Sudden Valley: Different nines

Updated: April 30, 2010

Sudden Valley Golf Club is known for its two distinctly different nines. The front nine, which winds past the southern shores of Lake Whatcom, is relatively flat and open. The back nine, which is carved from a forest, wanders through the trees and offers some narrow fairways and dramatic variation in elevation.

The Bellingham course started a Greenshield Drainage System project, making playing conditions drier and more playable each year. The course, designed by Ted Robinson and ranked a four-star offering by Golf Digest, will improve drainage on all 18 holes with the selection of one hole per year for the Greenshield project. This will improve the landing area on its signature hole, known as the cliff hole, which has golfers teeing off some 300 feet above the fairway.

The tee shot must be precise and long for a perfect angle to the pin. The shot can be intimidating, but rewarding if placed properly.