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GOLF TRAVEL


By Les Schupak


The Great Northwest


CHAMBERS BAY, SALISH CLIFFS OFFER DESERT DWELLERS LOTS OF COOL REASONS TO TEE IT UP IN THE SUMMERTIME


T


he antithesis of desert golf typically consists of large bodies of natural water, lush greenery and trees rising to the


sky. All, and more, can be found in the state of Washington at two of the region’s premier golfing destinations: Chambers Bay and Salish Cliffs. Known for hosting the 2015 U.S.


Open, won in style by Jordan Spieth, Chambers Bay Golf Club, just outside of Seattle, has rapidly become a select choice for curious golfers. How it was carved from a former sand and gravel mine to become one of the country’s most acclaimed public courses — ranked No. 29 on Golfweek’s Best Modern Courses list and second among municipal tracts — is yet another story. Up here in the Great Northwest,


prepare to be swept away by 360 degrees of beauty — from vistas of Puget Sound to a glimpse of majestic Mount Rainier. It is all in view at this layout by Robert Trent Jones Jr., which requires skill and imagination for those who traverse its 18 holes. Links golf is indigenous to Scotland and Ireland, but playing at Chambers


40 | AZ GOLF Insider | PREVIEW 2016


Bay has a ring of authenticity. Tee it up on nearly any hole and you’ll see dunes, water, sand and fescue reminiscent of the Auld Sod. Chambers Bay has a walking-only


policy, but there is an excellent caddie program and it is wise to invest in a trained eye and strong set of shoulders to help navigate this golf course. You wouldn’t walk on The Old Course without a caddie your first time there, so the same could be said of Chambers Bay, which has been dubbed: “America’s St. Andrews.” For residents of Arizona, a summer


excursion to this neck of the woods is a pleasant respite from triple-digit temperatures and target golf. With soft breezes and moderate temperatures throughout most of the summer months, Chambers Bay’s normal 8-mile trek up, down and around the course is a good workout. While counting up the final scores and wagers, a selection of the region’s best craft brews and other beverage choices may be enjoyed from clubhouse deck perched high above the layout, and is a worthy reward no matter what the results.


Chambers Bay Golf Club (above) off the Pugent Sound gives visitors the opportunity to play golf where the 2015 U.S. Open was hosted.


Whether you play your best or are


brought to your knees by hitting into the fescue or a deep pot bunker, you’ll end on the 18th green, and like most, will try to two-putt from 12 feet where Dustin Johnson didn’t, and sadly lost the U.S. Open by a single stroke. It’s just one of the memories with which you’ll return home believing, as many do, that this exceptional venue once again could play host to our national championship. Just an hour’s drive west of Chambers


Bay is the town of Shelton (20 minutes from Olympia), where the Little Creek Casino Resort and its Salish Cliffs Golf Club are located in picturesque Kamilche Valley. Owned and operated by the Squaxin Island Tribe, the facility was a preferred stay-and-play option for those attending the 2015 U.S. Open. Months later, Salish Cliffs, designed by Gene Bates and opened in 2011, continues to collect recognition from many national golf publications, including Golfweek’s


www.azgolf.org


COURTESY CHAMBERS BAY GOLF CLUB


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