic • Page 12 TWOSOME to Meridian Valley CC • Page 42 4
Log on to CascadeGolfer.com for your chance to win!
Cover design by John Kimball
• SPECIAL INCENTIVES, GIVEAWAYS & BONUSES • FREE CLUB FITTING BY THE EXPERTS • BRING A FRIEND AND HAVE FUN!
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JUNE JUNE 2011 2011
Volume 5 • Issue 2 • JUNE 2011
Cascade Golfer is published and owned by Varsity Communications, Inc. This publication is mailed free to more than 106,000 registered Puetz Golf Preferred members. Additional copies are printed and distributed throughout the Puget Sound.
VARSITY COMMUNICATIONS, INC. 12510 33rd Ave. NE, Suite 300 Seattle, WA 98125 P: (206) 367-2420 F: (206) 363-9099 varsitycommunications.com
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, Heather Flyte, John Kimball CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Tony Dear, Bob Sherwin, Craig Smith FOR EDITORIAL SUBMISSIONS AND INQUIRIES: Brian Beaky • (206) 367-2420 ext. 1209 email@example.com
An endless summer of golf and the search for the perfect round is not about scores — it’s about the senses
hhhhhhhhhh. The warmth of the sun. A light breeze blowing the salty sea air inland off Puget Sound. A sunrise pushing up over the horizon earlier than anywhere else in the lower 48 and lending a glow to my 5:20 a.m. round — still allowing me to make a 10 a.m. meeting on this magazine. Welcome, summer. Golfers in Tulsa, Rancho Palos Verdes, Miami or Augusta can’t lay claim to these gifts I’ve listed above – and they never will. These are our jewels that accentuate our surroundings and make summer golf here in the Puget Sound region special indeed. I look forward to soaking in the experiences I brushed over above — and hopefully a whole lot more, because I have never had the bug this bad before. Summer beckons. This issue is a “Special Edition” for Cascade Golfer. Because our days are so long, the choices are plentiful and the environment in which to play is so vast, we took our inspiration from the “Endless Summer,” the famous cult surfing flick from the ‘60s about a summer-long search for the perfect wave. We are looking to inspire you to find your perfect round, and with the country’s most diverse collection of high-quality tracks, we’re sure you’ll find 18, 36 or even 54 to your liking.
I recently celebrated turning 40 with my three close buds from college: Kevin, Pat and Tom. They are Midwesterners and I wanted them to see and feel Cascade golf on summer solstice. We played Chambers Bay (coastal links), Suncadia (mountain) and McCormick Woods (woodlands) over a three-day span, so they could get a sampling of our scene. I even threw in a little seafood, some Red Hooks and a couple of bottles of Andrew Will to make it complete. Even though it’s been two years, they still talk about how divergent and special their golfing experience was, to be along the ocean one day and play above 3,000 feet the next – and how much time we spent in the car arguing over the best Beastie Boys songs. They loved it, and so did I. We all hope this issue plays a part in helping you make this “your” endless summer. It’s not always about the scores — sometimes it’s about the senses. There is no GHIN or tournament that measures the sights, smells, sounds, feel and taste of golf. If there were, there’s no question the Northwest would have the rest of the world beat. Share your experiences with us on our website, CascadeGolfer.com — we dig hearing from our readers and learning more about you. TAKE IT EASY.
ADVERTISING & MARKETING STAFF
V I C E P R E S I D E NT / D I R E C TO R O F S AL E S Kirk Tourtillotte S A LE S M A N AG E R David Stolber S A LE S & M A R K E T I N G Simon Dubiel FOR ADVERTISING INQUIRIES, CONTACT: David Stolber • (206) 367-2420 ext. 1204 firstname.lastname@example.org
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Consolidated Press • Seattle, WA COPYRIGHT 2011 Cascade Golfer. PRINTED IN THE USA. All rights reserved. Articles, photos, advertising and/or graphics may not be reprinted without the written permission of the publisher. Advertising and editorial contained herein does not constitute endorsement of Cascade Golfer or Varsity Communications, Inc. Publisher reserves the right to edit letters, photos and copy submitted and publish only excerpts. The publisher has made every effort to ensure the accuracy of all material contained in this issue. However, as unpredictable changes and errors do occur, the publisher can assume no liability for errors, omissions or changes. All photos are courtesy of the course or individual unless otherwise noted. PRODUCER AND OWNER OF THE PROUD CHARTER MEMBER
JUNE 2011 2011
Dawn On The Horizon at Sundoon
Renderings of Sundoon’s third hole show a course that Fought says, “could even rival the courses at Bandon Dunes.”
ohn Fought obviously thinks very highly of the place. Having inspected the site for the first time nearly 14 years ago, and after plowing an estimated $120,000 worth of his time into the project without seeing many, if any, results, you might think the award-winning golf course designer would have had his fill of the place by now. But the man who designed both Washington National in Auburn and Trophy Lake near Bremerton is still determined to turn the 215acre parcel adjacent to the Columbia Gorge Airport in Dallesport, Wash., into a world-class golf course named Sundoon (the name might actually change, but for now it’s Sundoon). “It’s has been a very arduous and difficult project,” says Fought, who was introduced to the property in 1997 by Steve Tessmer, a realestate developer who later built the Columbia Cliff Villas Hotel in Hood River, Ore. “In fact, I don’t really consider it a genuine project yet. We’ve submitted all the necessary permitting applications and an environmental impact statement, but the process has been extremely complex and has dragged on for many years.” Sundoon’s fate currently lies in the hands of the Klickitat County Council, which met on May 5 to discuss the details of the proposed development and possibly give it the green light. “But even if we get the result we want, there’ll 10
be an appeal,” Fought laments. “There always is.” Fought and Tessmer’s original plan had been to get a group of investors together that would build, own and manage the course itself. But in 2007, after almost a decade of tedious bureaucracy, they decided to turn the project over to the Roseland Property Group, owned by Roy and Linda Rose of West Linn, Ore. Shortly after the Roses assumed ownership, zoning was established and the Dalles City Council signed off on the lease agreement. Besides the golf course, the Roses have plans for a hotel, home sites, a business park and an executive terminal at the airport. In all, the development will cover 740 acres, some of it privately-owned, the rest public. “Roy and Linda have worked incredibly hard to get to where we are now,” says Fought, who adds that every agency involved in the negotiations has been on board for some time now, including the county, the cities of Dalles and Dallesport, the Governor’s office, the airport management, the FAA and even the Washington Department of Ecology. “When the course is built, the habitat for wildlife would actually be much better than what’s there now. And the project will likely create somewhere between 800 and 1,000 jobs.” Of course, every golfer familiar with Fought’s first two Washington layouts will be hoping any
appeal can be dismissed and that Sundoon will eventually see the light of day. The site is rocky and sandy and, says Fought, ideal for an exposed inland links course. “I’m very bullish about how good I think Sundoon could be,” he says. “In time, it could even rival the courses at Bandon Dunes.” Fought likens the sandy soil and firm turf to those he worked with at Sand Hollow in Hurricane, Utah, which Golf Digest ranked as the country’s seventh-best new course in 2009 and which has been listed as the No. 1 course in Utah every year since it opened. Fought has had Sundoon routed, drawn up and staked for years. The wait for final approval goes on, but the designer is allowing himself to get excited about construction of the course finally happening. “I think we are closing in on a positive decision now,” says Fought. “And believe me; we are ready and raring to go.” — Tony Dear cascadegolfer.com
Pacific Amateur Goes to Pronghorn
hen officials at Sunriver Resort decided to redo the greens at their famed Crosswater course this August, it left managers of the acclaimed Pacific Amateur Championship, the Northwest’s top amateur golf tournament, with a dilemma. Crosswater has hosted the championship round of the event — featuring nearly 700 golfers from across the globe competing over 54 holes at Central Oregon’s top courses — for 14 years. If it was not going to be available, where would they possibly find another course of comparable quality to hold the final? Actually, on second thought, it wasn’t that much of a dilemma. The communities of Bend, Sisters and Redmond — collectively referred to by golfers as the “Central Oregon Golf Trail” — have perhaps the highest concentration of mind-blowing golf courses in America. And that’s not even considering courses just a few miles outside Bend like those at Sunriver and Black Butte Ranch – the two resorts that effectively kicked off the whole Central Oregon golf craze 40 years ago. Routed across the verdant high-desert prairie just east of Mount Bachelor and the Cascade range, the region’s courses are defined by thick desert brush, wavy grassland and long, meandering rivers. To find another championship-level golf course in Central Oregon, all that’s necessary is to turn around. This year’s final will be held on Pronghorn Resort’s famed Nicklaus Course, ranked among the nation’s top-25 resort courses in 2010 and America’s No. 2 new course in
2006. Open only to members and resort guests for much of its first five years, the Nicklaus course is opening for public play in 2011, with the Pacific Amateur Championship serving as its unofficial coming-out party. Players in the Pacific Amateur will play 54 holes at some of Central Oregon’s most acclaimed courses — Aspen Lakes, Brasada Canyons, Bend Golf and Country Club, Eagle Crest, Juniper, Lost Tracks, Quail Run, and Sunriver’s Meadows and Woodlands Courses — with the top-two players in each flight advancing to the 18hole final at Pronghorn. Scorers — and galleries of fellow players and locals — follow the finalists as they knock it around the Nicklaus course for the chance to win flight and overall titles, and the most coveted trophy in Northwest amateur golf. Many golfers who play in the tournament make a week out of it, staying in the area and bracketing their Pac Am rounds with a round at Tetherow or a stay-andplay at the Sunriver Resort, or nearby Black Butte Ranch, whose Big Meadow and Glaze Meadow courses are annually ranked among the Northwest’s top destination tracks. Glaze Meadow, the newer of Black Butte’s two championship courses, is closed this year as part of a $3.75 million renovation at the hands of noted designer John Fought. When it reopens in the spring of 2012, it will be Central Oregon’s newest championship course — no doubt making those week-long stays to play the Pac Am last at least one day longer.
PLAY THE PACIFIC AMATEUR — ON US! “If you only had one shot, one opportunity, to seize everything you ever wanted, would you capture it, or just let it slip?” Rapper Eminem may not be much for golf, but when it comes to seizing the moment, he’s on the right track. This summer, we’ve decided that rather than just tell you how much fun you can have at Central Oregon’s Pacific Amateur Golf Classic, Aug. 29-Sept. 2, we’re going to let you find out for yourself. That’s right — we’re paying the entry fee for one lucky reader to tee it up in the high desert of Bend, Sisters and Redmond for the chance to play the final round at Pronghorn’s Nicklaus Signature Course and be named 2011 Pacific Amateur Champion. All you have to do to be entered to win is to log on to CascadeGolfer.com and fill out the entry form. We’ll notify the winner in early July, and by late Pronghorn • Nicklaus Course August you’ll be shoulder to shoulder with the region’s best amateur golfers, on some of the Northwest’s premier courses. As for your end of the bargain? Just promise you’ll make us look good. Log on today for your chance to win! cascadegolfer.com
Camaloch Golf Course
Were located in the Sun Belt of Puget Sound, get less than 20 inches of annual rainfall, yet are still only 15 minutes from I-5 exit #212. Excellent greens (smooth & consistent) year round, course is fun to play for all skill levels, yet still challenges the best of players to score on.
for Special Discounts
RACE FOR THE CUP
Bonallo, Beatty win CG Cup Opener at Chambers Bay
WIN VIP BOEING CLASSIC TICKETS! We’re giving one lucky reader the chance to win two VIP hospitality passes to the first two rounds of the PGA TOUR Champions Tour Boeing Classic, Aug. 22-28 at TPC Snoqualmie Ridge. In addition to tickets to the Seattle area’s only PGA Tour event, you’ll have VIP access to the Canyon Club hospitality skybox located behind the 14th green, where you can watch Fred Couples, Bernhard Langer, Nick Price and other top pros make that game-changing decision – try to fly it over Bear’s Canyon to the green, or play it safe and lay up? I think we both know what Boom-Boom’s going to do. In addition to the best seat in the house at the event’s signature hole, you’ll be able to take advantage of skybox luxuries like food, drinks, big-screen televisions and more. Log on to CascadeGolfer.com today for your chance to win!
an Bonallo and Austin Beatty won April’s TaylorMade Players Championship at Chambers Bay with their regular clubs. So imagine how tough they’re going to be to beat once they come back from TaylorMade’s “Kingdom” in California with complete sets of custom-fit sticks — their grand prize for winning the year’s kickoff event in the 2011 Cascade Golfer Cup? Bonallo and Beatty took the lead in the summer-long Cup with a win at Chambers, establishing themselves as early favorites for the overall Cup title and the grand prize 2012 Summer Golf Package, including twosomes at 20 of the Northwest’s premier venues. Beatty — who placed 18th in last year’s season-long Cup with father Joe — and friend Ian Bonallo tallied eight net birdies, two net eagles and eight net pars to score 48 points in the event’s modified Stableford scoring, edging out 2010 Cascade Golfer Cup champions Todd Roney and Byron Rich for the tournament title and early Cup lead. As is the case at every Cascade Golfer Cup event, the top-15 net teams and top-5 gross teams also took home incredible packages, ranging from stay-and-plays to Hawaii and other dream golf destinations, to golf clubs, merchandise and more, while every player pocketed a free round at Chambers Bay to use later this year. The seven-event series for local amateurs — scored in gross and net formats and featuring various scoring systems, plus incredible individual-event prizes — continues June 11 with the McCormick Woods Scramble (the first of three “majors” where point values are increased) followed by four more events throughout the summer at Suncadia’s new Rope Rider course (July 23), White Horse (Aug. 13), Gold Mountain’s Olympic Course (Sept. 10) and Druids Glen (Oct. 1). The year wraps up with the season-ending awards banquet at the Muckleshoot Casino, where the season-long Cup winners will be announced and one lucky player will be drawn to win a week-long trip to the 2012 British Open in England. Learn more or sign up today by visiting CascadeGolfer.com and clicking on the cup, or by e-mailing tournament coordinator Simon Dubiel at email@example.com.
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s the producers of golf magazines, golf shows, tournaments and other golf-related enterprises, we’re used to seeing a lot of “interesting” products that make a lot of promises. Clubs that come unhinged when your swing isn’t on-plane, tees that somehow make you more accurate and consistent (Tees. Seriously. How desperate do people think we are?) — you name it, we’ve seen it. Needless to say, we tend to look less to funky gadgets for swing improvement, and more to the best practices of the game’s top players. So imagine our surprise when we walked through February’s Portland Golf Show and saw video of Vijay Singh, Dustin Johnson, Matt Kuchar and Justin Rose – a three-time major winner and three of the top-25 players in the world — swinging what, to our eyes, looked like a rubber orange on the end of a small, flexible shaft. The Orange Whip, as it’s called, is in fact one of those rare swing trainers that is making its way out of the dogeat-dog world of trade shows and into the bags of the best players in the game. Designed by PGA professional Jim Hackenberg to help players develop the muscle memory for the proper swing motion, the Orange Whip is quickly becoming popular with weekend warriors and PGA Tour pros alike. It’s already available at all four Puetz stores in Washington, where it retails for under $110. Comprised of a flexible shaft with counter-weights at each end, the Whip helps golfers develop the proper balance and tempo in their swing. The weighted ball at the end of the shaft lags behind on the downswing, forcing golfers to wait for the weight to swing back before driving — or whipping, in this case – through the impact zone. That little pause, Hackenberg says, prevents golfers from throwing their arms out too early and “casting” on the downswing, one of the most common swing faults. In addition to training and reinforcing proper swing tempo, the Orange Whip is marketed as a fitness tool, helping to increase torso flexibility, core strength and a low-impact stretch. Given its relatively small size, it makes an excellent indoor training tool on cold or rainy days, and is USGA-legal to carry in your bag without counting against the 14-club rule (though, you may not swing it, only use it to stretch). In the immortal words of Devo, “Whip it good” indeed. cascadegolfer.com
A Work of Art
cott Mulholland didn’t choose to be a painter of golf courses … well, not exactly. But, as anyone who makes their living in the creative arts will tell you – be they a painter, writer, film director, etc. – your best work comes when you paint (or write, or direct) what you know. Raised in Ayr, Scotland, Mulholland picked up golf at an early age, playing at the junior ranks in Kilmarnock and caddying at Royal Troon and other famed courses. After emigrating to Tacoma with his family in the 1980s, Mulholland kept up the game at Stadium High School and Tacoma Community College, and spent several years on the sales and marketing side of the golf industry. When he wasn’t golfing, Mulholland was often indulging his other hobby – art, particularly drawing and photography. Painting, he soon discovered, allowed him to combine those passions, photographing source material then sketching it onto a canvas before applying the paint. It wasn’t until 2008, however, when Mulholland was taking pictures during a round at Chambers Bay, that his two hobbies finally merged. Mulholland decided to recreate one of the photos – of Chambers’ iconic No. 15 green and its Lone Fir – as a watercolor, and posted the image of the finished work on his website. Chambers Bay architect Jay Blasi came across the painting online and contacted Mulholland about purchasing it – and just like that, the career that Mulholland had seemingly and unknowingly been building towards for over 30 years was born. “If you look at my history, it makes complete sense that this has become my focus,” he says. “It combines two of my greatest passions.” In the years since, Mulholland has painted Allenmore Golf Course in Tacoma, Pebble Beach, Torrey Pines and Trump National, and has agreements to paint Semiahmoo, Newcastle, The Home Course, Bandon Dunes and Couer d’Alene Resort. His art has won best-in-show in a number of juried competitions, and in 2010 readers of South Sound magazine named Mulholland the “Best Local Artist.” These days, Mulholland plays once a week at Allenmore (where he is a member), visits courses he’s contracted with to take reference photos for his work, and teaches art therapy classes to seniors and students. “It’s hard to imagine something that would be a better match for me,” he says. To see more of Mulholland’s work, visit any Puetz Golf location, or go online to scottmulholland.net.
SHORT GAME HOME ON THE
S G O L F
FALLS C O U R S E
very summer, the golf range at Fort Lewis’ Eagles Pride Course is filled with hundreds of military children participating in golf camps. As the kids work on their swings, mothers with cameras or cell phones stand several feet away taking pictures. Those pictures then will be sent with pride to their fathers serving in the war-torn regions of Afghanistan or Iraq. That’s what you call a morale-builder. “It makes you think for a second, ‘What I’m doing is not very important — or is very important,’’’ said Eagles’ golf professional Eric Bowen, who has run the camps for the past two years. “It allows families to communicate like that.” Anyone can use the 270-yard-long, screened-in driving field for a decent price – just $6 for a 51-ball bucket. There are at least 50 tee positions where you can hit off of natural grass or, during inclement weather, there are 10 covered hitting stations. The range was converted
TARGET GOLF Every golfer needs a good place to practice. Here are a few of our other favorite places to fine-tune our swing in between summer road trips:
PUETZ GOLF • SEATTLE 11762 Aurora Ave N • (206) 362-2272 Covered stalls with custom-fitting on-site INTERBAY GOLF CENTER • SEATTLE 2501 15th Avenue W • (206) 285-2200 Two-tier covered, heated stalls, plus large outdoor chipping and putting greens PHOTO BY ROB PERRY
decades ago from a long par-5 (it’s now a par-4). Bowen also has a covered instructional area with the latest in teaching equipment such as video machines and the Megsa training system, which helps the golfer understand the proper arc to the swing. At a time when Lynnwood’s Kaddyshack range has closed and the proposed West Seattle Golf Course range is a no-go because of neighborhood concerns, the Eagles Pride range is a valued community resource. Although the range is for use by the general public, the first priority is for military families. “That’s our focus, our No. 1 goal,’’ Bowen said. He added that for some soldiers, learning to play golf could become a necessity. They may be advised by their
commanders to learn a lifetime sport or they may need to play the game to make better business contacts. “If you’re in the military for 20 years, you may retire at age 39 or 40. They have another career ahead of them,’’ Bowen said. “People are looking for an avenue into the game. We’re dealing with some pretty competitive people and they bring that competitive attitude to the range.’’ Many in the military come from rural or poor backgrounds that provide little or no exposure to the game growing up. The range may be the first time they ever pick up a club. “We have the opportunity to instruct people,’’ Bowen added, “and give them an understanding how to play this game.’’ — Bob Sherwin
GOLD CREEK TENNIS AND SPORTS CLUB • WOODINVILLE 15327 140th Pl NE • (425) 487-1090 Covered and grass tees, putting and chipping area, sand trap COLUMBIA SUPER RANGE • EVERETT 511 128th St. SE • (425) 338-2424 Covered, heated stalls, large putting green and nine chipping greens TACOMA FIRS FAMILY GOLF CENTER • TACOMA 4504 S. Tyler Street • 253-472-6899 Two-tier covered and open stalls, 18-hole mini golf, putting, chipping and bunker areas
n the past, some serious Northwest golfers have flown to California and Arizona for high-tech custom club fittings. The folks at Puetz now hope these golfers stay home and drive to the Puetz stores in Seattle and Southcenter for the same service — and that a lot of other golfers join them. A PING nFLIGHT Performance and Fitting Center has been installed outdoors at the Seattle store off Aurora Ave., while a TaylorMade Fitting Center is now at the Southcenter store. Puetz General Manager Michael Livingston said the Seattle store is one of two sites on the West Coast where PING is making the installation this year. He said the Southcenter store is one of four new sites nationwide that TaylorMade has selected. “This new equipment will separate us even more than before from the big-box discount stores and the mass merchants,” Livingston said. The Seattle store already was honored this year by Golf Digest as one of the top-100 club fitters in the nation and the new PING equipment can only enhance that reputation. The goal of club-fitting is simple — match the golfer’s swing with the equipment that will enable him to play his best. “Our goal is to help you play better golf,” says Ryan Christensen, a club-fitter at the Seattle store.
BY CRAIG SMITH What turns club-fitting into a science is all the variables in golfer size, body shape, golf swing and clubhead speeds and all the variables in golf clubs. Club variables include shaft length, stiffness, flex point (point of maximum bending of the club), grip and lie angle. Lie angle is the critical angle between the bottom of the club and the shaft. Having the proper lie angle is the difference between hitting the ball flush or hitting off-center. There also is the important matter of determining
which model of clubhead best suits the golfer. Once the correct lie angle and club length are determined, a player at a fitting hits different versions of the same club - say a 6-iron - with different grips, shafts and clubheads. The high-tech fitting centers analyze the golfer’s swing and measure ball speed, spin rate (important for trajectory and keeping the ball airborne) and launch angle. The process is repeated to select a driver, hybrids, wedges and other clubs. With the PING equipment, 3D, color-coded graphics
show entire ball flight from each club from various angles so the customer and fitter can easily compare clubs and the shot patterns they produced. (If the blue arc shots have a better trajectory and go farther than the reds or greens, then that’s the club for you.) The PING graphics are so advanced that the trees on the fairway on which the shots land actually flutter. Livingston explained that the PING system is Dopplerbased and tracks the entire flight of the ball, while the indoor TaylorMade Foresight system is a camera-based system that captures the initial foot or so of flight and projects the outcome. Wall Street Journal golf columnist John Paul Newport has written that although he has “a strong anti-complexity bias when it comes to golf,” that anyone who is going to buy clubs “really ought to be properly fit.” “The process is not onerous; it’s actually quite informative, and it benefits higher handicappers as much as low handicappers,” he wrote. “Most importantly, it will make your subsequent golf less frustrating because wellfit clubs promote a more efficient swing. It’s possible to hit the ball straight with poorly-fit clubs, but usually only by introducing complicating compensations that rob the swing of power and make it hard to repeat consistently.” Having the PING fitting center at the Seattle store at 116th and Aurora seems appropriate because PING founder Karsten Solheim grew up in nearby Ballard, graduated from Ballard High School and attended the University of Washington for two years. Other improvements at Puetz stores are installation of new Dream Turf artificial putting greens at the Bellevue and Southcenter locations. Dream Turf is a 10-year-old Snohomish company that boasts of nearly 2,000 successful installations. Dream Turf greens are in use at the University of Washington driving range both as fairway targets and as the chipping green. Dream Turf is owned and operated by former Class of 1980 Bellevue High School classmates John Davidson and Rick Griffiths. “Our products, coupled with our experienced installation crews, have made Dream Turf the leader in the Northwest market,” Davidson declared. This year marks the 66th anniversary of Puetz, which began as a North end driving range, before making the then-radical move of selling golf equipment at discount prices at the range. Founded by the late brothers Peter Carl Puetz and Alvin Puetz, just before the end of World War II, Puetz is now owned and operated by Peter’s son, David. “Golfers now in their 80s come in here and tell us, ‘I bought my my first set of clubs here in the 1940s. I was going to the UW,’” says Livingston, general manager of Puetz’ four store locations in Seattle, Bellevue, Tacoma and Southcenter. In an era of national chains, Puetz remains one of the largest independent wholesale golf merchandise companies in the nation — and now, one of the nation’s highest-tech club fitters as well.
IN THE BAG REVIEWS
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and equipment news you can use
FORGING AHEAD BY BRIAN BEAKY CG EDITOR
was raised playing my dad’s old irons, which were all forged. Over the ensuing years, however, I’ve elected to take advantage of the greater forgiveness available in cast irons, which make up the majority of the market. Now, as my game improves, I find myself occasionally wondering at what point I should make the switch back to forged — or does it really even matter? Cast irons are made from molten metal poured into a pre-made cast, while forged irons are instead made from a solid piece of metal, which is heated and then pounded (or “forged”) into its desired shape. Partly due to its solid nature, and also due to differences in the milling and machining of the club, a forged iron will typically give a golfer more feedback than a cast iron, and is typically made in a more “classic” shape and size than some of today’s modern gameimprovement irons. While a mid-to-high handicapper (which is the large majority of us) wants an iron that self-corrects the flaws in their swing, a scratch golfer wants exactly the opposite. Top players want the ability to bring a ball left to right, or right to left, as the hole demands, and to do that, needs a club that does exactly what his or her swing tells it to do. Nothing is more important to a scratch golfer than feel, and no irons provide better “feel” than forged irons. So how do you know when you’re ready to make the transition from cast, to forged? There’s good news for you — it’s not as awkward a transition as it once was. Three of the game’s biggest manufacturers — PING, TaylorMade and Callaway — have each released forged irons in the U.S. over the last six months which incorporate some of the game-improvement technologies that dominate today’s marketplace, while preserving the look, feel and workability of a traditional forged iron. In essence, they’re providing a middle ground for those of us who have considered trying forged, but are nervous about making the jump. We’ve taken the time to review all three — actually, five, since TaylorMade is offering three versions of its forged line which vary on the forgiveness-to-workability scale — and have mixed in a few putters and the latest rangefinders to help fill your bag this summer. Oh, and we’ve added a few of those (bags) as well — after all, it’s bad luck to put new arrows in an old sling.
PUETZ GOLF PRICE $168.75 ea.
f you’re old enough to remember when woods were actually made of wood (some kid just read that and went, “Oh, so that’s why it’s called a wood!”), then the idea of an Anser iron might ring a distant bell with you. Ballard’s own Karsten Solheim got his start making forged irons back in the 1960s, before leading the switch to casting over the ensuing decades. In November of 2010, however, PING returned to its forged roots with the release of the Anser iron, its first forged iron in over 40 years. This is not your father or grandfather’s forged iron, however — while the steel body, thin top line and clean appearance are all consistent with traditional forged irons, a heavy sole reduces the vibrations typical in forged clubs, and perimeter weighting increases the overall forgiveness, making them easier to play for a mid-handicapper. A progressive offset favors forgiveness in the long irons and control in the short ones, allowing skilled players to craft their shot shapes and spin their approaches to a stop near the pin, but giving enough forgiveness to help the improving player making his or her first transition to forged clubs. If you’ve considered forged but been afraid to take the plunge, the Anser is a good crossover – and if they prove to be as popular and successful as PING’s similarlynamed putters, a wise investment as well.
IN THE BAG Callaway RAZR X Forged Irons PUETZ GOLF PRICE $112.50 ea.
ne manufacturer that has kept a consistent foot in the forged market is Callaway, whose X Forged irons have been a market leader since their debut in 2007. During that time, they have become a staple in the bags of nearly every Callaway Tour pro — including Phil Mickelson and Trevor Immelman, whose pin-point approaches may have something to do with the green jackets hanging in their closets. As part of the transition from the X line of irons to Callaway’s new RAZR line, the company has released the RAZR X Forged for 2011, its latest – and by all measures its most impressive – forged offering to date. Made from 1020 carbon steel and with a thin topline and sole, these are truly a player’s irons, with minimal offset and a short blade length to give low-handicappers the feel and control they need. Roger Cleveland’s design also includes forged, highperforming grooves, which Callaway claims can be forged to much more precise measurements than on a traditional cast iron. With gameimprovement and Tour-inspired offerings already on the shelves with the RAZR X and RAZR X Tour, Callaway has gone all-in on the RAZR X Forged to give premier players the best possible edge over their competitors — whether zeroing in on the pin at the 12th on Amen Corner, or the 18th at the Cascade Golfer Cup.
TaylorMade Forged Tour Preferred Irons PUETZ GOLF PRICE $899.95 8-piece set
ING isn’t the only major manufacturer breaking the molds this year. Not to be outdone, TaylorMade has decided to bridge the gap between its wildly popular game-improvement Burner irons and the traditional forged alternatives with a total of three separate forged lines, each hitting a different spot on the forgiveness-vs.-control scale. The MB (which stands for “muscleback”) — slightly smaller than the other offerings, and much thinner at the sole and topline — is the most workable of the new forged lines, and will be the one favored by more skilled players. TaylorMade has done nothing to dampen the feel of the MBs, giving top players the kind of feedback and control they need. The CB, or “cavityback”, meanwhile, hits the other end of the spectrum, offering a forged alternative for players of game-improvement irons like the Burner and Burner 2.0. The head of the CB is actually two pieces – a forged face and a cast-iron cavity back, satisfying players who prefer the feel of a forged club, but the high-MOI benefits of a game-improvement club. The MC, meanwhile, is a compromise between the MBs and CBs, with a thinner sole than the CBs but additional perimeter weighting to that available on the MBs. All three of the clubs utilize a precision-weighting port that can be fitted to adjust the location of the sweet spot, as well as a new groove pattern that pushes the USGA limits to the max to promote high launch and spin on the short irons. Best of all, golfers can mix and match from the various sets — perhaps going with more forgiving CB long irons and more workable MB short irons — to find the perfect combination for you.
IN THE BAG OGIO GROM Stand Bag PUETZ GOLF PRICE $189.95
n the December 2010 issue of Cascade Golfer, we wrote about OGIO’s new Ultralite Performance Series — the Helios, Velocity and Assassin, each weighing in under five pounds (in the case of the 3.3-pound Helios and 3.6-pound Velocity, well under). Well, they’ve also rolled out upgrades to their existing lines for 2011, most notably the 2011 GROM. A 14-way Diamond performance stand top keeps clubs from bunching up, while the patented Triple Triangle shoulder strap system and hip pad make using it as a carry bag a breeze. Like the SunMountain models below, it also has features specifically designed to help when taking a cart, including a TORQ strap that helps hold the bag firmly in place, and a three-ball silo for ease of grabbing a breakfast ball — or two, or three. What turns the most heads, though, are the designs — the paisleyish grey-on-navy is nice, as is the simplicity of the black-and-white Prizmata version, but for pure eye candy, we prefer the checkerbox black-and-red shown here.
Sun Mountain Zero G & Superlight 3.5 PUETZ GOLF PRICE Zero G $199.95 Superlight 3.5 $179.95
have always owned carry bags with dual straps and legs that pop up when the bottom of the bag is lowered to the ground. They’re fantastic when walking, but try and get them on a cart, and suddenly you have issues: the bottom doesn’t sit square, and trying to force it just causes the legs to pop out — or worse, can break the whole system. Sun Mountain has finally addressed this issue head-on with new lines of cart-friendly carry bags — including the Zero G and 2011 Superlight 3.5. Each of the bags feature flat bottoms that rest easily on a cart, a strap to lock the legs in place and prevent them from expanding, and a tunnel for passing the cart strap through without compressing or limiting access to pockets. All we could say when we saw it was, “Why didn’t anyone do this sooner?” The Zero G earned a gold medal on the prestigious Golf Digest Hot List for its effort-reducing design, which includes dual straps and a unique hip belt that stabilizes the bag and redistributes its weight from your shoulders to your hips for an even easier ride. The 3.5, meanwhile, remains the Montana-based company’s staple, one of the lightest and most durable bags on the market and a perfect bag for golfers walking — or riding — our up-and-down terrain.
TaylorMade Tour Ghost Putters PUETZ GOLF PRICE $129.95 - $159.95 standard length
Never Compromise Gambler Limited Series PUETZ GOLF PRICE $299.95
n our line of work, we see and handle just about every major new golf club that comes on the market, so it’s rare that anything comes along and just blows us away — well, consider our world rocked. Never Compromise’s new Gambler Limited series putters are, quite possibly, the coolest flatsticks we’ve ever seen. Forged from 303 stainless steel, CNC milled and hand-polished, the putters (which come in four classic styles, aptly-named the Royal, Flush, Boat and Straight) are practically a work of art — simple, shiny, sexy, cool. That artistic touch is taken a step further on the soles of the clubs, which feature engravings of playing card symbols, and on the hosel, where a vertical spade, diamond, club and heart serve as a visual reminder to putt to win — no risk, no reward. The words “forged,” “limited” and in cursive, “Gambler,” all appear on the club as well, though in small and unobtrusive ways, just enough to give you a confidence-inspiring feeling of class and exclusivity before sending your birdie putt on its way. Of course, if you’re going to pull out a putter like these, you’d better make the putt. The Gamblers deliver on that front as well, adding a nice firm feel and feedback to the confidence you’ll have standing over your ball. In otherwords, ante up.
aylorMade spends millions on advertising for their new products each year. They should really just give it all to Jason Day. The young Australian was a walking advertisement for TaylorMade’s new products at this year’s Masters, his white Burner Superfast 2.0 launching drives down the fairway and his Burner-emblazoned bag reminding everyone just what sticks he was using. It was his putter, though, that truly had the Internet buzzing — in a 29-hole stretch from the 13th on Thursday through the 5th on Saturday, Day made an incredible 15 birdies and 13 pars while draining putt after putt with a flatstick as white as the scoreboard his name was rocketing up. Following in the footsteps of its all-white R11 and Burner Superfast 2.0, TaylorMade has released three additions to its Ghost line of putters in 2011, including the Tour Ghost TM-110 Daytona, the TM-770 Fontana and the TM-880 Maranello. Unlike the previous Ghost — the oversized Corza — the three new models each draw on classic cavity-back blade designs, with variations only in the size and shape of the sole. New for the Tour Ghost line are what TaylorMade calls “Pure Roll,” a titallium insert that minimizes backspin, as well as the company’s patented movable weight technology, giving golfers the ability to adjust the swingweight or give a toe or heel bias as desired. Of course, their main selling point is the color — black alignment lines on a glare-reducing all-white background, allowing golfers to more easily align their putts against the dark green background. Following Day’s mastery of Augusta’s greens, golf shops were packed with players hunting for the new putters, meaning Ghost sightings should become an increasingly common occurrence.
ZEROING I IN
n the year since we last wrote about rangefinders, there have been two significant developments — for starters, the prices for the top-end models have gone down, from the $399 range in 2010 to $299 in 2011. In addition, new features have made laser rangefinders more competitive in the market, while GPS makers have countered with lower – or in some cases, even no – subscription fees to make their products even more affordable. Here’s a few to try out this summer:
Callaway UPro MN GPS
Bushnell Tour V2 Limited Edition White
PUETZ GOLF PRICE $199.95
PUETZ GOLF PRICE $299.95
PUETZ GOLF PRICE $299.95
Call it a rangefinder for the smartphone generation — a touchscreen, high-res flyovers … this is the device that players who spend their downtime watching movies on their iPhones will be clamoring for when they hit the market this summer. With over 25,000 different courses pre-loaded, it’s playable out of the box, and no annual fees immediately take it to the head of the GPS market. The ability to purchase video flyovers of every hole with ProMode (for just a one-time fee) is sweet, while accurate green shapes and contours will even help your putting by letting you target the most advantageous spots on the green.
Made in partnership with Nikon, the Octane overcomes traditional limitations of laser (range and mis-targeting) with 6x magnification and a 550-yard range, as well as a First Target Priority mode that makes it significantly easier to pick out the pin against a background of trees. As for the “Octane” part — well, it doesn’t incorporate any Lamborghini technology like the all-new sleek Octane Black drivers, but its sportscar inspired red-and-black casing looks pretty sweet in your hand.
You didn’t think TaylorMade was the only manufacturer going white this year, did you? Bushnell, a leader in laser rangefinders for the last decade, have released a limited-edition white version of its popular Tour V2 model, which promises accuracy to one yard with its patented PinSeeker technology and a comfortable, stabilizing all-weather grip. It’ll look great with your new white drivers and putters, too.
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JUNE 2011 2011
Trophy Lake Golf & Casting
Hole No. 18 • Par 5 • 465 Yards (Whites) 532 Yards (Blues)
RISK vs. REWARD By Simon Dubiel
The Setup: We have to listen to our readers, and since this hole won the Cascade Golfer Readers Choice Awards for “Best Risk vs. Reward Hole”, we can’t go on without giving No. 18 at Trophy Lake its due. At 465 from the whites and 532 from the blues, the tees you choose can have a dramatic influence on how you play this hole. There is little debate, however, as to what awaits your approach shot, regardless of the yardage you are left with. Hit it straight and hit it true, or get out the snorkel and wet suit and start wading your way through the beautiful rainbow trout that put the “casting” in this track’s name.
The Risk: The tee shot offers a generous fairway to hit, but anything right can create a challenging sidehill lie with the golf ball well above your feet. In
that case, hopefully you excelled in tee ball. If you find yourself with a flat surface and a yardage to your liking, now is the time to determine whether you have the cards and “cojones” in the bag to get the job done. Anything short is toast, and a spray right will be wet as well. If you happen to go left (but not too far left) and find the last of Trophy’s endless deep bunkers, consider yourself lucky. But, be glad if you get up and out on your first crack.
The Reward: Imagine going to the 18th tee needing a birdie to win your club championship, break your low round or even close out a $5 Nassau off your best golfing buddy. Your approach here is the Northwest’s ultimate test of brain vs. brawn. Lay up with your tail between your legs like David Simms or be a hero and go for it, a-la
Roy “Tin Cup” McAvoy. You will be the toast of your foursome at the Dry Fly Cafe afterwards. No matter how bad the first 17 were, 18 (and maybe even the 19th) can help you forget all about it.
Final Call: If you are a rebel and enjoy looking for trouble, you came to the right place. Water and sand? Sounds like a nice trip to Maui, but it’s no place for your ball to land. If your yardage gives you 220 or less to the hole, then that stack of chips in the middle of the table is hard to ignore. But, no matter how hot the girl (or guy) is that is telling you to “Go for it, Roy. Just knock it on,” this time we are listening to our caddie. Besides, we don’t play this game to impress the opposite sex, and we certainly don’t play it to make “the greatest 12 of all time.”
216 216 249 316 331
148 199 209 220 244
154 154 187 254 269
432 432 465 532 547
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shot at PGA Tour glory has likely come and gone — but what the Bellingham native has found in the meantime means so much more
enowned golf instructor, mental coach and author Fred Shoemaker recently suggested to friend Jeff Coston that he write a letter to his 15-year-old self. It’s a tool Shoemaker often uses with his students to enable them to look back on their life and career without regrets. Coston found the exercise useful. “I told me that I wouldn’t win several U.S. Opens but would be a positive influence on many peoples’ lives in other ways,” he says. “I said that while playing the PGA Tour might be the dream, it wouldn’t automatically make me a great person, good or even okay.” Now running his eponymously-named teaching academy at the Semiahmoo Resort in Blaine, where he has been for 17 years, Coston says the teenage version of himself might have had a problem taking all that on board. “I was pretty ambitious back then,” he says. It’s possible — in fact, probable even — that the precocious youth might look at himself four decades on and be a little disappointed by what he would become, or rather not become. Hardly a world-famous golfer and without a single PGA Tour victory to his name, Coston the Younger might think his older incarnation hadn’t really amounted to anything much. But how horribly, laughably, profoundly wrong he’d be. For starters, the fact Coston played on the PGA Tour at all makes him one of the top half-percent of golfers ever to play the game. Far more important than that, however, is that Coston could not be any happier with where he’s at or who he has become. Married to Diane for 34 years, he says he’d marry his wife again tomorrow. He has three healthy kids who, he insists,
BY TONY DEAR like him. He absolutely loves his job and has become a highly acclaimed teacher while compiling one of the finest playing records in Pacific Northwest PGA Section history. And, as a devout Christian, Coston possesses an enviable peace that characterizes his every exchange. The Seattle University alum made his living playing tournament golf from 1977 to 1994. He began on the mini-tours in Florida and the Dakotas, staying in National Park campsites with the likes of Mike Bender, Brian Mogg and Tom Lehman. “Tom used to babysit our kids,” says Coston. “He’s a close family friend. He hired Tyler, my eldest son, as a caddy a few years ago and paid him $1,000 a round. He basically bought Tyler’s first car.” After eight tough years in the mini-leagues living in a trailer, Coston won his PGA Tour card and made his Tour debut in February 1985 at the Isuzu Andy Williams San Diego Open at Torrey Pines, where he played the first 10 holes of the first round in six-under-par. “I remember thinking, ‘This is the PGA Tour, it can’t be this easy,’” says Coston. It wasn’t. Two-over the rest of the way, the 30-yearold eventually signed for a 68 – encouraging certainly, but not what it could have been. He was level par over the next 54 holes and finished the tournament on 284 – 15 shots behind winner Woody Blackburn, and tied for 60th. He won $876. Coston doesn’t remember that part so well, but does recall that a young lad by the name of Phil Mickelson carried his group’s scoreboard. His next vivid memory comes from the Honda Classic
two weeks later at TPC Eagle Trace in Coral Springs, Fla., where he played his only round with Jack Nicklaus. “I was in awe the whole way ‘round,” says Coston. “Amazingly, I beat him 71 to 73, but I don’t think I made a cut for eight months after that.” Actually, Coston made only 10 more cuts from 31 PGA Tour events over the next four years; his best finish a tie for seventh at the Anheuser-Busch Classic in Virginia in 1988. Demoted to the Ben Hogan Tour for the 1991 and ‘92 seasons, and the Nike Tour in ’93 and ’94, he did manage a win (1991 Shreveport Open), three seconds, and a total of 13 top-10 finishes. But, by the end of his fourth year on the ‘B’ tours, he was ready to settle down and take a regular job. Besides his debut tournament on the PGA Tour, and playing with Nicklaus, Coston says his biggest thrill as a player was coming up the 72nd hole of the 2000 U.S. Open with Tyler on the bag. “It was Father’s Day and as we walked towards the green Tyler said to me, ‘You and me, Pebble Beach, the U.S. Open.’ I stood over my 15-foot birdie putt, saw the head of my putter move through the ball, and then I heard it drop into the hole. I walked off the green with my son happier than if I had won the tournament.” That wouldn’t make any sense to the 15-year-old Coston, of course, but by this time the old man was fully in tune with his calling. “To be honest, though the competitive fire still burns bright and I still love playing in our sectional tournaments, I’m a better teacher than I am a player,” he says. “I don’t think I ever understood how to stop negative momentum. And I didn’t really know how to prepare properly. I was cascadegolfer.com
just thinking about making a good swing. The great players instinctively knew how to score well without necessarily playing their best.” Coston now teaches PGA and LPGA Tour players, PGA professionals, college standouts, high school stars, high handicappers and total beginners. A look at the testimonials on his web site shows how highly he’s regarded. “In my opinion, Jeff Coston is the best golf instructor in the Northwest,” says one college player, while another adds, “Jeff is an amazingly inspirational and hard-working instructor.” Perhaps the most telling recommendation, though, comes from Tom Lehman, who says that Coston is one of the most talented golfers he’s ever met — which, coming from a major champion, is saying a lot. “Beyond that,” Lehman adds, “he’s one of the nicest guys I know.” Coston takes a holistic approach to teaching, enabling students to score as well as they can regardless of the technical merits of their swing. “Too many golfers regard taking lessons, watching instructional DVDs, or reading tips in magazines as a massive buffet table,” he says. “They take a piece from this plate and a piece from another. Then they expect, or rather hope, this mix to create magic fairy dust, but it never will. They must make the decision to stick with one teacher, and fully commit to what he advises.” Coston stresses his knowledge of the swing and how to play tournament golf didn’t come from reading a book or watching the Golf Channel, and adds there aren’t 10 teachers alive from whom he’d take a lesson himself. “I put it like this; while most amateur golfers dial 911 for emergency, I would dial 411 for information.” His favorite swings are Ben Hogan’s and Nick Faldo’s, though it isn’t so much the positions, planes and angles of each that he admires so much, but the fact both players had such complete control over their swings, and in turn, their ball. “They understood their action so well,” he says. “They could make adjustments whenever they needed in order to hit the shots they wanted to, or get a round back on track. I think that’s why I’m in the hunt quite often in the tournaments I play; I understand my swing.” One player apparently unable to grasp the
formula for his own swing right now is Tiger Woods who, Coston believes, should go back to Butch Harmon. “Actually, he should come and see me,” he jokes … sort of. “Tiger is a fine iron player but has always had problems with the driver. So it makes sense for him to swing the driver more like he does his irons, and that means hingeing his wrists sooner, not taking the club back so far, and slowing his hips in the downswing. Seriously, I do think he’s better off with Harmon. He doesn’t have an ideal of what every swing should look like and impose it on a player regardless of their height, strength, flexibility, etc. He would allow Tiger to swing how Tiger should swing.” As he says in his bio, Coston is now a fulltime teacher. But, unable to resist the lure of tournament golf, he is also a part-time player and has built a truly incredible record in local and regional events. A 12-time PNWPGA Player of the Year, Coston surpassed Bob Duden’s record of 17 sectional major victories in May last year when he won his fourth Washington Open. In September, he took his total to 19 by winning the sectional championship for the eighth time. Unfortunately for the competition, Coston shows no signs of slowing down. “My kids don’t think I’ll ever retire,” he says. “That’s probably true. I just enjoy doing what I’m doing too much.” This summer, on top of hosting instructional schools with Bender, Coston is planning to play 15 events, including the Northwest’s five major championships (PNWPGA Championship, Washington, Oregon, Northwest, Rosauers Opens). He has played in four of the six Boeing Classics, finishing T44, T33, T58, and T50 from 2006 to 2009. He didn’t receive an invite in 2010, but is hoping one will arrive this year. Might he top 20 wins by the end of the season? And how many will he have by the time he does, eventually, call it a day; 25, perhaps? At that point, even 15-year-old Jeff Coston might be impressed. Tony Dear is an award-winning author and freelance writer, and a frequent contributor to Cascade Golfer. Read more of his work online at thebellinghamgolfer.com.
DIAMOND IN THE
ROUGH Kittitas County’s
famous coal mines are getting a second life this summer in a new golf course and winery at Suncadia Resort
BY BRIAN BEAKY CG EDITOR
’ve come to Roslyn, Wash., to visit a brand new golf course and winery opening at the nearby Suncadia Resort, but I can’t pull myself away from the city cemetery. It’s the names that jump out at you first — Tomac, Muratti, Dragecevic, Mattila, Peccignino, Crosetti. These were immigrant families, drawn to Roslyn from the major east coast ports in the first half of the 20th century by the promise of a decent job and a good wage in the Tumble Creek coal mines. For 80 years, the mines employed thousands of workers, who rode the ropes deep into the Cascade Mountain slopes and endured cramped conditions, stifling heat and poisonous sulfuric gases to extract the “black diamonds” for transport to Puget Sound and other points west. The city cemetery, with acres of old, weathered headstones dedicated to the Slovaks, Italians, Croatians and thousands of others who gave their lives to the mines, is at once tragic and inspirational — a hard illustration of the crushing difficulty of life in the mines, and yet a powerful reminder of the promise and opportunity that sparked the great western migration of the 19th and 20th centuries, and the sacrifices men were willing to make in pursuit of the American dream. Today’s residents of Roslyn are largely the children and grandchildren of those first settlers, trying as best they can to hold on to their history in the face of inevitable change. The once-bustling downtown – featured in the 1990s series “Northern Exposure” – is quiet on a Friday
afternoon, “closed” signs hanging in the windows of all but a few of the cafes, handmade clothing shops and other small businesses that occupy the century-old, twostory wood buildings at the town center. World War II took much of the town’s population; the closing of the mines in the early 1960s took almost all of the rest. The couple hundred homes on the surrounding slopes are mostly empty this time of day, their 1,017 residents drawn — like their ancestors — to other places in search of work. This is a town that deserves some good news.
wo miles up the road, at the Suncadia Resort, it’s once again the names that jump out at you. Not the names of any people, but those on the street signs — Tumble Creek Drive, Larkspur Loop, Coal Mine Way. Built directly on top of the old mines, the resort pays homage to the land’s heritage at every turn. In addition to the street names, buildings throughout the property showcase photographs and artifacts from the mining period, while much of the old infrastructure — including closed-up mine shaft entrances and foundations for many of the original buildings — has been preserved, complete with permanent markers highlighting the property’s history.
JELD-Wen Enterprises bought the land that would become Suncadia from the Plum Creek Timber Company in 1996, and in partnership with Lowe Enterprises immediately began planning a major resort, Washington’s answer to the company’s already successful Sunriver Resort in Oregon. The next decade marked the real estate equivalent of the coal boom of the previous century — as the value of the land skyrocketed, plans for the resort expanded to include a spa, lodge, inn, self-contained village of shops and restaurants, plus three championship golf courses, a fully-stocked trout lake and miles of hiking and biking trails. It would all be paid for by the sale of over 3,000 homesites, condominiums and cabins — the values of which were undergoing the most dramatic rise in American history. Prospector, the first of the resort’s two planned public courses, opened in 2004 with an Arnold Palmer design and the promise of attracting thousands of tourists and vacation residents per year, visitors who would no doubt pour their money into the local communities of Roslyn and Cle Elum just as the thousands of visiting miners had in the previous century. A private development with higher-end homes and its own exclusive Tom Doak golf course, Tumble Creek, opened shortly thereafter. Still in its beginning stages of development, Suncadia was giving the local communities their largest boom in 50 years, and was already among the largest employers
Swiftwater Cellars and Rope Rider’s No. 9 green, directly above the old No. 9 Coal Mine
in Kittitas County, second only to Central Washington University. People in Roslyn and Cle Elum were working again, tourists were bringing in money, and possibilities for future development were limited only by the size of the real estate bubble. Oh yeah, the real estate bubble.
riving up to the all-new Swiftwater Cellars winery at Suncadia Resort, which opened last September and will house the pro shop, restaurant and clubhouse for the resort’s brand-new Rope Rider course being opened this summer, you could almost imagine that you’ve gone back in time to those halcyon days. The golf course, begun in 2005, was largely abandoned when the real estate market crashed, leaving hundreds of Suncadia homes unoccupied and limiting the resort’s investment in a third course to the minimum needed to keep the property viable for future development. Paralleling the main road that leads from the highway to the Prospector Golf Course and lodging, Rope Rider’s 11th hole sat like a monument to the recession for more than three years, slowly being overrun by weeds and wildlife and serving as a constant reminder of the boom days of yore and the resort’s grand ambition. Today, the 11th hole is alive with activity. Workers drain the spring snow runoff from the area around the tee, while
others sand the bunkers, seed the fairways and recondition the greens. What was just eight months ago a painful reminder of better times has been transformed into the fun and challenging risk-reward par-5 it was meant to be. A quarter mile away sits the resort’s newest crown jewel, the 41,000-square foot Swiftwater Cellars winery. Built literally above the entrance to the No. 9 and No. 10 mines, Swiftwater represents the logical pinnacle of the decade-long growth of the golf and wine industries in Washington state — an ambitious, elegant winery that will serve as the clubhouse for a similarly ambitious destination golf course. Two of the largest construction projects in the county at the time they were completed in 2009 and 2010 — and now two major employers as well — Swiftwater Cellars and Rope Rider Golf Course are combining to breathe a second life into Suncadia Resort and the communities of Roslyn and Cle Elum, and becoming a must-stop pin in the map for our state’s thousands of golf and wine tourists. “One of the things that really drew us to this site was the chance to do something unique in Washington state,” says Swiftwater Cellars owner Don Watts. “There are plenty of places where there are wineries close to golf courses, or close to destination resorts, but this is the only location where you can go to a resort, play a great round of golf, then walk right off the 18th hole and into the winery.
“It’s going to be the nicest 19th hole in the state of Washington.” It was Watts who first saw the potential for the partnership. A farmer and vineyard owner from Paterson, Wash., Watts had long dreamed of building a winery of his own, and upon selling his farm in 2008, decided the time was finally right. Furthermore, he knew that the Suncadia property — with its prime location off I-5 just 80 miles from Seattle and a steady stream of permanent residents, year-round tourists and vacation home owners — would make an ideal location. Suncadia, meanwhile, was making investments of its own. As the housing market began to turn for the better in 2009, with new construction returning and signs that the worst of the recession might be passing, the resort decided to push ahead with the further development of the Rope Rider Golf Course, and brought in PGA star and noted course architect Peter Jacobsen to complete the design and ready the course for a 2011 opening. It didn’t take long for Watts, who wanted to build a winery, and Suncadia, which needed a clubhouse for its new golf course, to realize the significance of their mutual interests. “It’s a perfect marriage for us,” says Jared Jeffries, the Tumble Creek Club manager, who has been at the resort since 2004 and has been heavily involved in the day-to-
day development of Rope Rider. Suncadia sold acreage to Watts to build Swiftwater Cellars, and in return, Watts leases part of the building back to Suncadia to use for Rope Rider’s pro shop, cart storage and other golf course operations. “Mr. Watts’ vision for a winery that embraced the coal mining history around Rope Rider, and also provided us a beautiful golf shop, was an unbelievable opportunity,” Jeffries says. “We sold Don a parcel that we were planning to invest money into to build a clubhouse, and he turned it into a beautiful property that we can market as an added amenity to the resort.” It was a no-brainer for Watts as well, who has turned the winery into a true family affair. His son, Donnie, is the winery’s general manager, and wife Lori and son Derek are both involved in the business as well. “When the idea was first suggested, all I could think was, ‘That’s brilliant,’” Watts says. “Now not only do we get our normal traffic coming through to visit the winery, we get an additional 20,000 to 30,000 golfers coming through the winery and calling this their 19th hole. It’s a great match.” In addition to the pro shop, Swiftwater Cellars includes a full-service restaurant, indoor and outdoor banquet areas capable of hosting meetings, weddings or corporate events, private dining rooms, a comfortable lodge-style sitting room, and — of course — a tasting room where visitors can sample pours from the winery’s No. 9 and Swiftwater Cellars wines, all of which are produced on-site. Grapes are crushed each fall right outside the restaurant doors, then barrel-aged for up to two years in temperature-controlled rooms directly below winery’s main sitting room. Swiftwater produces primarily red wines, including Bordeaux blends and Watts’ personal favorite — pinot noir. “We’re the only winery in Washington state that gets pinot noir grapes from the Willamette Valley in Oregon, which is known for producing some of the finest pinot noirs in the world,” Watts says. “It’s a difficult grape to work with, but if you get the right people who know what they’re doing, it’s incredible.” Since Swiftwater Cellars officially opened in September of 2010, the winery has already seen a significant amount of business from vacationers, locals and special events at
Rope riders like the one pictured above guided the coal cars down into the shaft, which runs directly below Rope Rider’s No. 9 fairway and Tipple Hill (right).
its Hoist House Restaurant — named after the building that housed the machinery used to bring the coal-laden mine cars, and the miners themselves, the hundreds of feet back to the surface from the depths of the No. 9 and No. 10 mines. The foundations of the original hoist house sit untouched today, just a few steps from the winery’s front door. That’s part of the preservation of the area’s history that was important to Suncadia developers when they signed the deal with Watts to build Swiftwater Cellars. Relics of the old No. 9 and No. 10 mines are everywhere, from black-and-white photographs that line the winery’s hallways, to helmets and tools donated by area residents, to the building’s architecture, featuring exposed wooden beams and doorways that mimic the shaft entrances. The winery even named its secondary label, No. 9, after the old mine, the last of the mines to close in the 1960s. “This land was basically abandoned for decades before Suncadia came in,” says Miranda Porterfield, the winery’s director of marketing and membership. “Most of the people who live here are descendants of those mine workers, and the resort has given them a place where they can come and feel a connection with that time. We have employees and guests who tell us all the time how their grandfather or another relative worked in the coal mines, and how neat it is to have a place to come to that honors that heritage.”
ust out the back doors of the winery is an expansive patio including outdoor seating, a fire pit, and one of the signature views of the entire resort – Tipple Hill, a massive pile of coal tailings (crushed rock left over after the coal it held has been extracted) that will certainly be Rope Rider’s most definitive feature. The hill backdrops a view of Rope Rider’s first and ninth fairways – and a championship No. 1 tee box high above the fairway below, which can only be accessed from Swiftwater’s patio. “We call it ‘Don’s Tee,’” laughs Jeffries, in reference to Watts. “I don’t know how many people will go up there and try it, but it will be a lot of fun for those that do.”
Rope Rider • No. 9
Just like the winery, the golf course pays tribute to the miners who first shaped the land on which it is built. Jeffries explains that a “rope rider” was the lead miner, who kept one hand on a rope while piloting the car deep into the shaft, and sent signals back to the hoist house to speed up, slow down or pull the miners out. Jeffries says that seven of the original rope riders who worked the No. 9 and No. 10 mines still live in the area today, and that plans are in the works to honor them as part of the course’s grand opening in August. Plans are also being finalized to name each of the holes on the course after one of the rope riders (living and deceased), and to include a plaque or other permanent monument at each tee box with their name and brief life story. “It’s just another way that we can embrace the history of the property,” he says. Driving around the course, it’s evident that Rope Rider will appeal to a different player than Suncadia’s other public track, Prospector. That’s by design, says Jeffries. “It was always the intention to have the two courses complement each other, and offer a different experience to golfers,” he says. “With Prospector, we wanted to create a signature mountain course that would challenge golfers and reward good shotmaking. At Rope Rider, we wanted to provide a challenge to the best golfers who opt to play the course from the longer tees, but a fun experience for younger or beginning golfers as well.” Seven-time PGA Tour winner Peter Jacobsen, whose Jacobsen-Hardy Golf Course Design company is responsible for award-winning courses at Brasada Ranch and Salishan in Oregon, was handed the task of meeting that demand, while staying in a footprint already determined years in advance. Driving up the fairway of the 501-yard (from the blues) par-5 5th hole, Jeffries illustrates how Jacobsen met those unique challenges. “This hole is a great example of what this course will be about,” he says. “There are three tees over 500 yards, with the back tee over 560, so it’s every bit the par-5 you’re ever going to want.” But, as we approach the green, Jeffries stops and points to a flat space about 160 yards from the putting surface. It’s a special youth tee, giving young and beginning golfers the chance to experience the fun and
challenge of playing a real course, without the frustration or impact on pace of play that can come from taking 1215 shots per hole. There are youth tees on every hole, ranging from 80-160 yards. “The youth tees are positioned to take away a lot of the fairway bunkers and other hazards,” Jeffries says. “Those will be in play for the good player, but for the youngster who is out here playing, it’s not going to be an issue.” Rope Rider’s design also allows for the option to play holes one through six as a six-hole loop, or holes seven through nine as a three-hole loop. Jeffries says that those options will be available to golfers in the afternoons, once the 18-hole players have cleared those tee boxes, and are expected to be popular with families and golfers looking to get in a little practice late in the day. “The youth tee boxes, and the option to play the shorter loops, gives young players the chance to experience the fun of being out on a real golf course, without the frustration that can come from a long, slow day on the course,” Jeffries says. “Hopefully they’ll walk away feeling confident and excited about their experience.” That 7-8-9 loop will be a memorable one for better players, as well. The three holes wrap all the way around Tipple Hill, teeing off from just below Swiftwater Cellars on the 425-yard, par-4 seventh, ducking behind the hill for the 156-yard, par-3 eighth, then coming back towards the winery on what will be the front side’s signature hole, the 359-yard par-4 ninth. With Tipple Hill (which will be in bounds on all holes) dominating the foreground along the right side of the fairway and Swiftwater Cellars rising proudly atop the ridge behind the green, the ninth – which sits directly above the No. 9 mine shaft – sums up in a single image the area’s past, present and future. The back nine offers yet another signature No. 10 to pair with Prospector’s epic 10th hole – another relatively short par-4 from an elevated tee, though not quite as sweeping in grandeur as its older sibling – followed by the aforementioned 11th, where the first major water feature of the course comes into play to the right of the green. After a varied and fun five-hole stretch including 187and 128-yard par-3s, and par-4s ranging from 338-413 yards, the course turns for home at the par-5 17th, at 515 yards from the blues (580 from the back) the longest of Rope Rider’s holes and one that will play directly into the
Other Great Pairings prevailing afternoon wind. Then comes the finishing hole, a dogleg-right, 340-yard par-4 (from the whites) that includes the only forced carry on the entire course, a 200-220-yard poke over a deep blue pond running the entire length of the right side. “This is going to be a fun finishing hole,” Jeffries says. “If you’re playing in a tournament, and you’re a stroke or two down, you’ll have the option of playing straight over the lake towards the green to try and make up a shot or two at the end. But you’d better have something left in the tank.” Throughout our drive around the golf course, Jeffries points out lots where homes are being built, or where construction is about to begin. “Three years ago, new home construction slowed around the unfinished holes,” he says. “Now that we have completed construction of the course, things are starting to come back. We have many new homes that have broken ground this year, and we sold more properties, in terms of volume, in 2010 than in any previous year at Suncadia. And a lot of the people who bought lots previously are deciding that now is the time to build. “Opening this golf course, and the winery, is a sign to everyone in the community that Suncadia is in a good position going forward.”
he golf course will have a soft opening later this summer (in fact, the Puetz Golf Shootout on July 23, part of the seven-event Cascade Golfer Cup, will be the first public tournament ever held on the course) before an official grand opening in conjunction with Suncadia’s annual Wine in the Pines event the last weekend of August. Peter Jacobsen will conduct a clinic on Aug. 26, followed by a crab feed at the Suncadia Ampitheater. The following day, captains from the Discovery Channel’s “Deadliest Catch” will participate in a fun tournament, while Swiftwater Cellars will feature celebrity seminars and a Grand Gala with a chance to meet select winemakers from around the region, and sample pours from 50 of the region’s top wineries – in addition to Swiftwater’s own, of course. All of the events are open to the public, with tickets available online at ticketswest.com. As he talks about the grand opening, Jeffries looks down the long slope from the first tee to Tipple Hill and the No. 1 and No. 9 fairways below. The sun has shifted over the course of the day and the ridgetop winery now casts a long shadow over the 9th green, the two together as fitting a marker to the memory of the No. 9 mine as any found at Roslyn Cemetery for the thousands of miners who sought the American dream inside its walls. “I think everyone in the area is pretty excited about the course,” Jeffries says. “Don is bringing in jobs, building homes is bringing in jobs, the course is bringing in jobs. Hopefully the whole region is getting back on its feet.” The symbolism of Suncadia’s resurgence in the context of the area’s boom-to-bust past isn’t lost on Donnie Watts either. “The wine and food and golf in this area are certainly remarkable, but for a lot of people, what is most important is that connection to the local history,” he says. “This area exists because of those families who came here to make a living in the mines. Without those people, none of this would be here. That’s why it’s so important to us to help preserve that history and tell those stories, and give those families the chance to give that history — that is so personal to them and such a rich part of this region — a new life.”
Fire pits on Swiftwater Cellars’ north patio overlook the dogleg-right first hole at Rope Rider.
Chelan’s Nefarious Cellars Washington state is rich with wine-and-golf pairings. While they may not be at one location like Swiftwater Cellars and Rope Rider, here are some other winery-course combos that make for a delightful — and delicious — trip, whether going for a day, or for a weekend.
Lake Chelan Golf Course • lakechelangolf.com Tsillan Cellars • tsillancellars.com Sitting atop a bluff on the north side of Lake Chelan, Lake Chelan Golf Course has been a favorite of locals for its low rates, open routing and unbeatable views of the lake and surrounding mountains. Play it in the morning, then spend the afternoon tasting wines in Washington’s No. 1 recreation and wine-tasting region. Make sure to stop in for lunch at Tsillan Cellars on the lake’s south side, where winemaker Bob Jankelson will take you out on a personal tour of the vineyard — and pour some of his awardwinning juice, to boot. While you’re in the area, be sure to go across the street to Nefarious Cellars (pictured above) for some killer views and amazing reds at one of Washington’s hottest young wineries.
Leavenworth Golf Course • leavenworthgolf.com Icicle Ridge Winery • icicleridgewinery.com A day trip to Leavenworth is a great way to feel like you’ve had a vacation, without actually going anywhere. Play Leavenworth Golf Course — one of Washington’s most incredible mountain courses, with stunning views, huge elevation changes and the lowest rates of any destination track of equal quality — then head into town and spend the rest of the day in winery tasting rooms. Tops among them is Icicle Ridge, whose sparkling syrah, estate cabernet and chocolate cherry dessert wines put those from larger wineries to shame. Visit the winery just outside of town, in Peshastin, for a free tasting and numerous special events.
Apple Tree Golf Course • appletreegolf.com Portteus Winery • portteuswinery.com A must-stop on any tour of the Washington golf wine trail — or any golf road trip at all, really — Apple Tree winds 18 spectacular holes through active apple orchards, all leading up to the par-3 17th and its apple-shaped island green. After the round, taste the cabernet sauvignon rated among America’s best by Wine Enthusiast magazine at nearby Portteus Winery in Zillah.
Wine Valley Golf Club • winevalleygolfclub.com K Vintners • kvintners.com Obviously, if you’re going all the way to Walla Walla, you’re staying more than one day. If so, be sure to hit Washington state’s founding wineries, Woodward Canyon and L’Ecole No. 41, as well as Leonetti, Basel Cellars and the dozens of other top picks. But, if you only hit one, make it K Vintners. Founded by former rock-band manager Charles Smith, K Vintners pleases fans of reds and whites alike with a syrah ranked among America’s top-10 and a Kung Fu Girl Riesling that is the best example of the state’s signature white grape. Hit it after a round at brawny, sprawling Wine Valley — about as close to Bandon as you can get within our four borders — and you’ll be in heaven. cascadegolfer.com
LET’S PLAY TWO BY BRIAN BEAKY • CG EDITOR
obody understood the beauty of summer like Chicago Cubs legend Ernie Banks. With a smile that infected all of those around him, and a childlike love for the game of baseball, Banks was best known for how he would walk out of the Cubs’ locker room, look around at the sun brightening the ivy-covered walls of Wrigley Field and utter his famous catchphrase, “It’s a beautiful day for a ballgame … Let’s play two.” I may choose to reach for a golf club instead of a baseball bat, but I think of Banks often on a warm summer morning, when I throw the clubs in the trunk and head out to take advantage of the 17 hours of sunlight and perfect 75-90 degree temperatures that we in the Northwest are lucky enough to call a “normal” summer day. With literally hundreds of unbelievable courses in Washington state, you’ll never get to all of them if you try to play them one at a
time. That’s why this summer we’re taking Mr. Cub’s advice and pairing together some of our favorite courses to make a series of the kind of incredible day trips you can only experience in the Northwest. We’ve gone north to Skagit County, west to the Kitsap and Olympic Peninsulas, south to Auburn and east to Yakima, Chelan and the Columbia River plateaus. In each case, we’ve tried to pair courses that not only are in relatively close proximity, but also offer something different from one another – pairing a player-friendly course with a more challenging offering, a mountain course with a parkland course, or a target track with a big, brawny, let-it-
rip experience. We’ve also varied the list by greens fees and location, to make sure that there’s a mind-blowing 36 holes here that you can fit into almost any golfer’s time and financial constraints. Of course, there’s no need to limit yourself to the suggestions we make here – with an almost endless combination of outstanding tracks in our area that can be easily paired into a 36hole experience, we encourage you to come up with your own favorite pairings, play them and post about your experience to CascadeGolfer.com. To help you plan your day, we’ve listed the distance between the courses, and the total round trip from Seattle – including the golf. Every one of these 36-hole adventures is easily done as a day trip, and I’m proud to say that every single one is CG-tested, and CG-approved. That’s us … always out doing the dirty work. You’re welcome.
THE GOLF CLUB AT NEWCASTLE
Newcastle Coal Creek • No. 9
Location: Newcastle Distance between courses: Oh, about 100 feet Total trip time (including golf): 9 hours
f course, with gas prices rising, the best way to play 36 holes in a day is to do it at one 36-hole complex — and no one in the Puget Sound region does 36 holes like The Golf Club at Newcastle. It’s not just the views of Seattle, Bellevue, the Cascade Mountains, the Olympic Mountains, Puget Sound, Lake Washington and Mount Rainier – which remain breathtaking no matter how many times you’ve been there before. Nor is it the area’s nicest clubhouse, with a classic bar-and-grill for burgers between rounds, a high-end restaurant for a business lunch or a quiet date night with your spouse, and an old-English style drawing room, complete with bar, fireplace, billiards, card tables and board games. Nor the expansive practice area, or the customer service that treats everyone like they’re Bill Gates. (And sometimes, they are.) It’s all of it put together — throw all those factors in with two of the best courses in the state, and you have the Seattle’s area’s No. 1 all-in-one golf experience — and a fantastic way to spend nine hours on a beautiful Puget Sound summer day. Leave time after the round to grab a drink on the patio at the Woolly Toad and soak in the view for a reminder that nobody — not Palm Springs, Myrtle Beach or anyone — has it as good as we do in the summertime. cascadegolfer.com
Prospector at Suncadia • No. 6
PHOTO BY ROB PERRY
APPLE TREE RESORT AND PROSPECTOR AT SUNCADIA
Location: Central Washington Distance between courses: 74.5 miles Total trip time (including golf): 14 hours
urn towards the morning sun rising over the Cascade Mountains around 6:30 and by 9 a.m. you’ve passed through 80 miles of stunning mountain scenery, then another 40 of gently rolling hills and pristine Central Washington farmland — it’s barely breakfast time, and you’ve already experienced more climates, and seen more of America the Beautiful, than 90 percent of our country’s golfers will see in a year. Launch your first tee shot high into the sky at Apple Tree around 9:30 and prepare to enjoy one of our state’s most enjoyable tracks — always kept in perfect shape, never over-crowded, and offering big hitters and target golfers alike the chance to do what they do best. Certainly the anticipation will build throughout the round to the iconic island-green 17th, but don’t let down when you pluck your ball from the hole — the 18th, with plenty of trouble and a massive, apple-red bunker on a huge upslope below the green, is one of the tougher finishing holes in the state. Grab lunch in the clubhouse afterward, then turn back the way you came along I-90 to Prospector at Suncadia. By the time you get there, you’re halfway home — but your day is only half done. Standing on Prospector’s 10th tee, staring out across miles and miles of mountain and valley views, breathe in the cool, crisp air while reflecting on the fact that, just a few hours before, you were baking in the sun of an active Central Washington apple orchard. For maximum effect, make the trip on one of those occasional rainy summer days, when you wonder if people in Palm Springs or Arizona have to deal with 55 degrees and rain in mid-July. As you clear Snoqualmie Pass and feel the perpetual Central Washington sun on your face, you’ll know just how lucky we really are.
NORTH SHORE GOLF COURSE O BRING 3 PLAY FOR FREE
(4 for the price of 3) * Must present coupon Valid Monday thru Thursday — All Day Friday, Saturday & Sunday — After 1p.m. Expires Sept. 30th 2011
WASHINGTON NATIONAL AND DRUIDS GLEN Location: Auburn/Kent Distance between courses: 8.2 miles Total trip time (including golf): 10 hours
f course, you don’t have to drive halfway across the state to enjoy a great day of golf. Eagles Pride and The Home Course, Battle Creek and Kayak Point, Lake Spanaway and The Classic … there are a seemingly infinite number of pairings close to home that make for a memorable 36-hole day. One of our favorite “home turf” days is a morning round at Washington National Golf Club in Auburn, followed by an afternoon at Druids Glen in Kent. The pair have become two of the Seattle area’s most soughtafter tournament venues (including, ahem, the May 21 and Oct. 1 events, respectively, in this year’s Cascade Golfer Cup) for their high-end reputations, fun and challenging layouts and player-friendly greens fees.
Hit Washington National first to take advantage of early bird rates that dip as low as $50, and make the best of a course that annually hosts NCAA and top amateur championships. Afterwards, make the short jaunt to Druids Glen — home to July’s popular Druids Glen Amateur, for another 18 that will challenge the best golfers yet still be fun for mid-and high-handicappers as well. Wrapping up the day at Druids will also give you the chance to grab a bite and a beverage at the Fire Creek Grill, the South Sound’s best 19th hole, or hit the tables at the nearby Muckleshoot Casino. Both courses also pair well with Auburn Golf Course, Elk Run or Lake Wilderness, each of which are within a 10-15 minute radius.
Tee times (253) 927-1375 or (253) 838-3660 Restaurant (253) 927-7439 northshoregc.net Find Us on
Druids Glen • No. 2
ENTER TO WIN
A TWOSOME TO MERIDIAN VALLEY Ever wanted to peek behind the curtain and see how the other half lives? As part of their ongoing effort to showcase the quality and increasing affordability of their club, Meridian Valley Country Club is giving one CG reader and the playing partner of their choice the chance to take the path less traveled on and play one of Western Washington’s top private courses — past home to the Paige Mackenzie Charity Golf Classic and other top events — for free! Log on to CascadeGolfer.com today for your chance to win! 42
Port Ludlow • Tide No. 2
PORT LUDLOW AND CEDARS AT DUNGENESS Location: Olympic Peninsula Distance between courses: 40.5 miles Total trip time (including golf): 12 hours
hen playing 36, it’s fun to find two courses that offer something different. And if you can have those unique experiences for under $100 combined, and still be back for dinner? So much the better. All the reasons above are why we always make sure to include this Olympic Peninsula pairing on our summertime schedule. Coursing up and down a ridge overlooking Puget Sound and the Cascade and Olympic Mountains, Port Ludlow has remained one of the area’s most scenic and enjoyable tracks, with beautiful views, towering pines, creative routing … and most importantly, plenty of birdie opportunities. Putt out on the straight-uphill 18th around 12:30 p.m., then make the quick hour’s drive north through picturesque peninsula countryside (and through one of our state’s most historic towns, tiny Port Gamble) to Sequim to play the Cedars at Dungeness. Hard against the Strait of Juan de Fuca, the Cedars is a completely different experience from Ludlow — where Ludlow is tight and hilly with big views and bigger trees, Cedars is open, windswept, oceanside golf. They’re unique and fun — a perfect pairing for 36 holes on the Olympic Peninsula. If you’ve played well, leave time after the round to stop off at the 7 Cedars Casino and press your luck. If you haven’t, the view out the window of the ferry ride home will salve your pain.
BEAR MOUNTAIN RANCH AND DESERT CANYON Location: Central Washington Distance: 29.8 miles Total trip time (including golf): 16 hours
s a journalist, I’m supposed to be unbiased. So, I’m going to stop being a journalist for a minute and simply be myself. Bear Mountain Ranch is, quite simply, the most enjoyable destination golf course in the state. Views that go for miles, memorable hole after memorable hole … if I could only play one Washington course, this would be it. Unfortunately, fewer golfers are making the trip to Chelan, and if more of us don’t get out there soon, it could close. Don’t let that happen. You owe it to yourself and to your fellow golfers to make the trip. And since you’re heading all that way, make a day of it and play Desert Canyon in Orondo. Where BMR has the feel of a mountain course with trees and dramatic ridges, Desert Canyon is a sprawling test of will, 6,700 yards of pure joy on a ridge overlooking the Columbia River and Cascade Mountains. If the views don’t get you, the epic, downhill, 668-yard par-5 sixth most certainly will. Leave Seattle at 6 a.m., tee off at 9:30 at Desert Canyon, play Bear Mountain at 3 p.m. and be back home by 10. Now that’s an incredible day.
Bear Mountain Ranch • No. 15
PHOTO BY ROB PERRY
Mt Si • No. 9
MOUNT SI AND SNOQUALMIE FALLS Location: Fall City/North Bend Distance between courses: 5.8 miles Total trip time (including golf): 10.5 hours
hen we’re looking to save some green on a 36-hole outing in our backyard, we head out I-90 to Snoqualmie Falls to play Snoqualmie Falls Golf Course and Mount Si. At 5,465 and 6,261 yards, respectively, neither Snoqualmie Falls or Mount Si are particularly long, but both can get you in plenty of trouble in the form of trees, doglegs and out of bounds. In fact, if you’re wild at all with the driver, you’re better off leaving it in the bag on most of these 36 holes … but that’s easy to say, and tough to do when you’re staring down a 325-yard par-4 and thinking, “Driver, sand wedge, birdie.” At Snoqualmie, where we recommend starting your day, the best views are at ground level, with the first five holes coursing alongside (and sometimes, when the winter rains come, underneath) the beautiful Snoqualmie River. Just up the hill in North Bend is Mount Si, where the course’s namesake provides a lofty, impressive backdrop to a track our readers named one of the Best Puget Sound Values in our 2010 Readers Choice Awards. Schedule your day to hit Mount Si in the afternoon to save nearly 50 percent on the already-low greens fees, then pass those savings on to a meal in the Mount Si Restaurant. Best of all, with a grand total — including golf, gas, a meal and drinks — of about $95, you’re guaranteed to break 100 for the day … both on the course, and in your wallet.
DAILY DOUBLES Just like Mr. Cub, we wish we could play two every time we head out the door. Here are a few more of Western Washington’s best bets for squeezing 36 – or even 54 – out of a long summer’s day.
Avalon • No. 5
AVALON AND EAGLEMONT Location: Skagit County Distance between courses: 11.8 miles Total trip time (including golf): 12 hours
n the springtime, people go to Skagit County to see the tulips. In the summer, they come back for the golf. The tiny county is home to two of Western Washington’s top courses in Burlington’s Avalon Golf Links and Eaglemont Golf Course in Mount Vernon. The two have long been summer favorites for their incredible play-all-day values. Avalon’s annual Summer Solstice Challenge sees golfers tee off at 5 a.m. and play until dark — or until you simply can’t swing any more. The names of every golfer who has managed to fit in 72 holes are engraved in the clubhouse. Eaglemont, meanwhile, offers an all-day rate of just $67 on weekdays, and $77 on weekends, that’s lower than the 18-hole summer rate at many of the Seattle area’s top tracks. Pair them together, though, and you can experience two courses that are a perfect complement. Barely an hour from Seattle, Avalon features 27 holes routed across a bluff overlooking the farmland below. Only average in length and without any truly penal rough, Avalon challenges golfers with doglegs, small, fast greens and out-of-bounds on almost every hole. Eaglemont, on the other hand, is a fun test of shotmaking ability that can be as easy, or as hard, as you want to make it — play it from the whites, at just over 5,700 yards, or from the blacks at 7,200. Tough enough for U.S. Open qualifiers, and easy enough to enjoy with the family, it’s a perfect round to end your day. Play it last to take advantage of the brand new clubhouse, where you can enjoy a prime steak and cold drink to celebrate a summer’s day well done.
Semiahmoo • No. 11
Gold Mountain GC • Trophy Lake GC • McCormick Woods GC Location: Port Orchard Distance between courses: 8 miles Total trip time (36 holes): 12 hours Total trip time (54 holes): 16.5 hours Leavenworth GC • Kahler Glen GC Location: Leavenworth Distance between courses: 19.8 miles Total trip time (incl. golf): 13.5 hours Semiahmoo GC • Lake Padden GC Location: Blaine/Bellingham Distance between courses: 31 miles Total trip time (incl. golf): 13.5 hours
Eagles Pride GC • The Home Course Location: DuPont Distance between courses: 4.1 miles Total trip time (incl. golf): 11 hours Lake Spanaway GC • The Classic Location: Spanaway Distance between courses: 6.3 miles Total trip time (incl.golf): 11 hours Willows Run Golf Complex (36 Holes) Location: Redmond Distance between courses: ‘Bout a sand wedge Total trip time (incl. golf): 10 hours
SAVE SOME GREEN OFF THE BEATEN PATH BY BRIAN BEAKY • CG EDITOR
n the summer, I like to take advantage of the long days of sunlight to extend my reach a little farther out for a good round, and add another notch to the belt of Washington courses I’ve played (poorly, in most cases). Of course, it’s also the time of year when courses demand their highest rates, making it even more important to focus on the value you’re getting, regardless of price point. There are good courses in the $30 price range, but there are a lot of mediocre ones, too. Of course, the same goes for the $60 range, and every point in between – no matter what you plan to spend, what’s important is knowing that you’re getting your money’s worth. So, this month we’re verging off the well-worn I-5 and I-405 corridors to recommend courses that, while a few extra miles from home (though each within 45 minutes of Seattle, Bellevue and/ or Tacoma), provide a value well worth the trip. After all, hardly any place in the country is as aweinspiring as the Puget Sound region in the summer time – we might as well get out and explore it.
Timber • No. 7
Port Ludlow Resort PORT LUDLOW
Relax. It’s what I tell myself before almost every shot. Usually, when I’m playing poorly, it’s because I’m trying to do too much – I start gripping the club too tight, taking it back too far, swinging too hard. It’s a recipe for disaster, and I have to remind myself constantly to ease back and let the club do the work. Not at Port Ludlow. I think it starts on the ferry – staring across Puget Sound at Mount Rainier rising majestically towards a clear blue sky (which still takes my breath away every time I see it) and scanning the Sound for the always-possible orca or sea lion sighting, relaxation comes naturally. By the time the boat docks at Kingston after a 20-minute ride from Edmonds, and I make the short drive to the resort, my mind, body and soul are in the perfect state for a low round. And it’s true – I have never scored poorly at Port Ludlow. It’s not that the course is easy – indeed, the Tide and Timber nines (the course’s current open layout, the Trail nine having been temporarily closed since 2010) play to 6,861 yards from the tips and boast a rating of 73.9 and a slope of 134, certainly well above average. It’s simply that calming influences lie at every turn of Robert Muir Graves’ design – from the numerous views of the mountains and Sound from elevated tees, to the flower-dotted cedar stumps scattered throughout, to the awe-inspiring pines that tower above the greens. If difficulty relaxing is your problem, Port Ludlow is the perfect tonic for your game. Tide No. 2, plunging downwards to the Sound for the extent of its 357-yard length, gives golfers their first glimpse of the blue-green water below, and the first of several chances to make a risk/reward call. The safe play is an iron to the landing area on the right side of the fairway, but big hitters with the ability to draw the ball will be tempted to let it fly and take advantage of the slope for a chance to get ahead on the scorecard. It’s a perfect setup for what’s to come – breathtaking scenery, dramatic elevation changes, and a heck of a lot of fun. Seemingly every hole provides at least two of the three, from the risk/reward par-5 Tide No. 4, to the dogleg right par-4 Tide No. 9, played back uphill to a green surrounded by a brilliant display of colorful flowers. If the Tide nine is notable for its water features and narrow fairways, the Timber offers a different experience, winding through the valley below the ridge-top clubhouse. Wildflowers and long marsh grasses provide the scenery, while no fewer than four sharp doglegs and well-guarded greens provide the challenge, requiring precision off the tee and accuracy in the approach. At as little as $36 on a weekday, Port Ludlow is also one of the Puget Sound region’s top values, and is a perfect companion to a round at Sequim’s Cedars at Dungeness, about an hour north, or Kingston’s White Horse, just a half hour south.
Others get more publicity, but I’m partial to Timber No. 2. From the elevated tee, the views of the Olympic Mountains on a sunny day are breathtaking, backdropping a medium-length, downhill par-4. There’s nothing more fun than giving it all you’ve got from an elevated tee, and it’s bombs away here. The fairway slopes left to right, so stay left to avoid rolling into a grove of trees that hug the right edge. Or, do what I did and knock it into trees, then miraculously hole out from 125 yards. Trust me, if I can do it, so can you.
YARDAGE 5,240-6,861 RATES $36-$62 TEL 888-793-1195 WEB portludlowresort.com 48
Enumclaw Golf Course ENUMCLAW
Enumclaw golf course is not a country club by any means. It’s laid-back. It’s blue jeans. It’s T-shirts. It is more specifically a “country” course, reflective of its raw, rural setting. The fast-moving Boise Creek meanders through the 5,561-yard layout just a couple miles east of downtown Enumclaw. It’s a salmon-spawning creek. If you’re fortunate, you might see a bald eagle swoop in for a sushi meal. Deer, elk and even black bears occasionally will want to play through. There are breath-taking vistas of the snow-capped foothills leading up to Mt. Rainier. All along the left side of the No. 11 fairway is a magnificent granite wall. The area is shadowed by tall fir trees. “It’s a pretty neat place to play and work,’’ said Brandon Herrell, the course superintendent and the facilities manager for the City of Enumclaw. “I can’t say enough about the folks who come and play there. It’s a friendly environment.’’ The course is a draw for locals, but with its unique setting and decent greens fees, it’s worth a country drive. Part of the course has been around for more than 70 years. The front nine was built in the late 1930s — first six holes, then nine. It’s old-school, with funky tee positions, some parallel fairways and blind tee shots. The back nine, built in the late ‘70s, is more traditional, with elevated tees and greens, bunker-defended greens and trouble-lined fairways. One of the course’s most unusual – and befuddling — holes is the par-4, 297-yard No 12. It’s relatively short and, for some, drivable, but there’s a huge fir tree in the middle of the fairway about 140 yards out. You can’t go left because of forest intrusion. If you go right, you have to draw it around the tree. Hitting it straight and too far will put you in an untenable forest. There also are more than the usual number of blind shots, which adds a little bit of mystery to the layout. “It’s a pretty short track, but in the summer when conditions are right, it’s a fun golf course,’’ Herrell added. “It’s not going to break your budget. It’s a good product and a good value.’’ – Bob Sherwin
BEST HOLE The par-4, 390-yard sixth is a blind tee shot into uncertainty. Drift right and you can land in unforgiving brush, or have an impossible second shot through a grove of firs. Split a fir goalpost on your drive to leave yourself with an approach shot that must twist slightly to the left, through a valley and up to a small, elevated green.
YARDAGE 5,211-5,561 RATES $13-$24 TEL (360) 825-2827 WEB cityofenumclaw.net
EaglEmont golf Club Rated
by Golf Digest
Rated #10 on Golf Digest’s list of Top Ten Golf Courses in Washington State
North Shore • Tacoma
3 We offer outstanding tournament rates and full services. Let Eaglemont host your 2010 charity or corporate event. Call the pro shop.
Early-Bird Rates Before 9:00 AM Monday-Friday
Twilight Rates After 2:00 PM 7 DAYS A WEEK!
Call for tee times - 1.800.368.8876 or visit www.eaglemont.com 4127 Eaglemont Drive I Mount Vernon, WA 98274
North Shore Golf Course TACOMA
You’ll find doglegs right and doglegs left at North Shore Golf & Country Club. And that’s just getting to the parking lot. There are another half dozen on the course. North Shore, about five miles west of I-5 through Federal Way, is mostly obscured by placid northeast Tacoma neighborhoods. But the course, surprisingly, is virtually structure-free, sitting peacefully in a valley below the housing tracts. It’s not a long course, stretching to about 6,300 yards, but it’s twisty. The front nine is flatter, in the valley with tall firs alongside almost every fairway. The back nine is mostly on the ridges, more elevation and frustration. “It’s a challenging course. You need to hit it straight but not necessarily long,’’ said PGA head professional David Wetli, who has worked at the course for the past 29 years. “It’s a lot of fun to play.’’ There are some challenging holes on the front nine, but if you stay out of trouble you can score. However, don’t believe you have tamed the course. The back nine tests you immediately with the par-5, 511-yard 10th, a long dogleg left. That’s followed by the par-4, 286-yard No. 11 hole, where you have a completely different shot with a short dogleg right. It’s a drivable green, provided you have enough height and power to clear the protective trees or a power fade to split the fir uprights. What you can’t do is hit a routine straight drive. That will take you through the fairway, out-of-bounds. The final three holes are quite interesting, with two par-3s (156 yards and 185 yards) followed by a par-5, 542yard finishing hole. The 185-yarder is the toughest of the trio, primarily because of the contours of the green, which is tilted back-to-front and right-to-left. If you are above the pin, either putting or chipping, best of luck stopping it when it’s dry. Depending on the day, time of day and age of the golfers, the rates are accommodating. “We think we have reasonable rates. We try to make it affordable to grow golfers,’’ Wetli said. “It’s a good test, where you have a lot of different shots.’’ – Bob Sherwin cascadegolfer.com
Mill Creek Country Club
has the best golf value in the NW, memberships starting at $215 per month for Young Professionals Unlimited Play Private Championship Golf Course Seven Northwest Reciprocals
BEST HOLE Local knowledge is compulsory at the par-5, 511yard 10th. Your tee shot needs to be well to the right of the left-side tall fir about 180 yards out. If not, you can’t afford to be a hero — hit sideways and get back on the fairway. If you can see the green after your tee shot, then it’s only about 260 yards, all uphill, to a large, undulating green. “When the pin is in the front on 10, I’d rather miss the green short than go long,’’ Wetli said. “Those are the things you learn.’’
YARDAGE 5,442-6,305 RATES $15-$40 TEL (800) 447-1375 WEB northshoregc.net
Contact our membership director at
(425) 743-1444 or visit us at
www.millcreek.cc We would like your permission to solicit interest in Mill Creek Country Club.
You Can Only “Be the Ball” if You “See the Ball” First BY BRENT ZEPP PGA Teaching Professional • Chambers Bay
very time you begin your pre-shot routine and prepare to hit a shot, the most important part of the process is visualization. You have heard it many times before, and it applies to so many different aspects of life. Whatever it is in life you are trying to accomplish — be that getting a better job, beginning a new relationship, hitting a walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth, or making a putt to win your weekend Nassau — the more you can visualize the act and see it in your mind first, the more likely it will happen. As you are into your pre-shot routine, whether you are facing a putt, chip or a full swing, always see exactly what you want your ball to do. When you are hitting a tee shot, see the ball leave the
tee and soar on its way to the target; long and straight, landing in the fairway and sitting pretty in the “garden spot.” Now just send the ball on its way and do what you just imagined. With some practice, you may be able to visualize a colored line on which you would like your ball to travel. When you watch the PGA Tour on television, you may recall seeing the Pro Tracer on a full swing or the Aim Point putting line. Put this imagination into play for your own game. When you read a putt, and in preparation for hitting a putt, do your best to see the ball rolling along your intended line and into the hole. The more clearly you can see the putt roll into the hole before you actually stroke the ball, the chances of making that putt
increase dramatically. The same imagination that helped Phil Mickelson win his first green jacket and Tiger Woods hole a dramatic putt on the 72nd hole of the 2008 U.S. Open is the same visualization you can employ in your own pre-shot routine and mental game today! Brent Zepp is a Class A Teaching Professional at Chambers Bay in University Place. A Puyallup native and graduate of the San Diego Golf Academy, Brent emphasizes keeping the game fun and simple and focusing on the fundamentals of the swing. To set up a lesson, contact the golf shop at (253) 460-4653 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Sale prices good through 06/30/2011. Some photos may not be exact representations. Selection varies per store. Discounts figured from manufacturer’s original list price. See store for complete details. Advertised items subject to available stock on hand. Puetz Golf is committed to truthful and accurate advertising. We are, however, not responsible for printing errors.
JUNE JUNE 2011 2011
All Decked Out BY BRIAN BEAKY • CG EDITOR
n those long summer evenings, nothing beats celebrating a great round by heading out on the clubhouse deck to enjoy a cold beverage – or two – while adding up your birdies as the sun slips behind the mountains to the west. If you’re like us, and you consider a full round of golf to be 19 holes, not 18, here are a few of the courses where you’ll want to make sure to plan some extra time after your round to enjoy a cold one on the patio this summer. PHOTO BY BRIAN BEAKY
The Golf Club At Newcastle Eaglemont Golf Club Newcastle
Most of Seattle’s clubs don’t have the advantage of expansive views that those outside the area enjoy. Not so at West Seattle, where downtown vistas are complemented by thousands of colorful flowers surrounding their outdoor patio, and scrumptious eats from the Fox Den Grille.
Do we write about Newcastle’s clubhouse a lot? You bet we do. With an old English-style bar and the only deck in the area offering a 180-degree view from Mt. Rainier to Mt. Baker, there’s no better spot in the region to meet for drinks in the summertime — whether you’re playing that day, or not.
Eaglemont’s new clubhouse won’t open until July. When it does, though, its views and amenities will rival any in Western Washington. High on a bluff above the downhill 13th hole — soon to be Eaglemont’s new No. 1 — the clubhouse offers sweeping views of the Cascades and farmland valleys below and gives the highly rated public track the “destination course” feeling it deserves.
Bear Mountain Ranch
Whenever we tie McCormick Woods into a day of playing 36 on the peninsula — a favorite summer pastime — we always make sure it’s our last round of the day. That’s so that we can kick it afterwards on one of the nicest decks in the area, and enjoy quite possibly the best clubhouse food to be had in the Puget Sound region.
How many other clubhouse patios in the world give you the chance to not only see an entire U.S. Open-caliber track laid out below your feet, but also bald eagles, sea lions and orca pods? Uh, we’re going to go ahead and say, “None.” Be there when the sun’s rays dip behind the Olympics to see the course ablaze in a gold-orange glow, and you’ll swear you’re in Scotland.
It’s summertime, so we have to include at least one destination track, right? Really, we just wanted an excuse to include our favorite deck – at one of our favorite courses – in the state. On a mountainside high above Lake Chelan, with views of the course, lake and Cascade Mountains, it’s the perfect spot to sip a glass of wine from one of the dozens of local vineyards.
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