No Driving Range for West Seattle Golf Course

Parks and Rec Will Not Pursue Driving Range @ West Seattle Golf Course

Seattle Parks and Recreation Acting Superintendent Christopher Williams today announced his decision not to proceed with the construction of a driving range at the West Seattle Golf Course, after siting difficulties and public concerns surfaced.

The driving range, the first project to be developed under the 2009 Golf Master Plan began the planning and design phase in mid-2010. The original plan was to place the range west of the clubhouse along 35th Ave. SW. Engineering studies revealed problems with soil conditions at the site, so Parks then attempted to locate it closer to the clubhouse at the fairway for hole #9.

This option would make it necessary to reconfigure the hole and several pathways, which led to opposition from course users. The design team tried to address users’ concerns through three public meetings and additional analysis. After reviewing the design issues, the costs of the design process, the funding for the project, and the input received through the public involvement process, Williams decided not to go ahead with the project.

“It turns out this project, as it can be physically fitted into the course, is not consistent with the course’s historic design,” Williams said “We do not want to go forward with a facility that does not meet golfers’ needs, but we are pleased to be able to take the rest of the budget and apply it to another upcoming Golf Master Plan project.”

Michael Prittie, vice president of the West Seattle Golf Club, said “The club is very happy with this decision. We look forward to working with Parks on the rest of the Golf Master Plan, particularly on projects that will improve the West Seattle Golf Course.”

David Kipness of the Camp Long Advisory Council added, “We appreciate Parks’ willingness to incorporate public opinion in decision-making, and hope this decision will be a catalyst for the golf community, Camp Long, and the general public to work together on future projects.”

This decision enables Parks to take the approximately $579,000 remaining in the $834,000 project planning budget, which comes from 2010 General Obligation Bonds, and redirect it to another priority revenue-generating capital project identified in the Golf Master Plan. Parks will also report on the decision to the City Council Parks and Seattle Center Committee at an upcoming meeting.

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