Maybe someday a real Ryder Cup will visit the Pacific Northwest.
Would the Euros have an advantange on the linksy Chambers Bay near Seattle? Probably not, considering the screaming U.S. fans who would be thrilled to be attending the first Ryder Cup in the region since Portland, Oregon, hosted in 1947.
For now, the only Ryder Cup in town will be a buddies trip being organized by a GolfPass member who wants to know where his group should play the 30th edition of their own friendly yet fierce "Ryder Cup" competition.
It's clear to see he's already done extensive research. All of those choices and the logistics make a lot of sense. Suncadia Resort is a great 54-hole destination, but it would be a good two-hour hike over the Cascade Mountains to reach. He could also consider replacing McCormick Woods with the Trophy Lake Golf & Casting Club, although the difference is minimal. I would recommend one of two options for the 36-hole day he's seeking that could make the trip just about perfect. The weather, and how his teammates play, are out of my hands.
Option 1: Stay on the Kitsap Peninsula
But the upside would be a 36-hole stay-and-play at The Resort at Port Ludlow and White Horse Golf Club in nearby Kingston. Truth be told, I haven't played either, but they've long been on my Washington state bucket list. They both get strong marks from GolfPass reviews, averaging an impressive 4.6 star rating.
Port Ludlow, a Robert Muir Graves design from the mid-1970s, has ranked among the top 10 courses in the state in Golfers' Choice every year since 2016. White Horse, known as one of the toughest courses in the Pacific Northwest, would potential set up a "War by the Shore" mentality. It ranked 40th nationally in the 2021 Golfers' Choice. Both showcase the rugged beauty of the peninsula. The Resort at Port Ludlow's 37-room boutique inn on the shores of the Puget Sound would offer a relaxing stay.
He could also theoretically try two other scenarios with this itinerary. One: push the Port Ludlow/Whitehorse 36-hole day to day 2 and play the Ryder Cup matches on day 3 at McCormick Woods/Trophy Lake and the Olympic Course at Gold Mountain. The drivable par-4 18th hole at Gold Mountain, where Jordan Spieth won a U.S. Junior Amateur, would be the perfect way to end an epic tournament.
Two: break up the 36-hole days, drive to Salish Cliffs for the day 3 round and come back to the Kitsap Peninsula for the 36-hole McCormick/Trophy Lake-Gold Mountain competition on day 4. It would probably add a couple hours of driving but be a solid compromise for a day of rest.
Option 2: Head to the Seattle suburbs
The path of least resistance on day 4 would be to head toward Seattle to play a couple of its best daily fee courses. Playing all 36 holes at the Golf Club at Newcastle would be convenient. The Coal Creek Course (12th in the state in 2021 Golfers' Choice) provides stunning views high above Seattle's skyline. Both are demanding designs with mounds, water and elevation changes. I'd bet money very few players beat their handicap.
Want something else besides Newcastle for a second round? Add in Washington National, home of The Huskies that is conveniently only 30 miles south and closer to Chambers Bay for departure day. Unfortunately, I've never played the John Fought design, but it is part of the impressive local portfolio of courses managed by Oki Golf (as is Trophy Lake and Newcastle). Maybe a call to their sales department would lead to a deal on golf or grub by bringing the group to at least three Oki courses. It never hurts to ask.
Discounts for your crew? That's a golf trip everybody will love, win or lose.
Have any tips to share about favorite courses around Seattle? Let us know in the comments below.