Inside Comments: Steve Turcotte

Some winter thoughts: It’s OK to break out the clubs; NW loses a good one in Washam

Just a few observations as we head deep into winter in the Pacific Northwest.

• The weather around the Pacific Northwest hasn’t been too bad – there have been a few days where the clubs have been taken out of the trunk. I always have the right equipment from my rubber golf shoes to the stocking hat to the warm gloves to the rain pants. One day, I actually got to wear shorts because it was 55 degrees. Wish those days would happen more often. I have a friend who wants to play all the time- even in the rain. When he calls, I ignore it unless the sun is out.

• Which leads me to another interesting winter idea, I see that Riverbend Golf Course in Kent, Wash. runs what it calls Doppler Deals. If you watch enough weather, you know the doppler is the radar that shows when and where the rain will fall. Riverbend has a deal for golfers that the cost to play golf is based on the chance of precipitation. For example, if there is a 21 to 40 percent chance of rain, then the course will knock off $3. If there is a 71-100 percent chance of rain, then the discount is $10 off. Had a buddy play at Riverbend one day and said he paid $10 because it was supposed to rain. He said it didn’t and got lucky. This is the same guy who calls me and wants to play in the rain.

• PXG Golf Seattle has made some good inroads since opening for business. The clubs are a treat to hit and the fitting studio in Bellevue is one first-class operation. I saw recently where the company went out and signed singer Darius Rucker as a PXG Golf ambassador. Sure, the company has plenty of PGA and LPGA professionals playing their clubs, but now has a Grammy winning artist and golf fanatic in the fold. Rucker is also the guy who puts on a terrific event called Monday After the Masters in Myrtle Beach which is a huge charity event.

• It was sad to see the news that Northwest native and LPGA player JoAnn Washam passed away. It was terrific to have her make a name for herself on the big tour and it was even better we could call her one of our own. She was a terrific athlete and a winner on the LPGA Tour. And it was always great to see her at events like the Safeco Classic.

Steve Turcotte is editor of Inside Golf Newspaper. He can be reached at sdturcotte@comcast.net.