August 10, 2012 in Sports

Crossing over to Western Washington shortens golfer’s want list

By The Spokesman-Review

On the west side of Washington, lush grass and hazards are plentiful, especially at Druids Glen (above) and Chambers Bay (below).
(Full-size photo)

I grew up in Western Washington so I’m familiar with many of the golf courses on that side of the state. I was fortunate to play Sahalee, site of the 1998 PGA Championship and 2010 U.S. Senior Open, as my home course in high school. Yes, that was a long time ago.

I’ve lived on this side of the mountains for nearly 30 years, but I’ve tried to keep up with the newer courses that have sprouted up on the west side. It’s been a losing battle, but I gained on it during a recent three-day trip.

I played Druids Glen in Kent (opened in 1997), Washington National in Auburn (opened in 2000) and Chambers Bay just outside of Tacoma (opened in 2007). My kids are older than all three courses.

Druids Glen was in mint condition and its reasonable green fees make it a bargain. Washington National, home of the University of Washington golf team, is a stiff test from start to finish.

Chambers Bay is simply unlike any course I’ve seen or played. The only thing that compares is the countless hours I’ve spent watching the British Open on television with players bundled in rain gear putting from 15 yards short of the green to a flagstick swaying in the wind. Obviously, that doesn’t compare to the real deal.

Chambers Bay is the real deal and it’s easy to understand why the links course was selected to host the 2015 U.S. Open.

Keep reading for more on this trio of courses.

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