TPC Snoqualmie Ridge: A closer look at the host course of the Boeing Classic
As host course to the Pacific Northwest’s premier golf event, how well do you know the TPC Snoqualmie Ridge golf course? Perhaps you’ve heard of the notorious or infamous “Bears Canyon,” the 448 yard par four 14th signature hole that tantalizes players with the prospect of bypassing the horse-shoe shaped canyon and taking dead aim at the green for a classic risk-reward opportunity. Watching Freddie “Boom Boom” Couples let it rip last year was a sight to behold. As a bonafide Champions Tour player favorite, TPC Snoqualmie Ridge is one of only two Jack Nicklaus-designed signature golf courses open for play in the Pacific Northwest. The other is Pronghorn Club located in Bend, Ore. Opened for play in 1999, the 222-acre property located in Snoqualmie, Wash., and only a short 30-minute drive from downtown Seattle, has become synonymous with the region’s annual premier professional golf event the Boeing Classic PGA Champions Tour tournament.
So what makes TPC Snoqualmie Ridge the ideal golf course to host the region’s premier golf event? For starters it has earned the “Tournament Players Course” designation, which means the Snoqualmie Ridge course has been designed to standards that meet PGA requirements to host major tour events. Throw in the fact that Snoqualmie Ridge has previously been voted the No. 1 course in the state of Washington by the state’s golf professionals and has been awarded “Best View from the Clubhouse” on the Champions Tour, and you’ve got yourself a little piece of golfing nirvana.
So what’s in store for defending Champion Mark Calcavecchia and 77 other Champions Tour players when they tee off on Aug 24 and embark on 54 holes of stroke play? In short: 7,264 yards of breathtaking championship golf that has a USGA Course Rating of 75.5/142 (from the tips) punctuated by the impressive Mount SI and panoramic views of the Cascade Ranges to boot.
“[TPC] is a beautifully conditioned golf course that offers players fair and true greens, vistas on the back nine that are unparalleled and practice facilities that are second to none,” says Luke Brosterhous TPC Snoqualmie Ridge’s new PGA Director of Instruction. In conjunction with our friends at TPC Snoqualmie Ridge and the Boeing Classic, the following is a hole-by-hole description of each of the 18 Jack Nicklaus-designed holes to help you gain an appreciation for the challenge that lies ahead for the world’s best Champions Tour players when they tee it up come late August. Click here to learn about available ticket packages.
Hole 1: Southern Descent
The 554-yard par five is a fantastic starting hole. With bunkers coming into play on each shot, accuracy is at a premium. A well-placed second shot on the left side of the fairway allows for a clear approach to this guarded green. Proper club select ion sets up a strong birdie opportunity.
Hole 2: Back Yard
The 410-yard second hole is a challenging par four. With a generous landing area of f the tee, the bunker on the right side of the fairway is the only obstacle to avoid from the tee. A well-struck approach shot is critical to land the ball close to the hole. This tricky green does not yield too many birdies so reading the undulations and breaks is critical for success.
Hole 3: The Ridge
This long par four is rated as the number one handicap hole on the course. At 462 yards in length, a solid drive is critical for reaching this green in two. Deep bunkers f front this green to the left and a grassy swale awaits a shot drifting to the right. Into the prevailing winds and slightly uphill, be sure to select enough club to reach the green safely.
Hole 4: Twin Firs
This 426-yard par four sets up for a stunning downhill tee shot. With two fir trees and fairway bunkers guarding both sides of the fairway and a creek cutting across the fairway at the bottom of the hill, a solid tee shot is a must. This heavily guarded green short right and long makes proper club select ion imperative.
Hole 5: Fall City
Named for its incredible view of Fall City and the Redmond-Fall City valley, this long, downhill par four allows for a strong tee shot. A wide fairway and generous downhill landing area allows the ball to funnel toward the green. A severe cliff drops off left so be sure to avoid going too far left. The downhill approach plays shorter than it appears and the ball will release toward the hold on the approach.
Hole 6: Cascade
This is a long, downhill par-3 that is a fun spectator hole. The length of this hole is one reason why the par-3s are likely to be the toughest set of holes for subpar scoring on the course. Don’t expect to see a lot of birdies here.
Hole 7: Deception
As one of the shortest par fours on the course at 375 yards, Deception provides golfers with several challenges. With a small lake and elevated fairway in front of the tee box, the tee shot must be struck well to clear the fairway bunkers. A precise approach is critical to avoid the deep greenside bunkers.
Hole 8: The Narrows
This short 529-yard par five is greatly lengthened by the narrow landing area and greenside lake protecting the front and left side of the tricky green. A well-placed second shot to the right of the fairway allows the player to aggressively attack the pin using the length of the green for safety. Going for this green in two is a risky decision with the lake and bunkers surrounding all sides of this green.
Hole 9: Screaming Eagle
Talk about a fun hole to watch! This hole requires a long carry over Eagle Lake, plus an additional eight yards to clear the front bunker. Undershooting means “splash” and overshooting means a tricky chip from hillside rough to the narrow green. This hole has been the watery burial ground of a lot of good rounds.
Hole 10: Bunker Hill
This 353-yard, uphill par four is the shortest par four on the course. With four deep fairway bunkers coming into play of f the tee, a precise long iron or fairway wood is the safest play of f the tee. Several deep bunkers protect this undulating green so club select ion is imperative in setting up a birdie opportunity.
Hole 11: Northwest Passage
The 484-yard par four is long and tough. With a series of fairway bunkers protecting the fairway right, a tee shot to the left t side sets up a long approach to this two-tiered green. Deep bunkers protect this difficult green left and a two-putt par is a great result for this challenging hole.
Hole 12: The Falls
The black tee box on this 426-yard par four sports a great frontal view of the famous Snoqualmie Falls. The view inspires a great tee shot right of the series of fairway bunkers that protect the left side. The two-tiered green requires a precise approach shot to set up a birdie opportunity.
Hole 13: Mount Sigh
Mount Si and the surrounding Cascade mountain range frame this 210-yard, downhill par three. With bunkers lurking short and left of the green, a right to left tee shot will release to the hole setting up a birdie opportunity. The 13th hole is one of the most spectacular and inspirational holes on the course.
Hole 14: Bear’s Canyon
This is the signature hole of the course. The horseshoe-shaped canyon sets up a classic “risk-reward” drive where the ultimate reward is the chance to putt for eagle. Just how many players go for the green will depend on where the tee is and whether a player needs to gamble. A successful, dramatic shot here can breathe new life into a round. One place to avoid is the front -right bunker because it is 14 feet deep.
Hole 15: Valleys
The 590-yard par five boasts tremendous views of several valleys cutting across the Cascade mountain range. A strong tee shot and well-placed second shot set up for a good angle of approach to this protected green. A valley runs across the center of this green requiring a precise approach to the hole.
Hole 16: Rat’s Nest
At 380 yards, the par four 16th boasts 11 bunkers that await an errant shot. A well-placed drive is a must to score well on this short par four. A short approach to an elevated green requires proper club select ion to set up a scoring opportunity. Falling short leaves a difficult bunker shot so choose your club wisely.
Hole 17: On the Rock
The 211-yard par three boasts a difficult tee shot over water and an immense rock. A slope divides the green into right and left tiers. A precise tee shot will feed toward the hole so take dead aim.
Hole 18: Craftsman
The short 498-yard par five finishing hole proves to be anything but easy. As the shortest of the par fives, the 18th plays uphill toward the 48,500 square foot Craftsman-style clubhouse. Surrounded by a natural amphitheater, the fairway and green are guarded by 16 deep sand bunkers. A precise approach shot will leave you with a solid birdie bid to finish your round.