By Michael Carman
Peninsula Daily News
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Back in September, two of my closest Husky-loving pals and I set off for the Washington State University-Eastern Washington football game in Pullman and a round at Washington State’s new golf course, Palouse Ridge.
The course was in the planning stages when I was at Washington State — a bit to my chagrin at the time as I felt improving the school’s football stadium should have had top priority.
Before 2006, golfers played on a nine-hole track that couldn’t host Pac-10 (as the Pac-12 conference was called at the time) tournaments. Washington State teams had to play at the University of Idaho course or travel down the Lewiston grade to Clarkston for events.
I knew the course more for sledding down its hilly driving range in snow storms than for sinking putts.
The school hired John Harbottle, who had been lauded for his design of the Olympic Course at Gold Mountain and course renovation work, including a more recent touch-up of White Horse near Kingston. (Harbottle III passed away earlier this year).
Quite simply, Harbottle designed a masterpiece amidst the rolling wheatlands and campus acreage surrounding the school.
Forced carries, blind approach shots, terraced tee boxes, wetlands, countless bunkers of the fairway and green-protecting variety, all abound on the links-style course.
There are few trees but lots of glimpses of the old alma mater: opening tee shots should be aimed directly at the Bryan Hall clock tower, a staple of every televised sporting event at the school.
You also play alongside the school’s planetarium and the Nuclear Radiation Center, the only research nuclear reactor in the state.
The school’s Turf Grass Management program grows grass for the course and allows for a golf course superintendent-career track, helping to further the game.
It was also fun to play behind the Cougar’s men and women’s golf teams, practicing on course for their fall season.
They acquitted themselves much better than us duffers, but my buddy was able to drop what had to have been a 65-foot putt on No. 9 and I hit a bump-and-run shot from 175 yards that trickled within 5 feet of the cup.
Those shots, the beauty of a late-summer afternoon and a course that deserves the accolades it receives (like listing on Golfweek Magazine’s Best Courses You Can Play for 2009-11 and No. 3 Best College Campus Course) have me anticipating my next trip to Pullman.
Apple Cup Tourney
Golfers of the purple-and-gold or crimson-and-gray variety can play Friday in the 21st annual Apple Cup Best Ball sponsored by Marine View Beverage at Peninsula Golf Club.
Festivities will begin with an 8:30 a.m. shotgun start.
A two-person best ball event, players will compete for individual KP’s and long drives, receive a spot on the Apple Cup football board and be treated to appetizers and hosted beverages for $80 per team.
Players will also have a shot at a cash honey pot for gross and net divisions and team merchandise awards.
The Apple Cup itself will kick off right as the tournament is wrapping at 12:30 p.m.
I have little hope of a Washington State win on Saturday, but I’ve said that nearly every fall Saturday since the losing began in earnest in 2008. Go Cougs!
Golf away the meal
SkyRidge Golf Course in Sequim will host a Post-Turkey Day Two-Person Scramble and Best Ball on Friday.
Players will tee off from the green tees while playing a scramble on the front nine and best ball on the back nine.
A minimum of three drives per player must be counted during the front-nine scramble.
The event has an 8:30 a.m. shotgun start (barring frost), and the cost is $60 per team ($20 per team optional honey pot).
Gross, net and KP prizes will be available along with lunch following play.
Carts are $15 per seat, and an optional Horserace Scramble after the tournament is $5 per team.
Port Townsend Golf Club wrote in to “wish all of our loyal members and customers a great Thanksgiving.”
The course will host their annual Turkey Shoot tourney on Saturday.
A two-person aggregate tournament, the event will tee off with a 10 a.m. shotgun start.
Cost is $30 per player plus $10 in green fees for nonmembers.
Weekly Winter Skins Games at the course begin at 11 a.m. on Thursdays; the cost is $10 plus greens fees.
Eighteen-hole Saturday Skins Games are available all day, with a $10 entry fee and reduced $15 greens fees.
Port Townsend will host their annual Toys For Tots Christmas Scramble on Saturday, Dec. 15.
It’s an 18-hole blind draw handicap scramble.
Cost is $25 per player with $10 green fees for nonmembers.
Port Townsend’s Holiday Player Appreciation Party will follow play (spouses encouraged to attend), check my column for more details on a start time for this event (should be early to mid-afternoon).
Port Townsend will also host a Holiday Blues Scramble on Saturday, Dec. 29.
Winter rates through February are $13.50 for nine holes and $17.50 for 18 holes.
Port Townsend’s 2013 rates will be announced shortly.
Stop by the clubhouse or phone the course for more information on any of these items at 360-385-4547.
Cedars at Dungeness will host a Golftoberfest event on Saturday, Dec. 1.
The two-person team tournament will tee off at 10 a.m.
There will be gross, net and Callaway divisions, and teams will compete through six holes of scramble, six of alternate shot and six of best ball.
Players will receive their round, range balls, a German-style lunch, cigars, fun side games and “beer on course every three holes.”
Cost is $75 per person with cart and $65 without cart.
If Cedars gets a full turnout of 76 players, a total of $1,150 in prize money will be up for grabs.
Winners could stash some of those bucks away for Christmas shopping.
To get in the game, stop by the Cedars pro shop or phone the clubhouse at 360-683-6344.
Disco Bay food drive
The annual food drive has started at Discovery Bay.
Non-perishable food items are being collected through the clubhouse.
‘Tis the season
Discovery Bay’s Men’s and Ladies’ Clubs will co-host their annual holiday gathering on Friday, Dec. 7.
All golfers, their children, significant others and friends are welcome to this convivial event.
For more information, phone the clubhouse at 360-385-0704.
Discovery Bay is conducting a membership drive with specials on annual memberships.
Golfers age 50 and under can receive an annual membership for $999 if paid in full, or a $100 monthly payment plan.
New golfers age 50 and older can take advantage of the same deal.
Golf columnist Michael Carman can be reached at 360-417-3527 or email@example.com.