Fred Couples Helps Introduce New Course in Washington State

Salish Cliffs Golf Club at Little Creek Casino Resort in Shelton, Wash., celebrated its long-awaited grand opening in mid-September with nearly 220 golfers teeing it up Friday and Sunday. PGA and Champions Tour star Fred Couples, a native of Seattle, was on hand Saturday.

"Salish Cliffs is an outstanding course," said Couples, the 1992 Masters champion and a friend and associate of Gene Bates, Salish Cliffs' designer. "It has well-designed holes that are unique and interesting and will challenge players of all different abilities. I encourage golfers to try Salish Cliffs. I believe they'll be impressed."

Golfers took advantage of the course's debut, nearly selling out the tee sheet. In addition to golf, participants enjoyed live jazz and a salmon and wine tasting at the Native American Indian-inspired log clubhouse, which features a full-service restaurant and golf shop as well as a wrap-around porch and mezzanine overlooking hole Nos. 9 and 18.

After conducting a clinic on the Salish Cliffs practice range and a Q&A inside the clubhouse, Couples - the captain of this year's U.S. Presidents Cup team - was stationed on the tee of the 411-yard 15th hole during Saturday's event where he met and greeted every golfer during the shotgun format. Couples hit a shot with each group, signed countless autographs and took pictures with the participants before, during and after the day's festivities.

Couples - whose father worked in the Seattle Parks and Recreation Department and introduced his son to the game - is making his second stint as captain of the U.S. Presidents Cup team, which will travel to Australia to play the International squad, November 14-20, at Royal Melbourne Golf Club.

"It was fantastic to have Fred Couples help us open our beautiful new golf course to the public," said head professional David Kass. "Fred enjoyed himself and was wonderful with the participants in Saturday's event. It's easy to see why he is arguably the most popular golfer in the world."

Located 20 minutes from Olympia and 75 from Seattle, Salish Cliffs adjoins Little Creek Casino Resort, which is owned and operated by the Squaxin Island Tribe. The Bates-designed course is the latest amenity at the resort, a destination that offers lodging, top entertainment acts, museum-like atriums with authentic Indian artwork, and much more.

Public rates through September are $89 for 18 holes and $50 for nine, and include green fees and cart (but not applicable tax). MVP Player's Card Holders pay $84. The newest-model Titleist rental clubs will be available for $50 (18 holes) and $30 (nine holes).

Tee times can be booked with a major credit card up to 10 days in advance at Advanced tee-time booking up to 60 days in advance is available for those with confirmed Little Creek Casino Resort hotel reservations by calling the golf shop at 360/462-3673.