Salish Cliffs Golf Club - 1st hole
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Salish Cliffs Golf Club - 1st hole
A view from the first tee at Salish Cliffs Golf Club in Shelton, Washington. Courtesy of Salish Cliffs G.C.
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Salish Cliffs Golf Club - 15th hole
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Salish Cliffs Golf Club - 15th hole
The pristine Gene Bates-designed Salish Cliffs Golf Club is a joy to play. The 15th hole is shown here. Mike Bailey/GolfAdvisor
Little Creek Casino Resort
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Little Creek Casino Resort
Salish Cliffs Golf Club is an amenity of the Little Creek Casino Resort. Courtesy of Little Creek Casino Resort
Salish Cliffs Golf Club - 9th hole
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Salish Cliffs Golf Club - 9th hole
A pond and double green highlight the ninth hole at Salish Cliffs Golf Club in Shelton, Washington. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Salish Cliffs Golf Club - 6th hole
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Salish Cliffs Golf Club - 6th hole
A ridge cuts the sixth green in half at Salish Cliffs Golf Club in Shelton, Wash. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Salish Cliffs G.C.
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Salish Cliffs G.C.
Salish Cliffs is arguably among the best three public golf courses in Washington. Courtesy of Salish Cliffs G.C.
Salish Cliffs golf course
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Salish Cliffs golf course
When you're talking Washington golf, Salish Cliffs has to be mentioned along with Chambers Bay and the new Gamble Sands. Courtesy of Salish Cliffs G.C.
Salish Cliffs Golf Club
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Salish Cliffs Golf Club
Salish Cliffs can play as long as 7,269 yards from the championship tees, but has four more sets of tees. Courtesy of Salish Cliffs G.C.
Salish Cliffs Golf Club - no. 6
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Salish Cliffs Golf Club - no. 6
Pacific Northwest Golfer magazine has called Salish Cliffs' par-3 sixth hole one of the "Great Holes of the Northwest. Courtesy of Salish Cliffs G.C.
Salish Cliffs Golf Club - 7th hole
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Salish Cliffs Golf Club - 7th hole
A view from the seventh tee at Salish Cliffs Golf Club in Shelton, Washington. Courtesy of Salish Cliffs G.C.
Salish Cliffs golf course - 11th hole
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Salish Cliffs golf course - 11th hole
There are more than 600 feet of elevation changes at Salish Cliffs Golf Club. Courtesy of Salish Cliffs G.C.

Salish Cliffs Golf Club in Shelton, Washington: A gem carved out of the Pacific Northwest forest

Ranked among the best casino courses in the country -- and arguably among the best three public golf courses in Washington along with Chambers Bay and the new Gamble Sands -- Salish Cliffs G.C. is a Gene Bates design carved out of a Pacific Northwest forest with stunning views of the Kamilche Valley.

An amenity to the Little Creek Casino Resort, which is owned by the Squaxin Island Tribe, this mostly bentgrass course can play as long as 7,269 yards from the championship tees, but has four more sets of tees for all levels of players. There's also has more than 600 feet of elevation change, which provides stunning views from several tees.

There is the double green on nine and 18, both of which are protected by water. On the ninth, players must be careful to avoid that water off the tee and keep the ball right of the hazard on the approach. The 18th is a terrific risk-reward par 5. Hit a good drive, and you've got a pretty scary shot over the lake with anything from a 7-iron to a fairway wood if you want to try to get there in two.

Salish Cliffs, which also has outstanding practice facilities, is a course you'll want to play more than once, which means your best bet is staying overnight at Little Creek before heading back up to University Place, where Chambers Bay is located.

Accommodations are more than comfortable, plus there's gaming, excellent dining (which is also available at the Salish Cliffs clubhouse), a small but excellent spa and the Skookum Spirit Cigar & Wine Lounge, which has a humidor stocked with more than 70 different premium cigar brands.

Mike Bailey is a senior staff writer based in Houston. Focusing primarily on golf in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean and Latin America with an occasional trip to Europe and beyond, he contributes course reviews, travel stories and features as well as the occasional equipment review. An award-winning writer and past president of Texas Golf Writers Association, he has more than 25 years in the golf industry. Before accepting his current position in 2008, he was on staff at PGA Magazine, The Golfweek Group and AvidGolfer Magazine. Follow Mike on Twitter at @MikeBaileyGA and Instagram at @MikeStefanBailey.
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Salish Cliffs Golf Club in Shelton, Washington: A gem carved out of the Pacific Northwest forest
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