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Spirit Ridge DGC - Steve Werner Memorial
*Designed by Ron Werner in 2009 to commemorate the passing of his brother Steve, Spirit Ridge DGC in Carnation, WA is located on 24 acres within the Markworth State Forest. Although several miles off the beaten path, about 30 minutes from Loutsis Park, the sheer beauty and complete isolation is worth the trip alone. Like Ron, the owner of the property is very inviting, generous, and genuine.
* This course is full of character! Whether it be the course mascots Stormy and Oats (pet llamas), the 20 hand carved tee signs w/ an animal etched on each one representing what has been seen on the hole including Bobcats, Mountain Lions, Bears, etc, to the handmade hanging baskets similar to the ones used on the Big Island of Hawaii called Bonkajens (Bamboo that hangs down from a circular device like a wind chime, although Spirit Ridge uses wood native to WA). Hole #8/#18 uses an old Rainier Keg as a target and hole #14 uses the only chain basket on the course.
*Elevation is utilized throughout the course, with well developed fairways and at times thick vegetation that can be unforgiving off the fairways. Although most of the holes lack a lot of distance, the technicality of the holes is what makes the course so challenging. I found myself using my Buzzz, Aviar, and Firebird due to the fact that the designer Ron created the course from a LHBH perspective. That being said, he did an amazing job making a well balanced course incorporating a decent number of both LH/RH friendly holes.
**Favorite Hole/s: Holes # 3/#13 (Boat Hole), #8 (Steve Werner's Rainier Keg Hole), and #10/#20 (Top of the World)
*There really are not a lot of things I could point out as cons considering Ron and a few locals have taken it upon themselves to design and maintain this diamond in the rough. Although there is still a lot of brush on the sides of the fairways and the tee pads are natural, the course looks incredible! This course is more technical than long and therefore the natural tee pads work just fine. The rough will always be there considering its location, but makes risk versus reward that much more prevalent, and adds to the challenge of this shorter course. Ron has tried his best to create walking trails in the more troubled spots and is incredibly fast when it comes to finding lost discs.
* Also, the goat trail heading down from Top of the World (Holes #10/#20) is very dangerous. There is a longer way down with a much more gradual slope so just ask Ron as a fall on this hole WILL ruin your day.
*Due to this isolation of the course, we met up with Ron at his place and then he graciously drove us up to the course and guided us around. Without him, it would be next to impossible to find the course let alone navigate through it. Scheduling a time through Ron's email is a must so make sure you plan ahead.
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