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Gamble Sands

Gamble Sands

Brewster, Washington
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Patrick Koenig
01/21
Patrick Koenig
Brewster, Washington
Rankings
  • Address200 Sands Trail Rd, Brewster, WA 98812, USA

For generations, the Gebbers family have been well known in Brewster and far beyond for their commitment to fruit farming (they own one of the largest orchards on the edge of the Okanogan Valley) but a decision was made in the new millennium to diversify their agricultural operations using around 120 acres of a 1,000-acre tract on top of a sandy mesa that overlooks the Columbia River Valley three hundred feet below.

David McLay Kidd was entrusted with the design of the Sands course and his reputed budget of only two million dollars to construct and grass the holes, which is way below the average cost of building an 18-hole layout these days, was put to good use as he fashioned firm and fast fairways and installed massive fescue putting surfaces. It helped to have pure sand to work with, of course, which took drainage issues out of the equation.

GalleryPatrick Koenig
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Patrick Koenig
01/21

Off the fairways, there are extensive areas of desert scrub and long, snaking native-sand bunkers so looking for lost balls in knee-high rough is not going to happen here. The property has one main canyon running through it but there are only two short forced carries across desert washes to contend with. Walking is encouraged though, for those who decide to ride, there are no restrictive cart paths that have to be adhered to.

Apart from the three wonderful short par fours at the 2nd, 8th and 12th, feature holes here include par fives at the double doglegged 6th (where the tee shot is blind) and the wickedly contoured 13th (with two huge bunkers on its right flank). The downhill 6th is the toughest of the par threes, measuring all of 265 yards from the back tees – at least there’s a bail out short and right for those who can’t fly the ball all the way to the green.

DMK Golf Design added a 14-hole short course, called Quicksands, to the existing eighteen at Gamble Sands in 2020. According to David McLay Kidd, when asked about the new layout during construction: “It will spill out of the clubhouse and meander across some fantastic sand hills before returning to the clubhouse.”

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Course Architect

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David McLay Kidd

David McLay Kidd's father was a greenkeeper at Glasgow Golf Club. As a child he’d listen to his father’s golf ramblings while as a teenager he’d earn pocket money raking bunkers for his dad.

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