Nestled amid the Lewis-Clark Valley's rolling hills and serpentine Snake and Clearwater Rivers, Bryden Canyon's 6,359-yard, par 71 course poses an intermediate challenge for both golfers and cup-and-string phone conversationalists. Sparkling ponds lap at the banks of the course's bookending greens, ensnaring rogue balls in its watery depths, where they are used as game pieces by the course's hungry, hungry hippos. As the cleat-clad chip, drive, and putt their way through 18 holes dotted with devilish sand traps and howitzer-lined bunkers, cunning eyes might catch glimpses of deer, coyote, and mountain goats as they steal into the mist surrounding the grounds.
Designed by veteran West Coast golf-course architect John Harbottle III, the 7,308-yard course of Palouse Ridge Golf Club stretches across Pullman's rolling hills. The course emulates the design of classic Scottish courses, which favor making use of the terrain's natural features instead of building full-scale replicas of the Grand Canyon between each hole. With the peaks of Idaho and Oregon as a backdrop, visitors send golf balls meandering around sand and water traps, past native prairie, and over elevated tees. On the par 5 fifth hole, they must cross the wide strip of wetlands that guards the high fairway to the left of the green, and the fiendish Hole 11 demands they execute a precise tee shot that accounts for the typical prevailing crosswind. After a round, the scent of tender steaks and Pacific Northwest microbrew beers lures golfers to the British colonial-themed steak house.