Greetings! @NorthwestGolfer back again with a new summer job: I am a caddie at the only new golf course in the state of Washington this year: Gamble Sands. I can describe this gem of a course in 3 words…
1. Gorgeous! The views AND the links.
2. Peaceful! No houses, no cars, no roads, the quiet setting here is amazing.
3. Playability! The ‘rub of the green’ was designed to help a golfer, and links golf is just the BEST.
Gamble Sands was designed by David Kidd, of Bandon Dunes fame. I got to caddie for him back in June, and I took notes all day, as he is a bit of a storyteller and golf design nerd (so am I). I got to see from The Man himself all the ways that the golf course is set to help out a golfer if they are to play it smart and not let ego and aggression control their golf game.
Gamble Sands is an inland links course, set on a huge sand hill above the Columbia River, across from the town of Brewster. All 18 holes fit the lay of the land in a beautiful and interesting way. The sandy soil drains well, and the fescue grass is hard and fast- your drives roll forever and bump-and-run shots roll up close to the cup. If the pin is at 150 yards, I hit it 140 so the ball can roll out and stop close.
On to the course! Gamble Sands has a great mix of holes that bring a lot of creative shots into play. There are 3 drive-able par 4’s, 3 getable par 5’s, 2 short par 3’s, 2 long par 3’s (reachable if you play creatively), a 600 yard par 5, a 500 yard par 4, and 6 risk-vs-reward par 4’s. Every hole is unique, and the minimalist design is so great, you know you are playing something special as soon as you tee off on #1.
Range balls and unlimited water bottles are included in the greens fees. The outside staff is energetic and helpful. The caddies are skilled and knowledgeable, they will guide a group around the course and save you 4 strokes a side. The greens are so young that a caddie is a MUST. The restaurant food is excellent, and the Gamble Sands gear is super cool (but expensive).
Gamble Sands is going to win every ‘Best New Course’ award, so come check it out before it closes for the winter! Make it an epic golf trip and play Bear Mt Ranch and Desert Canyon while you are out here…
My Golfchops.com rating: 23/25
Customer Service: 4
Condition of Greens: 4
“Perceived” maintenance level of course: 5