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Course Source: Cedars at Dungeness, Foxhills

Course Source: Cedars at Dungeness, Foxhills By The Sports Xchange August 4, 2014 5:00 AM The SportsXchange 0 shares Content preferences Done

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IN THE PUBLIC EYE: The Cedars at Dungeness Golf Course in Sequim, Wash., on the grounds of the 7 Cedars Casino

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THE LAYOUT: Between sightseeing in Port Townsend, Port Angeles and nearby Victoria, British Columbia, on the gorgeous Olympic Peninsula, Dungeness is well worth the visit.

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It is considered a gem by rain-soaked locals because it is playable when the more highly touted Gold Mountain, McCormick Woods and Trophy Lake courses are virtually unplayable when wet.

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You don't have to wait long to enjoy Dungeness' signature hole. After two manageable par 4s, the par-5 third is 456 yards with a hard dogleg right. A well-placed drive will give you a shot at the green in two ... if you can judge the uphill distance correctly and clear the group of sand traps shaped like -- drum roll -- a Dungeness crab protecting the green.

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The course offers four tee boxes, and golfers with a 15 or better handicap might want to step back and challenge themselves from the championship tees that extend the course to 6,456 yards.

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Water comes into play only on the par-3 17th, and many holes are forgiving to wayward drives, but errant approach shots will be gobbled up on several holes that feature large swales.

What Dungeness lacks in water hazards and pure length, it more than makes up for in scenery throughout and a stretch of holes from No. 12 to No. 16 that run out toward the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

Handle the constant wind from off the strait and the treacherous 520-yard, par-5 14th without blowing up your round, and you can enjoy the beautiful scenery of the 17th and 18th holes playing back toward the Olympic Mountains.

DIRECTOR OF GOLF: Garrett Smithson

LOCAL KNOWLEDGE: When a course in the Pacific Northwest -- located only miles from a rainforest, no less -- bills itself as playable year-round, you have to take notice.

When riding the half-hour ferry from Seattle to the west side of Puget Sound, don't ask the locals how to get to "See-kwee-um." It's "S'kwim," and the translation of "quiet waters" in the language of the S'Klallam tribe is appropriate for this town protected by the Olympic Mountains from the typical western Washington weather.

Sequim averages 13 inches of annual rainfall, far less than the 38 inches Seattle averages, and even less than Palm Springs' 17 inches.

The course is hardly a secret in the Northwest, as evidenced by the dozens of new homes popping up along the layout over the past few years.

Golf packages are available with almost every lodging area in Sequim and Port Angeles, where you can catch a quick ferry to Victoria. The 7 Cedars Casino is another nearby attraction.

OTHERS COURSES IN THE AREA: If you are on the Olympic Peninsula, you are no doubt enjoying the sights of the natural wonders between the Pacific Ocean and the Hood Canal.

An hour's drive to the south, three of the state's most heralded courses are located within minutes of each other.

They will hit you a bit harder in the wallet during the summer months, but Gold Mountain in Bremerton, and Trophy Lake Golf & Casting and McCormick Woods in nearby Port Orchard are very well maintained and deliver an experience worth the price of admission.

The Olympic Course at Gold Mountain played host to the 2006 U.S. Amateur Public Links Golf Championship. At over 7,000 yards from the gold tees, it features wide fairways, greens protected by ample bunkers and stunning views of Mt. Rainier while you negotiate the hilly terrain.

Trophy Lake was designed by John Fought and might be the most challenging of the three at 7,206 yards on sloping fairways.

WHERE TO STAY: Part of the charm of the Olympic Peninsula are the quaint bed and breakfasts, with many of the best located in nearby Port Townsend. Every hotel, motel and B&B in Sequim and Port Angeles offers golf packages.

You won't find many resorts on the Peninsula, but there are plenty of waterfront lodges, hotels and campgrounds. For those simply planning on a day-trip golf outing to the Peninsula, Seattle offers all the city accommodations, and each of the four golf courses is within two hours by ferry across Puget Sound and a short car ride.

ON THE WEB: www.7cedarsresort.com/golf; www.goldmt.com; www.trophylakegolf.com; www.mccormickwoodsgolf.com

--Cedars at Dungeness review by Derek Harper, The Sports Xchange

THE LAST RESORT: Foxhills Hotel and Resort in Ottershaw, Surrey, England

THE LAYOUT: They aren't going to start running up the Stars and Stripes alongside the Union Jack anytime soon, but Foxhills Golf Club might be more like an American club than any other in the United Kingdom.

It is not only that the three courses at Foxhills look and play very much like courses in the United States; it is also the membership.

Roughly 20 percent of the members are Americans, executives who work for large firms in and around London. Many of them bring their families because they often stay for several years, and there are several top-rate American schools in the area.

Foxhills Golf Club has two championship courses: the 6,892-yard Bernard Hunt Course and the 6,743-yard Longcross Course, plus the Manor Course, a par-3, nine-hole layout where the Wee Wonders program was founded.

The late Bernard Hunt, honored as a Member of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth, was the first head professional at Foxhills when the club opened in 1975, and he served for 25 years. Hunt, who died in 2013 at age 83, also played on Senior European PGA Tour.

Hunt, who won 30 times on the European PGA Tour and led the tour's Order of Merit in 1961 and 1963, played a key role in one of England's greatest golf victories in the 1957 Ryder Cup at Lindrick Golf Club in Yorkshire, ending a 24-year hold on the Cup by the United States.

One of eight pros to be awarded lifetime membership in the British PGA and former captain of the organization, Hunt participated in eight Ryder Cups, including twice as captain.

For tourists, Foxhills is not far from Windsor Castle, Hampton Court (favorite home of Henry VIII), Ascot Racecourse, the original Legoland and Blenheim Palace, birthplace of Winston Churchill.

HEAD PROFESSIONAL: Paul Creamer

LOCAL KNOWLEDGE: Both 18-hole layouts at Foxhills, which were designed by F.W. Hawtree and opened six months apart in 1975, are what the English call parkland, or heathland, courses.

The par-72, 6,883-yard Bernard Hunt championship course is longer but more wide open and forgiving.

The par-71 Longcross Course is shorter but narrower, weaving 6,743 yards through gently undulating and picturesque wooded terrain with trees bordering every fairway.

The signature hole of the Bernard Hunt course is No. 10, a daunting 445-yard par-4 that plays downhill to a valley and then uphill to a green protected by two bunkers in front and overhanging trees on the right.

On a clear day, you can see Canary Wharf in London from the elevated tee, from which the best drive is down the left side to provide the best angle into a green that slopes dramatically from back right to front left.

That follows the best par 5 on the course, the 560-yard ninth, which also can be a heart-tugger. It plays slightly downhill off the tee, with a pond in the fairway waiting to swallow any second shots that are mis-hit. The opening to the green is narrow because of trees on the left and a bunker on the right.

Another real test can be found on the dogleg left, par-4, 446-yard 18th, which is considered one of the most difficult finishing holes in English golf.

The tee shot must carry more than 200 yards to reach the narrow sloping fairway, and the approach is partially blind up the hill to a spacious double green that it shares with No. 18 on the Longcross Course.

The uphill, par-4, 430-yard ninth is the most difficult hole on the Longcross Course, requiring a tee shot of more than 200 yards to clear a bunker on the left side and creating the best chance to hit the green in two.

The Longcross, which winds through Scots pine, beech and silver birch trees, finishes with an uphill par-5, which measures 531 yards, with a large tree on the left narrowing the fairway for the second shot. Again, the approach shot is partially blind to the large, double green.

The course even lives up to its name. Foxes are often spotted by golfers along with deer, rabbits and other wildlife.

The junior program at Foxhills produced Paul Casey , who won three Pacific 10 Conference Championships at Arizona State and broke records set there by Phil Mickelson before joining the PGA Tour, and Anthony Wall, who plays the European Tour.

OTHER COURSES IN THE AREA: Stoke Park Club in Stoke Poges, where the golf scenes and a few others were filmed for the James Bond classic "Goldfinger," is located outside London on the outskirts of Windsor and Eaton, about 7 miles from Heathrow Airport.

Also nearby are some other shrines of British golf, including the Wentworth Club and its famed West Course in Virginia Water; and Sunningdale Golf Club in Sunningdale.

Also in the area is Lambourne Club in Burnham.

WHERE TO STAY: Located 20 minutes from Heathrow Airport, the 400-acre Foxhills estate offers a 40-suite, four-star hotel in the 19th-century manor house and its Foxhills Mews, a development of 12 apartments situated next to the 14th tee on the Bernard Hunt Course.

Fine dining is available at the two-rosette Manor Restaurant, the Orangery and a brasserie. Stop by the Fox Bar for a drink after holing out on No. 18.

The five-star Stoke Park Hotel, which in 1999 became a charter member of Leading Small Hotels of the World, offers 20 bedrooms filled with priceless antiques and original paintings and prints on grounds once trod by William Penn and Queen Elizabeth I.

Not far is the luxurious Cliveden House, the former Astor estate, in Taplow, a prominent site in the Profumo scandal, which brought down the Conservative government in 1964.

Also close are the Bull Hotel, a 17th-century coach stop in Gerrards Cross; Burnham Beeches Hotel, a magnificent structure of Georgian architecture on 10 landscaped acres in Burnham; Grovefield House Hotel, a charming Edwardian country house in Windsor; the Christopher Hotel, the only hotel in Eton; the Mercure Windsor Castle Hotel, a two-minute walk from the front gate at Windsor Castle; and Sir Christopher Wren Hotel, on the banks of the Thames River in Windsor.

ON THE WEB: www.foxhills.co.uk

--Foxhills review by Tom LaMarre, The Sports Xchange Golf Sports & Recreation Dungeness crab Bernard Hunt