The Cascade Golfer Dream 18

We canvassed friends, family — and you — to find the 18 holes we can’t wait to play this year

by Brian Beaky
CG Editor

Whether a physical list — like mine, which mocks me from my computer desktop at CG HQ 365 days a year, beckoning to me to call in sick and hit the road — or just a mental one, every golfer I know can immediately rattle off the courses they are most eager to play. Some, like Bandon Dunes or the famed floating green at Coeur d’Alene Resort, we might harbor realistic hopes of playing this year. Others, like Pebble Beach or the Old Course at St. Andrews, we might merely hope to reach some time before the old caddy in the sky comes to carry our clubs to the great beyond.

Whatever your dream destination, though, once it enters your mind, it’s almost impossible to shake — until the day comes when you finally stick that peg in the ground, feel the wind in your hair, and stare down the fairway.

To kick off our 2014 season, we decided we’d make our “wish list” public — and in the spirit of CG, asked your opinion as well. When you close your eyes and imagine yourself hitting a golf ball on a Washington course this year, what hole are you playing?

Responses ranged from Spokane to Seattle, Walla Walla to Whatcom County — in total, holes at more than 30 Washington golf courses were nominated, a testament once again to the depth and quality of municipal golf in our home state.

Not surprisingly, David McLay Kidd’s new Gamble Sands led the way, with many readers — and no shortage of CG staffers — putting its 18 holes 1-18 on their wish lists for 2014. But dozens of other holes were also mentioned, including many from our most recent Top-10 Washington Public Courses list (CG, Aug. ’13), and some from courses we’ve never even heard of (which required some digging).

We picked out 18 from the list that best represented your responses, and the geographic and stylistic diversity of golf in our state. Some courses — I’m looking at you, Chambers Bay and Wine Valley — had more than one hole make the list, and honestly could have each had 2-3 more if we hadn’t decided to spread the wealth. Many more holes — the 18th at Echo Falls, the 2nd on Port Ludlow’s Tide course, the 10th at Lake Chelan, and the 10th at Snohomish, to name a few — just missed the cut, but are certainly ones we hope to find ourselves staring down later this summer.

In the end, the decisive criteria was this — does the mere existence of this hole make us more excited about the 2014 golf season? For the 18 holes that appear in these pages, the answer to that question is … oh, yeah.

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