Tumble Creek is a Tom Doak design 80 miles east of Seattle . I am not sure exactly but it is perhaps 6 years old , and set in a beautiful mountain setting , with lots of dramatic elevation change , surrounded by pine trees , and with snow capped mountains as the back drop .
You guys know I am a fan of TD's work and Tumble Creek is no exception . It may not be in Tom's best 5 courses , but only because of the quality of the competition , and truth be told , perhaps the lack of sea views .
The mandate was to build a playable members course , and it is a job well done. It is a course I could play over and over .
Very little dirt was moved in constructing the course which looks and is natural in it's setting .
It is perhaps one of the more subtle courses that Tom has done , but is not without interest . I like a designer to ask me to make decisions , but not give me nasty surprises , and this course fits the bill
The bunkering was strategically placed , and eye catching without being gaudy , and is one of the real strengths of the design .
The greens do not have too much movement , but were subtle enough and a little hard to read with all the slopes in the surrounds confounding us a little .
Yet some greens had more than enough slide in them
And I am a lover of decision making short par 4's and Tumble Creek has some rippers.
Something I have not seen before but which appeals to me and makes perfect sense is the teeing options . Tumble Creek has multiple tees for men , and a ladies tee , but the card also delineates a "Doak course" where Tom has made suggestions of which tee to play on which hole . This is the card I followed for the day , and sometimes I was off the championship tee , and sometimes off the ladies - BUT I had to make a lot of decisions along the way which I may not have made playing of the 'normal' mens tees .
For instance on the short par 4 3rd playing off the forward tees the hole was nearly reachable for me if I took on all of the trouble , whereas off the mens tee I would have played wide of the trouble and had a wedge in without any real thinking...
Similarly on a par 5 with water my tee was now forward enough for me to seriously consider carrying the water rather than laying up .
A great concept I would like to see taken up more often .
Tom likes to frame his holes or have a focal point for them , and on occasion the snow capped mountains were used . Tom also likes to show you where you are going , and I really liked on a couple of doglegs where a discreet gap in the pines at the appropriate spot on the inside of the dogleg gave a glimpse of the flag .
The front nine is predominantly on the higher ground and some lovely movement through all but the almost dead flat par 5 8th into the prevailing wind . But even that hole was appreciated for the way the mountain backdrop was incorporated in the design , how the pines and bunkering framed the hole , and then I really liked the tricky little green to finish us off!
I really liked the short 4 3rd , par 5 4th , and dogleg 4 5th .
The back nine starts high , and then winds down into the river valley where there are some pretty holes with water in play to add to the drama .
Favourites were the par 3 11th , the dog leg drop down par 4 12th , the back to back par 5's at 14 & 15 , and the lovely par 4 over water 16th .
Really nice members course
I would like to come back!
Phone: 0402 218 016