Beyond Bandon and Chambers Bay, here are five more must-plays in the Pacific Northwest.
Pronghorn (Nicklaus Signature), Bend, Ore.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.