Category Archives: Gold Mountain Golf Club

The Spieth Show: From Gold Mountain to the Masters

Jordan Spieth’ s tied for the lead going into the final round of the Masters, and nobody’s surprised.

You could see the talent when he won the Junior Amateur at Bremerton’s Gold Mountain in July of 2011. He’s my story after the final match on that day.

Did you know that Tacoma’s Mike Greller, who caddied for Spieth at Gold Mountain, is still looping for the young Texan.

Todd Milles of the Tacoma News Tribune filed this story following the third round at the Masters.

Here’s a fun Masters story that’s pretty interesting. An amateur from the club was paired with Rory McIlroy and the club member won. Read it here.

Why not Ricky Fowler? He’s in position to make a run at a green jacket after a third-round 67. Fowler says it’s about time he stepped up in a major. Once again, why not Ricky Fowler?

KAR auctioning off signed Cano, Hernandez jerseys for Goodwin fundraiser on Thursday

UPDATE: There will also be signed Robinson Cano, Willie Bloomquist and Abraham Almonte bats to bid on. The signed Cano jersey and bat will be part of a package. We’ll also raffle off some items. Everyone gets tickets at the door.

Went to the Mariners’ opener on Tuesday and there sure were a lot of No. 22 jerseys in the crowd?

Want a chance to own your own signed Robinson Cano No. 22 jersey? How about a Felix Hernandez signed No. 34 jersey or signed Hernandez baseball? Want a chance to bid on Seahawks and Mariners tickets? How about Mariners tickets with field access prior to a game? Want to bid on a foursome of golf with carts at Gold Mountain, Kitsap Golf & Country Club and McCormick Woods? How about a $300 gift card to Clearwater Casino?

Want to hear Port Orchard’s Willie Bloomquist talk about his Major League Baseball career, or ask him some questions about the current Mariners?

Would you be interested in learning how Bremerton’s Bree Schaaf transitioned from Olympic bobsledder to Olympic broadcaster? Want to ask her some questions?

All of this is possible if you stop by Port Orchard’s McCormick Woods Golf Course for Thursday’s Kitsap Athletic Roundtable meeting. Things get going with a 6 p.m. social hour. The program starts at 7. There’s no dinner, but there will be a no-host bar.

Tickets are $30 ($25 for KAR members) and $10 for students 18 and under and they will be available at the door.

Proceeds will help build a scoreboard at the South Kitsap High School baseball field that will be named in honor of former coach Elton Goodwin and to the Elton Goodwin Foundation, which will provide scholarship money to South Kitsap students. Bloomquist’s among there the hundreds and hundreds of players Goodwin touched over the years.

A lot of people are donating items for the silent auction. The signed Cano and Hernandez jerseys and trip to a Mariners game with field access will be auctioned off live.

Hope to see you there.

Golf: Gold Mtn’s Olympic Course rated No. 5 among top munis in U.S.; Gamble Sands coming in 2014

Gold Mountain’s Olympic Course, one of the best values in golf, showed up on another top-10 list.

Joe Passov ranked the 10 best municipal golf courses in America for and the Olympic Course came in at No. 5.

Bethpage State Park Black in New York is the No. 1 muni, according to Passov. Nearby Chambers Bay in University Place outside of Tacoma, which will host the 2015 U.S. Open, is No. 2.

The rest of the list:

No. 3: Torrey Pines (South), La Jolla, Calif.

No. 4: TPC Scottsdale (Stadium), Scottsdale, Ariz.

No. 5: Gold Mountain Olympic Course, Bremerton.

No. 6: Wintonbury Hills, Bloomfield, Conn.

No. 7: TPC Harding Park, San Francisco

No. 8:  Butterfield Trail, El Paso, Texas

No. 9: Desert Willow (Firecliff), Palm Desert, Calif.

No. 10: Pacific Grove Golf Links, Pacific Grove, Calif.

While we’re at it, if you find yourself in San Diego and looking for a course, try the picturesque and unique Mt. Woodson Golf Club, about a 45-minute drive out of the city. It’s a target-style design surrounded by large boulders, ponds and has plenty of rugged terrain. We went to and got a tee time for $19 with cart on a sunny weekday afternoon last week. I lost count of my lost balls and didn’t bother adding up my score, but I still enjoyed the beauty of the place, which included a long wooden bridge and dramatic hillside holes. We played from the white tees. From the blues, it would be a beast. Of course, I can make any course three times as difficult as it is supposed to play.

And I’m looking forward to playing the No. 10-rated course on the above list. I’m taking my mom back to her hometown of Monterey, Calif., in December and I hope to get in a round at Pacific Grove Golf Links, a poor man’s Pebble Beach. It’s been highly recommended.

I didn’t make the trip, but 18 members of the Northwest Golf Media Association recently were the first to play Gamble Sands, a course outside of Brewster that’s scheduled to open in August of 2014. Designer David McLay Kidd hosted the excursion. Here’s some of what NWGMA secretary Craig Smith wrote after the visit:

Gamble Sands is designed by Scottish native Kidd whose resume’ includes Bandon Dunes, Huntsman Springs in Idaho, Tetherow in Oregon and the Castle Course in St. Andrews, Scotland.

                “This is unadulterated golf from beginning to end,” said Kidd of his latest course. To watch Kidd give his introduction of the course to the gathered media next to the driving range, click here.

                The course is built on property owned by the Gebbers family. The course name (suggested to Kidd by NWGMA member Tony Dear) honors the first settlers (the Gambles) of the land of what became the Gebbers family.

                The Gebbers are now in their fifth generation with roots back to the 1880s in Okanogan County. The family owns more than 100,000 acres, and are among the world’s largest growers of apples and cherries.

                The Gebbers view golf courses as a way to bring more tourism, employment and diversity to their community.

                Cass Gebbers told NWGMA members at a post-round dinner Thursday, “It was a bit emotional to see you guys tee it up, after so many years of planning and building this.”

                The dinner was one of many hospitality gestures extended by the Gebbers family during our stay.

                A major figure in the project is *Orrin Vincent. It was Vincent who told Cass, “I know a guy (Kidd) who can build you guys a course.”

                The family had started construction of a Perry Dye course at a site on a hill overlooking Brewster before the recession hit in 2008.  Three holes were finished before work was suspended. The priority now is to open the Gamble Sands course next summer.

                The possibility exists that within five years the Dye course will be completed and open and there may even be a new hotel next to it.

                Vincent envisions Brewster as a golf destination similar to Bandon, Ore., and Sand Hills Golf Club in Mullen, Neb.  He mentioned that the Brewster airport has a 5,000-foot runway for fly-in golfers.

                More on Gamble Sands:  Links course. . . . No homes or highway noise. . . . Grass is predominately fescue. . . .  Course is built entirely on sand, hence the name Gamble Sands. . . . Great views of the Columbia River on 12 holes. . . .  No trees. . . . Player-friendly as it is hard to lose a ball and many of the contours aid scoring . . . . Can play as long as 7,305 yards or as short as 4,920. . . . . Course will be rated by the WSGA in October. . . . Course will be open to the public but memberships are available. . . . Green fees have not yet been determined.

*Orrin Vincent represents OB Sports, the company that  built and opened Trophy Lake Golf & Casting in Port Orchard. Oki Golf bought Trophy Lake in 2005 from Heritage Golf. Heritage purchased the golf course in 2003 out of the bankruptcy of OB Sports. Trophy Lake opened in 1999.







Second-guessing Popovich, the golf page, Wolves going to Fort Worden, BlueJackets & more

I picked my all-sports team in a column last week, and already, I’m having second thoughts.

Gregg Popovich was my coach, my manager, and I think the guy is as good as anybody, but what was up with having Tony Parker on the bench in the closing seconds of the Spurs’ Game 7 loss to the Miami Heat? A horrible decision, and when he was asked about it, he refused to elaborate. C’mon, Pop. Others chided him for having Tim Duncan on the bench at the end of Game 6, when Miami turned a couple of big offensive rebounds into big shots in a comeback victory to extend the series to Game 7. It’s a good point, but I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt in that one because he’s opted to go with a small lineup all year in those situations, trying to matchup with the opponents three-point shooters.

I also wrote that “I want Rafael Nadal, and anybody else who can match his level of fitness and intensity.” I still want him, but a first-round, straight-set loss at Wimbledon? Where did that come from?

YOU MIGHT have noticed that The Sun has brought back a Friday golf page. Well, not exactly a page, but at least some consistent news from the local golf scene. Current staffer Jeff Graham and myself, who’s been retired from the daily grind now for almost seven months, are alternating stories. I wrote about the changes Kitsap County has made to Village Greens a couple weeks ago, and Jeff wrote a nice story about Scott Fenske, a top local amateur, mentoring 16-year-old Aaron Holliday, last week. The plan this week is to write about how Gold Mountain Golf Club is faring under Columbia Hospitality, the group that now manages the city-owned course.

We’re also producing a weekly golf notebook and calendar, so if you’ve got a good story idea or some local golf news, email me at or Jeff at

I WAS AT the Detlef Schrempf Celebrity Golf Classic on Monday at McCormick Woods Golf Course. This was the 20th annual and the celebs have dwindled over the years, but the cause is still a good one and the guys and gals participating have a lot of fun. Former Mariner slugger Bucky Jacobson drew a lot of attention, wearing a green kilt and his golf hat backwards while touring around the course, but the four women on the No. 10 tee were the talk of the tourney. It was the 1-800-DIVORCE for men hole, and the women, at least two were KJR staffers, were dressed up in pajamas and swilling alcohol while going off non-stop on the men who stopped by. They were loud, crude, and very funny.

I caught up with former Peninsula High, University of Washington, and Seattle Seahawks receiver Paul Skansi, who now calls Poulsbo  home. Skansi, entering his 14th year as a scout for the San Diego Chargers, looked back on his playing career — one that likely wouldn’t have happened if he had not played in the run-and-shoot offense that coach Larry Lunke ran at Peninsula High. Here’s my story. I also got a chance to talk to ESPN’s Kenny Mayne. He’s going to be the subject of my Thursday column.

SAW SOUTH KITSAP FOOTBALL COACH Eric Canton at the Detlef. The Wolves, as well as athletes from Klahowya, were helping out at the tourney. Instead of going to a team camp, Canton’s taking his team to Fort Worden State Park in Port Townsend for a four-day summer camp at the end of July. Perennial state powerhouse Bellevue goes to Fort Worden every summer for a week. Canton said it’ll cost the players $250 each. They’ll stay in old wooden barracks and Fort Worden will feed the players and coaches and do the laundry. Players won’t be allowed to bring cell phones or computers, said Canton.

I STOPPED BY for the last three innings of the BlueJackets game against Belllingham on Monday night. I counted 60 people in the stands. 60! Egads! An eight-game losing streak and 4-15 start doesn’t help, but the West Coast League is a good level of ball. Bellingham’s pitchers were from Washington State and UCLA, and the Bells will be adding two more players from the NCAA champion Bruins soon. (UCLA leads the College World Series best-0f-three finals 1-0; the Bruins need one more win to win it). I’ve only seen a couple of Kitsap games, but I’ve been impressed. They are better than 4-15. If the rain holds off, I’m gonna check ’em out again tonight. It’s $2 Tuesday. Two bucks for a ticket, two bucks for a hot dog, two bucks for a soda, two bucks for a domestic beer. I hope there’s more than 60 fans in the stands when I get there. One bit of advice to Kitsap management: your website is pretty weak. Go ahead, check it out: Then compare it to the sites of other teams in the West Coast League.

TODD LINDEN, the former Central Kitsap star who is still playing with Triple-A Fresno, will face Mariners’ prospect Taijuan Walker Tuesday night in Tacoma. Walker’s making his Triple-A debut. Linden appears to be heating up after spending time on the DL and getting off to a slow start. He’s hitting .209, but is 6-for-14 in his last four games.

JUST A REMINDER. The Sports Paper, produced by former Sun staff writer Terry Mosher, is no longer published by The Sun, but it is available online. Go to to read Mosh’s lastest columns and stories about local personalities and athletes.

Quick Hits: High school all-star games today; Husky kickoff set for Boise State game & more

PREPS: The Kitsap Athletic Roundtable’s annual high school all-stars games for area baseball and softball players is today (Thursday, May 30) at Gene Lobe Fields at the Kitsap County Fairgrounds & Events Center.

The Senior Baseball Games, affiliated with the Washington State Baseball Coaches Association, start at 4 p.m. It consists of two 7-inning games.

The Softball Showcase is at 3:30 p.m. It’s one, 9-inning game featuring softball players of all classes.

Tickets are $5 for adults, $3 for students and seniors over 60. Kids 12 and under and active military are free.

FOOTBALL: The Washington Huskies will kick off their 2013 football season against Boise State on Aug. 31 at 7 Husky Stadium. It will be the first game at the new-look, modernized stadium and it will be televised by FOX Sports 1, the new network that debuts earlier that month. The Apple Cup will be on Nov. 29 at 12:30 p.m. And the Huskies also know their game times for two of their other games: The Sept. 14 game vs. Illinois at Soldiers Field in Chicago starts at 5 p.m  PST, and the Nov. 15 games at UCLA starts at 6 p.m. The Illinois and UCLA games are Friday night games.

Here’s Washington’s 2013 schedule.

And here’s the school’s press release about the Boise State starting time.

GOLF: The Washington Huskies are not playing their best golf at the NCAA men’s tournament, but they are only four strokes out of eighth-place heading into Thursday’s third and final round of stroke play. The top eight move on to the match-play portion of the championships. Hogan Award winner Chris Williams is tied for 58th (72-70—142). … UNLV’s Carl Jonson, sophomore from Bainbridge, is tied for 128th (73-74—147) and the Rebels are tied for 21st as a team.

BASEBALL: WILLIE BLOOMQUIST is hitting .467 (7-for-15) with eight RBI in four games with the Triple-A Reno Aces. The Port Orchard native played two games, rested, played two more, and then sat out as he tests himself after starting the season on the disabled list with a strained oblique. Expect him to be recalled by the Diamondbacks pretty soon. … The Tacoma Rainiers being an eight-game homestand on Saturday against Sacramento. The Tuesday game starts at 11:30 a.m. and the forecast is for sunshine. It’s a good chance to get a good look at Dustin Ackley, Jesus Montero, Franklin Gutierrez, Brandon Maurer and Lucas Luetge, who all started the season with the Mariners. Ackley was 5-for-6 with a home run, two walks and 3 RBI at Colorado Springs on Thursday. Montero’s hitting .250, Gutierrez .208.

MOTORSPORTS: MY WEEKLY Thursday column for The Sun was about Bremerton native and open-wheel racer Randy DuBois, who had quite a day as a spectator at the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday.

RETIREMENT?: I THOUGHT I RETIRED in January, but the assignments keep coming. But that’s OK. It’s good to be busy. Looking forward to seeing the Kitsap Pumas, who take on the Portland Timbers 23 s in their  home opener at Gordon Field on Saturday at 7 p.m. The Timbers Army travels pretty good, so there should be a good crowd. Hey, and there’s supposed to be a beer garden for those of you who might like to sip on a cool one. … Sunday, I’ll be at Gold Mountain Golf Club for the final round of the City Amateur golf tournament, and between now and then I’ll find some time to talk to manager Ryan Parker and some of his BlueJackets for a preview on the West Coast League baseball club, which opens its season on Wednesday at Cowlitz in Longview. That story is scheduled to run Tuesday, June 4.  The BlueJackets home opener is Saturday, June 8, vs. Medford.

Gold Mountain’s No. 18 gets some recognition

I remember the second day of the U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship in 2006 at Gold Mountain’s Olympic Course. The wind was blowing the players’ faces most of the day from the tee box on the drivable par-4, 324-yard finishing hole.

Of the 155 golfers in the field that day, 15 tried to drive the green. All but three wound up in the pond that protects the green from the right side. None of the players made the green, or came away with a birdie.

Conversely, a large portion of the players who laid up came away with birdies. The 18th played as the third-easiest hole on the course during the two-day, stroke-play portion of the tournament, with a scoring average of 3.95.

It’s the risk-reward aspect of the hole that makes it so challenging, especially during a tournament. And it’s a lot of fun, even for a high-handicapper who might be playing form the shorter white or red tees. If you can hit it long, there’s a chance to drive a green and putt for eagle on a par-4 hole.

All of this is leading up to the fact that Pacific Northwest Golfer magazine has named No. 18 on the Olympic Course as one of its “Great Holes of the Northwest.”

I’ll let the magazine’s press release tell the rest of the story:

Federal Way, Wash. – In the upcoming February issue of Pacific Northwest Golfer magazine, the par-4 18thhole on the Olympic Course at Gold Mountain Golf Club in Bremerton, Wash. is recognized as one of the “Great Holes of the Northwest,” one of just four holes selected each year by the Northwest’s largest and longest-running golf publication.


Measuring anywhere from 325 yards from the Gold tees to 203 yards from the Red tees, this short downhill par-4 is a beautiful risk-reward ending to a round of golf. With water down the right side and the green protected by bunkers and mounds, it’s a fun hole to play during a casual round and a terrifying hole to play when a match or a championship is on the line.


“Being the 18th hole, it leaves a lasting impression on the golfer,” said Daryl Matheny, the PGA Director of Golf at Gold Mountain. “It’s usually the one hole that people are talking about after the round. ‘Did you go for it?’ and ‘How did you play it?’ are common questions we hear in the golf shop and restaurant. It obviously makes for an exciting finish to a tournament or championship.”


One of two courses at Gold Mountain (the other being the Cascade Course), the Olympic Course has been the site of numerous championships. The U.S. Amateur Public Links was held there in 2006, and the U.S. Junior Amateur in 2011. The NCAA West Regionals have been held there in the past, and will be again in 2015. The Washington State Amateur, conducted by the Washington State Golf Association, was held there in 1997 and 2007, and on May 5 it will be the site of one of the Qualifiers for the 2013 championship. for more information.


Columbia Hospitality, a management and consulting company based in Seattle, was recently selected to manage Gold Mountain. “Gold Mountain Golf Club is a remarkable destination with much to offer,” said Bret Matteson, President of Columbia Hospitality. “We’re looking forward to working with the expertise of the existing team to enhance the guest experience and programming which will take advantage of the club’s incredible amenities and stunning location.” Columbia Hospitality manages many hotel properties including Salish Lodge & Spa, Rainbow Ranch Lodge, and Kenwood Inn and Spa as well as conference centers such as the Kitsap Conference Center, Bell Harbor International Conference Center and the World Trade Center Seattle. Visit for more information.


With a direct-mailed circulation of 123,000 households, Pacific Northwest Golfer magazine has been the voice of golf in the Northwest for 18 years. It is the only Northwest golf publication with a verifiable demographic of its readership. The Golfer is all about golf, and dedicated to golfers. It is the official magazine of the British Columbia, Idaho, Oregon, Washington State and Pacific Northwest Golf Associations, as well as the Pacific Northwest Section PGA. Published by the Pacific Northwest Golf Association, a 501c3 charitable international amateur golf association, Pacific Northwest Golfer is a member benefit delivered to those who utilize the USGA GHIN Handicap System through member clubs, either public or private. Visit for more information.

Friday night thoughts

Got a few minutes before I dash out of the office to cover the Bremerton Knights-Archbishop Murphy Wildcats state playoff football game. Knights and Wildcats, that probably brings back some memories from years past when the West High Wildcats and East High Knights were the biggest game in town.

The schools merged in 1978 into Bremerton High. They kept West High’s colors and East High’s nickname. Archbishop Murphy (often referred to as ATM — Archbishop Thomas Murphy) has been to the last 2A title games and won a couple as an 1A school in 2002 and ’03. Bremerton’s making its first state appearance since 1993. If you can’t make it to the game, you can watch in live at

Quick hits

Did you see the video on Sam Gordon, the 9-year-old girl whose father has turned her into a star by making a video about her football exploits? She’s been featured on ESPN and who knows where else. I don’t have a problem with the video, but  keeping stats on a 9-year old — yards rushing, TDs, tackles etc. — is a bit much, don’t ya think?

Bremerton’s Frank Horton, the point man for the highly successful USGA and NCAA golf tournaments that Gold Mountain Golf Club has hosted  over the years, is the new president of the Washington State Golf Association. The WSGA couldn’t have found a better leader.

Missing the current World Cup bobsled season has to be driving Bremerton’s Bree Schaaf crazy. The 2010 Olympian — she was fifth at the Vancouver Games — is still recovering from off-season hip surgery and wasn’t able to complete the team trials last month at Lake Placid, N.Y. I haven’t talked to her since, but I know this: Schaaf is doing everything humanly possible to get herself healthy and ready to make another run at earning a spot on the 2014 Olympic team. The odds might not be as good as they once were, but don’t bet against her.

It’s a little too early for must wins, but if the Seahawks don’t beat the Jets, they don’t make the playoffs.

Oh-oh. No, wait a minute. 1-oh. Sounders win 1-0 over Real Salt Lake and you get the feeling the most successful soccer franchise in America are gonna finally win the MLS Cup. The fans certainly deserve one for the way they’ve supported that team.

My friend the blackjack dealer, and an astute baseball fan, tells me that he thinks the Mariners should make an offer for Josh Hamilton. And while they’re at, they should put together a deal that could bring Justin Upton to the M’s. I like his thinking and Hamilton has been lined to the M’s by some. But could Seattle really figure out a way to land those two big boppers? They’ve got a lot of trade ammo. It’s going to be an interesting offseason because the fans are losing patience. They’re seeing teams just as young as Seattle — Oakland, Detroit  etc. — performing in the postseason.

Gold Mountain to host another NCAA regional

The University of Washington announced that Gold Mountain Golf Club will be the site of the 2015 NCAA Men’s Regional Golf Championships.

This will be the third NCAA regional for the Bremerton city-owned facility. Play, once again, will be contested on the award-winning Olympic Course. Gold Mountain also hosted the 2008 and 2010 regionals, in addition to the 2006 U.S. Amateur Public Links,  2011 U.S. Junior Boys Amateur and the prestigious Ping/Golfweek Preview, one of the major events of the fall season for college golfers.

The Huskies will host a women’s regional in 2014 at Suncadia in Cle Elum.


Things click for Blixt on PGA Tour

I’ve written this before, but one of the cool things about Gold Mountain Golf Club’s ability to host all of the prestigious tournaments — the U.S. Public Links, U.S. Junior, NCAA West Regionals, Husky Invitationals, etc. — is that you get a chance to see the stars of tomorrow.

Jonas Blixt was a guy who passed through on his way to the PGA Tour. Blixt, a Swedish golfer, was a senior at Florida State when he played in the NCAA regionals in 2009. Kyle Stanley, the Gig Harbor golfer who was at Clemson at the time, was also in that field. So was Jamie Lovemark, a USC star. I talked to Blixt and Stanley that year for a column on the globalization of college golf.

Stanley won a tour event earlier this year, and Blixt had his breath through moment on Sunday by winning the Open. Blixt has made 13 of 19 cuts and is No. 35 on the money list with more than $2.1 million in winnings. Stanley is No 32, winning $2.3 million. Stanley had a heart-breaking second at the Farmers Insurance Open in San Diego earlier in the year, then won at Phoenix the following week.

Money update

The top 125 money earners on the PGA Tour keep their cards for another season. With two tournaments left — this week’s McGladrey Classic at Sea Island, Ga., and the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Classic in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., Nov. 8-11, Troy Kelly is safe. Kelly, a Central Kitsap product, missed the cut at the Open and only dropped two spots — from No. 107 to No. 109. Another ex-Husky, Richard H. Lee, is No. 134.

Kelly and Lee have both made 11 of 22 cuts. Lee, a former winner of the Bremerton City Amateur, has four Top 25 finishes, and one top 10 and has won $540,133. His tie for sixth in Las Vegas at the Justin Timberlake Childrens Open was worth 4156,335. Kelly has been in the Top 25 just once, but the second-place finish at the Greenbrier was worth $658,800 and he’s now at $786,832.

Two weeks ago, Kelly didn’t think he would play the final event if he didn’t have to. If he misses another cut this week, he might change his mind. Seems like it would be nice to end the year on a good note. Lee, meanwhile, has no choice, although a top 10 finish this week would propel him well into the Top 125.

Veteran Billy Mayfair is currently holding down the No. 125 spot with winnings of $612,361.

No. 126 is Kevin Chappel ($610,948), a former UCLA standout and another of those golfers that has passed through Gold Mountain.

Lovemark, considered one of this can’t-miss guys, is No. 195. He’s played in 16 PGA events and has won $109,572. He’s won another $61,808  in 11 (formerly the Nationwide Tour) events.

Anthony Kim, who was second in the U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship in 2006 at Gold Mountain, has fallen off the map. Once a rising star, he’s battled some physical problems and who knows what else. He played in just 10 tournaments this year, making two cuts and $33,960.

Luke Donald (Northwestern) and Dustin Johnson (Coastal Carolina) are others who also played in college tournaments at the Bremerton city-owned course.

There’s no guarantees, but I think current University of Washington start Chris Williams will start showing up on those tour money lists in the next couple of years.

Done deal: Columbia Hospitality gets approval to manage Gold Mountain

Bremerton mayor Patty Lent got her wish. Columbia Hospitality, which has zero experienced running a golf course, was awarded the contract to manage Gold Mountain Golf Club. They start a transitional period on Thursday and their 3-year contract will kick in on Jan. 1, 2013, when current director of golf Scott Alexander’s contract runs out. Once again, I’ve got nothing against the mayor or Columbia Hospitality. I’m against this because I think the city should have opened the process to other potential bidders.

In case you missed it, here was my last rant on the topic.

Someone told me that if current greens superintendent Ed Faulk wanted to sell an old mower, the city would require that Ed get three sealed bids.

Could another management company or a group interested in running Gold Mountain file an injunction against the city because it didn’t put the contract up for competitive bid?

Josh Farley covered Wednesday’s city council meeting. Here’s  his story:


BREMERTON — Bremerton city council members overcame concerns that a management company was too green to run Gold Mountain Golf Club Wednesday night, hiring a familiar face to do it.
The Bremerton city council voted 6-2 Wednesday night to retain Columbia Hospitality, a company that has run the Kitsap Conference Center for more than eight years, to manage the 36-hole golf complex. The company’s contract starts Thursday.
Under the terms of the deal, Columbia Hospitality gets five percent of all revenues generated at the club, which includes the golf courses, restaurant, driving range and pro shop. To provide additional financial incentive and help the city meet its debt burden on the property, the company also gets 20 percent of net income the complex generates over $600,000.
In 2011, net operating income was $409,000, according to city financial records.
Bremerton city councilwoman Leslie Daugs said she was at first reluctant to go with Columbia because they hadn’t managed a golf course before. But she said once she knew those currently running the course would be retained, she felt better about the deal. She also felt the city will be able to keep an eye on the complex under the new contract.
“We will know what’s going out and what’s coming in,” she said.
City councilmen Adam Brockus and Greg Wheeler voted no. All other city council members voted yes with the exception of Carol Arends, who was not at the meeting.
Brockus lamented that the city hadn’t put the contract out to a competitive bid. He said Columbia would have likely won the contract “fair and square” had it gone to bid. But he based his vote on the premise that the city should use a competitive process for such things.
“We should not make a habit of this,” he said.
Councilman Wheeler criticized the pick for the same reason, as well as Daugs’ concern that the company has not managed a golf course before.
City officials counter that the course’s overseers won’t change: Longtime golf pro Daryl Matheny will stay on even as fellow pro Scott Alexander retires; Greens Superintendent Ed Faulk, also a veteran of more than two decades at the course, will also be retained.
Lenny Zilz, vice president of operations for Columbia Hospitality, said at Wednesday night’s city council meeting that golf courses aren’t new for many employees at Columbia.  
“It’s a new experience for a company, but it’s not a new experience for individuals within that company,” he said.
Zilz used his own experience as an example: he’s been a general manager at resorts in California and Hawaii that included golf courses.
The company is hopeful it can fatten profits at the course, mainly in two ways: it can it can cross-staff with the downtown conference center and its  25 other properties where it has management contracts and it can put its marketing expertise to use to draw new clients. For example, the company has an email list of 80,000 it can market the golf courses and complex to.
Their success would be welcomed by the city, whose debt on the golf course will grow in coming years: $282,000 in debt service in 2013, peaking at $471,000 in 2018, where it will remain until it’s paid off in 2028.
The course is well regarded in the golf world; ranked by as the fourth best municipal golf course in the state this year, it hosted the U.S. Boys Junior in 2011, as well as the U.S. Amateur Public Links Tournament in 2006.