NWGMA Members Enjoy Sand Point CC’s “New” Course
The NWGMA took a unique early look at the grandly refurbished Sand Point Country Club in Seattle. Jeff Shelley, a co-founder of the NWGMA and a member at Sand Point since 1993, orchestrated the Oct. 22 lunch meeting and round at Sand Point. Shelley was assisted by his wife, Anni, the organization’s managing director, and NWGMA president Bob Sherwin.
Attendees included 22 NWGMA members along with special guests Sidney Rice (former Seahawks receiver) and David McLay Kidd, the golf course architect who oversaw the renovation.
Kidd, his design associate Nick Schaan, and Sand Point superintendent Marcus Harness spoke at the pre-round lunch about their marching orders for the remodel. Since the course’s reopening in June, Sand Point’s members are enjoying the results they were able to achieve – mainly, broad landing areas, updated greens and impressive new sightlines of Lake Washington and the Cascades.
Schaan [after the round in the bar] said crews applied more than 1,200 tons of sand to give the course much firmer and faster playing conditions. The transformation into a heathland-style course included a 57 percent increase in fairway coverage and the addition of over 40 new bunkers, bringing the total to over 90.
Kidd said his company, DMK Golf Design, work more often from scratch to craft a golf course on a piece of land, versus a remodeling project such as Sand Point’s. “I would much rather be a writer than an editor,” Kidd noted of the difference in design philosophy. “That’s what this [project] is – you’re editing. I couldn’t change the routing, I couldn’t rebuild every green.”
The architect, who played Sand Point a half-dozen times before the renovation, was happy about his first round at the new course. “I find the golf course super-fun,” the Scotsman and Bend, Ore., resident said. “If I take my architect hat off, I had a lot of fun today. I could hit a golf ball that was not a particularly good shot, could find it and get back in the game.”
Submitted by Bart Potter