I remember the second day of the U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship in 2006 at Gold Mountain’s Olympic Course. The wind was blowing the players’ faces most of the day from the tee box on the drivable par-4, 324-yard finishing hole.
Of the 155 golfers in the field that day, 15 tried to drive the green. All but three wound up in the pond that protects the green from the right side. None of the players made the green, or came away with a birdie.
Conversely, a large portion of the players who laid up came away with birdies. The 18th played as the third-easiest hole on the course during the two-day, stroke-play portion of the tournament, with a scoring average of 3.95.
It’s the risk-reward aspect of the hole that makes it so challenging, especially during a tournament. And it’s a lot of fun, even for a high-handicapper who might be playing form the shorter white or red tees. If you can hit it long, there’s a chance to drive a green and putt for eagle on a par-4 hole.
All of this is leading up to the fact that Pacific Northwest Golfer magazine has named No. 18 on the Olympic Course as one of its “Great Holes of the Northwest.”
I’ll let the magazine’s press release tell the rest of the story:
Federal Way, Wash. – In the upcoming February issue of Pacific Northwest Golfer magazine, the par-4 18thhole on the Olympic Course at Gold Mountain Golf Club in Bremerton, Wash. is recognized as one of the “Great Holes of the Northwest,” one of just four holes selected each year by the Northwest’s largest and longest-running golf publication.
Measuring anywhere from 325 yards from the Gold tees to 203 yards from the Red tees, this short downhill par-4 is a beautiful risk-reward ending to a round of golf. With water down the right side and the green protected by bunkers and mounds, it’s a fun hole to play during a casual round and a terrifying hole to play when a match or a championship is on the line.
“Being the 18th hole, it leaves a lasting impression on the golfer,” said Daryl Matheny, the PGA Director of Golf at Gold Mountain. “It’s usually the one hole that people are talking about after the round. ‘Did you go for it?’ and ‘How did you play it?’ are common questions we hear in the golf shop and restaurant. It obviously makes for an exciting finish to a tournament or championship.”
One of two courses at Gold Mountain (the other being the Cascade Course), the Olympic Course has been the site of numerous championships. The U.S. Amateur Public Links was held there in 2006, and the U.S. Junior Amateur in 2011. The NCAA West Regionals have been held there in the past, and will be again in 2015. The Washington State Amateur, conducted by the Washington State Golf Association, was held there in 1997 and 2007, and on May 5 it will be the site of one of the Qualifiers for the 2013 championship. Visitwww.goldmountaingolf.com for more information.
Columbia Hospitality, a management and consulting company based in Seattle, was recently selected to manage Gold Mountain. “Gold Mountain Golf Club is a remarkable destination with much to offer,” said Bret Matteson, President of Columbia Hospitality. “We’re looking forward to working with the expertise of the existing team to enhance the guest experience and programming which will take advantage of the club’s incredible amenities and stunning location.” Columbia Hospitality manages many hotel properties including Salish Lodge & Spa, Rainbow Ranch Lodge, and Kenwood Inn and Spa as well as conference centers such as the Kitsap Conference Center, Bell Harbor International Conference Center and the World Trade Center Seattle. Visit www.columbiahospitality.com for more information.
With a direct-mailed circulation of 123,000 households, Pacific Northwest Golfer magazine has been the voice of golf in the Northwest for 18 years. It is the only Northwest golf publication with a verifiable demographic of its readership. The Golfer is all about golf, and dedicated to golfers. It is the official magazine of the British Columbia, Idaho, Oregon, Washington State and Pacific Northwest Golf Associations, as well as the Pacific Northwest Section PGA. Published by the Pacific Northwest Golf Association, a 501c3 charitable international amateur golf association, Pacific Northwest Golfer is a member benefit delivered to those who utilize the USGA GHIN Handicap System through member clubs, either public or private. Visit www.thepnga.org for more information.