This par-72, walking only, resort golf course provides spectacular views of the snow-capped Olympic Mountains. Owned by Pierce County, Chambers Bay offers a unique tribute to the historic links courses of Scotland and Ireland. Robert Trent Jones II has created an awe-inspiring design that is as spectacular as the beauty surrounding it. Pierce County officials are confident the scenic venue will grow to attract golfers and tourists from across the nation, as well as PGA, LPGA, and USGA tournaments. For more information on Chambers Bay, visit the Web site at www.chambersbaygolf.com.
Scheduled to open in summer 2008, Salish Cliffs Golf Club is an 18-hole course in Shelton, Washington, owned by the Squaxin Island Tribe. Upon completion, Salish Cliffs will be the first completely tribe-owned and operated golf club in Washington State. Course architect Gene Bates has been selected to design the course. Bates gathered national attention after completing the design on Circling Raven Golf Club in Worley, Idaho. Golf Digest Magazine ranked Circling Raven as Idaho’s No. 1 public course.
Also scheduled for a 2008 opening is an 18-hole championship golf course on the campus at Washington State University in Pullman. A groundbreaking was held last June, launching construction of the Palouse Ridge Golf Club. Designed by John Harbottle III, the new golf course is being built on a 315-acre site on campus, and will serve as a recreational amenity for students, faculty, staff and visitors. Harbottle said the design philosophy he employed for Palouse Ridge is based on his study of courses in Scotland that fit closely to the lay of the existing land and make the best use of natural features.
Just east of Wenatchee in Quincy, Washington, golfers are anxiously awaiting the mid-April opening of the nine-hole Sunserra Golf Course. This resort community on the Columbia River features 300-plus days of sunshine a year. The course measures 3,034 yards.
Though it opened in May 2006, Centennial Golf Club is worth a mention. This 18-hole, par-72 course is located in Medford, Oregon, just off Interstate 5. Designed by Oregon native John Fought, Centennial Golf Club measures 7,309 yards from the tips. For more information, visit the Web site at www.centennialgolfclub.com.
In McCall, Idaho, Jug Mountain Ranch Golf Course has added nine new holes that offer awe-inspiring scenic views. The first nine holes opened for play during the summer of 2004, and the full 18 opened for play late last summer. The par-72 facility measures 7,287 yards from the championship tees. Jug Mountain Ranch was designed by Donald Knott. His previous work as project architect for the Robert Trent Jones II organization included the Links at Spanish Bay (Pebble Beach), Rancho La Quinta, Sun Valley Resort, and more than 60 other courses worldwide.
North of the Border
Jack Nicklaus has agreed to bring one of his signature design golf courses to Canada’s west coast. Set on both the open Pacific Ocean and Ucluelet Inlet, the $600 million luxury resort covers 370 acres, and is located next to the Pacific Rim National Park on Vancouver Island. The property is within the UNESCO Clayoquot Biosphere Reserve that draws more than a million visitors annually from around the world. An opening date for the golf course has not been set.
South of the Border
More than 600,000 golfers from the U.S. and Canada headed to Mexico last year. The sport’s growing popularity south of the border is the reason more than 30 golf courses are currently under construction in Mexico, which already has nearly 180 courses. Mexico tourism officials report that Los Cabos has 14 percent of the country’s golf market share. Capitalizing on that fact, several new tracks are scheduled to open this year. Here’s a rundown on projects in Los Cabos.
Two courses are scheduled to open early this year just north of San José del Cabo in the mega resort of Puerto Los Cabos. This 1,900-acre gated golf community will include a world-class marina complex and two 18-hole tracks, one designed by Jack Nicklaus and the other by Greg Norman. Nine holes for each course will open in early 2007, with the additional holes opening later in the year.
Two championship layouts – one by Tom Fazio and the other by Jack Nicklaus – are also scheduled to open this year at Chileno Bay Club. Until the highway is restructured and both courses are finished separately, initial play will encompass a hybrid Nicklaus/Fazio layout.
Club Campestre, a 550-acre upscale community in San Jose del Cabo, will include in its development an 18-hole golf course designed by Nicklaus. This signature course will be surrounded by beautiful panoramic views of the ocean and mountains. It also will be the first golf course to use “Paspalum” grass, which is resistant to salt water. The course is not scheduled for completion until late 2007 or early 2008.
Four miles north of Cabo San Lucas on the Pacific Ocean side is another luxury resort scheduled for completion in 2007. The master planned community of Cabo Pacífica is scheduled to incorporate two championship golf designs – one by Nicklaus and the other by Arnold Palmer.
And finally, in the midst of golf course openings, there’s always a few that head the other direction. In Washington’s Port Townsend, Discovery Bay Golf Course, formerly Chevy Chase Golf Course, will close this spring after more than 80 years of service to the community. It was the lack of patronage that led to its demise. Officials say that at least 20,000 rounds per year were needed to make the operation financially successful. Sadly, the course averaged only 13,000 rounds annually. Now, a 48-home development is in the works, a plan that’s already been approved by Jefferson County.
Rick Stedman is an avid RVer, golfer and writer who lives in Yakima, Washington. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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