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JUNE 30, 1997

Sports

Golf-In' the Northwest: Sumner-time golf

golf by Chuck Reidt
Coming off the eighteenth green, puffed with the pride of draining a breaking ten-footer for my third birdie (for a weak 86), I remembered the story of the tourist playing another Scottish links-style course named St. Andrews.
   Standing on the first tee, the golfer surveyed the open, rolling, and pot-bunkered expanse before him and with an air of self-confidence asked his wiry older caddie, "Well, how do I play this course?" The caddie pondered thoughtfully; then, looking intently up at the golfer, responded in his heavy Scottish brogue, "Well, sir, 'tis played the best when ya' keep the sixes off yer card."
   Sage advice to a guy who just had three doubles and two triples at the newly-opened (fall '95) Sumner Meadows links-style course just off Hwy. 167 in Sumner. The course has the British Open character of being deceptively open with modest rolling mounds, numerous sand bunkers (no pot bunkers, though), and even an active railroad track along the entire east boundary of the golf course.
   The trouble becomes obvious off the first tee. Every hole has cat-tailed ponds along its fairway edges sucking in any ball that's been pushed or pulled. For a golf course whose golf holes appear the same, there are dramatic contrasts like the very short 283-yd. par four #14 where risk/reward takes on real meaning (as my 2 balls in the pond attest), to the 628-yd. par five #15.
   The course has large bent grass greens with some slope and tiers. Your putt rolls true, and I consider the greens to be very manageable and fair. The fairways aren't narrow, but again, a shot off-line can quickly take on an aquatic demeanor; you're better off to hit the big hook or slice into the adjoining fairway. Their condition is quite good; your ball sits up well, and the defined rough is not hard to hit from.
   There are lots of bunkers with the "good" sand; expect these puppies to come into play. Be sure to hit several sand shots at the chipping green prior to your round. There is a large grass practice range close to the first tee and the clubhouse. The putting and chipping greens are nearby, and both are well done.
   Summer Meadows G.C. is one of only several links-style courses in our area. It's an easy commute down Hwy. 167 and then just 1 mile east. The course is nicely conditioned (greens in particular) and not expensive to play. Do "give it a go."

Summer Meadows