SEATTLE -- From evergreen forests and majestic mountains to the dynamic downtown skyline and the shores of the Puget Sound, the Emerald City delivers varied and vibrant backdrops for golfers.
This golf destination in the Pacific Northwest is as good as any summer hotspot, if not better. Name another summer golf getaway with a U.S. Open site (2015 venue Chambers Bay Golf Club near Tacoma), complemented by one of the nation's best municipal courses (the stunning Olympic Course at Gold Mountain Golf Club in Bremerton), a pristine casino course (Salish Cliffs Golf Club at Little Creek Casino Resort in remote Shelton), a really fab 36-hole mountain retreat with its own winery (Suncadia Resort in Cle Elum) and plenty of solid daily fees, such as Druids Glen Golf Course in Covington.
Granted, none of these places are near each other. Yet they're all worth seeking out to create a week of golf in the shadows of snow-capped peaks and towering pines.
The dramatic Chambers Bay, designed along the Puget Sound by Robert Trent Jones Jr., teamed with the deep sod bunkers of The Home Course in DuPont for a links-themed 2010 U.S. Amateur.
Gold Mountain, across the Tacoma Narrows Bridge on the Kitsap Peninsula, has ties to United States Golf Association events as well, having hosted the 2011 U.S. Junior Amateur and the 2006 U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship.
Summers are mostly sunny in this rain-plagued region, especially across the mountains at Suncadia Resort, one of the driest, windiest sites in the state. Both the Arnold-Palmer-designed Prospector Course and the newer Rope Rider Course by Peter Jacobsen/Jim Hardy are strong.
City folks who don't want to stray too far from Pike Place Market, the Space Needle and the Seattle Mariners/Seahawks can find 36 holes closer to downtown at the affordable Willows Run Golf Complex in Redmond or the scenic but pricey Golf Club at Newcastle in Newcastle.