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Hole-by-Hole

 hole1

No. 1   Par 4

463 – 407 – 379 – 353 – 346 yards

Opening hole plays into the prevailing wind and directly towards Bryan Clock Tower, WSU’s most recognizable landmark. The broad, gently sloping fairway drops into a valley framed by a long, high ridge to the left. Like most of the perimeter acreage on the course, this ridge is covered in low maintenance native fescue grasses. Pines guard against an easy approach from the right. The fairway rises to a large, 40-yard-deep green defended on the left by a distinctive “whisker-edged” bunker that is one of the signature features of Palouse Ridge.  

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 hole2

No. 2   Par 4

379 – 369 – 339 – 328 – 318 yards

From one of the high points on the course, Idaho’s Moscow Mountain looms into view from across the state line to the east. This relatively short par four reverses direction and generally plays downwind. About 130 yards from the putting surface, the fairway plunges downhill to an oblong-shaped green set in an ampitheater-like setting, with a heavily fringed bunker and a close-mown collection area to the right. The mounds framing the green artfully mimic the mountains in the distance. 

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 hole3

No. 3   Par 4

 484 – 440 – 414 – 389 – 362 yards

Destined to take its place among the finest and most beautiful par fours in the Northwest. Have a look at the hole from the Crimson tee, which is perched more than 90 feet above a ribbon-like fairway angled to the left. Mountains rise in all directions from this exalted vantage point. From any set of tees, the fairway bunker up the right side must be avoided at all costs. Kicker slopes to the right of the green will funnel shots to the putting surface. Like many putting surfaces at Palouse Ridge, this long, slim green, defended back left by a pair of deep bunkers, has an infinity-edge horizon with no backdrop that can play havoc with depth perception.

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 hole4

No. 4   Par 3 

190 – 158 – 158 – 124 – 118 yards

A classic. This beautiful, naturalistic one-shotter appears transplanted from the Scottish Highlands. Visually intimidating, the hole proceeds directly uphill to a partially hidden, well-defended green. Unseen from the tee is plenty of bail-out room to the right of the deep, angled green. The fenced area paralleling the hole to the right, known as the Palouse Prairie Strip, is a densely wooded area that gives golfers an idea of what the Palouse looked like eons ago. A haven for wildlife, players should watch for hawks, magpies, badger, deer and raccoon on this and the preceding hole. 

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 hole5

No. 5   Par 5

589 – 552 – 530 – 510 – 453 yards

Descends to the layout’s lower realms and demands sound strategy in return for par. A wide swath of wetlands bisects the hole on a diagonal. A broad fairway beckons straightaway from the tee boxes, with an option to hopscotch the wetlands on the second or third shot to attain the higher fairway on the left. The approach is played to a tabletop green undercut by a pair of gaping sand pits. A close-mown hollow collects balls that scamper over the green. Shots that drift short and right of this green disappear in the wetlands.

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 hole6

No. 6   Par 3

253 – 217 – 184 – 146 – 146 yards

The longest par three on the course poses a very rigorous test, despite the fact it plays slightly downhill and generally downwind. The slim, deep green, bracketed by deep, furry-edged bunkers, will accept a running shot. The angle of attack from the tips, over a vast field of native vegetation, is daunting. The approach is far friendlier from the forward tees on the right.

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 hole7

No. 7   Par 4

489 - 426 – 359 – 316 – 260 yards

The Crimson, Blue and Gray tees on this brawny par four call for a forced carry over ponds and seasonal wetlands that are replenished in spring but dry out during the warm summer months. The hole doglegs from left to right; the fairway is also banked in that direction. The bunkers cut below the fairway on the right appear to have been gouged from the land with a large dull knife. The slightly downhill approach is played to a subtly undulating green backdropped in the far distance by a thick forest of pines and open pastureland.

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 hole8

No. 8   Par 4

447 – 382 – 339 – 296 – 271 yards

Before you tee off on this sturdy uphill par four, look directly behind the tees to observe WSU’s Grizzly Bear Research Center. If you’re lucky, one of the brown giants will be ambling about. The ideal line here is just right of the fairway bunker on the left. The rolling fairway rises to a dramatic hilltop green that drops off sharply to the right. In addition to the tremendous feeling of spaciousness here, note the farms and horse stables far below to the right of the fairway.

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 hole9

No. 9  Par 5

540 – 483 – 476 – 411 – 370 yards

Following a drive over a slender patch of wetlands that defends the left side of the hole, big hitters can have a go at a plateau green fronted by two cavernous bunkers. There’s a risk-reward scenario here: the closer the drive flirts with the wetlands on the left, the flatter the lie. For mere mortals hoping to reach the green in regulation, the fairway is widest about 115 yards from the green. The setting is attractive: 30-foot pines dot the rough on both sides of the fairway as it climbs to the green.   

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 hole10

No. 10 Par 5

626 – 566 – 527 – 499 – 473 yards

One of the grandest par fives anywhere. Take a moment to enjoy the glorious mountain views and the skyscraper pines in adjacent Round Top Park from the elevated tee boxes. The hole plays downhill and downwind but is still a true three-shotter for all but the longest hitters. The wide, tumbling fairway, a left-to-right dogleg, hinges on a pair of gaping bearded pits at the lower right. A well-positioned second shot leaves a testing approach to a narrow, wafer-like, infinity-edge green that slopes from front to back. Grassy swales on the left and a deep, oblong-shaped bunker on the right defend the putting surface.

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 hole11

No. 11 Par 3

175 – 156 – 133 – 114 – 94 yards

A heroic one-shotter that calls for a well-executed shot. The hidden green on this uphill gem is fronted by a pair of spectacle-like, fescue-fringed bunkers. Club selection is key. Players must also account for the prevailing crosswind, which will tend to push balls to the right, away from the safe bail-out area to the left. A subtle ridge bisects the wide, shallow green into distinct left and right sections. The lovely pond in the valley below the green does not come into play.

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 hole12

No. 12 Par 4

455 – 426 – 387 – 348 – 278 yards

Major earthworks were required to create the broad landing area at this majestic uphill par four. The pine-covered hilltop in the far distance is a good aiming point off the tee. The favored position is the left side of the sloping fairway. The target is yet another horizon green that appears to hang in the air. A large saving bunker on the left prevents hooked approach shots from tumbling down the hill. A difficult hole into the prevailing wind, though the 100-mile views looking south to the Blue Mountains in Oregon are breathtaking. 

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 hole13

No. 13 Par 3

229 – 217 – 179 – 154 – 136 yards

Into the prevailing southwest breeze, this hole, though it’s slightly downhill, plays the longest of the five par threes at Palouse Ridge. What you see is what you get. The deepest green on the course (42 yards from front to back) is set in a bowl and provides a generous target, but this is the most liberally contoured green in the mix. Beware the deep, moustachioed bunkers placed front right and back left.    

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 hole14

No. 14 Par 4

401 – 401 – 376 – 292 – 285 yards

This hole kicks off the ‘Final Five,’ a sporty collection that provides an opportunity to make up lost strokes down the home stretch. The fairway slants from right to left on this open, exposed hole, with two large bunkers placed to defend left side of landing area. Players chasing birdie will need to flirt with these bunkers to get a flat lie. The perched, hanging green is concealed in front by a dramatic flashed-faced bunker. Approach shots that come up short will collect in a broad swale 20 feet below the green to the left. Rolling fields of wheat, clover and dry peas are in view down the left side of the hole.

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 hole15

No. 15 Par 4  

369 – 345 – 307 – 271 – 271 yards

A brilliant short par four that rewards sound strategy. Three gnarly central bunkers, placed in echelon from the prime driving zone to the front of the green, force players to choose a direction and commit to a line off the tee. From the Crimson tees, it’s a Tiger-esque 320-yard carry to safety on a direct line to the green, with a field of thick unmown fescues up the left side. There’s an array of options on this classic risk-reward hole that turns from right to left. A safe lay-up shot to the right leaves 100 yards to a shallow, kidney-shaped green. 

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 hole16

No. 16 Par 3

138 – 119 – 119 – 102 – 96 yards

This tiny, jewel-like par three calls for a precise short iron shot to the smallest and most tightly guarded green on the course. Four deep, nettlesome bunkers encircle the putting surface at each compass point. The only safe place to miss is the chipping area short right of the green. Tee shots that miss the target left, right or long generally find trouble and will test a player’s recovery skills.

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 hole17

No. 17 Par 5

527 – 508 – 475 – 451 – 434 yards

A birdie opportunity beckons at this relatively short, flattish par five at the south end of the course, but a succession of well-planned shots are required on this left-to-right dogleg. Take in the beautiful green-and-brown Palouse color palette framing the hole before aiming tee shot to the left-center of the rolling fairway. Players then must lay up short of a crossing wetlands at the 150-yard mark--or carry over the hazard to an abbreviated fairway. The green, reachable in two by low handicappers, is guarded to the right by a rock-rimmed irrigation pond. A nasty pot bunker cut into a hillside left of the green warrants against an easy bail-out.

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 hole18

No. 18 Par 5

551 – 551 – 491 – 452 – 395 yards

The home hole doglegs sharply to the left off the tee and plays straight uphill. The sloping fairway is flanked by wetlands to the left and pines on the right. A huge fairway bunker some 75 yards short of green on the left will snare careless lay-up shots. Staying to the right avoids most of the peril. A deep, double-nostril bunker undercuts the front of a large, segmented green benched into the base of a hill below the clubhouse. A suitably strong finish to a memorable round of golf.

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