Courses & Travel

Beyond Bandon and Chambers, 5 More Pacific Northwest Must-Plays

Designer Robert Trent Jones Jr. Previews Chambers Bay
Designer Robert Trent Jones Jr. previews some of the holes at Chambers Bay, host of the 2015 U.S. Open.

Beyond Bandon and Chambers Bay, here are five more must-plays in the Pacific Northwest.

Pronghorn (Nicklaus Signature), Bend, Ore.

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Even if the Beaver State weren't blessed with Bandon Dunes, Oregon would be worth a visit. In summer, the dry, temperate paradise of Bend is a delight. Pronghorn [$70-$210; pronghornclub.com] includes a 2004 Jack Nicklaus creation that twists through lava-rock and high desert scrub at 3,200 feet, and ranks 38th in our Top 100 Courses You Can Play.

Sunriver Resort (Crosswater), Sunriver, Ore.

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Another Bend-area find [$99-$199; sunriver-resort.com], this beauty clocks in at No. 62 in the U.S. for public-access tracks. The Bob Cupp/John Fought duet is ringed with mountains and crisscrossed by the Little Deschutes River.

Pumpkin Ridge (Ghost Creek), North Plains, Ore.

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Cruising back to the coast, Pumpkin Ridge's Ghost Creek [$75-$125; pumpkinridge.com], in suburban Portland, ranks 56th in our Top 100 Courses You Can Play. David Duval claimed the 1993 Nike Tour Championship on this Cupp/Fought creation, which frightens wayward hitters with wetlands, woods and tall fescue grasses.

Gamble Sands, Brewster, Wash.

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Crossing into Washington, I'm betting that you'll have a blast at Gamble Sands [$70-$160; gamblesands.com]. Our choice for Best New Course of 2014, this treeless David McLay Kidd design rolls out wide, firm, sand-based fairways, huge, contoured fescue greens and option-laden holes that traverse enormous sand ridges in a high-desert setting two and a half hours west of Spokane. No extra charge for the handsome Columbia River vistas.

Gold Mountain (Olympic), Bremerton, Wash.

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Behold the best value in Washington. Gold Mountain's Olympic course [$40-$66.50; goldmountaingolf.com] is where Jordan Spieth [you may have heard of him] won the 2011 U.S. Junior Amateur. It features a fairly flat, forested front nine, followed by a hilly adventure on the back.

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Tour Confidential: Who Wins at Chambers Bay?
With the U.S. Open just days away, our panelists discuss who will surprise, who will disappoint and who will win at Chambers Bay.

 

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