Suncadia Resort in Washington matures into a grand golf resort of the Pacific Northwest
CLE ELUM, Wash. - When I drove into Suncadia Resort this morning, I didn’t recognize the place.
It had been four long years since I had been to this spectacular mountain resort community 90 miles east of Seattle. Back then, the Rope Rider Golf Course was on hold. The front nine had been grown-in, but it wasn’t really open. The economy was in bogey mode, and the resort didn’t need the added expense of maintaining another course.
Fast-forward, Rope Rider (photo above) was bustling with activity today. It’s quickly matured into a strong layout that’s both scenic and fun to play. But what caught my attention is the fabulous Swiftwater Cellars next to the course. Swiftwater, opened in 2010, houses a tasting bar, restaurant, pro shop and special events facilities. Its wines are sourced from select vineyards in the Pacific Northwest and tended to by veteran winemaker, Tony Rynders of Tony Rynders Consulting. As I came in from my round, I saw dozens of people dressed to the nines going inside for some special function. It was a classy affair at a classy place.
“I don’t know any other resort that has something like this,” said Brady Hatfield, Suncadia’s director of golf operations.
Suncadia is, without a doubt, Washington state’s best golf resort. It’s got two more state-ranked golf courses - the public Prospector course by Arnold Palmer (photo below) and the private Tumble Creek by Tom Doak. Its grand lodge sits on a ridge, overlooking the Cle Elum River hundreds of feet below. There’s a spa, an inn, multiple restaurants, tons of outdoor excursions and more. Suncadia doesn’t have the street cred of the top golf resorts of Oregon, say Bandon Dunes and Sunriver, but it’s as good as golf gets in the Pacific Northwest.
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