Sparkling stretch run at Sun
(Cle Elum, 206 miles from Spokane)
We pulled into the parking lot to see 14 R.V. spots, a cart/maintenance barn marked with “GOLF” in large, white letters and a nifty, narrow putting green. This affordable course ($30 weekdays) doesn’t overwhelm with distance – 5,507 yards from the tips – but it requires accuracy, placement and the ability to negotiate numerous elevated greens.
“I do a booth at the Seattle Golf Show and what I hear is, ‘I always see Golf Course Road and I figure I should stop sometime,’ ” general manager and course superintendent Jamie Colson said. “Or I hear, ‘I played 15 years ago, you’re a nine-hole.’ This is the fourth season on 18 holes.”
For late May, Sun Country was in great condition, particularly the greens.
The opening hole is a 410-yard par 5 that doglegs left. The second (or third) shot is steeply uphill to the green. Another par 5, No. 11, measures just 365 from the back tees, but it’s a double dogleg and there’s a pond on the left hidden from view.
Both nines have a stretch of great holes. On the front, it begins with No. 6 and a major climb to the elevated tee boxes. The views are outstanding in every direction, even on a dreary morning. The hole is 396 yards, straight downhill.
No. 7 comes back the other direction and No. 8 is 339 yards with a small pond to the left, a narrow rock creek in front of the green and a larger pond to the right.
“That stretch that parallels the freeway is probably three of the prettiest holes out here,” Colson said. “It’s all tree-lined and then you come out to those three and it’s wide open.”
The back side closes with a bang. The par-3 15th plays from 142 to 164 yards, dropping 125 feet in elevation to a crowned green with hazards circling the back half. And your view of the pin might be obstructed. Do not miss long, which happens frequently because picking the right club might require degrees in math, physics and geometry.
The 16th is a reachable par 5 with a pair of long, straight shots. No. 17 is a 431-yard par 4 with O.B. left and right. The par-3 18th is nearly 200 yards from the back tee. Look over to the right and one homeowner has crafted a small putting green in his backyard.
“Those last three or four holes, you can have something special going and by the time you get through there you’re thinking, ‘Get me off the course,’ or, ‘I survived,’ ” Colson said. “We’re looking for a good name for that stretch.”
Rating/Slope: Men 67.3/117, Women 72.3/131
Rating/Slope: Men 65.3/115, Women 70.9/128
Rating/Slope: Men 63.3/103, Women 68.2/119