Business Journal ranks state's toughest golf courses

July 9, 2012 

The Puget Sound Business Journal published a photo gallery ranking Washington's five "toughest" golf courses.

Wine Valley Golf Club near Walla Walla made the list, tied for fourth, and was the only track east of the Cascades on the list.

The rankings appear to go straight off the USGA course rating for men, which would explain why there were a pair of ties in the list. It's been years since I've played Bear Creek in Woodinville -- which tied with Wine Valley at 76.1 -- and reminded me a bit of The King's Course at Gleneagles in the Scottish Highlands with its park-like setting and difficulty.

Wine Valley, at its most difficult, has a slope rating of 134. Palouse Ridge in Pullman nearly made the list at 75.9, with a slope of 140.

In the Mid-Columbia, Meadow Springs Country Club didn't make the top five with a course rating of 73.8 and a slope of 140. Canyon Lakes is 73.8 with a slope is 129.

(The most famous of the co-most difficult courses, with a course rating of 76.4, carries a slope of 141.)

And perhaps it's not ironic that one of the "toughest" courses on the list brings to mind a longer version of the championship course at Royal Dornoch Golf Club, another famed layout that no golf trip to Scotland should leave out.

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