The Squaxin Island Tribe, host of the 2012 Canoe Journey, is opening a new golf course.
Salish Cliffs at Little Creek Casino Resort in Shelton, Washington opened to tribal members August 23 with a blessing, prayer, remarks by council members, and an honorary tee shot. It opens to the public September 16.
Salish Cliffs is a par-72, 7,300-yard course designed by award-winning architect Gene Bates. It is located 70 minutes from Seattle and has sweeping views of the Kamilche Valley. The course offers a GPS-enabled cart fleet, driving range and practice areas, a full-service restaurant and golf shop inside a cedar clubhouse.
The clubhouse has a wrap-around porch and second-floor mezzanine overlooking holes 9 and 18. The 9th and 18th greens are separated by a sparkling lake and wetland preserve. The course has 600 feet of elevation changes and “outstanding directional change with frequent uphill and downhill tests, challenging bunker placement and shapes,” according to the course website. “… Bentgrass stretches (from) tee to green bordered by pure ryegrass in the rough for a distinctive, contrasting look.”
Squaxin hopes the course positions Little Creek Casino Resort’s as a Pacific Northwest destination. Course designer Bates’ team includes golf great Fred Couples. Their courses include Circling Raven Golf Club in Worley, Idaho, ranked 61 in Golf Digest’s list “Best 100 Public Golf Courses You Can Play”; and Bayonet Black Horse Golf Club on the Monterey Peninsula, ranked 35 in Golf Digest's list of the “50 Toughest Golf Courses in the United States.”
Salish Cliffs’ head golf pro is David Kass, 40, who was formerly director of golf operations at North Palm Beach Country Club in Florida.
Other Squaxin-owned businesses include Kamilche Trading Post, Salish Seafoods, Skookum Creek Tobacco, and Island Search & Consulting, an executive search service.