Prospector golf course - Suncadia Resort
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Prospector golf course - Suncadia Resort
The Arnold Palmer-designed Prospector Course at Suncadia offers mountain-style, roller-coaster holes with jaw dropping views and fun risk reward shots around every corner. Brian Oar/Fairways Photography
Images
Prospector golf course at Suncadia - No. 9
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Prospector golf course at Suncadia - No. 9
Two great finishing holes at 9 and 18 on Suncadia's Prospector Course, water on both approaches, and a nice backdrop to close out the round. Brian Oar/Fairways Photography
Prospector golf course at Suncadia Resort
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Prospector golf course at Suncadia Resort
Get used to the tall pine trees at these courses at Suncadia, they provide awesome frames and aiming points for many holes, and also create a few pesky obstacles. Brian Oar/Fairways Photography
Rope Rider golf course - Suncadia Resort
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Rope Rider golf course - Suncadia Resort
Yes the golf on Suncadia's Rope Rider Course is excellent, but the clubhouse is home to SwiftWater Winery which is a "must enjoy" post round or for dinner after a great day at the resort! Brian Oar/Fairways Photography
Suncadia Resort - Rope Rider golf course
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Suncadia Resort - Rope Rider golf course
Built by Jacobson/Hardy, as a signature feature, they took the finishing stretch routing around a massive 120-foot tall coal tailings rise, Rope Rider provides a very different look in contrast to Suncadia's Prospector Course. Brian Oar/Fairways Photography
Chambers Bay golf course - No. 6
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Chambers Bay golf course - No. 6
The sixth hole at Chambers Bay is short but tricky. The green is heavily sloped and bunkers surround the surface. Brian Oar/Fairways Photography
Salish Cliffs
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Salish Cliffs
Playing conditions at Salish Cliffs are exceptional, fast greens and fairways like freshly vacuumed carpets. Brian Oar/Fairways Photography
Chambers Bay golf course
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Chambers Bay golf course
Chambers Bay offers stunning views of the Puget Sound from every hole. This is just another ho-hum view of this great track! Brian Oar/Fairways Photography
Chambers Bay golf course - No. 6
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Chambers Bay golf course - No. 6
Chambers Bay's sixth hole from the not-so-ideal approach angle. Almost impossible from here, the bunkers are serious trouble, consider laying up. Brian Oar/Fairways Photography
The Home Course
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The Home Course
The Home Course in DuPont, Washington. Brian Oar/Fairways Photography
The Home Course
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The Home Course
The Home Course, in DuPont, Wash., provides a linksy feel tee-to-green. Brian Oar/Fairways Photography
The Home Course GC
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The Home Course GC
Unlike Chambers Bay, you can take carts at the nearby Home Course, rated no. 6 in the state on Golf Advisor in 2015. Brian Oar/Fairways Photography
Salish Cliffs golf course
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Salish Cliffs golf course
Gene Bates used a "scalloped edged" bunker style at Salish Cliffs, which provide a stunning visual look, but actually provide a shallow and easily escaped bunker, perfect for a fun casino resort course. Brian Oar/Fairways Photography
Salish Cliffs GC
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Salish Cliffs GC
Salish Cliffs golf course is part of Little Creek Resort & Casino. Brian Oar/Fairways Photography
Salish Cliffs G.C.
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Salish Cliffs G.C.
Turf quality is amazing at Salish Cliffs, it's just awesome. Brian Oar/Fairways Photography

Behind the Lens: Favorite golf courses in Washington state

Summer is in full swing and all of us golfers are just itching to play as much as possible, and no doubt on the nicest tracks we can possibly afford. One such experience that should now be on every golfers list is a trip to the Pacific Northwest to play last year's U.S. Open venue, Chambers Bay. So not only can you play a stellar major championship venue, but Washington state's Seattle-Tacoma region is filled with additional awesome courses and resorts to build a truly epic golf trip around.

Here's how to do it:

Only 75 minutes east of Seattle and 90 minutes from Tacoma is a gorgeous hidden gem called Suncadia Resort. The upscale resort -- home of the Prospector Course and Rope Rider Course -- is not only crazy good for core golfers, but my wife and two daughters had a blast with an overload of off-course activities to experience. We played golf in the morning, swimming, biking, spa in the afternoon, then went hiking, horseback riding, foot golf and played the other course on another day. The jaw-dropping views of the Cascade Mountains, upscale comforts of the lodge suites, pampering at an amazing spa, and great local fresh food makes for a stellar opening destination.

Next, head back to the Tacoma area to play Chambers Bay and its links-style sister The Home Course. Another wonderful, "linksy" style course with stellar playing conditions and beautiful location. These two tracks can be easily combined for a 36-hole day as they are only about 15 minutes apart, and make for a solid one-two punch. Plus, you can take carts at The Home Course which may be ideal for your second round as Chambers Bay is walking-only (and be advised, a solid 10-mile journey on foot).

To make this trip a wrap in epic fashion, less than an hour south is Salish Cliffs, located at Little Creek Resort & Casino. The top-rated course in the state according to Golf Advisor reviews in 2015, this Gene Bates design has wowed golfers since its opening, and was completely, 100 percent sold-out for three weeks solid around last years open for very good reason. Golf-n'-gamblin' at its finest at this resort: crazy good playing conditions, fun casino and a complete resort and spa round out the amenities.

It's a perfect time to go! Summertime in the Pacific Northwest offers prefect temps and excellent playing conditions for golf.

Brian Oar is well known as one of the top golf course photographers in the world. Since 2002 he has been traveling the world shooting and writing about interesting golf destinations, and has photographed some of the top courses in the world. He is also a veteran of the GolfWeek's Best panel of course raters and helps create the annual top 100 courses and best-of-state lists for GolfWeek Magazine. In 2014, Brian won the prestigious "Golf Photographer of The Year" award from the International Network of Golf -- the golf industry's media awards -- for his exceptional imagery in GolfGetaways Magazine.- You can find Brian online on his website, BrianOar.com and social media on Instagram @brianoar and Twitter @BrianOarGolf.
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