Resort at Port Ludlow

Published on Tuesday, May 1st, 2018 in Course of the Week

Port Ludlow Tide No. 2

Port Ludlow | 800-455-0272

I’ve seen Port Ludlow at its best – with tens of thousands of colorful flowers in full bloom around the greens, towering cedars splicing the sun into shafts of light like cathedral windows, stumps left over from the property’s timber-logging past rising from a low mist rolling in off the cove. I’ve also seen it at its worst – a few years back, the course’s irrigation system went out in the middle of our hottest summer on record. Greenskeepers tried their best to save the grass, literally filling garbage cans with water at the clubhouse and driving them out onto the course to pour over the rain-starved turf.

Now, this was a few years back, so you might ask, why is this relevant? Because, even when he fairways were starved for water and the course staff were doing everything they could just to hang on – Port Ludlow was still a blast. Anyone can love a course when it’s in perfect shape – it takes a truly great course to inspire that same kind of loyalty when times are hard.

In the years since, new management has taken over the course and pumped a significant amount of money into its maintenance – including a new, high-tech irrigation system, reconditioning of certain greens and fairways, and other work designed to restore the course to the way it looked the day designer Robert Muir Graves put on his finishing touches and Golf Digest declared it one of the top-50 golf resorts in America. They even brought back the course’s original superintendent to oversee most of the work – if Graves were to visit today, he’d smile.

From the No. 2 tee box on the Tide nine, usually played as the front, one can look down past the gently rolling, green turf to the sailboats gently bobbing in Ludlow Bay, and just beyond, the cozy Inn at Port Ludlow, all backdropped by Puget Sound and the Cascade Mountains. Despite being built as part of a real estate development above the resort itself, practically no houses come into play anywhere on the course; furthermore, Graves routed the holes such that each is almost entirely isolated from every other – when you’re out on the course at Port Ludlow, it’s just you, your playing partners, and the natural landscape around you.

Other favorite holes include Tide No. 4, a fun par-5 that wraps around a wetland filled with heron, beavers and various waterfowl; Tide No. 9, a steep, uphill par-4 with one of the prettiest greens in the region; Timber No. 2 (aka No. 11), a downhill par-4 where you can let fly and watch your ball roll an extra 40 yards; and the two closing holes, Timber No. 8 (one of the Northwest’s signature par-3s) and Timber No. 9, a reachable par-5, giving you a great chance to close your round with eagle or birdie.

One of the first courses we reached out to when putting together our inaugural Cascade Golfer Players Card in 2012, Port Ludlow is one we’ve been proud to affiliate ourselves with ever since. Check it out this summer and let us know what you think – we’re confident you’ll be glad you did.

Leave a Reply