APRIL 14, 1997

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Golf-In' the Northwest: 'A Must Play!!'

golf by Chuck Reidt
The dictionary defines quintessence as "a perfect example of quality," the very word to describe Meriwood Golf Course, the new Lacy-area golf links built and opened by Weyerhaeuser Co. in 1995.
   Meriwood G.C. has been carefully sculpted from a heavily-wooded tract of land with emerald green fairways, bridge-crossed wetlands, ponds, and rolling fairway mounds. Meriwood's fairways are amply wide; most are dog-legged and vary from draw to fade for an optimum tee shot. Fairway turf is surprisingly thick for such a young course.
   The large greens are typically protected by unusually shaped sand traps often nestled among tall grass mounds, requiring either a pitch shot up the open front throat of the green or a shot that carries to the green. Expect difficulty in your recovery from wayward approach shots around the green. However, once on the green, you will putt on a wonderfully designed and conditioned surface. Its slope, undulation, and tiers are thought provoking, but the superb quality of the greens and true roll of the ball provide the antidote for any knee-knocking.
   My favorite hole at Meriwood is number seventeen: a 385-yard (from the whites) par four. The tee shot clears a wetland to a fairway landing area that appears island-like due to the heavy concentration of trees on the right and wetlands all along the left side. Your approach to the green is a dog-leg left, over the expanse of wetlands to a large contoured green heavily fortified by sand traps and grass mounds. The green is one of the kinder, gentler dance floors, so no excuses if you three putt.
   Meriwood has recently opened a challenging manicured, nine-hole putting course; a perfect complement (at no extra charge) to your round of golf. The practice range and putting green are also superb, and it only gets better in the future, as construction begins soon on a links style 18-hole sister course next to this one.
   Be sure this golf course is on your '97 schedule; it's easily one of my personal favorites and is well worth the hour-plus drive.

Meriwood Golf Course: Lacy, WA; call for directions.
   Phone: (360) 491-9176
   Par: 72, 18 holes
   Yardage: Front, 5707; Middle, 6679/6159; Back, 7170
   Rating: (White) Slope 124, Pro Rating 71.4
   Green Fees (includes cart): Weekdays $42, weekends $47