Ominous reading: Seattle City Courses

 James the Hogan Fan ·  
James the Hogan FanJames the Hogan Fan Members  1166WRX Points: 784Handicap: 12Posts: 1,166 Platinum Tees
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My buddy sent me this article about the Seattle Muni golf scene. It does not look good: https://thecisforcrank.com/2019/04/16/golf-revenues-remain-on-downward-trajectory-raising-questions-about-sustainability/?fbclid=IwAR1DIMWEGH7GoEvjrX01F7KFKX3Ll1Cs5IFY98lrn-rEwVbSkUuOx0QArI0

Do you think we have cause to be concerned? I'd hate to see the courses closed for affordable housing. Gentrify SODO first why dontya?

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  • SuperPapaBearSuperPapaBear Aim left, block right Members  137WRX Points: 54Posts: 137 Fairways
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    I don't think they are going to close the courses for affordable housing. It's more likely they would turn them into more public green space similar to what Bothell did with Wayne Golf Course.

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  • plutchplutch Members  64WRX Points: 90Posts: 64 Bunkers
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    I hope that they keep in mind the actual course that they would close. There have been rumblings for years about this, in my opinion West Seattle has to stay. It is by far the best golf experience, they just need to put that money into the clubhouse and hopefully a driving range.

    Take Jefferson and develop that land, they have a nice gathering space now, the Top Tracer driving range, and the little Par 3. That could be Seattle's "Learning Center".

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  • bradskibradski Members  2414WRX Points: 168Posts: 2,414 Platinum Tees
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    they are complaining about losses and wanting to turn into parks and green spaces? That is going to be a bigger loss because they will still need to mow and maintain but won't have any revenue coming in? I agree that they could probably lose 1 or 2 of the courses but if they actually did a good job running them they would be profitable. Oki would lose tons of money up in Newcastle on golf alone but the cost of a wedding there is crazy high and people line up for it. Is Seattle making revenue from tournaments/ banquets/ weddings, ect? do they have facilities to host events? These are the things I would be looking at when I am choosing which courses to keep.

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  • bird206bird206 Members  183WRX Points: 155Posts: 183 Fairways
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    For all parties interested there will be a meeting regarding this next week. See picture for info. Also check this link from the city for more in depth reporting. http://www.seattle.gov/parks/about-us/policies-and-plans/municipal-golf-course-study. I'd suggest you voice your concerns now than later if you have any interest in this issue.

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  • Ronnie MundtRonnie Mundt Members  214WRX Points: 216Posts: 214 Fairways
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    Wow. This sucks. Better not close West Seattle.

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  • James the Hogan FanJames the Hogan Fan Members  1166WRX Points: 784Handicap: 12Posts: 1,166 Platinum Tees
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    On -, @SuperPapaBear said:

    I don't think they are going to close the courses for affordable housing. It's more likely they would turn them into more public green space similar to what Bothell did with Wayne Golf Course.

    The poor little Wayne golf course. If there were ever a dump that I would play over and over again it’d be there. Alas I only got to play it once and it was the most bizarre, confusing, s***hole conditioned golf course I’d ever played... and I loved it in every way. That’s the kinda place old-timers reminisce about for years.

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  • JAMH03JAMH03 Members  979WRX Points: 440Posts: 979 Golden Tee
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    They're not going to be closed for affordable housing. They're probably not going to be closed. A HUGE problem is the maintenance costs because they are city parks... which means the employees and administration are very very expensive.

    Which is exactly why they management has been farmed out municipalities just struggle to run businesses.

    SEA absolutely needs these courses though. 



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  • spud3spud3 Portland, ORMembers  1843WRX Points: 428Posts: 1,843 Platinum Tees
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    Similar story here in PDX. A recent audit of the munis showed them in the red. No proposed solutions beyond "manage them better," but it's not good news...

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  • TheMackDaddyTheMackDaddy SEATTLEJr. Boomers  4747WRX Points: 136Handicap: 0-10Posts: 4,747 Titanium Tees
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    One thing I know they've been trying to do is offering free golf in exchange for volunteering. I expressed some interest in this, only to be told that 5 hours of volunteering will get you 1 free round.

    5 hrs * $15/hr wage = $75 dollar round??

    Something's not right. I'd be happy to work in exchange for free golf, but not if they're going to value a round at one of the courses at $75.

    I've been able to play a fair bit this year, and i've gone outside Seattle for most of my rounds, because there are significantly better courses at significantly better prices.

    I'm interested to see how this plays out. I'd be okay if they closed one of the courses, and used a percentage of future revenues from land development to fund the remaining golf courses. They better not touch West Seattle though.

    Posted:
  • bird206bird206 Members  183WRX Points: 155Posts: 183 Fairways
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    Post edited by bird206 on
  • James the Hogan FanJames the Hogan Fan Members  1166WRX Points: 784Handicap: 12Posts: 1,166 Platinum Tees
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    We as golfers on a forum for golfers are inherently biased. I don’t think any of us has ever wanted to see a course close (I even miss the Wayne).

    Seattle is underserved for public golf in my opinion. There are the 3 Seattle courses: The one with that good 9 and that back and forth 9, the short and tight one on a hill, and the almost too quirky one north by the freeway. You have the smaller facilities: Shriners (yes it’s in the next county), Foster’s and Interbay. (Yay for Broadmoor, Sandpoint, Rainier, etc. But I don’t get to play those) UW has a range and so does Puetz (kind of) That’s it. They are pretty full, as I recall from trying to get on in the summer, and they are priced competitively.

    They are not profitable because 5% of revenue is taken from them to fund every other park. (Btw of you close one, there goes 25-33% of that 5% (ofc Interbay makes it harder to generalize the numbers)

    The city gets to decide if it maintains golf courses, but the courses are used and people enjoy them. I don’t see why they need to be the target for affordable housing as opposed to anything else.

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  • wkuo3wkuo3 RELEASE Members  4370WRX Points: 386Posts: 4,370 Titanium Tees
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    My buddy sent me this article about the Seattle Muni golf scene. It does not look good: https://thecisforcrank.com/2019/04/16/golf-revenues-remain-on-downward-trajectory-raising-questions-about-sustainability/?fbclid=IwAR1DIMWEGH7GoEvjrX01F7KFKX3Ll1Cs5IFY98lrn-rEwVbSkUuOx0QArI0

    Do you think we have cause to be concerned? I'd hate to see the courses closed for affordable housing. Gentrify SODO first why dontya?

    With the attitude of feeding and housing the world....... yes, I'm afraid if, the golfers in Seattle Don't make a lot of noise to protest then, we might be saying good-bye to the Seattle Muni courses ( or portion of them ).
    What will the City do after these 500 acres were used up ? They had already loosen the zoning for the building permit and multi-units had been mushroomed up in the traditional single dwelling neighborhoods like Ballard, Wallingford......... The smaller sigle family dwellings are going to be a thing of the past in a few decades when the current residents vacated out being not able to afford the increasing property tax and utility, or sick and tired of the rising crime rate in their neighborhoods.
    Every one of the municipal golf courses is making profit before funneling portion of the gross operation profit to the general funding for Parks and Recreation. To take away the golf courses for the noble cause of developing afordable housing is not a solution to the issues at hands and never will.
    If people can't find a job to support their basic needs in the City then, perhaps they should move somewhere else instead of waiting for hand out charity. Some will argue there is not enough jobs which will pay the living cost for stayng in the City, well, maybe if those can't find the jobs leave the City then the existing business will be forced to pay a little more to attract qualified applicants.
    It wil balance out if we allow the balance to take place.
    There will never be enough of the "affordable" housing, not here, not in other States, not in other Countries, or even under other political system.
    The bottom line of the proposal to convert the land which Seattle golf courses sits on into affordable housing project, is but someone's personal agenda to take down the existing infrastructure as history will show similar attempts under disguised banner.
    I always believe in take action if it means something to you. Time for the golfers in the Seattle area to voice thier opinion to the idiots whom had brought the City to this stage from just a few decades ago.

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  • bird206bird206 Members  183WRX Points: 155Posts: 183 Fairways
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    I was at the meeting they had at Jefferson about 2 weeks ago. About 150-200 people were present. I'm assuming most of these were for keeping the golf courses. If anybody wants to get more involved, the group that organized the meeting has a facebook group page
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/2252025521713951/
    Also, here's an editorial from local station KCPQ about keeping the courses
    https://q13fox.com/2019/06/09/commentary-closing-seattles-public-golf-courses-would-hurt-underserved-demographic-the-most/
    And one other news report
    https://www.kiro7.com/news/local/seattle-explores-alternate-uses-for-four-publicly-owned-golf-courses/956000662

    Posted:
  • kaschreiberkaschreiber Seattle, WAMembers  152WRX Points: 115Handicap: 14Posts: 152 Fairways
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    Leave it to the city of Seattle to commission a report to determine if they should do something... that they legally can't.

    https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/politics/city-halls-idea-of-housing-on-the-golf-courses-turns-out-the-people-made-a-law-against-that/

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  • RainShadowRainShadow Tucson AZ (for now)Members  4219WRX Points: 515Handicap: 8.2Posts: 4,219 Titanium Tees
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    Seattle is full of commies.....that's all I've got to say about that.
    Glad I moved.

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