David McLay Kidd Redux at Gamble Sands

The Sands golf course at Gamble Sands resort. (Image: Gamble Sands)

The resort’s original links-style, 7,169-yard Sands Course is set in the high desert overlooking the Columbia River. (Image: Gamble Sands)

Scottish architect David McLay Kidd has returned to Gamble Sands resort in central Washington State to build a sister 18-hole layout to his acclaimed Sands Course.

(Last updated October 2022.)

Why change a winning formula?

Architect David McLay Kidd, whose Sands Course at Gamble Sands resort drew international attention when it opened in 2014, has returned to build a second 18-hole layout, with completion expected in summer 2025.

Located in the central Washington State town of Brewster, the Sands is currently No. 35 on Golf Digest’s ranking of the 100 best public courses in the United States. The links-style, 7,169-yard layout, set in the high desert overlooking the Columbia River, was the winner of Golf Digest‘s best new course of 2014 award. “The extremely playable layout is oversized in every respect, with enormously wide fairways, gigantic greens, no rough and some of the most panoramic vistas around,” praised the U.S.-based publication. “In using ‘friendly contours’ that divert shots away from bunkers and toward targets, designer David Kidd wants everybody to have fun.”

David McLay Kidd, golf course architect (Image: DMK Golf Design)

Golf architect David McLay Kidd. (Image: DMK Golf Design)

The as yet unnamed new course at Gamble Sands is under construction north of the existing clubhouse. “The site was high on the list the first time around,” says McLay Kidd, a Scottish-born architect whose credits include the Bandon Dunes course at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort in Oregon, Machrihanish Dunes in Scotland, and Mammoth Dunes at Sand Valley Golf Resort in Wisconsin. “The Gebbers family [the owners of Gamble Sands] have entrusted us to create another full 18 similar in terms of playing style, but different enough to grab the interest of every passionate golfer. The new site is more intimate, more dramatic.”

Gamble Sands is also home to The Inn at Gamble Sands, a 37-room lodge that will be expanded to 73 rooms.

In 2021, Gamble Sands unveiled its 14-hole, par-three QuickSands course (another McLay Kidd design), providing golfers with a fun and imaginative alternative to the Sands course. Managed by Troon, the resort also offers a practice facility, as well as the 100,000-square-foot Cascades Putting Green.