Course Reviews/Travel

Kiawah Island Resort PDF Print E-mail


by Jason Bruno

Kiawah Island Resort, the Ocean Course and it's clubhouse (above)

is on our very short list of the finest that American Golf has to offer,

but there is so much more here than Pete Dye's masterpiece. The

resort is world class with a vibe that's unique unto itself. Recently

we visited Kiawah and enjoyed all it's splendor along with perfect

Autumn weather.



Hurricane Matthew made landfall on Kiawah Island, (which sits just

21 miles south of Charleston) in early October, rendering most of the

coastal area without power for well over a week, the resort which

was closed during that time had re-opened just before we arrived

in mid November. Remarkably, not a thing was out of place, a

mammoth clean up effort to say the least - the Kiawah staff had

everything restored to it's usual pristine state.





The Sanctuary Hotel     *denotes certain photos in this feature furnished courtesy of Kiawah Island Resort

The Ocean Course is the reason that Kiawah is known as one of

the World's best golf destinations, but the luxurious Sanctuary Hotel

and Spa is the reason why it's now widely known as one of the

best beach resorts in existence. Although it opened in 2004, The

Sanctuary has on old world feel, as if it's been on the island for

over a century. The list of accolades continues to pile up for

this mecca of low country hospitality, and for good reason, the

setting, service and cuisine are impeccable.


Cuisine choices within the Sanctuary include The Ocean Room

(the hotel's signature steakhouse restaurant), Jasmine Porch

which is a casual restaurant featuring regional cuisine, and

Loggerhead Grill which is seasonal outdoor dining (and bar)

located close to pool area.



*The overhead view of The Sanctuary gives you an idea of the

setting - situated between canopies of mature Live Oaks along

the entry and the magnificent shores of the Atlantic, the hotel

offers 255 guest rooms and suites - 10 of which are executive

suites (the largest being the palatial 3000 sq ft Presidential suite).

The standard King guest rooms measure at a spacious 520 sq ft.

(90% of the rooms have ocean views).






Jasmine Porch

Our first night on the property we dined at Jasmine Porch*, which

is a great casual spot to unwind after a full day of activity at the

resort. Jasmine Porch features a smooth low country theme and

specialties like, Fried Green Tomatoes, Shrimp & Grits and She

Crab Bisque (I highly recommend). Make sure you don't pass on

the dessert, especially the banana bread pudding with homemade

praline ice cream.





Sanctuary Spa

The Sanctuary Spa* is the perfect escape from fatigue and tension.

The spa has 12 treatment rooms, a sauna, steam room and

whirlpool. Restore balance with one of the spa's massage escape

treatments - choose from the Signature, Citrus, Island Stone, and

the Athletic Recovery massage (preferred by many golfers). We

chose the Signature treatment and can tell you first hand what a

great experience it is to spend part of your day here. Fitness Center

and Salon services are also available at The Sanctuary.





*The Spa





Always an event happening at the resort, The Earl Klugh Jazz festival

was in full flight the week we were at the resort, staged on the lawn

overlooking the ocean at The Sanctuary, is there a better setting for

a concert?





There are 5 championship courses at the resort with Pete Dye's Ocean

Course being the crown jewel. World famous for the scoring challenge

it provides, the Ocean Course has hosted the '91 Ryder Cup, '07 Senior

PGA, '12 PGA Championship and the upcoming '21 PGA Championship.

Osprey Point, Turtle Point, Cougar Point, and Oak Point round out the

rest of the rotation.






Ocean Course

This was the scene on a mid-November morning just after sunrise on

the 1st tee on the Ocean Course. At only 365 yards from the Dye tees,

anything down the left center here leaves a perfect angle with a short

iron approach to a generous sized green.


There may not be a better links stroll available to all golfers anywhere

on the east coast. In fact, with 10 holes along the Atlantic, Dye's Ocean

course has more seaside holes than any other routing in the Northern

Hemisphere (the other 8 holes run parallel, with the ocean always

within view).





(Above: an overhead view of the 390 yd par 4 - 3rd hole)*


It was actually Alice Dye's idea to raise the level of every fairway so

the ocean views would be visible on every hole. Although it created

one of the most scenic walks in the game, it also brought the windy

seaside conditions more into play, thus creating a stern test of which

very few layouts can match.



Above: *The view from the 13th tee, what many think is the best tee

shot on the golf course (we concur). Smash driver towards one of

the bunkers down the left side and watch as the easterly ocean

breeze gently influences your shot back towards the middle of the

shortgrass. Pull that off and you're left with a short/mid iron approach.

Note the violet hues of whispering muhly grass that line the tee box,

the perfect accent to this launching pad. Anyone who appreciates

course design has a particular hole that inspires, this one "had me

at hello" when I first put the peg in the turf here in 2011.






A brief account of the daunting final two holes on the Ocean Course and

my thoughts as I played them.

Note the far right pin position here on the mighty 17th, about as

intimidating a par 3 as you'll face anywhere. In the photo above

I'm taking a moment to contemplate my club selection and get

committed to the shot shape I'm intending to play. The safe play

or bail out here is the far left edge of the green directly behind

me, but that's no picnic either - from the left edge of the green

you may have a 100 ft putt. Going over the green leaves you

with a brutally long bunker shot back towards the water, and

short is swimming. Having said that . . .


You didn't come this far to this iconic hole to play a bail out. The

shot played 182 yards to the hole (176 yards to carry the water

hazard). I decided to play a high cut 6 iron, and when it was struck

I knew it was good. In the air it worked it's way right at the flag,

but carried a few yards deep and right of the pin, landing directly

beyond the stick settling about 28 feet past the hole (One less club

and it would have been stiff, but that would have brought the water

into play, no thanks). The birdie putt cozied it's way up to the front

lip of the cup but chose to stay topside (never disappointed with a

3 on that beast, it was on to the home hole).




(below) The captivating view walking down the last. Note the crane

on the roof of the clubhouse, the staff were replacing the damaged

weathervane (from Hurricane Matthew).

A center cut tee shot on the 439 yd 18th hole left 176 yds to a another

tucked pin, this one was on the left edge of the green. 6 iron again,

but the attempted draw was overcooked and bounced down into a

hollow below the putting surface - leaving an unlikely up and down

from a tight lie to an uphill green with very little green to work with.

The hero shot could bring a big number so I chose to play a conservative

pitch. Contact was mediocre at best, and the result beared that out

as it rolled out 35 ft past the hole. On a day of pretty solid ball striking

where no putts outside of 6 feet dropped, of course the bomb for par

goes in here at the last. The 3-4 finish helped erase the taste of how

I finished on those two holes on our previous spin around the Ocean

Course 5 years ago. Lunch at the Ryder Cup Bar would definitely taste

even better now.


Caddies Robert and Mark were superb, and my playing partners for

the day (Dave from Canada, Dave from West Virginia and Butch from

the midwest were all great company). To read more about my personal

accounts on this journey - go to our "Bruno's Blog" section on the home






*Ryder Cup Bar






There are plenty of reminders of who has played here, like this 1991

Team USA Ryder Cup bag in the pro shop.





Turtle Point (Nicklaus Renovation)







*The gorgeous seaside 15th is a short par 4 sandwiched between the

two best par 3's at Turtle Point.



Having just re-opened before our arrival, the newly renovated Jack

Nicklaus design at Turtle Point was our next stop. Eager to have a go

on the Bear's latest completed project, a better day couldn't be had -

it was a flawless 68 degree fall afternoon on the island. Having sat

down with Mr. Nicklaus in the past discussing many of his thoughts

on modern course design, I was intrigued to see exactly what his

team had accomplished here with the renovation. Here's the rundown:

The 9 month project included new irrigation, redesigning all 18 green

complexes, rebuilding all bunkers, expanding fairway sizes from 20

to 34 acres and laser leveling every tee box (Paspalum replaced

Bermuda turf throughout).




A reverse view of the 15th* really illustrates how well Nicklaus crafted

this design between the hardscape and sea. Don't stray far from the

shortgrass at Turtle Point, this routing requires precision off the tee

to score well (housing boundaries and hazards come into play on many

of the holes at Turtle Point). Holes 14 thru 16 on Turtle Point run along

the Atlantic shoreline, showing off photogenic scenes like this sunrise.






The par 3-16th runs along the same corridor as the 15th, playing 150

yds from the Turtle tees. Nicklaus used the shoreline dunes and mass

plantings to create a buffer and an intimate setting here, but beware,

the wind will wreak havoc with any mis-hit shot.






*The approach to 18th at Turtle Point




The Turtle Point Nicklaus renovation has created fast and firm

conditions that will delight resort guests and test those that compete

in many of South Carolina's most prestigious events. Turtle Point has

hosted many top championships including the Carolina Amateur,

Carolina PGA and the South Carolina Amateur.






Tomasso Italian Restaurant

*Tomasso Italian Restaurant is located within the clubhouse of

the Turtle Point golf course. Top shelf Italian cuisine is prepared

by Chef Brandon Lapp. An authentic Italian family style atmosphere

makes for a very memorable dining experience - staff server Joe

Lapolla is superb, as is the Taglietelle and Chicken Parmigiano.





Osprey Point

Tom Fazio's Osprey Point might be the most widely enjoyable course

offering at the resort. Broad fairways and diverse hole designs weave

around lagoons and salt water marshes. Renovated in 2014 by Fazio

himself, Osprey Point now has Paspalum playing surfaces throughout.




(The par 3 - 15th shown above) Every hole at O.P offers a different

challenge. Although here at the 15th the sand and waste areas

are extensive, notice short of the green is open for a run up option.

Fazio believes strongly in designs that give multiple options for all

levels of player. The better player will enjoy working shots around

this eclectic design that rewards proper placement.







Cherrywood Grill

*Cherrywood Grill is located in the Osprey Point clubhouse and

is the resort's classic southern barbecue dining experience. The

St.Louis Ribs, Cornbread and Four Cheese Mac are just a few of

their delicious specialties.





Cougar Point

Gary Player's Cougar Point (formerly known as Marsh Point) originally

opened in 1976 and was redesigned in 1996 by the Black Knight. In

2017 Cougar Point will undergo a renovation of their own. Stay tuned

for updates and a future review when it reopens.



Oak Point

Clyde Johnston's rolling layout was renovated in 2015, it now also

plays on the firm and fast blades of Paspalum. Acquired by the resort

in 1997, Oak Point filled out the rotation making it 5 championship

courses at Kiawah Resort. An old school classic style design where

strategy is paramount over power.





Kiawah is a quiet beach setting that appears endless, the firm sand

is perfect for a jog, relaxing walk, bike ride or to just chill and enjoy

the sights and sounds of the Atlantic. The resort offers beach chairs,

umbrellas, toys for the kids, bike rental and customized beach nature

tours are also available.





Resort Villas

Another great option for lodging at Kiawah Resort are the Villa's

like this one at Turtle Point.




Villas give more of a normal family living arrangement and are great

for those with small children and also for those who prefer to cook

while away. Ranging from 1-4 bedrooms, they include full kitchen,

living room, dining room, family room and breakfast nook.






Just as Jack Neville and Douglas Grant crafted their masterpiece

on the Monterey Peninsula nearly a century ago, perhaps only the

lifelong collaboration of Pete and Alice Dye were meant to have

crafted what we now experience on these magnificent shores of

South Carolina.


Today it's more than just a Top 100 golf course, it's quite simply

one the very best travel destinations in America.


For more info on Kiawah Resort:












Mystical Golf - Myrtle Beach PDF Print E-mail


By Jason Bruno

Mystical Golf is a triple layer of Myrtle Beach golf properties within the

abundant golf locale of the Grand Strand. Recently we traveled to Myrtle

Beach and experienced The Wizard, Witch and Man-O-War layouts under

absolutely perfect autumn weather just 3 weeks removed from the fury

of Hurricane Matthew. The storm unleashed its wrath upon the area with

damaging winds that took down over 100 mature trees on the Mystical

trio of routings (dumping nearly 20 inches of rain). We're always amazed

by the work of agronomy teams after such damaging weather. The excellent

playing conditions we were provided just a few weeks after the storm

made landfall in South Carolina was a testimony to the entire Mystical

Golf staff.





The island par 3 - 17th at the Wizard.






Mystical Golf is the brainchild of owner and course operator Claude Pardue.

Pardue is an old school golf entrepreneur who operates way outside of the

modern business model (he doesn't believe in POS systems, or layers of

management. He believes heavily in giving back to the community's youth

and being visible to his customers nearly everyday at each of his three

courses (for a more detailed look into Claude Pardue and his business

model, check out Trent Bouts' in depth feature "On His Terms" by clicking

on the link:$ ).


Pardue hired golf course designer Dan Maples to craft the trio of routings, and

Maples came through with three completely unique experiences for the avid






The Wizard clubhouse is a replica castle that overlooks the ninth (shown) and

eighteenth greens. A wide open links style design, the Wizard will test your

ability to control your golf ball on windy days (of which there are countless in

the coastal community of Myrtle Beach). Bent grass greens aren't the usual

surfaces this far south, but both the Wizard and Man-O-War courses feature

smooth Bent that rolls pure (the Witch has a hybrid Bermuda greens).






Man-O-War has the flavor of parkland Carolina but water is a feature

in some part on all 18 holes (14th hole shown above). Many will choose

M.O.W as their favorite course in the Mystical portfolio because of the

playability and variety including generous fairways and mammoth sized

Bent grass putting surfaces. Lag putt proficiency is a must in order to

score here.





The Witch is anything but what the name implies. Set within 500 scenic

acres, the Witch offers perhaps the best test of golf anywhere within

Myrtle Beach proper. "The Broomstick" has a bit of everything, rolling

fairways, magnificent par 3's, well undulated hybrid bermuda greens

and the demand that your ball striking be its very best. The experience

starts with a magnificent cart ride through a shaded corridor of nature's

canopy en route to the 1st tee. Dan Maples' routing traverses through

magnificent foliage and undisturbed wetlands where vibrant Wildlife is

intimately up close here on the 6796 yard championship layout. Maples'

arrangement of eclectic topography within such a beautiful setting has the

Witch easily as my personal favorite f the Mystical tracks- a certified

LinksNation gem, and a must play if you visit Myrtle Beach.






Tee markers resembling witches hats are made from the knees of Bald

Cypress trees in the swamps within the 500 acres that make up the property

of The Witch course.






Where to stay: Our group stayed at the Breakers Resort on the Ocean.

Outstanding amenities, service and surreal ocean views are the norm

at the Breakers. Vacation lodging & golf packages are available at





What's better than waking up to this view each morning? The scene from

my balcony at the Breakers Hotel on a cool autumn morning in early




If you're planning a Myrtle Beach golf getaway, Mystical Golf is worthy of

your objectives - quality, value, variety, and service are all standard fare.

The coastal Carolina area also boasts some of the nation's best weather -

combine all of these factors and that's why avid golf vacationers from

around the globe continue to flock to the Grand Strand.














A Summer Day at Bethpage Black PDF Print E-mail


By Jason Bruno

The sign speaks for itself. A longtime favorite of ours, it doesn't get much better than

the facility at Bethpage that includes 5 eighteen hole golf courses: Blue, Green, Yellow,

Red and the world famous Black course - regarded by many as A.W Tillinghast's best work.




Our first trip to Bethpage in over a decade was on a beautiful summer day in late July.

Fresh off the 6am flight from West Palm Beach into La Guardia, I had just enough time

to grab a quick brunch at the local Bethpage diner (and a meeting with a longtime

friend, who I hadn't seen in years) and bolt for a quick warm up for my 12:51 starting

time on the Black course. Since I was in town to cover the PGA Championship at Baltusrol,

the hierarchy at Bethpage saw fit to give me a primo time slot, but since I was in that tee

time as a solo player - the starter paired up a father and son duo to join me. I was relieved,

because nobody wants to walk a top 100 layout for 5 hours by themselves. Meeting new

people is part of the experience when you travel, especially on the links - it certainly

makes for a much more enjoyable afternoon.







Mark and Sean were my playing partners for the day (Sean attends and plays a bit of

college golf in Georgia and was home for the summer), natives of Long Island's North

Shore, Sean tries to get out on the Black a few times each summer before returning to

school. Mark and I choose to play the middle tees at 6704 yards - with a rating and slope

of 74.0/145, while Sean played the back tees that have a staggering rating and slope of

78.1/152 (although listed at 7465 yards, many tees were pushed forward just behind our

tee box for daily play. I'd estimate it played at 7000 yards). The remarkable thing is the

rating/slope are on an 80 year old classic design - no OB stakes and the only water hazard is

a small pond that fronts the par 3 eighth green. Also, the putting surfaces on the Black are

fairly pedestrian in their undulations and pitch (The green speeds were perfect - a smooth

10 on the stimpmeter). When people ask, I always refer to the Black as the toughest totally

fair layout you'll ever play. You'll use every club in your bag, will be required to maneuver

the golf ball in all directions and likely will not suffer a single penalty stroke during your

stroll on the routing that hosted the 2002 and 2009 U.S Open Championships (and will be

the host venue for the 2019 PGA Championship & 2024 Ryder Cup). I've never come close

to scoring to my handicap on Tillinghast's "Mona Lisa" (and either does anybody else), but a

day of hitting golf shots on a design of this ilk is always a treat (and a challenge).



By now this sign on the first tee is as famous as the course itself. Even for the

most highly skilled players, the layout requires supreme ball striking to score.

Stay out of the gnarly rough and you have a chance to post a decent number.

High handicap players need not apply.





The Black was in prime shape just four weeks prior to hosting the Barclay's and kicking off

the Fedex Cup playoffs. If there is a better parkland par 5 in America than the fourth on

the Black, than I haven't seen it yet. My best drive on the outward side flew the left fairway

bunker and left only a 5 iron in, but after just missing the green on front left side, par was

all I could muster after a mediocre greenside chip from the heavy rye rough. As you'll quickly

learn (it took me a few holes to remember how to best escape from the Northeast nasty stuff),

use as much loft as possible. The 54 degree sand wedge never stood a chance, at times, even

my 58 degree seemed inadequate.






The fifth is every bit as "ALL TIME" as the fourth, and in my opinion is the best shot makers

hole on the property - a soft fade off the box is required to set up the proper angle to this

elevated green that has a bit of a bowl effect (it sits perfectly into the landscape). The

approach just begs for a smooth right to left shot shape on one of the best inland par 4

holes in existence. After I play the fourth & fifth I wanna turn around and play them again,

(there is no greater compliment to a great design than that) similar feelings to the seventh

and eighth at Pebble, fifteenth and sixteenth at Bandon Dunes, the sixteenth and seventeenth

at Merion, the fifteenth and sixteenth at Streamsong Red and thirteenth and fourteenth at

Seminole just to name a few.






The grandstands for the upcoming Fedex Cup Playoffs were already in place on many of the holes.

The fourteenth on the Black is the shortest par 3 on the layout and played about 150 yards to the

back left pin position (right in line with the middle of the small white VIP tent. Note the exquisite

design of the front right bunker. For all of the criticism Rees Jones takes for his U.S Open

restorations, his work on the Black that began nearly 20 years ago is worthy of the highest praise.





Everybody that plays this game for a period of time has their nemesis holes. For me

that has always been the 15th on the Black. For a hole with no hazards, boundaries

or fairway bunkers, it has always had my number. I've always referred to it as the

"Beast". Not on this day though . . .






The wind was of the helping variety and slightly left to right. Normally a long iron to

a severely elevated putting surface, a busted tee shot left a gap wedge approach. Crisp

contact resulted in a straight 12 foot uphill birdie attempt on the most undulated green

on the Black. After leaving the birdie putt on the front lip, the group remained birdie-

less, but par was secured on the "Beast". Breaking that dubious streak was one of the goals

before I even boarded the airplane in Florida. Finally, a first in six attempts over a 20 year

span. The Beast is dead, atleast for that Sunday it was.





Side view of the green complex on the par 3 - 17th






Just off the green on the 17th, you can see how healthy the rye rough has grown in.

The tee was up a few yards on the toughest one shotter at Bethpage and played 185

yards into a left to right breeze. A solid 6 iron left this putt for a deuce, but as with the

16 holes previous - feathers were not to be had. However, I'll always take a 3 on this hole

and bolt up the hill to the tee on 18th hole.





The view from the tee box on the last. Never regarded as the toughest hole on Tilly's classic,

it does present the need for a striped tee shot down the center - anything else is an act of

sheer folly. The new championship tee, some 60 yards behind the 394 yard middle tee will

present the proper challenge for today's elite players.






A piped 3 wood center cut into the shortgrass left this 138 yd uphill approach in. Desperately

striving for birdie (did I mention that our group remained without paydirt thru 17 holes), I

took dead aim but slightly over clubbed and ended up 30 feet above the hole. The last attempt

narrowly missed, but there were no complaints on this end after posting a workman like 75

(Bethpage Black is a par 71).



Gorgeous weather, better company and another great memory on my favorite "Muni" in America.

Exhausted from a long day of travel and toting around Tilly's finest design, I made my way towards

the Garden State where the assignment of PGA Championship week was on the horizon. This was a

summer day in Gotham that was certainly one to remember.




Bethpage State Park:











Gleneagles Legends Course (Florida) PDF Print E-mail


By Jason Bruno


Our last course review - Salish Cliffs just outside of Olympia, Washington

was a road game about as far from homebase (South Florida) as we could

take in the continental 48. So for this edition, we opted for the somewhat

local surroundings of Palm Beach County - at Gleneagles Country Club in

Delray Beach.


Gleneagles Country Club is a 36 hole private facility with over 800 golf members.

Rich in history, early members included many of the Tour's elite including: Sam

Snead, Billy Casper, Doug Sanders, Bob Goalby, Gay Brewer and Doug Ford.

About five years ago the club decided their Championship layout - the Legends

course, needed a facelift. An entire renovation started in April of 2011 by the

talented group at Kipp Schulties Golf Design. Schulties has renovated many of

South Florida's finest and most exclusive courses including Lost Tree Club,

Quail Ridge, Admirals Cove, and High Ridge (just to a name a few). You can

see his entire portfolio of golf design at :


Gleneagles is a 36 hole private facility with over 800 golf members. It had been

over a decade since my last visit to the club, and other than the main drive

towards the clubhouse, I almost didn't recognize the place. The club is in the

masterful hands of Director of Golf Joe DeMino (who's been at the helm since

the summer of 2010), DeMino comes from a long lineage of golf professionals

from the Rochester, N.Y area) and Head Pro Paul Crespo, who hosted us on a

gorgeous afternoon in early May.






The impetus for this review came weeks before when I took part in a long

awaited four ball match with media colleagues from ESPN radio, South Florida

Golf Magazine and the First Tee of the Palm Beaches- Approach to the 1st hole

pictured above from our initial site visit on 4/25/16.





The 7,047 yard Legends course starts off with a short 368 yard par 4.

Numerous bunkers dot the landscape on the Legends opener, aim at a

bunker that's just out of reach and blast off.








The green complex at the 1st plays slightly uphill, with various runoffs into

tightly mown chipping areas. Schulties immediately gives notice that getting

up and down on the Legends course is a shortgame test of the highest order.








The short par 5 third plays only 486 yds from the blue tee, a drive onto the

shortgrass leaves a choice to go or lay up for the approach to a well guarded

putting surface.









Although the 3rd is a reachable par 5, miss the green, and your work just begins.









The dogleg right fifth is all about precision not distance. At 350 yds, driver

isn't the play here - stay right of these bunkers and you're awarded with a

short iron to a shallow but wide putting surface. The only acceptable miss

here is short right of the green.









The 206 yard par 3 - 6th is an old school classic one shotter. Note the 60 ft

Washingtonia Palm that provides a vertical element to the scenery.










My favorite hole on the outward nine at Gleneagles is the vast and beautiful

parkland style design of the 525 yard 7th. Often playing into the prevailing

east wind, this true 3 shot hole has a large cross bunker that adds a bit of

strategy to this stunner. This hole reminded me of Gary Player's brilliant

design work at The Ace Club just outside of Philadelphia.









At 241 yards (216 from the blue tees and also playing into the prevailing wind)

the 8th on the Legends course is an all or nothing proposition. Make 3 here and

you're likely to gain a stroke on your playing partners.









The inward nine begins in similar fashion to the frontside - 359 yards to a fairway

flanked with bunkers. Successfully navigate Schulties' mine field of sand, and a

short approach awaits.









The 11th hole at Gleneagles Legends course is the shortest par 4 on the routing,

precision off the tee is essential here . . .










The approach to the 11th requires absolute pinpoint accuracy. This green

might be the most undulated surface on the property. Note the subtle tilt

towards the hazard from fairway thru the green. Form and function working in

harmony. Schulties created sustainability into his magnificent design.









The par 5 12th is considered the signature hole on the property and for good

reason. The longest hole at Gleneagles is a mighty 637 yards from the back

tee. The fairway rolls and meanders alongside a slithering waterway.

Eventually, you reach the approach to this green on this double dog leg right

. . . short is wet, long is a McGyver episode (I needed a swiss army knife and

a roll of duct tape to get up and down from long left of the green). Nothing less

than three solid strikes here will do.










The 13th is a prime example of the waves and contour that Schulties created

on the Legends design.









The shortest and most striking par 3 at Gleneagles is the 141 yard - 15th.

Nowhere to hide here, avoid the water, but don't over do it - the massively

steep Mackenzie style bunker is a tough escape.










The best test of your ball striking comes late on the Legends course (at the

16th), at nearly 460 yards from the back tees (440 blue), it takes two striped

shots here to walk with par or better. This a championship golf hole of the

highest caliber, and is visually stunning as well.









As a veteran turf guy, I always admire the work of my fellow agronomists,

especially from the uber talented superintendent Jason Bagwell and his staff.

16th fairway bunker (pictured above) - Impeccable.










The par 3 - 17th, plays 175 yards to this back pin position. Notice the

sharpness of Schulties' exquisite sand work on the Legends, reminiscent

of the classic work of Dr. Alister Mackenzie from nearly a century ago.










Tee view on the 549 yard par 5 - 18th. A slight cut or straight shot between

the left tree line and large Banyan on the right is ideal here.










Heading home.










Foliage is a big part of the beauty at Gleneagles, just off the 18th fairway

Crotons and Copper Plant frame the 419 Bermuda turf.









A closer view of the approach on the last shows how well Schulties crafted

subtle tilt to the fairways creating great variety to the types of shots required

to score well here.











When you putt out here on the 18th green at Gleneagles Legends, all you

want to do is head back to 1st tee and play it again. That's the sign of a

fun and challenging course design and a memorable experience.



Schulties and the staff at Gleneagles deserve tons of credit for taking what

was once ordinary and turning the Legends into something extremely unique.

For those fortunate to be members at Gleneagles, you're aware of what a

gem it is.

In February of 2014, Colin Montgomery filmed an entire episode of Golf Channel

Academy at Gleneagles Country Club.






For more info on Gleneagles Country Club and the Legends Course visit:















Salish Cliffs Golf Club PDF Print E-mail

By Jason Bruno

The last stop on our Pacific Northwest summer tour was Salish Cliffs in the town of Shelton,

just minutes away from Olympia, Washington. After playing links golf at Bandon Dunes resort,

then being on the rugged terrain of Chambers Bay, and hiking it to the desert area for a spin

around McLay Kidd's brilliant design at Gamble Sands, it was time for a traditional style tree

lined Northwest routing at Salish Cliffs. This 7,269 yard Gene Bates design features 320 acres

and extreme elevation changes through out the routing.


The Clubhouse and course at Salish Cliffs are part of the Little Creek Casino Resort owned by The

Squaxin Island Tribe. At just four years since its opening on September, 2011, Salish Cliffs has

become a favorite of the region. Views of the Kamilche Valley, and beautiful native flora only add

to Gene Bates' brilliant routing.


The 514 yd par 5 first hole (from the tournament tees - 6766 yards) requires a soft left to right

ball flight around tall foliage that guards the right side of the fairway, from there you can give it a



photo courtesy of Salish Cliffs

The second hole is another that moves left to right, this par 4 plays only 276 yards from the

Tournament tee and only 250 yards from the Players tee. If you're gonna get on the board early,

these first two holes set you up for good birdie chances.


second green

233 yard par 3 third hole plays much shorter because of the elevated tee, but there is nowhere

for a big miss here. Short is fine, and so is the left bunker . . . but a wayward miss will get

swallowed up in the tall fescue surrounds.



third green



401 yard fourth moves slightly right to left to a generous landing area, find the shortgrass here

and you'll likely have no more than a short iron in.

The approach to the fourth looks like there's no where to land it, a Sunday pin for sure.



The gorgeous 168 yard sixth. Other than it's simple beauty, note the devilish front bunker and

false front that persuade you to take an extra club. The back left portion of this green falls away

from the player, so only a precise strike will do here.


371 yard seventh, just torch it between the conifers . . . inside the left fairway bunker is your

aiming point with the driver, but the prudent play might be a fairway club or hybrid from this box.



The 601 yard eighth from the championship tee, truly a great spot. Although we were in

Washington State, there were times when the property at Salish Cliffs reminded me of one

of my favorite northeast layouts - Hamilton Farm in Gladstone, New Jersey.


The tee at the 409 yard ninth, thread your tee shot through the opening, but avoid the lake

on the left. Just inside the right fairway bunker is a good aiming point.

A view of the ninth green form across the lake, both nines finish on a shared green (eighteenth

on the left).


568 yard tenth is the longest par 5 on the inward side, three solid shots are required here for any

chance to score.


428 yard eleventh is like being in an evergreen colosseum, take a moment and soak it in. This is

one of the few holes at SC where there is nowhere to miss.


Bates' bunkering and green complexes at Salish are worth the price of admission alone. The bent

grass surfaces are consistently slick and smooth with plenty of movement . . . very few dead

straight putts on this Gene Bates design.


394 yard twelfth is all about getting in play, but if you take note of the tree line ahead you can

see the how the hole gently meanders to the right.


Although the hole gently moves right, a draw approach into the twelfth green is preferred . . . as

you can see, missing this target left leaves an extremely difficult par save.

The 188 yard thirteenth features one of the most undulating putting surfaces on the course, find

the proper level or a three putt is very likely. After squandering numerous birdie chances

throughout the day, I hit it tight here and lipped out yet another.


414 yard Fourteenth is completely unique to the rest of the course, the fairway and putting

surface seem to sit lower on the property and the hole plays more lateral than linear. The

approach is to a wide surface just over a small creek that is surrounded by wild flowers. This

part of the routing feels akin to a ballad in the middle of a hard rockin live set (if you will).


The approach to the fifteenth, although it's a short shot - it's another where Bates keeps you from

seeing the surface from the fairway adding just a hint of uncertainty, and therefore requires

pinpoint accuracy.



A close up view of Bates' sand work shows extreme detail, reminiscent of the great work by

Hurdzan and Fry.



428 yard sixteenth is a stunner, tough and beautiful. Play it safe to the left or take on the fairway







Seventeenth plays straight downhill 161 yards from the back tee. The lid finally came off the jar

here . . . birdie at last. All of the one shotters at SC are worthy (and with great variety).



514 yard eighteenth hole is a magnificent finishing hole, your aiming point is the left fairway

bunker in the distance - avoid the right side as everything funnels towards the tall fescue and

lake just right of the fairway.

The ninth and eighteenth holes wrap around a lake, the long fescue is a certain lost ball for

anything that misses just 5 yards right of the wide fairway.



Approach to the last, your last chance for glory.



To be honest, even though Salish Cliffs had been on my radar since our last trip to the area in

2012, I wasn't expecting to be wowed only because I had just spent 14 days at Bandon Dunes,

Chambers Bay and Gamble Sands - three of the best public access facilities in America. The entire

staff at SC is knowledgeable and friendly, the weather was picture perfect (that never hurts), and

the course and its splendid natural surroundings exceeded expectations by miles. If you're a

resident of Washington State or you're traveling to the area and haven't played Salish Cliffs, it

has earned our admiration as a Must Play! Washington resident and good friend Jeff Rawlins

joined me for the day and was equally impressed by the expereince. When you arrive, tell the

staff we sent you. . .




For more info visit:





Special Thanks to David Kass










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