Gamble Sands Headlines Washington’s Top-10 Public Golf Courses of 2017

Published on Monday, August 7th, 2017 in News | Slider

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Wine Valley Golf Club • Walla Walla

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I’ll never forget the first time I played Wine Valley. It was an experience the likes of which I had only had once before — at Chambers Bay, in fact — and have only had twice since — at Bandon Dunes Resort, and Gamble Sands.

It’s the feeling of standing on the first tee and looking out across a golf landscape that simply overwhelms your senses — it’s like a drug, and I’m a hopeless addict.

We spent eight hours that day unlocking Wine Valley’s secrets over an unforgettable 36 holes (see “One Day In The Valley,“ August 2012) — the different ways to play each hole, how to use the terrain to guide our balls to the pin, and the way the course changes throughout the day along with variations in light, temperature and wind.

Only one course in the top-10 appeared on fewer total ballots than Wine Valley — and it still finished fourth, because those who did rank it almost unanimously put it in their top-three. If you’ve played it, you love it. So, go play it.

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9 Responses to “Gamble Sands Headlines Washington’s Top-10 Public Golf Courses of 2017”

  1. J Clark Says:

    I have not as yet gotten to play this course. My only experiences and input is that they seem to very proud in their course therefore their green fees are a bit out of my range. This is America and they can charge what the market will bear. My friends and I are not sold on the fact that it is worth it but as I said I have not played it and small chance that I will. Even though I drive by it every year on my annual Chelan golf trip. The second input I have received is a conversation with a local golfer who has played it and said that they were not impressed with it. It is well groomed but not necessarily tough. Although I have found that my game can make just about any course tough. All that said, Someday I will play, maybe.

  2. Kalii Says:

    Just my two cents, J Clark? Do yourself a favor and play it at least once. It’s worth it.

  3. Marlin Says:

    I find this Course worthless. It is routed terribly, overpriced and in the middle of nowhere. Oh and the staff are clueless.

  4. Chris P Says:

    Gamble Sands is not worthless, but it is not the best course in the state. I doubt that many have played it (I have), so I suspect it was voted based on the “press” it has received. Chamber’s Bay is good too, but their erratic greens should keep it out of the top space. In my mind, Washington National is the best, it is well laid out, completely legitimate, typically in good shape and allows all levels to enjoy it. The Olympic is very good too.

    Whoever voted for Kahler Glen should not be allowed to vote next year.

  5. Carl Says:

    I realize in order to have a vote counted you have to vote in the first place. I didn’t: That said. As a “west sider” I still rank Canyon Lakes in Kennewick, Apple Tree in Yakima and Bear Mountain in Chelan as some of my favorite courses. Hangman out of Spokane and the Creek at Qual Chan is also affordable and a great course.

    Also, the worst course I ever played was still better than a day at work…

  6. Erik Says:

    I work at this course and it’s amazing and most of the staff probably knows more about golf in our fingers than you do in your entire body

  7. Stephen Says:

    This course is fantastic! A course should never be judged on its difficulty unless it is too hard. Gamble Sands is appropriately priced in my opinion, its very comparable to other courses of its quality. I can’t wait to go back for a game.

  8. Brian Johnston Says:

    I played 5 rounds in 3 days here last week. 3 rounds from the back tees and 2 from the regular tees. The back tees unquestionably puts you into the teeth of the course while the regular tees take out much of the carry. We had a group of 16 and everyone enjoyed the golf course although the greens had been punched fairly recently and were covered in overseed. This was a disappointment to say the least. Not only were the greens extremely slow but many shots trying to use the contours surrounding the greens were hopeless as the ball would stay on the hillside instead of feeding to the green. This despite our organizer confirming the greens were in good shape.
    The accommodations on course were good but unfortunately the restaurant was sub standard. The restaurant menu needs an overhaul and the quality of food needs to be substantially better. When the restaurant is your only choice for food it needs to be great. Start with adding some oatmeal for breakfast accompanied with fruit and milk. It’s cheap and hard to screw up. I would give the course another go when the greens are running better but not so sure I would stay for multiple nights given the lack of quality food. I’m sure it’s a better course during normal conditions but it’s no Bandon Dunes!

  9. Jim barber Says:

    Scheduled to play it next week. Gamble says greens not to be punched till after closure next month. Someone’s putting out bum dope.


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