Month: July 2015

White Horse Golf Club, Kingston, Washington

When I was in the Seattle area for the U.S. Open at Chambers Bay, I played White Horse Golf Club in Kingston, WA. White Horse is a short ferry ride away from the Seattle area. Playing this course is the perfect opportunity to take a classic ferry ride across the Puget Sound from Edmonds, WA to Kingston, WA. The Course offers free transportation to and from the Kingston Ferry Terminal. [Side note: I recommend walking on the ferry and being picked up as opposed to driving onto the ferry to avoid potential long ferry lines.] This is the view of the clubhouse upon arriving:

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White Horse is an 18-hole, par 72 course nestled among old growth fir, pine and cedar trees in a classic Pacific Northwest setting. It was purchased by the Suquamish Indian Tribe in 2010, who softened the course conditions (it was once considered one of the most difficult courses in the Northwest) and built a beautiful clubhouse. Local architect John Harbottle made the course playable for all golfers by removing almost half of the bunkers and creating more accessible approach shots onto the greens. Speaking of green, White Horse is a stark contrast to Chambers Bay:

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This course is one of my new favorite courses to play in the Seattle area. It’s challenging, but offers sweet rewards for good play.  Here I am teeing off on the second hole:

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I played this course with an old friend, who got me into golf in the first place. I hate to admit it, but not only does he have a much better swing, I’ll never be able to beat him (it’s always good to dream, though, right?!):

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We walked the course, which was great exercise and provided a lot of wonderful scenery along the way. What a beautiful day it was in the Northwest! Here’s one of the par 3s:

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My favorite hole was the 18th, which has water along the left side, leading up to the beautiful clubhouse:

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Don’t miss having a drink on the patio after your round:

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After we begrudgingly left the patio, we headed back to Kingston and had dinner at one of the waterfront restaurants. I recommend spending a bit of time checking out Kingston, it’s very charming. Then it was time to head home on the ferry:

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Definitely put White Horse on your list if you ever play in the Seattle area.  Don’t forget to follow my golf adventures on Instagram: travelinggolfgal!  Cheers!

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Eagle Vines Vineyards and Golf Club in Napa Valley

It gets chilly during the summers in San Francisco, so I’ve been trekking up to Marin and Napa to play golf on weekends during this time of year.  Napa Valley has so much to offer, including great restaurants, wineries, resorts and general relaxation away from the city.

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Eagle Vines Vineyards and Golf Club is located on 173 acres in the foothills of Napa Valley.  This is an 18 hole, par 72 challenging golf course situated into the stunning landscape of Napa Valley.  Here’s the view of the first hole, a par 5 which takes you downhill around a large water hazard on the left side and then back up to the green:

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The course was designed in part by the World Golf Hall of Famer Johnny Miller.  It’s surrounded by vineyards, which make for stunning views all around the course.  Here’s a view of the second hole, a par 3 with water guarding the left side.

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This course has a focus on nature and it’s one of the few golf courses that isn’t surrounded by homes.  Beautiful vineyards, lakes and trees indulge your senses along the way.  Here I am enjoying the views:

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I will definitely return to this course – I loved the ambiance, scenery and challenging golf.  My only complaints were that the course was very slow on the back nine due to an earlier tournament and we didn’t see the drink cart once during our round, which would have been nice due to the intense heat [read: I really wanted a glass of wine :)].  Other than that, I had a great time and a great round of golf.  I even came home with a few souvenir golf balls, which is amazing since there are a lot of water hazards!

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After my round, I enjoyed a glass of wine on the patio at The Grill at Eagle Vines, which has delicious food, wines, a full bar and stunning views.  You can’t miss the somewhat hokey mascot at the entrance to the grill:

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STAY

While in Napa over the long weekend, I had the immense pleasure of staying at Solage Calistoga Resort & Spa.  Calistoga is a charming town on the north side of Napa Valley with great restaurants, wineries and beautiful views.  Solage is a luxury resort a short distance from the main strip, located on an amazing property.  The service was outstanding – during check-in/check-out, at the pool, the Michelin-starred restaurant Solbar, and in the spa.  I didn’t want to leave this stunning resort and frankly, wish I were at the pool enjoying some of their delicious dishes and wines right now:

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While you’re in Napa, check out a few of the many wineries.  I recommend making an appointment to taste at Opus One, founded by Baron Philippe de Rothschild and Robert Mondavi in 1980.  This winery has some phenomenal wines to taste in an amazing setting:

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Fun fact: the first vintage, 1979 was released in 1984 at the same time as the 1980 vintage. For a while it was the most expensive California wine costing 50 USD.  I wonder how much a bottle of that vintage is today?!  

I look forward to many more weekends of golf and wine in Napa Valley and will keep you updated on my favorite courses, resorts, wineries, and restaurants.  Let me know your favorites so I can check them out!  Cheers!