Architect David McLay Kidd reveals first look at new golf course at Gamble Sands

With hole names like "Plinko" and Metallica on a course-wide sound system, this emerging Pacific Northwest golf destination continues to up the ante on fun.
A rendering of the routing at Quicksands, designed by David McLkay Kidd.

Amidst all the economic uncertainly this spring due to global pandemic fallout, in a remote part of eastern Washington state, an ambitious golf destination is pressing forward with the completion of a brand new golf course.

Gamble Sands, the far-flung 18-hole golf course designed by David McLay Kidd, is getting an encore. The property is adding a second golf course to lure golfers to this outpost beneath the Cascade Mountains and overlooking the Columbia River.

Kidd unveiled his progress on a brand new golf course at Gamble Sands. The course, named "Quicksand" will be a 14-hole short course that complements the existing 18-hole course at Gamble Sands that opened in 2014.

With some hole names already being unveiled like "Plinko" and "Boomerang" you can expect similar ground-game principals in play as on the wide and rippling fescue course next door. In a YouTube video announcing the course, Kidd revealed that shaping is done and grassing has begun on the course which, in his words, had some of the site's best terrain."

"It is wild," he said. "Maybe the best piece of terrain on the whole property. We didn't use it for the big course because it is wildly contoured. It was pretty difficult to figure out a full scale hole through it. but 14 short holes that sit between 75 and 150 yards it was perfect."

Managed by O.B. Sports, Quicksands will feature a course-wide sound system that, in the words of the press release, is expected to play a wide range of music: "Some days golfers will play along to the Eagles, and other days it may be Metallica."

With grassing underway, preview play is expected by this autumn and the course will be fully open in 2021.

Quicksand is the latest short course to be unveiled with a non-traditional 9- or 18-hole routing. Bandon Preserve, designed by Bill Coore & Ben Crenshaw, opened in 2012 with 13 holes. At Big Cedar Lodge, Gary Player unveiled a 13-hole family course. Tiger Woods' Playgrounds course at Bluejack National is a lit and flexible 10 holes. Sand Valley built the Sandbox, a 17-hole short course. And Cabot Cape Breton broke ground this year on a 10-hole par-3 course next to its Cabot Cliffs course. So when a course like The Cradle at Pinehurst unveils a 9-hole short course, it almost seems like the rule-breaker.

Gamble Sands has recently added lodging and a putting course and offers stay-and-play packages. Located nearly four hours from Seattle and 2.5 hours from Spokane, it goes without saying that golfers will be more eager to make the journey if there is more than one course to play. By this fall, that number will be two (plus the 100,000 square-foot putting course) and if the development is fully fulfilled, a third will be added one day.

FROM $397 (USD)
BREWSTER, WA | Enjoy 3 nights' accommodations at The Inn at Gamble Sands and 3 rounds of golf at Gamble Sands - Sands Course and the new QuickSands Short Course.

Brandon Tucker is the Sr. Managing Editor for GolfPass and was the founding editor of Golf Advisor in 2014, he was the managing editor for Golf Channel Digital's Courses & Travel. To date, his golf travels have taken him to over two dozen countries and nearly 600 golf courses worldwide. While he's played some of the most prestigious courses in the world, Tucker's favorite way to play the game is on a great muni in under three hours. Follow Brandon on Twitter at @BrandonTucker and on Instagram at @btuck34.

Music on a real golf course is rude and inappropriate. Whose taste is music is acceptable to all ears? Can’t we enjoy the natural sounds for a few hours—even some unwanted talk from fellow players? If music suits you, put in your ear buds and prepare to be ignored by your group.

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I think some are missing the point here. This is just a Par-3 course. It is an amusement park as much as a golf course. Clearly not intended to be taken too seriously. I go to TopGolf a couple times a year and just kicking back with friends "playing golf" with blaring music is fun for what it is. This would appear to be designed for a similar audience. There is a little Par-3 in Corvallis, Oregon I play with in-laws when we are up there. Music, lights, and the goal is not the same as when we are on a regulation course. Granted there are many Par-3 venues that are designed for more competitive purposes. This is clearly not one of them.

Sorry, music at the practice range is OK, but I don't play golf and want to listen to music. I rather listen to the birds.

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To Those That Don't Like Music In Your Round Of Golf!! "GET EAR PLUGS!!" IT IS NOT ABOUT THE MUSIC, IT IS ABOUT GOLF!!

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Are you kidding me! What a way to get fired up for a round of golf. Crank it, Don't Tread on Me! Count me in!!

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Playing the Cradle at Pinehurst in December was great fun, christmas music playing and the greens reminded me of the greens on Pinehurst#2, although not as big or intimidating as #2 but almost as undulating thanks to Gil Hanse.

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Who wants music when playing golf. How annoying. Count me out.


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What with the music? Silly and unnecessary addition. No thanks.

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Architect David McLay Kidd reveals first look at new golf course at Gamble Sands