Gamble Sands • Brewster
Put Gamble Sands in — oh, let’s say, Marysville — and we’re reasonably confident that it would finish No. 1 on this list. Gamble Sands consistently places ahead of Chambers Bay in ballots that include both courses; it simply doesn’t show up on the same volume of ballots that Chambers does. While it’s certainly possible that there are golfers who have played Gamble Sands and don’t think it’s a top-10 track, it’s more likely that most of those who don’t include it simply haven’t made the four-hour drive to Brewster to see it for themselves.
But, that location is a large part of what makes Gamble spectacular — the sheer acreage that allows the course to sprawl across a Columbia River ridge, with broad fairways and massive greens, the mountain and river views that extend for miles in nearly all directions, the Central Washington sun loosening up your muscles and adding 20 yards to every drive, and the feeling that there’s nothing in the world that matters except the next shot in front of you.
Driving to Brewster isn’t the price we have to pay to play Gamble Sands — it’s the reason we want to go in the first place.