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Gamble Sands Is A Sure Thing

I’m sitting at Seattle Airport waiting on my flight back to Vegas after spending four (rather 3.5) days in Brewster, Washington.  What beautiful country Central Washington state is if you haven’t been here—arguably the world’s greatest apple and cherry growing region and, perhaps to your surprise, home to one of the country’s best public golf courses, Gamble Sands.

It is perfect place for a girls trip, a group couples’ trip or a romantic getaway with your spouse or partner.

Gamble Sands was designed by a Scotsman, David McLay Kidd, who also built the original Bandon Dunes resort course (ranked 80th in the US).  The resort and the land are owned by the largest family-owned apple grower in the northwestern U.S., Gebbers Farms.

It has a 44-room lodge, one incredibly dramatic and memorable 18-hole course, a par 3 course which just opened earlier this year, a putting course and pool.  For now anyway, greens fees are very reasonable at just $130 regular/$110 twilight and then $80 for same-day replay depending on your time of year. Rooms run roughly $260 per night.

Numerous holes sit atop ridge lines looking hundreds of feet down onto the incredibly gorgeous Columbia River and are as dramatic as the holes Kidd built to worldwide acclaim at Bandon. When you step onto the tee, you look over the holes and say “Wow”.  The languid Columbia River is nearly one mile wide and literally hundreds of feet below.  I tried to take photos, but none seem to do it justice.  We were surrounded by fires and the smoke filled the mornings but sort of cleared out in the afternoons.  Hopefully you can get a sense of the beauty in this valley.

View from the balcony in our room

The rooms at the inn share these views. Every single one of them faces west over the immense undulating putting course, orchards, mountains and are facing downriver. Each spacious room has its own fireplace, and more importantly, modern bathrooms with large tiled rainhead showers.



It is a bit of a hike from Seattle.  About 3 hours and 45 minutes to be exact but the drive through the Cascade Mountains is unforgettable. Locals told us it’s a bit shorter driving down from Spokane — about 2.5 hours.  Basically, it all depends on which airline you chose.  The drive from Seattle is lined with pine trees as you top Snoqualmie Pass and then follows the river.  You pass orchards upon orchards of apples, cherries and yes, even some vineyards. This drive isn’t bad if you build in plenty of time into your trip.  You may even decide to stop at a fruit stand and pick up some fresh fruit.

The resort has one restaurant where all the food is locally sourced and wonderful (make sure to try their homemade apple pie!). Locals who work there, many of whom were born there, add to the local flavor and are very welcoming.




Quicksand Par 3 course tee box

QUICKSAND. The new par 3 course

Wide fairways and huge greens make the course, which has but a few trees and is firm, a true links golf test. Stay at Gamble Sands but stay out of the massive greenside and fairway bunkers while you are there.

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