October 9th 2012 - Salish Cliffs states its case
SHELTON, Wash. — Course architect Gene Bates looked over the terrain of what would become Salish Cliffs Golf Club on the tree-covered hillsides southwest of Seattle and saw three possibilities.
After conferring with leaders of the Squaxin Island Tribe, the most ‘difficult’ routing was chosen.
“That’s OK, I like a challenge,” was Bates’ reply.
Sure enough, the most difficult has been transformed into the most dramatic as Bates has mapped out a golf thrill ride through the woods and wetlands of what is known as the ‘South Sound’ of the Olympic Peninsula.
Opened in September of 2011 with a ceremonial first round that featured Seattle’s own Fred Couples, Salish Cliffs was ranked among North America’s best new courses by both GolfWeek and Golf Magazine.
Carts are mandatory on the 7,269-yard setup near Shelton, Wash., and you’ll appreciate the wheels. The holes do not have much rise and fall, but the transitions from green to tee bring on elevation changes of about 600 feet during the round.
At each stop, Bates presents deceptively wide fairways — wider than they look from the tee — followed by deceptively tricky approaches.
Salish Cliffs is the first golf course certified as ‘salmon-safe,’ thanks to the Squaxin Island Tribe’s commitment to protect fish habitat, and it has quickly earned a reputation for value and course conditioning, too.
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