Tumble Creek
Tumble Creek
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!

 

 

pw

 

 

July 2011


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