Running Y Resort
Klamath Falls, OR www.runningy.com
The Running Y Ranch is a full service resort located near Klamath Lake in south central Oregon, just north of the California border. The resort offers virtually every outdoor activity known to man, including one of the most outstanding courses designed by the King, Arnold Palmer. The climate in this part of Oregon is outstanding, with 300+ days of sun and mild, pleasant temperatures throughout the year.
The resort amenities include 8 miles of excellent hiking or biking trails, tennis courts, a boating and canoe center, and a year-round covered ice arena. The dining choices are also outstanding, with local dishes like Elk tenderloins and Buffalo rib eyes, as well as many other more traditional choices.
One of the great draws to this beautiful wetlands region is the bird watching, which is world class with huge flocks of migratory birds every spring and fall, and one of the largest concentrations of bald eagles in North America living there all year. Apple Tree Resort
Yakima, WA www.appletreeresort.com
2007 marks the 15th anniversary of this unique and delightful resort located in the heart of Washington State’s apple country. In fact Apple Tree Resort is literally in the middle of several 100-year old apple orchards, and if you come in the fall you’ll be able to pick some of the delightful fruit as you play your way around the course. There’s nothing better than a fresh Red Delicious apple right off the tree!
The golf course is an absolute gem, with a surprising amount of elevation change throughout the course, and an awesome supply of variety from hole to hole and between the front and back nines. One of the highlights is the unique apple-shaped island green, which may be the best island green in golf.
The resort features the finest restaurant in the Yakima area, with an incredible Applewood Smoked Prime Rib people have been known to make the 100-mile drive over from Seattle for! The resort has partnered with several nearby hotels to provide some excellent stay-and-play packages at surprisingly reasonable rates. The Links at Moses Pointe
Moses Lake, WA www.mosespointe.com
Moses Lake is perfectly located right in the center of Washington State, but for many years this sportsman’s paradise was overlooked by travelers as they sped by on their way to Seattle or Spokane. No longer! Moses Lake offers virtually every type of water sport imaginable, with excellent boating, water and jet skiing, fishing, etc. only surpassed by the incredible Scottish-style links course located on the west side of the lake at Moses Pointe.
The course is long and fairly wide open, but by no means is it a push over! You’ll play your way over drylands and wetlands, and every shot of the way you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the excellent conditions and variety of strategy required to score well.
What surprises most visitors is that the weather is dry and clear for most of the year, as the huge Cascade Mountains to the west block most of the clouds and moisture from reaching this part of the state. The Resort at Moses Pointe offers great accommodations right on site, and they also offer several stay-and-play packages with nearby hotels. Jug Mountain Ranch
McCall, ID www.jugmountainranch.com
If you love peace and quiet and wilderness and beauty and great golf, you’re going to love this incredible new golf course high in the mountains of Idaho. This course is the ultimate showcase for course architect Don Knott, who served as the head designer for Robert Trent Jones, Jr. on many of his most famous projects, and it is probably Knott’s finest work. The course opens with one of the most dramatic first holes in golf, and gets better from there. Jug Mountain sits high to the east of the course, and Knott framed it perfectly on several of the best holes. Don’t be surprised to see several wild animals as you play your way around the course, as I had the unique pleasure of seeing both a fox and a coyote at the same time as I putted on the second green. You might also see deer, elk, moose, hundreds of birds and maybe even catch a rare glimpse of a bear or cougar if you’re real lucky on the day you play.
McCall is the hottest new summer destination in the west, and Jug Mountain Ranch’s sister hotel, Hotel McCall is an absolutely joyous place to stay, whether it’s for one night or for the entire summer. The Coeur d’Alene Golf & Spa Resort
Coeur d’Alene, ID www.cdaresort.com
The Coeur d’Alene Golf & Spa Resort is home to the most famous floating island green in the world, but as awesome as that hole is, it’s not even in my top five holes on this incredibly beautiful and extremely well manicured course. Although it’s not the longest course you’ll ever play, it is likely going to be the best.
Coeur d’Alene is an awesome place to spend a few days or weeks, especially in the summer when almost every day is picture perfect with cool nights, warm days, and a glorious plethora of world-class activities and amenities to choose from both at the resort and around the town.
Conveniently located just about 30 miles east of Spokane, WA, Coeur d’Alene is easy to get to and worth every effort. If you stay at the resort you’ll be delivered to the course via boat, and the course requires caddies to accompany all guests, which can be a little intimidating at first, but is such a wonderful experience you’ll wonder why caddies aren’t a part of every world-class golf experience. Coeur d’Alene Resort has been hailed as “America’s Greatest Golf Experience,” and I agree. Sun Valley Resort
Ketchum, ID www.sunvalley.com
Sun Valley Resort is the original American ski resort, and it has gotten bigger and better every year since it first opened 71 years ago. An important part of the improvement came in 1980 when Robert Trent Jones, Jr. finished his remodel of the golf course. The course has been on almost every list of “100 Best Courses in America” ever since, and once you play the course, you’ll undoubtedly agree. The course is said to have 18 signature holes, and as they are all so beautiful and different from each other, you’ll have a tough time choosing just one favorite. The course is a great test of golf, and offers amazing views of the nearby ski mountain from many of the holes. You’ll also want to pay close attention to every hole, as the course crosses Trail Creek seven times in just the first nine holes, and there’s plenty of lakes and ponds and trees and other delights to trouble an errant shot throughout the course.
The main lodge is one of the greatest resort buildings in the world, with its own permanent ice skating rink in the back, and a world-class ice show every Sunday night. If you’ve never been to Sun Valley - go this summer!