The views are awesome ... ... but check those greens for breaks
Seattle Times staff reporter
ROSLYN, Kittitas County — As I watched in dismay, my 4-foot par putt, which had started straight for the hole, turned aside at the last moment, apparently uphill.
I wondered if the law of gravity had been repealed, but the truth was I hadn't noticed a slight dip in the green. I hadn't followed the advice of the Prospector course starter: "Look your putts over from both sides. There are some tricky breaks out there."
If I'd failed to spend enough time looking at the green, who could blame me? All around were eye-grabbing vistas of verdant fairway, snow-white bunkers, blue lakes, forested hills and craggy ridge tops.
The Arnold Palmer-designed Prospector course, the first of two public golf courses planned for Suncadia, is a treat for the eye. The 10th tee, on the course's signature hole, looks down to a fairway 120 feet below and a green perched on the edge of a ridge. A couple of holes require carries over small lakes.
On our stay, I had the opportunity to play the course on a calm Sunday afternoon and a windy Monday morning, and the contrast was striking. An approach shot that took a lazy seven-iron on Sunday demanded a full five-iron into the wind.
Designed to accommodate the resort golfer, the course is not particularly perilous, but the bogey golfer can still find plenty of challenge from the white tees, at 6,159 yards, and those who want to play "from the tips" can take on the course's full 7,112 yards.
The course opened in the fall of 2004 and will close for the winter at the end of October. Greens fees, which include a cart and practice balls, are $75 for guests staying at the Prospector Inn; $95 for nonguests. On Oct. 1, those rates drop to $60 and $75, respectively.
Tumble Creek, a course open only to members of that private community and their guests, opened nine holes in July and will have its full 18 in play beginning Sunday. The third Suncadia course, Rope Rider, is slated to open to the public in 2007 and is being designed by PGA Tour veteran Peter Jacobsen, an Oregon native. It takes its name from the coal miners who lowered themselves down steep mine shafts.
Rope Rider is designed to be "family friendly" with junior tees bringing the holes down to manageable size for youngsters. The course will feature three-hole and six-hole loops for those who just want to play a few holes with the kids.
But with as many as seven possible tee placements on each hole, Rope Rider will provide as much challenge as a golfer wants to take on, particularly when it's played at its full length, topping 7,000 yards.
Copyright © 2005 The Seattle Times Company