Sunday, April 21, 2024

The Barn opens at Gamble Sands, precursor to major expansion

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BREWSTER – The newest addition to the Gamble Sands golf, dining, and lodging experience 10 miles east of Brewster, The Barn, billed as the “newest dining hotspot and coolest hangout in town” opened March 7 in conjunction with the Sands course.

The Barn fare boasts cold beers on draft, mouthwatering craft pizzas, and classic American-style menu items. It will help introduce the next evolution of the site development, a second 18-hole course with additional lodging facilities that will nearly double the size of the existing destination resort.

The latest expansion was announced in GolfWeek magazine in July 2022, broke ground in the fall of 2023, and is scheduled for a summer 2025 completion.

Voted the best new golf course when it opened in 2014, Gamble Sands continues to win accolades from players and publications dedicated to the sport.

The Sands and QuickSands Course at Gamble Sands are located on 115 acres of fine fescue grasses, designed by renowned golf course architect David McLay Kidd.

Players are greeted with panoramic vistas of the Cascade Mountains and Columbia River meandering through the distance on every hole. No airplanes overhead or passing traffic distract from the quiet solitude broken only by the occasional bird songs in the background. 

Kidd, owner of DMK Golf Design in Bend, was born and raised in Scotland and grew up in the game as the son of a golf course superintendent. His father’s passion for the game rubbed off on Kidd at an early age; as a teenager he worked at his father’s courses helping with daily maintenance as well as a few renovation projects.

His informal education gave Kidd a head start for his formal education at Writtle College on the outskirts of London where he studied Horticulture and Landscape Design. He then interned with Southern Golf Construction, Europe’s largest golf construction company, before gaining more real-world experience at a small design and construction management firm in England. There he developed his ideas for golf course design as well as the construction process.

Kidd’s breakthrough came 25 years ago with the launch of Bandon Dunes, in Bandon, Oregon, in 1999. Success at Bandon led to more acclaimed projects:

  • Nanea Golf Club at Kailua-Kona, Hawaii in 2003.
  • TPC of San Francisco Bay at Stonebrae in 2007.
  • Tetherow Golf Course at Bend, Oregon in 2008.

Said Kidd of the Gamble Sands project: “This is the once in a lifetime site every golf designer dreams of, rolling sand dunes overlooking a large body of water, a developer willing to build golf just for the love of the game, It’s just golf on sand, golf as it was truly meant to be.”

Kidd also designed the newest Gamble addition taking shape on acreage west of Sands Trail Road leading to the lodging, dining, and parking facilities.

Gebbers Family

Landowners like the Gebbers Family are a rare commodity in the golf course construction world. Most courses have a limited amount of acreage, many with home sites and supporting infrastructure to navigate – all affecting the final design. 

None of that was an issue when the Gebbers Family partnered with OB Sports Golf Management founder and Northwest native, Orrin Vincent, to conceptualize a no-limits, world class golf resort – in the middle of thousands of acres of Gebbers apple and cherry orchards, a three-hour drive from Spokane and just 75 miles north of Wenatchee.

The concept of Gamble Sands began with the Gebbers’ vision of a high-end, Pacific Northwest destination resort community highlighted by a variety of outdoor recreational activities. The first step – the debut of the highly acclaimed 18-hole Sands course – broke ground in 2012 and set the foundation for a future that includes a second 14-hole course, Quicksands. The latest as-yet-unnamed new course builds on the success of its predecessors.

The development of the second Gamble Sands golf course is documented in a multi-platform series by The Fire Pit Collective, a multimedia company founded by golf writer Matt Ginella. A preview of the series can be viewed on YouTube at youtube/2f6fkh0Ewdc.

Follow Gamble Sands online at gamblesands.com.

Mike Maltais: 360-333-8483 or michael@ward.media

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