Award Winning Golf Is Not So Far Away

All Images Courtesy Suncadia Resort   

The View Of The Exterior From Behind The Inn At Suncadia 

By Michael Cunningham/

With the recent announcement that the border with our American neighbours will be open, there is a sense of excitement amongst Canadians to now venture south and return to some form of normalcy in their vacation habits.

During our twenty months of isolation, outdoor recreation became the best way to combat the monotony and golf was no exception, in fact, the game showed an enormous increase in participation, far beyond industry expectations! Canadians, from coast to coast, began to appreciate the numerous benefits of the game: activity, the great outdoors and newfound camaraderie.

However, now that we can begin to safely prepare for our new adventures many other North Americans are also making similar plans.

This has become apparent by golfers wishing to experience the “Top 100” golf courses in the United States as tee-time reservations are difficult to find for 2022.

There are alternatives, as fine golf courses abound throughout the United States, however, it's the opportunity for a complete getaway that many Canadians are searching for, where great golf courses are nearby and lodging and dining facilities are a simple add-on.

The 10th Hole At Prospector GC

Western Canadians do not have to look far as our neighbour, Washington State, has numerous escape opportunities. Ninety minutes southeast of Seattle the picturesque towns of Cle Elum and Rosalyn, on the sunnier side of Washington’s Cascade Mountains, you will discover the all-season Suncadia Resort, “The Best Resort in Washington State” according to The Crazy Tourist and Conde Nast’s Readers Choice Awards.

The resort features three award-winning golf courses. This once remote mining and logging region has become a centre for outdoor recreation and the home of the Arnold Palmer-designed Prospector Golf Course and Jacobsen/Hardy, Rope Rider Golf Course and the private Tom Doak design, Tumble Creek.

Golf Magazine stated that these two properties were a part of “America’s Best Golf Road Trips in the Pacific Northwest.” The courses are situated within the 6400-acre resort’s property along with the private Tom Doak designed Tumble Creek Course.

The Prospector is dramatic! Many of the holes feature stunning white sand bunkering highlighting pristine greens. Towering granite cliffs of the Cascade Mountains are ever-present as the adjacent coniferous forest accentuates every hole. The course offers four sets of tees playing from 5,362 to 7,105 yards challenging all levels of golfer. Opened in 2005, this mountain course features numerous elevation changes creating stunning views.

Hole Number 11 At Rope Rider GC

Rope Rider is the newest of the three courses on the Suncadia Resort property. Opened in 2011, it was the first championship, 18-hole course, completed in the State since Chambers Bay four years previously. Named after the method of transporting miners who precariously balanced themselves on the coal cars heading to the steep underground ore-rich seams.

The course integrates the terrain of these prosperous mining operations from the 1880s. The foundations and adits for two of the mines remain on the course and the ancient coal tailings of the 120-foot Tipple Hill demonstrates the laborious efforts made by so many, more than a century ago. Rope Rider is nestled in a valley rather than the more mountainous Prospector.

Tumble Creek GC

The course features five tee boxes measuring 4,998 to 7,238 yards. Considered “friendlier” for golfers the course still features numerous challenges. Its pleasantly understated bunkering and accepting fairways showcase the beauty in the design. What I also enjoy about Rope Rider is the opportunity to play six, twelve or eighteen holes as the course is created with six distinct holes segments.

Whether becoming a property owner or if you are fortunate enough to know a member, Tumble Creek Golf Club should be played. Regarded as one of golf’s finest minimalist course architects, Tom Doak removed very little earth as he embraced the natural landforms of the nearby rolling hills and expansive valley meadows where it was nominated by World Golf Awards in 2019 as one of Washington State's “Best Golf Courses”.

The Lodge At Suncadia Resort Above The Cle Elum River

The Lodge at Suncadia is the heart of the Resort. High above the Cle Elum River the Lodge is inspired by the grand lodges of Washington State's National Parks, the classic gabled entrance welcoming couples and groups from around the world. The elegantly styled northwest design of the Inn at Suncadia provides golf course views from many of the rooms and is a favourite retreat for golfers.

There are other accommodation options with all lodging providing unparalleled access to 64 km of hiking trails, fly fishing and water sports. Featuring a diverse range of dining options as well as an award-winning spa, Suncadia Resort should be considered for a golf getaway in 2022. The Resort is vigilant in instituting COVID safeguards throughout its facilities.

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