By Steve Turcotte, Inside Golf Editor Aaron Levine is like a kid...
Palouse Ridge: Award-winning course in Pullman is a draw for NW golfers
For decades, Pullman had a nine-hole golf course, which was probably better than no golf at all. For an 18-hole test, golfers played the University of Idaho course in Moscow. The strongest tracks were found up north, most recently at highly acclaimed Circling Raven in Worley, Idaho and the Coeur d’Alene Resort in nearby Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.
Washington State, in a development similar to its basketball team, has gone from weak to great with the new Palouse Ridge Golf Course, which opened in 2008, and became an immediate award winner. The championship layout weaves through rolling hills just east of the campus.
Palouse Ridge is being favorably compared to Circling Raven. The course will severely test low-handicappers but will also be hacker friendly. It plays 7,335 yards from the back, or crimson tees; 6,738 yards from the blue tees; and 6,216 yards from the gray tees. The women’s tees range from 5,591 to 5,113 yards.
How good is Palouse Ridge? So good that it was ranked among the best new courses for 2008 by all major golf publications.
When he first surveyed the 315-acre site, that includes the property from the old nine-hole course, Harbottle was pessimistic. It was so steep and hilly that it looked like jobs he’d had in Japan, jobs that were difficult. On second impression, the more he walked around, it didn’t seem so bad. And now he’s pleased with how it all turned out.
Harbottle passed away in the spring but Palouse Ridge is making sure his memory will remain at the golf course.
The course has dedicated the 15th hole to Harbottle. “John said it could be his favorite short par-4 in all of golf,” said General Manager Tyler Jones.
Harbottle was praised internationally for his playability and environmentally sensitivity of all of his golf course creations. In designing Palouse Ridge, Harbottle used the rolling Palouse Hills to offer some terrific 360-degree panoramic views from around the course.
At it’s opening, the course was ranked as the #2 Best New Public Course in the country by both Golf Digest and GolfWeek and was named the #2 Best College Course by Links Magazine.