$30 $60 $90

Published on Friday, July 22nd, 2016 in Features

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Wherever you are — and whatever your budget — we’ve got the summer road trip for you

by Brian Beaky, CG Editor

There isn’t a single golfer in Western Washington who doesn’t spend the winter daydreaming about the long summer days, with the warm sun beating down on your arms as you play some mind-blowing destination course.

Well, ladies and gentlemen, we’re happy to say — road trip season is finally here.

And whether you’re a layman or a lawyer, a ditch-digger or a jet-builder, we’ve got just the trip for you — from simple, budget-conscious day trips to the Olympic Peninsula, the Cascade foothills or the San Juan Islands, to unforgettable, weekend-long excursions to some of the top courses and resorts in the Northwest, it’s all covered. To make it easy, we’ve chosen courses in three distinct price ranges — $30, $60, and $90 — and paired them together as best we can by price and region to form the perfect summer golf road trip for you.

So shine up those clubs, give the car a good wash, throw on your favorite pair of sunglasses and choose the time frame and budget that best meets your needs — then grab a friend (or three), cue up your favorite tunes, and hit the road.

Summer is finally here, and we’re planning to make it count.

THE BARGAIN HUNTER

Cedars at Dungeness

Cedars at Dungeness

Cedars at Dungeness | Sequim | Rates: $24-47, play all day for $60-$70

Can’t afford to spend more than $30 or so on a single round of golf, but still want that summer golf getaway experience? No problem — point the car west to the Olympic Peninsula and take advantage of crazy-low all-day rates at the Cedars at Dungeness.

Certainly, any Northwest golfer is familiar with Ole Crabby, the Cedars’ crab-shaped bunker on the third hole. But we’d suggest that while it makes for great marketing, it’s actually one of the least interesting things about the course. Instead, we prefer the way the wind blows in off the Strait of Juan de Fuca, changing shot selections by as much as two or even three clubs on certain holes; the way the course gets progressively more challenging throughout the round, concluding with the tricky par-4 18th; and mostly, the fact that for just $60, we can play two or even three rounds there on a summer afternoon — $70 if we’re coming on a weekend.

Throw in the cost of your ferry ticket, gas and lunch, and that’s a full day’s worth of golf, plus a scenic road trip across the water, for under $100.

Swinomish Golf Links

Swinomish Golf Links

Swinomish Golf Links | Anacortes | Rates: $20-$33, $15 replay rate

Don’t want to take a ferry, or just need to stay closer to home? We can take care of you, too. Since taking over the old Similk Beach Golf Course just outside Anacortes, on that thin neck of land between the mainland and Fidalgo Island, the Swinomish Tribe has poured money into restoring the course and making it a true attraction for golfers throughout the region — and, of course, a valuable amenity of the nearby Swinomish Lodge & Casino.

While superintendent Matt Atterbury, an Anacortes native who spent years learning his craft at Suncadia Resort, has done wonders for course conditions, he certainly had a strong palette with which to work, including views of both Similk and Fidalgo Bay, and a links-style layout featuring only a few hazards, but plenty of elevated tee boxes, firm fairways and long fescue grasses.

At just $33 on weekends and with a replay rate of just $15, you could realistically play it three times for just $63 — or, take advantage of stay-and-play packages through the casino for unlimited golf. Either way, it’s a lot of quality golf, on a value golf budget.

Lake Chelan Golf Course

Lake Chelan Golf Course

Lake Chelan Golf Course | Chelan | Rates: $29-$41

Your family’s taking a trip to Chelan this summer, and you’re jumping at the chance for some destination golf. But …. you can’t quite swing the $80-plus it’s going to take for a tee time at Bear Mountain Ranch, Desert Canyon or Gamble Sands. Or, maybe you’re just looking to tack on an extra round to what’s already been a fantastic Central Washington golf trip.

We’ve got your back.

Lake Chelan muni isn’t the first course on most golfers’ Central Washington wish lists, but that has more to do with the quality of those around it than any criticism of Lake Chelan itself. Because, frankly, there isn’t much to criticize, unless you have something against fun courses, in terrific shape, with fantastic views, that top out at just $41 in the summertime (and can be played for as little as $29 at twilight times — which also happen to be one of the most scenic times of day).

You don’t? Yeah, neither do we.

Last year, on our way up to Gamble Sands for our Cascade Golfer Cup event, we could’ve stopped and played anywhere along the route — Bear Mountain, Desert Canyon, Highlander, Leavenworth, Kahler Glen. We picked Lake Chelan — you should, too.

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