Wine Valley

Updated: June 29, 2010

Walla Walla, Washington, is no stranger to new vintages.

The once-sleepy hamlet in the southeastern corner of the state has become one of the premier wine destinations in the United States.

But if you were looking to pair fine public-access golf with wine touring and tasting, the pickings were slim. The uncorking of Wine Valley Golf Club last spring changed all that – for the area and for the Pacific Northwest.

Ranked in the top three You Can Play in Washington State by Golfweek, Wine Valley has been added to the must-play list for golf enthusiasts.

Wine Valley Golf Club, designed by Oregon native Dan Hixson, blends immense scale, inspiring scenery and strategic challenges into a full-bodied championship golf experience. From the opening tee shot, where the golfer must choose how to negotiate the first of the course’s dramatic vertical-walled bunkers, to the rollicking descent of the final fairway, Wine Valley is a thrill ride in the great links tradition.

The course invites golfers to dig deep for creative approaches on fast, firm fairways and undulating greens. Shaped on a rich, rolling plain of fertile soils deposited by the Missoula Floods at the end of the last Ice Age, Wine Valley offers broad fairways to accommodate shifting breezes and multiple lines of play.

“The last thing I wanted to do was to ‘tell’ the golfer how to play this course,” architect Hixson says. “For me, the fun in golf is in the uncertainty and the opportunity for different players to try different ways of getting the ball from here to there.” Some holes, like the short par-4 fourth, tempt long-hitters with the prospect of driving the green, but a gaping bunker to the left of the green punishes those who come up short in the quest for glory. Meanwhile, a friendly angle to the target might give an advantage to the shorter, more conservative player.

“Our goal was to build a course that could be fun for everybody,” Thorsnes says, Director of Golf/Partner. “You’re not going to lose many golf balls out here. You’re going to hit plenty of fairways and have chances to run the ball up to most of the greens.“

Wine Valley Golf Club will host the 2010 Northwest Open Pro-Am, August 20th-22th, 2010, and the 2010 Inaugural WSGA Mid-Amateur, August 6th-7th, 2010.

Wine Valley Golf Club ( is in fantastic shape and stretches to 7,360 yards from the tips and plays to a par of 72. For more information, contact the Wine Valley golf shop at 877-333-9842 or email