Getting To Know: Salish Cliffs Golf Club
An Insightful Interview With David Kass, Head Golf Professional
By Brian Weis
Whether you have played a course 20+ times a year or looking to play the course for the first time, insights from an insider can help enhance your golf experience. Below is an interview with David Kass who shares some valuable tidbits about the course, memorable holes and must eats and treats at the 19th.
Give Our Readers An Overview of the Golf Course/Property
Salish Cliffs opened in September, 2011 and was created by renowned golf-course architect Gene Bates. The course rolls through natural vegetation and rock facings and boasts 360-degree views of the Kamilche Valley and dramatic elevation changes, including the par-4 12th hole with a tee box that sits on the property's apex, some 650 feet above sea level. Privacy abounds with 16 of 18 holes encircled in lush forestry. Hole Nos. 9 and No. 18 share an expansive 15,000 square-foot double green with a sparkling lake and wetland preserve separating the holes.
If Someone Was Looking To Golf In The Area, Why Should They Play Your Course?
Salish Cliffs is playable for all skill levels. The layout flows along with frequent uphill and downhill tests, stern, but fair, par-3s, and challenging bunker placements and shapes. Many of our guests comment that the greens are the best they have ever putted on.
We are also adjacent to the Little Creek Casino Resort, which is owned and operated by the Squaxin Island Tribe and known for its wide array of casino games as well as a brand-new RV Park, Seven Inlets Spa, Skookum Spirit Cigar & Wine Lounge, first-class entertainment, and seven restaurant and bar options.
What Tips or Local Knowledge Would You Provide To Help Them Score Better At Your Course?
The fairways are wider in the landing areas than they look. If you can figure out where Gene Bates (course architect) positioned the correct landing area on each hole, you'll be ahead of the competition. Driver is not always needed, or even advisable, to reach the widest part of the fairway. I've never heard a golfer talking at the "19th hole" about how much lower their score would have been if they'd hit it 5 yards further on each hole, but hear lots of talk how much better they'd have scored if their tee shots had been just a few feet left or right all day! Salish Cliffs adheres to the old golf adage that "golf is not a game of length, it's a game of width."
Recent Awards or What You Are Most Proud About The Course?
In 2013, Salish Cliffs earned the No. 3 spot in Golfweek's 2013 "America's Best Courses You Can Play" in Washington. The course also garnered Top-10 status in Golf Digest's biennial "2013-14 America's Greatest Courses" by state list and Golfweek's "Top-50 Best Casino Courses" list. In addition, Salish Cliffs was named "Best New Course" by Golfweek and GOLF Magazine in 2011, just months after its grand opening.
Also, last year Salish Cliffs became the first "Salmon-Safe"-certified golf course in the world, after successfully passing an exhaustive assessment verifying the Tribe's commitment to protecting native habitat, managing water runoff, reducing pesticides, and advancing environmental practices throughout the region.
What Is The Signature, Most Talked About, or Most Photographed Hole?
So many great shots out there to be taken, but No. 15 probably gets the most because it is visually stunning and I've yet to see a bad picture of the hole. The topography of the hole makes it an easy picture with the tee and green at almost the same height, yet the tee shot traveling dramatically downhill followed by a challenging shot back uphill to the green.
What Is Your Favorite Hole? Any Tips to Play It?
The 14th hole nearly represents what one visiting golf writer referred to as a great Par 4 ½.
To begin, it comes late in the round sandwiched between two other strong four pars and is often the pivotal hole in your round, with the ability to make or break your score. Often playing into the wind, the hole plays longer than the 383-437 yards it measures from the middle to championship tees.
Good tee shots are rewarded with a challenging, but manageable mid to long iron approach over a wetland that guards nearly all of the peninsula-shaped green. Even if you pull off the shot, the green consists of several tiered sections which can lead to a quick three-putt after two quality shots.
Missing the fairway really adds to the challenge. Players are left with a long shot out of the rough or sand that is usually best taken on by laying up short or left of the wetlands. To give oneself the best opportunity to get a third shot up and down for par, layups should be made by taking into account the hole location to keep from leaving yourself with a short-sided shot over the wetland hazard.
Many match play games have been won via a conservative three-shot approach and bogey five, while an opponent's go for it in two strategy left them with a lost hole and at least one ball less than they started the 14th. Then again, there's something special about having a 'pop' after the round with your playing partners and reminiscing about that amazing second shot that you "pulled off" on the 14th!
Must Have Dish or Drink after the round at the 19th Hole?
Killer 1/2 pound burgers and the halibut sandwich are can't miss lunch items...try the fish blackened for a little extra spice!
Irish Death on tap has been a great hit with our golfers! It looks and pours almost like a Guinness, but is much smoother and less bitter.
Who Holds Course Record and What Was Their Score?
Trevin Williams, PGA, with a 67
Back Tee Stats
Yardage: 7269 from Championship Tees/6766 from Tournament Tees/6312 from Players Tees/5848 from Masters Tees/5313 from Forward Tees
Slope: 140 from Championship Tees/133 from Tournament Tees/128 from Players Tees/123 from Masters Tees/125 from Forward Tees
Rating: 75.2 from Championship Tees/72.6 from Tournament Tees/70.5 from Players Tees/68.8 from Masters Tees/70.7 from Forward Tees
Salish Cliffs Golf Club
91 West State Route 108
Shelton, WA, 98584
Revised: 08/22/2013 - Article Viewed 22,772 Times - View Golf Course Profile
About: Brian Weis
Brian Weis is the Publisher of GolfTrips.com, a network of golf travel and directory sites including GolfWisconsin.com, GolfMichigan.com, ArizonaGolfer.com, GolfAlabama.com, etc. Professionally, Brian is a member of the Golf Writers Association of America (GWAA), International Network of Golf (ING), Golf Travel Writers of America (GTWA), International Golf Travel Writers Association (IGTWA) and The Society of Hickory Golfers (SoHG). In 2016, Brian won The Shaheen Cup, an award given to a golf travel writer by his peers.
All of his life, Brian has been around the game of golf. As a youngster, Brian competed at all levels in junior and high school golf. Brian had a zero chance for a college golf scholarship, so he worked on the grounds crew at West Bend Country Club to pay for his University of Wisconsin education. In his adult years, his passion for the game collided with his entrepreneurial spirit and in 2004 launched GolfWisconsin.com. In 2007, the idea for a network of local golf directory sites formed and GolfTrips.com was born. Today, the network consists of a site in all 50 states supported by national sites like GolfTrips.com, GolfGuide.com and GolfPackages.com. It is an understatement to say, Brian is passionate about promoting golf and golf travel on a local, regional, national and international level.
On the golf course, Brian is known as a fierce weekend warrior that fluctuates between a 5-9 handicap. With a soft fade, known as "The Weis Slice", and booming 300+ drives, he can blast it out of bounds with the best of them.
Contact Brian Weis:
GolfTrips.com - Publisher and Golf Traveler